The Hale Podcast Episode 18 - Robert Madsen July 14 2021

The Changing Geopolitical Role of the US - What It Means for the Global Economy Lyric Hale interviews Robert Madsen

  
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Robert Madsen has been a friend for almost twenty years. A truly original thinker, his well-researched and nuanced views on the global economy have deeply influenced my own. An esteemed colleague, he is Senior Economist at Hale Strategic, and an EconVue contributor. Although he lives in the heart of the dragon, Silicon Valley, he is the opposite of a technologist. He analyses major geopolitical issues both historically and from the point of view of economics. He says that economics is the summation of the well-being of all people, a wonderful definition.  

Robert has an extraordinary background in East Asia, international relations, and economics. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard, was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford where he was awarded his doctorate in international relations, followed by a law degree at Stanford. He is fluent in both Japanese and Chinese. He previously worked for the Soros Fund, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the Ford Foundation, and McKinsey among others.

Given the events in Afghanistan over the weekend, I searched for the comments he made when we recorded this podcast a few weeks ago:
"Look at Afghanistan, the US is withdrawing, the Taliban is going to take over, and we might be back there in 10 years as a result." Now that is a truly sobering thought.

We discussed China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and US economic policy.  Madsen is not a believer in a long-term uptick in inflation, given what he sees as weak demand dynamics due to demographics and technology.
"Yes, inflation is already here, you can't deny it, but the longer-term factors I don't think support an inflationary outlook...instead of a medium-term rate of 3% or 4%, I think it's more likely to be 1.5% to 2.5%.

Bond markets seem to agree with him. I hope you enjoy our podcast; I always learn something from Robert that challenges the conventional wisdom, and I think you will too. 

Recommended Reading

August 7, 2021/ Bloomberg
Article
China’s Hubris Is a Threat to Its Economic Future
Matthew Brooker

China’s increasingly muscular interventions in the private economy have wiped hundreds of billions of dollars off share prices and sent investors scurrying to understand where the next targets will be.

August 2, 2021 / The New York Times
Article 
12-Hour Days, Six Days a Week
Vivian Wang

 Chinese work culture and the debate around working conditions.

August 12, 2021  / Wral Tech Wire
Article
War on ‘Big Tech’ isn’t just talk – this could help develop more ‘tech clusters,’ say UNC experts
Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

There are signs of a growing bipartisan agreement in Washington that Big Tech needs to be more tightly regulated. And it’s not just talk.

August 16, 2021/ BBC
Article
Japan's economy bounced back ahead of the Olympics, data shows

Japan rebounded faster than expected from its pandemic-driven slump in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics.

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