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A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

April 27, 2010
"Global" financial crisis is an Atlantic issue, Asians say

HONG KONG

Asians swagger in these days when Americans still lean toward fear. They're like Dallas here with an even bigger D. At the International Media Conference in Hong Kong they move with a great sense of destiny - it is their turn now in the great game of economic growth.

Financial crisis? We've moved on, they say.

It is amusing, being a California who presumes we are the center of the universe, to hear an Indian economist and newspaper editor huff at the very idea of Americans always calling it a "global financial crisis." (which I do routinely in stories).

"I call it the Trans-Atlantic financial crisis," said Dr. Sanjaya Baru, editor of India's Business Standard. The message: our housing meltdown and broken economy is not a worldwide financial phenomenon. He talked about the continuing rise of Asia and "the relative decline of Europe and the U.S."

It appears we've become like Japan, another giant stumbling after the bursting of its real estate bubble. While we're running deficits in the U.S., the Chinese have $2.4 trillion in surplus reserves, including $500 billion in mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That means the Chinese own the mortgages on a lot of homes in the Central Valley. Be nice.

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