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Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World's Prosperity Depends on It [Kindle Edition]

Zachary Karabell
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $11.99
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

Now in paperback, Zachary Karabell argues that the intertwined economic relationship between China and the U.S. will affect our long-term prosperity more than any other contemporary issue. As the world continues the slow work of repairing the damage of the financial crisis, it is crucial that the U.S. understands that it cannot go it alone. Its mutuality with China is permanent, essential, and defining. Zachary Karabell’s brilliant book lays out this complex and important economic story.
“Karabell excels at weaving in glitzy tales of the brave new China against the larger backdrop of the Middle Kingdom’s forceful but cautious economic liberalization and the often tortuous, frequently saber-rattling politics of U.S.-China relations….A provocative argument.”
—Los Angeles Times
“The question at the heart of Superfusion is a pressing one: What will happen next? Mr. Karabell says that the U.S. must turn its thinking away from the military and security challenges of the twentieth century and focus more on the economic challenges of the twenty-first.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“A compelling brief on the unlikely convergence of the U.S. and Chinese economies….Essential reading for anyone curious about the increasing economic integration and interdependence between China and America, the public opposition in both nations, and the implication for the U.S. as it faces competition from a nation it cannot coerce.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Karabell (A Visionary Nation) delivers a compelling brief on the unlikely convergence of the U.S. and Chinese economies. He begins with an introduction to China's economic reforms in the post-Mao era and moves on to specific examples of how such American companies as KFC, Avon and Nike used this opportunity to reinvent their businesses to suit the world's largest market. Karabell argues that China's entry into the WTO laid the foundations of Chimerica—the symbiotic relationship between China and America that has largely escaped analysis because outmoded quantitative tools examine nation states as closed systems. He also illustrates why China as a low-cost producer is less important than China's new role as avid consumer, why nonperforming loans have meant such different things in China and in the West and the possible causes of the interest rate conundrum that so puzzled Alan Greenspan. Essential reading for anyone curious about the increasing economic integration and interdependence between China and America, the public opposition in both nations and the implications for the U.S. as it faces competition from a nation it cannot coerce. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“A compelling brief on the unlikely convergence of the U.S. and Chinese economies. . . .Essential reading for anyone curious about the increasing economic integration and interdependence between China and America, the public opposition in both nations, and the implication fro the U.S. as it faces competition from a nation it cannot coerce.”

--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1950 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,919 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best China Book I've Read October 7, 2009
I have been interested in China since 1998 when a good friend married a Chinese national and encouraged me to visit and make up my own mind about the Middle Kingdom. I have read 15 books about China and visited three times in the last 14 months. Zachary Karabell is the first author to put together a comprehensive historical and financial framework that explains what has been going on in China for the last twenty years with on-the-ground personal experiences and portfolio management insights from his several years as running a successful China mutual fund. He explains how Kentucky Fried Chicken, Avon and Federal Express achieved success but I was more interested in his not-as-well known company examples which included [...], [...], China Life Insurance, and Huawei Technologies.
Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms in China have been going on for thirty years. Everywhere I went and talked to young Chinese (through an interpreter who spoke Mandarin) they mentioned Deng's remarks "to be rich is to be glorious" and "Black cat, white cat, what does it matter as long as it catches mice?" The well educated twenty to thirty-five year old Chinese men (and women) know that the 21st century is their century. These "Chuppies" - Chinese yuppies - were everywhere in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Their internet phones and laptops were ubiquitous and more advanced than mine. The only thing I did not understand was the fascination with massively multi-player online role-playing games in internet cafes.
My only quibble is that the term "Chimerica" (which was coined by Niall Ferguson) would have worked better in the title instead of "Superfusion".
I highly recommend this book. Also, if you haven't been to Asia, go to Hong Kong and Shanghai. Those skylines with their new 100 story buildings put New York City to shame.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future Is 'Superfusion' October 12, 2009
By Yi Liu
"Here begins our tale. The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. -- Moss Roberts (translator) <Romance of Three Kingdoms>"

Last Wednesday (Oct. 7, 2009), Alcoa surprised Wall Street by reporting a profit for the most recent quarter after three consecutive quarterly losses. CEO Kleinfeld said, "China clearly is back and back very, very strong and pulling some of the Asian markets."

This is just one of many examples showing how "China" is positioned in this worldwide financial meltdown and recession. While some blamed China as the cause of this crisis for its currency policy and cheap goods, others hope China will be the very engine that pulls the world, especially epicenter of the crisis, the United States, out of recession.

Zachary Karabell, an American author, historian, money manager and economist, is the President of River Twice Research, where he analyzes economic and political trends. With several 4-5 star books at hand, Karabell wrote a new book to tell us the story behind China's rising economy and its "superfusion" with the United States.

First, the book started with the economical background in China and Unite States. China was poor after decades of command economy and isolation. Deng Xiaoping was determined to open China to foreign investment. United States was at the dawn "New Economy" and big companies were lagging and searching for opportunities around the globe.

Then, the author moved on with stories of three big names (KFC, AVON, FedEx). They invested in China heavily without much short-term return but aimed for the future. In the meanwhile, China utilized foreign capital for development while it still kept financial system partially isolated.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
China, the USA's largest creditor, buys billions of dollars in U.S. Treasury bills. That allows us to keep interest rates low. Low interest rates encourage Americans to spend more money than they have. Americans especially like to consume low-priced Chinese goods. So China has been happy to fuel this cycle of investment and consumption. Thus our two countries have become partners, says Karabell: "The Chinese and U.S. economies have fused to become one integrated system. Americans should embrace this fusion."

Karabell downplays the fact that the relationship is more a codependency than a partnership--like drug dealer and addict. Now the USA has overdosed on debt, while China keeps saving, investing, and growing. China's premier Wen Jiabao stated that he is worried about the safety of China's investment in the USA. How long can the "partnership" last? Karabell underestimates the potential for conflict and the impediments to the happily integrated system that he envisions.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely and Important - October 16, 2009
Recent economic travails have triggered intensive questioning of the financial system created by the United States and warped by Wall Street. That has led many to reconsider America's place in the world and wonder whether this is indeed the twilight of American power. At the same time, both China and the U.S., after years of seeking closer integration, have begun to question that wisdom. Author Karabell, however, argues that their fusion has advanced too far for either to extricate itself without severe harm. Over the past two decades, China and the U.S. have become one integrated hyper-economy - 'Chimerica.'

To bolster his point about how the U.S. and China economies are intertwined, Karabell contends that without Chinese reserves bolstering U.S. Treasury bonds in the past 18 months, it would have been far more challenging for the United States government to rescue a crumbling financial system. And without American consumers having bought Chinese goods over the past years, China would never have accumulated the reserves that allowed it to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to support the economy during the worst of the financial implosion. (On the other hand, without the low American interest rates afforded by Chinese funds, the U.S. may not have had a housing bubble.)

China began with a trade economy limited to 5% of GDP in the 1970s - it was isolated, and self-sufficient as best possible - like North Korea today. The process of turning outward began about 20 years ago. First came about ten years of experiments with private enterprise in special enterprise zones.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Love reading the honest and informative take on history and events. The title is self descriptive. The book is objective and intelligent.
Published 3 months ago by Pearl Gates
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Be smart read this
Published 9 months ago by Jefferey F. Trowbridge
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much For Not Much
Karabell's premise, that the U.S. and China have economically merged to the point where they are in fact the same economy, is intriguing and downright perception altering. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Calvin&Hobbes
Zachary Karabell has written other books such as Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World, The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Steven H Propp
4.0 out of 5 stars Friends instead of foes in Today's international community
Whether you like it or not, Mr. Karabell is stating a fact in today's international relationship being ignored by many American political and labor leaders and egg head scholars. Read more
Published 19 months ago by kuang hua chang
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely could not be better - Magnificent !!
Such clear detail, chronological, historical, provides very clear background on China and how we got to where we are today, and gives a reader food for thought regarding some of... Read more
Published on January 7, 2012 by gloria molnar
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I'm reading this book the second time, and still find valuable information from it. The author's narratives resonate with my personal experience in China in 1980s and 1990s. Read more
Published on October 7, 2011 by AReader
2.0 out of 5 stars Only two good chapters
I picked up the book SuperFusion today; and finished it today - for me, record speed. This review won't take much time either. Read more
Published on August 1, 2011 by Hal
5.0 out of 5 stars Chimerica: bound together like Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty?
Saving the reader from another polemic on US China relations, Zachary Karabell presents a well written, insightful, even handed analysis of the China US mutual dependency. Read more
Published on November 7, 2010 by Jedrury
3.0 out of 5 stars You Have Likely Read Most of this Before
I believe it was in Thomas Friedman's Lexus and the Olive Tree that he writes about President Clinton during a confrontation with China over Taiwan being warned by Treasury... Read more
Published on August 22, 2010 by Marc Korman
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