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Remade in America: How Asia Will Change Because America Boomed Hardcover – January 30, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jim Rohwer, a senior contributing editor at Fortune and the author of 1995's Asia Rising, remains optimistic about that continent's economic future despite the financial turmoil that has wreaked havoc there over the past several years. His latest look at the region, Remade in America, shows how the movers and shakers in Asia are combining "what they had been good at before with what they faced that was new" in order to completely rebuild a fiscal structure that was radically upended during the 1990s. The primary impetus, he argues, has been America's unprecedented technological, financial, and corporate mastery of the global business scene--a far-reaching transformation that had a particularly severe impact on Asia, where longtime industrialization and monetary policies relentlessly drove the cost of capital higher than returns on the investments it generated. By following America's example and remaking its seriously outdated systems, however, Rohwer contends "a new Asian economy" is rising that leans more on services, contemporary industries, domestic consumption, and a belated acceptance of the Internet. Anyone who does (or hopes to do) business on a worldwide basis will appreciate this thought-provoking look at a corner of the world that will only grow in importance as the new century unfolds. --Howard Rothman

From Publishers Weekly

Rohwer, a Fortune contributor, has covered Asia as a business journalist for years, and this is his second book (after Asia Rising) arguing that Asia will prosper as a result of changes in the U.S., and that Asian prosperity will repay the favor by nourishing the American economy in turn. The difference is that Asia Rising was written before the 1997 Asian financial crisis; this new book reconsiders its thesis in light of that crisis. The argument is that the financial trends transforming the U.S. economy in the 1980s Asuch as corporate raiding, junk bonds and financial deregulationAwill do the same thing in Asia. Asians' greater resistance to change, among other factors, explains the time lag, and also predicts that the changes may be more violent there when they come. However, Rohwer also thinks there are real differences, such as Asians' greater discipline and lesser degree of selfishness, that will cause things to play out differently, mostly more positively, than they did in America. (Jan.) Forecast: Taken a few pages at a time, this is a readable book, as well written as a serious magazine article. But overall, the argument's intricate details will weigh down most general readers; the complex charts will scare off others. At the same time, the book lacks the citations and factual support expected of a serious academic or professional work. These drawbacks make it difficult to identify a clear market for this title; it would have been more palatable as a tightly written and edited 100-page thesis. Still, readers of Asia Rising may well want Rohwer's insights on the post-1997-crisis Asian situation.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (January 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081293251X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812932515
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,258,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Jim Rohwer could not have known how right he was.
The blistering pace of economic growth in China has really accelerated in the couple of years since this book came out. China is now firing on all cylinders, delivering a phenomenal performance which combines high GDP growth with low inflation, unlike in the first decade of reform, which suffered from rampant inflation. FDI into China is now at an all time high, projected to exceed $60 billion in 2004. In 2003, electricity production is up 14% (the average in the preceding 10 years was 7.8%). Industrial production is up something like 15%, while oil consumption is up at least 30%. GDP growth for all of 2003 was revised upwards to 9.1%, and the 4th quarter of 2003 was up 9.9% year on year, meaning the economy speeded up in 2003. Western estimates, made by Morgan Stanley, CSFB, Goldman Sachs, and others, are beginning to believe that the Chinese government's official data are now UNDER-estimating real GDP growth, which, based on a broad basket of economic indicators, should be in the double-digits.
Thus, China is growing at two-and-a-half times America's rate of 4%. Maybe more. In the next decade this amazing performance may not be able to sustain itself. But China can still hope to grow at twice America's rate on avereage until 2020 or 2025, which is what Jim Rohwer expected.
By then, China's economy will be the world's third largest, and if the yuan rises in value in the meantime, China's nominal GDP will be bigger than Japan's and thus the second largest in the world. In PPP, however, China will be larger than America. Overall, China is going to be the second largest economy in the world in 20 years' time.
China could never get there unless its methods are "remade in America."
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Format: Hardcover
Jim Rohwer does a wonderful job explaining the complexities of the 1997-98 Asian economic crises and what the future holds for the region in this era of globalization. Using a unique style, he tells the stories of Asian nations - how the `90s crises affected their economies and populations, what they've done in response and how they are positioned for the future. This is done with a striking lack of hard numbers, which might diminish the credibility of some observations, but certainly helps them go down a little easier. We from getAbstract recommend this book to all readers with an intellectual or business interest in Asia.
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