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Uprising: Will Emerging Markets Shape or Shake the World Economy Hardcover – 22 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (22 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470660821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470660829
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3.4 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 424,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

George Magnus is a Managing Director and the Senior Economic Advisor, a position to which he was appointed in 2004, following a seven-year spell as the Chief Economist. He is the author of THE AGE OF AGEING:HOW DEMOGRAPHICS ARE CHANGING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AND OUR WORLD (John Wiley & Sons), and UPRISING: WILL EMERGING MARKETS SHAPE OR SHAKE THE WORLD? Mr. Magnus's previous positions include Chief International Economist at UBS before the merger with Swiss Bank Corp, head of fixed income research and then Chief Economist at SG Warburg (1987-95), Chief International Economist at Chase Securities (1985-87, previously Laurie Milbank), Senior Financial Economist and then Head of Economics (EMEA region) at Bank of America (1977-85), European Economist at Lloyds Bank International (1974-77) and Economics Writer at the Central Office of Information (1972-74). Mr. Magnus received an MSc Econ from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and taught Economics at both the Central London Polytechnic (now University of Westminster) and the University of Illinois, where he was engaged in research on employment creation issues in less developed countries at the Institute of Labour and Industrial Relations.

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Review

‘…a useful corrective to some of the more breathless and overenthusiastic tracts on China’s inevitable path to world domination.’  (Management Today, Novemberm 2010). ‘… Magnus takes an epic sweep of the emerging economies– from China and India to Turkey and Eastern Europe.’   (Wharf, November 2010). “…a considered view of the advances of China, India and other emerging economies .”  (Financial Times, November 2010). ‘ Magnus′s overarching argument is that China still lacks the organisations and institutions that accept …the key to technological innovation.’ (Reuters.com, November 2010). ‘…blow–by–blow account of the global scene today…his [Magnus’s] crystal ball presents surprising conclusions.’ (BMI Voyager, April 2011). ‘… worth reading’.  (Survival, June 2011).

From the Author

How did you first become interested in the impact that emerging markets are having on the global economy in the wake of the financial crisis?

I took the view early in 2007 that the West was headed for a serious and protracted debt crisis, the sort that's typically associated with emerging markets, and unprecedented in scale in richer economies since the 1930s. I was thinking about writing a book on the meltdown and who and what was to blame, but became attracted to more forward looking global implications of the crisis. If we in the West were going to be shocked for a decade, would emerging markets keep the global economy afloat? Would they be able to sustain a model of development that relied on the hedonism of Western consumers? So I decided to ask whether the pre-crisis assumptions about emerging countries were still valid in a more fractious and unpredictable global economy, where linear extrapolations had become meaningless. Would emerging markets, especially China, be able to embrace extensive economic and political reform to deal with key structural issues, for example, unbalanced global trade which was--and remains--at the heart of our weakened global system. Then I found a lot of people and authors arguing that the world was reverting to a system that had existed before the birth of Christ and until about 1800 when China really did rule the world. So I decided to investigate and assess the credentials of this statement.


Uprising
is quite an interesting title for the book. Do you think that what we’re seeing an ‘uprising’ of emerging markets?


Yes. The Western model of capitalism, especially financial capitalism, has been punctured. The so-called Washington Consensus is seen by many as yielding now to a Beijing Consensus. China and other emerging nations are vocal about ending the US dollar-centric financial system. Emerging markets, while a disparate group, have some common interests in lining up against the West over economic policies, technology transfer, and climate change. Those infamous tectonic plates of power are certainly shifting towards emerging countries, but the questions are how far, and so what? Since China is the only major rival to the US as a global power and leader, can it exercise a global leadership role? Does it want to? And what if it can't or won't?


Your argument in the book, that China in particular is over-hyped at the moment, is quite controversial. Why do you think it’s an issue that provokes such strong feelings?

Basically because a lot of people think we may be at some sort of tipping point where vested interests and beliefs play a big role. China, unlike other major emerging markets, isn't just big and populous. It really can shake things up in Asia and the world. So Sino-philes and Sino-phobes both have loud drums to bang. More specifically, I'd suggest three reasons. First, there are many people who claim self-servingly, often for blatantly commercial reasons, that this is now the Chinese century. Second, there are those who think the Western globalisation model is now so flawed, that there's no way back. The future has to belong to someone else. And third, there are many who see China's achievements with such awe--not without cause--that they can't imagine weakness or failure, especially when the West is in such difficulties.


Your last book, The Age of Aging was about the problems caused for the economy by an aging population. Is demographics a big part of the story about emerging markets too?


Very much so. Most emerging markets are going to enjoy reaping the 'demographic dividend' for another 20 years or so. This captures the economic benefits of the fall in child dependency on the working age population, and before rising old age dependency really kicks in. But by the 2030s, most emerging markets will be where the West is today.


Will they be able to grow rich too before they grow old, to coin a cliché?


It's by no means certain. Further, I'm not sure how well understood it is that China is the fastest aging country on Earth and faces an imminent and protracted fall in its youth and working age populations. Or what the unintended social and economic consequences of the one child policy are. How will India generate jobs for the teeming millions of children now aged under 15?  And could the younger, poorer and more populous emerging world come into more frequent conflict with the older, richer world over water, food, resources, for example?


What’s the most interesting thing that you’ve learned about emerging markets while researching the book?

I was no stranger to the economics and demographics of emerging markets though new material crops up all the time. But I think what fascinated me most was the history lesson of Chinese civilisation and its role in the global system for two millennia, and of why the Industrial Revolution happened in a two-horse town in northern England, and not on the Yangtse Delta. This steered me towards the quality of institutions, both political and legal, as one of the great unsung heroes and determinants of economic development and success, rather than GDP or a raft of other economic variables. And in turn, why this is as relevant as ever.


What do you think is the future for emerging markets in the medium term?

I don't doubt that emerging markets have strong economic fundamentals that will enable them to catch up economically vis-a-vis the West. But I think this hangs on some important assumptions. We need to maintain an open trading system, sound international institutions and high levels of co-operation and co-ordination. These are the core characteristics of the kind of globalisation in which emerging markets have already made great progress. My worry is that it's all too easy for this to fall apart, and for emerging markets to suffer more--because they are poorer--if the biggest emerging markets fail to offer good leadership and governance at home and on the global stage. This is not to let the US and the West off the hook at all. It is to recognise, though, that a system works because all participants contribute to its smooth functioning, and that goes for emerging markets too.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover
In "Uprising", the economic advisor George Magnus asks to what extent the "emerging markets" of BRIC - Brazil and Russia, but more importantly India and in particular China will wrest economic power from the United States. He shows how China was inadvertently implicated in the 2008-9 economic crisis, by depositing so much of its foreign exchange earnings from exports into US banks, thus stimulating the "credit mania" of speculation in, for instance, the subprime housing market.

Taking a different perspective from other writers in this field, Magnus warns against extrapolating trends into the future and predicting the dominance of China. He reminds us of how the Soviet leader Khruschev mistakenly warned the West "we will bury you", how the Japanese miracle faded, and the US recovered from the problems of the 1970s-80s against the odds.

Despite the size, dynamism and "world creditor nation status" which make it a global power, China has certain basic problems which it has yet to address. With an ageing population and growing gender imbalance, China is demographically weaker than the US. With most of its development on the coast, China has internal regions which are important for resources and supply lines, but which may prove politically unstable. China also lacks to date the "infrastructure" of financial and legal institutions necessary for sound development, and its centralised culture discourages innovation. Can China handle the growing internal demands for consumer goods? Can it achieve western levels of income per head without massive pollution? What about increased pressure for freedom of expression?

Many of the points covered can be gleaned from regular reading of a broadsheet newspaper, but it is useful to have them summarised in one place.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Mankin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Dec 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. It is lucidly written, well argued and very thought-provoking. It is refreshing to find an author who, as the other reviewer rightly states, eschews the prevailing consensus on the rise of China and India and instead puts forward an alternative thesis. Whether or not you agree with George Magnus's arguments on the future of western-sytle capitalism is not really the point. You may not be persuaded but you will certainly have broadened your understanding of recent global events and the implications for the future if you make the effort to give this book careful consideration. It is certainly worth reflecting on an alternative perspective that avoids the 'let's jump on the China/India bandwagon'.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ian on 24 Nov 2010
Format: Hardcover
Talk about timely! With governments around the world wrestling with (or perhaps shirking after the recent G20 non-event) the implications of current account imbalances and currency policy, George Magnus has produced a key text in understanding the current gllobal economic environment. It eschews the lazy consensus that the rise of China and India leaves western capitalism doomed to play second fiddle, and sets out a range of reasons why the economic standing of the US in particular is likely to persist. Buy it, read it and have the arguments to hand to challenge economic fatalists.
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