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Commentaries by Stephen Roach

Stephen Roach

Faculty Member, Yale University

Stephen S. Roach is a faculty member at Yale University and former Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, is the author of "Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China".
  • May 19 , 2020

    Public opinion in the United States pins the blame for the COVID-19 pandemic squarely on China. After all, that’s where the virus started. And President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have fanned the flames by accusing China of covering up the outbreak and knowingly allowing the novel coronavirus to spread. But their supposed smoking gun, the tragic fate of the heroic whistleblower, Li Wenliang, fires only blanks.

  • May 03 , 2020

    It didn’t have to end this way, but the die is now cast. After 48 years of painstaking progress, a major rupture of the US-China relationship is at hand. This is a tragic outcome for both sides – and for the world. From an unnecessary trade war to an increasingly desperate coronavirus war, two angry countries are trapped in a blame game with no easy way out.

  • Mar 23 , 2020

    In an effort to get a handle on the economic and financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first instinct is to search for precedents and remedies in earlier crises. Many have pointed to the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC) as the most relevant example, especially in the aftermath of the extraordinary monetary-policy actions announced by the US Federal Reserve on March 15. That would be an unfortunate mistake.

  • Feb 28 , 2020

    The world economy has clearly caught a cold. The outbreak of COVID-19 came at a particularly vulnerable point in the global business cycle. World output expanded by just 2.9% in 2019 – the slowest pace since the 2008-09 global financial crisis and just 0.4 percentage points above the 2.5% threshold typically associated with global recession.

  • Dec 04 , 2019

    For the last two years, the conflict between the United States and China has dominated the economic and financial-market debate – with good reason. After threats and accusations that long predate US President Donald Trump’s election, rhetoric has given way to action. Over the past 17 months, the world’s two largest economies have become embroiled in the most serious tariff war since the early 1930s.

  • Oct 31 , 2019

    Dealmakers always know when to cut their losses. And so it is with the self-proclaimed greatest dealmaker of them all: US President Donald Trump. Having promised a Grand Deal with China, the 13th round of bilateral trade negotiations ended on October 11 with barely a whimper, yielding a watered-down partial agreement: the “phase one” accord.

  • Oct 02 , 2019

    “Bilateral investment treaty opens up the Chinese market to our multinationals — which we need to do — and provide protection for that, and opens up our market to them. If we can negotiate that, that would be a huge breakthrough.”

  • Sep 27 , 2019

    In the here and now of climate change, it is easy to lose sight of important signs of progress. China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is a case in point. By changing its economic model, shifting its sources of fuel, developing new transportation systems, and embracing eco-friendly urbanization, China’s sustainability strategy is an example of global leadership that the rest of the world should consider very carefully. In the rush to demonize China over trade, the West has missed this point altogether.

  • Sep 26 , 2019

    The approach to the current China-US disputes by the US administration is counterproductive. The US must not let falsehoods being spread about China interfere with the creation of productive strategies that would better solve these economic issues.

  • Aug 29 , 2019

    This will be the tenth year that I have taught a course at Yale called “The Next China.” The course focuses on modern China’s daunting economic transitions. It frames the moving target that eludes US President Donald Trump’s administration, which is taking dead aim at the Old China (a convenient target for a leader who wants to resurrect Old America). The incoherence of Trump’s trade and economic policies, with all their potentially grave consequences for the global economy, is a destabilizing byproduct of this disconnect.

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