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China’s New Investment Bank: A Premature Prophecy – By Mark Fleming-Williams

Has the U.S. Lost Its Role as Driver of Global Economy?‏

China’s New Investment Bank: A Premature Prophecy

Global AffairsGlobal Affairs – April 22, 2015 | 08:00 GMT – STRATFOR

By Mark Fleming-Williams

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers wrote on April 5 that this month may be remembered as the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system. His comments refer to the circumstances surrounding China’s launch of a new venture, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Wary of China’s growing ambitions and influence, the United States had advised its allies not to join the institution, but many signed up anyway. The debacle was undoubtedly embarrassing for Washington, but even so, Summers’ prophecy is a bit premature at this stage.

To understand why, one must first understand the basis of the United States’ dominant economic position in the world. At the height of World War II, the heavily indebted United Kingdom signed the Lend-Lease deal, which handed over British naval bases to its American cousins in exchange for financial support. This act was akin to passing the military superpower baton, since it transferred control of the world’s oceans to the United States.   Continue reading

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