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New Left Review 34, July-August 2005


Wide-ranging account of the growing disequilibria within an increasingly integrated global capitalism. Andrew Glyn takes the measure of China’s still gigantic catch-up potential, in comparison to previous Asian NIEs, and assesses the impact of its rise across different sectors of the world economy.

ANDREW GLYN

IMBALANCES OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

It is now widely acknowledged that the increasing international integration and liberalization of the past decades has ushered in an era of turbulence and uncertainty in the global economy. [1] This article is based on a chapter in my forthcoming book, Capitalism Unleashed, to be published by Oxford University Press early in 2006. I am grateful to Wendy Carlin, Susan Collins, Jonathan Garner, John Grahl, John Knight, Tao Ran, Mary Robertson, Bob Rowthorn and Bob Sutcliffe for help with data or comments and suggestions on drafts. The growth and fragility of financial markets, the impact of their excesses upon real economies, the disruptive effects of China’s dramatic rise, the scale of America’s foreign debt and the effects of intensifying competition on national labour markets all point to continuing instability in the decades ahead. What follows is a survey of some of the most salient trends in the world economy today and a sketch of the directions they may indicate.

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