Lessons from India and China

Talking Business How India Avoided a Crisis (NYT): “What has taken a number of us by surprise is the lack of adequate supervision and regulation,” Rana Kapoor was saying the other day. “This was despite the fact that Enron had happened and you passed Sarbanes-Oxley. We don’t understand it. Maybe it’s because we sit in a more controlled economy but ….” He smiled sweetly as his voice trailed off, as if to take the sting off his comments. But they stung nonetheless.

India has avoided direct exposure to the credit crisis with a cultural aversion toward credit and with an anti-inflation, anti-Greenspan central banker, Y.V. Reddy.

China to the Rescue? Not! (NYT): I had no idea that many of those oil paintings that hang in hotel rooms and starter homes across America are actually produced by just one Chinese village, Dafen, north of Hong Kong. And I had no idea that Dafen’s artist colony — the world’s leading center for mass-produced artwork and knockoffs of masterpieces — had been devastated by the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble. I should have, though.

We’re going to have to get out of this crisis the old-fashioned way: by digging inside ourselves and getting back to basics — improving U.S. productivity, saving more, studying harder and inventing more stuff to export. The days of phony prosperity — I borrow cheap money from China to build a house and then borrow on that house to buy cheap paintings from China to decorate my walls and everybody is a winner — are over.”

Thank you Mr. Friedman.