How is China's government spending taxpayer money?
This is not an easy question to answer. The most populous country in the world ranks among the worst in matters of government transparency.
The Chinese government budget, presented to the public each March as a fait accompli, contains only scattered information about spending priorities and no details about specific programs. It is notoriously difficult to find specific budget information for individual government MORECharles Riley - Jan 15, 2014 4:05 AM ET
Here's a scary thought: What if the economies of China and India -- the world's two major growth engines -- slowed suddenly and dramatically?
Is the world prepared for such an event? How far would the collateral damage extend? Perhaps most importantly, what are the chances of a crash in Asia?
According to Larry Summers and Lant Pritchett, these are questions that policymakers should be thinking about -- and the all-star economists MORECharles Riley - Nov 19, 2013 4:29 AM ET
It now seems very likely that China's economy will meet or exceed Beijing's 7.5% growth target for 2013. For President Xi Jinping, still in his first year of office, this is very good news.
At the same time, heading into a pivotal meeting of the Communist Party, the country's policy landscape is unusually unsettled. Clarity on three key items -- local debt, economic reform plans and the Shanghai Free Trade Zone -- would MORECharles Riley - Oct 29, 2013 10:48 PM ET
When the current crop of Chinese leaders assumed power, they wasted no time in ordering an extensive audit of local government debt.
Presumably the new team, led by President Xi Jinping, wanted to know what everyone else wants to know: How has China's massive expansion of credit since 2008 affected state finances?
The uncomfortable truth is that nobody has a great handle on exactly how much local governments have spent.
The bean counters MORECharles Riley - Sep 18, 2013 5:32 AM ET
Rumblings in China's state media suggest that Beijing is considering a move to relax its deeply unpopular one-child policy, a change that could significantly alter demographic trends in the world's second largest economy.
Since its introduction in the late 1970s to control China's rapid population growth, policymakers have carved out some exceptions to the rule, including a provision that allows rural residents to have a second child if the first was a girl.
But for MORECharles Riley - Aug 14, 2013 5:55 AM ET
Most readers are probably familiar with a game called "pin the tail on the donkey" -- a staple of birthday parties for children under the age of 10.
For the uninitiated, the game involves a blindfold, a disorienting series of spins and an attempt to pin "the tail" on a paper "donkey." Nobody ever seems to get the pin in quite the right spot. But it can be quite entertaining to see the MORECharles Riley - Jul 12, 2013 5:04 AM ET
Some members of the Bank of Japan have expressed concerns over the central bank's ambitious new monetary policies, warning that overly aggressive action could discourage lending, or produce otherwise unwanted side effects.
The concerns were disclosed in the minutes of the central bank's early April meeting, an event that ultimately produced a pledge to rapidly expand the bank's balance sheet through the purchase of longer-term debt and securities, such as exchange traded MORECharles Riley - May 2, 2013 7:18 AM ET
Are China's economic statistics accurate?
Pose this question to a group a China watchers and you're likely to receive a variety of responses. Some observers are convinced that China is cooking its books. Others believe state statistics are largely reliable and useful for drawing conclusions about the world's second largest economy. Still others will debate the accuracy of certain data classes, pointing to more meaningful alternatives.
Now we have an opinion from researchers MORECharles Riley - Mar 26, 2013 6:57 AM ET
Premier Wen Jiabao opened China's annual parliamentary meetings Tuesday by issuing a new set of targets for the world's second largest economy.
The target for gross domestic product growth will remain 7.5%, but the government said it will carry a larger deficit in 2013 to help finance spending plans.
China recorded its weakest growth in 13 years in 2012, but a rebound in the fourth quarter removed any lingering concern that its MORECharles Riley - Mar 4, 2013 11:01 PM ET
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