Project SyndicateProject Syndicate

Will China dump Its Dark Deal with America?

By Yanis Varoufakis

14 Feb 2023 · 3 min read

In PS, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis claims that China may pursue an economic growth model that no longer relies on the U.S. trade deficit. The impact, he says, would be monumental.

Curated by informed

ATHENS – True hegemons prevail not by force but by offering hard-to-resist Faustian bargains. A prime example is the “Dark Deal,” which underpinned China’s economic miracle prior to the new cold war with the United States. That arrangement now hangs by a thread.

“Our Dark Deal,” a Chinese official once explained to me, “turns on the US trade deficit, which keeps demand for our manufactures high. In return, our capitalists invest the bulk of their dollar superprofits into America’s FIRE [finance, insurance, and real estate]. Once this process got underway, America shifted much of its industrial production to our shores.”

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