Michael Schuman

Michael Schuman writes about Asia and global economic issues as a correspondent for TIME in Beijing, China. In his 16 years as a journalist in Asia, he has reported from a dozen countries, including China, India, Japan and Indonesia. Assignments have taken him into Gobi Desert sandstorms, Malaysian mosques, Indian call centers and Chinese shirt factories and to a North Korean state dinner (complete with Kim Jong Il himself). Schuman is the author of The Miracle: The Epic Story of Asia's Quest for Wealth. Before joining TIME in 2002, he was a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and a staff writer for Forbes. Originally from New Jersey, he has a B.A. in Asian history and political science from the University of Pennsylvania and a master of international affairs from Columbia.

Articles from Contributor

Is another food crisis coming?

Once again, jitters are spreading through the world of food. Wheat prices have surged a terrifying 50% since early June, the biggest jump in 30 years, according to HSBC. Droughts in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, which together account for 26% of world wheat exports, are leading to fears of tight supply and super-charging prices. …

Escaping the middle-income trap

I returned a few days ago from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, where the talk of the town – well, at least among economists — is the “middle-income trap.” What’s that, you ask? A developing nation gets “trapped” when it reaches a certain, relatively comfortable level of income but can’t seem to take that next big …

Is the euro crisis over?

It is remarkable how sentiment has turned around on Europe from where we were less than three months ago. Back then, the euro was tanking, fears were escalating that the continent would suffer a series of sovereign debt defaults, and financial contagion raged out of control. My how things have changed. The governments of Spain and …

Does China need a second stimulus?

Yes, it sounds like a ridiculous question. Especially since we found out on Thursday that GDP grew 10.3% in the second quarter of 2010 from a year earlier. That’s a significant deceleration from 11.9% in the first quarter, but hardly worthy of concern. The government, in fact, has been trying to slow the economy down, mainly by …

Is China a debt junkie?

We’ve all by now learned about the dangers of too much debt. The U.S. is paying the price for an explosion of consumer debt. Europe is struggling with too much sovereign debt. Now one of the big questions facing China is whether or not Beijing’s policymakers are about to get their own lesson in the perils of debt-driven …

Why Europe needs marriage counseling

One issue I keep beating on in my posts about Europe’s debt crisis is the need for collective action to resolve the region’s problems. The independent nations of Europe have gotten into bed together, with the common market as the blanket and the euro as the wedding ring, and they have to start behaving that way, as members of a union …

Is Asia’s recovery stalling?

The one word that has been used again and again to describe the global economic rebound is “fragile.” The G-20 featured it prominently in final declaration issued after its June Toronto summit. And recently, more and more signs have emerged that the recovery is even more fragile than many had anticipated just weeks ago. Stephen …

Has the G-20 doomed the recovery?

So they’ve gone and done it. Even though the G-20 called the recovery “uneven and fragile” in the final declaration from its weekend confab in Toronto, the advanced economies also pledged to at least halve fiscal deficits by 2013 and stabilize or reduce government debt-to-GDP ratios by 2016. The statement read:

Recent events

Should Japan join the PIIGS?

There are a few, special criteria a country needs to meet to become a member of the illustrious PIIGS – that collection of beleaguered Eurozone economies made up of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. Does Japan qualify for the honor?
Let’s see:

High government debt? Check.

Low growth prospects? Check.

Desperate need for …

Why central bankers will lose more sleep

As if the lives of central bankers haven’t been hard enough. First they had to ride cavalry-like to the rescue as financial markets went into full-fledged meltdown and economies sank into the Great Recession. Ever since, they’ve been faced with that tricky game of figuring out when to start reversing the super easy monetary policy …

Japan’s economy: Nowhere to hide

Looking at Japan’s latest attempts to restore life to its moribund economy makes me think of the old Martha and the Vandellas song, with the chorus: “Got nowhere to run to, baby / Nowhere to hide….” The problems of Japan run so deep that whatever solution Tokyo’s policymakers offer up, the potential downside could be more …

  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 18
  4. 19
  5. 20
  6. 21
  7. 22
  8. 23