Michael Pettis

Nonresident Senior Associate
Asia Program
Pettis, an expert on China’s economy, is professor of finance at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, where he specializes in Chinese financial markets.


MBA, Finance, Columbia University
MIA, Development Economics, Columbia University


Michael Pettis is a senior associate in the Carnegie Asia Program based in Beijing. An expert on China’s economy, Pettis is professor of finance at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, where he specializes in Chinese financial markets. 

From 2002 to 2004, he also taught at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management and, from 1992 to 2001, at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He is a member of the Institute of Latin American Studies Advisory Board at Columbia University as well as the Dean’s Advisory Board at the School of Public and International Affairs.

Pettis worked on Wall Street in trading, capital markets, and corporate finance since 1987, when he joined the sovereign debt trading team at Manufacturers Hanover (now JPMorgan). Most recently, from 1996 to 2001, Pettis worked at Bear Stearns, where he was managing director principal heading the Latin American capital markets and the liability management groups. He has also worked as a partner in a merchant-banking boutique that specialized in securitizing Latin American assets and at Credit Suisse First Boston, where he headed the emerging markets trading team.

In addition to trading and capital markets, Pettis has been involved in sovereign advisory work, including for the Mexican government on the privatization of its banking system, the Republic of Macedonia on the restructuring of its international bank debt, and the South Korean Ministry of Finance on the restructuring of the country’s commercial bank debt.

He formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors of ABC-CA Fund Management Company, a Sino–French joint venture based in Shanghai. He is the author of several books, including The Great Rebalancing: Trade, Conflict, and the Perilous Road Ahead for the World Economy (Princeton University Press, 2013).


  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets March 23, 2014
    Economic Consequences of Income Inequality

    Rising inequality is inextricably tied to economic imbalances and, in a context of limited productive investment opportunities, the only sustainable outcome is sharply higher unemployment.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets February 16, 2014
    What Do Bank Share Prices Tell Us About Growth?

    The plummeting valuation of China’s banks suggests that investors are losing confidence in China’s growth prospects.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets January 29, 2014
    The Impact of Reform on Growth

    The Third Plenum all but guarantees that growth rates in China will slow down. In fact, slowing growth is a reasonable proxy for judging the success of the reforms.

  • eurozone
    Strategic Europe January 10, 2014
    Europe’s Competitive Austerity

    Spanish unemployment is largely due to German austerity. As long as Spain cannot run its own monetary policy, Madrid cannot address the root cause of its unemployment crisis.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets January 5, 2014
    Will Reforms Speed Growth in China?

    The reforms proposed at the Third Plenum, if implemented, will remedy the imbalances that have made China’s economic growth unsustainable, but doing so will imply a shard drop in growth.

  • Op-Ed Foreign Policy December 31, 2013
    The Year of the Horse

    China’s radical economic reforms could bring new prosperity to hundreds of millions—if Xi Jinping can successfully navigate the bumps ahead.

  • Op-Ed Financial Times December 27, 2013
    Hello 2014: Don’t Be Afraid of Slower Chinese Growth

    A steep but orderly reduction in GDP growth is likely to be the best evidence that Beijing is forcefully implementing reforms, and that China is preparing itself over the decade to regain growth on a healthier long-term basis.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets December 20, 2013
    Monetary Policy Under Financial Repression

    In countries with financial repression, like China, monetary policy has a muted impact on consumers and a dramatic impact on producers, leading to unsustainable patterns of investment and consumption.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets December 8, 2013
    The Politics of Adjustment

    As China shifts away from its traditional debt-fueled growth strategy, resources will have to be reallocated from the state to households. The resulting political tensions will be difficult to manage.

  • Op-Ed Financial Times December 3, 2013
    In China Debt, Not Consumption, is the Issue

    Beijing policy makers do not need creative ways to post higher consumption numbers; they need more efficient forms of demand. China’s problem is rapid credit growth, and the low consumption share is just a symptom of the problem.

  • CNBC November 12, 2013
    China Needs a Slow-Growth System

    The reforms necessary to rebalance China’s economy require the political resolve to reallocate resources and benefits from state elites to households.

  • Financial Times July 12, 2013
    Up Shibor Creek

    Overinvestment in China is creating debt problems, an experience that is similar to other historical investment-led growth miracles.

  • ABC News March 26, 2013
    Cyprus Banks Remain Shut

    The Cyprus banking crisis is an exaggerated version of the problems that persist throughout peripheral Europe.

  • CNBC's Worldwide Exchange November 13, 2012
    Cautious Optimism About China

    China's new political leadership knows that economic reform is necessary, but has difficulty gathering the political will to enact such reforms.

  • NPR October 28, 2012
    What's Next For China's Economy?

    As a new generation of leaders emerges at China's 18th Congress, they will need to figure out how to keep the world's second largest economy on track.

  • Michael Pettis
    Marketplace June 13, 2011
    Could China's Efforts to Cool the Economy Be Working Too Well?

    China’s high level of investment is causing a rapid rise in debt and will likely lead to a slowdown in the country’s economic growth.

  • Michael Pettis
    Bloomberg May 11, 2011
    The Threat of China's Unbalanced Economy

    Persistent imbalances in China's economy are likely to pose a serious threat to the country's growth unless Beijing significantly revalues its currency, raises real interest rates, and continues to increase wages.

  • Phoenix TV January 16, 2011
    The Global Financial Crisis and U.S.-China Relations

    State-level visits between China and the United States are very important, given that relations between China nd the United States are probably going to be among the most critical bilateral relationships for the next fifteen years.

  • A Chinese manufacturing worker
    BBC World Service February 8, 2010
    Could There be a Trade War Between China and the West?

    As the U.S trade deficit becomes increasingly politicized in the face of high unemployment and a global contraction in demand, there is an increasing likelihood of trade tensions with net surplus countries, especially China.

  • April 24, 2013 Washington, DC 中文
    China’s First Steps Since the National People’s Congress

    China’s new leadership has taken shape since November and March but programmatic policy statements are not expected until around the time of the Third Plenum of the Central Committee in the autumn.

  • February 19, 2013 Beijing
    The Global Rebalancing

    The uncertain global economy and poor performance of economic giants such as Japan has led to doubts over China’s ability to maintain an eight percent growth model.

  • September 7, 2012 Washington, D.C. 中文
    How Can China Rebalance?

    Although China's government seems serious about rebalancing the country's economy away from its over-reliance on investment, historical precedents suggest that this will be very difficult.

  • September 22, 2011 Washington, D.C. 中文
    Rebalancing and Growth: The Arithmetic of Chinese Adjustment

    It is widely acknowledged that China must transform its growth model toward one more reliant on domestic consumption, and policy makers are warning that growth rates will slow sharply in the coming years to perhaps six to eight percent.

  • March 25, 2011 Washington, D.C. 中文
    China's Domestic Rebalancing

    As worries about China’s economy overheating escalate, Chinese policy makers are focusing on domestic rebalancing and placing an increased priority on increasing domestic consumption and developing less urbanized regions.

  • March 15, 2011 Beijing
    U.S.-China Relations Prior to the Strategic & Economic Dialogue Meeting in May 2011

    The Strategic and Economic Dialogue should be used by both China and the United States as a medium to facilitate energy and economic cooperation, overcome mounting mistrust that exists in both countries at public and government levels.

  • February 28, 2011 Beijing
    President Hu’s Recent State Visit to the United States and its Impact on the US.-China Relationship

    President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States provides the Chinese leadership with a crucial opportunity to connect with the American public and reach important policy decisions at the highest levels of American and Chinese leadership.

  • December 16, 2010 Washington, D.C. 中文
    China's Unbalanced Growth: Vice or Virtue?

    China's economic prospects remain sound, but many observers point to the risk of an "unbalanced" growth process that has spurred investment and kept domestic consumption low.

  • September 20, 2010 Beijing 中文
    China, the European Union, and Trade Relations

    While tensions exist in the relationship between China and Europe, enhanced bilateral cooperation would be beneficial to both sides and valuable for promoting global stability and development.

  • September 8, 2010 Brussels 中文
    Post-Crisis China and the Changing Global Economic Order

    The growing imbalance between high-growth economies—led by China—and low growth ones will have increasingly profound implications for trade and investment patterns and the global distribution of power.

Source: http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=444

Areas of Expertise

Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
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