Forecasts for China to surpass the US as the world’s main economic power are misplaced. So says an observer who foresaw Japan’s eventual demise a year before its land-price bubble began to burst.
“The vulnerabilities in China today are very similar to the vulnerabilities in Japan,” said Roy Smith, 76, who was a Goldman Sachs partner when he wrote a column saying Japan’s rise as a financial hegemon was finished. “Nobody agrees with me. But they didn’t agree with me in 1990, so at least I have one right.”