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Lyric Hughes Hale
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Lyric Hughes Hale is a writer and contributor to a range of publications, including the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Current History, and Institutional Investor. "China Takes Off", published in Foreign Affairs in 2003 and written jointly with her husband David Hale, is one of the most oft-cited surveys of China's economic ascendency. Ms. Hale studied Japanese at Northwestern University and graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. She has lived and studied in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. She first went to China in 1979, and has been a frequent visitor since. As a lifelong Asianist, her scholarly interests include Chinese monetary policy during the 1930s, Iranian affairs, and the role of the media in developing countries, especially China. Ms. Hale is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue, and is a long-time director of the Japan America Society of Chicago. She founded Women in International Trade (WIT), and was the first female president in the sixty-year history of the International Trade Club of Chicago. She serves on the board of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and is editor-in-chief of Econvue, a forum for independent economists.

Entries by Lyric Hughes Hale

Hard Times and Harder Choices

(11) Comments | Posted March 29, 2015 | 1:37 PM

"There is a wisdom of the head, and ... there is a wisdom of the heart." ― Charles Dickens, Hard Times

Recent discussions about inequality have focused on wealth inequality, and with good reason. Thomas Piketty's book "Capital" explores the idea that wealth is now more concentrated than income. According...

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The Global Politics of Cities

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 11:41 PM

Flat map of earth at night highlighting urban areas. NASA

Cities. Cradle of civilization, or den of iniquity? They are certainly both, but the central and defining role of cities since the birth of democracy in Athens is the...

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Contagion: The Costs of Global Panic

(2) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 4:23 PM

Physician, do no harm. The same caution should be applied to philanthropists, public officials, and other well-meaning agents of globalization. In the realm of health care, quite ironically avoiding one risk could actually lead to a worse outcome overall. This is partly because we as humans are neurologically wired so...

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End of Europe? Not So Fast, Mr. Putin

(5) Comments | Posted March 9, 2014 | 4:43 PM

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the appearance of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, a watershed in the history of U.S.-European relations. With the "British Invasion" Europe rebounded from war in the American imagination, and became a place that captured the hearts and minds of the young....

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Russia's Unlikely Diplomat - Vladimir Putin

(4) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 8:56 AM

Back in 2003, I attended the APEC CEO Summit in Bangkok. Vladimir Putin gave a speech and on stage he was an imposing, commanding figure, in good form and perhaps at the height of his political power. After the speech, I slipped out a side door in order to leave...

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Where Are the Heroes?

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 4:31 PM

Last week, Diana Nyad, at 64 years of age, swam from Cuba to Florida. This was her fifth attempt: the first was 35 years ago. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't admire and be inspired by her grit and determination. But is she a hero?

Heroism touches upon...

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China's Innovation Hurdle

(6) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 8:51 AM

At a meeting in Chicago, the China-United States Exchange Foundation released a report "U.S.-China Relations in the Next Ten Years'. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel opened the meeting, chaired by CH Tung, the former Hong Kong chief executive, as well as Henry Paulson, the former U.S. treasury...

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Peak Urbanization?

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 9:30 AM

Emerging markets are driving global growth, and 3.5 billion people are moving to cities. That's $20 trillion of infrastructure to lay down. It's either a big problem or an opportunity. -- Peter Henry, dean of NYU's Stern School of Business, New York Times Magazine.

Global investors have focused on...

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"Is Humanity Suicidal?"

(52) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 5:17 PM

Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 1978 Harvard Commencement Address

The warmest year in U.S. history. Hurricane Sandy. The majority of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by human...

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Three Men Make a Tiger

(32) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 10:25 AM

Great Sino-Japanese Battle at Fenghuangcheng" by Toyohara Kuniteru III, October 1894*

October has traditionally been a month of surprises, and this year is no exception. Unexpectedly, China and Japan now seem headed on a collision course. Tensions are high, and the Japanese military reports...

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Angela Merkel Is No Alexander Hamilton: The EU Crisis Isn't Over

(64) Comments | Posted July 8, 2012 | 3:13 PM

Markets last week reacted favorably to news of measures that could ease the European financial crisis. However, for a knotty combination of cultural, political, economic, and social reasons this reprieve will not last long. Be prepared for bad news from Europe for the rest of the year. German Chancellor Angela...

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The New Law of the Sea and the Geopolitics of the Internet

(1) Comments | Posted April 29, 2012 | 1:59 PM

I live about 30 minutes from O'Hare, the second busiest airport in the world. On Sunday nights I like to watch the endless stream of airplanes making their way across Lake Michigan in orderly single file, like pearls strung along an invisible necklace. A hundred years ago, this beautiful sight...

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The Failure of the Arab Spring: Soft Power and Soft States

(6) Comments | Posted April 23, 2012 | 3:51 PM

By now, tens of millions have seen the viral video about Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lords Resistance Army, but one has to wonder how much good this media attention will bring to the tragic lives of his Ugandan victims. Call me cynical, but it does amuse...

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American Gulag: A Lot More Than License Plates

(17) Comments | Posted April 19, 2012 | 11:14 AM

The U.S. Civil War, which was fought to abolish slavery, was not really that long ago. My father tells the story of visiting the Higginsville home for Civil War veterans near his childhood home in Missouri. The Missouri River was a dividing line between North and South, and so when...

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Interest Rates Are Too Low!

(9) Comments | Posted January 13, 2012 | 8:14 AM

After the U.S. experience during the Great Depression, and after inflation and rising interest rates in the 1970s and disinflation and falling interest rates in the 1980s, I thought the fallacy of identifying tight money with high interest rates and easy money with low interest rates was dead....
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The Coming Accidental War with Iran

(962) Comments | Posted December 27, 2011 | 7:26 AM

Our attention has been rightfully turned to the stomach-churning photos of women being dragged by the hair through the streets of Egypt and Bahrain, and reports of yet more deaths in Syria. As this year ends however, it is worth noting with a bit of apprehension that Iran has been...

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Why the Bankers Aren't In Jail

(291) Comments | Posted December 12, 2011 | 9:15 AM

"The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account is a crime that has never been discovered, because it was properly executed." Balzac, Le Père Goriot

Conversely, when execution is faulty and failure occurs, crimes are exposed, and an effort to apportion blame and...

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How to Solve the US Budget Crisis -- Dismiss the Super Committee

(4) Comments | Posted November 23, 2011 | 1:11 PM

The US government spends $3 for every $2 it takes in in revenue. This would pretty much be our own business if our citizens owned the debt that the US incurs as a result, as is the case in another high-debt country, Japan. But our debt is bought by lots...

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From Minamata to Fukushima -- The Japanese Nuclear Crisis Isn't Over Yet

(167) Comments | Posted November 14, 2011 | 7:34 AM

For me, the saddest stories are about needless human suffering, suffering caused by greed, hate, or more maddeningly, the inability of responsible people to act responsively. Minamata is that kind of story, encapsulated in a single and truly iconic photograph, by W. Eugene Smith. You might remember it as well,...

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China's 99% -- Why China Will Not Surpass the U.S.

(98) Comments | Posted November 3, 2011 | 9:00 AM

The received wisdom these days is that the West is in rapid decline, and China is on an upward trajectory that cannot be stopped. Sooner or later the pundits say, the two lines will cross-- perhaps explosively-- and China will rule the world. The latest evidence? Klaus Regling heading to...

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