Eamonn Fingleton

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Eamonn Fingleton
Born Eamonn Fingleton
(1948-08-19) 19 August 1948 (age 67)
Occupation Journalist
Spouse(s) Yasuko Amako
Website Official website

Eamonn Fingleton (born 19 August 1948) is an Irish journalist and author. His books, written for a general audience, deal with global economics and globalism. A former editor for the Financial Times and Forbes, he has written on East Asian and global issues for The Atlantic Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.


Born in Ireland in 1948, Fingleton graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1970, earning a degree in economics, mathematics, and English. He worked in Dublin, London, New York, and Tokyo as a financial journalist before becoming a full-time author in 1991. His first wife, the British journalist and cookery writer Mary McCutchan, and their twin babies Tara and Andrew, died in a car accident in London in 1974. In 1988 he married Japanese businesswoman Yasuko Amako, whose Tokyo-based mail order distribution company specializes in importing European and American luxury goods.[1] He is a brother of artist Sean Fingleton.


Fingleton is best known for his analyses since the mid-1980s of the Japanese business, financial, and manufacturing system, and he has applied lessons from Japan's experience to US, European, and other policy questions. As deputy editor of the international banking magazine Euromoney in the late 1980s, he questioned the sustainability of Japan's super-high land and stock values.[2] He was one of the earliest critics of financialization, arguing that there is no substitute for advanced manufacturing industries (highly capital-intensive, know-how-intensive industries typically making capital equipment, new materials, and leading edge components) as the main pillar of an advanced economy.[3] He suggests that the United States made a catastrophic mistake in the 1990s in allowing leadership in such industries to pass to Japan.

This was a major theme of his 1995 book Blindside: Why Japan Is Still on Track to Overtake the U.S. by the Year 2000. It was named one of the Ten Best Business Books of 1995 by BusinessWeek.[4] In 2012, he wrote an article for The New York Times Sunday Review called "The Myth of Japan's Failure" [5] which updated his view that Japan has continued to best the United States all through the “lost decade". The article drew wide commentary. [clarification needed]

His second book, In Praise of Hard Industries: Why Manufacturing, Not the Information Economy, Is the Key to Future Prosperity, published in 1999, took a contrarian stance on the New Economy. His most recent book, In the Jaws of the Dragon, argues that China is not converging to Western values but rather is following the Confucian econo-political model pioneered by Japan and characterized by aggressive mercantilism as well as a state-directed economy. [6] Two days before the United States and Britain went to war in Iraq in 2003, he published an op-ed article arguing that the peaceful course of the American occupation of Japan in the late 1940s would not be replicated in post-war Iraq.[7]


  • In the Jaws of the Dragon: America's Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony (2008). St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 0-312-36232-3
  • In Praise of Hard Industries: Why Manufacturing, Not the Information Economy, Is the Key to Future Prosperity (1999). Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-89968-0
  • Blindside: Why Japan Is Still on Track to Overtake the U.S. By the Year 2000 (1995). Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-63316-8

External links[edit]


  1. ^ http://thesop.org/index.php?article=13089
  2. ^ Fingleton, Eamonn (September, 1987)."Why Japan's Banks Are Shaky". Euromoney, pp. 57–65.[1]
  3. ^ (October 18, 1999) "In Praise Of Hard Industries - A prominent economic commentator tells why manufacturing, not the information economy, is the key to the future prosperity of the U.S." IndustryWeek. [2]
  4. ^ 12/18/95 The Best Business Books of 1995
  5. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/opinion/sunday/the-true-story-of-japans-economic-success.html?pagewanted=all
  6. ^ In the Jaws of the Dragon, holtzbrinckpublishers.com; accessed 11 March 2015.
  7. ^ For a vision of Iraq, the Japan model fails, iht.com; accessed 11 March 2015.