Michael Pettis

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Michael Pettis
Born (1958-06-16) 16 June 1958 (age 63)
Zaragoza, Spain
OccupationProfessor of Finance, Peking University
Academic background
Alma materColumbia University
Academic work
Era20th & 21st century
InstitutionsPeking University
Main interestsWorld Economy, Trade, China
Notable worksThe Great Rebalancing
Trade Wars Are Class Wars

Michael Pettis (born June 16, 1958) is a professor of finance at Guanghua School of Management at Peking University in Beijing. He was founder and co-owner of punk-rock nightclub D22 in Beijing, which closed in January 2012.[1]

Pettis is a speaker and writer on global economic growth, having published two books on the subject. In 2013, Princeton University Press published his second book, The Great Rebalancing: Trade, Conflict, and the Perilous Road Ahead for the World Economy.[2][3]


Early life and education[edit]

Pettis was born in Zaragoza, Spain to a French mother and an American father. His father was a geologist and civil engineer. He spent his childhood in Peru, Pakistan, Morocco and Haiti, before returning to Spain for High School. Pettis entered Columbia University in 1976.[4] He received a Masters of International Affairs (emphasis in Economic Development) in 1981 and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance in 1984, both from Columbia University.[5]


Michael began his career in 1987, joining Manufacturers Hanover (now JPMorgan Chase) as a trader in the Sovereign Debt group. From 1996 to 2001, he was at Bear Stearns as a managing director-principal in Latin American capital markets. Pettis also served as an advisor to sovereign governments on topics regarding financial management; including the governments of Mexico, North Macedonia and South Korea.[6]

Pettis is a frequent guest as an economic expert, with media appearances on news stations including CNBC, NPR, Bloomberg Radio and BBC.[7]


Chinese economic investment[edit]

Pettis has long warned that heavy investment by China into infrastructure projects, at the expense of consumption, is cause for serious concern.[8] The banking sector in particular, the source of cheap loans for large infrastructure projects, has accumulated large debts both on and off balance sheet. There are only two methods by which investment, which is estimated at almost 50% of China's GDP, would decline to a level more consistent with other Asian economies. China can either deliberately de-incentivize investment spending, at the near-term cost of slowing economic growth, or investment can continue to rise as a share of GDP until the financial system cannot absorb further increases to debt, and a financial contraction will ensue.[9]


  • The Volatility Machine: Emerging Economics and the Threat of Financial Collapse, Oxford: Oxford University Press, May 2001.[10]
  • The Great Rebalancing: Trade, Conflict, and the Perilous Road Ahead for the World Economy, Princeton: Princeton University Press, January 2013.[11]
  • Avoiding the Fall: China's Economic Restructuring, Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, September 2013.[12]
  • Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace with Matthew C. Klein, New Haven: Yale University Press, May 2020.[13]


  1. ^ "D22 Closing: Full Interview with founder Michael Pettis".
  2. ^ Pettis, Michael (22 January 2013). The Great Rebalancing. ISBN 9780691158686.
  3. ^ Michael Pettis (26 October 2014). The Great Rebalancing: Trade, Conflict, and the Perilous Road Ahead for the World Economy - Updated Edition. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1-4008-5226-0.
  4. ^ Roberts, Dexter. "Michael Pettis: Rocking Chinese Finance".
  5. ^ "Economics | by Invitation". The Economist.
  6. ^ "Carnegie Endowment Biography".
  7. ^ "Carnegie Endowment Biography".
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Pettis, Michael (7 June 2001). The Volatility Machine: Emerging Economies and the Threat of Financial Collapse. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-514330-0.
  11. ^ Pettis, Michael (22 January 2013). The Great Rebalancing. ISBN 978-0-691-15868-6.
  12. ^ Pettis, Michael. "Avoiding the Fall: China's Economic Restructuring". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Trade Wars Are Class Wars | Yale University Press". yalebooks.yale.edu. Retrieved 10 June 2020.

External links[edit]