In 1981 poverty rate in China was 64% of the population, in 2004 the rate was 10%: it means that 500 million people stepped out of poverty (look here and here). China and South-East Asia economies were propelled by export demand and by someone else’s debt. What now? In the words of FT columnist Michael Pettis
The assumption that implicitly underlay the Asian development model – that US households had an infinite ability to borrow and spend – has been shown to be false. This spells the end of this model as an engine of growth.
It seams like bad news for economists pointing at free trade and export-led growth as a practical receipt for development. It seams like bad news for everybody. People in developing countries need to increase their income, and it is difficult to think how they could find the money in their neighborhoods.