When I read the draft of The Lily by Daniel Cloud (free to Club members), I knew that this book would have a long reach. It’s the sort of book that you wake up thinking about. It’s thesis that uncertainty and surprise are the creative engines of economic progress sticks with you to the point that once you understand it you see the evidence all around you. Further, Professor Cloud’s thesis is fundamentally optimistic, proving that markets will forever outsmart the planners. Because of all of this, I had a sense that this book would be influential for many years in the future.
Sure enough, the first book that applies Austrian business cycle theory to the Chinese experience draws on The Lily very heavily. The book is called Animal Spirits with Chinese Characteristics: Investment Booms and Busts in the World’s Emerging Economic Giant and it is by Mark DeWeaver. Tim Swanson writes a glowing and extensive review of the book. You can read a sample chapter at the publisher website.
Swanson says that English-language materials on the subject of Chinese economic cycles are extremely rare. That plus sheer analytical power suggest that DeWeaver’s book will have a long reach too.