Earth to Europe: The Great Chan in the Brussels Mind

Posted by: Tom Keene on October 31, 2011

But there, central, subterranean, superior, filled with palaces, lotuses, lifeless pools and eunuchs and porcelain—stands my Purple City…

Victor Segalen (circa. 1912) in The Chan’s Great Continent: China in Western Minds, Jonathan D. Spence.

Nothing has changed.

Merkel-Sarkozy have a Dennis Gartmanian plan-of-a-plan and the subterranean headline is, “China to the Rescue.”

Please. Cue the Lotuses! When you find a eunuch remotely of the belief that the Chinese will return any call from 1-800-If-It’s-Tuesday-Belgium-MUST-Have-an-IMF-Vote clue me in.

“This portion of Bloomberg Surveillance brought to you by…” one S. Roach of Spence’s Yale University (no grade inflation with Roach!). Professor Roach (read The Next Asia for current perspective) leaned towards me and said, “have you read Spence?” Well yes, but no. (See bottom footnote on how you can get smarter, faster on the China you and S. Berlusconi do not know you know.)

The Chan is an extraordinary book.

You, and all, repeat ALL elites of Belgium-has-no-government Europe should tattoo highlights to their brain.

Summary: the idea that collective Asia would/should/could bailout Europe and its future Dexias is to be one swimming in a “lifeless pool.” Forget the stereotypes of culture, politics and Christianized sex that we are burdened with, and pay respect to China’s earnest effort to understand us.

Barry Eichengreen, in his Exorbitant Privilege, nails how the U.S. needs to stop bashing China and start addressing U.S. responsibilities.

Carry on my wayward Europe. China. Please, China! Underwrite us.

Rather, avoid centuries of delusion and this recent embarrassment. It is quietly… Earth to Europe: The Great Chan in the Brussels Mind. Discuss.

Footnote: I am one of 427 people in the U.S. of A. not presently studying Mandarin. Skip the torture and read Jonathan Spence. Somewhere in the vicinity of the third book, you realize that nothing and everything is original. Start with the required The Search for Modern China (do you have any idea how many Thanksgivings have been ruined by sophomore collegiates lecturing the assembled on the value of Maoist theory?) digress to, say, God’s Chinese Son, read Orville Schell and finally read and re-read the Chan. Don’t trust me. Trust Steve Roach.

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EconoChat captures Tom Keene's thoughts on economics, finance and investment. He is editor-at-large for Bloomberg News and hosts Bloomberg Surveillance and Bloomberg on the Economy on NYC1130, Sirius 129 and XM 130 and Surveillance Midday on Bloomberg Television. His complete interviews are at Tom Keene on Demand. Look for Tom on twitter @tomkeene

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