I often write how irritated I get when I see pseudo-economists write on China’s economy. Whenever I do that, I get comments and or emails asking me what constitues a real economist and who I consider to be a real China economist. A real economist is someone trained as an economist who works as an economist. Though many seem to think they qualify, there are damn few who meet these two rather basic criteria and study China’s economy and write about it in English. Michael Pettis is one of the few.

What also greatly irritates me is how some people act as though an economist is an idiot simply because some prediction or another he or she has made did not prove to be. That is one way to judge an economist, but just one way. The best way is to look at their analysis and judge them on that, rather than their conclusion/prediction. The prediction matters, but so often the analysis can be right on, but some totally unforeseen event can intrude and change the outcome. Was the analysis wrong? No. Was the prediction wrong? Sort of, but really what happened was that something nobody could have predicted came along and changed the result.

I mention all this because I just read a great analysis by Michael Pettis, in his post, “The dollar, the RMB and the euro?” [link no longer exists] on why China’s currency will not be the reserve currency for a very very long time, if ever. I totally buy it. He also makes the very valid point that being the world’s reserve currency is not necessarily all good. For the rare piece on China’s economy by someone who actually knows whereof he speaks, I urge you to read Pettis’s most recent piece.

What do you think?

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Dan Harris

I am a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

I mostly represent companies doing business in emerging market countries. It has taken me many years to build my network and it takes constant communication and travel to maintain it. My work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

I was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, I am AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), I am rated 10.0 by AVVO.com (its highest rating), and I am a SuperLawyer.

I am a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and I constantly travel between the United States and Asia. I most commonly speak on China law issues and I am the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog (www.chinalawblog.com). Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed me regarding various aspects of my international law practice.

I am licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at my firm, I focus on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.