Executive Briefing | Dinny McMahon (Melbourne)

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The Trade War and the Weakening Chinese Economy

Chinese Port_Trade

For the last two years tensions between the US and China have been mounting, finally giving way to tit-for-tat tariffs. While on the surface the conflict is about re-balancing a lopsided trade relationship, it’s been exacerbated by Beijing’s attempts to deal with its own deeply rooted economic problems in a way that directly challenges the interests of developed economies like the US.

China expert Dinny McMahon will speak on the mechanics of a Chinese economy that looks increasingly dominant from the outside, but is facing unprecedented challenges from within.

Date: Tuesday 19 February 2019
Time: 12:00 – 2:00 pm 
Venue: Melbourne CBD

Sydney event TBC.

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About our speaker:

Dinny McMahon headshot

Dinny McMahon spent ten years as a financial journalist in China, including six years in Beijing with The Wall Street Journal, and four years with Dow Jones Newswires in Shanghai, where he also contributed to the Far Eastern Economic Review. In 2015, he left China to take up a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a think tank in Washington DC, where he wrote China's Great Wall of Debt. He is currently a fellow at MacroPolo, the Paulson Institute’s think tank, where he writes about China’s efforts to clean up its financial system. Dinny is an Australian who currently lives in Chicago with his wife and three-year old son.

Praise for China’s Great Wall of Debt:
Listed by The Sunday Times (UK) as one of the Best Business Books of 2018

"[McMahon] comes closer than any previous writer to covering the Chinese economy as Michael Lewis, the hugely popular author of "The Big Short", might do. His analysis is informed but accessible, animated by anecdotes and characters, some colourful, some verging on tragic." - The Economist

"[This] book will be an indispensable explainer in the event of a downturn and a useful guide to understanding China's economy in the meantime." - The Wall Street Journal

"Of the many books that have observed the fragility and contradictions of China's economic model, "China's Great Wall of Debt" is the best." - Reuters

"Dinny McMahon's lively book...should be read by anybody wanting an antidote to excessive western optimism about China." - The Times of London

"Accessible, Malcolm Gladwell-style storytelling...Thanks to the amount of time he has spent in the country, [McMahon] is able to give an authoritative peek behind the curtain of...an opaque financial system." - The Scotsman

“McMahon…avoids the pitfalls so common to books about broad economic and financial topics, which is to be dry and overly technical. He has a reporter’s eye for the character or fable that can impart bigger themes without dragging down the eyelids of the reader.” - The Sunday Business Post


Executive Briefings are a curated series of meetings presented by diplomats, business leaders and subject matter experts from Asia and Australia. Designed to offer a deep dive into the critical issues of the day, to an audience of senior executives from the business, political, educational and cultural institutions that make up the Asia Society network.

Event Details

Tue 19 Feb 2019
12 - 2 p.m.

Melbourne CBD

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