90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Geithner Goes to China
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, third from right, speaks during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, third from left, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Monday, June 1, 2009. Geithner said Monday that the global recession seemed to be losing force but that it will be critical for the United States and China to

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, third from right, speaks during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, third from left, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday, June 1, 2009. (AP)

While Barack Obama was dealing with the bankruptcy of GM yesterday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was in Beijing, dealing with what may be even bigger issues for the USA.

China is now the biggest holder of U.S. government debt. When the U.S. spends money on GM or Iraq or stimulus at home, that is — in a very real sense — China’s money.

Geithner was there to make sure Chinese leaders believe the U.S. is good for it. A new poll, out while he was there, found 87 percent of Chinese respondents believe it is not.

This hour, On Point: Soothing America’s banker — China.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us from Beijing is James Fallows, national correspondent and widely read blogger for The Atlantic. He’s been based in China since 2006, and his latest book, “Postcards from Tomorrow Square,” collects his articles for the magazine during that time. His piece “Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money,” an interview with the president of China Investment Corporation, appeared in the December 2008 issue.

In our studio we’re joined by Li Jin, professor of finance at Harvard Business School. He has taught at Fudan University in Shanghai and served as a consultant for Shanghai International Securities Co. Ltd.

And from New York we’re joined by Brad Setser, economist and fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has worked at the U.S. Treasury Department and the International Monetary Fund. You can read his latest thoughts at his blog, Follow the Money.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 21, 2014
David Perdue, Michelle Nunn

Two weeks to go till Midterm Election Day. We’ll look at how the biggest issues are playing out around the country.

Oct 21, 2014
This undated image provided by Google, shows an early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. For the first time, California's Department of Motor Vehicles knows how many self-driving cars are traveling on the state's public roads. The agency is issuing permits, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 that let three companies test 29 vehicles on highways and in neighborhoods. (AP)

The future of the car: from the fuels they’ll run on, to the materials they’ll be made of, to the computers that may drive them.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 20, 2014
In this Oct. 2, 2014 photo, patrons line up for “Nightmare: New York,” a haunted house attraction in New York. (AP)

Afraid of snakes? Heights? Ebola? We’ll unpack the science of fear.

 
Oct 20, 2014
A statue of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on New York City's Roosevelt Island. (Flickr / Alexisrael)

Greatness and the American Presidency. Aaron David Miller says aim for good. Really good.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment