This is a big deal.
On Monday, we published Larry Summers’ latest op-ed in The Washington Post, which opened with the former Treasury Secretary and Harvard president writing, “This past month may be remembered as the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system.”
What Summers is referring to is the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a new banking consortium led by China that will back investment in Asian and emerging-market economies. This bank serves as a direct challenge to the World Bank and the IMF, the traditional sources of international funding, and organizations in which US economic interests have a strong voice.
The AIIB’s founding members include Russia, Brazil, and India, as well as major European economies like France, Germany, and the UK.
Last week, Business Insider’s Mike Bird outlined how the formation of the AIIB has been an embarrassment for the US government all along.
Here’s the key point from Bird (emphasis ours):
“The infrastructure bank isn’t going to be a massive boom for the UK economy, or even for nearer nations like Japan, and the US will not retaliate. The point is that the UK is willing to take a very modest improvement in economic and political ties with China in exchange for a small deterioration in ties with the US. Pretty much every country has decided that this is the right move.”