The Chinese economy is a source of wonder and fascination in the West, as well it might be.  According to the World Bank, the People’s Republic clocked a cool 9.1% growth in 2011, while the United States languished at 1.7%.  While the Chinese central bank is sitting on $3.24tn of reserves, the United States federal government is the most heavily-indebted entity in the history of humanity, with nearly $16tn in liabilities.[1]  While the absolute figures are smaller, the debt problem in Europe is so acute that it may yet rip the Eurozone apart, and it will almost definitely be a drag on growth for a decade or more.[2]  Increasingly, bewildered politicians in Europe are lashing out at each other, with few seeming to appreciate the magnitude of the debt problem and even fewer willing to level with the public about what it means.

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