At the end of the Second World War, Hong Kong lived up to its description as the barren island It had few natural resources, its trade and infrastructure lay in tatters, its small manufacturing base had been destroyed and its income per capita was less than a quarter of its mother country, Britain As a British colony it fell to a small number of civil servants to confront these difficult challenges, largely alone But by the time of the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, it was one of the most prosperous nations on Earth By 2015 its GDP per capita was over 40% higher than Britain s How did that happen Around the world, post war governments were turning to industrial planning, Keynesian deficits and high inflation to stimulate their economies How much did the civil servants in Hong Kong adopt from this emerging global consensus Virtually nothing They rejected the idea that governments should play an active role in industrial planning instead believing in the ability of entrepreneurs to find the best opportunities They rejected the idea of spending than the government raised in taxes instead aiming to keep a year s spending as a reserve They rejected the idea of high taxes instead keeping taxes low, believing that private investment would earn high returns, and expand the long term tax base This strategy was created and implemented by no than a handful of men over a fifty year period Perhaps the most important of them all was John Cowperthwaite, who ran the trade and industry department after the war and then spent twenty years as deputy and then actual Financial Secretary before his retirement in 1971 He, than anyone, shaped the economic policies of Hong Kong for the quarter century after the war and set the stage for a remarkable economic expansion His resolve was tested constantly over his period in office, and it was only due to his determination, independence, and intellectual rigor that he was not diverted from the path in which he believed so strongly This book examines the man behind the story, and the successful economic policies that he and others crafted with the people of Hong Kong....
|Title||:||Architect of Prosperity: Sir John Cowperthwaite and the Making of Hong Kong|
|Publisher||:||London Publishing Partnership 1 edition August 8, 2017|
|Number of Pages||:||320 pages|
|File Size||:||696 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Architect of Prosperity: Sir John Cowperthwaite and the Making of Hong Kong Reviews
Purchased this book based upon The Economist's recommendation. It is well written and comprehensively covers Sir John Cowperthwaite's time in Hong Kong. Though I knew some of the colony's history, it was interesting to read about the various fiscal, monetary, and other crises that challenged and ultimately strengthened the colony. The author frequently teased comparisons of how HK handled these matters vs. how they were handled in Britain, Singapore, and other colonies. The book could have done with more of this analysis and perhaps less quoting of Sir John, the latter of which became repetitive and often covered the same concepts. I also found the ending to be a disappointing and almost slapdash close to an otherwise good book.
A great story of how Hong Kong became great!
This book is way overdue. At long last we have a lengthy, thoughtful and thorough account of the life and policies of Sir John Cowperthwaite. Neil Monnery is to be heartily congratulated on filling this void with an intelligent, clear, nuanced and well written book mercifully free of libertarian propaganda or leftist ranting, though Mr. Monnery understandably admires and likes his subject. This book doesn't merely regurgitate the familiar anecdotes and the handful of statistics usually trotted out to illustrate Hong Kong's astounding success. It is a substantive discussion of the real policy issues faced by Cowperthwaite and the Hong Kong government beginning with postwar reconstruction until his retirement in the seventies. If you know Hong Kong and have an economist's perspective, this book is for you. I read it avidly from cover to cover. The observations and self deprecating humour of Cowperthwaite leaven the text. This book will become one of the authoritative books on this period of Hong Kong economic history.
This book should be on the desk of every politician and macro-economist. As clear an explanation of how to run an economy for growth and why growth will draw people out of poverty, as you will find. Undoubtedly Hong Kong was in the right place at the right time, but it weathered server set backs and came out on top because of the prudence of Sir John Cowperthwaite. Get a copy. Read the first half fast and linger over the second half. I read "Architect of Prosperity" as a follow up to "The History of Hong Kong". The latter is rather dry. So it was a joy to delve into Monnery's clear text, Cowperthwaite's sense of humor and Hong Kong's incredible rise from the ruins of Japanese occupation to one of the most prosperous states on earth.