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Opinion
William Pesek

Why Asia Shouldn't Fear the Fed

A tightening cycle might actually help the region decouple from China.
Yellen's move could increase risk appetites.

Yellen's move could increase risk appetites.

Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

In 2008, Asian economies had good reason to race to decouple from the struggling West. The collapse of Lehman Brothers and subsequent contagion sent export-dependent countries in search of a more reliable customer. Not surprisingly, they latched onto China.

That switch now looks like a bad bet. China's economy is sputtering, its stocks are nose-diving and officials in Beijing appear ill-equipped to maintain the world's second-biggest economy as a stable, dependable trading partner. There's an obvious contradiction in developing nations relying so overwhelmingly on another emerging economy, and a highly unbalanced one at that. No doubt many in the region are now wishing they could decouple from China, too.