stupid dog leads clever sheep flock, such a world
作者：laiyinhate_xie 提交日期：2008-10-15 17:30:00 | 分类:E文 | 访问量：1363
"美国一直是中国的榜样," Yu Yongding说,一位北京知名经济学家."现在它已弄出了这么大的乱子,我们当然得再重新考虑了."
全球经济的未来依赖于在北京以及其他新兴世界里发生的怎样的"重新思考".至今,各种信号还是很混乱,甚至在相同国家.在印度,例如,中央银行---一直是不太情愿的自由化者---近来改变了允许信用违约互换(credit-default swaps) 的想法,辩护说,次贷危机显示,这个时间段不适宜如此创新.但到8月底,印度发行了外贸交易货币(exchange-traded currency)的衍生产品,给人们一种方式去抵御卢比的波动.
学术证明是不太令人确定的.20世纪90年代危机之后,经济学家们开始仔细观察贫穷国家从和全球资本市场整合中得到什么好处.答案似乎不是很多.2007年Cornell大学Eswar Prasad,芝加哥大学的Raghu Rajan和Peterson机构的Arvind Subramanian,为Brookings 研究机构发表了一篇有影响力的研究报告显示,依赖于本国储蓄支撑投资的穷国家增长要比更多依赖外国资本的国家快得多.
外国资本似乎没有帮助新兴经济体更好的处理收入打击.在另一份报告理,Prasad,和货币组织的Ayhan Kose, Marco Terrones,展示新兴经济体消费的多变近几年来一直在增加.有着弱的经济体系的穷国家,似乎不能处理外国资本的涌入.钱经常被导入到无生产力的领域,如房地产.这些钱似乎使经济的消涨周期变得更坏.
通过去除积累巨大的外汇储备的需要,更大的货币灵活性也会产生更多稳定的全球货币体系.储备的专款可能被用于促进本地的金融发展.在2008年,<<经济观察>>杂志夏天发行版里,Messrs Prasad 和Rajan提出了一个极具吸引力的设想.有着大量外汇储备的国家,如中国或者印度,可以让共同基金(本地或者外国)来用本地货币的方式发行股票,这样他们就可以用这些股票来从央行购买外汇.这些共同基金然后可以代表本地国民投资海外.这种结果将是一种控制的资本外流的自由化,同时国内创造出新的金融机构和手段.石油输出国可以通过给国民发放石油红利的方式达到相同的效果.这些红利能被相似的共同基金投资到海外.在这两种模式下,新兴经济体的国外资产管理将慢慢转移成私有部分.那就可以让来自中国或者沙特的私有投资者挑选华尔街待售资产.
Charting a different course
Oct 9th 2008
From The Economist print edition
Will emerging economies change the shape of global finance?
“THE United States has been a model for China,” says Yu Yongding, a prominent economist in Beijing.
“Now that it has created such a big mess, of course we have to think twice.”
The future of global finance depends on what kind of rethinking takes place in Beijing and the rest of the
emerging world. So far the signals have been mixed, even within the same country. In India, for
instance, the central bank—long a reluctant liberaliser—recently changed its mind about allowing creditdefault
swaps, arguing that the subprime crisis showed the time was not “opportune” for such
innovations. But at the end of August India launched exchange-traded currency derivatives, giving people
a means to hedge against fluctuations in the rupee.
Chinese officials have been unusually outspoken about Wall Street’s failures. But just as several rich
countries, from Britain to Australia, have banned or reined in short-selling (selling borrowed shares) in a
misguided effort to stop share prices falling, China’s cabinet agreed to allow investors to buy shares on
credit and sell shares short.
By and large, emerging economies’ attitude to Anglo-Saxon finance is deeply pragmatic, defined more by
the lessons of their own financial crises in the 1990s than by today’s calamities on Wall Street. Those
crises inflicted far greater economic pain than anything the rich world has seen so far. Mexico’s GDP, for
instance, fell by 6% in 1995 and Indonesia’s by 13% in 1998.
Those collapses held powerful lessons: foreign-currency debt was dangerous, the IMF was to be avoided
Illustration by Belle Mellor
at all costs and prudence demanded the build-up of vast war chests of foreign-exchange reserves. Rich
countries typically have foreign-currency reserves worth about 4% of their GDP. The level in emerging
economies used to be much the same, but over the past decade that ratio has risen to an average of
over 20% of GDP. China has a whopping $1.8 trillion, and eight other emerging economies have more
than $100 billion apiece.
At first sight, fat cushions of reserves have stood emerging economies in good stead. They are one
reason why these countries have proved so resilient in today’s global turmoil. But, as this special report
has argued, these war chests introduced many distortions and rigidities that helped to inflate the global
financial bubble and stoke domestic inflation. The challenge for emerging economies is to create a system
of global finance that is more flexible yet still safe.
The academic evidence is not reassuring. After the 1990s crisis economists began to look closely at what
poor countries gained from integration with global capital markets. The answer appeared to be not much.
An influential study for the Brookings Institution in 2007 by Eswar Prasad of Cornell University, Raghu
Rajan of the University of Chicago and Arvind Subramanian of the Peterson Institute showed that poor
countries that relied on domestic savings to finance their investment grew faster than those that relied
more on foreign money.
Nor did foreign capital seem to help emerging economies to cope better with sudden income shocks. In
another paper Mr Prasad, together with Ayhan Kose and Marco Terrones of the IMF, showed that the
volatility of consumption in emerging economies has increased in recent years. Poor countries with weak
financial systems, it appears, cannot cope with floods of foreign capital. The money is often channelled to
unproductive areas such as property. Such inflows seem to make boom-bust cycles worse.
The news was not all bad. Studies also showed that foreign direct investment and equity flows brought in
know-how and improved corporate governance. And the evidence also suggests that competition from
foreign banks and foreigners’ money in stockmarkets can improve emerging economies’ own financial
systems. But long before Mr Volcker questioned the wisdom of globalised finance in America, academics
were having second thoughts about the wisdom of financial globalisation for the emerging world.
Ignore the ivory tower
Ironically, this intellectual backlash was taking place even as emerging economies were becoming
financially ever more integrated with the rest of the world. All in all, the citizens of emerging countries
now have some $1 trillion deposited in foreign banks, a threefold increase since 2002. By every measure,
the gross flows of capital involving emerging economies have grown since the mid-1990s and accelerated
in the past few years. The composition of those flows has changed: foreign direct investment and equity
flows have risen much faster than debt. But the overall level of financial integration is up significantly.
Financial globalisation sped up partly because governments did not listen to the academic sceptics. Most
continued to open up, particularly to equity and foreign direct investment. According to the IMF’s index of
capital controls, only two emerging economies closed their capital accounts between 1995 and 2005,
whereas 14 countries opened up fully. The rest came somewhere in-between but were mostly moving
towards greater openness.
At the same time foreign banks were playing an ever bigger role. By 2007 almost 900 foreign banks had
a presence in developing countries. On average they accounted for some 40% of bank lending, up from
20% a decade earlier. In some places, particularly in eastern Europe and Latin America, foreign banks
dominate the domestic financial system. Even China and India, which have been slow to allow in foreign
banks, have opened up more in the past decade.
More important, financial integration was accelerating regardless of any deliberate policy choices. In a
fast-globalising world even countries with strict capital controls saw an increase in actual capital flows.
One explanation is that more trade inevitably produces more capital integration. A financial infrastructure
grows up to support global supply chains. Larger trade flows make it easier for firms to evade capital
controls, by over- or under-invoicing their transactions. And fast growth has made emerging economies
an attractive target for foreign investors and their own citizens living abroad, who can find ways to get
around capital controls.
The distortions and costs associated with capital controls are rising as emerging economies become more
globalised. Temporary taxes to discourage sudden surges of capital may still have a role to play, even
though they can sometimes prove counterproductive. Thailand, for example, imposed a tax on foreign
capital inflows into its stockmarket in 2006 but saw the market plunge and quickly reversed the decision.
In the longer term the distortions caused by such measures become more burdensome. China, for
instance, has some of the strictest controls among large emerging economies, partly insulating itself from
global capital markets, but the controls needed to deter speculative capital are becoming ever more
intrusive. Since July the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has demanded more
information on export earnings. For many small-scale exporters that is a big burden. Globalised finance,
it turns out, is an inextricable part of global integration.
That means the right question for emerging economies to ask is not whether global finance is a good
thing but how to maximise the gains and minimise the costs. The answer is to rely more on markets, not
less, but try to avoid the mistakes that the rich world made.
At home that means adopting more of the new finance. Emerging economies vary enormously in their
domestic financial development, but some of the biggest are still surprisingly primitive. India, for
instance, has highly sophisticated equity markets but its banking system is underdeveloped and distorted
by government edicts. Some 40% of India’s bank loans are directed to “priority sectors” such as
agriculture, and the main source of credit for the typical citizen is the informal moneylender.
The harder question is how to deal with foreign capital. Top of the list should be greater currency
flexibility. The risk for emerging economies that open themselves up to global capital flows is
destabilisation. Money will slosh in and out, driving underdeveloped local asset markets up and down and
affecting the level of demand in the real economy. Countries that allow foreign banks to enter their
markets will be affected by these banks’ fortunes elsewhere in the world. Losses that European banks
make on American mortgage products, for instance, may cause tighter credit in Hungary.
To deal with such volatility, emerging markets need to manage demand in the way that rich nations do:
through more flexible interest rates and exchange rates. By allowing their exchange rates to rise and fall
as capital flows wax and wane, emerging economies should be able to keep a measure of control over
their domestic monetary conditions. Firms and investors in developing countries also need the risksharing
derivatives developed by Anglo-Saxon finance. Some already have them. Brazil’s market for
foreign-exchange derivatives, for instance, is one of the most sophisticated and transparent in the world.
Others, particularly in Asia, have much further to go, though India’s recent innovations are encouraging.
By removing the need to accumulate vast foreign-exchange reserves, greater currency flexibility would
also create a more stable global monetary system. The war chests of reserves could be used to boost
domestic financial development. In the summer 2008 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives,
Messrs Prasad and Rajan offer an intriguing proposal. Countries with plenty of reserves, such as China or
India, could allow mutual funds (domestic or foreign) to issue shares in domestic currency with which
they could buy foreign exchange from the central bank. These mutual funds would then invest abroad on
behalf of domestic residents. The result would be a controlled liberalisation of capital outflows, along with
the creation of new financial institutions and instruments at home. Oil-exporting countries could achieve
much the same effect by issuing their citizens with an oil dividend that could be invested abroad through
similar mutual funds. Under both models the management of emerging economies’ foreign assets would
be shifted increasingly to the private sector. That would allow private investors from China or Saudi
Arabia to pick over the carcass of Wall Street.
The heavy hand of the state
At present, though, the trend is still in the opposite direction.
Governments in Asia and emerging oil exporters already control
some $7 trillion of financial assets, most of it in currency
reserves, the rest in sovereign-wealth funds. Analysts at the
McKinsey Global Institute reckon that the total could reach $15
trillion by 2013. That would make government-controlled funds
a large force in global capital markets, with the equivalent of
41% of the assets of global insurance companies, 25% of global
mutual funds and a third of the size of global pension funds
(see chart 11).
There is an irony here. By and large, emerging economies shut
their ears to the anti-market sceptics who argued that global
capital flows were dangerous. But in resisting one statist
temptation they have succumbed to another: they have accumulated vast sums of capital in government
hands, transforming the nature of global finance long before Wall Street’s implosion. However
professionally these funds are managed, such huge government-controlled assets will change the balance
between state and market. They will also add to the biggest risk for global integration: rising