Monthly Archives: February 2010

IMF建议发展中国家限制国际资金流入

根据今天的华尔街时报,IMF建议发展中国家,包括中国,韩国,新加坡等,要加强控制对国际资金的流入,防止引起国内资产泡沫。这和IMF以前的主张背道而驰。IMF一直要求各国开放金融市场,实现资金的自由流通。然而从亚洲金融危机后,经济学家对这种政策进行了反省(链接)。IMF最近政策上的转变反应了对发展中国家应该对资本市场进行控制观点的认同。
 
下面是WSJ的文章:
 
IMF Suggests Capital Controls for Emerging Markets

By Bob Davis
19 February 2010

WASHINGTON — International Monetary Fund economists, reversing the fund’s past opposition to capital controls, urged developing nations to consider using taxes and regulation to moderate vast inflows of capital so they don’t produce asset bubbles and other financial calamities. It said emerging markets with controls in place had fared better than others in the global downturn.

The recommendation is the IMF’s firmest embrace of capital controls and a reversal of advice it gave developing nations just three years ago. The IMF has long championed the free flow of capital, as a corollary to the free flow of trade, to help developing countries prosper. But the global financial crisis has prompted the fund to rethink long-held beliefs. It recently suggested the world might be better off with a higher level of inflation than central bankers now are targeting.

"We have tried to look at the evidence and tried to learn something from the current crisis," said Jonathan Ostry, the IMF’s deputy director of research, who wrote "Capital Inflows: The Role of Controls" with five other IMF economists.

The IMF examined capital restrictions tried by Brazil, Chile, Malaysia and others, such as explicit taxes on capital inflows, requirements that a portion of foreign capital be held interest-free at the central bank, and regulations to reduce foreign lending. The fund recommends that countries first look at whether traditional policies, such as allowing currencies to appreciate, will work to moderate inflows. Countries whose currencies are appropriately valued and that are wary of lowering interest rates to ward off inflows should look at "unconventional" measures, Mr. Ostry said.

Money is flooding into emerging markets, producing fears asset bubbles are forming in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and elsewhere, particularly in real-estate markets. About $722 billion in private capital is expected to flow to developing nations this year, a 66% increase over 2009 but far below the $1.28 trillion in 2007 before the crisis, according to the Institute of International Finance, a banking trade association.

Private investment generally helps growth, the IMF says, but a too-rapid increase can lead to a boom and then a bust. About six months ago, IMF economists started examining the ability of capital controls to limit financial damage. Countries that had controls in place before the global recession, they found, were much less likely to have suffered a sharp economic downturn.

The IMF says capital restrictions have tended to make it harder for investors to pull money from a country quickly, thus reducing financial fragility. It isn’t clear whether the measures also reduce total capital entering the country, it said.

Before the crisis, a very different IMF gave very different advice. In a July 2007 speech, the IMF’s managing director at the time, Rodrigo de Rato, advised that capital controls "rapidly become ineffective" and are easily circumvented.

The IMF says finding a way around restrictions increases costs for investors and acts as "sand in the wheels" of capital. Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati, who criticized IMF opposition to capital controls during the Asia crisis, applauded the change. "Better late than never," he said. "This is so clearly an area where letting markets rip isn’t a good idea."

Deploying restrictions to maintain undervalued currencies, the authors warned, would be undesirable: Money would flow to other countries, pushing up their currencies and making their exports less competitive internationally.

The authors didn’t mention any country in particular, but the IMF has labeled the yuan as undervalued, joining the U.S. and Europe in pressing China to let its currency rise.

Advertisements

中国09年贷款增长和房价增长

绿线:贷款增长(year/year)
红线:房地产价格增长(month/month)
 
two observations:
 
1。从08年底,贷款和房屋价格同时开始彪升;
2。09年12月,房价月增长速度是1。7%。把这个速度换算成年增长,大概是20%。
 

Talking about a bit on education and population policy

  These are some really thoughtful comments, in my opinion.

Quote

a bit on education and population policy

1. There are two students from China this year in the econ departments at Cambridge. Both are great and very nice people. And they graduated from the same high school in Beijing, which is well-known among many other ‘key schools’. When I was a high school student, I did not have the concept of ‘top/key schools’, since there is only one high school in our county. My English teacher in high school, who did not have a collage degree, never told us there are exams called ‘SAT’ or ‘TOEFL’. Obviously she did not know herself.

2. I was asked more than once whether I felt some culture shocks when I moved from China to Europe and to the States. I felt some differences, of course. But these differences are so small compared with the shock I felt when I moved from our village to Beijing.

I have no intention to over-interpret these comparisons. But when I read the discussion about abolishing the one-child policy, I do feel very much worried about people’s optimism, maybe because I am limited by my background. I still believe in most rural areas, people would not stop until they have a son or even more once this policy is abolished. So how to handle the future of a even larger population in the rural areas? ‘Well, we can provide more education opportunities’, people may argue.

I did also think education is the most important way or may be the only way of relieving the urban-rural inequality problem in China. I began to doubt this possibility reflecting upon the distribution of students I noticed since going to college, not to mention the tragedies of the murder by Ma Jiajue in 2004 and the suicide of Yang Yuanyuan recently.

Basically education has lost its function as a redistribution policy in China. One of the general equilibrium outcomes of abolishing the one-child policy, I would predict, is more serious inequality.