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谢国忠

谢国忠博客:只说出心中真相

 
 
 

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麻省理工学院经济学博士

个性介绍: 1960年出生于上海,1983年毕业于上海同济大学路桥系,1987年获麻省理工学院土木工程学硕士,1990年获麻省理工学院经济学博士。同年加入世界银行,担任经济分析员。在世行的五年时间,谢国忠所参与的项目涉及拉美、南亚及东亚地区,并负责处理该银行于印尼的工商业发展项目,以及其他亚太地区国家的电讯及电力发展项目。1995年,加入新加坡的Macquarie Bank,担任企业财务部的联席董事。1997年加入摩根士丹利,任亚太区经济学家,2006年9月辞去该职务。

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谢国忠:只有减息是不够的  

2008-10-09 14:55:02|  分类: 言论 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Rate cuts are not enough/谢国忠




Major central bankscoordinated rate cuts for maximum psychological impact. I am afraidthat the impact would indeed be psychological. Markets may stage asignificant bounce soon. If this round of rate cuts isn't enough for abounce, the central banks will come back with more, because they aretargeting stock prices. In the short term, they will win.



But,central banks cannot cure the problem. A hard landing of the globaleconomy is unfolding before our very eyes. The reason is, of course,credit contraction. The credit system doesn't function because thereisn't enough equity capital in all components of the western economy.Households, at least Anglo-Saxon bit, have borrowed against inflatedhouse values. Now, property prices are falling. They have to de-leverto stave off bankruptcies, let alone borrowing more to sustainconsumption.



Western financial institutions havewarehoused credit derivatives backed by inflated house values. Thebursting of the property bubble has destroyed their capital base.Western governments are injecting capital into them through shareexpansion or buying toxic assets at inflated prices. This process isunder way. But, unless households have restored their equity capital,by increasing savings sufficient enough to offset house value decline,they cannot borrow from banks. Even if they want to, banks cannot lendto them for lack of collaterals.



The western businesssector is least levered. But, they won't borrow and invest when theconsumer sector is comatose. Besides, a significant part of thebusiness sector is highly levered. Private equity funds have spenttrillions of dollars on leveraged buyouts ('LBOs'). These highlyleveraged businesses are vulnerable to an economic downturn. A majorcrisis in the LBO sector is coming soon, I think. It will cut capexspending considerably.



Western countries are all nowrelying on government borrowing to recapitalize their financial system.The equity capital that they create is genuine, I think. It is justshifting debt from one part of the economy to another. In the end, howcould their governments pay off their debts?



I thinkthat the west is moving towards an Inflationary Solution. As debtsshift to governments and central banks keep pumping money, inflationwill happen. It will inflate away their debts. That is essentiallyrobbing the countries that have earned trade surpluses over the pastdecades and have kept their foreign exchange reserves in westerngovernment papers. Watch out for the biggest robbery in history.



Iwrote ten years ago that globalization meant wage pressure in the West.A reduction of living standard for the middle or under class in thewest was necessary. This pressure was hidden by borrowing to supporttheir living standard. The property-cum-credit-cum-derivative bubblehappened because there was this need to hide the truth.



Asthe bubble bursts, we need to face the balance sheet consequences likewho would suffer the losses, how the financial institutions can berecapitalized, and how the household sector could save to repair itsbalance sheet. After all is said and done, the West still needs to facethe reality that that the living standard for most of its populationneeds to decline. Their relative competitiveness against people inChina and India cannot justify their living standard.



Thepolitical resistance to reduction in living standard will lead toinflation, I think. Western governments will pile up more and moredebts to sustain unrealistic living standard. Their payment problemslead to monetary expansion and inflation.



I am stillbullish on gold and energy, bearish on growth and leverage. The ratecuts are starting a bounce of growth and leverage assets. It is aselling opportunity.

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