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ray | 2nd Nov 2008, 16:21 PM | 謝國忠 | (483 Reads)
The world must unite to tackle the financial crisis, with Asia and Europe at the fore, or we'll all go under
Updated on Oct 30, 2008

中文譯本 - 謝國忠:同舟共濟

There is a Chinese saying that people in the same boat must help each other. The global economy is a boat. We are all in it. If the US economy capsizes, so will everyone else's. Asia and Europe must take action now to save the global economy. The Asia-Europe Meeting in Beijing missed a golden opportunity to tackle the crisis. Instead of focusing on the urgent task of stabilising the global economy, it wasted time on longer-term issues like a new global financial architecture.

Next month's global summit in Washington state must focus on the urgent task at hand and not waste time on who is to blame and what the future should look like. Unless we all work together now, we will all sink.

The market is talking about a great depression, bread lines and war. That pessimism could be self-fulfilling if left unchecked. The problem that the world faces is not as big as the market believes: the loss of paper wealth is 100 per cent of global gross domestic product - and in the US, the epicentre of the crisis, the loss is about 100 per cent of America's GDP. When Japan's bubble burst, the wealth loss exceeded 300 per cent of GDP.

Compared to Japan's problem a decade ago, this crisis is unfolding much faster and spreading wider, due to financial globalisation, and a big chunk of that paper wealth had already been consumed through borrowing against it. Japan's bubble was able to deflate gradually over a decade because it had been financed by local banks that could control the pace of asset deflation.

The decentralised nature of financing the Anglo-Saxon bubble makes its bursting uncontrollable in terms of the speed of asset deflation. This is why it looks so frightening.

The speed and scope of today's crisis threatens to reverse globalisation and cause a great depression along the way. Recession makes protectionism appealing for hoarding demand at home. When everyone does it, the economic pie shrinks even faster. The political instability that results from depression makes war an attractive option to divert attention.

Wars shrink the pie even faster. Such vicious cycles have destroyed the world many times before. The global community can and must stop the process. Asia and Europe should first implement fiscal stimulus of 5 per cent of their GDP and, second, convert their foreign exchange reserves into stocks, especially in the United States, from government bonds. The benefits of such actions far outweigh the costs. If these two measures are implemented, the global economy will stabilise quickly. Only afterwards can we focus on reforms to prevent future crises.

This is an Anglo-Saxon debt crisis. As I have argued here before, the other side of the excessive debt in Anglo-Saxon economies is the US$10 trillion forex reserves in emerging economies. The asset bubble in the Anglo-Saxon world gave them the equity capital for borrowing. Their excessive consumption resulted in their US$1 trillion annual trade deficit.

The financing for the deficit came from surplus countries in Asia and Europe - in short, every major economy is part of the bubble. We should not point figures only at the US. The blame game won't solve the problems; everyone is guilty.

The Anglo-Saxon economies will experience a huge downturn as they unwind the bubble. A byproduct will be the massive contraction of their deficits, probably by more than half, through import reductions. While Anglo-Saxon economies can alleviate their pain temporarily through cutting interest rates and boosting fiscal spending, the main theme of the story won't change.

Hence, the rest of the world will suffer massive reductions of trade surpluses, regardless of their policies. Unless they increase domestic demand, they will also suffer big recessions.

An alternative perspective is to look at the wealth effect of asset deflation. A US$50 trillion loss in paper wealth may cut demand by US$2.5 trillion to US$3 trillion or 4 per cent to 5 per cent of global GDP. Taking into consideration trend growth, the negative growth would be half as much.

But, the contraction in demand will have a large multiplier effect, exacerbating the damage. If the global economy adds US$2 trillion of fiscal stimulus, this still won't stop it contracting and minimising the multiplier effect.

The stimulus must take place mainly in Asia and Europe to allow the Anglo-Saxon economies to decrease trade deficits. Asia and Europe, with GDP of about US$25 trillion, are capable of implanting US$1.5 trillion (6 per cent of their GDP) of fiscal stimulus. Many governments in Asia and Europe already have high levels of debt. But, this is not the time to worry about it. The house is on fire. Even if there is a water shortage, you must use what you have to put the fire out now.

In addition to demand stimulus in Asia and Europe, there is an urgent need to increase risk capital, especially in Anglo-Saxon economies. Otherwise, their deleveraging will happen too fast. The best way to do it is for countries with big foreign exchange reserves to buy index funds and sell their government bond holdings, especially in the United States.

Lack of capital in Anglo-Saxon economies and massive foreign exchange reserves in the developing world are two sides of the same coin. Unless China, Japan and the oil exporting countries act, the Anglo-Saxon economies could contract excessively, which would deepen the trade downturn, causing pain for everyone.

Besides, stocks are cheap enough for investors to make money in the long run. This is what Warren Buffett is doing. It is time for the Bank of Japan, the People's Bank of China, Kingdom Capital, and others, to do the same. They will help themselves and the world, too.

The global economy is on fire. Every government must pitch in to put it out. The time for action is now.

Andy Xie is an independent economist - http://xieguozhong.blog.sohu.com/103435836.html


谢国忠:同舟共济

各国合作才能挽救世界经济:亚洲、欧洲国家要财政刺激增加需求;发展中国家要改变外汇资产结构,购买美国股票。

  中国有句成语叫“同舟共济”,它的意思是说,在一条船上的人们要互相帮助才能到达彼岸。现在,全球经济就是这样一条船,我们都在船上。如果美国经济真的出现严重衰退,其他经济体也会遭殃。亚洲以及欧洲必须出手拯救世界经济。刚刚在北京召开的第七届亚欧峰会没有将议题聚焦在稳定世界经济上,而是讨论新的世界金融建设的话题,这显然是错失了处理这次危机的最佳时机。

  本月,世界峰会将在华盛顿召开。这次峰会必须将议题放在更为紧急的问题上,而不要将时间浪费在讨论诸如谁应该受指责、世界未来本该是怎样的话题上。如果我们不能马上展开行动,我们都将沉入海底。

  市场人士现在担心的是,大萧条、生存困难以及战争是否会发生。我认为,如果不加以人为控制,所有这些悲观的预期都将实现。目前的问题还没有市场所担心的那么严重:目前损失的货币价值约为世界GDP的100%。在美国——这次危机的震中,损失的财富只是相当于美国的GDP总值。而当日本的泡沫破裂时,财富损失相当日本GDP的300%。

  但是与日本经历过的“失落的十年”相比,这次危机扩散的速度要快得多,波及的范围也要广泛得多,因为世界金融已经融为一体,很多纸面财富又已经被用于贷款抵押。日本当年的泡沫可以用十年的时间逐渐挤除,这是因为它的金融是由本国银行支撑的,相应的,本国银行也可以控制资产缩水的速度。

  而这次金融危机的特点是没有可以控制的中心,这使得泡沫在资产缩水方面无法控制。这也是为什么这次危机看起来这么可怕。

  当今金融危机的速度以及范围已经威胁了全球化进程,并可能造成巨大的衰退。衰退将使得保护主义盛行。如果每个国家都这么做,世界经济这块大蛋糕将很快缩水。经济衰退还将引发政治不稳定,这将使得战争成为一个转移经济衰退注意力的诱人选择。而战争又会引发世界经济的进一步缩水。

  这种恶性循环已经多次破坏过我们的世界。我们必须也能够阻止这个过程。首先,亚洲和欧洲国家需要进行额度为GDP5%的财政刺激以增加需求。其次,发展中国家需要改变外汇资产结构,将他们用于购买政府债券的资产变成美国股票。这样做的好处将远远超过它的成本。如果实施这两项措施,世界经济将很快稳定。也只有这样,我们才有机会展开后续改革,并进一步遏制危机的深化。

  这场金融危机的实质是“盎格鲁撒克逊”国家的债务危机。正如我多次说过的,盎格鲁撒克逊国家债务过多的另一面是发展中国家超过10万亿美元的外汇储备。这些国家的资产泡沫化的程度与其借款的程度相当。过度的消费导致了他们每年超过1万亿美元的财政赤字。

  对于上述国家借款的援助来自亚洲、欧洲以及每个处在这次泡沫中的国家。我们不能单方面地指责美国。互相推诿责任不能解决问题,每个国家都有责任。

  如果仅仅是债务国单方面挤除泡沫,盎格鲁撒克逊国家将经历一次巨大的衰退。伴随这一过程,赤字将大幅萎缩,通过减少进口,上述国家赤字很可能减少超过一半。通过降低税率以及财政刺激,盎格鲁撒克逊经济可以暂时缓解他们的痛苦,但是对于世界经济面临的这次衰退而言,故事的主题还是没有改变。

  因此,其他国家将经受贸易顺差减少带来的剧痛。除非他们能够增加国内需求,否则也将陷入衰退。

  另外,我们来看看资产缩水带来的财富效应。50万亿美元的货币损失相当于美国需求减少2.5—3万亿美元,或者4%—5%的世界GDP。如果将趋势增长考虑进来,负增长将达到上述规模一半。

  但是,需求的萎缩还将带来其他负面效果,使得目前的局面更加恶化。如果世界经济不能增加额度达到2万亿美元的财政刺激,需求的萎缩不能停止,它的负面效果也将继续。

  亚洲和欧洲必须采取财政刺激,才能避免盎格鲁撒克逊经济体因为减少贸易赤字所带来的损失。亚洲和欧洲的GDP总额达到25万亿美元,以6%计算,能够支出的刺激额度在1.5万亿美元。很多亚洲以及欧洲国家的政府已经有很高水平的负债。但现在还不是担心这个的时候。房子已经着火了,即便现在水不够,我们也必须将我们能够利用的水资源扑灭这场大火。

  除了来自亚洲以及欧洲的需求刺激,还需要紧急增加投资资金,尤其在盎格鲁撒克逊经济体。否则,他们的去杠杆化将很快发生。拥有大量外汇储备的国家的最好方法是卖掉政府债券,购买美国股市指数基金。

  盎格鲁撒克逊国家缺少资金和发展中国家大量的外汇储备是一枚硬币的两面。除非中国,日本和石油出口国能够尽快行动,否则盎格鲁撒克逊经济将很快萎缩,这将使贸易衰退加深,造成更多人的痛苦。

  除此之外,对于想要进行长期投资的投资者来说,股票已经足够便宜。这也是巴菲特正在做的。是时候让日本、中国付诸行动了。他们将能够帮助自己也帮助世界。

  世界经济已经着火。每个政府都必须参与救火,并且,现在就行动。

(东方早报理财一周报编辑王诚诚翻译)

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