Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Global Economic Imbalances is a Huge Threat to Global Financial Stability

The cost of imbalance
Can be discussed from three aspects the cost of global imbalances. The first is the imbalance caused by the cost of the world. First, global economic imbalances is a huge threat to global financial stability, and this threat increases with the degree of imbalance in the accumulation. No safe and effective financial system can be configured so large and growing capital. Since the formation of trade imbalance a lot of money flooding the financial markets, causing interest rates low, the market underestimated the risk there, relax lending conditions, rising leverage, financial institutions, finance highly dependent on short-term funds from the market, risk reduced ability to resist, the stability of the financial order is becoming increasingly fragile. For this reason, some economists and even the imbalance as the root cause of the global financial crisis.

Second, the imbalance caused by inefficient allocation of global resources. In general, high rate of growth of capital in the production of more efficient countries, but the imbalances, the high rate of productivity growth in the developing countries experienced capital outflows, while the slow growth in developed countries have attracted large capital inflows. Again, if the growing imbalance may lead to the U.S. dollar as the major international currencies sudden price collapse in the future, which will form a major impact on world economic stability. The second aspect is the imbalance in the current account deficit countries to the risks or losses. Deficit countries accumulated large amounts of external debt, if the imbalance continues, the foreign debt will continue to expand. Once the global interest rates rise, the net pay of foreign monies owed will increase, which will squeeze domestic consumption, investment and government spending on national economic growth adversely.

In addition, on the current account deficit if foreign resources, claims the country scale with the growth of foreign debt has become "too large", people will question the country's solvency deficit, or debt service will, which will not continue to flow into the international capital deficit States to finance its current account deficit. In other words, the deficit the country faces international capital flows and sustainability of current account deficits. Finally, the current account surplus countries are also facing high imbalance costs. First of all, the most intuitive is a high loss of the benefits of savings. Surplus countries have not translated into a surplus of national welfare, the proportion of GDP, consumption and living standards are maintained at low levels. Second, if the surplus countries want to exchange rate stability, inflation will be faced with hedge (sterilization) the cost of a dilemma. China, for example, the export sector received an endless stream of dollars of income, the central bank bought foreign exchange when the dollar equivalent of RMB yuan constantly running.

If you do not use this part of foreign exchange hedging instruments recycling of excess liquidity growth, the economy will be damaged due to inflation; but if the hedge, one needs to pay interest, so there is a higher financial cost, and second, banks will the accumulation of a large number of hedge bonds, limiting the size of loanable funds, which the efficiency of the domestic financial system have an adverse effect.

Third, the trade surplus would continue to passive accumulation of vast foreign exchange reserves, the size often exceeds the optimal level. To ensure the safety and liquidity, a large number of excess foreign exchange reserves is usually very low rate of return in the form of U.S. government bonds held with respect to the form of more productive in terms of assets, there is a higher opportunity cost. Fourth, continue to accumulate and hold U.S. Treasuries will be slow because of the depreciation of dollar damage, large-scale sale of U.S. assets they may have suffered losses because of falling asset prices, huge surpluses of foreign exchange reserves accumulated loss of surplus countries to adjust to the initiative. In short, whether surplus or deficit of the country the country, will bring the needs of the global imbalances and the misallocation of resources and the real exchange rate distortions and other key prices to pay high price.

Rebalancing is the essence of the adjustment of structural factors

Since the existence of global imbalances and much harm, it must be addressed and resolved.
There are at least two solutions, one realized by the decline in trade volume, the second is re-balanced manner. A simple example can be carding. Assuming the world has A, B between the two countries, A to B export 200 million U.S. dollars of products, B to A $ 1,000,000 export products, this time $ 3,000,000 total global trade, trade imbalances, the amount of $ 1,000,000.

If because of the financial crisis and other exogenous shocks to the A country B national demand decrease of 100 million U.S. dollars, at this time, A country can only export $ 1,000,000 B State the product, just with country B to country A considerable product value of exports , to achieve a balance of trade between the two countries, but it is by the $ 3,000,000 the total trade volume dropped to 200 million for the cost of implementation. Balanced approach to achieve balance again is different. This approach means that, B States because of the rise in savings rate and the adjustment of production structure, with the production and export value of $ 2,000,000 products; the country because of domestic demand expansion of A formed from the B value of $ 2,000,000 imported products needs.

At this point, A country to country B exports $ 2,000,000 products, B States also exports to A $ 2,000,000 state product, total world trade volume increased from the $ 3,000,000 to $ 4,000,000, and to achieve trade balance. Two ways to achieve balance, the most fundamental difference is that the first approach does not solve structural problems, but under the influence of external shocks temporarily reduce the imbalance. Once the economic situation improves, the existing imbalance mechanism will continue to play a role, the fragile balance was broken. The rebalancing method is to be achieved through changes in structural factors, the balance of sound, will not disappear because of external shocks relapse. Understand the essential requirements of rebalancing, it is easy to judge, means of trade protectionism, import restrictions, we can not truly rebalance the global economy. Because trade protectionism does not affect a country's savings, investment, production or consumption habits, even if short term to reduce the deficit, does not have the long term sustainability.

The actions of common but differentiated

As the global economic balance as the goal of structural adjustment, and then balance the inevitable need to pay the costs. Both products and services flows, capital flows or a savings and consumption, are involved in a surplus balance deficit side side and the two groups, therefore, need to re-balance the economies of both sides to assume the responsibilities and actions to adjust to less.
However, whether surplus or deficit side side, re-balancing measures in the specific choice, should be emphasized in accordance with their actual situation.

United States, the world's major trade deficit should be a comprehensive, systematic adjustments. First of all, it should be committed to improving the homes, businesses and public sector savings rate, the private and public sector balance sheet is more sustainable.

The household sector should reduce the unnecessary expenses, focus on wealth accumulation. To government departments, in the medium term fiscal consolidation should be to raise government savings in order to reduce external imbalances. Meanwhile, in the financial sector reform should strengthen supervision and avoid excessive speculation in financial markets. Well is to relax export restrictions on high-tech products to increase exports. Others, like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, countries like Britain severe budget deficit, to emphasize fiscal austerity and reconstruction. The trade surplus side, the main task is to increase consumption, expanding domestic demand and reduce dependence on external markets. For Asia, the formation of sufficient size should be committed to the ultimate consumer market within the region. Specifically, China should stimulate domestic consumption as a priority policy options, this should improve financing for small businesses and residents of the channels, while improving and enhancing the government's public services and social security in order to reduce precautionary savings.

Japan and South Korea, the situation is different, they should adjust the industrial structure and increased reliance on service industries to increase productivity growth. India's current account remained balanced, the deficit slightly in recent years, the Indian market within the Asian region the formation of the final consumer market is very important. In recent years, India's sustained and rapid economic growth, but domestic, whether public or private sector, are very backward infrastructure, human capital requirements of the education and health facilities are inadequate.

Although some high-tech related services sector development is good, but need through the "re-industrialization" to reduce poverty and increase employment. Therefore, India's policies will tend to increase spending and domestic demand, which will shape the consumer market in Asia to make the ultimate contribution. The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries, the main task is to improve the domestic environment for private sector investment in order to promote private sector investment needs.

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