The reverberations of the Chinese revelations from earlier this week continues. The single stab at the heart of the Nixon Fiat Money Regime caused the dollar to suddenly collapse. This was quickly corrected by having all the major G7 players step onstage to devoutly bow to the Fiat Dollar and proclaim in a chorus, it will never die. But this one little test of the systems showed the Communist Chinese the true weakness of the dollar and how the Dragon holds the dollar in the firm grip of its claws. So, let’s revisit the speech that caused global fear in the G7 nations:
Reform International Financial Regulatory Framework:A Few Remarks
Research Institute of Finance & Banking
People’s Bank of China
In the midst of the current financial crisis, the needs for major reform of the global financial system and global financial stability framework have been increasingly recognized.
The US and its many players in the FX games all concede that something went terribly wrong. But of course, despite knowing exactly what went wrong, the temptation to keep on ‘sinning’ is very great. Thus, the refusal to really fix things properly.
Policy makers and international organizations have made substantial efforts to improve the international financial system including financial regulation and supervision. Various proposals have come forward on priority areas such as redefining the scope and boundaries of financial regulation and supervision, tackling issues of pro-cyclicality in the system, retooling capital and provisioning requirements as well as refining valuation and accounting rules, and some consensus has been reached. Among others, the Group of Thirty has published a Financial Reform report, and FSF and BCBS have undertaken some work on various aspects of financial regulation and Basel II framework.
Here is a piece I wrote about the Group of 30 on May 26, 2008:
- The Group of Thirty who are the banking experts of the planet, are meeting this week in Jerusalem. As they overlook the Gaza Ghetto, they sit around the table and discuss the total collapse of the global banking system. I am guessing that they might be wondering if they did something wrong these last 40 years. Naw. They think they know everything which means they understand nothing. Or perhaps they are too close to the problem and thus, cannot see any solution. Since they don’t discuss the rise and fall of empires, they won’t see the real problems. But then, one of these 30 guys is the guy who runs the Bank of China and I assure everyone, he knows exactly what the meaning of the history of the rise and fall of empires entails. But the Western members won’t ask him about THAT! I went to the Group of 30’s library. Teased out a PDF from 1981. Lo and behold, the problems we have today were the problems we had back then! Except for one major difference: the US was not $10 trillion in public debt nor $44 trillion in collective debt and the Derivatives Beast was a tiny cute little baby. Who was being raised to protect the banks, not the $575 trillion monster it has become today.
Here is another past article of mine that has the list of Group of 30 members.
- Jacob A. Frenkel–Chairman, Group of Thirty, Vice-Chairman, American International Group, Former Governor, Bank of Israel
Um, the Group of 30’s Vice-chairman is the gnome who set up the present incarnation of AIG! Good grief. Incidentally, there are no Chinese in the Group of 30. JP Morgan is there, though. Lots of pirates and gnomes, in fact.
A number of regulators and the financial industry have initiated a centralized clearing and central counter-party mechanisms for OTC derivatives including credit default swaps (CDS). All these efforts will help to fend current crisis and future risks. However, we also note that several issues with respect to the financial regulatory framework have not received adequate attentions. In this note, we would like to explore these issues and provide relevant suggestions.
1. Problems of financial regulation exposed by the financial crisis
The current financial crisis originated from the U.S. subprime crisis, and rapidly spread onto the rest of the world through financial products, financial institutions and markets. The rampant spread of the current crisis demonstrates that issues in the philosophy, effectiveness and international cooperation of financial regulation need to be resolved as effective regulation and supervision is the most powerful external force for containing financial sector risks.
Note the Chinese mention ‘philosophy.’ I consider this the most important thing that has to change, by the way.
(1)Regulatory philosophy over-confident in self-restraint of market players
In terms of financial regulation philosophy, some developed countries have been heavily reliant on self-regulation of the marketplace, believing in “minimal regulation is the best regulation”. In fact, the financial institutions implicated in the Enron and WorldCom debacles and the liquidity crisis troubling some financial institutions in the early stage of the current crisis should have impelled regulators to upgrade supervisions. However, authorities have failed to take much-needed systematic actions. One of the most important reasons for this omission is the conviction that market can correct itself, which led to the overlook of financial sector vulnerabilities posed by the profit-seeking nature of financial institutions. The evolution of the crisis demonstrated that due to the profit-driven nature of market players, market forces, if unchecked, will lead to asset bubbles and ultimately a disastrous market clearing in the form of a financial crisis like the current one, hence wreaking great havoc to global finance and world economy.
True, all markets correct themselves. Sometimes, with extreme speed and violence. The entire philosophy of the central banking system is to AVOID this like the plague. Instead, we slammed right into yet another massive explosion of excess debt.
Anyone reading the history of finance can quickly see that if things are not regulated by a strong group or imperial power, things blow up due to everyone creating too much debt based on too little reserves. This is why our Treasury was supposed to supervise the banks and prevent them from over lending. But now, we demand the right to borrow to infinity.
(2)Regulatory system need to upgrade timely to avoid lagging behind financial innovations
The developments of the financial crisis have proven that financial innovations have created new sources of systemic risks, such as OTC products and near-bank entities including investment banks, hedge funds and special purpose vehicles (SPVs). These entities, saddled with internal problems and intertwined with traditional financial institutions, are prone to trigger systemic risks. In addition, most financial conglomerates were engaged in non-conventional financial products and businesses to circumvent regulations, which created another source of systemic risks.
The businesses which created ‘non-conventional vehicles’ tend to be headquartered on pirate islands of various sizes and locations. Their entire existence is to circumvent regulations and evade taxes while using the vast resources of various nations to enrich themselves at everyone’s expense.
The current crisis has clearly shown that the prevailing model of financial regulation lagged behind financial innovation activities. Under the current regulatory model, only deposit-taking financial institutions and conventional financial products with obvious externalities are regulated, while near-bank entities and OTC products are subject to little, if any, supervision. Moreover, financial institutions of different types or domiciled in different jurisdictions, and different products are subject to different regulatory rules and systems. Moreover, the lack of coordination among regulatory authorities has also fostered regulatory arbitrage possibilities. As a result, financial institutions are able to circumvent rigorous regulations and maximize abnormal returns. Different types of arbitrage have hastened the rapid development of near-bank entities and OTC products, and let hedge funds enjoy the treatments from offshore financial centers.
Each word of the above paragraph should be engraved on gold and sent to all the heads of all the central banks. Then, we can get moving and decide to raid the many pirate islands and take them over as ‘hostile territory’ and stop this crazy business of letting international corporations and LLPs use these places as pretend domiciles. Or we can evict these guys from our own country and exile them to these tiny islands.
Note the ‘arbitrage possibilities’: this is where the money lies. In nooks and crannies, in small corners, in glitches and mistakes. Where there is no one looking closely, this is where money can be made via various scams and tricks. Wizards love these.
The swift development of financial market and real economy over the last decade had led policymakers in some major economies believe that the existing regulatory structure was effective. Few measures were taken to enhance the regulatory framework to keep pace with the emergence of new products, new institutions and new markets. Since the breakout of the crisis, cases have proved that due to the lack of coordination among regulatory agencies and communications between regulators and central banks and finance ministries in some advanced countries, efforts to rescue financial institutions and stabilizing markets were hampered.
(3)Effective international regulatory cooperation yet to be in place
Due to the lack of consistent regulatory standards and a platform for effective information exchange, regulators do not have a good understanding of the cross-border activities of internationally active financial institutions. In particular, there is a lack of understanding of international capital flows.
This is a very important sentence: I agree with the Chinese in this matter. The US has a rather infantile view of how fiat money works. They think, they have trapped the Chinese by passing off to China, immense sums of money which are being churned out by the Bank of Japan until last year.
China accepted this flood of money and parked it in a safe place. Now, they are using it properly: as international political leverage. We refuse to understand that China, not the US, now controls international finance. We can promise money to all and then some, but we can’t deliver without Chinese permission. If we do, this will weaken the dollar, rapidly, unless the Chinese bail us out.
This means, China can strangle us very easily by refusing to bail us out. Already, the Chinese are now encouraging the use of Chinese money for international trade. This is part of the historic move away from the US fiat dollar and towards a Chinese fiat trade currency regime…which I suspect, will be gold-based.
Relevant international organizations were pre-occupied with macroeconomic surveillance, especially with respect to the exchange rate regimes of emerging economies.
This is certainly true. It is moronic, of course. The US wheelers and dealers like the AIG guy in the Group of 30 are always looking for splinters in other’s eyes while ignoring whole forests of splinters in their own eyes.
Its work on monitoring international capital flows is insufficient. So far, we still do not have a good understanding of the channels and mechanisms of cross-border fund flows, especially flows to and from the emerging market economies, and how these flows reverse in unfavorable times.
Notice that the Chinese admit that much of these things are ultimately mysterious. The unstable floating fiat currency system is, by its very nature, extremely slippery and and change in shape and size, very rapidly, the more complex things are, the more difficult it is to control.
To enhance international cooperation in financial regulation, the Financial Stability Forum has identified 30 large internationally active financial institutions for which supervisory colleges have been established. In due course, we should assess how effective and sufficient these colleges are in strengthening international supervision of cross-border financial institutions. And IMF should also include regulation and surveillance of international capital flows as an important part of its early warning system.
2.Issues meriting special attentions in reforming the financial regulatory system
(1)Reform begins with self-criticism
One ancient Chinese philosopher once said, “(w)e should self-examine ourselves three times daily.” This epitomizes the oriental philosophy on the importance of self-criticism in improving oneself. In analyzing the root causes of and drawing lessons from the current crisis, such spirit is sorely needed. Only by looking inward with this spirit, can we draw the right lessons and avoid being blindsided. Only with the right lessons learned, can far-reaching reforms begin. Recently, there have been some blaming games, which intend to hold others responsible for the on-going difficulties. Such lack of remorse does not help in examining the flaws in the existing financial regulatory system.
HAHAHA. Seriously, the US and its G7 pals tried over and over again, to blame China. When Japan had an immense FOREX heap of dollars, no one said a peep. When China’s pile grew as large as Japan’s mountain of dollars, the hollering was deafening! When China’s pile grew to double of Japan’s pile, bitter talk about how this was stupid or wasteful took over.
Then, they accused China of a ‘savings glut’ while still not mentioning Japan’s huge ‘savings glut’. This went on and on until the whole business fell apart. Now, China wishes to have us reconsider all this.
In fact, lack of remorse is one key factor leading to the current crisis. Before the crisis, there was a prevalent complacency. Although the US regulatory structure was a complex patchwork of fragmented agencies and jurisdictions, some believed that it worked quite well. Though some made efforts to address issues, most are reluctant to take a serious crack at the problems with an excuse of “(i)f it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The cost of waiting for the system to break has turned out to be tremendous. Against this backdrop, we should begin with an attitude of self-criticism while addressing the challenges of financial regulatory reform.
Here, the Dragon slaps us silly. And we deserved every slap. I detect not the slightest bit of ‘remorse’ here in America. Instead, it seems more along the lines of snarling and snapping and then huffing and puffing while trying hard as possible to get rich despite the mess.
(2)Introduce counter-cyclical multipliers to strengthen counter-cyclical mechanism
Effectively addressing the pro-cyclicality elements in the existing capital requirement framework and improving quality of capital is essential for preventing serious financial crisis. The ongoing crisis has exposed vulnerabilities in capital adequacy requirements of banks in the following areas: (a) the Basel II framework does not adequate capture risks of complex credit products; (b) the minimum capital requirement and the quality of capital have not provided adequate buffer during the crisis; (c) the pro-cyclicality of capital adequacy has amplified volatilities; (d) there exists the differences in capital requirements among different types of financial institutions.
The Chinese communists have captured a tremendous amount of capital. I remember when China raised the reserve ratios, for example. Here is my February 21, 2008 article about all this:
Dresdner Bank of Germany’s fabulous K2 fund turns into a mongrel K9 as it loses 50% of its $31 billions. And we discuss reserve ratios yet again as the Fed claims we need no reserves at all and that inflation doesn’t matter even though it is taking off like a rocket. Are we stupid or what? And all commodities continue their relentless climb while people begin to wonder if Goldman Sachs and the other hell hounds conspired to destroy the muni bond market so they could make money. Well, duh. Arrest them all.
We see from this graph that if we allow 10% ratios, money creation is much greater, many times greater over time than if we have even a 20% ratio! The US allowed the biggest investment houses to create loans on a 3% or less ratio which meant, it was basically infinity. China, on the other hand, raised theirs to almost 20% to kill wild speculation.
- There have been only a handful of policy-related reserve requirement changes since the MCA was passed in 1980. In March 1983, the Fed eliminated the reserve requirement on nonpersonal time deposits with maturities of 30 months or more, and in September 1983, it reduced that minimum maturity to 18 months. Then, in December 1990, the Fed cut the requirement on nonpersonal time deposits and on net Eurocurrency liabilities from 3% to 0%. In April 1992, it cut the requirement on transaction deposits from 12% to 10%. In announcing its December 1990 move, the Fed noted that the cut would reduce banks’ costs, “providing added incentive to lend to creditworthy borrowers.” Similarly, in announcing its April 1992 cut in reserve requirements, the Fed observed that the reduction would put banks “in a better position to extend credit.” Current reserve requirements are low by historical standards. From 1937 to 1958, for example, the rate on demand deposits was always at least 20% for banks in New York and Chicago, which were “central reserve cities”—a term now obsolete.
Currently, efforts are being made in some countries and by some international organizations to expand the coverage of capital requirements, including setting requirements on asset-backed securities, off-balance sheet risk exposures and trading account activities, improving the quality of tier 1 asset, and enhancing the global consistency of minimum capital requirements. In addition, as a complement to capital adequacy ratio requirement, a properly constructed leverage ratio indicator will play a role in the macro prudential regulation framework as the new indicator can both measure potential excessive risk-taking and dampen the cyclical fluctuations.
In addressing the vulnerability of the exist capital adequacy ratio framework, particularly the cyclicality of capital buffer, authorities responsible for the overall financial stability need to develop counter-cyclical multipliers in an effort to contain pro-cyclical elements. If an economy experiences an unusual change or economic system needs an unusual counter-cyclical adjustment and specific stabilization measures, the authorities may consider issuing quarterly indexes of prosperity and stability. These indexes may then be used by financial institutions and supervisors to multiply into risk weights in calculating capital adequacy ratio. In this way, the risk weighted capital adequacy requirement and other criteria, like IRB, can better reflect counter-cyclicality requirements for financial stability.
This sounds eminently practical to me. I support it. I want this to happen. I will cheerfully read these reports and studies. For example, Bernanke’s first move was to kill the M3 data information stream. He lied about all this and claimed, no one was interested in this information. When we all yelled for it to return, he simply ignored us.
Specifically, with a set of prosperity indices in place, counter-cyclical multipliers can be derived. Many existing indicators linking to business cycles, investor and consumer sentiments can serve as a base for such prosperity indexes. During the boom period, asset prices increase, market exuberance prevails, and prosperity indexes are high; and vice versa during economic downturn. In deriving counter-cyclical multipliers from prosperity indexes, we should take into consideration of factors such as product type, industry and country of risk exposures. Then, the multipliers can be applied to contain the pro-cyclical factors including risk-weights, default probabilities for credit rating purposes and discount (haircut) percentages for various collaterals used in financial transactions, as well as other pro-cyclical factors. This will not only help to mitigate the pro-cyclicality elements, but also improve quality of capital by improving management of collaterals and by using multipliers-adjusted default probabilities to manage risks in complex credit products.
In other words, China wants us to be FORCED into ceasing our bubble machine. When China detects our system running ‘hot’, they can demand our central bank raise interest rates and reserve ratios. And increase its own ratios. And incidentally, balance our budget. Heh. Someone has to force this to happen.
(3)Reulatory agencies should be adequately staffed with people with market experiences
Some regulatory agencies do not have enough professionals with practioners’ experience and hence are lack of sufficient understanding of the market developments, especially the systemic impacts of financial innovations. As a result, some supervisors turned a blind eye and were not sensitive to problems in structured products such as CDOs and derivatives such as CDS, and the shadow banking system reflected in the off-balance activities, including the critical rating methodologies for structured products. To enhance capacity, regulatory agencies should conduct systematic and frequent staff exchanges with the industry, which will enable regulatory agencies to become attentive to and keep abreast of developments of the industry and do a better job in supervisory oversight.
(4)Strengthen supervision on the use of crediting rating services and on rating agencies
Credit ratings from the major rating agencies have become international financial services products. In many countries, various rules have required investment management decisions and risk management practices to be benchmarked on financial instruments attaining certain ratings by major credit rating agencies. Once these ratings were given, the financial institutions do not need to worry about the inherent risks of the products. However, the ratings are no more than indicators of default probabilities based on historic data, which never meant to be guarantees for the future. The business model of issuer-paying for services has rendered the rating process with conflicts of interest and the major rating agencies irresponsibly gave many structured products high ratings before the crisis. During the crisis, the reversal of market conditions have forced the rating agencies to lower the ratings of many financial products, which led to massive asset markdowns and exacerbated the severity of the crisis.
The entire rating system is a total scandal. By privatizing it so the people being rated paid for the wages of the rating companies, we got false ratings, of course. This has to end. It has to be done by a SEC-style organization.
Our view is that the financial institutions should conduct independent examination of risks, not simply delegate the duty to the rating agencies. To the extent external ratings are needed, internal and independent judgment has to be deployed as a complement. Regulators should encourage financial institutions to enhance internal rating capability to reduce their reliance on external ratings. Moreover, central banks and regulators should limit the use of external ratings within 50 percent of business volume, at least for those systemically important financial institutions. Meanwhile, these institutions should upgrade their internal rating capabilities to exercise independent judgment on credit risks.
See? China agrees with me! Imagine that! 🙂
The current crisis has also shown that national regulation of rating agencies is insufficient, and concerted international cooperation is required to tackle the problem of international regulation of credit rating activities. It makes sense for the International Organizations of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and Financial Stability Forum (FSF) to coordinate in setting standards and in enforcing them. An entity should be designated to take regular responsibilities in implementing the rules. The focus should aim to identify problems in the rating industry, to identify the conflicts of interest between the raters and the issuers and to improve the independence, fairness and transparency of rating activities. Such a body should review the track record of the major rating agencies on a periodic basis and assess the default and loss statistics of different ratings. In particular, reviews should also be made in the area of sovereign ratings of emerging economies. Results of such regular reviews should be made public so that market participants can form their own opinions and make better use of the credit ratings. In cases severe problems are identified, the designated implementing entity should take remedial actions including, among others, imposing corrective actions on the problem agencies, publicizing problem areas, private censures and public reprimands. Based on the findings of the entity, national regulators can also impose punitive measures including banning from the industry on the problem agencies.
A group of powerful hedge fund managers has warned that they are ready to quit London and move off-shore if regulations or taxes become too onerous.
Last night global leaders also vowed to show unity as they try to rebuild the shattered financial system. The White House insisted there was no “gulf” between the US and Europe on how to avoid global financial meltdown.
There are fears that Germany and France will deeply oppose US plans to increase fiscal stimulus while doing little to improve regulation.
Denis McDonough, the US deputy national security adviser, said the desire for global co-operation has not been as strong for the last 30 years. France and Germany have both strongly opposed US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s call for all nations to create new funds worth 2pc of their GDP. The International Monetary Fund estimates that world governments have already poured more than $2 trillion into the global financial system.
HAHAHA. The pirates will decamp back to their various islands! Sail away! And this is why I keep calling for our navy which has lots and lots if idle ships annoying China, our creditors, and take them swiftly to these many pirate coves and invade them. Period. Simple as pie. Our Marines can storm the beaches and run into the small buildings there and seize the computers. And then go to the estates of the pirates and arrest them.
Home to 160 powerful US Congressmen, Rayburn House on Capitol Hill in Washington DC was the venue last Monday for a desperate resistance movement at its darkest hour.
In the basement of the sprawling whitewashed classical complex, 70 senior politicians and their advisers heard that prising open to increased scrutiny the secretive and corrupt world of tax havens – where trillions of dollars are stashed far from the reaches of the tax man – was akin to an evil Big Brother conspiracy that would smash civil liberties and hamper world economic growth.
It was organised by Dan Mitchell, co-founder of the right-wing Center for Freedom and Prosperity, and Richard Rahn, a senior fellow at influential libertarian Washington think-tank, the Cato Institute, a former board member of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and a regular Washington Post columnist. They told the high-powered audience that moves to force so-called secrecy jurisdictions to share information with tax authorities were “hypocritical”, “racist” and would destroy “defenceless” island economies.
Mitchell, a high priest of light tax, small state libertarianism, argued that current moves to encourage information exchange between secretive tax havens and the international community would see unscrupulous government officials sell highly sensitive information about the world’s richest companies and individuals to drug cartels and warlords. Tax transparency would lead to kidnapping and murder.
Instead of threatening these crooks, Congress listens to them yap. Their ‘freedom’ is the same as in ‘freebooter’. This is like allowing the lights to go out so muggers can attack. The biggest boost for law and order was when public lighting was invented.
(5)Promote higher corporate governance standards
Evidence abounds that boards of directors at some systemically important financial firms in the US were rendered as a “gentlemen’s club”, which rubber-stamp all major decisions sponsored by the management. Often times, the independent non-executive directors (INEDs) did not have meaningful expertise or training in financial services sector. As a result, the board is unable to provide strategic direction for the firm’s operations and effective guidance and backing for risk management and internal control. Cases also reveal that at some too-big-to-fail institutions, the risk management professionals were beholden to business people. This has led to lack of effective check and balance mechanism, which tolerated excessive risk-taking in pursuit of short-term rewards.
HAHAHA. The Chinese attack here is delightful! Many of the Boards of Directors are actually BRIBERY SYSTEMS whereby the spouses or sons and daughters, etc of political powers get lots of money while ‘working’. This is very, very widespread and should be outlawed. Geither, the tax cheat who now runs the IRS, did this sort of faux work as fraud.
Management was motivated by short-term barometers such as quarterly results and year-end bonus. The pro-cyclical compensation structure, which rewards short-term results, doesn’t help in restraining aggressive risk-taking. In addition, decisions for succession planning and appointment of Chairman/CEO was sometimes made not on candidates’ well-rounded qualifications and merits but on factors not consistent with the interests of the shareholders and the firm’s long-term viability.
If the US wants a 50 Year Plan, I will happily host the meetings in my basement like I did with the Chinese. I will provide books, pamphlets and lots of charts and graphs. Then we can all go through all the material [this will take 2 years] and then draw up the plans. See? Very easy to do.
Regulators should impose higher governance standards on systemically important and internationally active financial institutions. At the minimum, the majority of their INEDs should be financially literate —HAHAHA—and can provide the management with substantive guidance in areas of the firm’s strategic positioning in the market place, balance between business expansion and quality of growth, financial innovations, succession planning and etc. The annual report of such firms should disclose how active the INEDs are with respect to the firm’s issues in and out of the boardrooms, so that investors can judge the effectiveness of the board in discharging its fiduciary duties. In some countries, it may also help to abolish the practice of the same person holding both positions of chairman and CEO, especially in those financial institutions of systemic importance.
Just too, too funny. Now, let’s go to the distant past, about 9 years ago:
FROM THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
October 26, 2000
STATEMENT BY TREASURY SECRETARY LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS
AT THE CLOSING PLENARY SESSION OF THE
CHINA-U.S. JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE
Summers is the same guy who is back, running our economic central planning committee.
I am glad to have had this opportunity to co-chair this 20th anniversary session of the US-China Joint Economic Committee with Finance Minister Xiang. Let me also thank the People’s Bank of China and other members of the Chinese delegation for their active participation at this JEC.
This year we have opened a new chapter in the relationship between our two countries – and in China’s relations with the rest of the global economy. I remember well the last JEC, a year ago in Beijing. At that time, the questions of Chinese entry into the World Trade Organization, and the changes that it would bring, were also very much on all our minds. One year on, with the signing of our bilateral agreement for Chinese entry into the World Trade Organization, and the passage of legislation here in the US to grant China Permanent Normal Trading Relations status, China is closer than ever to becoming an integral member of the world trading community. But just as this new era for China brings new possibilities, so too does it bring new challenges – both for China and for the US-Chinese relations. That is where the sharing of experiences and ideas that we have seen here today can play such a useful role.
In this context we discussed a number of issues today, including economic developments in the global economy and in the US and China. Let me just briefly highlight three sets of issues with particular relevance to China’s entry into the WTO, and to the broader question of China’s closer integration with the global community.
I. Integration and Structural Reforms in China
- There was a clear recognition today on the part of our Chinese interlocutors that the prospect of closer integration with the world economy had raised the stakes considerably with respect to the pace and scope of economic reform. It can and must be a spur for continued reform of the state-owned enterprise sector, the financial sector and social safety nets, which are all so important to the sustainability and quality of long-term economic growth. Notice how the tables have turned in less than a decade? Now, China gets to lecture us about how to reform our economy and run our banking system! And Summers talks about ‘sustainability’???? HAHAHAHA. As well as ‘long term economic growth’. No wonder the Chinese are poking Summers in the eye orb this week!
- As the Chinese authorities have suggested, China’s growing private sector could play an important role in creating jobs as financial and state-owned enterprise reforms intensify. And in this context we discussed the need for further hardening of the budget constraints of state-owned enterprises, and the closure of non-viable firms. Speaking of the devil, when will Summers tell all our zombie banks, they are finished? And why is our government funding these zombie banks? Isn’t this kind of wrong?
- In the critical area of financial sector strengthening, we welcome China’s intention to liberalize interest rates and also noted the importance of adopting international banking standards. And we noted that assistance through the World Bank/IMF Financial Sector Assessment Program would provide policy advice in this crucial part of China’s reform agenda. Summers and his buddies were in the middle of wrecking our own banking standards! Repealing all the Great Depression rules and regulations, for example!
- More generally, we discussed the importance of building up strong institutions to underpin sustainable, market-led growth: particularly the importance of a functioning rule of law, and of efforts to improve governance and combat corruption. I wish we could combat corruption. There are plenty of people who should be arrested, a huge number of them in DC.
II. The Challenge of Combating Financial Crime
- As global integration proceeds, there has been growing international recognition of the need to combat the “dark side” of integration: the fact that technological change and liberalization can support the growth of illegitimate economic activities as much as legitimate ones. In that sense our discussions on this subject were very timely. HAHAHA. Our own rich being the locus of much of this illegality and criminality.
- Financial abuse and money laundering pose an important threat to all our economies. But we were glad to note that this challenge is now a focus of strengthened efforts by the US, China and the broader international community: as, for example, in the recent agreement to establish an APEC working group that will conduct a survey of domestic legal and regulatory frameworks for fighting financial crime. This will provide an opportunity to enhance our cooperation in this area. We should fill the prisons with the many crooks who took advantage of weak US supervision and the loss of nearly all meaningful regulations.
- With respect to China, we are pleased to note that our Chinese counterparts have welcomed our offer to increase U.S. technical assistance to Chinese agencies working to combat this problem more directly in China itself.
III. Enforcement Issues of Particular Concern to the US Treasury Department:
- Our meeting today also provided an opportunity to discuss other important enforcement issues that will continue to be of concern to the US and the broader global community as China becomes more integrated economically. Two issues that fall into this category that are a particular concern to the Treasury Department are the implementation of our Memorandum of Understanding on prison labor imports and enhanced customs cooperation. The US also uses prison labor. But not for export. Hell, we make nearly nothing for export!
- The issue of prison labor is very important to the United States. U.S. law prohibits the importation of goods made with prison labor. It is critical that China work closely with us to effectively address this issue under the existing Memorandum of Understanding and the supplementary Statement of Cooperation. All I can say is, what? We didn’t want the competition? While running all sorts of business out of our own prisons like telephone service, just to name one example.
- With regard to customs issues, we support the continued progress of the Shanghai Model Port Project and look forward to its timely completion in the Fall of 2001, in time for the APEC Leaders meeting in Shanghai. Ah, the Shanghai group! I remember them fondly. Heh. Oh, how we debated issues long ago! Well, the port opened and out poured an immense tide of exports.
IV. Concluding Remarks
Let me conclude by highlighting the first US-China Financial Dialogue, led by the deputies from our respective finance ministries and central banks, which will be held tomorrow. In the past, such dialogues, for example with Japan and Korea, have been a very useful part of developing our bilateral financial relationship with countries as their economies mature.
Both Japan and Korea wiped us out in the trade game. Then China came along and followed their plans closely. And won the game, too.
The Dialogue will be an independent venue to enhance cooperation between our two countries on financial and capital market issues and share views and experiences on areas of common concern. In light of recent experiences in Asian emerging market economies, the question of how best to benefit from a strong and open financial market – while guarding against the risks – has emerged as a crucial economic issue for every emerging market. And the US and the broader global community have an enormous stake in China finding a successful approach. Thank you.
China is assuring the United States it will do nothing to weaken the position of the dollar as the main international . But it is also using the financial crisis to urge foreign countries to settle payments in Yuan instead of the US dollar.
The latest move involves a $10 billion currency swap deal with Argentina allowing importers in that country to make purchases from China in yuan instead of the dollar. Argentina on Monday became the fifth country after South Korea, Malaysia, Belarus and Indonesia to sign such a currency swap agreement with China.
Hu likes to do business one element at a time. He constantly circles the planet, making deals, signing treaties, he has strengthened the diplomatic position of China tremendously with much of the world. This way, he can turn and confront Europe and the US as we try to outwit him.
No longer is he merely signing trade treaties. He is finessing the business relentlessly. By controlling who and when the change over from using the US dollar to using China’s paper money is deliberate and careful. The list of countries agreeing to this new system are interesting.
Korea hates Japan. So they were number one on the Chinese list, being on the border of China. China would assent to Korea being safely merged one day, under the aegis of the Dragon, of course. It is inevitable. This is why the Japanese refusal to pay reparations for 50 years of abuse of Korea was short sighted and foolish.
Chinese central-bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan recently threw the cat among the pigeons by calling for a new global reserve currency to replace the dollar because the US currency was extremely vulnerable to wide fluctuations during this period of financial crisis.
I like that: throwing a cat into a flock of pigeons! The Indian writing this article is very droll.
The statement has caused a furors across capitals of several western nations because China holds one of the biggest of foreign reserves. Zhou’s views have been backed by Russian officials causing a lot of worries in Washington.
In London, the Chinese ambassador in United Kingdom, Fu Ying, was singing a different tune ahead of the coming G-20 Summit in that city. He told the BBC on Sunday that China was not calling for replacement of the dollar as the world’s main currency. Zhou was merely contributing to an old debate when he made the statement about the US dollar, he said.
The Chinese are obviously tweeking everyone whiskers here. Oh, this is an OLD debate? HAHAHA. No, obviously, it is not. Or rather, Iran launched this debate. And watches China most closely. The US is being just as unreasonable and nasty towards Teheran as before, nothing has changed at all, not one thing. Obama is increasingly, a total failure. When it comes to change anyone can believe in.
“It has been a long debate in the world. There’s nothing new,” she said. “And China is not calling for a replacement [of the dollar]. It is an article written by the governor of the central bank on his bank’s Web site. I think he’s joining the debate.” Fu said.
But it is Zhou who signed the currency swap deal with Central Bank of Argentina Governor Martin Redrado on Monday. The decision takes China’s plans of making the yuan an international currency far beyond its immediate neighbourhood.
What what they do, not what they say! And when we read that creep, Summers’ little patronizing speech, we can see how the Chinese can’t wait to dip our tail in a boiling vat of oil and watch us howl. When we imagined, we were the sole superpower, we were a smug lot, eh? Indeed. Hubris is a tough shoe to eat.
P.O. BOX 483
BERLIN, NY 12022
Make checks out to ‘Elaine Supkis’