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Monday, August 29, 2005

A reporter friend asked me what Hu Jintao is likely to say on economic issues while in the US. I just think he will try every way to avoid confrontation, but who knows. Perhaps he wants to build up a tough-guy attitude, but I think it might be a bit too late for that:

On the Hu trip, I think he himself will not raise any economic issues that might anger the US. It is in his interest to make this trip a great success, since he needs to establish his foreign policy credentials. Therefore, I would not expect him to raise the Unocal issue himself, unless someone asks him about it. In response to any questions about Unocal, he will probably say something like "Chinese companies now make decisions according to market principles....etc." He will not raise the currency issue himself, but I am sure someone will ask him about it. To this sort of questions, he will emphasize that China acted independently in switching to a basket peg and will continue to follow an independent foreign exchange policy, guided by market principles....etc. In sum, he will deflect any critical comments with his usually mild and cautious manner. He will probably emphasize friendship, cooperation (in the war on terror), and mutual benefits.

Comments:
Very enlightening. I do retail building loans.
 
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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A reader asked a good question of "You didn't refer to the carrot Zeng is (purportedly) being offered: the position on the CMC he missed out on last September when Hu ousted Jiang. So, the question is, does Zeng sacrifice a rook (Chen Liangyu) for the bigger prize of a knight (vice chair position on the CMC to go with the vice presidency)?"

If he takes Hu's offer, Hu would most likely promise him that position until the 18th Party Congress in 2012. However, if he confronts Hu Jintao now, Hu might gain enough power by the 17th Party Congress to force Zeng Qinghong into retirement, using the “too close to 70” argument that Jiang had used against Qiao Shi. However, if Hu was cold-blooded (ie if he was like Zeng himself), he could promise Zeng CMC vice-chairmanship until 18th PC but renege on that promise at the 17th PC or soon afterward using the retire at 70 rule. In sum, I think Zeng's decision will be based on A) whether he thinks Hu will force him to retire at the 17th PC or soon afterward and B)his relationship with Liu Yandong. I think that Zeng wants to maintain a base in Shanghai, a rich metropolis in which he can carry out all kinds of nefarious dealings. If the family bond between Zeng and Liu is indeed deep, he might, as you say, take Hu's offer and sacrifice Chen.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Dear Readers, I think things are about to get interesting again. When I was in Shanghai last month, someone told me that the entire Shanghai government was abuzzed with rumors that Chen Liangyu, the incumbent party secretary of Shanghai and a long-time protege of Zeng Qinghong, might be removed from power and that a "woman comrade" would replace him. When I heard the rumor, I thought it would either be Liu Yandong, the head of the United Front Department, or Shen Yaoyao, the vice head of the Central Organization. Recent reports (see below) reveal that Liu Yandong, who worked closely with Hu during his Youth League days, is the favorite candidate. This makes total sense since Liu is much more senior than Shen and is a minor princeling herself (father was a vice minister of agriculture) with extensive connections.

Moreover, as a vice-chairman of the CPPCC, she can easily transfer to the Shanghai party secretary position without a bureaucratic rank promotion. The position of Shanghai party secretary is typically held by a Politburo member, a position that is superior to the typical provincial/ministerial rank. Therefore, rotating another provincial party secretary (with the exception of those who are already in the Politburo) to Shanghai might raise protest that this would require giving the person a large promotion. However, it is much more reasonable to promote someone who is already the vice-chairman of the CPPCC, which though honorary is bureaucratically a national level position. Granted, Liu would still need to be inducted into the Politburo, but bureaucratically it would be a lateral transfer, though in reality, it would constitute a major gain in authority.

Another reason why Hu picked her is because she has a long history with Zeng Qinghong's family. Zeng Qinghong's mother, Deng Liujin, was one of few women who completed the Long March. In the 40s and 50s, Deng was put in charge of a special school for senior cadres who are off fighting. Among the students who attended the school are Chen Yi's son Chen Haosu and Liu Yandong. According to official press reports, the students at that school still visited Deng during holidays until her death in 2003. Therefore, Hu might have picked Liu precisely because she is acceptible to the Shanghai faction, at least the Zeng Qinghong side of it. If the article below is correct, Jiang probably is probably more against Liu than Zeng is. However, there is another layer of irony in this. Liu Yandong's father Liu Ruilong was a veteran revolutionary in Jiangsu and was the one who inducted Jiang Zemin's martyred uncle Jiang Shangqing into the party. Without Jiang Shangqing, Jiang Zemin's career would not have prospered.

This promotion, because it is now so widely publicized, will serve as a litmus test to the extent to which Jiang and his faction still hold power over Hu Jintao. I dare not predict the outcome of this struggle, but I am ready to say that this is perhaps more Zeng Qinghong's fight than Jiang's fight. Chen Liangyu is an old underling of Zeng Qinghong from his days as the head of the Shanghai Veteran Cadre Bureau. Chen Liangyu took over this plush position from Zeng after Zeng was promoted into the city leadership. Chen was later "adopted" by Jiang when Jiang served as Shanghai secretary and later party secretary general. Zeng will have to consider the extent to which he can still trust Liu Yandong and whether it is worth a fight with Hu Jintao over this issue.


SCMP
Monday, August 22, 2005
Meeting a litmus test for Hu's grip on the reins

REUTERS in Beijing

A Communist Party meeting in October will provide a litmus test of whether President Hu Jintao has fully consolidated his power, political sources said.

Mr Hu, 62, emerged from the shadow of his predecessor, Jiang Zemin , last September when he became chairman of the party's Central Military Commission.

But Mr Jiang, 79, still wields residual influence through political allies who dominate the all-powerful nine-member Politburo Standing Committee headed by Mr Hu.

A focus of the fifth plenum of the elite 354-strong Central Committee will be whether Mr Hu, who is also party chief, has the political clout to replace one of Mr Jiang's men from a senior position with one of his own.

He was eyeing Liu Yandong , 60, vice-chairwoman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and minister of the party's united front department, which seeks to win over non-communists, to replace Jiang ally Chen Liangyu , 58, as Shanghai party chief, said four sources with ties to different factions in the party leadership.

If promoted, Ms Liu would be the first woman to become party chief of one of China's 31 provinces and municipalities.

Ms Liu failed to land the same job last year.

"Jiang Zemin blocked Liu's rise," a source familiar with the inner workings of the party said. But another said of Mr Jiang, who rose from Shanghai party chief and lives there in retirement, said: "His influence is waning."

In one indication of this, one of Mr Jiang's sons failed to wrest control of the top job in a state-owned telecommunications company, a source said.

Mr Chen was likely to retain his seat on the party's 24-member decision-making Politburo, sources said, adding that he would be given a largely ceremonial job in Beijing.

Mr Chen's troubles started when he confronted Premier Wen Jiabao , a Hu ally, at a Politburo meeting last year over macroeconomic controls to try to cool an overheating economy.

Mr Hu has been moving key allies to ministerial-level positions as he consolidates power, but the Shanghai party chief's job would be the most senior personnel change engineered by Mr Hu since he replaced Mr Jiang as party chief in 2002 and president in 2003.

Ms Liu's ties to Mr Hu date back to her 1982-91 stint with the Communist Youth League, Mr Hu's power base and the Communist Party's "helping hand and reserve army". It boasts 71.9 million members.

In return for Ms Liu getting the Shanghai job, a key Jiang ally, Vice-President Zeng Qinghong , 66, could be named as a vice-chairman of the military commission.


全国政协副主席。

女,汉族,1945年11月生,江苏南通人,1964年7月加入中国共产党,1970年3月参加工作,吉林大学行政学院政治学理论专业毕业,在职研究生学历,博士学位。

1964年至1970年清华大学工程化学系学习、年级政治辅导员。1970年至1972年河北省唐山开平化工厂工人、技术员、车间负责人。1972年至1978年北京化工实验厂工人、党委宣传科干事、车间党支部书记、厂党委常委、政治部副主任、主任。1978年至1980年北京化工实验厂党委副书记。1980年至1981年北京市委组织部干部。1981年至1982年北京市朝阳区委副书记。1982年至1991年3月共青团中央书记处书记、常务书记,全国青联副主席、主席。1991年3月至9月中央统战部副秘书长,全国青联主席(1991年12月卸任)。1991年9月至1995年中央统战部副部长(1990年9月至1994年6月中国人民大学社会学系社会学理论与方法专业在职学习,获硕士学位)。1995年至1998年中央统战部副部长,中央社会主义学院党组书记(1994年9月至1998年12月吉林大学行政学院政治学理论专业在职学习,获博士学位)。1998年至2001年中央统战部副部长(正部长级),中央社会主义学院党组书记。2001年至2002年中央统战部副部长(正部长级),中央社会主义学院党组书记,宋庆龄基金会副主席。2002年任中央统战部部长,中央社会主义学院党组书记,宋庆龄基金会副主席。2003年3月在全国政协十届一次会议上当选为第十届全国政协副主席。2003年9月当选为中国光彩事业促进会会长。

中共第十五届中央候补委员、十六届中央委员。第七届全国人大常委会委员。第六届、八届、九届全国政协常务委员。

Comments:
You didn't refer to the carrot Zeng is (purportedly) being offered: the position on the CMC he missed out on last September when Hu ousted Jiang. So, the question is, does Zeng sacrifice a rook (Chen Liangyu) for the bigger prize of a knight (vice chair position on the CMC to go with the vice presidency)?
 
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Saturday, August 20, 2005

The newest issue of the Economist contains an article observing the emerging conservatism of the Hu Jintao. I could've told you a long time ago that Hu was no "liberal." Though he was promoted to the center during Hu Yaobang's time, he certainly was not one of Hu Yaobang's favorites, Hu Qili and Wang Zhaoguo were. Also, you have to remember that Hu and others like him grew up entirely under socialism. Unlike Jiang, Hu's generation of leaders have no memory of the pre-revolutionary days. They grew up entirely under socialism, and their reflexes are all derived from socialist China. The new campaign to "preserve the advanced nature of CCP members" is a perfect example. When the party faces declining morale, corruption, and defection, what do you do? You launch a political campaign; this is what Chairman Mao would have done. I recently went to an investment company, a subsidiary of the Shanghai SASAC, and guess what I found at the entrance? A huge, red banner trumpeting the advanced nature campaign.

China's president is increasingly revealing himself to be an authoritarian. We report how in this article, and in another

Get article background

IN THE nearly three years since Hu Jintao assumed the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, his image has changed markedly. Mr Hu was once seen by many as a potential liberal reformer—admittedly an assessment drawn from limited evidence. Now, he is widely regarded as a conservative authoritarian. Many Hu-watchers had seized on signs that he might be determined to open up China's secretive bureaucracy. Now, he is said to be holding up Cuba and North Korea as examples of how the party should keep its ideological grip. While Mr Hu has probably changed far less than his mercurial portrayal might suggest, it is increasingly clear that China under his leadership has wavered over economic reform and shunned political liberalisation.

Mr Hu's (in fact, fairly consistent) conservatism has been evident in his belief that the Communist Party, riddled with corruption and other abuses of power, is quite capable of cleaning up its own act without the need for any checks or balances. This year, for instance, he has ordered millions of party officials to take part in many hours of mind-numbing ideological training designed to tighten party discipline (known as the “education campaign to preserve the advanced nature of Communist Party members”).

Free speech

More seriously, advocates of bolder economic reform have worried about a campaign against “neo-liberal” economic theories that sputtered into life early last year. This apparently stemmed from the worries of party leaders, including Mr Hu, that the cause of free markets and small government could, if given too free a rein, cause an economic meltdown in China similar to that seen in some Latin American countries. On the orders of senior officials, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences formed a research team and in June last year published a book of essays that proclaimed on its cover that Latin America and the Soviet Union had been “major disaster areas of neo-liberalism”. It said reforms of state-owned industries should be guided by “Marxist theory”.

Publicly, Mr Hu's comments have been moderate in tone. But he has been tougher at closed-door gatherings, such as during a meeting of the party's Central Committee last September. The plenum was of crucial symbolic importance for Mr Hu. It appointed him as the supreme commander of China's armed forces, thus completing his takeover of the country's three top positions, following his appointment as party leader in November 2002 and president in March 2003. The contents of Mr Hu's maiden speech have not been published in full. In the still secret portion, Mr Hu reportedly railed against “Western hostile forces” and “bourgeois liberalisation”. It was a worrying throwback to the paranoid language that suffused official rhetoric in the wake of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

Yu Jie, a dissident writer in Beijing, says the authorities have stepped up harassment of liberal intellectuals in recent months. Dissidents who have expressed their views online have been particular targets. Mao Yushi, a liberal economist, says public discussion meetings held by his privately run public-policy think-tank, Unirule, have been banned, as have his writings. Unirule has been stripped of its official registration.

Cao Siyuan, another liberal economist who runs a private consultancy, says the attacks on neo-liberalism have coincided with a marked slowdown in the pace of state-owned-enterprise reform. He points to a campaign this year against management buy-outs of such enterprises, a once common form of privatisation in China. The government feared the practice was leading to rampant asset-stripping and was fuelling public resentment. Mr Cao, whose calls for political reform have earned him constant surveillance by the police (he skilfully evaded them to meet your correspondent), says the drawbacks of management buy-outs have been exaggerated by conservatives.

Yet for all Mr Hu's rhetoric, he has yet to strike out at perceived wayward tendencies with anything like the vigour shown by Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping or even Jiang Zemin, whose crackdown on Falun Gong, a spiritual movement, in 1999 sent many thousands to labour camps. The complaints of Beijing's intellectuals are offset by other signals that China's economic reforms are continuing, even if government enthusiasm for the kind of mass privatisation of state-owned enterprises that occurred in the late 1990s and early this decade may have abated. In February the government issued new guidelines for private investment in areas hitherto the preserve of the state. This month it issued a draft of China's first law on property rights, aimed at protecting individuals and companies from arbitrary appropriations by the state. Many say the new law is inadequate, but it is still something of a concession to a growing middle class.

Even in the realm of privatisation, the government continues to experiment. In May, a new attempt was launched at off-loading state-owned shares in the 1,400 companies listed in China's stockmarkets. The government has indicated that the reform plan will not mean selling off its controlling stake in “key enterprises”. But it will relinquish at least some of its firms.

Given the increasingly conspicuous inequalities emerging in China as a result of the country's embrace of capitalism, it suits Mr Hu to appear to pour cold water on the idea of laisser-faire economics, blamed for a growing gap between rich and poor, between regions and between urban and rural areas. In the past couple of years there has been an upsurge in the number of protests triggered by these disparities, as well as by rampant corruption. Mr Hu is trying to strengthen the party's legitimacy by stressing its sympathy for the disadvantaged.

Mr Hu's catchphrase is “balanced development”. This will be a central theme in a new five-year economic plan (a still cherished relic of the central-planning era) due to be discussed by the Central Committee in October and ratified by the legislature next March. It will be Mr Hu's first opportunity to put his stamp on a long-term economic strategy. But rapid growth will remain his first priority. Mr Hu has shown no sign of retreat from the core belief of party leaders since the early 1990s: that growth is essential to social stability and thus the party's survival. If redistributing wealth were to jeopardise that, even the conservative Mr Hu would back off.

Comments:
sort of surprised to find Yu Jie listed together with other liberal economist. He was in essence no more than a cynic university student appearing to be different, but he actually knows nothing about liberalists per se.
 
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Thursday, August 18, 2005

As a follow-up, a reporter read my piece and asked to what extent is Huijin really a "subsidiary" of the PBOC. This is a good question, and I provide my answer below:

Strictly speaking, Huijin is a subsidiary of SAFE, which is the sole "investor" in Huijin, but SAFE is an entity subordinate to the PBOC. In operational terms, it answers directly to the State Council Leading Group on Restructuring the State-owned Banks, which is headed by VP Huang Ju, but the daily affairs of the LG is handled by the head of the main office, Zhou Xiaochuan. Also, I am not a 100% sure, but I think Guo Shuqing still doubles as the chairman of the board at Huijin, while Xie Ping serves as CEO. Both spent years in the PBOC/SAFE network. Granted, there are MOF officials on the board, and the vice chairman of the board has deep MOF experience. Nonetheless, I think MOF influence took a big hit when Xu Fangming, a board member and head of the MOF financial department, was arrested in suspicion of corruption. Thus, I think the PBOC, through Zhou, has the dominant influence over Huijin.

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My new piece for the Jamestown Foundation on Huijin came out yesterday; here is the full text. I don't really like their title, so I put my original title in parenthesis:


(Progress in Reform or More Beijing Power Politics: Central Huijin Company Acquires More Financial Institutions)
BEIJING’S BAILOUT OF JOINT-STOCK AND STATE-OWNED BANKS

By Victor Shih

In the spring and summer of 2005, the Chinese government successively announced that Central Huijin Company (China State Administration of Foreign Exchange Investments) will recapitalize Galaxy Securities (Yinhe Zhengquan), Southern Securities (Nanfang Zhengquan), Huaxia Securities, Shenyin Wanguo Securities, and Guotai Jun’an Securities. [1] Besides brokerages, Huijin is likely to recapitalize other joint-stock and state-owned banks in the future as they prepare for listing. It provided Bank of Communication with additional liquidity before its Hong Kong listing, and China Everbright Bank is currently negotiating with the State Council for a Huijin bailout. [2] Quite simply, Huijin has become the “savior” of the troubled financial sector in China. Bailouts in general create a moral hazard and encourage risky behavior, but given that the Chinese government is prone to bailing out financial institutions anyway, the formation of Huijin is a step forward toward greater discipline in the financial sector. Moreover, Huijin’s takeover of an increasing number of financial institutions allows the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to regain some of the authority it lost when the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) split off from the PBOC.

The People’s Bank of China traditionally bailed out troubled financial institutions through the re-lending (zaidaikuan) process whereby the central bank lends money either directly to distressed financial institutions or indirectly through a major state bank. In the reform period, trillions of RMB in re-lending were provided to distressed financial institutions, constituting a major source of monetary expansion and inflation. The ready availability of central bank funds also encouraged local governments to pressure banks into financing wasteful regional developmental projects, causing more financial institutions to lapse into illiquidity.

With the formation of Huijin, the government found a less costly and arguably more market efficient way of bailing out financial institutions. Huijin was formed at the end of 2003 when the foreign exchange reserve injected $45 billion into the newly formed Central Huijin Company, which promptly “invested” the money into the China Construction Bank and the Bank of China respectively. [3] On that basis, Huijin became a state-owned investment company that held roughly 85% of China Construction Bank and 100% of Bank of China shares. [4]

Due to this bailout, Huijin became the claimant of healthy returns from the two giant state banks and stands to profit handsomely from the initial public offerings of these two banks in the near future. In 2004, Huijin was entitled to roughly 50 billion RMB in after-tax profit from the two banks and from other financial institutions it owns. [5] Although it did not take full advantage of this income stream in 2004, future dividend income and sale of shares will provide enough to bail out smaller financial institutions, which usually require recapitalization of a few billion to a few tens of billions RMB. Thus, the initial capital injection from the foreign exchange reserve created a “multiplier effect,” in which dividend income from the initial investment can be used to bail out other distressed institutions which can in turn generate further dividend income.

How is this bailout instrument better than the traditional re-lending method? First, the recipients of Huijin recapitalization do not have to pay back any loans or interest payments, as recipients of re-lending were nominally required to. Recipients of Huijin “investment” benefit from heightened capital ratios rather than more liabilities from re-lending, which at times pulled distressed banks further into trouble. The central bank also does not have to worry about defaults by distressed institutions. Recapitalization thus maintains the balance-sheets of all the involved parties much better than re-lending does.

More importantly, Huijin officials are nominally not government officials and are paid by Huijin, which almost certainly means that their salaries are substantially higher than that of civil servants. The State Council can potentially increase Huijin officials’ market incentive by giving them extra bonuses for improving the performance of financial institutions under Huijin’s charge. Thus, unlike government officials, Huijin officials have an incentive to maximize returns in hopes of increasing their personal income and, more importantly, to prevent re-assignment back to low-paying government positions. This of course would not work on officials who have political ambitions, but they would want to improve performance to fulfill their political mission as well.

Reformers within the government are also using Huijin as a means to lessen administrative intervention in the financial sector. Foremost in the reformers’ agenda is the movement toward appointing senior bankers and financial executives through market mechanisms rather than through party channels. Indeed, the CEO of Huijin, Xie Ping, stated recently that “the banks in this country have long been under the sway of various ‘leadership groups,’ which report false information, act without internal constraints, use funds for various exchanges, which result in many (corruption) cases and high non-performing loan ratio.” [6] He wants to change the current system through giving shareholders more power to appoint.

While Xie Ping, a long-time reformer within the PBOC, wants shareholders to take control of banks, this also happens to coincide with the corporate interest of the PBOC. With the formation of Huijin and its acquisition of a healthy portfolio of financial institutions, the PBOC shifted appointment of senior financial managers away from the party organization system and from the Central Banking Regulatory Commission to the People’s Bank of China via its subsidiary, the Central Huijin Company. After the abolition of the Central Finance Work Committee (CFWC), which had controlled appointment for most major financial institutions, the Central Organization Department and the CBRC took over appointment power for most major financial institutions, leaving the PBOC with only limited power to appoint regional governors of the PBOC itself. [7]

With the formation of Huijin, however, the PBOC stands to regain substantial clout in the appointment arena. Huijin itself is directly answerable to the Central Leading Group on Reforming State-Owned Commercial Bank, and the person running the daily affairs of the Leading Group is none other than Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the PBOC. Moreover, most of Huijin’s management comes from the PBOC/SAFE bureaucracy and dares not anger Zhou Xiaochuan. As Huijin becomes a majority shareholder of an increasing number of financial institutions, it can weaken if not deprive altogether the appointment power of rival agencies.

For example, after the abolition of the CFWC, the Central Organization Department held sole appointment power of the senior management in the Big Four banks. [8] However, in March 2005, after the sudden removal of Zhang Enzhao from the posts of chairman of the board and the party secretary of the China Construction Bank (CCB), Huijin sent its own chairman Guo Shuqing to serve as chairman of the board at CCB. While the Central Organization Department doubtless needed to approve Guo’s appointment since he also serves as party secretary, the PBOC, through Huijin, gained a direct voice in the selection process and most likely recommended Guo directly to the State Council. If Huijin injects capital into China Everbright Bank, it will likely obtain similar power with respect to the appointment of senior Everbright managers. With the recent bailout of a series of securities companies, the PBOC has even obtained appointment power over securities companies, an area traditionally controlled by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). For example, Huijin subsidiary Construction Investment (Jianyin Touzi) successfully installed its favorite candidate as the CEO of the newly constituted Southern Securities over the CSRC’s favorite candidate. [9]

Clearly, Huijin has greatly upset the distribution of appointment power worked out in 2003, and various rival agencies, including the CBRC, the Ministry of Finance, and the Central Organization Department, are putting up a fierce fight against the PBOC’s empire-building efforts. For example, in March 2005, Huijin injected only 15 billion USD into the Industrial and Commerce Bank of China (ICBC), far short of the 22.5 billion that BOC and CCB had received despite being a much larger bank. It is likely that the MOF, which traditionally “owned” the major financial institutions in China, balked at the prospect of the PBOC gaining control over another major state bank through Huijin. Thus, with only a limited Huijin injection, the MOF retained control over 50% of ICBC shares. The CSRC, however, seems less able to fight back because it does not control its own source of funding.

Should foreign investors be weary of the Huijin’s emerging clout in the financial sector? On the one hand, if reformers like Xie Ping have their way, Huijin is merely a way-station to a fully commercialized financial sector in China. In this scenario, Huijin would first “acquire” distressed financial institutions. Then, it would do what other leverage-buyout firms do—repackage the firms and sell them off to private investors over time. However, given that financial institutions, especially the major banks, are vital elements of the national economy and the source of an endless supply of funds, the government is extremely reluctant to cede control. The recent acquisition of major securities companies, for example, might set the stage for a coordinated government effort to keep share prices up while non-tradable shares are released into the market. If the managers of banks and brokerages expect government interventions, however, they will continue to make decisions according to political rather than to market signals. If things go wrong, guess what, the Chinese state will be there with yet another bailout scheme.

Notes:
1. In the case of Southern Securities and Huaxia Securities, Huijin recapitalized these entities through its wholly owned subsidiary Construction Investment (Jianyin Touzi). See Ming Liu, "Chongzheng Quanshang, Huijin Jianyin Zai Xingdong (Huijin and Construction Investment Are Acting to Restructure Brokerages)," Jingji Ribao (Economics Daily), 8/11/2005 2005.
2. Haiyan Hu, "Zhongyang Huijin Gongsi Jinrong Bantu Qiemi (Unveiling the Secret Design of the Central Huijing Company)," Zhongguo Qiyejia (Chinese Entrepreneur), 7/7 2005.
3. China Economic Quarterly, "Understanding China's Bank Bailout," china Economic Bulletin 2004, no. 1 (2004).
4. Hu, "Zhongyang Huijin Gongsi Jinrong Bantu Qiemi (Unveiling the Secret Design of the Central Huijing Company)."
5. Author’s calculation based on Huijin’s share ownership of the two banks and widely available net profit figures for the two banks.
6. Caijing Magazine, "Xie Ping, Zhu Min, Wang Jun, Li Chuguang Siren Tan (a Chat with Xie Ping, Zhu Min, Wang Jun, Li Chuguang)," Caijing (Finance and Economics) 2005.
7. Sebastian Heilmann, "Regulatory Innovation by Leninist Means: Communist Party Supervision in China's Financial Industry," China Quarterly, no. 181 (2005).
8. Ibid.
9. Qing Li, "Quanshang Chongzuzhong Panzhan: Quanshang Wenze Yiding Yao Zhuijiu Zerenren (the Strategy in Restructuring Brokerages: In Order to Hold Brokerages Responsible, One Must Hold the Responsible Person to Account)," Caijing (Finance and Economics), 8/7/2005 2005.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A reader makes a very incisive comment on the NDRC piece "So it appears to me that the article is a stock of different (and sometimes conflicting) opinions and perspectives. Or maybe all this is just a disguise that makes the criticism on PBOC less explicit?" I think this is definitely a possibility, that criticism of MOF, which is weaker than the criticism of PBOC, was included to disguise the main target of the piece, the PBOC. The other possibility is that the criticism was aimed toward the senior technocrats in the past eight years: Zhu Rongji and Wen Jiabao. The paragraph I translated in the previous post states that macro-policy direction is really determined by the "highest level." So, if coordination isn't so good, then perhaps it is the fault of the "highest level."

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Okay, below is the actual text of the essay from the NDRC website. It is called "an overall assessement of the views regarding the coordination of fiscal and monetary policy." In it, the PBOC is criticized for not pulling its weight in support of the drive to increase internal demand during the Zhu Administration. The PBOC is further criticized for meddling in areas it should not meddle in, like the bailing out of BOC and CCB. There is also a cryptic paragraph in the middle:

"财政和货币当局并不能左右财政和货币政策。概括起来讲,应该是政治决定经济发展方向,我国的表现也比较明显。2003年央行用450亿美元向建行和中国银行注资就是一例。其实,根据《中国人民银行法》是不允许政府(财政)向央行直接透资和借款的,财政和央行背后的系统行动都包含有一些并不为市场所完全明白的用意。维护金融稳定,判断经济是否过热以及是否需要收缩,只能由最高层进行决策,而绝非央行和财政能够决定得了的。央行和财政只能在技术层面上左右出拳,以此向公众发出一个明确的信号。"

Translation "the PBOC and MOF cannot change the course of monetary and fiscal policies. In brief, it should be that politics determines the direction of development, which is quite apparent in the case of China. The injection of 45 billion USD into the CCB and BOC is one such example. In fact, according to the "PBOC Law", the government (the treasury) is not allowed to directly borrow or take money from the central bank. The systematic action taken by the MOF and the PBOC include some intentions that are not altogether understood by the market. Only the highest level can protect financial stability and determine whether the economy is over-heated or needs contraction. These are not things that the MOF and the PBOC can decide. The MOF and the PBOC can only provide punches at the technical level, which sends clear signals to the public."

Okay, can we be a bit more cryptic please?? Perhaps my Chinese just sucks, but what does this mean? I am sure there is a critical element in this, but of whom? of Zhu? of Wen?? of Zhou Xiaochuan for sure. Who is behind this?

Cheers,

Victor




财政政策与货币政策协调配合的观点综述

(根据有关材料整理)



在市场经济条件下,如何摆正财政政策和货币政策在宏观调控中的地位,并协调配合使用两大政策,使之形成最佳合力,从而充分有效地发挥其对国民经济积极的调控作用,是值得深入探讨的一个重大课题。

一、财政政策与货币政策在宏观调控中的不同作用

1、财政和货币政策作用机制不同。财政政策更多地偏重于公平。财政政策是影响和制约社会总产品和国民收入分配的重要环节,它的主要责任是直接参与国民收入的分配并对集中起来的国民收入在全社会范围内进行再分配,调节各经济主体间的利益差别,保持适当合理的分配差距,以防止过度的收入悬殊,并从收入和支出两部分影响社会总需求的形成。货币政策则更多地偏重于效率。货币政策的实施是国家再分配货币资金的主要渠道,是在国民收入分配和财政再分配基础上的一种再分配,主要是通过信贷规模的伸缩来影响消费需求和投资需求,进而引导资源流向效益好的领域。

2、从两种政策调节的方式和途径看,财政政策可以由政府通过直接控制和调节来实现,如要控制总需求,可通过提高税率,增加财政收入,压缩财政支出,特别是基本建设支出等措施,可立见成效;而要刺激需求,则可通过减税,扩大国债发行规模,增加固定资产投资等手段较快实现政策目标。货币政策首先是中央银行运用各种调节手段,调节存款准备金和对商业银行贷款数量,以影响商业银行的行为。若抑制总需求则调高法定存款准备金比率及再贴现比率,若刺激总需求则降低比率,商业银行则立即做出反映,相应调整对企业和居民的贷款规模,影响社会需求,从而利于政策目标的实现。

3、两大政策调节的领域不同。财政政策主要通过参与社会产品和国民收入的分配来实现对国民经济的调节。货币政策主要从流通领域出发对国民经济进行调节。货币政策的核心内容是通过货币供应量的调节来对国民经济施以影响,其功能是向流通领域提供既能满足经济发展需要,又能保证物价稳定的流通手段和支付手段。

4、两大政策调节的对象不同。财政政策调节的对象是财政收支;货币政策调节的对象是货币供应量。

5、两大政策调节的侧重点不同。财政政策直接作用于社会经济结构,间接作用于供需总量平衡;而货币政策则直接作用于经济总量,间接作用于经济结构。从财政政策看,它对总供给的调节,首先表现为对经济结构的调节,财政政策对总需求的调节主要通过扩大或缩小支出规模,达到增加或抑制社会总需求的目的,但这种调节从根本上说也是以调节社会经济结构为前提的。货币政策则通过货币投放和再贷款等措施控制基础货币量,通过存款准备金率和再贴现率等手段控制货币乘数,实现对社会总需求的直接调节,达到稳定货币和稳定物价的目的。当然货币政策也可以根据国家产业政策,通过选择贷款方向,间接对结构发生调节作用。

6、两大政策的效应时滞不同。从政策制定上看,财政政策的时滞较货币政策长,因为在决定财政政策时,政府提出的有关税收变动和支出调整财政措施,往往要经过一个较长的批准过程。而货币政策制定则不需要那么长的批准过程。从政策的执行上看,货币政策的时滞要比财政政策长,因为货币政策无论是通过扩张货币供给量降低利率来刺激有效需求的增长,还是通过紧缩货币供给量提高利率来抑制有效需求增长,都需要一个较长的过程。而财政政策只要能使政府扩大或紧缩支出,便可以较快地对社会总供求产生影响。

7、两大政策调节的透明度不同。财政预算一收一支,收入多少,支出多少,一清二楚,因而,具有较高的透明度;而货币政策具有一定的隐蔽性,主要表现为:银行信用一存一贷,银行贷款源于存款,但贷款本身又可以创造派生存款,这样信贷投放的合理规模、货币发行的合理界限很难掌握。

8、两大政策的实施者不同。财政政策是由政府财政部门具体实施,而货币政策则由中央银行具体实施。尽管某些西方国家的中央银行在名义上归属财政部领导,但是其中绝大多数在实施货币政策方面由中央银行独立操作。

9、两大政策的作用过程不同。财政政策的直接对象是国民收入再分配过程,以改变国民收入再分配的数量和结构为初步目标,进而影响整个社会经济生活;货币政策的直接对象是货币运动过程,以调控货币供给的结构和数量为最初目标,进而影响整个社会经济生活。

10、两大政策工具不同。财政政策所使用的工具一般与政府产生税收和收支活动相关,主要是税收和政府支出、政府转移性支出和补贴;而短期内强有力的调节手段是增加或者削弱政府支出,通过平衡的、有盈余的或有赤字的财政政策来调节总需求。财政政策运用是否得当,不仅与财政收支在总量上是否平衡有关,而且也受财政收支结构是否合理的影响。货币政策使用的工具通常与中央银行的货币管理、业务活动相关,主要有存款准备金率、再贴现率或中央银行贷款利率、公开市场业务。

二、财政政策与货币政策协调配合的方式与内容

一种观点认为,货币政策与财政政策的协调从配合的形式上分析,主要包括以下四个方面的内容:

1、政策工具的协调配合。我国货币政策工具和财政政策工具的协调配合主要表现为财政投资项目中的银行配套贷款。货币政策与财政政策的协调配合还要求国债发行与中央银行公开市场的反向操作结合。

2、政策时效的协调配合。货币政策和财政政策的协调配合是两种长短不同的政策时效的搭配。货币政策则以微调为主,在启动经济增长方面明显滞后,但在抑制经济过热、控制通货膨胀方面具有长期成效。财政政策以政策操作力度为特征,有迅速启动投资、拉动经济增长的作用,但容易引起过度赤字、经济过热和通货膨胀,因而,在财政政策发挥的是经济增长引擎作用,只能作短期调整,不能长期大量使用。

3、政策功能的协调配合。货币政策与财政政策功能的协调配合还体现在:“适当的或积极的货币政策”,应以不违背商业银行的经营原则为前提,这样可以减少扩张性财政政策给商业银行带来的政策性贷款风险。财政政策的投资范围不应与货币政策的投资范围完全重合。基础性和公益性投资项目还是应该以财政政策投资为主,而竞争性投资项目只能是货币政策的投资范围,否则就会形成盲目投资,造成社会资源的极大浪费。

4、调控主体、层次、方式的协调配合。由于货币政策权力的高度集中,货币政策往往只包括两个层次,即宏观层面和中观层面。宏观层面是指货币政策通过对货币供应量、利率等因素的影响,直接调控社会总供求、就业、国民收入等宏观经济变量,中观层指信贷政策,根据国家产业政策发展需要,调整信贷资金存量和增量结构,促进产业结构的优化和国民经济的协调发展。而财政政策由于政府的多层次性及相对独立的经济利益,形成了多层次的调节体系,可以分为宏观、中观、微观三个层次。宏观层是国家通过预算、税率等影响宏观经济总量,影响社会总供求关系。中观层则主要是通过财政的投资性支出、转移性支出等,调整产业结构、区域经济结构,解决公平、协调发展等重大问题。微观层则是指通过财政补贴、转移性支付中形成个人收入部分对居民和企业的影响。

第二种观点认为,财政政策与货币政策的差异表明,只有将两者有效地结合起来,才能更好地发挥其对宏观经济的调控作用,常见的配合方式主要有以下几种:

1、双“紧”的财政政策与货币政策。此种结合方式的积极效应是可以强烈地抑制总需求,控制通货膨胀;其消极效应是容易造成经济萎缩。

2、双“松”的财政政策与货币政策。其积极效应是可以强烈地刺激投资,促进经济增长;消极效应是往往产生财政赤字、信用膨胀并诱发通货膨胀。

3、“松”“紧”搭配的财政政策与货币政策。“松”“紧”搭配的财政货币政策是在经济调控中最常用的调节方式。如何搭配二者的“松”“紧”则取决于客观经济状况。例如,当经济中出现货币发行过多但还未演变为通货膨胀时,为了经济的稳定发展,不应急于收紧银根,回笼货币,而应采取增加财政收入、紧缩财政支出的对策,即选择“松”货币政策与“紧”财政政策的搭配;而当通货膨胀成为经济发展中的主要矛盾时,就应采取紧缩银根、回笼货币的“紧”货币政策与扩大支出、减少收入的“松”财政政策,,以压缩需求,增加供给,使经济增长能保持一定的稳定性。又如,当经济发展中出现财政赤字但经济增长速度尚可观时,不应急于紧缩财政,而应减少货币供应、控制贷款,选择“松”财政与“紧”货币的搭配;而当经济发展中主要矛盾为财政赤字并伴随经济增长停滞时,财政应努力增加收入压缩支出,而银行则应放松银根、发行货币,即选择“紧”财政与“松”货币的搭配,借以启动经济、促进经济增长,同时防止通货膨胀的出现。

第三种观点认为,我国财政政策与货币政策采取了不同的配合方式,大体为三个阶段:

1、1979—1988年,总体上实行的是“双松”配合,期间表现为多次模式转换和由“双松”到“双紧”,又由“双紧”到“双松”的螺旋式循环。1979年、1980年为“双松”配合,财政政策上采取了一系列改革措施,使这两年财政支出连续大幅度增长,造成了高额财政赤字;货币政策上则是大幅度增加现金和贷款投放,使全国零售物价总指数大幅上涨。1981年为紧财政松货币的配合,财政方面,压缩了当年财政基建投资,财政赤字有所降低;银行方面,实行紧中有松的政策。1982年至1984年实行“双松”的配合,财政方面实行一系列的财税改革,使财政收入占国民收入的比重下降。银行方面实行了“拨改贷”和企业流动资金由银行信贷供应的体制,增发货币增发贷款。1985年又实行了“拨改贷”和企业流动资金由银行信贷供应的体制,增发货币增发贷款。1985年又实行“双紧”配合,财政方面采取措施增加收入控制支出,当年实现盈余;银行方面“紧缩银根”,严格控制贷款规模和货币投放。1986年至1988年又实行“双松”配合,财政方面扩大国债发行规模,财政收入占国民收入的比重再次下降;银行方面提出“稳中求松”、“紧中有活”,银行信贷和货币投放再度失控,到1988年通货膨胀率已达18.5%。

2、1989—1997年,总体上是“双紧”的配合,期间同样表现为“双紧”与“双松”的螺旋式循环。1989年实行的是“双紧”配合,针对1988年出现的经济过热和严重的通货膨胀状况,1989年中央提出了“治理整顿”的方针,减少固定资产投资和现金投放。1990年至1993年实行的是“双紧”基调下的“双松”配合,增加了货币供给,并三次下调存贷款利率。财政方面通过增加基础设施和支农支出,调整经济结构,但由于财政支出的增长速度超过财政收入的增长速度,致使财政赤字大幅度增加,通货膨胀率达21.7%。1994—1997年,实行的是“双紧”配合,财政方面结合分税制改革,强化了增值税、消费税的调控作用,并通过发行国债,引导社会资金流向。货币政策方面,严格控制信贷规模,大幅提高存贷款利率,要求银行定期收回乱拆借的资金,使宏观经济在快车道上稳刹车,并最终顺利实现了软着陆。

3、1998—1999年实行的是“双松”的配合。针对有效需求不足、通货紧缩等问题,政府实施了以扩大内需确保经济增长目标实现为目的的“双松”政策。在货币政策方面采取了取消贷款限额控制,降低法定存款准备率,连续五次下调存贷款利率,扩大对中小企业贷款利率的浮动幅度等一系列措施;在财政政策方面,加快“费改税”进度,对某些产品提高出口退税率并加快出口退税进度,加大政府投资力度。1998年向国有商业银行发行长期国债,增加配套贷款,定向用于公共设施和基础产业建设。1999年进一步加大财政政策的调控力度,大幅度提高职工的工资,开征储蓄存款利息所得税。

三、我国财政货币政策协调配合中存在的问题

第一种观点认为,近年来,我国金融政策和财政政策的配合上存在以下问题:

1、财政改革和金融改革的进度不够协调。改革开放以来,我国财政体制和财政制度发生了许多重大变化,而金融改革相对滞后,在国家宏观调控中出现了一些财政政策和金融政策不协调的现象。如银行商业性质的确定,意味着银行经营要以盈利为目的,但由于国有企业效益长期下滑,亏损不断加重,不少企业长期无力归还贷款,形成了坏账、呆账,更使银行对企业放贷越来越持严格谨慎的态度,自90年代就逐渐开始不再向经营不善、效益不好、无力还贷的企业贷款。

2、财政部门和金融部门配合的步调不够一致。1996年以来,中国人民银行连续8次降低存、贷款利率。而在这期间,国家财政部发行国债与银行下调利率的步调不一致。1998年2月财政部发行国债,当这笔国债还没有认购完毕时,中国人民银行于3月25日宣布下调金融机构存、贷款利率,银行存贷款利率明显低于国债发行利率,给财政部造成很大压力。财政部不得不作出临时决定,暂停这次国债的发行工作,把国债的利率降低到与银行存款利率大致相同的程度继续发行。财政与金融配合的步调不一致,使国家财政背上了沉重的包袱,国债的成本大幅度增加,国债变成了代价高昂的收入。如1997年国债发行规模为2500亿元,发债成本就在450亿元左右。

3、在促进经济持续发展中的政策不配合。1998年以来,我国经济出现了严重的需求不足、通货紧缩、经济增长乏力的现象。为了刺激国内需求,拉动经济增长,党中央和国务院审时度势,决定实行扩大内需的政策,实施一系列积极的财政政策。如向国有商业银行增发1000亿元国债,向国有独资银行发行2700亿元特别国债等政策,但金融部门却很少有重大的政策出台,基本上实行的是通货紧缩政策,造成了国家财政的压力不断加重,不仅影响了扩大内需的效果和潜力,更重要的是加重了国家财政的风险。

第二种观点认为,财政与货币政策的配合在抑制通货膨胀和反经济周期方面发挥了积极作用,但二者在更高水平和更深层次上的配合还存在一些问题,主要表现在:一是财政与货币政策的调控分工不明,责任不清。通常情况,货币政策更适合于总量调节,财政政策更适合于结构调节,但在两种政策的实际配合中,无论是财政政策还是货币政策都没有发挥调节结构的作用,正是由于财政货币政策的这一“空档”,导致我国的产业结构调整缓慢,产业结构、产品结构至今仍是困扰我国经济发展的突出问题。二是财政政策和货币政策的制定缺乏充分协调。在政策制定过程中,财政、银行之间缺乏充分的协商研究和紧密联系,使得两大政策在宏观调控中难以形成合力。三是在经济运行和体制改革的某些重大问题上,两大政策配合不够。如在公债发行、利率调整、国企改革、住房商品化等方面,均存在配合不当的问题。

第三种观点认为,我国的两大政策存在着不协调,最直接、最关键的是两大政策错位:1、两大政策的功能定位不准。过去我国对两大政策的功能并未严格区分和界定,致使不明确各自功能,调控的对象、重点与方式,调控中应发挥什么样的作用和怎样发挥作用,导致了宏观经济运行秩序紊乱,宏观调控失效。2、两大政策相互“越位”。主要表现是:一是银行贷款充任财政拨款和财政补贴;二用银行贷款维系亏损与日俱增的国有企业;三用银行贷款支撑着巨额“自筹投资”;四用银行贷款支付改革成本和缴纳税收;五是财政信贷严重扭曲。3、两大政策的调控功能“不到位”。近年来社会资金总量、结构与大量扭曲和畸形发展严重,其主要表现是资金总量持续快速增长;资金规模急剧扩大与资金结构严重失调、资金供需失调与资金“盲流”严重并存。

四、财政政策与货币政策不协调的原因分析

第一种观点认为,财政、货币政策不协调的原因表现在:(1)联结两大宏观经济政策的重要工具——国债在运行中还存在一些突出矛盾和问题:国债市场分割成银行间债券市场、交易所债券市场和商业银行柜台市场;国债发行体制在国债利率市场化、国债品种多样化和国债期限分布平绥化等方面存在一些问题。这些矛盾和问题,一方面,使央行利用公开市场业务进行货币政策微调难以达到预期的效果,很难兼顾各方利益;另一方面,也使国债管理部门难以根据市场状况,灵活、有效地实施国债发行和债务管理操作。(2)财政投融资体制尚不完善,财政、金融部门职能界定不清。(3)财政、货币政策协调的机构安排有待改进。宏观经济政策政出多门,而各部门习惯于从自身利益出发制订和实施政策,容易形成政策效应的相互抵消。

第二种观点认为,财政货币政策搭配中存在问题的原因分析

1、财政货币政策缺乏协调的历史基础。计划经济体制下,我国的财政金融体制是“大财政、小银行”。财政在国民经济综合平衡中起着关键作用,银行信贷则只是对于财政起补充和配合作用。80年代中期以后,财政体制改革和中央银行的独立,使财政和货币的地位发生了根本性变化。由于财政财力不足,金融在国民经济中的作用和地位则不断膨胀、迅速上升,成了国家宏观经济调控中作用突出的擎天大树,反通货膨胀的主角,“吃饭财政”则过于依赖银行信用行使其职能。

2、财政和货币当局并不能左右财政和货币政策。概括起来讲,应该是政治决定经济发展方向,我国的表现也比较明显。2003年央行用450亿美元向建行和中国银行注资就是一例。其实,根据《中国人民银行法》是不允许政府(财政)向央行直接透资和借款的,财政和央行背后的系统行动都包含有一些并不为市场所完全明白的用意。维护金融稳定,判断经济是否过热以及是否需要收缩,只能由最高层进行决策,而绝非央行和财政能够决定得了的。央行和财政只能在技术层面上左右出拳,以此向公众发出一个明确的信号。

3、双方缺乏必要的沟通。财政与货币当局对当前经济运行情况的认识不一,导致了各自政策取向和政策选择的不同。而且,由于“本位主义”考虑,依据自己调控机制制定出来的政策,很少考虑政策之间的相互影响。缺乏常设的沟通机构,两大部门不到万不得已,很少坐到一起协商研究,相互交流。这种不自觉配合的方式,很难把握政策的松紧程度和调控力度,有时过大,甚至相反,达不到预期效果。

4、政策决策滞后。与货币政策相比,财政政策存在明显的认识时滞和决策时滞,而且财政时滞在两年以上。财政政策缺乏货币政策对形势嗅觉的灵敏性和政策决策的灵活性,财政政策出台需要立法机构批准是一方面原因,财政部门对时事的分辨力和决策的果断性也有待于提高。

第三种观点认为,金融政策和财政政策不能有机配合的主要原因:

首先,两大政策制定过程中考虑总体效益不够。金融政策与财政政策的制定基本上都是由各部门分别根据自己对当前经济运行情况的认识程度,依据自己的调控机制制定出来的,而很少考虑政策之间的相互影响。由于各部门制定政策只考虑微观,忽视了宏观;只重视部门调控效果,忽视了国家整体调控的效果,从而造成政策制定之间的不协调。

其次,国家在宏观调控过程中还没有完全丢掉原来的行政手段。在计划经济体制下,宏观调控无论是财政政策还是金融政策都主要是调控经济总量,而很少考虑优化经济结构问题。对经济总量的调控主要依靠的是“两把刀”,一把刀砍财政支出规模,压缩贷款投资。在市场经济条件下,仍然依靠这“两把刀”的行政力量,简单地压缩贷款规模或压缩支出规模已不行了,必须坚持财政政策与金融政策在宏观调控中的密切配合,既要有对经济总量的调控,又要有对经济结构的调控;调控方式也必须从以行政调控方式为主转变为以间接的经济调控手段为主。

再次,宏观调控具有明显的依赖金融调控而忽视财政调控、或依靠财政调控而忽视金融调控的特点。从近几年来的实践看,我国宏观调控一度主要依赖于金融政策宏观调控而忽视财政政策宏观调控,在社会财力的支配上银行远大于财政;从扩大内需以来,主要依靠财政政策调控而忽视了金融政策的调控,扩大内需的财力主要由财政发行国债提供。这种单靠一种政策或偏重某种政策调控的做法,也容易影响财政政策和金融政策的有机配合。

五、加强财政政策与货币政策协调配合的对策

思路一:为了防范成本推动型通货膨胀,消除经济发展的不确定性,当前应加强宏观调控政策的预案研究,发挥货币政策的主导调控作用,财政政策予以适当配合。

一是建议选择合适的时机适度浮动汇率,如将汇率的浮动控制在2%上下范围内,以免引起大的波动,同时也在一定的程度上释放人民币升值压力。

二是建议适时提高利率,改变负利率的局面。随着美元利率的进一步上调,应考虑提高利率水平,抑制总需求的扩张。对于提高利率水平可能引起的国际游资的进一步流入,可通过加强结售汇管理,加大对资本流入的监管力度来进行监控和调节。

三是慎用财政化的货币政策,控制基础货币投入。财政化的货币政策实际上就是通过投放货币来解决财政应出资的问题,包括用再贷款的方法对濒临倒闭的机构(如信托投资公司、证券公司、农信社等)提供救助资金和对金融资产管理公司的长期贷款。去年以来,国家动用外汇储备600亿美元补充3家国有银行的资本金,实际上应属于国家财政的职能。按现代企业资本保全的原则,这部分注资不能随意抽回,而且一旦银行股份制改造完成,注资外汇是否结汇将成为董事会或管理层决策的问题,一旦结汇就意味着流通中再次增加货币投放,导致通胀压力进一步加大。因此,央行的货币政策运用应避免形成财政性救助支出和争取监管权力的砝码,避免因功能错位而形成财政分配的另一种渠道。

四是实行中性偏紧的财政政策,发挥财政的宏观调控职能。在当前财政收入形势较好的情况下,按照有保有压的原则,建议在全国人大批准的预算草案内,着重调整财政支出结构,着力清理财政的历史欠账。同时,建议加大压缩财政赤字的力度,通过控制建设性国债的发行和项目资金支出的节奏,可考虑减少建设性国债的发行额度,以降低固定资产投资规模,缓解投资品价格上涨压力。

五是积极推进税制改革,优化政策环境。一要结合出口退税机制的改革,全面清理促进出口的优惠税收政策,不合适的应抓紧取消,并尽快制定出台能源资源税、对部分产品征收出口关税等政策。二要研究税收政策,抑制房地产投机行为,抑制房价的进一步攀升。

六是改革国债管理制度,由国债发行额管理转变为实行国债余额管理制度,增加短期国债的发行,丰富央行公开市场操作的工具,并推动债券市场的规范发展;加强国库现金管理,提高财政存款的使用效率,促进财政预算、赤字管理的科学性,配合央行通过公开市场操作进行流动性管理。(14)

思路二:财政政策与货币政策协调配合的思路与对策

1、建立和完善规划、财政、银行的配合机制,优化国家宏观调控体系。要健全和完善国家规划和财政政策、货币政策相互配合的宏观调控体系,要通过国民经济和社会发展中长期规划对财政政策和货币政策进行统筹安排和政策协调。包括两大政策目标的协调、财政赤字和金融不良资产的定期跟踪测算、财政金融稳定性的预安排、财政金融政策和操作工具进行互动效率评估和化解金融不良债务安排等。财政政策要在促进经济增长、优化经济结构和调节收入分配方面发挥重要功能。货币政策要在保持币值稳定和经济总量平衡方面发挥作用,健全货币政策传导机制。要完善统计体制,健全经济运行监测体系,加强各宏观经济调控部门的功能互补和信息共享,提高宏观调控水平。

2、完善产业政策、收入分配政策与财政政策和货币政策的协调配合机制,发挥综合效应。我国产业政策要通过鼓励、限制或禁止某些产业、产品和技术发展,合理配置利用资源,优化经济结构。目前部分信贷资金流向低水平重复建设领域,与产业政策导向出现了偏离,要求产业政策和信贷政策要适时、适度进行调整,形成动态协调配合机制,更好地发挥综合调控作用。为解决投资需求和消费需求增长不平衡现象,要重视通过调整收入分配政策刺激消费需求增长。要加快进行政府行政管理体制改革,从根本上抑制由地方政府推动的某些行业和地区出现的投资热。

3、适度调整财政政策和货币政策工具的运用。财政政策要以国债手段为主转向以税收和财政贴息手段为主刺激总需求;货币政策要更多地运用利率、公开市场操作、再贴现率、存款准备金率等间接手段调节总需求。财政政策依然要在公开投资领域发挥作用,创造社会公平、实现经济社会可持续发展。要建立健全与市场经济新体制相配套的分税分级财政框架。建立规范的公共收入制度,调整优化支出结构,推进部门预算、收支两条线、国库集中收付、政府采购制度等改革。货币政策工具的使用方面,要通过改革完善国债发行交易制度,统一国内债券市场,活跃短期债券市场,使央行公开市场操作能有的放矢,成为货币供应量调控的有效工具。

4、推进财政投融资体制的改革和国债运作管理是未来财政政策与货币政策协调的两大基点。在投融资体制改革中,要明确财政投融资与商业银行投融资的界限,既提高财政投融资的投资效益,又保障货币政策免受政策性金融业务的冲击。要规范、强化、整合债券市场,切断隐性的地方财政赤字融资渠道,切断企业和银行用信贷资金盲目投资的渠道,把有效的投资纳入到“开前门、堵后门”的正常轨道上来。国债运作上可考虑实行“国债余额管理”制度,全国人大每年给财政部批准一个国债余额指标,这个指标是上一年国债余额加上本年度财政预算赤字之和。只要国债发行不突破余额,由财政部视市场情况灵活掌握发行规模和期限品种。

思路三:为了实现财政与金融制度的协调,首先需要关注的就是利率市场化的问题。从利率基准的确定来看,利率市场化改革目标即建立由市场供求决定金融机构存、贷款利率水平的利率形成机制,中央银行通过运用货币政策工具调控和引导市场利率,使市场机制在金融资源配置中发挥主导作用。就财政的角度来看,在银行间债券市场和交易所债券市场尚处割裂状态之时,中国国债市场还无法形成基准利率体系,其他小规模债券品种也无成为基准的可能。然而,就基准利率形成中的工具发行进行合作,自然有利于降低财政与金融在利率市场化进程中的协调成本。

其次,金融市场的完善是财政与金融进行制度协调的另一重点,货币市场、债券市场等在内的整体金融市场的完善,可以为财政和金融政策的配合提供一个更加有利的外部环境。为此,除了市场的统一和完善、有效机制的建设等问题,需要注意的还有两点。一是金融市场的主体建设,即通过促进金融主体内部治理结构的优化,来使得财政和金融政策能够在现实经济和货币经济两个层面进行协调,因为财政与金融政策的配合效果,往往就是从这些金融主体的行为所体现出来的。二是对金融创新的财政支持。在一国的金融深化过程中,财政与金融政策的配合是全方位的。就金融创新来看,无论是金融产品的开发还是交易过程的创新,通常都需要有相应的财政支持才能实现。例如,住房抵押贷款证券化可以说是金融政策的一个重要创新点,这当然需要财政的税收中性理念的支持。
信息来源:经济体制综合改革司子站

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But a cursory reading of the text shows that it contains criticism of the Finance Ministry as well, e.g., "与货币政策相比,财政政策存在明显的认识时滞和决策时滞,而且财政时滞在两年以上。财政政策缺乏货币政策对形势嗅觉的灵敏性和政策决策的灵活性,财政政策出台需要立法机构批准是一方面原因,财政部门对时事的分辨力和决策的果断性也有待于提高。" "正是由于财政货币政策的这一“空档”,导致我国的产业结构调整缓慢,产业结构、产品结构至今仍是困扰我国经济发展的突出问题。" And a lot of the arguments in the text is about the lack of coordination between the two ministries, rather than simply that the central bank has lagged behind the finance ministry. And there are arguments about enhancing the role of the central bank rather than limiting it, e.g., "为了防范成本推动型通货膨胀,消除经济发展的不确定性,当前应加强宏观调控政策的预案研究,发挥货币政策的主导调控作用,财政政策予以适当配合". So it appears to me that the article is a stock of different (and sometimes conflicting) opinions and perspectives. Or maybe all this is just a disguise that makes the criticism on PBOC less explicit?
 
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Wow, the Planning Commission, or the National Development and Reform Commission, recently criticized the PBOC for empire building through Huijin on its website. This is one of the few rare instances when bureaucratic rivalries boiled into the open. Also, I am surprised that it is the NDRC and not the MOF that has criticized the PBOC. The MOF, as the traditional "owner" of major financial institutions, was the big loser with the foreign exchange recapitalization of the major state banks. Mm, I wonder who is behind these NDRC statements?? Ma Kai? or his superior Zeng Peiyan, who is opposed to Wen's bailout scheme......mmmmm

SCMP
Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Economic planner criticises PBOC's reforms


AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE in Beijing


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Beijing's key economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, yesterday lashed out at the central bank's reform policies in an unusual display of bureaucratic infighting.

The commission, arguably the most important body with responsibility for the economy within the government structure, sharply criticised the People's Bank of China for overstepping its mandate on two large banking and securities reform programmes.

"The monetary operations of the central bank should avoid fiscal bailouts and stop grabbing more power from the Ministry of Finance to form another fiscal distribution channel because it is distorting," the commission said on its website.

The central bank has spent US$60 billion in foreign exchange since the end of 2003, shoring up the capital bases of three of the four state-owned commercial banks.

Ratings agencies such as Standard and Poor's have said such moves raise corporate governance issues.

The central bank has also recently started rescuing the embattled brokerage industry through soft loans.

Although Beijing is rife with factional infighting, disagreements are rarely aired and then only through the published opinions of research bodies under the various ministries.

The commission also said interest rates should be raised from current levels and that the government should counteract any corresponding increase in capital controls with tougher oversight and through the buying and selling of foreign exchange.

The central bank raised benchmark deposit and lending rates by 27 basis points each at the end of October last year and has signalled that it will not raise interest rates in the near future.

Separately, the commission said Beijing needed to avoid a rise in the yuan of more than 2 per cent, arguing that any greater appreciation would make the exchange rate too volatile.

"If we control the yuan flotation exchange rate to within 2 per cent both up and down, it will avoid big volatility and, in the meantime, relieve pressure on the yuan to appreciate," it said.

The yuan was revalued by 2.1 per cent at the end of last month. Since then the currency has been allowed to float 0.15 per cent higher under a new exchange rate regime which uses a basket of currencies as a reference to set the yuan's value.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Hong Kong's Singtao Daily reports that former board of director of China Construction Bank Wang Xuebing was released for "medical reason" from his 12-year sentence for bribery. This comes after Wang served only 4 of his 12 year sentence. In truth, he was more a victim of factional struggle between Zhu and Li Peng than a true criminal. Sure, he took a few hundred thousand to ensure that his kids went to the right schools, but that really wasn't that much in the grand scheme of things. Bankers in a similar position easily made much more than that. Perhaps this is a recognition (by Wen? by Zhu himself?) that he was a victim of politics.

【8月14日报导】(台北十四日电)香港星岛日报报导,因受贿罪被判处有期徒刑十二年的前中国银行董事长兼行长、前中国建设银行行长王雪冰,最近获准保外就医,已返家休养治病。

报导说,王雪冰患有糖尿病,最近要求保外就医的申请获得中国当局批准,目前已离开监狱,在北京家中静养,但不能自由活动,行动受到公安监控。

王雪冰于二零零三年被判刑,在狱时间不足两年。但如果包括判刑前的羁押期,被关押时间已近四年。

报导说,中国大陆以保外就医为一种监外执行的方式。被判处有期徒刑的罪犯,如患有重病,不适宜在监狱服刑,可采取保外就医方式变更执行。

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A student of mine wrote to me that he thought his parents should invest in the yuan given the impending revaluation and what I said on my blog! Please! no, don't throw mom and dad's money away based on what I may or may not say in this blog. Okay if you want to know the right way to do it, here is my two cents, but I am not responsible for any losses!!

On the yuan, I looked into it myself. There are two ways. First, you can take US dollar and try to open up a bank account in Hong Kong, which is what I had planned to do. But to do that, you will need a HK ID card and proof of HK residency, and I found that it isn't really worthwhile anyway. The HK accounts pay really low interest rates (try 0.7%) in anticipation of the revaluation and frankly, the Chinese currency isn't going to appreciate by more than 5% in any given year any way. Therefore, you are better off investing in some kind of money market fund or CD in the US, since interest rates are rising here. The other thing that your parents can do, which is more advisable, is to invest in an index fund for the Asian markets. The Asian markets in general did quite well last year, and it should continue to do well as expectation of yuan revaluation pulls up the regional markets.

Another reason to expect rising markets in Asia in the coming year is that the Chinese central bank (PBOC) revealed recently that the main currencies in the basket are USD, EURO, JPY, and KWON, two of which are Asian currencies. We don't know how much yen or won the PBOC holds, but given that the forex reserve was mostly based in dollars, there is reason to think that they will need to bulk up in the other two currencies. The main point is that if many market players think the same as I do, and it seems to be the case, they will stock up in Asian stock, which will fulfill the expectation of rising Asian markets.

Some caveats 1. I wish I had the money to test my theory, but I don't, so I have no stakes
2. the PBOC is unpredictable and might actually sell their stock of won and yen to defend the dollar. Afterall, the capital of two of their largest banks, BOC and CCB, is based in dollar. There is a hedge arrangegment between BOC, CCB and Huijin, but things will get very messy if the USD really tanks against the other currencies.

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did not you have any comments on the news release by Chinese government regarding Chen Liangyu's arrest? It must be interesting...
 
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