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The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of The World

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IMF raises $320 billion in an effort to boost rescue firepower

April 19, 2012 Leave a comment

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief

via IMF raises $320 billion in an effort to boost rescue firepower.

Timothy Geithner, U.S. treasury secretary, arrives for the start of a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversite Council in Washington April 3, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON | Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:40am EDT

(Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday it had raised $320 billion so far in a bid to boost its firepower to deal with the euro zone debt crisis, with Poland and Switzerland joining the effort.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she had received commitments of $34 billion on Wednesday, including $8 billion from Poland and “a substantial amount” from Switzerland.

“Ensuring that the Fund has sufficient resources to tackle crises and to promote global economic stability is in the interests of all our members,” she said in a statement.

Lagarde is hoping to secure at least $400 billion in commitments from finance officials from around the globe, who meet this week in Washington under the auspices of the Group of 20 nations and the IMF and World Bank.

The issue has taken on new urgency given increased borrowing costs in Spain and Italy that have reignited fears the euro zone crisis could flare again, and that the fallout could imperil the global economic recovery.

The United States has declined to provide fresh funds, saying it had done its part by ensuring dollar liquidity for banks in Europe, but it threw its weight behind the fundraising effort on Wednesday.

“We’re actually very supportive of that process and we’ll be very supportive of it this week,” U.S. Treasury Timothy Geithner said, avoiding past rhetoric about Europe needing to do more first to erect its own financial firewall.

Europe had already said it would provide about $200 billion to the IMF and Japan pledged $60 billion on Tuesday, becoming the first non-European nation to make a commitment.

Sweden said it would commit $10 billion and increase the amount to $14.7 billion later, while Denmark said it would give $7 billion. Norway pledged about $9.3 billion.

The effort to expand the IMF’s coffers is expected to dominate a meeting of G20 finance officials over dinner on Thursday and during the day on Friday. It will also be front and center at the IMF’s semi-annual session on Saturday.

Speaking at the Brookings Institution, Geithner said the commitments that had already flowed in should make it apparent to financial markets that the fund can bulk up quickly when necessary, a prospect that could ease crisis-related jitters.

He said it was a positive that the IMF could raise money quickly to “cushion if necessary the effects of European trauma” on the economies of other nations.

HOPING FOR A DEAL

While Europe has won some praise for actions it has taken to build up its own defenses to keep its debt troubles contained, the IMF warned this week that the crisis was still the single greatest threat to the world economy.

“Solving the issues in Europe is not about a firewall, it’s about decisions that will be taken in Europe over a sustained period of time; and it’s European actions that will be decisive here as opposed to outside money,” Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney told a news conference.

Carney, who also heads the global Financial Stability Board, said the G20 had yet to reach a consensus on how to proceed.

Like the United States, Canada has ruled out putting more money into the IMF. “Really, the Europeans need to step up to the plate much more than they have,” Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters in Toronto.

But Canada seemed increasingly isolated.

In Mexico, Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade sounded an optimistic note about a deal for more IMF money. He said commitments made by Japan, Sweden and Denmark were a sign of good progress – a potentially significant comment because Mexico, as this year’s G20 chair, has a chance to shape not only the agenda but the outcome of this week’s talks.

“It creates a good environment for the meeting,” Meade said of money pledges.

Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, predicted in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that a deal would be reached this week.

A number of emerging market economies, including China, Russia and Brazil have been cautious about providing more money to the IMF. They want commitments the new resources will be accompanied by more voting power at the global lender.

In a report on global financial stability, the IMF offered advice for Europe: set a course for fiscal union to match the existing monetary union so that unified policy can be passed that works equally for members and makes it harder for financial markets to single out the weakest for attack.

“European authorities need to provide investors with a clear vision of where monetary union is going, because the answer to this is more and better Europe, not less Europe,” IMF financial counselor Jose Vinals said as he issued the report.

The IMF urged central supervision of European banks. It also suggested that the European Union should consider injecting public capital into banks – a tactic the United States employed in 2008 when its banking system was at risk of collapse.

(Additional reporting by Stella Dawson and Rachelle Younglai in Washington, Krista Hughes in Puerto Vallarta and Louise Egan in Ottawa; Editing by Dan Grebler and Peter Cooney)

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人民币汇率形成市场化机制渐成气候

April 19, 2012 Leave a comment

勋观察

via 人民币汇率形成市场化机制渐成气候.

国家外汇管理局日前公布 《2011年中国国际收支报告》。报告称,2011年人民币汇率双向波动增强人民币汇率单边升值预期被打破。预计2012年人民币汇率走势将形成有升有贬、双向波动的局面。
是的,当前,人民币汇率已趋于均衡水平,需要进一步加大人民币汇率波动幅度以体现人民汇率更加弹性化。央行行长周小川在央行主管的最新一期《中国金融》杂志上撰文再次重申,增强人民币汇率双向浮动弹性,要完善人民币汇率形成机制,稳妥有序推进人民币资本项目可兑换。
从近期的人民币汇率走势来看,双向波动的幅度更加明显,在隔夜美元指数显著走软、欧元等主要非美货币对美元汇价均出现较大幅度上涨的背景下,19日人民币对美元汇率再度出现超过100个基点的走强。毫无疑问,近期的市场交易情况使得人民币汇率的宽幅波动得到了印证,而从未来较长时期来看,在人民币已接近均衡汇率的背景下,人民币汇率市场化形成机制也将形成气候。
不过,就今年而言,从整体形势来看,经历了7年的汇率改革历程之后,今年将出现贬值的趋势较大,这里面一个是扩大汇率双向波动的需要,另一个是当前中国经济结构转型时期的一个缓和措施,因为汇率波动过激,会给当前进出口贸易带来巨大的不确定风险,从而使目前的经济发展形成一个不利局面。因此,短期而言,贬值趋势与当前的经济稳定有较明显关联。
从推动人民币汇率改革的历史进程来看,为抑制国内的通货膨胀和进一步扩大出口,人民币汇率由原来的高估一下子贬值到8.6的水平,在这个汇率制度的引导下,我国迎来了以出口为导向的经济高速发展时期,但同时也积累了人民币升值的压力。直到2005年7月21日,中国人民银行正式宣布开始实行以市场供求为基础、参考一揽子货币进行调节、有管理的浮动汇率制度,人民币汇改正式启动。 2008年下半年至2010年6月受到金融危机的影响,人民币停止了升值走势。2010年6月19日,中国宣布将重新继续汇率改革,提高人民币汇率弹性,二次汇改启动。截至目前,人民币自汇改以来最大升值幅度已达到32%。
值得注意的是,一直以来,针对人民币汇率改革,决策部门一直采取了严格管控下的小步升值,这主要是怕短期快速升值会一方面提高出口企业的成本,影响出口;另一方面吸引大量国际投机资金流入,造成股市和楼市的巨大泡沫,损害实体经济。当然,小步升值也是有代价的,这些年来,在升值的预期之下,国际资本通过各种方式流入国内,造成国内货币供给过剩、通货膨胀和外储规模过大的一系列问题。此外,渐渐升值的战略也让国际社会对人民币汇率低估不断非议,并且将汇率问题国内政治化。
当然,随着中国进出口贸易规模的扩张以及今年以来进一步均衡贸易结构战略的出台,外汇占款迅速减少,从而使得人民币汇率的单边升值问题得到了缓解。推动人民币汇率形成机制的市场化战略意图在中央高层得到了明显强化,国务院总理温家宝3月5日在政府工作报告中指出,将完善人民币汇率形成机制,增强人民币汇率双向浮动弹性,保持人民币汇率在合理均衡水准上的基本稳定。
从市场的走势来看,3月份以来人民币对美元汇率的波动幅度明显加大。数据显示,2月份,人民币汇率中间价的每日波动均不超过100个基点,而进入到3月份波动明显加大,据统计,截至3月19日,在3月以来短短13个交易日中,人民币汇率中间价有多达4个交易日的单日波幅超过100个基点,分别为:3月9日走强162个基点、3月12日走软209个基点、3月16日走强159个基点和3月19日走强118个基点。从相较前一交易日的波幅来看,单日波幅最大的3月12日,波动幅度高达0.33%,已十分接近当前单日0.5%的涨跌幅上限。
与此同时,受到人民币汇率中间价大幅跳涨跳跌的影响,近期境内人民币即期汇率与境外人民币远期汇率也出现较为强烈的波动。3月14日,银行间外汇市场美元对人民币即期汇价最高升至6.3471,较2月29日6.2936的收盘点位偏离幅度高达535个基点或0.85%。而在海外无本金交割远期外汇(NDF)市场上,美元对人民币一年期远期汇价也由2月份6.28一线水平升至近几个交易日的6.32一线。
目前,不论是政府官员、学者专家还是市场都在告诉我们,人民币汇率已接近均衡水平,单边升值的预期已难以实现。其实,内在的逻辑也不难理解。近些年来,随着人民币的升值,我国货币被动地增发,流动性过剩既增加了通胀压力,又助长了股市、楼市泡沫;此外,人民币升值也使我国的出口企业生存环境日益恶化,国际竞争力不断下降,而在经济转型的过程中,出口不畅会使经济增长雪上加霜。虽然今年政府将经济增长目标下调到7.5%,但 “稳增长”仍然居首,毕竟没有经济增长就谈不上调结构,在当前内调经济结构、外部经济放缓、通胀泡沫犹存的背景下,适当贬值对中国是有利的。
有鉴于此,近期以来人民币汇率中间价出现较为剧烈的波动,一方面可以理解为向市场释放信号,另一方面也是进一步体现弹性化,最终形成人民币汇率的市场化机制。

2012年4月9日,刊于中国经济时报

泰隆银行的成功经验

April 19, 2012 Leave a comment

FT中文网专栏_《市场的边界》

via 泰隆银行的成功经验.

招商银行与泰隆银行是中国金融本土化的两面旗帜。招商行反映了中国大型企业的独立的本土化过程,而泰隆行则反映了中国中小金融机构服务于小微企业的成功尝试。

笔者以往曾经写过招商银行,此文专注于泰隆银行。

目前正在进行的金融改革以服务实体经济、服务小微企业为核心,我们对身边的成功经验绝不能视而不见。

泰隆行从1993年成立开始就以服务小微企业为宗旨,在将近二十年的时间里顶住了各种诱惑,目前10万户贷款客户,户均贷款额在50万左右。小微企业户数占比高达99.8%,而小微企业贷款余额高达86.5%。

这是一种可贵的坚持。

能够坚持到现在,泰隆行有自己的独特之处。金融的要害在于风险定价,中国金融业最大的风险在于风险失控,定价不准确。中国的风险信用控制必须本土化,建立在中国的人情社会中,才能理解中国的信用文化扎根于何处。到去年底,泰隆行的贷款不良率仅0.52%,在市场环境恶化时,泰隆行的不良率未超过1%。这是奇迹,更神奇的是,泰隆行的非质押贷款占比高达95%,仅有5%的质押贷款,如此神奇的数据说明,不是中国民间社会信用不彰,而是大多数金融机构没有找到激发民间守信的途径。

泰隆行的信用贷款扎根于本土文化之中。仅举一例,就可以看出泰隆行对中国文化了解之深。

比如道义担保贷款,父母为子女担保,子女为父母担保。中国父母对子女之尽责举世罕有,不到万不得已绝不会将自己的负债传递给子女;而对子女来说,一旦将负债交给父母,在当地的生存环境中就会背上“不孝”的罪名,不到万不得已,子女同样不会把负债传递给父母。理解中国人的人情与责任感,可以将不良贷款率降到最低,而这都是高举高打的国际视野未必能顾及之处。小微公司贷款面临的是信息不对称难题,立足于当地人情社会,最大限度地增加信息量,是降低贷款风险的必然之举。

另一个立足于本土的信用保障体制,是遵循“到户调查”和“眼见为实”的原则,客户经理与客户进行面对面沟通,背靠背了解。企业报表只是参考,小微企业也做不出什么像样的报表,报表过于漂亮往往让人生疑。此时,通过看“三品”——企业主的人品、企业经营的产品和企业及企业主所拥有的物品,查“三表”——水表、电表和海关报表,多维度动态获取、全方位掌握客户的信息,做到了解客户,知根知底。经过日积月累,信息的规模效应得以体现。再结合该行自主开发的现金流测评法,对企业主的信用状况进行综合评价,实现了低成本获取信息和准确评估客户信用,以免企业主跑路,富了和尚穷了寺庙的情况发生。

本土化的信用社会需要本土化的人才,泰隆行会让当地的客户经理及时了解当地客户的信用状况,风险初露苗头就予“扼杀”。人品此时格外重要,如果银行客户经理人品有问题,银行有严厉的处罚。泰隆银行不允许客户经理接受客户的请客、送礼、娱乐等,一旦发现就会解除劳动合同,如果一定不能拒绝,那没问题,客户请客,我们银行买单。这是泰隆铁的纪律。

其他的风险控制包括,抵御住规模扩张的诱惑,在一个个区域稳扎稳打。从2007年开始,泰隆行跨区域发展,到目前为止,泰隆行在省行只有两家分行,而在省内有杭州、宁波、金华、丽水、衢州五家分行。鉴于小微企业的风险控制成本高而利润较薄,大规模扩张必然引发风险上升,低速规模扩张是从事小微企业贷款的金融机构必须付出的代价。

在银行内部,则将不良贷款分成主观与客观原因,客观原因不予追究,主观原因则依据规则、流程“明正典型”,员工既不敢也不愿做出有损于个人信誉之事。

解决中小企业融资难,经验就在眼前,立足本土为先,何必舍近求远?笔者一直关注泰隆行,非常希望泰隆行的模式能够在全国推广,虽然有关监管部门很支持,却难以解决根本性问题,泰隆行有自己的烦恼。

目前泰隆行的总贷款额只有260亿元,存款户数在80万户左右,存贷款之间存在不匹配,随着资金实际利率的上升,稳住存款变成泰隆行的难题,习惯了大钱、快钱的投资者,习惯了跨越式发展的人,对于泰隆行的稳健经营颇为耐烦。面向小微企业、人盯人式的风险监管、金融机构的人力成本,均导致泰隆行总体成本难以下降,而泰隆行等面向小微企业的金融机构,没有一分钱的税收优惠。不难理解,泰隆行的规模增长倒数第一,他们不可能实现跨越式发展。他们只能守拙深耕,进一步向农村市场拓展。

因为扩张速度较低,因此,泰隆行不可能在很短时间内解决大部分地区的小微企业贷款难,中国需要的是无数家泰隆行在田野、在区县的小微金融企业深耕。

目前,台州市有三家面向小微企业的法人金融机构,均取得了较好的成果。温州要进行金融创新,引进具有国际视野的高端人才固然重要,尊重当地的规则、经验与文化,何尝不重要?这就是福柯所说的知识考古学,通过知识的有效累积,获得行之有效的本土市场文化。

无论白猫黑猫,只要抓住老鼠就是好猫。无论什么样的金融机构,只要能够控制风险,准确定价,就是好的金融机构。泰隆行就是一只“好猫”。在温州的金融创新中需要什么,舍弃什么,笔者将在下文论述。

(注:本文仅代表作者本人观点。)

Categories: China Observation Tags: ,
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