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2013年会计硕士考试英语阅读素材(八)

2012-10-14 来源:读书人 
会计硕士考试英语阅读素材(八)

  "It's our currency and your problem," U.S. Treasury Secretary John Connally famously said of the dollar in 1971.

  More than 40 years later, China is doing something about it.

  Fed up with what it sees as Washington's malign neglect of the dollar, China is busily promoting the cross-border use of its own currency, the yuan, also known as the renminbi, in trade and investment.

  The aim is both narrowly commercial - to reduce transaction costs for Chinese exporters and importers - and sweepingly strategic.

  Displacing the dollar, Beijing says, will reduce volatility in oil and commodity prices and belatedly erode the ‘exorbitant privilege' the United States enjoys as the issuer of the reserve currency at the heart of a post-war international financial architecture it now sees as hopelessly outmoded.

  Zha Xiaogang, a researcher at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said Beijing wants to see a better-balanced international monetary system consisting of at least the dollar, euro and yuan and perhaps other currencies such as the yen and the Indian rupee.

  Competition among major currency issuers and a wider menu of options when investing, trading or seeking a store of value would produce better results for the world economy, Zha argued.

  "The shortcomings of the current international monetary system pose a big threat to China's economy," he said. "With more alternatives, the margin for the U.S. would be greatly narrowed, which will certainly weaken the power basis of the U.S."

  Zha's comments were in a paper prepared for a seminar in Bahrain this week on the geopolitics of currencies organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London think tank.

  SHIFTING SANDS

  The great financial crisis, alongside the ascent of China and other emerging markets and the existential threat to the euro, is prompting policymakers in the West, too, to question the established monetary order. Change is in the air.

  But with no obvious alternative to the dollar for now, the timing and extent of any shifts in the existing order are inherently unpredictable, much like exchange rates themselves.

  While Beijing sees opportunities in using the yuan beyond its borders, others see risks - not least to China itself: relaxing capital controls so foreigners can reinvest their accumulated yuan in China's securities markets is one of the preconditions of reserve currency status.

  Yet allowing market-driven money flows to drive exchange and interest rates would weaken the ruling Communist Party's tight grip on two of the main economic levers, potentially sowing the very instability it abhors.

  John Williamson, one of the foremost academics on exchange rates, went back to basics and questioned the assumption that reserve currency status confers vast benefits.

  Whereas China, Brazil and others have laMBAsted the United States for deliberately cheapening the dollar through loose monetary policies, Williamson argued that U.S. exchange-rate flexibility is actually limited because the dollar is the anchor of the system. It is other countries that adjust their rates; the dollar then adjusts as a "residual".

  Of course, the United States gets to finance its payments deficits more cheaply because of demand for dollars from reserve managers, but this might not be enough to outweigh the loss of freedom to manage its exchange rate.

  "It is not surprising that many economists have therefore concluded that a reserve currency role is not advisable," said Williamson, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

  He identified only two ways that U.S. power in the world economy is enhanced by the dollar's dominant role, which he does not expect to be challenged in the next quarter century.

  First, the $3.2 trillion in official reserves that China has accumulated in maintaining the yuan's semi-fixed peg to the dollar tie Beijing's policy hands. That is because any hostile gesture, such as a threat to shift out of dollars, would destroy Chinese wealth.

  Second, because of the extensive private use of the dollar globally, the United States is better able to enforce a financial blockade, such as the one now directed against Iran.

  "I have the impression that the additional national power which stems from commanding an international currency tends to be exaggerated by strategic thinkers," he wrote.

  ASIAN STRAINS

  Yuriko Koike, a former Japanese defense minister, sees the power of currencies through a different prism. She said China was already using its economic might to build a "new model mercantilist imperialism" in Africa.

  Turning to Asia, Koike said China's rise was likely to continue to incite as many fears as it does hopes. Beijing's economic clout was one more reason for Japan to put its financial house in order soon.

  "So far, Chinese purchases of Japanese government bonds have been negligible, but the potential for China to gain influence over Japan in this regard is real and should be acknowledged," Koike, who was not present to discuss her paper, wrote.

  Not surprisingly, Zha, the Shanghai researcher, saw the blossoming of the yuan as the currency equivalent of China's peaceful rise in foreign policy.

  Before long, the renminbi would be the de facto common currency of a more economically and financially integrated East Asia that would thus speak with a "more consensus-oriented" regional voice in international affairs. The consensus, he implied, would be set out by China, whose economy would be at least twice as big as Japan's within a decade.

  Harsha Vardanha Singh, deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization, said the yuan was the currency most likely to acquire reserve status in years to come.

  But, because of the changing patterns of trade and the increase in supply chains, other currencies important in regional trade would assume a much larger significance on the global stage, he argued.

  "These various developments will create a much more extensive multi-polar currency world than is usually anticipated," Singh said.

  CURRENCY WAR AND PEACE

  What does it all mean for the markets?

  The phrase "currency wars" inevitably springs to mind as rising economies show their resentment of incumbents, notably the United States, which they view as resorting to maximum monetary stimulus without worrying about the global spillovers.

  Surjit Bhalla, an Indian economist, believes massive undervaluation of the yuan was a major reason for China's meteoric rise and the deep economic iMBAlances that led to the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 global crash.

  But Bhalla, author of a new book "Devaluing to Prosperity", is convinced that China is shedding its mercantilist skin and switching its development model from exports to consumption-led growth.

  He sees little merit in greater international use of the yuan but expects Beijing to push up its real exchange rate by 3-5 percent a year in order to help lift private consumption to at least 50 percent of national output over time from around just 35 percent now.

  The result, he said in an interview on the sidelines of the conference, would be an end to talk of currency wars as well as stronger global growth in both advanced economies and emerging markets such as China.

  "This will be one of the most remarkable win-win situations of recent times," said Bhalla, chairman of Oxus Investments, a New Delhi hedge fund. "Currency peace is breaking out. There have been currency wars, but now is time to enjoy the peace."

  相关中文资料

  "这是我们的货币,但那是你们自己的问题,"这是1971年时任美国财长John Connally提到美元时的一句名言.

  40多年之後的今天,中国正在设法自力救济.

  受够了美国当局恶意忽视美元问题,中国正积极推动人民币在贸易及投资的跨境使用.

  这种作法兼具小部份商业目的--减少中国进出口业者的交易成本--及重大战略考量.

  中国当局宣称,美元成为二战後国际金融架构核心的储备货币,使美国享有过高的特权,但现在已完全不符现实,美元地位遭取代後,石油及大宗商品的波动程度将减少.

  上海国际问题研究院研究人员查晓刚指出,北京当局希望见到一个更均衡的国际货币体系,至少涵盖美元、欧元、人民币,可能还有一些其他货币,像是日圆及印度卢比.

  查晓刚认为,主要货币发行国家之间互相竞争,加上投资、交易或寻求保值的可选择标的范围扩大,有利於全球经济的发展.

  "现行国际货币体系的缺陷,对中国经济构成一大威胁,"他称."有了更多其他选择,美国所享有的余裕空间将大幅缩小,当然也会削弱美国的权力基础."

  查晓刚的评论是来自预定本周在巴林一场研讨会发表的论文,这场研讨会由伦敦智库国际战略研究所主办会,主题为货币的地缘政治.

  美元仍具实力

  金融危机、中国和其他新兴市场的崛起,加之欧元如今面临的现实威胁,也迫使西方政界人士开始质疑现有的货币体系.变革正在悄然临近.

  不过,由於目前美元并没有明确的替代货币,当前(金融)秩序变革的时机和广度是不可预测的,这很像汇率本身.

  北京认为人民币的跨境使用能够带来机遇,但与此同时,其他人则看到了风险--特别是对於中国自身:放宽资本管制,以便海外投资人士可以将手中聚集的人民币再投资於中国的证券市场,这是成为储备货币的先决条件之一.

  然而,允许以市场为导向的资金流驱动汇率和利率起伏,势必会弱化政府的严格管控,可能埋下不稳定的种子,而这正是北京不愿看到的.

  外汇知名学者John Williamson追根溯源,对储备货币地位能够带来巨大利益的观点提出了质疑.

  中国、巴西和其他国家都在指责美国透过宽松货币政策,故意让美元贬值,而Williamson指出,美元汇率弹性其实是有限的,因为美元是整个货币体系的核心.实际上是其他国家先调整汇率,美元才会作出应对.

  诚然,因为储备管理者对美元的需求,美国的确可以通过更为低廉的美元来为收支逆差融资,但是与失去能够自由管理汇率的权力相比,或许尚不足以弥补这种落差.

  "许多经济学家由此得出追求储备货币并不明智的结论,这并不让人感到意外."Williamson表示.他是彼得森国际经济研究所的资深研究员.

  他认为,美元的统治地位只通过两种方式增强了美国在全球经济中的实力.同时他认为未来25年内美元的地位还不会受到挑战.

  首先,中国在保持人民币"半盯住"美元的过程中积累起了3.2兆(万亿)官方储备,但反而束缚了政府的手脚.因为一旦有任何敌对动作,例如威胁出脱美元,将会令中国的财富缩水.

  第二,由於全球范围内民间都在大量使用美元,美国更有能力实施金融封锁,譬如目前正在对伊朗实施的金融制裁.

  "我的观点是,战略家们夸大了由国际储备货币给国家实力带来的提升效果,"他写道.

  亚洲局势紧张

  曾任日本防卫大臣的小池百合子从另外一个角度诠释货币力量.她指出,中国已经在非洲运用经济力量来打造一个"新的商业帝国主义模型".

  说到亚洲,小池百合子称中国的崛起料将继续引发许多区域恐慌,正如中国所希望造成的威慑作用一样.鉴於中国所展现出的经济力量,这是促使日本尽快让其金融体系变得有序的重要原因.

  "迄今为止,中国购买的日本公债数量还可以基本忽略不计,但中国未来在这方面对日本施加潜在影响的风险却是真实存在的,需要认识到这一点."小池百合子说到.

  查晓刚认为,人民币的崛起与中国在外交政策方面的和平兴起是相辅相成的.他有这样的观点并不奇怪.

  不久的将来,人民币或会成为东亚地区真正的通用货币,届时的东亚在经济和金融领域将更为一体化,在国际事务上也将发出更为共同一致的声音.据查晓刚暗示,这个共同声音的基调将由中国来确立,中国的经济规模在未来十年内料将至少达到日本的两倍.

  世界贸易组织(WTO)的副总干事辛格(Harsha Vardanha Singh)指出,在将来的数年间,人民币是最有可能获得储备货币地位的货币.

  但是他也表示,鉴於贸易模式的改变以及供应链的增多,其它重要的地区货币料也将在国际舞台上发挥越来越重要的影响."诸多发展变化将打造出一个比我们惯常想象中更为广泛的多极货币体系世界."

  货币战争与和平共处

  那麽对於市场而言,这些变化到底意味着什麽呢?

  随着新兴经济体对於现有的"老大们"--首当其冲的就是美国--表现出越来越多的不满,"货币战争"这个耳熟能详的词汇就不可避免的跃入脑海.在很多新兴国家看来,那些所谓的发达国家动辄就使用巨额货币刺激手段,而根本不顾及由此给全球带来的波及效应.

  印度经济学家Surjit Bhalla认为,人民币被大幅低估是推动中国经济迅猛崛起并造成经济严重失衡局面的主要原因.1997/98年的亚洲金融危机和2008年的全球信贷危机都在一定程度上源於经济失衡.

  作为新书"贬值到繁荣(Devaluing to Prosperity)"的作者,Surjit Bhalla颇为肯定的认为,中国正在褪去其重商主义的外衣,改变其发展模型,逐步从出口导向型经济转向消费带动的增长模式.

  他认为人民币获得更多的国际使用地位不会带来多少益处,但他预计中国政府将会每年把人民币实质汇率推高3-5%,以便将民间消费占国内产出的比重从当前的约35%逐渐提高到至少50%.

  他在场边接受采访时表示,如此作为料将可以终止有关货币战争的谈论,并带来更强劲的全球经济增长,发达和发展中经济体都会从中受益,自然也包括中国.

  "这将是最值得期待的双赢局面,"Bhalla表示,"货币和平正在破茧而出.我们一直经历着货币战争,但现在是时候享受和平了."


(作者:读书人网友 编辑:kind887)
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