中国外储突破3万亿美元 加剧通胀补贴美国 [China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Conundrum]

中国外汇储备居全球第一(Getty Images)
中国外储突破3万亿美元 加剧通胀补贴美国 [China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Conundrum]

【大纪元2011年04月20日讯】(大纪元记者高紫檀采访报道)中国央行行长周小川18日晚间在清华大学金融高端讲坛上承认,中国政府外汇储备已经超过 了中国需要的合理水平。经济学家认为,这是中共错误的经济政策造成的。高额的外汇储备补贴了美国,也是中国通货膨胀久控不下的主要原因。3月底中国政府外汇储备规模高达3.0447万亿美元,较去年底增加1974亿美元,排名全球第一。而统计局数据显示,3月份消费者物价指数(CPI)同比增长5.4%,一季度CPI同比增长5.0%,整体通胀形势严峻。

周小川在清华大学金融高端讲坛上说,外汇储备已经超过了中国需要的合理水平,外汇积累过多,导致市场流动性过多,也增加了央行对冲工作的压力。

曾 在中国央行工作多年的经济学家简天伦博士在接受大纪元记者采访时对中国外汇储备不断增加原因、后果,以及利弊作出了深度分析。他认为,中国外汇储备两年内 从2万亿增加到3万亿美元,增速超快,主要是因为人民币汇率低估,导致出口高增长,从而带来大量外贸顺差。中国外汇储备大量增长最终造成了国内通货膨胀, 却由于大量购买美国及其它国家国债而补贴了美国及其它国家。

外汇储备高速增长加剧通胀

简天伦认为,巨额外汇储备除了给中国国内带来通货膨胀之外,没有给中国民众带来什么好处。

简天伦表示,外汇储备在增长过程中占国民生产总值的比例越来越高,由此而带来货币供应量的不断增大,“最近几个月来通货膨胀的增长很大程度是人民币低估导致外汇储备的增加造成的,其他的因素也有,但是占的比率很小”。

简 天伦指出,降低贸易顺差有很多方法。可以提高人民币汇率,也可以提高国内工人的工资,使得出口产品不至于那么廉价从而降低贸易顺差;或者采用通货膨胀的办 法使得国内产品的出口价格上涨。现在中共采用的是让国内通货膨胀来解决外汇储备出超太多的问题,这种办法的弊端明显,“实际上等于牺牲国内大多数人的利益 来解决这个问题”。

巨额外汇储备补贴了海外

简天伦认为,外汇储备的主要目的是要应付万一出现收支不平衡,国外的贸易和金融冲击带来对汇率和经济的影响。作为一个国家来讲,中国有一定的外汇储备是必要的,但3万亿美元太多了,等于在浪费中国人的钱,让全中国人民赚钱补贴国外。

简 天伦解释,中国的巨额外汇储备大量购买了海外国债,尤其是美国国债,当其它国家用宽松的货币政策来刺激经济时,中国的外汇储备就在贬值。比如最近有媒体报 导,美联储的一位官员曾透露,中国至少持有美国国债2万亿美元,虽然这一数字超过美国财政部3月份公布的1.16万亿很多,但无论多少,这些储备都在随着 美元贬值。

在过去的一年里,美元对日元贬值了11%以上,对英镑及欧元分别贬值6%以上。

简天伦指出,金融危机以来,美国一直在实行量化宽松的货币政策,使美元对西方主要货币大幅度贬值,中国三万亿美元的外汇储备,由于美元的贬值,一年的损失约2000亿美元。“也就是说,中国买这么多的美国国债及其它国家国国债,实际上是补贴了美国及海外其它国家。”

解决巨额外汇储备的办法

尽管把外汇储备投到不同的货币上,可以降低由于汇率变动带来的损失,但简天伦认为,这有很大的局限,欧洲没有一个共同的债券市场,日本国债基本不对中国开放,中国买了一点马上引起日本的警觉,因为买了日本国债就会使得日元升值给日本经济带来冲击。

“根本的办法是要改变人民币汇率。”简天伦说,提升人民币汇率可以解决多方面的问题,人民币升值可以让中国人民降低进口成本,更多地进口,减少外贸顺差。同时人民币升值提升国内人民的购买力,提高国内的消费能力。

巨额外汇储备有何目的?

简天伦分析,中共不是想要提高外汇储备,它的主要目的是要经济增长,保证经济的增长就保证了就业率提高,就可以维护中共的政权。

简 天伦表示,其实中国的经济增长在过去20~30年来很大程度上和人民币的低估,还有固定资产投资的增长最相关。多年来人民币低估使得出口以30%的年率增 长,这维持了中国经济高速增长。中共目的主要是靠低估人民币来维持经济增长,提高就业。“这样它才能维持政权的稳定,要不然经济出了问题,失业率过高。那 社会动荡就更厉害”,所以它明知外汇储备过高想减下来,但没有动作。

简天伦认为,即使是现在通货膨胀每个月在攀升的情况下,中共也不愿意提升人民币汇率,主要是怕出口增长减速了,经济增长出了问题,所以它一直在用提高人民币利率和提高银行的存款准备金比率来收紧货币压制通货膨胀。

“但 是现在主要的问题在于货币的供给量过大,很大程度是人民币低估造成的。”简天伦说,所以即使今年人民银行提高了2次人民币利率,又多次提高了银行存款准备 金比率至20.5%历史高位,通货膨胀依然居高不下,甚至还在往上攀升,“症结就是整个经济策略有问题,政策有问题”。

                                    美东时间: 2011-04-19 13:53:50 PM 【万年历】
本文网址: http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/11/4/20/n3233221.htm

China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Conundrum

By Gao Zitan & Gisela Sommer
Epoch Times StaffCreated: Apr 23, 2011Last Updated: Apr 24, 2011

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Related articles: China > Business & Economy

A staff member counts moneyat a branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) on April 18 in Huaibei, Anhui Province of China. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, raised the required reserve ratio of the country’s lenders by 50 basis points from April 21 for the fourth time this year to curb stubbornly high inflation. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

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The Chinese regime is facing a huge challenge with respect to its large foreign exchange reserves.

Authorities don’t want to increase the foreign reserves; their aim is to keep the economic growth going, a Chinese economist says. Economic growth means more jobs and helps the regime maintain its hold on power. That’s also why they keep the yuan undervalued. But now inflation is becoming a threat that could undermine this plan.

China’s exchange reserves have risen beyond a reasonable level, and the rapid increase in reserves may have led to excessive liquidity and created “significant monetary sterilization pressure,” Central Bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on April 18 after a speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Monetary sterilization refers to actions in which a central bank or  federal reserve attempts to insulate itself from the foreign exchange  marketto counteract the effects of a changing monetary base. The sterilization process is used to manipulate the value of one domestic currency relative to another, and is initiated in the forex market,  according to investopedia.com.

China’s foreign exchange reserves have increased by US $197 billion to US $3 trillion during this year’s first quarter, becoming the largest foreign currency reserve in the world.

Meanwhile, inflation in the country has been worsening. China’s consumer price index in March has increased by 5.4 percent over the same period last year.

Economist Dr Jian, who once worked at China’s Central Bank, talked with The Epoch Times about the causes and consequences of China’s ever-increasing foreign reserves. He said the ballooning exchange reserves and inflation are related, and this has been caused by Chinese authorities’ wrong economic policy.

The main purpose for accumulating foreign exchange reserves is to minimize the impact imbalanced international payments from world trade and the financial crisis could have on domestic currency. “Having some reserves is necessary for any country, but US $3 trillion is too much,”Dr Jian said.

A large amount of the foreign exchange reserves were used to purchase overseas bonds, especially U.S. Treasury bonds. China holds at least US $2 trillion in U.S. treasury bonds, Fed chief Ben Bernanke said in February.

But since last year, many countries have relaxed their monetary policy to stimulate the economy, and major currencies around the world have depreciated at a faster rate, with 11 percent for the yen and 6 percent for the pound.

This resulted in China’s foreign reserves to become depreciated.

“A 5 percent depreciation, for example, would devalue China’s reserves by US $500 billion. The real numbers should be even higher than this,”Dr Jian said. “Other countries actually benefited from this,” he added.

Dr. Jian said the huge amount of foreign reserves hasn’t brought any benefits to the Chinese people, only inflation.

The increasing proportion of reserves to GDP has resulted in a continued  growth of money supply. “The growth of inflation in recent months is related to the increasing reserves. There are other factors, but of little impact,” Dr Jian said.

Dr Jian said there are a number of ways to reduce the tradesurplus. You can appreciate the yuan, or you can increase the price of export goods by either raising worker’s wages or through inflation.

Another way to solve the problem of excessive reserves is to substantially increase imports. But the fundamental solution is to improve the exchange rate, according to Dr Jian.

“The authorities use domestic inflation to reduce the reserves. They try to solve the problem at the expense of the majority of Chinese people,” Dr Jian said.

Preventing Unemployment and Uprising

Dr Jian said he believes the Chinese authorities didn’t want to increase the reserves. Their aim is to keep the economic growth going. Economic growth means more jobs and helps the communist regime to maintain its power, he said.

China’s economic growth during the past 20 to 30 years can be mainly attributed to the undervalued yuan and the growth of fixed asset investments. The undervalued yuan has led to the annual export growth of 30 percent.

“If the unemployment rate gets too high, it will cause social unrest, and the communist regime won’t be able to maintain the stability of its control. This is why the authorities didn’t take action to reduce the excessive reserves,” Dr Jian said.

The authorities are still reluctant to improve the exchange rate even though inflation has been rising every month. They are afraid of the implications of slowing economic growth. They try to tighten the monetary policy to suppress inflation by increasing the interest rate and reserve ratio for banks, Dr Jian said.

Will Hutton, an author and governor at the London School of Economics, says China is a “tinderbox" and “revolt in China is only a matter of time,” The Sydney Morning Herald said in an article on April 19.

The article quotes Mr Hutton saying while it was not clear when China could be hit by a people’s revolt, it already had a fragile financial system that could lead to further social unrest.

“There’s an iron rule in economics—you know, what’s unsustainable can’t be sustained,” Mr Hutton said about China’s increase of its foreign exchange reserves to $US3 trillion.

“The Chinese cannot carry on acquiring foreign exchange reserves like this. It’s a massive distortion. This is all about to blow,” he said.

“The Chinese financial system is many times more fragile than the American and British and Western banking system was in the run-up to the financial crash in 2008. I mean, it lent many times more than GDP now. On many of these loans, there’s no interest paid or principal ever repaid. I mean, this is an accident waiting to happen,” the Sydney Morning  Herald article quoted Mr Hutton telling Australia’s ABC.

chinareports@epochtimes.com

Read the original Chinese article.

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