加载中…

谁给农民加薪?

2015-02-02 18:26:04评论 房产
我知道你不关心这个话题,不过请看香港《南华早报》今天的文章。

首先是残酷的城乡分割。对医疗,教育, 就业, 和退休实现恶性分开。
其次,城市的住房改革把本来属于"全民"的住房送给了一部分人(城里人)。
然后,信贷膨胀,房价飞涨。但你必须有房,才能站到风口啊!

储蓄利率长期压低,每年剥削一点,年复一年。
贷款市场分两块:银行和影子银行。利率有天壤之别。从银行搞到贷款,就是获得巨大的补贴。

在加上腐败。这就是说中国贫富悬殊的根源。

QE? 中国搞了36年,还在继续。
城里人娇气,哭着喊着要加薪,"弥补通胀的损失啊"!但是,谁给农民加薪呢?

China's Perpetual QE and its many losers

Joe Zhang* SCMP, 2 February 2015,

In 1983, the People’s Bank of China had just risen from being ajunior sidekick to the Ministry of Finance to an equal entitywithin the government. A staffer from the US Federal Reserve whovisited the PBOC, where I was a graduate cadet at the time,explained why an independent monetary policy was a wonderful thingbefore asking why China had not made its central bank independentof the government.

With no trace of irony, my superior replied, “that would be veryinconvenient!” The visitor almost laughed himself off hischair.

Last week, US President Barack Obama stressed in his State of theUnion speech, inequality has become a major challenge for USsociety. What he did not say is that the QE (quantitative easing ofthe monetary policy) since 2008 has made a key contribution to theworsening of inequality. As Europe digs deeper into the QE hole,everyone pretends there is no link between QE and inequality. Butsadly there is. Just look at how convenience in mainland centralbanking has created massive inequality.

While the term QE was invented in the United States, mainland Chinahas proven to be the most daring in practising it. In its “annualcredit plan”, the PBOC makes liberal predictions on the bankingsector’s deposits and loan demand, and plugs the gap by makingloans directly to each bank. It also extends additional loans as itsees fit during the year. No collateral is ever needed. For manyyears, the banks’ loan-to-deposit ratios far exceeded 100 per cent.For the mainland’s banks (rapidly growing from just one in 1983 toseveral thousand today), bargaining with the central bank has beenthe most lucrative game: they borrow from the central bank at 1 percent to 2 per cent annual rates, and lend out at 6 per cent to 8per cent.

When Western observers warn of the rapid growth of the balancesheets of the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank onthe back of their QE actions, it is worth pointing out that theFed’s balance sheet of about US$4.5 trillion and the ECB’s US$2.7trillion are still far smaller than the PBOC’s US$5.5 trillion –even though the mainland has a much smaller economy.

On the mainland, a vicious cycle has lasted 36 years: rapid creditgrowth leads to high inflation (and expectations of higherinflation) which makes the controlled interest rate seem low (andeven negative) in real terms. That, in turn, encourages borrowing,which the central bank is often too happy to accommodate. Even in2014, the third consecutive year of “economic slowdown”, themainland still recorded a money supply growth of more than 12 percent.

Apart from corruption, the biggest factor behind the mainland’sinequality is asset inflation, with the root cause being itsperpetual QE. New credit flows constantly into state-ownedcompanies and well-connected private businesses. Low interest rateson deposits rip off savers on the one hand and subsidise borrowerson the other. To benefit from asset inflation (mainly in realestate), you have to have assets and, more importantly, leverage.But access to credit has been a watershed between winners andlosers.

Regulated interest rates also make matters worse. Privilegedborrowers pay 6 per cent to 8 per cent a year to the banks, but thevast numbers of small and medium-size businesses and consumers pay15 per cent to 25 per cent to the shadow banking industry, if theycan get credit at all.

Perpetual QE has also caused the mainland’s stock market inflation.Despite the stock index today being half the peak level seen sevenyears ago, the market is still the most overvalued on the planet.Most companies trade at 30 to 50 times earnings, with dodgy onesbeing the most expensive. Observers are misled by the averagemarket valuation of, say, “only” 17 to 18 times earnings, but thataverage is distorted by the 20-plus banks which between themaccount for over a third of the market value and over half of thetotal net profit of the market. They trade at seven to nine timesearnings, but as the economy slides into a new normal, one mustconsider their rising bad debts and their true valuation.

Since 1992, Beijing has treated the stock market as a device forcredit rationing. Initially started with a stated objective of“alleviating poverty for the state sector”, the mainland’s markethas been ripping off millions of ignorant retailinvestors.

Through strict controls over how many businesses are allowed to gopublic, and who they are, the government has not only playedfavourites but also kept the stock market valuation high. Naturallythe process is fraught with corruption, as the media and theregulators have discovered.

In the wake of the global subprime crisis, Western countries havebroken some policy taboos. For example, the idea of central banksbuying government bonds is now acceptable. Strict independence ofthe central banks is no longer such a big deal. But theirsingle-minded pursuit of QE policies and ultra-low interest rateswill make inequality much worse, as the mainland haslearned.

Joe Zhang is chairman of China Smartpay Group and an adviser toHaitong International Securities.
 
 
 
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