英语时文:热钱,升值

Bloomberg Columnists Andy Mukherjee .
China Has Revalued Yuan; What Happens Next?: Andy Mukherjee
July 22 (Bloomberg) — If punters end up making money betting on a much stronger yuan than China has so far allowed, they must thank the half-hearted Chinese currency revaluation.
Had the Chinese central bank made a more significant move, at least some speculators would have retreated on a view that Beijing had allowed as much flexibility as it could — for now.
However, with a tiny 2.1 percent change in the yuan from its fixed value of 8.3 to the U.S. dollar and no widening of the 0.3 percent trading band, further revaluations will very likely become self-fulfilling prophecies.
“Speculation in the short run will increase,” says New York University economist Nouriel Roubini, “as investors will test the narrow band and China’s willingness to not allow the currency to breach the band.”
The first change in the yuan’s exchange rate in a decade isn’t going to cool the overheated Chinese economy, nor will it narrow the U.S. trade deficit, or satisfy New York Senator Charles Schumer who wants to slap punitive tariffs on China.
Thus, the diplomatic case and the economic rationale for a stronger yuan are as valid as they were before the revaluation.
Meanwhile, there’s a crack in the door: Now that Beijing has gotten over its reluctance to give up the dollar anchor, it may find further revaluations politically easier to do.
The decision to manage the yuan against a Singapore-style currency basket shows that within China those who favor a market- oriented approach to macroeconomic management are gaining an upper hand in policymaking.
Symbolic Step
Even then, pending more meaningful appreciation, the yuan move is only a symbolic step. It may prove ineffectual in the face of the speculative money that may come rushing into China, straining against the upper end of the yuan’s trading band.
New York University’s Roubini, an economics adviser in President Bill Clinton’s administration, has been a leading critic of China’s currency peg. In a July 16 posting on his Web site, he predicted that, “it’s highly likely that a modest Chinese currency revaluation will occur in the fall of 2005.”
Yesterday’s modest appreciation is, as Roubini now says, “the beginning of a much larger currency regime change in China and Asia.”
Sure enough, soon after China announced its decision, Malaysia scrapped the ringgit’s link to the dollar and said it would adopt a managed float. Hong Kong, however, said it would keep its currency pegged to the U.S. dollar.
One-Way Street
China needs to raise interest rates boldly to stamp out overcapacity in industries such as steel and property. It can’t do that as long as its undervalued currency remains a magnet for speculative capital.
By going for a small revaluation, China may have bought a little more time. Soon, however, it may have to act again. For speculators, the yuan remains a one-way street.
To contact the writer of this column:
Andy Mukherjee in Singapore at amukherjee@bloomberg.net.
Last Updated: July 21, 2005 17:57 EDT

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