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Tag Archives: rmb

China’s Financial Stability: A Squeeze and a Strangle

I do get a big kick out of the way Communists over in China announce how they are dealing with their enormous problems especially as they may be getting worse. Each month, for example, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) will publish figures on retail sales or industrial production at record lows but in the opening paragraphs the text will be full of praise for how the economy is being handled. If you thought the Western media was liberal with the word “strong” (经济强劲, I...

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The Fed and PBOC: Joined At The Zoo

The Federal Reserve wasn’t the only major central bank conducting open market operations (OMO’s) this week. On the other side of the Pacific, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) had been, too. Big ones. And in both places, nobody really seems to know what to make of them even though they are actually connected to the same offshore dollar problem. Increasingly illiquid markets and more active central banks. The latter doesn’t fix the former, it’s an advertisement. How's it going in repo?...

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China Nastier Number Four

Officials in China seem to be taking a page out of Mario Draghi’s playbook. Before Europe was pushed to the bring of recession, the President of Europe’s central bank would downplay any weakness in the European economy. In 2018 especially, Draghi frequently referred to 2017 as if it was something special. No cause for concern, he reassured, any softening was just the Continent slowing down from really awesome growth. With the ECB restarting QE last month, he hasn’t used that reference in some...

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Dollar (In) Demand

The last time was bad, no getting around it. From the end of 2014 until the first months of 2016, the Chinese economy was in a perilous state. Dramatic weakness had emerged which had seemed impossible to reconcile with conventions about the country. Committed to growth over everything, and I mean everything, China was the one country the world thought it could count on for being immune to the widespread economic sickness. That’s why in early 2016 authorities panicked into another huge, and...

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China’s Next Warning

Chinese monetary authorities announced today what will be for some of its banks a seventh round of “stimulus.” For the largest institutions, it will “only” be their sixth and the first one since January 2019. The PBOC has decided it is time for more RRR cuts. Effective September 16, the ratio all banks are required to hold of reserves will be reduced by 50 bps; applying to certain city banks, the decrease will be 100 bps. It sounds like a flood of stimulus, enabling China’s...

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China Throws More ‘Stimulus’ At The Wall

Earlier this year, Chinese authorities reduced the VAT tax the government charges auto manufacturers. Intended to boost consumption, the levy was reduced from 16% to 13% in the hope automakers would pass along the savings to consumers. Many if not most manufacturers did. The results were immediate, and fleeting. In the month of March 2019, total car sales fell “only” 5.2% after six straight months of double-digit declines. Many were encouraged by the single result. According to the China...

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The Fingerprints of Bumbling (China)

For a cabal of superpatient supergeniuses, the Chinese tend to play with fire quite often. According to many, the Communists have perfected the art of technocracy and are merely waiting out the impetuously free West. The dollar system will destroy itself (there’s the kernel of truth) allowing a perfectly positioned China to swoop in and rescue the global economy with its scientifically specified yuan. Some even have gone so far as to claim the new world order of CNY will surely be...

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China Repo: Vulnerability or Bottleneck, Risk Aversion and Collateral

Toward the end of June, Chinese RMB money markets seemed like they had weathered the worst of it. One month earlier, in late May, regulators had seized Baoshang Bank Co. sending waves of uncertainty rippling through markets in China and around the world. Authorities were quick to declare “nothing to see here”, blaming the bank’s close relationship with absentee billionaire Xiao Jianhua; seemingly an idiosyncratic problem rather than the first inkling of a systemic one. The overnight SHIBOR...

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The PBOC’s Involuntarily Enormous Bet

Central bankers are not nimble traders. By their very bureaucratic nature, they leave big muddy footprints all over markets. Sometimes that is by design, a show of force to scare some evil speculators into going straight. Other times, it just can’t be helped. The way it works in China, the autocratic structure doesn’t leave much to interpretation – at least as to what may be going on. Why something is happening can be an entirely different matter. The muddiest feet in the bunch surely belongs...

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Baoshang Isn’t China’s Lehman, So Why Does April 17 Show Up All Over Global Markets?

One month ago, on May 24, Chinese regulators stunned the world by announcing the first bank restructuring in modern China’s history. Based in Inner Mongolia, Baoshang Bank was seized because of what the PBOC and China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said was “severe credit risk.” Initial reports attempted to link Baoshang’s struggles to financier Xiao Jianhua who disappeared in 2017. As usual, there is always some truth in the narrative. Though much of the world had never heard of...

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