国际规则集合

当我还是一个高中生的时候,有一个关于经济学的全国性的讨论。而事实上, 这个讨论只是围绕着一个问题展开:我们的经济是否在衰退。我们可以准确的预测行星的运行轨迹,但是在2007-2008之际的热点问题是:“我们的经济是否即将沦陷?”

今天我想和大家说一说即将到来的全世界范围的经济讨论。首先,我会阐述美国2007的大衰退,其次,我会介绍一些经济问题,而最后我会提出一些简单的建议

US Real GDP Growth

上边的图表清楚地显示了美国国内生产总值在2003年到2010的变化情况。其中红色部分非常明显, 而这就是“大衰退”的开始。2007年以前,美国银行曾经向无偿还能力的人批准抵押贷款。 然后银行将这些抵押贷款用作其他负债的资产,因为在当时抵押贷款被视为安全资产。 谁可能无法支付他们的房子呢? 所以当人们无法按时还款时,银行用抵押贷款做资产而产生的抵押贷款和负债上损失了很多资金。

紧跟大衰退后的问题是:“银行为什么要提供这些高风险的贷款?”在2006年至2014年担任美联储主席的本·伯南克在危机前就已经有了答案。 他早就知道美国存在的经济问题,而他也从这一点上判断出来的。

US current account

该图片表明了美国的贸易逆差。 伯南克在2005年写道,美国的贸易赤字问题展露出一个非常重要的问题。

由于近几年来企业对设备和结构的投资相对较低,而且由于美国和其他许多国家的税收和金融体系旨在促进房屋所有权,最近大部分流入发达国家的资本体现在较高的房屋建造率和较高的房价。

本·伯南克

一个国家贸易账户的对立面是该国家的资本账户,如果美国存在贸易逆差,那么美国的资本账户应该有盈余。

  • 2006年,美国境外资产增加了17,649亿美元
  • 2006年,美国在海外的资产增加10,458亿美元
  • 2006年美国资本账户盈余= 7191亿美元

这意味着各国在美国的投资超出了美国在其他国家的投资。同时,它还表明美国的银行体系通过贸易顺差而获得了大量的过剩现金。

伯南克先生曾担心外国资金降低利率和贷款标准。所以当伯南克先生看到贸易逆差时,他便担心美国的资本账户。

Trump Tweet

自高中以来,关于经济学的讨论产生了非常大的变化。而现在讨论的中心是贸易规则的变化。 目前的讨论集中在两个方面:贸易账户和技术竞争。

但是,对于资本账户的流向很少有人关注。 还记得伯南克先生认识到贸易逆差并担心在美国的外国投资吗? 事实上,美国的资本账户要比伯南克先生所认识的要糟糕得多。

American Capital Account

2008年之前的下行指标表明,美国大量资本通过银行业的渠道而外流,然后通过购买非国债证券重新进入美国。 流入美国的资本总额主要是欧洲银行通过影子银行系统贷款购买个性化的抵押贷款支持证券,而该证券和导致经济衰退的证券是一样的.

1.)截至2008年中期,美国主要货币市场基金资产的50%是外国银行的短期债务,欧洲银行占有绝大部分。

2.)欧元区贸易账户整体保持均衡,而实际上英国是赤字国家,它们流向美国的集体净资本并未反映其银行在设定整体信贷条件方面的影响.

3.)2006年美国贸易逆差 – 占GDP的6.5% 

2006年流入美国的总资本账户–占GDP的23%

这次演讲的中心内容想要表达的是经常账户可能不会像总资本流动,尤其是银行业部门产生的资本总额流那样,提供有关整体信贷状况的信息。

  • 蚂蚁金服等中国金融机构需要将P2P资金分为专用账户。
  • 中国现在处于适当的位置来提出用于投资大型项目或地方政府融资的特定基金类型的意见。
  • 中国学术机构应该模拟这种风险,以更好地改善国际合作。
  • 亚洲基础设施和投资银行对超额资本提出政策建议有着很大的话语权。而该资本可以用类似于最新的中国P2P法律的方式进行管理。

经济学的新讨论将改变我们的交易方式,而且在不久的将来就会发生。它不会仅仅专注于贸易和技术,我们还必须研究国际资本账户。 中国和中国的学术机构有能力为新的贸易体制做出贡献,并更多地研究资本账户净流量和净额。

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Three New Rule Sets

When I was in high school there was a national discussion of economics. Actually, there was a national discussion about one economic question. The question was, “are we in a recession?” We can predict the movement of the stars, but here we are, in 2007 and 2008, and the great question of the time was, “is the boat sinking?”

Today I want to frame the coming international economic discussion. First, I’m going to talk about the Great Recession. Second, I will introduce problems with economics. Last, I’m going to make some simple recommendations.

US Real GDP Growth

This shows United States GDP growth from 2003 to 2010. This red part is quite obvious. It is the start of the “Great Recession.” Before 2007 American banks approved mortgages to people who couldn’t make payments. Then banks used those mortgages as assets for other liabilities or as bets, because mortgages were seen as safe assets. Who wouldn’t pay for their house? When people didn’t make payments, banks lost money on the mortgages and the liabilities those mortgages were bet against. Of course this is a large simplification. There are many other note worthy stories, but this blog post if only interested in the most essential fundamentals.

The biggest questions after the recession was, “why did banks make these high risk loans?” Ben Bernake, who served as American Federal Reserve chairman from 2006 to 2014, had an answer before the crisis.  Mr. Bernake knew there were economic problems in America, and he knew it from this.

US current account.jpg

This is America’s trade deficit.  In 2005 Ben Bernake wrote that America’s trade deficit was a sign of major concern:

Investment by businesses in equipment and structures has been relatively low in recent years and because the tax and financial systems in the United States and many other countries are designed to promote homeownership, much of the recent capital inflow into the developed world has shown up in higher rates of home construction and in higher home prices.

-Ben Bernake

The inverse of a nation’s trade account is a nation’s capital account. If America has a trade deficit, America must also have a capital account surplus.

  • 2006 U.S. current-account deficit: $856.7 billion
  • Foreign-owned assets in the United States increased $1,764.9 billion in 2006
  • U.S.-owned assets abroad increased $1,045.8 billion in 2006
  • U.S. capital account surplus = $719.1 billion in 2006

This means that countries invest more in America than America invests in other countries. This means that America’s banking system, as evidenced through its trade surplus, had huge amounts of excess cash.

Bernake worried foreign money lowered interest rates and lending standards. When Bernake saw the trade deficit, he worried about America’s capital account.

Trump Tweet

Discussion of economics changed quite a bit since I was in highschool. Now, the discussion is centered on changing rules of trade. The current discussion is focused on two aspects: trade accounts and technology competition.

However, little attention is paid to capital account flows. Remember how Bernake saw the trade deficit and worried about the foreigners investing in America? Well America’s capital account was worse than Bernake realized.

American Capital Account

The downward-pointing bars before 2008 indicate large outflows of capital from the US through the banking sector, which then re-enter the United States through the purchases of non-Treasury securities.  The gross capital inflows to the United States represent lending by mainly European banks via the shadow banking system through the purchase of private label mortgage-backed securities, the same securities that caused the recession. 

1.) By mid-2008, 50% of the assets of U.S. prime money market funds were short term obligations of foreign banks, with the lion’s share owed by European banks.

2.) Since the Eurozone has a roughly balanced trade account while the UK is actually a deficit country, their collective net capital flows to the United States do not reflect the influence of their banks in setting overall credit conditions.

3.) USA trade deficit 2006 – 6.5% of GDP

     Gross capital account flows to the USA 2006 – 23% of GDP

The central message of this post is that the current account may not be as informative about overall credit conditions as gross capital flows, especially gross capital flows generated by the banking sector.

A new discussion of economics that will change the way we trade will soon happen, and it cannot only focus on trade and technology. International capital accounts must be studied. There must be new rule sets regarding current account balances, technology theft and distribution, and capital account balances. Capital account activity is no longer the residual of fair trade in tangible goods.

The sky in Beijing is grey today. Have a good weekend.