Friday, May 29, 2009

Eurobond market would help resolve global imbalances

Barry Eichengreen in his Project Syndicate column talks about what could prevent global imbalances from reemerging in the future. He says the following:

"The other view is that China contributed to global imbalances not through its merchandise exports, but through its capital exports. What China lacked was not demand for consumption goods, but a supply of high-quality financial assets. It found these in the US, mainly in the form of Treasury and other government-backed securities, in turn pushing other investors into more speculative investments. Recent events have not enhanced the stature of the US as a supplier of high-quality assets. And China, for its part, will continue to develop its financial markets and its capacity to generate high-quality financial assets internally. But doing so will take time. Meanwhile, the US still has the most liquid financial markets in the world. This interpretation again implies the re-emergence of global imbalances once the recession ends, and their very gradual unwinding thereafter. One development that could change this forecast is if China comes to view investing in US financial assets as a money-losing proposition. US budget deficits as far as the eye can see might excite fear of losses on US Treasury bonds. A de facto policy of inflating away the debt might stoke such fears further. At that point, China would pull the plug, the dollar would crash, and the Fed would be forced to raise interest rates, plunging the US back into recession."

Should we not try to provide an alternative for Chinese investment. mitigating the risk of continued global imbalance, through developing a eurobond market?

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