Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quote Of The Day: Qin Xiao and Chinese Bubbles

This quote comes from a Financial Times story entitled, "Top China banker warns on asset bubbles." What I most appreciate is that I can't imagine a top U.S. banker saying this. From the article:

China needs an “urgent” tightening of monetary policy to prevent the huge stimulus measures introduced this year from inflating stock and property bubbles, one of the country’s leading bankers has warned.

Qin Xiao – chairman of China Merchants Bank, the country’s sixth-biggest – says in Thursday’s Financial Times that the government should not be afraid of a “moderate slowdown” in the economy.

“Monetary policy must not neglect asset-price movements,” he writes. “Therefore it is urgent that China shifts from a loose monetary policy stance to a neutral one.”

Of course, this doesn't mean that the authorities will be immediately changing policy (though they should). However, if they continue their loose monetary policy, their stock and real estate bubbles will get out of hand. The higher they run, the harder they'll fall. It'll be interesting to see how the authorities walk the fine line between encouraging employment growth and asset bubbles and intentionally (and responsibly) slowing economic activity. Regardless, the fact that a private sector leader can so freely, frankly, and intelligently speak his mind is refreshing, even if it's coming from half-way around the world.

Disclosure: We recently sold our China equity exposure.

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