Why China’s market crash won’t mean global chaos

栏目:金燕英语 作者:admin 日期:2015-07-22 评论:0 点击: 830 次

The Chinese equity bubble has obviously burst – with enormous consequences for China and the rest of the world. At the close on Wednesday, the CSI 300 – a composite index of major shares trading on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges – had plunged 31% from its June 12 peak following a near vertical run-up over the previous 7 months. Notwithstanding massive government support actions that have driven a partially closed market up 12% July 9-10, there’s no telling where the market finds a bottom.

显然,中国股市泡沫破灭了,而这给中国和世界其他地区带来了巨大的影响。7月8日收盘时,CSI300(反映上交所和深交所交易的主要股票的综合指数)较6月12日的顶峰暴跌了31%,而在此前的7个月中,该指数几乎是呈直线上涨。尽管大规模的政府救市举措助推已半关闭状态的股市于7月9-10日上扬了12%,但我们仍无法得知股市是否已经触底。

This had all the ingredients of a classic asset bubble. After underperforming other major equity markets for six years, the Chinese stock market started to come to life in the second half of 2014 as the government moved to stimulate a slowing economy. It then took off like a rocket ship immediately after the November 17, 2014 launch of the Hong Kong-Shanghai connect – an arrangement allowing investors in both markets to trade overlapping shares. Fully 87% of the spectacular 145% surge in the 12 months ending June 12 occurred after the cross-border connection was opened.

此轮股市泡沫拥有典型的资产泡沫所应具备的所有元素。在连续六年表现不及其他主要股市之后,中国股市开始于2014年下半年复苏,当时,政府采取了应对经济缓慢增长的刺激举措。随后,在沪港通(允许沪港两地投资者买卖对方交易所上市的股票的机制)于2014年11月17日推出之后,股市旋即像火箭般一飞冲天。6月12日的前12个月内,大盘涨幅达到了惊人的145%,而其中的87%是在这一跨境互联机制设立之后实现的。

As is typically the case in other asset bubbles, Chinese market regulators lacked discipline during the blow-out phase of this bubble. Indeed, this speculative frenzy was fueled by an equally potent surge of margin financing, which nearly trebled as a share of tradable equity market capitalization in the 12 months ending this June. Meanwhile, an overhang of excess supply was building, as security regulators approved a sharply increased volume of initial public offerings in the first half of 2015. And leading Chinese officials expressed encouraging signs of support for this apparent renaissance in equity financing.

与其他国家的资产泡沫破灭的情形一样,中国股市监管机构并没有设立多少与泡沫破灭有关的规章制度。确实,正是杠杆融资规模的激增,点燃了这一投机性的股市狂热,后者占可交易股票市值的比重在6月之前的12个月中增长了两倍。与此同时,随着2015年上半年证券监管机构批准的IPO数量的激增,过度供应问题日渐显现。同时,中国政府的重要官员释放了鼓励信号,对股市融资的明显复苏态势表示支持。

Asset bubbles invariably burst under their own weight. China’s implosion over the past month is no different. The key questions pertain less to the potential downside of the market – impossible to know – and more to the ultimate impact on the real economy, which is at a critical juncture on the road to reform and rebalancing.

资产泡沫总会在无法继续支撑的情况下破灭。上月中国股市泡沫的破灭亦是如此。最为重要的问题并不在于泡沫破灭对股市的潜在不利影响(这一点我们无法得知),而是它对实体经济的最终影响。目前,实体经济正处于改革和再平衡过程中的重要节点。

China’s retail investors will certainly feel the brunt of the carnage. There appear to be some 90 million of them – roughly 12% of the nation’s urban population. Data from China’s Household Finance Survey suggest that these investors tend to be young and relatively uneducated. In 2014, a majority of new investors didn’t even have a high school education! And with approximately 1 and 2 million new accounts being opened per week in the first half of 2015, according to the China Securities Depository and Clearing Co., these are very inexperienced investors. Add to that, their penchant for buying stocks on margin, and there can be no escaping the devastation to speculators that invariably follows the bursting of any bubble.

中国的散户必然会感受到股市暴跌所带来的冲击,其数量估计已达约9000万,约占中国城镇人口的12%。《中国家庭金融调查》的数据显示,这些散户的年龄较小,而且受教育程度不高。2014年,大部分新散户甚至连高中都没有念过!中国证券登记结算有限公司的数据显示,2015年上半年,每周股市账户新增数量达到了100-200万,都是些没有什么经验的散户投资者。此外,他们倾向于以保证金质押形式购买股票,一旦股市泡沫破灭,作为投机者的他们便无法逃脱随之而来的灭顶之灾。

In the same sense, it would be wrong to generalize on the basis of this vulnerable 12% of the urban population. Indeed, there is an important silver lining to China’s unbalanced economy that should limit the damage. The bursting of equity bubbles impacts shareowners, or consumers, in the real economy through what economists call “wealth effects” – in essence, the capital gains and losses (both real and psychological) that stem from the ups and downs in the stock market. Yet China’s private consumption is only about 36% of its GDP – well below shares of more advanced nations. If China had a more balanced economy – something it clearly aspires to – then a larger consumer sector would have raised the possibility of much greater macro risk in the face of a post-equity bubble implosion. Fortuitously, that is not the case for China in 2015.

但仅依靠12%脆弱的城镇人群(散户)来妄下结论是不正确的。确实,中国失衡的经济也存在着不能忽视的一线光明,它应该能把损失控制在一定的范围内。股市泡沫的破灭会通过经济学家所谓的“财富效应”影响实体经济中的股权所有者或消费者,而财富效应实际上也就是股市波动所带来的资本收益和损失(既有真实的,也有心理上的)。然而,中国的个人消费仅占GDP总量的约36%,比发达国家的占比低不少。如果中国的经济更为平衡(这也是中国期望实现的目标),那么在股市泡沫破灭后,庞大的消费群体有可能会推高宏观经济风险。幸运的是,2015年的中国还没有出现这一情况。

A comparison with the United States is especially pertinent. Prior to the Great Crisis of 2008-09, personal consumption was nearly 70% of U.S. GDP – essentially double the portion in China. Moreover, consumers were heavily levered – borrowing freely from a massive property bubble to support consumption. When the twin bubble burst – both property and credit – American consumers went into a wrenching balance sheet recession, which endures to this day. The annualized growth of real consumer expenditures has averaged just 1.4% over the past seven years – down sharply from the 3.6% trend in the 12 years before the crisis and, in fact, the weakest period of consumption growth since the 1930s.

我们非常有必要对比一下中国与美国。在2008-09年全球金融危机之前,个人消费占到了美国GDP的近70%,这一比例基本上是中国的两倍。此外,消费者十分倚重于杠杆工具,从巨大的地产泡沫中随意借贷以支持消费。当这两者(地产和信贷)的泡沫同时破灭时,美国消费者陷入了痛苦的负债萧条模式,一直持续至今。过去7年中,美国实际消费支出的平均年增长率仅为1.4%,较危机之前12年间的3.6%大幅下滑。事实上,该增长率创下了上个世纪30年代以来消费增长的新低。

What this comparison means is that the downside risk to the Chinese economy in the aftermath of the bursting of its equity bubble is likely to be far less severe than that which has occurred in other post-bubble economies – notably Japan and the United States. This is very much at odds with the fears that have been expressed in many quarters that China’s equity market implosion portends a hard landing for the world’s second largest economy.

这一对比告诉我们,股市泡沫破灭对中国经济的不利影响有可能要远低于对其他经济体的影响,例如日本和美国。然而,与此非常矛盾的一个观点在于,很多观点都担心中国股市泡沫的破灭预示着这一全球第二大经济体将出现硬着陆。

Nevertheless, the sharp decline in Chinese equities should not be taken lightly. Asset bubbles, which have occurred all too frequently around the world over the past 25 years, can pose a severe threat to real economic activity. There are several examples of this in just the past quarter of a century. First it was Japan with its property and equity bubbles, then America with its dotcom, property and credit bubbles, and of course Europe with its “convergence bubble” that saw artificial growth in Southern Europe and Ireland stemming from an interest rate convergence play. China needs to be mindful of three important lessons from these earlier experiences:

不管怎么样,人们不应轻视中国股市的暴跌。资产泡沫在过去25年中在全球频频出现,它可能对实体经济活动带来严重威胁。在过去的四分之一世纪里,这样的前车之鉴就有好几个。首先是日本的地产和股市泡沫,然后便是美国的网络、地产和信贷泡沫,当然还有欧洲的“趋同泡沫”,其中,南欧和爱尔兰因欧盟一视同仁的利率政策出现了虚假繁荣。中国应从中吸取以下三个教训:

First, while it is impossible to avoid the cycles of fear and greed that have given rise to speculative asset bubbles for centuries, regulators and policymakers must draw the line when bubbles threaten to distort the real economy. Fortunately, as stressed above, China’s embryonic consumer sector works to its advantage in this key respect. However, some day – after rebalancing occurs – that will not be the case. China certainly needs to prepare for that eventuality.

首先,尽管我们无法避免几个世纪以来引发资产投机泡沫、周而复始的恐慌和贪婪,但监管机构和决策者必须采取措施,防止泡沫对实体经济构成威胁。幸运的是,正如上面所强调的,中国尚未成气候的消费群体在这一关键时期体现了其优势所在。然而,终有一天,也就是中国经济实现再平衡之后,情况将截然不同。中国确有必要为这一天的到来做好准备。

Second, bubbles and the policy responses they evoke, are a serious threat to financial stability. For China, the bursting of its equity bubble not only poses a risk to financial stability but it also draws into serious question efforts to wean Chinese companies from bank-centric financing strategies by enticing them into the presumed security of the equity market. As such, the bubble, and the instability it underscores, is a major setback on the road to capital market reform – a linchpin of China’s rebalancing strategy. The good news is that Chinese authorities still have plenty of ammunition left to deal with the fallout from a plunging equity market – in sharp contrast to major economies in the developed world, which are stuck in liquidity traps at zero interest rates.

第二,泡沫和相应的应对政策将对金融稳定构成严重的威胁。对于中国来说,股市泡沫的破灭不仅为金融稳定带来了风险,同时,它还让人们对鼓励中国企业进入看似安全的股市、摆脱以银行为主的融资策略的举措于产生了严重的质疑。好在中国政府仍有很多手段来应对股市暴跌所带来的影响,这与一些主要发达经济体形成了鲜明对比,因为一些发达国家仍深陷零利率的流动性陷阱而不能自拔。

Third, this time is not different. Regulators and policymakers must avoid the seductive temptation of believing that surging markets are validating a new approach to economic management and development. A seven-month doubling of the Chinese equity market was, in retrospect, an accident waiting to happen. It was a time for discipline – not complacency.

第三,此轮股市泡沫破灭与以往完全一样。监管机构和决策者绝不能相信股市暴涨就是对经济管理和发展新举措的验证,同时必须抵制这类思想的诱惑。回想起来,中国股市在7个月之内翻一番本身就是一个定时炸弹。当时,监管机构就应尽快设立相关制度,而不是自鸣得意。

Chinese authorities are obviously taking this problem very seriously. It remains to be seen if the wide-ranging actions now being initiated will be sufficient to arrest the decline. That day will eventually come – hopefully sooner rather than later. When the dust settles, it will be time for a careful retrospective examination of what happened and why. China can ill afford to make the same mistake twice.

显然,中国当局在对待这一问题上的态度非常严肃。至于如今实施的大范围举措是否足以遏制股市下跌仍有待观察。中国经济实现平衡的那一天终将到来,不过,但愿是早到而不是晚到。在处理好股市问题之后,中国当局应认真反思期间出现的问题和原因。在同一问题上再次犯同样的错误是难以承受的。(财富中文网)

Stephen S. Roach, a faculty member at Yale University and former Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, is the author of Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China.

本文作者史蒂芬·罗奇是耶鲁大学教员,也是摩根士丹利前亚洲业务主席,著有《失衡:中美之间的互依性》一书。

声明: 本文由金丝燕网原创编译,转载请保留链接: Why China’s market crash won’t mean global chaos

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