(Letter) The Global Financial Crisis and China
Stock markets around the world dropped. China’s was no exception.
UK nationalized its banks. EU countries were ready to do the same. Then the bastion of free market capitalism, the US, partially nationalized its nine biggest banks.
Asean countries and China, Japan and Korea rushed to establish a long delayed US$80 billon crisis fund. South Korea did not bother to negotiate a FTA with China, now wants China’s money as insurance.
It was not enough. American economist, Nouriel Roubini, named Dr. Doom, pronounced further disasters in hedge funds, emerging markets such as Hungary, Ukraine, etc.
Now many Western commentators wonder aloud if China could, would or should bail out the West or other countries, given its US$2 trillion reserve.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown even demanded China help beef up the IMF crisis fund, now at $250 billion. IMF is an organization where China has miniscule voting rights.
China will help. But bail out the West? Not likely. China has its own needs for the money. And China will want to buy real assets, instead of more papers.
Here is an example. Chinese PM Wen Jiabao is reportedly to sign a deal with Russian oil companies for granting them a loan of $20 to $30 billion in exchange of 300 million tons of oil supply over a 20 year period.
Some real deals please, Wen would say.
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