Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wen's Signals from Davos

The article in today's Wall Street Journal regarding China Premier Wen Jiabao's implicit comments of US negligence leading to the current world financial crisis is very interesting and worth reading, but there is one part of the message that I think the paper failed to report on that should have been reported, and here it is:

"Encourage regional currency financial cooperation, stably promote international currency system pluralization."

I think the tiff that is going on between the US and China regarding holdings of US treasuries is a major issue of concern, but I do not think that we are addressing the true meaning behind China's position and their words that reflect this. This pluralization (多元化) is not about switching to Euros, Yen, and Pounds. It is about a long-term strategy for the renminbi to become the world's international currency. Inevitably this will depend on China truly stimulating domestic consumption to become the world's dominant economy, but make no mistake: Wen's comments off as much about China's long-term strategy as they do about its short-term discord.


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