Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Were are the chinese?

In the last couple of weeks there have been a lot of international meetings amongst political leaders, financial institutions and all sort of ministers. And it seems to be an agreement that the solution to the present crisis, and to avoid (delay) the next, there must be an international coordination. 

And that's good, since we all know now that a Credit Default Swaps, as other financial products, are creatures that like to jump from country to country.

What has puzzled me is that in these high level meetings I haven't seen China leaders taking a relevant part.

China, by all accounts, is a significant player in today’s economy and in my opinion cannot be left outside of the discussion on new global financial rules. I think there is some inertia on both sides, on the west and in china about the matter. The west is still thinking that western countries are the relevant world. And China is still thinking that somehow they can sell their products to the rest of the world and accept their investments, but has no need to be closely, and publicly, involved with those countries and organizations.

Might be they don't want to be too involved with barbarians? Might this is an awful proposition to them.

There is one point more to that, and that is internal politics. China is still officially a socialist country, the internal speech probably have been something along the lines of "we will take advantage of what the capitalism have to offer, mostly markets for our products and technology transfers, but are still a socialist country".  

And that speech is not very much in agreement with taking a central role in the design of a new capitalist financial system. As they also probably don't mention a lot their use of the west as savings accounts of their huge excess of foreign currency. 

I have been surprised than I have found almost no news or commentaries about this in the press, but while finishing this note I found this one that give some light about the matter. And this other one has a comment on how asians are reacting to the financial turmoil.

No comments: