June 10, 2009

Martin Wolf’s savings are not much different from China’s or Germany’s

Sir Martin Wolf referring to the surpluses of countries China and Germany writes “they cannot have both safe foreign assets and huge surpluses”. Why not? It is obvious that persistent surpluses do create special difficulties but these are faced by all investor, even Mr Wolf if he runs a surplus. “It is in Beijing’s interests to lend Geithner a hand” June 10.

In fact had it not been for the misguidance produced by the credit rating agencies or the regulators intervening in the risk allocation process of the market by way of the minimum capital requirements for banks, the system could have kept on working for a very long time until other factors would have become important on the margin.

For instance, just a couple of years ago many were analyzing what would happen to China when they ran out of their labour surplus and salaries were not any longer so competitive. Sadly now we won’t know this for quite some time.

Wolf considers “China’s decision to accumulate roughly $2.000bn in foreign currency reserves... a blunder” What did he himself do? Spent it all? Kept it in pounds? Did he also blunder?