Entries by Andrew Bloomfield, CFA

International borrowing and the US dollar

• Some market participants are worried about the ever rising market value of US borrowing vis-à-vis the rest of the world – as measured by the Net International Investment Position
• Currency depreciation can function as an effective method of adjustment following an increase in external borrowing
• However, there are reasons to be cautious about this line of thinking, especially with respect to the US dollar. These include asset valuation effects, and the role of the US as a global facilitator of excess saving.

Recent trends in the RMB

This year the RMB has bucked its recent trend and remained broadly stable against the US dollar for the first half of 2017. As the US dollar retraces, the RMB has softened against its main trade partners.

For Policymakers, this is a convenient outcome, though there exists a delicate balance to maintain and the recent change to the PBoC’s fixing mechanism looks to be a reflection of this.

China: macro myth-busting

• In this blog post we offer our thoughts on three strategically important questions regarding China’s macroeconomic and FX policy, for which there appears to be little consensus.
• A disaggregation of the decline in foreign exchange reserves and the balance of payments reveal some less sinister causes of reserve drawdowns and capital outflows
• Looking at the bigger picture, we believe China is stuck in an uncomfortable position within the “impossible trinity” and see further exchange rate and capital account liberalisation key factors in finding a new equilibrium.

Agreekment: Mapping out the flows

• The initial details of the bail-out suggest that over the next three years, Greece’s hard-line creditors could be largely ‘paid-off’, leaving the door open to debt renegotiation further down the line.

• While Greece is required to make further sacrifices in the form of asset privatization, the deal postpones economic and humanitarian consequences of Euro exit.

• As always, there are significant uncertainties surrounding long run feasibility including primary surplus and asset sale revenue assumptions.