KRIZA 3.0

KRIZA 3.0

Oddaja
10. 8. 2015 - 20.00

Duh našega časa že nekaj let zaznamujejo gospodarske in finančne krize. Naš medijski prostor in javne ter zasebne politične debate je tako v zadnjih mesecih zopet zaznamovala kriza v Grčiji. A medtem ko smo se na stari celini pričkali glede vsekakor tudi za našo prihodnost zelo relevantnih pogojev, pod katerimi je Grčija dobila zadnjih 86 milijard evrov pomoči, se je na drugem koncu sveta odvijal finančni spektakel precej večjih razsežnosti. Na Kitajskem je skupna vrednost delnic A, to je tistih delnic, s katerimi lahko trgujejo le kitajski državljani na obeh kitajskih borzah, to je v Šanghaju in Šenzenu, v nekaj tednih padla za tretjino. S tem je izpuhtelo nekje med 3000 in 3500 milijard dolarjev. Za primerjavo: ta vrednost je ekvivalentna tretjini bruto domačega proizvoda evrocone, 30-odstotni padec cen pa je približno toliko, kot je padla vrednost nekaterih ameriških borznih indeksov po zlomu banke Lehman Brothers leta 2008. In če vmes ne bi posegla kitajska vlada z zelo drastičnimi ukrepi, bi se ta padec končal še precej nižje. Slovenski in, če smo fer, tudi svetovni mediji pa so o tem skopo poročali. V tokratnem Zeitgeistu smo skušali osvetliti, kako in zakaj je prišlo do omenjene situacije, kako oziroma če sploh je Kitajska trge uspela ukrotiti in kakšne posledice lahko pričakujemo ter kako je vse skupaj vklopljeno v duh časa.

Skupna vrednost delnic na kitajskih borzah je v zadnjem letu narasla za 130 do 150 odstotkov. To je samo po sebi recept za katastrofo. Kot nam pove Meijun Qian z Australian National University, je razlog za tako hiter porast cen v kombinaciji vladnih ukrepov, ki so spodbudili vlaganje v borzo, in dejstvu, da so bile pred uvedbo teh ukrepov kitajske delnice podcenjene oziroma da je trgovanje na borzi raslo relativno počasi v primerjavi s hitro rastjo gospodarstva:

 

The Chinese market did not grow much in spite of the economy has been growing in the past several years. So the market in the last year - sort of price is a bit depressed. So when the government had a lot of policy passed in terms of how to promote the further economic development and also financial reform it was received as good news. So the market started to trade to reflect those valuation changes. So later on when the valuation goes up, then the retail investors join in and also at the same time government also recently passed the [law allowing] margin trading, which was previously not allowed in China. So the volume of trading coming in is just suddenly became so large that it pushes [the market] up way too much to become a bubble.

 

Z ukrepi v smeri reforme finančnih trgov je Kitajska najprej privabila tako domače kot tuje investitorje. V tem primeru je treba ločiti dve vrsti investitorjev. Na eni strani tako imenovane institucionalne investitorje, na primer banke in parabanke - to so institucije, ki v nekaterih pogledih opravljajo podobno vlogo kot banke, vendar izven formalnega bančnega sistema in niso regulirane kot banke. Sem spadajo na primer pokojninski in investicijski skladi, skladi tveganega kapitala itd. Na drugi strani pa maloprodajne investitorje, to so dejanski ljudje iz mesa in krvi, ki vlagajo v delnice. Kot pove Jack Rasmus s Saint Marry’s Collegea v Kaliforniji, se je balon začel napihovati z vlaganji institucionalnih investitorjev:

 

When the bubble really takes of is late last year and that’s when the government made it very attractive for institutional investors, which is a nice word of saying shadow bankers and wealthy finance elite, to come into the market. So we have this market being boosted both by shadow institutional investors and by retail investors. The retail buyers really came into the market, and by retail by the way what we mean is small, average purchasers of stock - retail meaning average consumers, not institutionals and not the really wealthy finance capital elite - the margin buyers, the retail buyers came in late, in other words earlier this year in large numbers.

 

Ko so se v začetku letošnjega leta institucionalnim pridružili še maloprodajni investitorji, se je napihovanje balona pospešilo. Pred zlomom naj bi v borzni balon investiralo skoraj 10 odstotkov kitajskih gospodinjstev, večina njih kar od 15 do 20 odstotkov vseh svojih prihrankov, po nekaterih ocenah pa je število investitorjev še mnogo višje. Maloprodajni investitorji so večinoma investirali s sposojenim denarjem preko sistema tako imenovanih maržnih posojil. V svojem bistvu gre za piramidno shemo, ki jo pojasni Rasmus:

 

Margin lending is essentially you are able to borrow and buy more stock based on the valuation of the stock you have already bought. And that means if the stock you bought is going up in value, in other words it’s price is rising, you have a greater value collateral and therefore you can buy more stock by borrowing. In other words you leverage your stock purchasing. You purchase more stock based upon debt borrowing and that becomes more available - the credit becomes more available - as the price of your stock rises. Now, in the case of the chinese stock market what we have is this incredible bubble that bloomed in about 12-14 months. And the reason why it grew so fast was that China’s government pretty much gave the green light and provided incentives for it to grow. In other words it loosened the margin requirements and encouraged people to purchase more and more stock based on margin on credit and so forth.

So the question is why did the chinese government do that? What’s the broader picture here?

 

Ko cena delnic začne padati, se zmanjša tudi količina novega kredita in piramida se sesuje sama vase. Kar se je vprašal Rasmus, torej, kaj je širša slika, pa se vprašajmo še mi. Zakaj bi kitajska vlada, ki se je do zdaj izkazala za relativno uspešno upraviteljico kapitalizma in ohranjanja socialne stabilnosti v njem, spodbujala takšno piramidno shemo? Vlada je namreč balon spodbujala ne le z reformnimi ukrepi, temveč tudi preko državnih medijev, kjer je zanikala, da gre za balon, in vlaganje v borzo enačila z uresničitvijo tako imenovanih kitajskih sanj. Jack Rasmus za takšno ravnanje našteje tri razloge: reševanje nepremičninskega balona s preusmeritvijo likvidnosti na borzo, preusmeritev likvidnosti vedno bogatejšega srednjega razreda iz drugih finančnih balonov na borzo ter reševanje slabše poslujočih in zadolženih državnih podjetij z dokapitalizacijo preko prodaje delnic:

 

From 2010 on China also began to open up it’s financial system to the west. Meaning to U.S. bank and particularly shadow banks. The money flowed in from the advanced economies and it, including shadow banking money, and it fueled the property boom in China. Local governmetns in particular no longer needed to just borrow from chinese national banks - they borrowed and fueled their property bubble, real estate bubble with a lot of this foreign money, shadow banking money. China from about 2012-13 on attempted to tame these shadow banks, but every time they did it with traditional monetary policy, it slowed down it’s real economy. So we’re on again-off again: okay, we’re gonna tame the banks and the property bubble and they do that and they tame them a little bit, but it slowed down their economy, then they would boost their economy again and it was back and forth, back and forth this way.

So about a year or so ago, China decided that what they would do, would be to divert all the money-capital from the property boom into the stock market. In other words: let’s try not to slow down economy, but let’s move all this excess money-speculative capital out of property, slow down property bubbly prices and move it into the stock market. And of course a lot of Chinese got very rich during this period from 2010-14 as well, so you had this rising middle class with a lot of excess liquidity to invest as well. They were putting a lot of their money into asset-management products, causing a bubble in that particular market as well. And then you had a problem with excess debt in the old-line industrial companies in China. So you had these three financial problems: property bubble, excess asset-management shadow bank purchases and the old-line companies that had a lot of debt and were issuing junk-bonds just to stay alive.

So China saw the possibility of diverting, deflating these problems, that were growing into the stock market. Move this money-capital into the stock market. By booming the stock market, these old-line industrial companies could raise equity capital and the government won’t have to bail them out; by booming the stock market it would take the pressure off the property bubble and asset management bubble and move the money into the stock market. And the idea was that if the stock market boomed, prices of companies would rise, equity would rise and that would stimulate private sector investment. That would take the pressure off the government [to] have to invest.

So it seemed like a nice solution for a number of problems. The problem was, it created a bubble. You know the bubbles were just moved around. And that’s a problem with 21st century finance capital and trying to regulate it, when it’s global: the money just moves around from one bubble to the next. It’s like that game called wack-a-mole, where you try to hit the thing that pops up and another thing pops up. I don’t know if they have that in Europe, but you know it’s a kid’s game here.

 

Ko je postalo jasno, da se je borzni balon le preveč napihnil, je bilo očitno že prepozno. 12. junija je komisija za regulacijo trga vrednostnih papirjev objavila, da bo omejila razsežnost maržnih posojil. V skladu s piramidno naravo sheme je isti dan vrednost delnic na kitajskih borzah začela padati. Več pove Meijun Qian:

 

The government has warned about the sharp increase of equity market prior to the burst of the bubble. They had kept sending warnigns. The trigger of this burst of the bubble is also actually [that] the government took certain steps. They tried to stop the equity market from rising so sharp. Once the bubble formed, the government sees allowing the margin trading in the high margin ratios is going to amplify how much liquidity comes in [and] affect the price. So they take measures to start to constrain on the margin you can take. Which triggered a certain fly-out of the liquidity. So when the stock prices start to drop it will trigger a chain reaction. We all know, once the financial bubble is popped, it’s going to crash down. So the government didn’t anticipate fully how severe the chain reaction is. And it is this chain reaction that caused the prices to go down and that can have an effect on the market sentiment.

So many of the retail investors and including institutional investors already know it’s in a bubble, but it’s a matter of when they get out. Once they see the prices start to drop, they all want to get out, so the prices start coming down sharply. So this will trigger a chain reaction, that causes the market [to become] very unstabilized.

 

Nestabilnost na borzi bi lahko, sploh upoštevajoč veliko število maloprodajnih investitorjev, kaj hitro ogrozila družbeno stabilnost. Vzdrževanje slednje pa je v kitajskem političnem sistemu ena najvišjih prioritet. Popoln zlom borze, po zgledu ameriškega iz leta 1929 ali tudi tistega iz 2008, zato s stališča oblasti ni prišel v poštev. Vlada je, potem ko je po nekaj tednih vendarle postalo jasno, da padanje ni le začasna turbulenca in da se bo nadaljevalo, začela sprejemati vedno ostrejše ukrepe. Najprej je spustila obrestno mero, s čimer je želela zagotoviti dodaten pritok likvidnosti na borzo. Ko to ni zaleglo, so sledili nadaljnji ukrepi. Po eni strani je oblast nadaljnji padec cen skušala preprečiti s še večjim pritokom likvidnosti. V ta namen so državni in paradržavni skladi ter podjetja v trg vložili nekaj 100 milijard dolarjev. Vlada je ustanovila sicer le 20 milijard dolarjev vreden sklad za stabilizacijo trga, ki naj bi pomagal posredniškim hišam kupovati več delnic. Ponovno so sprostili pravila glede maržnih posojil, s katerimi naj bi maloprodajnim investitorjem omogočili nadaljnje trgovanje, odprli so jim tudi možnost pridobitve kredita z zastavitvijo nepremičnin.

Na drugi strani so sprejeli ukrepe, s katerimi so omejili prodajo delnic, in tako zamrznili nadaljnji padec cen. Prepovedali so prve javne ponudbe, torej prodaje delnic, s katerimi podjetja prvič vstopajo na borzo, in zaustavili že začete. Vsem, ki imajo v lasti več kot 5 odstotkov posameznega podjetja, so za nadaljnjih 6 mesecev prepovedali prodajo delnic; škodljivim špekulantom pa so zagrozili s kazenskim pregonom. Poleg tega so borza v Šanghaju in borza v Šenzenu ter Komisija za trg vrednostnih papirjev sprejele vloge za prekinitev trgovanja kar 1476 podjetij, ki predstavljajo 40 odstotkov vrednosti na kitajskih borzah. Prekinitev trgovanja se sicer uporablja v primerih prevzemov in združevanj podjetij, torej večjih lastniških sprememb, v tem primeru pa so jo izrabili za začasno zamrznitev cen.

Z naštetimi ukrepi je vlada uspela ustaviti izpuščanje naluknjanega balona. Padec vrednosti, ki se je v zadnjem letu napihnila za 130 do 150 odstotkov, se je ustavil pri 30 odstotkih. Jack Rasmus pokomentira odziv oblasti:

 

Well, I would say the market was collapsing so fast, they had to do something. And doing a little bit would not have had any effect. So they did [introduce] a number of pretty serious, draconian measures here to prevent the further rapid collapse. So in the short run they have been quite successful in that.

But [in] the long run that would not contain this crisis. The stock market has gone up 120%. I don’t care if you suspend trading, at some point you’re gonna have to unsuspend the trading and that’s when the rich investors and the retail investors are gonna see their oportunity to recoup a little bit of their losses and take their money and run. And that’s exactly what’s happening. And of course the stock market there dropped again significantly and we’re gonna see that - you know some recovery further crashes, some recovery further crashes - for several weeks now.

What they’re gonna try to do is maybe try to regulate and slow down the collapse. You see, because when financial asset bubbles collapse, it’s not only how far they collapse, but how fast they collapse. That’s importaint, particularly in terms of contagion effects. And I think China knows that this market has to correct and it’s trying not to stop it from correcting, but probably to slow the process of correction. I can’t believe that chinese policy makers are so stupid to think that they can stop this thing at the 30% correction that it’s had already and that in some way they can prevent it from falling further. I’m sure they’re not that naive. What they’re gonna try to do is engineer a slowing of the deflating of the bubble. And weather the chinese government can get this thing under control is gonna be very interesting, you know. Will finance capital pretty much prevail over Chine government regulation, or will China government regulation be able to control it, as they thought they could since 2010.

 

Kljub začasni prekinitvi padca je kriza s stališča javnosti razgalila pomanjkljivosti kitajskih regulatorjev in oblasti. Zato lahko potencialno nosi tudi politične posledice. Iz druge perspektive, to je perspektive kapitala, pa je odziv regulatorjev ilustriral voljo po uporabi nič kaj prostotržnih ukrepov in predrznost poseganja v domnevno samoupravne trge. Posledično utegne kapital, ki je v čedalje bolj globaliziranem svetu vedno bolj plašna ptica, prenehati z gnezdenjem na kitajskih finančnih trgih. Rasmus opiše potencialne posledice zadnje krize za Kitajsko in v podaljšku tudi svetovno gospodarstvo:

 

And it’s gonna be interesting to see weather investors want to jump back into these stock markets after they’ve been so highly regulated here recently - [I mean] intervention by China, you know. And if that’s the case, if the stock prices don’t come back after they’ve collapsed - how is China going to engineer it’s new strategy of relying more on the private sector, private consumption, private investment to keep China growth going. That’s gonna be interesing. I don’t see what now their next strategy might be if driving the stock market is the vehicle for maneuvering the economy towards a more private consumption and private investment growth path. Of course they can’t keep pumping 45% of GDP in direct government investment, right, they can’t do that. Well, they could lower their currency and try to boost exports, but global trading is slowing everywhere. And you’ve got Europe and Japan desperatly trying to drive down their currencies with QE (quantitative easing) to garner a slightly higher share of global exports. I don’t see - if it’s not export driven, if it’s not government direct investment driven and if the private sector now cannot expand in China as a result of the stock market - what’s next?

Even if they manage this bubble, slowing it, in the long run, the money-capital, foreign money-capital is gonna flow out of China. And chinese money is gonna flow out of China. A lot of these investors who made a lot of money in the market and other bubbles are now sending their money out of China. And you’re gonna see a consequence of rising real estate property markets selectively elsewhere in the west: in the US a lot of this money is gonna flow into real estate and some of the money will flow into Europe as well into real estate as these people take their money out of their markets in China and move it to Europe and the US. So you’re gonna see property bubbles again in select places, high end property select bubbles in the US and Europe as one of the contagion effects of this. You’ll also see a contagion effect, I believe, in other stock markets in Europe and the US, because these markets, particularly in the US and UK have risen pretty highly. And people, investors are just waiting for an opportunity, an indicator that the game is be over to take their money and run as well.

 

Rasmus kitajsko borzno krizo postavi še v globalni politično-ekonomski kontekst in duh časa:

 

There’s too much excess liquidity in the global economy and far more than can be used to invest in real assets and create real jobs. And of course the central banks are feeding this with all their liquidity. You know just QE (quantitative easing) programs alone have injected more than 9 trillion dollars and then zero interest rates and negative interest rates for, i don’t know, 6-7 years now have maybe pumped another 10-15 trillion. So we’ve got about 25 trillion in liquid injection going on from the central banks in just the last decade or so. Where’s that money gonna go? Well, it goes into financial speculation, it goies into these liquid markets, financial markets, that’s where. And financial investment is so much more profitable thatn investing in real things. You know, its’ not that the real economy slowing and therefore investors are turning to financial assets, some economists have argued that. In other words it’s a problem of falling profits in the real economy that is driving this. No, I think it’s the other way around, I think it’s a rising profitable opportunity in the financial assets, that is driving the slowdown in the real asset side.

So the finance capital elite and the shadow banks, which control about 100 trillion dollars now in investable liquid assets around the world just keep booming their money around. There’s a real problem of financialisation and excess liquidity that fuels bubbles here and bubbles there. The money just moves around in what I call the global money parade. And we see this very clearly in China.

So China is the new locus, the new location of global financial crisis. You see it was mostly centered when it erupted in 2007-8 in the US and UK, because of their very open-ended speculative financial sector. And in 2010 and after China boomed and emerging markets boomed, because a lot of the liquiditys injection of the US and UK central banks flowed out of US and UK and flowed into China and emerging markets causing a boom there. While that lasted to about 2013-14, now we’re moving into yet a new phase of the global crisis and that’s where this money-capital that flowed to China and emerging markets is flowing back now.

So, you know, we’re in a new phase and the locus of the crisis is shifting. First phase US and UK, second phase it was Japan and Europe that were the most severely impacted, and now the third phase, it’s China and the emerging markets.

 

Pa nasvidenje v naslednji krizi!

 

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