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全球金融需要更强的弹性来承受冲击

2020-3-13 15:01

3月6日,湖北省武汉市一名新感染冠状病毒的患者(左)已经康复,正在医院接受进一步检查。[中国日报王晶摄]


现在断言本周全球金融市场的动荡将导致一场大崩盘还为时过早,但这些抛售确实表明中国经济面临的外部风险正在增加。


道琼工业指数. dji周三大跌5.86%,收于23553.22点,较2月12日的峰值累计挫跌逾20%。标准普尔500指数和纳斯达克指数周三双双下跌约5%。


相比之下,国内a股市场一直相对稳健。尽管上证综合指数周一下跌了3.01%,但周二上涨了1.82%,周四下跌了1.52%,收于2923.49点。


如果全球金融市场继续恶化,它肯定会影响主要经济体,进而给中国经济带来压力。今年第一季度,由于新型冠状病毒的流行,中国经济已经放缓。


尽管政策制定者和经济学家都在努力制定今年的经济增长措施,但从更长期来看,中国必须系统性地增强其经济抗周期性冲击的弹性。


自1月下旬以来,中国已经封锁了湖北省省会武汉,并减少了经济活动和旅游,以遏制病毒的传播。因此,经济学家估计,第一季度的经济增长可能会放缓至5%甚至更低。


反映经济活动预期的制造业采购经理人指数(pmi)从1月份的50降至2月份的35.7。统计数据显示,该国抗击冠状病毒的新举措正在稳步取得进展,确诊感染该病毒的患者数量一直在稳步下降。3月份的制造业采购经理人指数(PMI)或许会有所改善,但要让业务恢复到疫情爆发前的水平,还需要一段时间。


该病毒带来的严重经济损失、来自其他国家的贸易限制以及全球金融危机的威胁,应提醒政策制定者,有必要提高经济对意外冲击的弹性,为未来几年的不时之需做好准备。


在过去的20年里,中国经济以相对较快的速度增长。但与此同时,经常被迫应对冲击引发的突发事件,如1997 - 98年的亚洲金融危机、2003年的严重急性呼吸系统综合症流行,2008年的四川地震,全球金融危机在2008年和2009年,他与其他国家的贸易纠纷和当前新型冠状病毒疫情。


这些冲击都导致了短期内经济的急剧放缓,对中国的就业市场、企业部门和金融体系构成了严重挑战。如果这些问题没有得到妥善解决,中国的经济、金融甚至社会稳定都将面临风险。


未来几十年,类似的冲击可能还会继续发生。这不是制造恐慌的人,但是一个真正的可能性,考虑到一般高债务水平在许多主要经济体可能引发金融危机,全球气温上升可能激活并可能导致更频繁的流行病和自然灾害加剧地缘政治争端在世界的某些地方可能最终演变成冲突甚至战争最糟糕的情况下。


中国在抗击新型冠状病毒的斗争中表现出了很强的韧性。在最初的犹豫和混乱后,病毒被发现在武汉迅速传播,当局迅速采取针对性和果断的措施——比如武汉的封锁,减少人体运动和动员医务人员来自全国各地,包括中医从业人员提高抗击病毒的功效。


到目前为止,中国各地确诊病例数量已大幅下降,中国现在能够派遣医疗团队和物资,帮助其他国家控制疫情。


中国这次得到的重要教训之一是,公立医院在遏制疫情蔓延方面发挥了决定性作用。根据国家卫生健康委员会的数据,中国的私立医院占全国总数的63%。但他们中的大多数人在技术上无法应对如此大的挑战,如目前的疫情。还有一些虽然在技术上有能力,但拒绝参与。

 

公立医院一直是抗击疫情的中流砥柱,数千名勇敢的医生和护士响应中央政府的号召,奔赴武汉和湖北其他地区,帮助控制疫情的蔓延。如果没有他们的参与,情况就不会改善得这么快。


随着国家对公立医院体制的改革,许多公立医院——尤其是基层医院——已经卖给了私人投资者。但是这个国家必须进一步提高关键公立医院的操作,增加财政投入,制定适当的政策来帮助他们提高他们的效率和防止人才流失,因为他们不能仅仅满足日常公众对高质量的卫生服务的需求,但还必须在打击流行病的传播中扮演不可或缺的角色。


同样,应该重新评估公共部门的企业,因为它们也可以在危机时期发挥重要作用,例如流行病和救灾。


例如,在2008年和2009年全球金融危机期间,中国国有企业为国家稳定经济增长、就业市场和大宗商品价格做出了重要贡献。


在提高国有企业经营效率的同时,不应削弱国有企业在国家经济结构调整中的实力。


最高领导层同意在19世纪的中国共产党全国代表大会2017年“不应该犹豫不决,巩固和发展公共部门工作的”,虽然非公开部门也应该支持和市场发挥资源配置的决定性的作用。


一些在中国有相当大影响力的自由放任主义经济学家主张用市场化改革取代国有企业,理由是前者效率低,对经济资源的利用率高。


政策制定者不应被这些片面的论点所误导,而应稳步推进国有企业改革,以提高它们的运营效率,同时保持它们在抵消国民经济意外冲击方面不可或缺的作用。


市场的作用当然应该得到尊重。国家把确保市场在资源配置中起决定性作用作为政策取向。但这并不意味着所有公共部门的参与者都应该被赶出市场,代之以私营部门的参与者。

 

 

A novel coronavirus patient (left) who has recovered goes to a hospital for further checkups in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, on March 6. [Photo by Wang Jing/China Daily]

 

It's still too early to claim that the turbulence in global financial markets this week will lead to a major meltdown, but the sell-offs do point to the increasing external risks facing the Chinese economy.

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 5.86 percent to close at 23553.22 on Wednesday, falling altogether by more than 20 percent from its peak on Feb 12. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both plunged by around 5 percent on Wednesday.

 

In contrast, the domestic A-share market has remained relatively sound. Although the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell by 3.01 percent on Monday, it gained 1.82 percent on Tuesday, and fell 1.52 percent to close at 2923.49 points on Thursday.

 

If global financial markets continue to sour, it will definitely affect major economies and in turn spill over to put pressure on the Chinese economy, which has already slowed in the first quarter due to the novel coronavirus epidemic.

 

While policymakers and economists alike are trying to come up with measures to bolster growth this year, over the longer term, it is a must for the country to systemically build up its economic resilience against periodic shocks.

 

Since late January, the country has locked down Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, and reduced economic activity and travel to contain transmission of the virus. As a result, growth may slow to 5 percent or even lower in the first quarter, economists have estimated.

 

The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, which reflects activity expectations, slumped to 35.7 in February, down from 50 in January. As statistics show, the country's novel coronavirus-combating initiative is making solid headway and the number of confirmed patients infected with the virus has been declining steadily. The manufacturing PMI reading in March may improve, but it will take some time for operations to return to pre-epidemic levels.

 

The serious economic damage brought by the virus, trade restrictions from other countries and the threat of a global financial crisis should remind policymakers of the need to improve the resiliency of the economy against unexpected shocks to prepare for rainy days in the years to come.

 

Over the past two decades, the Chinese economy has expanded at a relatively brisk pace. But at the same time, it has frequently been forced to cope with shocks triggered by unexpected contingencies, such as the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic, the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province, the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, trade disputes with other nations and the current novel coronavirus epidemic.

 

Those shocks have all caused sharp short-term economic slowdowns, posing a severe challenge to the country's job market, corporate sector and financial system. If they had not been properly tackled, China's economic, financial and even social stability would have been put at risk.

 

Similar shocks may continue to occur in the coming decades. This is not panic-mongering, but a real possibility, considering the generally high debt level in many major economies that may trigger financial crises, rising global temperatures that may activate natural disasters and potentially lead to more frequent epidemics and intensified geopolitical disputes in some parts of the world that may ultimately evolve into conflicts and even wars in worst case scenarios.

 

China has shown strong resilience in the current battle against the novel coronavirus. After the initial hesitation and chaos after the virus was found to be spreading rapidly in Wuhan, authorities quickly took targeted and decisive measures-such as the lockdown of Wuhan, reduction of human movement and mobilization of medical staff from all over the country, including traditional Chinese medicine practitioners-to improve the efficacy of the fight against the virus.

 

So far, the number of confirmed cases has sharply declined across China and the country is now able to send medical teams and materials to help other countries control the epidemic.

 

One of the important lessons for China this time is that its public hospitals have played a decisive role in containing the spread of the outbreak. China's private hospitals account for 63 percent of the country's total, according to the National Health Commission. But most of them are technically unable to handle such a big challenge as the current epidemic. And others, although technically capable, have declined to participate.

 

Public hospitals have served as the backbone in the battle against the outbreak, with thousands of brave doctors and nurses from public hospitals answering the call of the central authorities to rush to Wuhan and other parts of Hubei to help contain the spread of the epidemic. Without their participation, the situation would not have improved so fast.

 

As the country reforms its public hospital system, many public hospitals-especially at the grassroots level-have been sold to private investors. But the country must further improve the operation of key public hospitals, increase fiscal inputs and devise appropriate policies to help them improve their efficiency and prevent brain drain, because they cannot merely satisfy daily public demand for high-quality health services, but must also play an indispensable role in combating the spread of epidemics.

 

Similarly, enterprises in the public sector at large should be reassessed as they can also play a major role in times of crisis, such as epidemic and disaster relief.

 

During the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, for instance, China's State-owned enterprises made important contributions to the country's efforts to stabilize economic growth, the job market and commodity prices.

 

While the operational efficiency of State enterprises should be improved, their strength should not be weakened in the country's economic restructuring.

 

The top leadership agreed at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017 that "there must be no irresolution about working to consolidate and develop the public sector", although the nonpublic sector should also be supported and the market should play the decisive role in resource allocation.

 

Some economists championing laissez faire doctrines who have quite a big influence in China have argued for using market-oriented reforms to replace State-owned enterprises with private ones, citing the formers' low efficiency and high utilization of economic resources.

 

Policymakers should not be misled by such one-sided arguments and should instead steadily push forward SOE reforms to improve their operational efficiency while maintaining their indispensible role in offsetting unexpected shocks to the national economy.

 

The role of the market should certainly be respected. The nation has made it a policy orientation to ensure the market plays a decisive role in resource allocation. But that does not mean all public sector players should be driven out of the market and replaced with private ones.

 

原作者: Xin Zhiming 来自: china daily