jueves, marzo 08, 2007

. Prepared Remarks by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. on the Growth and Future of China's Financial Markets

El secretario del Tesoro de los Estados Unidos viaja a China ―otra vez― y solicita más prisa en la reforma del sistema financiero. En definitiva, Paulsen le dice a los chinos: es hora de graduarse y de formar parte del centro de la economía mundial, dejando de lado el papel (exitoso, pero no eterno) de periferia exportadora.

Tengo la sensación que el "speech" de Paulsen se ajusta bastante bien a la realidad ... argentina. La Argentina también actúa como periferia exportadora del Nuevo Bretton Woods: fue la decisión ―muy exitosa― de Roberto Lavagna. Pero todo tiene un límite, y nuestro ridículo "sistema" financiero no está a la altura del desafío que viene. Esta es una selección de las frases más relevantes de Paulsen:

The global economy, which over the last several years has been as strong as any I have seen during my business lifetime – has been characterized by strong growth, low inflation, and high levels of liquidity... Deep, liquid, and efficient capital markets pave the way for prosperity, opportunity, and economic dynamism, while minimizing and diversifying risks ...

Open, competitive, world-class financial markets are the backbone of stable and balanced growth ... Markets connect money with ideas and ambition – which are the lifeblood of innovation and dynamism. They offer a diverse array of financing channels, providing for more innovation and a lower cost of finance.

Strong capital markets require strong property rights; a robust supervisory regime with clear, transparent rules which strike the appropriate balance to ensure market integrity while promoting the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation; sound accounting standards; strong corporate governance; strong financial institutions; objective, independent financial information, analysis, and research; a meaningful disclosure regime; and independent credit rating agencies.

With an underdeveloped financial sector, investment in China doesn't reach its potential in generating returns, personal saving is not adequately rewarded, and risk is not appropriately priced, managed, and diversified. Inefficient allocation of investment means fewer jobs are created for any given level of investment, inefficient companies fail to reform, new companies with higher-value added production are stifled, and growth remains less balanced.

One lesson I have learned over the years is that although perhaps not as easy politically, it is better to implement reforms during periods of economic strength.

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