April 21st, 2012


China and the (slightly) more flexible yuan


In a nutshell: the range within which the Chinese currency could juggle against the $ has been raised for the first time since 2007, and it's now at the amazing rate of... 1%. :)

Some are calling this a decisive step for China toward unleashing the market's potential to define the price of the yuan. On the one hand, this is double the size of the allowed fluctuations (before 2007 it was even 0.3%). On the other, it doesn't sound too impressing.

The decision of the Chinese central bank didn't come as a surprise, though. The Chinese don't seem to like surprises (they certainly didn't like the whole US debt ceiling debacle). They were preparing the markets for quite a while for the news that they'd loosen the control on the yuan and allow it to be traded "more freely".

Collapse )
Слушам и не вярвам на очите си!

Private vs public interest: the balance

Greetings, my Lenin followers worshipers of freedom-dom & democracy-cy! An ongoing case here at the ass of the Balkans (which in turn is the ass of Europe) is causing a lot of discussions on the subject of private and public interests and their role in the state affairs. Is a sensible equilibrium even possible between them? And what's needed to maintain it? Not an easy question.

I don't watch much TV, but when I occasionally do, I always somehow happen to come across some weird folks fuming over political issues for hours and hours on. So a few days ago I saw this TV political talk-show host, with his greased hair and predatory look in the eyes, wanking all over his interlocutor who looked rather shy but intelligent well over the average level you might expect to see on such a show. The question was, "Aren't we returning to communism these days, now that the state has proposed to buy off the failed non-ferrous metal processing plant in the underdeveloped region of Kardzhali?" The other guy just gave the host an odd look, which prompted Mr Greasyhair to go on with his rant, "Is it commie times all over again? We're returning to September 9, 1944, right? We're effectively sliding back down with all this nationalization! Do you have anything to say on that, Sir?"

Frankly, I would've just stared at him and maybe burst into hysterical laughter, or something. Or just say, "Cheers, mate! To communism!" But the other guy obviously had nerves of steel, and quite some spare time on his hands, so he started to calmly explain that similar measures are often taken in some of the most developed democracies in the West, including in America and the "more normal" EU member states, and this isn't the same thing as the nationalization of entire sectors (like in Russia), but rather an effort to find a sensible balance between private and public interests, and obtain a structure of the economy that might actually work better. Of course the host would have none of it, and he interrupted the guy so many times that the latter just gave up eventually.

Collapse )