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diam2suka: BERTAHAN, china v amrik (141013_2101201empat)

January 21, 2014

Ekonomi China Tumbuh Sesuai Perkiraan
John Andhi Oktaveri – Senin, 20 Januari 2014, 09:40 WIB

Bisnis.com, JAKARTA— Ekonomi China tumbuh 7,7% selama triwulan keempat dibanding periode yang sama tahun lalu, menurut Biro Statistik Nasional China .

Sedangkan pada triwulan ketiga ekonomi China tercatat tumbuh 7,8%.

Produk industri negara itu naik 9,7% selama Desember dibandingkan periode yang sama tahun sebelumnya, menurut laporan itu. Sedangkan rata-rata 44 analis memperkirakan peningkatan sebesar 9,8% pada Desember dan 10% selama November, sebagaimana dikutip Bloomberg, Senin (20/1/2014).

Pertumbuhan produk domestik bruto (PDB) selama 2013 adalah 7,7% atau sama dengan perkiraan rata-rata dari 31 analis. Ekonomi negara itu tumbuh 7,7% pada 2012, menurut data yang dikeluarkan sebelumnya.

Ekonomi tumbuh 1,8% pada triwulan keempat dari tiga bulan sebelumnya, menurut biro tersebut.

Source : Bloomberg
Editor : Linda Teti Silitonga
Averting A US-China Economic Cold War
By: East Asia Forum Date: 20 January 2014

The US and 11 other countries are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), without China. And China and 15 other countries are negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), without the US. This unfortunate development was largely a result of misunderstanding and mistrust on both sides. Such economic cold war mentality could be very damaging to both countries and the world.

When the first G20 summit was held at the end of 2008 in Washington DC, many believed that the time had finally come for developed and developing countries to work together to reconfigure the international economic architecture. Some even suggested that the US and China formally adopt the G2 mechanism to jointly manage global affairs.

Five years have passed since then. But the US and China have made limited progress in collaboration on international economic policymaking. In fact, new rivalry has developed over building new liberalisation standards. The US and 11 other countries are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), without China. And China and 15 other countries are negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), without the US. Competition in liberalisation is not necessarily a bad thing, but mutual exclusion could lead to significant disruption to trade and investment flows.

This unfortunate development was largely a result of misunderstanding and mistrust on both sides. When the US joined the TPP and decided to scale it up into a 21st-century model of globalisation in 2008, many Americans judged that China was too far away from the expected high standards, and that its participation in the negotiations could only spoil the party. Similarly, many Chinese experts advised the Chinese government that the TPP was an American design to deliberately isolate China economically, and that China should go its own way in liberalising trade and investment. Some scholars in both countries interpreted RCEP as part of China’s overall strategy to defeat the TPP.

Such economic cold war mentality could be very damaging to both countries and the world. Economic studies have already confirmed significant income losses from the TPP for China and other countries. This is understandable because China is one of the largest export markets for all the individual TPP member economies, and is also at the centre of the Asia Pacific’s manufacturing supply chain. Therefore, implementation of TPP liberalisation could cause significant trade diversion away from China and disruption of the supply chain. Likewise, RCEP could also cause trade diversion away from the US and other non-member economies.

These scenarios are in sharp contrast with the close China–US economic cooperation of the past. China’s rapid economic growth during the reform period would not have been possible without the global free trade and investment system supported by the US. Chinese and American leaders also worked closely cementing the agreement on China’s entry into the WTO.

In the past, the US was the main architect of the global economic system. It did not see China as a potential competitor. And China passively accepted the existing rules.

But times have changed. Today, although the US is still the world’s largest economy, China is already the second-largest and is set to overtake the US within the next 10 years. It is, therefore, reasonable for China and other developing countries to want to be part of the new rule-making process. But a transition of global superpowers could make all parties very nervous, as in history it often ended in war. This makes China–US cooperation all the more important, not only to avoid major confrontation but also to build a better world.

The new major-power relationship proposed by the Chinese leaders offers a useful framework and appears to be welcomed by American leaders. But as a first step toward this new model, the two countries should work closely to bridge the TPP and RCEP initiatives. There are high hurdles to achieving this goal. But they would not be higher than bringing President Nixon and Chairman Mao together in 1972.

Positive developments have occurred recently too. In Beijing, an increasing number of policy advisors are now urging the government to apply to join the TPP negotiations as early as possible. In particular, they argue that many of the TPP’s sticky issues — such as reform of state-owned enterprises, environmental and labour standards, protection of intellectual property rights and liberalisation of services trade — are also on China’s own reform agenda. In Washington, some government officials also argue that Chinese TPP participation would be positive for the world. And National Security Advisor Susan Rice recently said that the US would welcome China’s participation in TPP negotiations.

But these are not enough. To the Chinese, the American position that China can join after TPP negotiations are concluded represents old 20th-century thinking. China wants to be a part of the rule-making process, not just a passive rule-taker. In reality, it is possible that China could demand for modification to the rules when it joins later anyway, especially if it becomes the world’s largest economy. Therefore, it would be much better for the world if the TPP were to secure China’s commitments from the very beginning.

China also needs to do more to convince TPP participants that it can achieve high-quality liberalisation, especially in the areas of state-owned enterprises, intellectual property rights and cyber security. The reform program approved by the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress is a first step demonstrating the Chinese government’s determination in implementing aggressive and comprehensive reforms. But the government needs to take actions more quickly, through steps including experiments in the recently established Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

There is also the difficult question of whether China should be treated as a developing or developed country. It is reasonable for China to claim status as a developing nation given its income level. But the US objection to this is also understandable given China’s economic size and global influences. Perhaps a workable solution is for China to sign up to a high-quality agreement, which allows grace periods for liberalisation in certain areas.

There are practical difficulties for China to join TPP negotiations immediately, mainly because the current round of negotiation is likely at its final stage. Realistically, the earliest time that China could participate would be 2015 or later. But China, the US and other involved parties can start working on this now. For instance, the two governments should establish a TPP–RCEP joint working group, under the framework of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. The two countries should also share information about both negotiations. The joint working group should also conduct feasibility analyses, identify the key obstacles and make important policy recommendations. Another possibility is to make China an observer at the TPP negotiations.
Renminbi Internationalisation Will Be A Long March
By: East Asia Forum Date: 8 January 2014

The internationalisation of the Renminbi has been slower than what some analysts initially predicted. Still, RMB internationalisation will continue to enjoy steady progress but there will be no sensational developments.
Renminbi Internationalisation Will Be A Long March
The Yuan may one day replace the USD as the top global currency, but not anytime soon.

When renminbi internationalisation was making rapid progress in 2011, some leading investment banks predicted that by the end of 2012 Hong Kong’s offshore RMB deposits would reach more than 1 trillion yuan, cross-border RMB trade settlement would surpass 3.7 trillion yuan, and RMB-denominated bonds and loans would grow to 700 billion yuan.

These predictions were way off the mark. However, on the other hand, RMB trade settlement has maintained its growth momentum: amounting to 2.6 trillion yuan and accounting for some 10 per cent of China’s total trade settlement as of late-2012. This is quite a remarkable achievement.

The experience since the launch of RMB trade settlement schemes in 2009 shows that exchange rate arbitrage and interest rate arbitrage are the two key drivers for the progress of RMB internationalisation.

RMB import settlements enabled the RMB to flow into Hong Kong, which established a Hong Kong-based RMB pool. While the RMB exchange rate in Hong Kong, dubbed CNH, is decided by market forces, the rate in the mainland, dubbed CNY, is subject to constant intervention by the People’s Bank of China. As a result, two exchange rates coexist for the RMB. Whenever the RMB is under pressure to appreciate, the CNH-CNY spread increases, importers in the mainland purchase the US dollar in Hong Kong to pay their imports, and RMB liquidity flows into Hong Kong. Owing to appreciation expectations and the opportunities for investment in RMB-denominated assets in the mainland that have higher returns, RMB deposits and bond issuance in Hong Kong have increased correspondingly.

However, since late 2011, due to China’s shrinking current account surplus and large fluctuation of cross-border capital flows, the expectation of the RMB’s appreciation has weakened significantly. Due to the narrowing or reversing of the CNH-CNY spread and the remaining capital controls, while Chinese importers became less active in purchasing US dollars in Hong Kong for exchange rate arbitrage, residents in Hong Kong were less eager to hold RMB deposits.

But why have RMB trade settlements continued to increase despite declining opportunities for exchange rate arbitrage? While a contributing factor is the sheer size of China’s trade and the convenience of using the RMB for transaction settlements, an important additional factor is interest rate arbitrage, which has led to a rapid increase in RMB-denominated letters of credit (L/C).

There are many ways of doing interest rate arbitrage through L/C. For example, Enterprise A, a mainland enterprise, can deposit a certain amount of RMB in a mainland bank for one year. Under the RMB import settlement scheme, it can use the RMB deposit as collateral to obtain a RMB-denominated L/C from the mainland bank, and use the L/C to purchase goods from its affiliate — Enterprise B in Hong Kong. Enterprise B in turn can use the L/C as collateral to borrow US dollars from a bank in Hong Kong and use the dollars to buy back the goods it has sold to Enterprise A. Enterprise A then converts the USD into RMB in the spot market and deposits it in its bank in the mainland. When the L/C is settled one year later, Enterprise A pays Enterprise B in RMB via the mainland bank. Finally, Enterprise B converts the RMB into the dollar at the exchange rate, which has already been locked in the NDF (non-deliverable forward) market, and repays the dollar loans extended by the Hong Kong bank. Because the interest rate on RMB deposits is significantly higher than that on dollar loans, Enterprise A and its affiliate Enterprise B obtain material profits from this process.

An unexpected development in RMB internationalisation in recent years is the significant increase in the use of the RMB as a reserve currency by foreign central banks. This is not only a reflection of China’s economic strength but also a result of the weakening status of traditional reserve currencies, particularly the US dollar and euro. This implies that efforts to expand the use of the RMB will also be influenced by changes in preference for the US dollar. The more political wrangles in Washington erode economic confidence, the more scope the RMB has to make inroads in becoming an international reserve currency.

 

Jan. 12, 2014, 12:02 p.m. EST

Retail data, Beige Book in view after weak jobs figures

By Greg Robb, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Is the startling weak job report an outlier? Or is the economy already at a plateau after looking so good in the last two months of the year?

That is the question on everyone’s mind after the Labor Department on Friday reported the slowest monthly pace of job growth in three years in December.

MarketWatch consensus
DATE REPORT CONSENSUS PREVIOUS
Jan. 14 Retail sales -0.1% 0.7%
Jan. 14 Retail sales ex-autos 0.4% 0.4%
Jan. 15 Producer price index 0.4% -0.1%
Jan. 15 Core PPI 0.1% 0.1%
Jan. 15 Empire state index 3.8 1.0
Jan. 16 Consumer price index 0.3% 0.0%
Jan. 16 Core CPI 0.2% 0.2%
Jan. 16 Philly Fed 8.7 7.0
Jan. 17 Housing starts 985,000 1.09 mln
Jan. 17 Industrial production 0.2% 1.1%
Jan. 17 UMich consumer sentiment 84.0 82.5

Economists think the cold weather in December made the report weaker. They will look for confirmation of this theory in other reports. Unfortunately the big batch of economic data this week will not provide much clarity, said Josh Shapiro, chief economist at MFR Inc.

On tap will be the retail sales report for December. The supporting cast includes reports on inflation, inventories, manufacturing and an update in consumer sentiment. The Beige Book report of economic anecdotes from the Federal Reserve also will be closely scrutinized.

Retail sales, typically on the month’s biggest indicators, is expected to be distorted by a big decline in auto sales, economists said.

In December, sales are expected to increase 0.2% in December, down from a 0.7% gain in November. Excluding autos, sales should rise 0.4%, matching the prior month’s gain.

The biggest mystery: Inflation

The biggest uncertainty in the economy right now is the behavior of inflation.

Fed officials said all last year that they thought inflation would pick up towards their 2% target, but prices stayed weak, surprising officials.

Why? No one knows. for certain. “There is no generally accepted explanation for low inflation readings,” said James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, on Friday.

Low inflation could turn out to be a harbinger of bad economic tidings.

At its last rate-policy meeting in December a few Fed officials “raised the possibility that recent declines in inflation might suggest that the economic recovery was not as strong as some thought,” according to a summary of the meeting issued this week.

But the majority of the Fed said they think inflation won’t go any lower.

They continued to view the slowdown as temporary and pointed to slowing in price increases for medical care and banking services, the minutes show.

The committee only agreed to watch inflation carefully.

Fed committee members “agree that inflation is now too low but no one seems to want to do anything about it,” said Robert Brusca, chief economist at FAO Economics.

Tech Week Ahead: Spotlight on Microsoft

Alan Mulally’s announcement that he would not be taking the CEO slot at Microsoft will prompt speculation about who may step forward to claim the spot. Brian Fitzgerald reports on digits. Photo: AP.

The weak December jobs report “certainly adds fuel to the fiery debate on whether low inflation is likely to continue or is sending a signal about the underlying strength of the economy,” said Julia Coronado, chief U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in a research note.

“We think the Fed is likely to go ahead with its signaled path of tapering $10 billion at the January meeting, but if the broader data signal a plateauing in recent momentum, inflation data continue to trend lower and financial markets get shaky they could consider a pause in March,” she added.

The consumer price index is expected to tick up 0.3% in December led by gasoline prices. The core index, excluding food and energy, is expected to soften to a 0.1% gain from a 0.2% increase.

At the wholesale level, prices are expected to rise 0.4% in December following a 0.1% drop in November. The PPI core index is expected to rise 0.2% after a 0.1% gain in the prior month.

As a result, producer price on a year-over-year basis inflation could rise above 1%, with core inflation closer to 1.3%.

“With the lagged effect of the previous easing in import prices yet to be felt in full, producer price inflation will probably remained similarly subdued during the first half of this year,” said Paul Dales, chief economist at Capital Economics.

January 2, 2014, 8:17 AM ET
Nouriel Roubini — a.k.a. ‘Dr. Doom’ — is getting optimistic

The respected New York University economist has made it clear that he’s not fond of the nickname (he thinks “Dr. Realist” has better ring to it). He’s certainly been pivoting toward a more optimistic outlook over the past few months. Now, his latest 2014 outlook definitely bolsters his nascent bullish credentials.

Don’t get us wrong, his commentary piece, published on the Project Syndicate website on the last day of 2013, is full of warnings about headwinds, negative indicators and painful adjustments. But it’s sandwiched between some downright positive calls. He writes:

”The good news is that economic performance will pick up modestly in both advanced economies and emerging markets. The advanced economies, benefiting from a half-decade of painful private-sector deleveraging (households, banks, and non-financial firms), a smaller fiscal drag (with the exception of Japan), and maintenance of accommodative monetary policies, will grow at an annual pace closer to 1.9%.
“Moreover, so-called tail risks (low-probability, high-impact shocks) will be less salient in 2014. The threat, for example, of a eurozone implosion, another government shutdown or debt-ceiling fight in the United States, a hard landing in China, or a war between Israel and Iran over nuclear proliferation, will be far more subdued.”
But don’t get overexcited. Here’s some obligatory gloom to keep us grounded: Most developed economies will still trudge through average or below-trend growth this year. Deleveraging will continue in households, banks and nonfinancial companies. Government austerity measures will still be a restraining factor. In the long term, advanced economies could stagnate due to the lack of productivity growth and capital investment in recent years, he writes.

He’s got some quick hits on specific regions:

The euro zone: Fewer doomsday risks are in the cards, but slow growth remains, as do high unemployment and high public debt.
Japan: Abenomics has been positive so far, but the jury is still out about on whether structural reforms will work.
The U.S.: Growth is picking up on the back of shale energy, housing and labor-market growth. But an ineffective Congress and an opaque Federal Reserve could still hold back growth.
Emerging markets: Faster growth on the tail of improving advanced economies, but many countries (see: Indonesia, India, Brazil and others) will still face the risk of “external shocks.”
China “will avoid a hard landing in 2014,” but policy reforms laid out last year will meet with resistance.
Roubini’s outlook for 2014 sure is by no means sugary, but compared with his look ahead in 2013 (painful deleveraging) and 2012 (fragile and unbalanced), it’s certainly progressing. Now, if you want to know what this all means for stocks in 2014, just use his Twitter account as a contrary indicator.
China Trade, Imports and Exports
By: EW World Economy Team Date: 4 June 2013

China is the world’s second largest trading nation behind the US – leading the world in exports and coming in second for imports. From 2009-2011 its trade to GDP ratio was 53.1 percent, while its trade per capita was $2,413.

Since its accession into the WTO in 2001, China‘s share in global trade has doubled – accounting for 10.38 percent of the world’s merchandise trade exports and 9.43 percent of merchandise trade imports.

For many countries around the world, China is rapidly becoming their most important bilateral trade partner. In 2011, they were the largest exporting/importing partner for 32 and 34 countries respectively.

However, there have been concerns over large trade imbalances between China and the rest of the world. The US in particular has the largest trade deficit in the world with China at $315 billion, more than three times what it was a decade ago.

There have also been a growing number of trade disputes brought against, mainly for dumping, unfair subsidies by the Chinese government, intellectual property and the valuation of the yuan. Nonetheless its WTO entry ensures that the country will remain a key figure in international trade.

Domestically, the Chinese government has been keen to reduce the economy’s reliance on exports and focus on internal consumption. In March 2013, China’s new leadership announced that they would move to recalibrate the economy, acknowledging that there is a “growing conflict between downward pressure on economic growth and excess production capacity.”

China’s Import and Export Indicators and Statistics at a Glance (2012)

Total value of exports: US$2.05 trillion

Primary exports – commodities: electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, radio telephone handsets, textiles, integrated circuits

Primary exports partners: US (17.2 of total exports), Hong Kong (15.8 percent), Japan (7.4 percent), South Korea (4.3 percent), Germany (3.4 percent)

Total value of imports: US$1.817 trillion

Primary imports – commodities: electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles

Primary imports partners: Japan (9.8 percent of total imports), South Korea (9.3 percent), US (7.3 percent), Germany (5.1 percent), Australia (4.6 percent)

China’s Import and Export Indicators and Statistics at a Glance (2012)

Total value of exports: US$2.05 trillion

Primary exports – commodities: electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, radio telephone handsets, textiles, integrated circuits

Primary exports partners: US (17.2 of total exports), Hong Kong (15.8 percent), Japan (7.4 percent), South Korea (4.3 percent), Germany (3.4 percent)

Total value of imports: US$1.817 trillion

Primary imports – commodities: electrical and other machinery, oil and mineral fuels, optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles

Primary imports partners: Japan (9.8 percent of total imports), South Korea (9.3 percent), US (7.3 percent), Germany (5.1 percent), Australia (4.6 percent)

U.S. Senate leader ‘confident’ fiscal crisis can be averted

2:13pm EDT
By Lisa Lambert and David Lawder
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Majority Harry Reid said Sunday that he was engaged in negotiations with Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and was

“confident”

they could resolve the fiscal crisis confronting Washington.
“We’re in conversation today,” Reid said on the Senate floor.
“I’m confident that Republicans will allow the government to open and extend the ability of this country to pay its bills. And I’m going to do everything that I can throughout the day to accomplish just this.”
Reid offered no specifics however and McConnell remained out of sight.
“It’s moving. Not sure in what direction,” said Reid of the discussions as he walked into the U.S. Capitol building on Sunday morning and was asked how negotiations were progressing.
While both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, and now the U.S. House of Representatives, appear in agreement that the debt ceiling should be raised and the government reopen, they remained at loggerheads over the terms for doing so, including the duration of the debt ceiling increase and levels of funding for the government.
The U.S. government has been partially shut down since Oct 1, following the refusal by Republicans to approve a funding measure unless President Barack Obama and his Democrats agreed to defund or delay Obamacare, the president’s signature healthcare law.
That conflict has since merged with the Thursday deadline for Congress to increase the government’s borrowing authority or risk default. Investors around the world are watching the drama unfold and while U.S. stocks rose late last week on hopes for a possible deal this weekend, analysts predicted the mood could turn bearish without signs of progress.
DOWN TO THE WIRE?
While other U.S. lawmakers also expressed optimism Sunday that they could avoid a possible default, efforts to do so appeared to be moving slowly and headed down to the wire.
The Republican-controlled U.S. House, where one of Washington’s most bitter conflicts in years began in early September, was out of the picture entirely Sunday, by design.
Obama as well as the Senate gave up on the House Saturday, after Democrats and Republicans alike concluded that the demands coming from conservatives who dominate the Republican caucus and general disunity offered little grounds for ending the crisis.
“They’re not part of this at this point,” Durbin said. “They can’t agree among themselves about what they want to have done in this negotiation.”
They remained acutely aware, however, that any solution developed in the Senate will have to be approved by the House and probably very quickly.
“Here’s what I’m worried about,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told ABC’s “This Week,” “a deal coming out of the Senate that a majority of Republicans can’t vote for in the House.”
“I’m hopeful that the House can get their act together,” Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
House leaders spoke bitterly Saturday of the prospect of being “jammed” later in the week: put in a situation by the Senate and possibly by market turmoil of having to rush something through at the last minute, probably with the votes of Democrats as well as the Republican majority.
Reid and Durbin suggested Saturday that it might take pressure from the markets to bring the disagreement to an end.
BEARISH MARKETS
Financial market analysts said they also saw turmoil ahead if U.S. politicians failed to reach a deal.
“This continual breakdown in talks likely won’t have a positive effect on the markets,” said Bonnie Baha, senior portfolio manager at DoubleLine Capital in Los Angeles.
“There will probably be a negative reaction in the stock market but I think the pressure is really shifting to Washington now,” said William Larkin, fixed income portfolio manager at Cabot Money Management in Salem, Massachusetts.
With the government shutdown set to enter its third week, U.S. stock investors are seen as likely to turn bearish amid concerns no resolution to the crisis will emerge until Thursday.
The S&P 500 stock index generated two days of strong gains in advance of the weekend on hopes that an agreement to raise the $16.7 trillion federal borrowing limit was near.
Washington’s debt ceiling drama played out as anxious global financial leaders gathered in the U.S. capital for annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and Group of 20 major industrialized and emerging economies.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Saturday warned the United States was just “five days away from a very dangerous moment” unless politicians produce a plan to avoid default.
“If this comes to pass, it could be a disastrous event for the developing world, and that will in turn greatly hurt developed economies as well,” he told reporters after a meeting of the bank’s Development Committee.
(Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom, Paul Eckert, and Anna Yukhananov in Washington and David Gaffen in New York; Editing by Fred Barbash and Eric Walsh)
Bisa Picu Krisis Global, Bank Dunia Peringatkan AS Segera Sepakati Batas Utang
Ardhanareswari AHP – Minggu, 13 Oktober 2013, 19:58 WIB
Bisnis.com, WASHINGTON—Gubernur Bank Dunia Jim Yong Kim memperingatkan Amerika Serikat soal kondisi gentingnya saat ini karena krisis utang negeri Paman Sam itu.

Dia menekankan, para pembuat kebijakan harus mencapai kesepakatan untuk meningkatkan batas atas utang (debt ceiling) sebelum jatuh tempo pada Kamis (17/10/2013).

Pasalnya, keuangan AS bakal makin goyah jika kesepakatan untuk mengatasi masalah di pasar finansial tak kunjung disepakati. Kim menegaskan, kondisi ini bisa jadi “peristiwa berbahaya” bagi dunia.

“Semakin dekat dengan tanggal jatuh tempo, makin besar dampak yang bakal dirasakan oleh negara-negara berkembang,” katanya, Minggu (13/10/2013). Tak hanya negara berkembang, negara dengan ekonomi maju pun akan turut terkena imbasnya.

Kim menambahkan, hal ini bisa menyebabkan bunga bank melambung, kepercayaan diri pasar menurun, dan pertumbuhan ekonomi melambat.

Dia memaparkan, ada tiga contoh kasus sepanjang perjalanan sejarah AS ketika pemerintah harus berhadapan dengan resiko default, yang terdekat adalah pada 1979.

Jika AS mengalami default, tak bisa membayar utang saat jatuh temponya, hal ini tentu akan menyebabkan efek yang signifikan pada pasar finansial global.

Ekonom Andre Walker mengatakan para menteri keuangan sejumlah di negara memprediksi AS tak akan mencapai titik default, tapi hal ini tetap membuat mereka khawatir dan berharap krisis segera berakhir.

Pada Sabtu (12/10/2013), Republik dan Demokrat gagal mencapai kesepakatan. Namun, senator dari kubu Demokrat, Dick Durbin, berkata tujuan pertemuan itu adalah untuk meningkatkan batas atas utang AS sebelum pasar dibuka kembali pada Senin.

Adapun Gedung Putih menolak hal tersebut. Presiden Obama menyatakan kenaikan pagu utang untuk jangka waktu pendek bukanlah langkah yang bijaksana.

Shutdown

Pemerintah AS telah menutup sebagian aktivitas pemerintahan (shutdown) sejak awal Oktober. Penutupan ini terjadi setelah Kongres tak mencapai kata sepakat soal anggaran negara.

Kubu Republik menolak menyetujui anggaran baru jika Obama tak mau menunda atau membatalkan alokasi dana untuk program layanan kesehatan yang disebut Obamacare.

Adapun Sekretaris Bendahara AS, Jack Lhew, memprediksi setiap pekan shut down akan memotong 0,25% potensi pertumbuhan ekonomi.

Lew juga memperingatkan, jika soal debt ceiling ini terus terkatung-katung, hal ini bisa sangat berbahaya. Batas hutang AS saat ini adalah US$16,699 triliun yang sudah dicapai pada Mei.

Sejak saat itu, keuangan AS telah menggunakan sistem yang tak biasa untuk menjaga kemampuan AS membayar utang. Namun, mekanisme keuangan tersebut tak bisa lagi digunakan per 17 Oktober.
Republik Persempit Tuntutan Demi Pagu Utang AS

Oleh: Ahmad Munjin
pasarmodal – Sabtu, 12 Oktober 2013 | 11:14 WIB

INILAH.COM, Washington – DPR dan Senat dari Partai Republik AS mulai mempersempit tuntutan mereka dalam perubahan Undang-undang kesehatan AS yang menyebabkan kebuntuan fiskal. Tujuan akhirnya, untuk mengakhiri shutdown pemerintahan AS.

Presiden AS Barack Obama dan Ketua DPR AS John Boehner melanjutkan pembicaraan hari ini melalui telepon tentang tawaran Boehner. Kemarin, Boehner menawarkan kepada pemerintah Obama untuk memperpanjang durasi pinjaman AS hingga 22 November dari sebelumnya 17 Oktober 2013.

“Sementara itu, Undang-undang Perlindungan Pasien dan Perawatan yang Terjangkau akan melekat pada tagihan belanja negara sementara,” demikian dikutip dari Bloomberg.com, Sabtu (12/10/2013).

Kemarin, Jumat (11/10/2013), Sekretaris Pers Gedung Putih Jay Carney telah menyatakan tentang prospek diskusi lebih lanjut antara Presiden Barack Obama dan Partai Republik di Kongres yang bertujuan mengakhiri shutdown pemerintah parsial dan menaikkan batas utang AS .

“Presiden memiliki sejumlah kekhawatiran dengan proposal,” ucap Jay Carney kepada wartawan setelah Obama dan Boehner berbicara .

Carney mengatakan Obama khawatir bahwa memperpanjang plafon utang untuk waktu yang singkatakan mengakibatkan efek yang sama bahayanya seperti tidak ada kenaikan plafon utang. “Mereka sepakat bahwa kita semua harus terus berbicara ,” timpal Michael Steel, juru bicara Boehner . [jin]
Perlahan Tapi Pasti, China Ingin Runtuhkan Dominasi Dolar
Wahyu Daniel – detikfinance
Sabtu, 12/10/2013 16:59 WIB

Jakarta – Secara perlahan, China ingin mata uangnya yaitu yuan mengalahkan dominasi dolar AS sebagai mata uang global yang sering digunakan untuk transaksi perdagangan internasional.

Langkah terakhir, China meluncurkan kesepakatan currency swap dengan negara-negara yang menggunakan mata uang euro (euro zone). Lewat kesepakatan ini, perdagangan China dengan negara tersebut tak akan menggunakan dolar lagi, namun langsung dengan yuan.

Kesepakatan antara China dengan negara-negara euro zone akan berlaku hingga nilai maksimum 350 miliar yuan dan 45 miliar euro. Perjanjian ini akan berlaku dalam 3 tahun.

“Dari perspektif euro, kesepakatan swap ini dilakukan untuk penyediaan likuiditas dan menjamin bank-bank di euro zone akan terus memiliki cadangan yuan,” demikian pernyataan bank sentral Eropa dikutip dari CNBC, Sabtu (11/10/2013).

Keuntungan dari program ini adalah bisa menjamin kestabilan pasar keuangan, karena bisa mengurangi guncangan akibat pergerakan dolar. Ditambah lagi selama ini perdagangan China dengan Eropa terus meningkat. Eropa memegang 14% dari nilai perdagangan China tahun lalu.

Perjanjian China dengan Eropa ini jadi seri terakhir dari currency swap yang telah dilakukan China dengan sejumlah negara. Dengan Inggris, China juga telah melakukan perjanjian serupa pada Juni 2013 lalu.

Seorang analis bernama Kit Juckes mengatakan, perjanjian China dengan euro zone mengindikasikan naiknya reputasi yuan sebagai mata uang untuk perdagangan global.

“Ini jadi sinyal signifikan, bahwa renminbi (yuan) makin penting, dan meningkat kredibilitasnya. Yuan makin banyak digunakan secara internasional,” kata Juckes.

Usaha Bank of China menjadikan yuan mata uang internasional makin terlihat. Bulan lalu, yuan masuk dalam daftar 10 mata uang paling aktif untuk perdagangan internasional, ini merupakan yang pertama kali. Yuan masuk peringkat nomor 9, atau naik 8 peringkat dari 3 tahun lalu.

Banyak perjanjian swap yang dilakukan China dengan bank sentral di Asia dan Eropa, bahkan sampai ke wilayah Amerika.
(dnl/dnl)
Oct. 10, 2013, 3:41 p.m. EDT
Republicans push six-week debt limit hike
Proposal wouldn’t reopen government; White House calls debt plan ‘encouraging’

By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — House Republican leaders on Thursday offered President Barack Obama what they called a “good faith” proposal to temporarily increase the nation’s debt ceiling and negotiate a budget deal, with the government remaining shuttered for a tenth straight day.

Reuters
House Speaker John Boehner (C) with fellow Republican House leaders
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the Republican debt-limit plan was “encouraging.” Obama would likely sign a short-term bill if it is “clean,” Carney said, meaning free of Republican policy prescriptions. But he added that the White House has seen no bill from House Republicans. He said that Obama “strongly prefers” a long-term increase in the borrowing limit.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Republican caucus, House Speaker John Boehner said he hoped Obama would view the idea for a six-week extension as an attempt to meet him halfway.

The Republicans’ offer would not reopen the government. Boehner said that would be discussed at a White House meeting later Thursday.

Click to Play
Boehner: “We have been trying to have conversations”
House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday during a news conference that talks on the government shutdown and debt ceiling are at a standstill, expressing that “we have been trying to have conversations.”

“What we want to do is offer the president today the ability to move,” the Ohio Republican said. “A temporary increase in the debt ceiling [and] an agreement to go to conference on the budget, for his willingness to sit down and discuss with us a way forward to reopen the government.”

The plan would prohibit the Treasury from using so-called “extraordinary measures” to avoid default, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing aides. The Treasury has used such moves — such as temporarily halting issuance of securities to state and local governments — to stay under the borrowing limit. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew reiterated Thursday that the deadline for raising the borrowing limit is Oct. 17, when the government runs out of borrowing authority.

Carney also dug in on Obama’s position that he wouldn’t negotiate on Republican demands on the budget or other issues until the government re-opened. Obama has urged Congress to pass a clean debt-limit increase and a so-called continuing resolution to reopen the federal government. But he has indicated willingness to consider short-term agreements.

Republicans “should do both,” Carney said about funding the government and raising the borrowing limit. Obama is set to meet with the House Republican leadership at 4:35 p.m. Eastern. He also asked Senate Republicans to attend a White House meeting on Friday morning.

Conservative group Heritage Action said it opposes a short-term debt-limit increase, but, significantly, said it won’t lobby against it so House leaders can have “flexibility” to refocus the debate on Obama’s health-care law.

• Government shutdown: Track the latest news out of Washington »
Lew pressed Congress for a long-term increase in the debt limit in testimony on Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee. But he said that Obama would accept a short-term extension.

“The longer the period of time is, the better for the economy,” Lew said. Read recap of live blog of Lew’s testimony.

U.S. stock markets SPX +2.18% jumped on Thursday as optimism grew about a deal to lift the debt ceiling. Read Market Snapshot.

Treasury prices slipped, sending yields higher — except for the Treasury bill maturing Nov. 29. See Bond Report.

Wall Street liked the movement in Washington. But the head of the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company was underwhelmed.

“I don’t think we should allow them to feel that that solves the problem,” said Duncan Niederauer. “All that does is kick the can down the road for six weeks.” Read more on Capitol Report.

In his testimony, Lew harshly criticized the idea of “prioritizing” payments the government makes. That idea would just be “default by another name,” he said.

Senate Democrats are preparing this weekend to begin voting on a bill that would extend the debt ceiling through 2014. A senior Senate Democratic aide told the Hill newspaper “don’t assume” that Majority Leader Harry Reid will accept a six-week extension.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, left the door open to backing the Republican proposal. She said she wants to see details, though she prefers a longer extension.
October 9, 2013
As Pressure Mounts, House G.O.P. Weighs Short-Term Debt Deal
By JONATHAN WEISMAN
NYT
WASHINGTON — House Republicans, increasingly isolated from even some of their strongest supporters more than a week into a government shutdown, began on Wednesday to consider a path out of the fiscal impasse that would raise the debt ceiling for a few weeks as they press for a broader deficit reduction deal.

That approach could possibly set aside the fight over the new health care law, which prompted the shutdown and which some Republicans will be reluctant to abandon.

In a meeting with the most ardent House conservatives, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, laid out a package focused on an overhaul of Medicare and a path toward a comprehensive simplification of the tax code.

“We’re more in the ideas stage right now,” said Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia and a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. “There is a developing consensus that this is a lot bigger than an Obamacare discussion.”

At the same time, Congressional leaders from both parties began some preliminary discussions aimed at reopening the government and raising the statutory borrowing limit. And President Obama, who invited House Democrats on Wednesday, asked all House Republicans to the White House on Thursday, an invitation Speaker John A. Boehner whittled down to a short list of attendees he wants to negotiate a compromise.

Democrats showed their own cracks. Twenty-six House Democrats planned to attend a bipartisan event on Thursday morning with the group No Labels, calling for negotiations to start immediately, a challenge to the president and to Democratic leaders who say they will not negotiate until the government reopens and the debt ceiling is lifted.

In the meeting with House Democrats on Wednesday evening, Mr. Obama held firm to his stated intention to negotiate with Republicans only after the government is reopened and the debt ceiling is raised. He told Democrats that if he gives in now, Republican demands would be endless. “The only thing not on their list is my own resignation,” he told Democrats, according to a lawmaker in the room.

With the impact of the shutdown starting to intensify, House Republicans were taking criticism from some of their longtime backers. Business groups demanded the immediate reopening of the government, and benefactors like Koch Industries publicly distanced themselves from the shutdown fight.

Republicans acknowledged the pressure is mounting on them. On Wednesday, the National Retail Federation joined other reliably Republican business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers in asking House Republicans to relent.

“We strongly support passage of both a continuing resolution to provide for funding of the federal government into the next fiscal year and a measure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling,” the National Retail Federation’s president, Matthew Shay, said in a letter to Congress that pointed out economic indicators showing that the shutdown has already hurt consumer spending and depressed consumer confidence.

In the meantime, Koch Industries accused Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, on Wednesday of spreading “false information” about the company by suggesting it was behind the move to tie a demand to keep the government open only if financing was eliminated for Mr. Obama’s health care law.

“Koch believes that Obamacare will increase deficits, lead to an overall lowering of the standard of health care and raise taxes,” Philip Ellender, the company’s chief spokesman, wrote in a letter to senators. “However, Koch has not taken a position on the legislative tactic of tying the continuing resolution to defunding Obamacare, nor have we lobbied on legislative programs defunding Obamacare.”

Mr. Ryan’s meeting with the conservative Republican Study Committee seemed only to divide its ranks on the most critical issue: whether to set aside the fight over the president’s health care law and focus on long-term deficit reduction. The group’s leader, Representative Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana, emerged still adamant that any way forward must include a hit to the Affordable Care Act, even if the package focused on entitlement programs — also called “mandatory” spending.

“We’ve always talked about mandatory spending being addressed in a debt ceiling increase, but keep in mind Obamacare is part of mandatory spending,” he said.

Other conservatives showed a new flexibility. Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama and a fierce critic of the health care law, came out of the meeting and said: “My primary focus is on minimizing risk of insolvency and bankruptcy. There are many paths you can take to get there.

“Socialized medicine is just one of the component parts of our debt and deficits that put us at financial risk. Are there paths that can be created that do not include socialized medicine?” he asked. “Yes.”

Members suggested they could get behind a lifting of the debt ceiling for several weeks to allow Republicans to unite around a deficit reduction and tax overhaul package.

“If we cannot get an agreement with the president at some point in time in the next few days, we’ll look at something short term,” said Mr. Scalise, echoing a suggestion Mr. Obama floated on Tuesday.

But, the congressman said, even that should have spending cuts attached. He also said that a debt-ceiling increase of even three weeks should include a measure passed by the House denying federal subsidies to congressmen, White House officials and their staff members, who already must buy health insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s new exchanges. And, he suggested, conservatives might insist on another House bill that would allow the Treasury to borrow enough money to pay off debts as they become due, taking away the threat of a government default.

All of those measures would be stiffly resisted by Senate Democrats and the White House.

Still, lawmakers did appear to be looking for a way forward after days of simply staring at one another. Ahead of the Wednesday meeting with House Democrats at the White House, Mr. Obama invited all House Republicans to a get-together on Thursday. Mr. Boehner saw a meeting between the president and 232 Republicans as a photo opportunity with no chance of producing substantive discussions. So he reduced the invitation list to 18. That will at least give the appearance of negotiations if it fails to prompt actual substantive talks.

“Finally, the White House has invited Congressional leaders to talk,” Representative Harold Rogers, Republican of Kentucky, said in a statement.

“I am hopeful the president is serious about finding a deal that results in meaningful spending and entitlement reforms, judiciously extends U.S. government borrowing authority, reopens all federal agencies, and paves the way for the enactment of future appropriations bills so that this lurching from crisis to crisis can be put to an end.”

Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting.
IMF Ingatkan Bahaya Shutdown Jika Sampai Sebulan

Oleh: Wahid Ma’ruf
ekonomi – Rabu, 9 Oktober 2013 | 11:55 WIB

INILAH.COM, New York – IMF mengingatkan jika shutdown pemerintahan AS berlangsung hingga satu bulan maka akan berdampak negatif bagi ekonomi AS dan pasar global.

“Jika shutdown itu berlangsung satu bulan dan disertai dengan gejolak keuangan maka efek terhadap ekonomi AS akan cukup besar. Mungkin seluruh dunia akan merasakan juga,” kata Jorg Decressing, Wakil Direktur Departemen Penelitian di Dana Moneter Internasional (IMF) seperti mengutip cnbc.com, Rabu (9/10/2013).

Pernyataan ini bersamaan dengan laporan tengah tahun IMF soal World Economic Outlook. Dalam laporan tersebut IMF merevisi pertumbuhan ekonomi AS untuk tahun ini turun menjadi 2,9 persen dan tahun 2014 direvisi menjadi 3,6 persen. IMF beralasan dengan kekhawatiran perlambatan pertumbuhan ekonomi dunia.

IMF melihat kebuntuhan politik di Washington memasuki hari kedelapan pada Rabu (9/10/2013). Sedangkan batas waktu terakhir pembahasan utang pada 17 Oktober 2013 mendatang.

Banyak pihak merasa khawatir apabila pihak Demokrat dan pihak Republik tidak dapat mencapai kesepakatan tentang isu anggaran dan shutdown. AS dapat masuk dalam kondisi gagal bayar utang. “Hampir pasti pemulihan di AS akan tergelincir, akan ada resesi dan itu bisa lebih buruk lagi,” kata Decressin.
Perekonomian Asia Timur Melambat Pengaruhi Laju Perekonomian Indonesia
Senin, 7 Oktober 2013 | 17:07

JAKARTA – Bank Dunia menyatakan melambatnya perekonomian negara-negara di Asia Timur cukup besar mempengaruhi perekonomian negara-negara di ASEAN termasuk Indonesia. Lead Economist Bank Dunia Ndiame Diop mengatakan, tekanan eksternal di Amerika Serikat merupakan salah satu faktor yang menyebabkan perekonomian negara-negara di Asia Timur mengalami perlambatan,

“Dampak yang paling terasa adalah perlambatan ekonomi China di mana perekonomian China mulai bergeser dari perekonomian yang berorientasi ekspor dan mulai fokus kepada permintaan domestik,” ujar dia dalam acara Konferensi Pers The World Bank: Developing East Asia Slows di Kantor World Bank, Jakarta, Senin (7/10).

Ndiame menjelaskan China merupakan salah satu dari greater Asia bahkan di dunia jika perekonomian China melambat maka perekonomian emerging country juga ikut melambat. Dia mengatakan Bank Dunia memproyeksikan perekonomian China akan tumbuh pada kisaran 7,5% pada 2013 dan berada pada level 7,7% pada 2014.

Dia mengatakan Indonesia adalah salah satu dari negara di ASEAN yang mempunyai hubungan ekonomi paling kuat dengan China khususnya hubungan ekspor karena hampir sebagian besar komoditas andalan Indonesia diekspor di China. Menurutnya dengan melambatnya perfoma ekspor Indonesia ke China maka Bank Dunia memproyeksikan perekonomian Indonesia akan tumbuh pada kisaran 5,6% pada 2013 dan 5,3% pada 2014.

“Perekonomian Indonesia masih tetap kuat karena masih ditopang fundamental yang lain yaitu konsumsi domestik tidak hanya ekspor,” ujar Ndiame.

Dia mengatakan bergesernya perekonomian China dari ekspor ke domestik dapat dimanfaatkan oleh pemerintah Indonesia untuk mengembangkan pasar baru tujuan ekspor. Menurut dia di satu sisi perlambatan perekonomian China membuat perekonomian Indonesia melambat namun di sisi yang lain Indonesia bisa menggunakan kesempatan tersebut untuk mencari pasar pasar baru untuk menggenjot kinerja ekspor.

Ndiame menjelaskan pemerintah Indonesia harus bisa menggenjot Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) untuk menjaga momentum pertumbuhan ekonomi. Menurut dia meningkatkan perfoma FDI merupakan salah satu solusi terbaik saat ini yang bisa dilakukan.

Ndiame mengatakan ada banyak hal yang bisa dilakukan pemerintah Indonesia untuk menggenjot iklim investasi salah satunya meningkatkan pembangunan infrastruktur dan memperbaiki kualitas regulasi. (Dho)
SENIN, 07 OKTOBER 2013 | 18:40 WIB
John Kerry: Shutdown AS Sekadar Momen Politik

TEMPO.CO, Nusa Dua – Kebuntuan pembahasan anggaran tengah melanda Amerika Serikat. Namun, Menteri Luar Negeri John Kerry tetap bicara dengan nada berapi-api. Menurut dia, penutupan layanan pemerintah yang terjadi di Amerika Serikat saat ini akan segera berakhir dan terlupakan. “Ini hanyalah sebuah momen politik,” ujarnya dalam APEC CEO Summit di Nusa Dua, Senin, 7 Oktober 2013.

Kerry berusaha menekankan bahwa posisi Barack Obama sebagai poros strategis untuk Asia belum melemah oleh krisis, meskipun Presiden Obama harus membatalkan perjalanannya ke wilayah tersebut. “Apa yang terjadi di Washington tidak mengurangi sedikit pun komitmen kami untuk mitra kami di Asia,” ujarnya.

Menurut Kerry, setengah perdagangan dunia ada di wilayah Asia Pasifik. Kawasan ini juga sangat penting bagi Amerika karena 10 negara mitra perdagangan besar adalah negara APEC. “Kalau ini disatukan sangat jelas sektor swasta mengambil pilihan di masa depan,” ujarnya.

Kerry mengatakan, pengaruh sektor swasta dan dunia usaha sangatlah besar bagi negara. Dia pun berkisah, saat hadir di acara makan malam bersama para CEO perusahaan besar di Asia Pasifik, sejumlah CEO mengaku bingung dengan adnaya kebijakan pemerintah yang memberatkan. “Contohnya proteksionisme. Itu membuat kesempatan tidak bisa tumbuh, malah mempersempit pasar,” ujarnya.

Ia menyatakan, “Atas nama Presiden Obama, saya desak APEC untuk menemukan cara-cara pemerintah bersinergi dengan sektor swasta untuk menciptakan kebijakan yang baik dan cepat.”

PINGIT ARIA
Government Shutdown Makes Contractor’s Headquarters a Ghost Town
By Kathleen Miller – Oct 2, 2013
bloomberg
Since the U.S. government shutdown started Oct. 1, one-fourth of MicroTechnologies LLC’s workforce of 400 in Vienna, Virginia, has stayed home. The headquarters is like a “ghost town,” Chief Executive Officer Tony Jimenez said.

“I’ve seen more people cry in the last couple of days than the last few years,” Jimenez said in a phone interview today, after six federal agencies he wouldn’t identify told the company to stop work on contracts. “You don’t take people’s jobs and play Russian Roulette with them.”

The shutdown is beginning to have a ripple effect on federal contractors, which employ millions of people and attract more than $500 billion in annual awards. Costs will rise each day government offices remain closed. The defense industry, the single biggest recipient of contracts, will likely be the hardest hit.

United Technologies Corp. (UTX)’s Sikorsky Aircraft business slowed production of Black Hawk helicopters after Pentagon inspectors were furloughed due to the shutdown, Gregory Hayes, the company’s chief financial officer, said yesterday at a meeting with analysts and investors in Monterrey, Mexico. The inspectors are required to do reviews of the choppers as they’re being manufactured, Hayes said.

About 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed.

Extended Shutdown

“The immediate impact of the U.S. government shutdown on Sikorsky is only manageable for a short time,” Paul Jackson, a spokesman for the Stratford, Connecticut-based division, said in an e-mail. “Any extended government shutdown will considerably impact our business.”

Shares of United Technologies fell 2.2 percent to $104.98 in New York trading. A Bloomberg Government index of 68 government contractors declined 0.4 percent today. It has dropped 6.4 percent since Sept. 27, compared with a 0.13 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

NSC Technologies Inc., a closely held staffing company based in Portsmouth, Virginia, is having a hard time getting some of its employees access to Navy shipyards because most of the federal offices that supply passes are closed, said Tanya Rieger, vice president of workforce development.

About 250 NSC employees working in southeastern Virginia, where much of the Navy’s ship repair and construction work takes place, have badges that are valid for a year or 28-day temporary passes, Rieger said in a phone interview.

“If the government doesn’t open back up, those passes will expire, and there is no way for these workers to get back to the shipyards,” she said.

‘Domino Effect’

The company provides skilled workers to prime, or direct, contractors such as London-based BAE Systems Plc (BA/), Falls Church, Virginia-based General Dynamics Corp. (GD), and Newport News, Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (HII), she said.

If NSC can’t get its employees onto work sites, the larger companies won’t have the staffing they need to fulfill their contracts, she said.

“It’s a domino effect,” Rieger said.

Some 10 percent to 15 percent of the 34,500 U.S.-based employees of a unit of London’s BAE Systems Plc may be affected by the shutdown, said Neil Franz, a spokesman for BAE Systems Inc.

The U.S. unit is still waiting for guidance from the executive branch, including the Pentagon and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, on reimbursement and eligibility for pay allowances during the shutdown, Franz said in an e-mail.

Budget Impasse

BAE Systems Inc. will pay its employees through this workweek, Linda Hudson, the unit’s chief executive officer, said Sept. 30 in a Facebook message to employees. It’s unclear what will happen to employee pay if the shutdown extends into next week.

The company will provide as much notice as possible of furloughs or other potential actions affecting employees, Franz said.

USEC Inc. (USU), a Bethesda, Maryland-based supplier of nuclear fuel to electric utilities, may need to consider furloughs among the 959-person workforce for a uranium-enrichment project if the budget impasse continues past mid-October, Paul Jacobson, a spokesman, said in an interview. No decisions have been made, he said.

The two-year, $350 million American Centrifuge project is on schedule and on budget, and it needs $48 million in federal funding in the year that began Oct. 1 to be completed by the end of 2013, Jacobson said.

Pentagon Contracts

Jimenez, the CEO of MicroTechnologies, said his closely held company, which does work for the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Veterans Affairs among other agencies, will be 10 years old next March. He has never experienced such difficult times, he said.

The bottom line is you really are adversely affecting people’s ability to make a living with this shutdown,” he said. “Some of my employees may be home right now thinking, ‘Why do I want to work in a space where every time there’s an issue the House or the Senate doesn’t like, our jobs become a bartering chip?”
Kinerja laba industri di China mekar 24,2%
Oleh Asnil Bambani Amri – Jumat, 27 September 2013 | 11:56 WIB

BEIJING. Perusahaan industri di China bulan Agustus bisa tersenyum lebar. Sebab, selama bulan Agustus itu, perusahaan industri yang ada di China mencatat kenaikan laba sebesar 24,2% dibandingkan Agustus tahun sebelumnya.
Biro Statistik China hari ini (27/9) mengatakan, laba industri di China bulan Agustus naik menjadi 483,2 miliar yuan, atau setara US$ 78,94 miliar. Kenaikan laba industri di China di bulan Agustus itu naik lebih dari dua kali lipat dari pertumbuhan bulan Juli sebelumnya.
Untuk delapan bulan pertama 2013, keuntungan industri di China sudah mencapai 3,49 triliun yuan, atau naik 12,8% dibandingkan periode yang sama tahun sebelumnya.
PDB AS Kuartal Kedua Jadi 2,5%

Headline ist
Oleh: Wahid Ma’ruf
ekonomi – Kamis, 26 September 2013 | 21:13 WIB

INILAH.COM, New York – Pertumbuhan ekonomi AS pada kuartal kedua mencapai 2,5%. Ekonom memprediksi PDB akan naik menjadi 2,7%.

PDB merupakan ukuran kesehatan ekonomi yang mencerminkan nilai semua barang dan jasa yang dihasilkan suatu negara. Pertumbuhan ekonomi AS untuk kuartal ketiga diprediksi akan melambat di kecepatan 1,9%.

Pertumbuhan tersebut mendapat dukungan dari belanja konsumen. Namun tidak berubah tetap naik 1,8%. Namun penjualan barang dan jasa meliputi ekspor direvisi naik menjadi 2,1% dari 1,9%.

Belanja pusat dan negara bagian naik 0,4%. Namun pengeluaran pemeritnah secara umum menurun dan menjadi hambatan perekonomian.

Kinerja ekspor juga tumbuh agak melambat 8% dari prediksi awal 8,6%. Untuk peningkatan persediaan bisnis turun menjadi US$56,6 miliar dari US$62,6 miliar.
Senate Vote Set on Spending Bill After Cruz Ends Speech
By Roxana Tiron and Kathleen Hunter – Sep 25, 2013
bloomberg
The U.S. Senate advanced a stopgap spending measure after Republican Ted Cruz defied party leaders by staging a speech that lasted more than 21 hours, as a government shutdown looms.

By a 100-0 vote, the Senate moved forward the House spending bill. Senate Democrats plan to strip from the measure language defunding the 2010 health care law before a final vote as soon as this weekend.

The rare unanimous Senate vote shows that lawmakers of both parties have an incentive to advance the legislation. Republicans don’t want to oppose a bill that chokes off Obamacare funding, while Democrats want to move the bill forward so they they can restore the money for health care.

“I’m for defunding Obamacare,” said Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, referring to the next test vote on the measure. “How do you vote ‘no’ on a bill that defunds Obamacare?”

Congress hasn’t passed a budget for the 2014 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. The House and Senate are at odds over using the measure to stop funding the health law, and the lack of an agreement could lead to a government shutdown on Oct. 1

Cruz and Utah Senator Mike Lee, the chief critics of the health law in the Senate, voted with the majority.

Cruz’s 21-hour, 19-minute speech — the fourth-longest for the Senate — compared the fight to end the measure to the nation’s battle for independence against Great Britain and the fight to keep the U.S. unified after the Civil War. He stopped taking at noon as the Senate began a new legislative day.

‘Isn’t Working’

“I hope over the course of this filibuster the issues that are at the heart of this debate were put front and center in front of the American people,” Cruz said after leaving the Senate floor. “Obamacare isn’t working. When you get outside of Washington, Republicans agree on that, Democrats agree on that, independents agree on that, libertarians agree on that.”

Cruz tactic drew criticism from Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

“It has been a big waste of time,” Reid said after Cruz yielded the floor. “It’s a shame we’re standing here having wasted perhaps two days, most of yesterday and a good part of today, when we could pass what we need to pass very quickly and send it back to the House.”

The Senate vote on the House proposal begins 30 hours of additional debate, after which Reid can set another vote to end debate on the bill.

One Day

Senate rules require another day before that vote could occur, unless there’s an agreement to move it up. That means the vote to end debate would occur Sept. 28, with a vote on passage on Sept. 29 at the latest. That would give the House just one full workday to act before spending authority expires.

In addition to railing against the health-care law, Cruz killed time reading from Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” and referencing the reality TV show “Duck Dynasty.”

On another fiscal front, the House today could introduce legislation to increase the U.S. debt limit. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told Congress today that the extraordinary measures being used to avoid breaching the debt ceiling “will be exhausted no later than Oct. 17.”

House Republicans will include a one-year delay of the health-care law as part of its legislation on the borrowing authority.

The Democratic proposal backed by Reid would fund the government through Nov. 15, a month shorter than the measure the House passed last week, which covered spending through Dec. 15.

Shorter Stopgap

Democrats said the shorter stopgap period would give lawmakers time to resolve appropriations for fiscal 2014 that contain automatic reductions known as sequestration.

House Republicans are weighing their options for the spending measure when it comes back to the Senate without health-care defunding. Among them are elimination of the medical-device tax and scrapping the subsidies that members of Congress would receive to buy insurance on the exchanges under Obamacare.

Senate Democrats rejected the idea of attaching the repeal of the tax to a bill to keep the government open.

“That is not the strategy we’re pushing for this time,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, an advocate for repealing a tax that affects companies such as Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc. (MDT) “Right now, we just want to get the government to continue operating.”

Klobuchar said advocates of a device tax repeal are still searching for a way to offset the $30 billion revenue loss over the next decade that could be accepted by both parties.

‘No Sense’

Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, said lawmakers shouldn’t make major policy on a bill that just keeps government open for six weeks.

“It makes absolutely no sense,” she said.

Although he spoke out against Cruz’s effort yesterday, expressing concern it could leave the House with little time to plan its next move, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky today saluted Cruz for “speaking passionately about an issue that unites every Republican.”

“Later this week, every Republican will unite to vote against any amendment too add funding for Obamacare,” McConnell added.
13. September 2013, 16:00:03 SGT
Lingkaran Evolusi Manufaktur Dunia
wsj

Selisih antara upah pekerja di Cina dan Amerika Serikat (AS) menyusut dengan cepat. Aliran tenaga kerja manufaktur, yang tadinya mengalir deras ke Cina, mulai berubah arah.

Namun Amerika jangan terlalu senang dulu, Jeffrey Joerres mengingatkan: “Ini bukanlah era demam emas.”

Joerres, direktur utama perusahaan rekrutmen dan konsultan sumber daya manusia ManpowerGroup, menekankan bahwa proyek-proyek manufaktur milik AS yang disalurkan ke Cina melalui sistem alih kerja tidak akan ditarik kembali ke Amerika.

Pabrik milik pengusaha AS yang dibangun di Cina akan tetap berdiri di Negeri Tirai Bambu untuk melayani kebutuhan pasar lokal. Tetapi, katanya, kini ada alasan kuat untuk berinvestasi lebih banyak dalam sektor manufaktur di AS.

Joerres mengatakan biaya upah sektor manufaktur di AS kini hanya 20% lebih tinggi dibandingkan Cina. Ini sudah memperhitungkan biaya dan waktu yang terpakai untuk mengoperasikan pabrik di negara lain.

Ia mencontohkan sebuah pabrik perakit mobil di AS, yang menawarkan gaji $12 hingga $14 per jam untuk pelamar yang belum berpengalaman, sudah termasuk tunjangan. Sedangkan di Cina angkanya $7 hingga $8.

Itu adalah perubahan drastis dibandingkan beberapa tahun lalu, kala pekerja dengan posisi serupa di AS dibayar hingga $40 per jam. Tren ini semakin kencang. Inflasi upah di Cina tercatat rata-rata 15% hingga 18% setiap tahun selama lima tahun terakhir.

Joerrs memperkirakan inflasi upah rata-rata di Cina bakal mencapai 20%, mengingat Beijing sedang menggeser fokus pertumbuhan ekonomi ke arah konsumsi.

Salah satu faktor pendorong kenaikan upah Cina adalah kebijakan tenaga kerja yang baru. Kebijakan ini membatasi jumlah tenaga kerja temporer menjadi 20% dari total pekerja dalam suatu perusahaan. Saat jutaan pekerja-tetap masuk ke dalam pembukuan perusahaan, otomatis besaran gaji rata-rata pun meningkat.

Pada tingkat profesional, upah di Cina juga menguat. Joerres memperkirakan biaya kontrak seorang ahli teknologi informasi di Cina hanya 30% sampai 40% lebih murah ketimbang di AS (serta 30% hingga 40% lebih tinggi dibandingkan di India).

Menurut Joerres, semua ini adalah bagian dari evolusi manufaktur dalam beberapa dasawarsa terakhir. Pada 1980-an, jelasnya, pabrik mulai bergeser dari kawasan di utara AS—yang dikuasai serikat pekerja—ke daerah selatan yang belum tersentuh serikat pekerja. Mereka lalu pindah lebih jauh ke selatan, ke Meksiko.

Selanjutnya, revolusi digital memungkinkan pengelolaan rantai pasokan yang lebih canggih. Sektor industri lalu pindah ke Cina. Kini lapangan kerja manufaktur bermunculan di AS, kata Joerres, dan globalisasi manufaktur sudah kembali ke titik semula.

“Ini bukan ‘pergeseran’, tetapi sekadar ‘penyesuaian kembali’,” tegasnya.

—Andrew Browne
23. September 2013, 12:31:16 SGT
Data Ekonomi Cina Tunjukkan Pemulihan
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BEIJING—Ekonomi Cina menunjukkan tanda-tanda pulih seiring dengan penguatan aktivitas manufaktur pada September, yang menjadi tertinggi dalam enam bulan terakhir.

Membaiknya data Indeks Pembelian Manajer Manufaktur HSBC Cina yang dirilis Senin memperkuat harapan mengenai kelanjutan pertumbuhan ekonomi setelah mengalami perlambatan pada semester pertama.

“Data sangat bagus dan memberikan kepercayaan lebih besar dalam [periode] pemulihan,” ujar Raymond Yeung, ekonom ANZ. “Sepertinya, kondisi [seperti ini] akan berlanjut hingga kuartal keempat.”

Data awal menunjukkan kenaikan dari 50,1 pada Agustus menjadi 51,2, menjauhi level 50-koma yang memisahkan ekspansi dan kontraksi dibandingkan dengan bulan sebelumnya.

Menurut data tersebut, perusahaan swasta yang lebih kecil mulai mengikuti kinerja positif perusahaan lebih besar yang dikelola negara. Bulan lalu, Indeks Manajer Pembelian naik dari 50,3 pada Juli menjadi 51.

“Penguatan pada sisi manufaktur yang tercatat bulan lalu didominasi oleh sektor pemerintah,” ujar Yeung.

Perekonomian Cina menunjukkan pertumbuhan lebih lamban sebesar 7,7% yoy pada kuartal pertama dan 7,5% pada triwulan kedua.

Pemerintah menyatakan akan mentolerir perlambatan demi merestrukturisasi perekonomian jangka panjang, aga

r mengurangi ketergantungan pada ekspor dan investasi serta mengupayakan penguatan konsumsi

. Di samping menghindari kebijakan stimulus besar-besaran, Beijing telah memberlakukan kebijakan “stimulus mini” dengan mempercepat pengerjaan proyek subway dan kereta api. Pemerintah juga memberlakukan keringanan pajak dan memangkas rantai birokrasi guna mendongkrak pertumbuhan ekonomi.

Kebijakan itu membuahkan hasil. Pada Agustus, Cina mencatatkan serangkaian perbaikan data perekonomian dengan meningkatnya sektor produksi industri, penjualan ritel, dan ekspor.

Namun, para analis cemas sampai sejauh mana pemulihan akan berlangsung.

“Berdasar atas penelitian kami, para pengusaha masih bersikap konservatif terhadap outlook ekonomi. Kami pun belum melihat adanya peningkatan berarti perekonomian secara riil,” ujar Li Wei, ekonom Standard Chartered. Pemulihan ekonomi mungkin akan berlangsung hingga kuartal keempat. Namun, tingkat pertumbuhan agaknya takkan kembali ke level 8% pada kuartal keempat, tambahnya.

Para ekonom lain pun menyuarakan keraguan senada.

“Taksiran tersebut lebih baik dari yang diharapkan meskipun sebagian besar perbaikan disumbangkan oleh belanja domestik,” ujar Tim Condon dari ING.

— Dengan kontribusi dari Liyan Qi dan Yajun Zhang.
September 17, 2013
Median Income and Poverty Rate Hold Steady, Census Bureau Finds
By ANNIE LOWREY
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WASHINGTON — For the first time in half a decade, median household income did not decrease and poverty did not increase in 2012, the Census Bureau said in the release of a major annual report on poverty, insurance and earnings.

The report depicts an economy that has so far failed to improve the lot of most households, with growth failing to lift incomes and leaving about 46.5 million Americans in poverty.

Median household income, adjusted for inflation, halted its fall at $51,017, about where it was the previous year. That is down about 9 percent from an inflation-adjusted peak of $56,080 in 1999, though the real economy has grown about 28 percent since then. Income is also down about 8.3 percent since 2007, when the economy started to contract.

The West was the only region that experienced a statistically significant increase in median incomes, the Census Bureau said. All other regions were essentially unchanged.

The poverty rate held steady around 15 percent, about 2.5 percentage points higher than before the recession hit. Neither the number nor the proportion of people living in poverty changed significantly from 2011 to 2012, the Census Bureau found.

The proportion of Americans without health insurance dropped to 15.4 percent in 2012 from 15.7 percent in 2011.

“We are not where we want to be yet,” Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., before the census report came out. “

Too many Americans cannot find work

. Growth is not fast enough. And the very definition of what it means to be middle class is being undercut by trends in our economy that must be addressed.”

How to taper safely

Combine a small cut in bond purchases with a clear commitment to support the economy more if necessary

AMERICA’S central bankers are in a tight spot. On September 18th the Federal Reserve must decide whether to begin to reduce (or, in the jargon, “taper”) the pace at which it supports the economy by printing money to buy bonds, from the current rate of $85 billion a month. Judging by its own earlier pronouncements, tapering is long overdue. In June the Fed’s chairman, Ben Bernanke, explained that he expected to have stopped buying bonds altogether when America’s unemployment rate fell to 7%. The jobless rate is now 7.3%, down from 8.1% a year ago. If the Fed plans to stop buying bonds by the time it hits 7%, it needs to start buying fewer of them fast. Ignoring the plan it laid out in June could compromise the credibility of its other promises, such as its commitment not to raise short-term interest rates until unemployment falls at least to 6.5%.

But the mere prospect of fewer bond purchases has already brought a sharp tightening in financial conditions. Since the taper talk began in late May, yields on ten-year treasury bonds have jumped almost a full percentage point, one of the biggest surges in decades, and a far bigger reaction than the central bankers expected. The shock waves have been felt across the globe, raising bond yields in Europe and sending emerging-market currencies plunging. And at home the economy, though perking up, is still less robust than it should be. America’s underlying inflation rate, at 1.7%, remains below the Fed’s target of 2%. The jobless rate is falling not primarily because of robust hiring but because fewer Americans are looking for work. Premature and forceful monetary tightening could choke off a still-fragile recovery.

Scylla, Charybdis and monetary policy

How should the Fed steer between these twin risks? The economy has improved enough to justify a small reduction in the pace of bond-buying—to, say, $75 billion a month. But it is not strong enough to withstand a sudden stop of such purchases, let alone a quicker return to raising short-term interest rates. The trouble is, that is exactly what the taper talk has led investors to expect. It is why long-term bond-yields have soared since May. And it is an impression the Fed must dispel on September 18th.

Doing so will require a change in attitude at the central bank. In the minds of many Fed officials a slower pace of bond-buying does not mean tighter monetary policy. The predominant view inside the organisation is that as long as the stock of bonds on the central bank’s balance-sheet keeps growing, monetary policy is getting looser. Slowing the pace at which that stock increases means monetary conditions loosen less quickly, but does not mean they tighten.

Financial markets have clearly concluded otherwise. Investors interpreted the promise of tapering as evidence of a big shift in the Fed’s priorities. That is partly because the taper talk was accompanied by a very public debate within the central bank about the downsides of bond-buying, particularly the risk of inflating bubbles in financial markets. And it is partly because the Fed provided an ambitious end point (ie, stopping bond purchases when the jobless rate reaches 7%) with little clarity about how it planned to get there, or how that goal weighed against other signs of weakness such as the uncomfortably low inflation rate.

The Fed needs to spell out its priorities and plans much more fully. First, it must leave no doubt that the priority is to support growth; that the pace of bond purchases is being reduced because the economy is ready for it; that the tapering will be cautious; and that if the recovery wanes the bond-buying will be stepped up again. Second, the Fed’s promises about its future plans should eschew mechanistic reliance on one economic indicator. If America’s jobless rate is falling but other measures of the economy’s health are weak, the central bank should explain it will err on the side of keeping policy loose for longer. The current pledge—to keep short-term interest rates close to zero until the jobless rate has fallen at least to 6.5%—should be bolstered with a promise not to raise short-term rates if inflation is well below its 2% target.

These changes would not guarantee that the Fed will be able to taper safely. But they would make its priorities clearer. That would be a big improvement on the confusion of the past three months.

From the print edition: Leaders

Does China’s Slowdown Really Matter? Not as Much as You’d Think.

BY: ASHLEY KINDERGAN
PUBLISHED: AUGUST 12, 2013

For the better part of 2013, China’s economy has been doing something it hasn’t done for years: cooling off. The country’s 7.5 percent year-over-year GDP increase in the second quarter still puts that of the world’s other major economies to shame but it’s also a far cry from the 14 percent rate of 2007. China’s breakneck expansion and corresponding appetite for raw materials has been a major boon to commodity-producing countries over the past decade, while its shipments overseas of everything from clothing to electronics have made it the world’s largest exporter. China even pulled ahead of the United States earlier this year as the world’s largest trading nation, and its increasing integration with other major economies is precisely what makes the prospect of a slowdown so potentially hazardous to the global economy’s health.

But is China’s more leisurely rate of economic growth really so dangerous?

Short answer:

no.

Credit Suisse’s Economics Research and Global Strategy teams, led by Chief Economist Neal Soss, analyzed the impact China’s slowdown could have on the global economy in an early August note entitled “The North Atlantic Outweighs China.” They reached a rather surprising conclusion: The improving economic picture in the U.S. and Europe will have more of an impact on global growth trends than the tepid data coming out of China and Asia. The analysts also don’t foresee a significant further slowdown in China’s growth ahead, and the release last week of positive economic data, including a surprisingly large 10 percent increase in industrial production, underscored that forecast.

One of the biggest reasons a slower-growing China gives market-watchers pause is that the country of 1.3 billion people absorbs an enormous amount of the world’s exports – China’s gross imports account for 2.9 percent of world GDP, compared to 3.6 percent for the European Union and 3.8 percent for the United States. When such a large appetite for goods and services flags, one might expect other economies to bear the brunt of it. But when you consider China’s imports in a different way – a more integrated global supply chain means that many countries, particularly China, simply import components of a product, assemble it in a factory and then re-export it to another country for further work or sale – the numbers change dramatically. China’s value-added imports – in other words, the portion of total imports that stay in China and are sold to Chinese customers, rather than those that are assembled and re-exported – accounted for just 1.7 percent of total global GDP. That’s about half the value of the U.S. or European Union’s value-added imports and just 50 percent larger than Japan’s. “Domestic demand in the U.S. and EU matters much more than Chinese demand on a global scale,” analysts wrote.

Think about it like this: The iPhone is counted in official statistics as a Chinese export, because final assembly of the phone happens in China. In fact, China’s assembly work adds only $6.50 of the $178.96 value of an iPhone 3, with imported components from Japan, Germany, Korea, the U.S. and other countries making up the rest. So exports that are credited to China arguably belong to those other countries that made the components. Even China’s neighbors rely more on shipping goods to the United States than to China on a value-added basis. Only about one-third of total exports from non-Japan Asia to China stay there, analysts noted.

Who should be concerned about those that do? German exporters, for one, given that Germany accounts for more than half of the euro area’s exports to China. But even they don’t seem overly concerned. That could be because the worst is over – while the year-over-year growth rate of German exports of capital and transport goods, which make up the bulk of the country’s shipments to China, tumbled from 50 percent at the end of 2010 into negative territory earlier this year, in recent surveys, Germany’s export expectations have been stable. “If something more serious were happening in China, we would expect to see it in evidence in Germany,” analysts argued. “But it isn’t… The bulk of the slowdown in this component of German exports has already happened.”

Of China’s regional trading partners, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore have the most exposure to weakening Chinese growth. In Latin America, Chile has the most exposure to Chinese value-added imports, while Australia, Japan and Germany top the list of developed countries that send the most value-added exports as a percentage of GDP to China. But again, the bulk of the pain has already been felt. “The slowdown in Chinese export demand is already well advanced,” the analysts wrote, adding that strong demand in 2009 and 2010 owed a great deal to the Chinese government’s large fiscal stimulus program.

Fresh economic data certainly seems to support the view that a further dramatic slide is not in the offing. Chinese imports of crude oil, iron ore and copper all rose last month, as did industrial production, though Credit Suisse’s China economists Weishen Deng and Dong Tao only saw the good news as a sign that the economy is stabilizing, rather than a major rebound. Still, the economics and strategy analysts noted that China should benefit this year from the improving health of the U.S., Japan and Europe, which together buy up 40 percent of China’s total exports. “Improving economic momentum in these major trading partners can certainly help stop the slump in Chinese exports and hence support growth,” the analysts wrote.

As China’s economy matures, its leaders are increasingly eager to speed China’s transition from an export-dependent economy to one that relies more on domestic consumption. And the news on that front is encouraging. Both urban and rural household disposable incomes are growing at an impressive rate in real terms at 6.5 percent and 9.2 percent so far this year, respectively. Soss and his team pointed out that the Politburo has made improving living standards and stoking consumer demand an official goal, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said that government could implement a stimulus program if GDP growth slips below 7 percent this year. Officials have already implemented other small reforms to juice the economy, including reducing taxes on small businesses and scrapping a floor on the rates banks can charge borrowers for loans. Credit Suisse said the Communist Party’s third plenary session in October may not bring a huge fiscal stimulus, but the party might cut some of its own “inefficient” spending to make room for new infrastructure projects sponsored by the central government, which in theory would promote more economic activity.

Finally, some observers have been concerned about whether China’s credit boom could pose a systemic risk. “China’s credit-to-GDP ratio has increased by 53 percentage points in four years – one of the fastest peacetime credit expansions ever seen in a major economy,” Credit Suisse analysts noted. “History suggests such a credit expansion can end very badly, especially when it finances overcapacity, which appears to be the case for China.” The rapid development of China’s “shadow banking” sector, or lending by non-bank financial intermediaries such as trust companies, which are not as tightly regulated as banks, has raised concerns. So has the practice of banks selling wealth management products that offer higher returns than traditional deposit accounts, but often back riskier business loans that do not appear on bank balance sheets. In what was seen as an effort to crack down on non-traditional lending, the Chinese central bank recently cut off the flow of liquidity in China’s interbank lending market, sending the rate banks charge each other to borrow money skyrocketing. Since then, banks have been more cautious about lending, particularly through the sort of off-balance-sheet credit vehicles, such as trade bills, that fund many small and medium-sized businesses.

Credit Suisse analysts believe that China can avoid a full-on credit crisis, thanks in no small part to the fact that they don’t forecast a dramatic decline in growth. China clearly needs to deleverage and address non-performing loans, analysts said. Banks have already started to scrub such loans – though exactly how much they have done is unknown. Local governments in China have also run up massive tabs for local infrastructure projects, and economists and ratings agencies such as Moody’s Investors Service have been increasingly concerned about their ability to pay it back. But current fiscal reforms, including a thorough audit of local government debt announced in July, are also intended to “centralize budgetary decisions and discipline local government borrowing behaviors,” the Credit Suisse analysts explained.

The first reaction to the rise of China was all about the positives—evidenced by the swooning excitement about an enormous new market for foreign companies to penetrate. We’re now seeing the second, which is concern over what kind of negative effects the new economic giant might wreak on the rest of the world should it run into trouble. But the reality is that in value-added terms, China’s economy just isn’t yet as important to the global economy as those it seeks to displace.

A continued economic recovery in the North Atlantic matters much more than China’s move in the other direction.

Bursa emerging rebound, ini dia pemicunya
Oleh Barratut Taqiyyah – Senin, 02 September 2013 | 20:41 WIB | Sumber Bloomberg
kontan

LONDON. Bursa saham emerging market naik ke posisi tertinggi dalam dua pekan terakhir pada transaksi hari ini (2/9). Mengutip data Bloomberg, pada pukul 13.30 waktu London, indeks MSCI Emerging Market naik 0,8% menjadi 937,15. Sepanjang bulan lalu, bursa emerging market tergerus 1,9%.

Pergerakan sejumlah saham turut mempengaruhi bursa emerging. Beberapa di antaranya yakni: China Railway Construction Corp dan China Pacific Insurance Group Co masing-masing naik setidaknya 3,4% di Hongkong.

Lompatan pasar saham emerging terjadi setelah indeks manufaktur China dan Eropa mencatatkan kenaikan. Selain itu, penurunan harga minyak dunia mengerek saham-saham dari India hingga Turki.

“Pasar saham emerging mengalami kenaikan hari ini karena data pertumbuhan global menunjukkan adanya pemulihan yang cukup signifikan. Selain itu, ancaman serangan AS ke Suriah juga ditunda untuk sementara waktu,” jelas Michael Wang, emerging-markets strategist Amiya Capital LLP di London.
Bernanke: Maestro of misery
By Noureddine Krichene

The US enjoyed two decades of prosperity initiated by Ronald Reagan’s policies. Come Ben Bernanke, the top economic policy maker of the George W Bush administration, and prosperity ended and was succeeded by falling real incomes; financial chaos spread in the United States and elsewhere.

Bernanke’s cheap money policy set off housing, stocks, and commodity booms; all these booms had to crash in 2008 leaving behind bankruptcies; millions of foreclosures; inflation and poverty; debt crises; massive unemployment in the US and Europe; record fiscal deficits; and rapidly rising public debts. With all this lousy record, Bernanke should have retired as Federal Reserve chairman in 2008, along with Bush and the Bush team, or even

rightly been dismissed by the US Congress.

No surprise, Barack Obama entrusted Bernanke to restore prosperity and full-employment. The CEO of Asiana would never retain the pilot of the recent doomed 214 flight; nor would the owner of the Costa Concordia retain the captain of the doomed cruise liner.

Yet Obama wanted a most extreme fiscal policy, which relied on Bernanke’s most extreme policy of near-zero interest rates and rivers of money called quantitative easing for its financing. Fanatical about their ideologies, both men were confident that ultra-expansionary policies would yield prompt prosperity and full employment.

Unfortunately, these policies are failing now as they did in the past; economic growth is slow; unemployment and inflation remain high; stock prices have shattered records amid economic stagnation; a housing boom is underway; a currency war is raging; crude oil prices remain high; and massive wealth redistribution is under way via asset speculation, credit, and welfare. Europe and Japan are forced into producing cheap money.

Uncertainty is very high. Bernanke keeps reassuring speculators that near-zero interest rates and rivers of money are to stay around forever (though occasionally hinting at the prospect of a change in tack). He considers money printing a panacea for all: firing up stock and home prices; depreciating exchange rates creating full employment; financing deficits; growing corn; pumping oil; constructing houses; and so on and so on.

Obama and Bernanke have created the most unmanageable fiscal and money disequilibria. US government debt, at 120% of GDP, is still building up due to exceptionally large fiscal deficits; domestic debt, at about 400% of GDP, is rising fast. Bernanke has tied himself to no exit except push forward with more inflation.

Bernanke is like a man who jumps from a tall building and thinks he can stop anywhere he wishes in mid-air. Gravitation forces work differently. He is out of control. If interest rates rise, as in 2005, all credit will tumble; stocks, already highly overvalued, will crash.

To avoid a gigantic collapse, he has to keep printing trillions of dollars. Moreover, Obama has created a large dependency on welfare programs; any cut will severely affect the livelihoods of 100 million or more people who depend on these programs and will be met by ferocious opposition. It is difficult to roll back government spending once it has been put in place.

The US faces a process of large fiscal deficits; trillions of dollars in money printing; near-zero interest rates; and inevitable economic disintegration. The redistributive policy of Obama and Bernanke has maintained rising living standards for its beneficiaries thanks in part to imports and to the status of the dollar as a reserve currency. The US is still able to print dollars and pay for imports of luxurious foreign cars, crude oil, and consumer goods.

US conditions in 2013 are far worse than they were in 2008; the fiscal deficit and public debt have been pushed skyward; the balance sheet of the Fed, at US$3.5 trillion, has no upper bound. Prices of assets and necessities are rising by the day. The situation will be far more intractable by 2016. Somehow, the government causes crisis; it then prevents full recovery and full-employment.

Prior to the popularity of the so-called fiscal, money, and anti-market policies in the 1930s no economy suffered unemployment longer than a short while. Economies hit by crisis returned promptly to near or full employment within a short time thanks to flexible wages, interest rates, and a reallocation of resources.

The data speaks for itself; the unemployment rate was negative in 1906 (ie there was high demand for labor including people not usually reckoned as members of the labor force); it was 2.1% in 1907; 6.3% in 1908; 1.9% in 1909; and 1.5% in 1910. The unemployment rate was again negative in 1919; 1.3% in 1920; 11.2% in 1921; 6.8% in 1922; and 1.7% in 1923. The unemployment rate was 0.9% in 1929; 7.8% in 1930; 16.3% in 1931; 24.9% in 1932; 25.9% in 1933; 20.2% in 1934; and 18.8% in 1938.

The figures show the devastating role of the government. In any country, there is no market mechanism that maintains unemployment above a seasonal and frictional 2%-3%. Only government institutions and laws permit this. The US acquired an institution, called the Federal Reserve, to carry out a cheap money policy; it put in place policies that prevent wage and price flexibility; very high income taxes and tariffs; programs to cut farm output and expand farm subsidies; it devalued the dollar; confiscated gold; and so on.

The more the government intervened, the worse was unemployment. Ten years after the onset of the Great Depression, unemployment was 18.8% in 1938 and it has never returned to the 0.9% of 1929.

Ineffective government policies are not peculiar to the US; the United Kingdom suffered from these policies and left gold forever in 1931. Japan in the 1990s similarly suffered from inefficient government policies.

Academics and media support these policies; they call restraining the fiscal deficit as austerity and condemn it; both academics and media call for more government spending and money printing as a way to prosperity.

The textbook principle is that demand creates supply; the more government creates demand the more supplies of everything are forthcoming; and the more employment is created. Since money is the only constraint to demand, print unlimited money at no cost; hand it over to people through credit or welfare; and the constraint is removed.

Adherents of this principle condemn Say’s law of the markets – which stipulates that supply creates demand and in all markets including the labor market.

Five years after the 2008 crisis, Bernanke has continued to improvise Ponzi schemes as the way to prosperity. With near-zero interest rates and unlimited money printing, demand has no limit. The beneficiaries of speculation, credit, and welfare are reaping large free real wealth thanks to Obama-Bernanke unorthodoxy. The money constraint is removed; money is unlimited.

Both Obama and Bernanke are baffled as to why growth and full-employment are so tardy to arrive. If money is free then no one ought to work, except those who print money. At some point, free money becomes worthless; and the economy is without real money.

Bernanke does not understand capital and growth theory. He does not grasp that money creation is not capital creation. Technically, his quantitative easing is counterfeiting, which only steals wealth from losers to hand it to profiteers. Technically, he is no different from jailed Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff or disgraced Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre. Counterfeiting can lead to fast consumption of capital and worsening poverty.

Likewise, Obama does not understand that large deficits, high taxes, and inflation cripple economic growth. Unproductive government spending and currency depreciation are no stimulus to the economy. They steal away savings, reduce real wages, and overtax the economy.

Printing trillions of dollars and setting near-zero interest rates are theft and are no remedy to unemployment. Yet, Bernanke and Obama will never renounce their dangerous fallacies. Since printing money is costless, every government can indulge in fallacies and carry out anti-market policies as long as the agony is bearable or until money is extinguished.

Obama and Bernanke’s model offers a perfect model of chaos and misery. Any country that follows it will suffer poverty and social disorder. Unfortunately, Europe and Japan are forced into the same model.

Noureddine Krichene is an economist with a PhD from UCLA.
Ekonomi China kuat dalam jangka panjang

Senin, 2 September 2013 03:20 WIB | 1389 Views

Brussel (ANTARA News) – Ekonomi China mungkin mengalami pasang surut, namun prospek dalam jangka panjang tetap cerah, kata Direktur Pusat Studi Kebijakan Eropa (CEPS), Daniel Gros.

Pakar senior itu melukiskan gambaran yang lebih cerah bagi perekonomian terbesar kedua di dunia tersebut daripada beberapa ahli di Barat yang telah menyatakan bahwa ekonomi China akan runtuh di tengah tanda-tanda pelambatan.

“Mungkin ada pasang dan surut, tetapi dalam jangka panjang perekonomian China sangat kuat,” kata Gros dalam sebuah wawancara baru-baru ini.

Data resmi menunjukkan pertumbuhan ekonomi China turun menjadi 7,5 persen pada kuartal kedua tahun ini setelah mengalami penurunan selama 10 kuartal berturut-turut, perlambatan terpanjang sejak reformasi orientasi pasar China dimulai lebih dari tiga dekade lalu.

“Jika Anda mengatakan sesuatu yang masuk akal, beberapa orang mengatakan ya. Tetapi ketika beberapa orang mengatakan Ah, besok dunia berakhir, ini akan menjadi jauh lebih populer. Mereka mengatakan itu pada dasarnya untuk mendapatkan perhatian,” kata Gros.

Dia menunjuk ke “akumulasi modal manusia dan modal fisik” sebagai dasar yang akan menjamin masa depan perekonomian China cerah dalam jangka panjang.

“Karena potensi tingkat pertumbuhan ekonomi tahunan China adalah tujuh sampai delapan persen, mungkin itu akan kurang dari tujuh persen dalam beberapa tahun ke depan,” katanya.

“Jadi bukan keruntuhan dan tidak ada bencana. Hanya saja ada siklus tertentu, dan Anda dapat dengan mudah memiliki siklus investasi ini,” tambahnya.

Sekalipun sangat tidak mungkin bagi perekonomian China untuk runtuh, China dihadapkan dengan tantangan yang menakutkan dalam restrukturisasi ekonominya, kata Gros.

“Penyesuaian kembali dari investasi terhadap konsumsi, yang disebut rebalancing, jauh lebih sulit daripada yang banyak orang pikirkan. Karena ketika Anda memiliki tingkat investasi hampir 50 persen, itu merupakan proses yang sangat lambat,” katanya.

“Rebalancing juga akan terhalang banyak inersia, yang berarti sekali saja dalam satu arah, ia cenderung untuk pergi lama ke arah itu. Itu disebut model akselerator di bidang ekonomi,” katanya.

Para ahli ekonomi memperkirakan spiral penurunan akibat kurang investasi dalam dua, tiga atau lima tahun terakhir, mengatakan bahwa spiral penurunan ini bergerak sangat lambat, tetapi sangat gigih.”

Sementara mengatakan bahwa risiko terbesar dalam perekonomian China adalah bahwa spiral ini turun terlalu cepat, Gros mengatakan, “Risiko ada, tapi saya tidak berpikir itu akan terwujud.”

Editor: Ade Marboen

COPYRIGHT © 2013
Weak U.S. durable goods data dims growth outlook
reuters
12:07pm EDT
By Lucia Mutikani
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods recorded their biggest drop in nearly a year in July and a gauge of planned business spending on capital goods also tumbled, casting a shadow over the economy early in the third quarter.
The report on Monday added to other data for July on industrial production, housing starts and new home sales that have suggested economic growth this quarter will probably not accelerate as much as economists had hoped.
“So far, things aren’t looking that great,” said Millan Mulraine, senior macro strategist at TD Securities in New York. “We are expecting a bounce in growth, it can still come, but it may not necessarily be in the first month of the quarter.”
The Commerce Department said durable goods orders dropped 7.3 percent as demand for items ranging from aircraft to computers and defense equipment fell.
It was the biggest decline since last August and snapped three consecutive months of gains.
Orders for durable goods – items from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or more – had increased 3.9 percent in June. Economists had expected orders to fall 4.0 percent last month.
Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, fell 3.3 percent, breaking four straight months of gains. It was the biggest drop since February.
Orders for these so-called core capital goods increased 1.3 percent in June. Economists had expected this category to rise 0.5 percent in July.
The decline in demand suggested the manufacturing sector, which hit a speed bump early in the year, will probably not bounce back as quickly as many economists had anticipated.
The report was at odds with a survey from the Institute for Supply Management released earlier this month that showed new orders at their highest level in more than two years in July.
Still, it was the latest sign that economic growth might not accelerate much from the second quarter’s 1.7 percent annual pace. Industrial output was flat in July, while residential construction increased less than expected and new home sales tumbled last month.
SHIPMENTS FALL
Troublingly, the durable goods report showed that shipments of core capital goods, which are used to calculate equipment and software spending in the government’s measure of gross domestic product, fell 1.5 percent in July.
Shipments had dropped 0.8 percent in June. While shipments tend to decline in July because not all components in this category are seasonally adjusted, economists noted the drop last month was the largest since 2008.
Forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers lowered its third-quarter GDP growth estimate by two tenths of a percentage point to a 1.8 percent rate. Barclays cut its GDP growth forecast to a 1.9 percent rate from 2.1 percent.
Economists said while the drop in core capital goods orders could attract the attention of some Federal Reserve officials, it was unlikely the U.S. central bank would step away from a plan to start reducing its monthly bond purchases before the end of the year.
Some blamed the weak July data on a recent spike in interest rates in anticipation of a reduction in the Fed’s bond buying, which many think will come at its next meeting on September 17-18.
“When looking for signs that interest rate increases are too much for the economy to handle, durable goods, like housing, are a leading indicator of weakness in the broader economy,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York.
“We expect the Fed is determined to start reducing the size of asset purchases regardless, in part because the market has already begun to reverse some of the recent rate pressure without the Fed’s help.”
U.S. Treasury debt prices rose on the data, pushing yields lower, while the dollar fell against the yen. U.S. stocks were up marginally.
Durable goods orders in July were held down by a 19.4 percent plunge in bookings for transportation equipment. That reflected a 52.3 percent drop in orders for civilian aircraft.
Boeing received orders for 90 aircraft in July, down from 287 aircraft the prior month, according to information posted on its website. Orders for motor vehicles gained 0.5 percent after rising 0.2 percent the prior month.
Even excluding transportation, demand for long-lasting manufactured goods was weak almost across the board.
There were declines in orders for computers and electronic products, and demand for electrical equipment, appliances and components also fell. Orders for machinery and primary metals were flat.
Orders for defense capital goods plummeted 21.7 percent in July after hefty gains in the prior months.
(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

China says economy stabilizing after long slowdown

August 26, 2013

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BEIJING–Chinese government tried to reassure companies and its public about the economy’s health on Aug. 26, saying growth is stabilizing after a lengthy decline and should hit the official target of 7.5 percent for the year.

The announcement by the chief spokesman for the Cabinet’s statistics agency was part of official efforts to defuse unease about the country’s deepest slump since the 2008 global crisis.

“There are growing signs of stabilization and also of further growth,” said the spokesman, Sheng Laiyun, at a news briefing. “We are confident we can hit our full-year growth target.”

Sheng gave no updated data but cited previously released figures that showed industrial production and other parts of the economy improved in July.

Economic growth fell to 7.5 percent in the three months ending in June after declining steadily for 10 straight quarters.

Sheng said it was the longest such slowdown since China’s market-style reforms began three decades ago.

The International Monetary Fund and private sector analysts have cut this year’s growth forecasts for China, though to a still healthy level of close to 8 percent. Some analysts say growth could dip below 7 percent in coming quarters.

The slowdown was largely due to government efforts to reduce reliance on trade and investment that drove the past decade’s boom and nurture more self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption.

Still, the downturn has been deeper than forecast, due to unexpectedly weak global demand for Chinese goods.

That raised concern about higher unemployment, which could fuel political tensions, but the government says the economy is still generating new jobs.

Sheng also downplayed concern about debts owed by local governments that borrowed heavily over the past decade, in part to pay for building projects under Beijing’s stimulus in response to the 2008 crisis.

Some analysts worry the economy could suffer if local governments default, hurting the state-owned banking industry.

An audit last year found local governments ran up debts of 10.7 trillion yuan ($1.6 trillion) over the preceding decade, equal to about one-quarter of China’s annual economic output.

Sheng said some local governments have paid down their debts while others are rolling out plans to manage them.

“We are monitoring the situation carefully and right now the issue is under control,” he said.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
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