China, Japan Tell Europe: "No Blank Check For You"

Remember all those daily rumors (prmarily courtesy of the FT) that either China, or Japan, or Europe itself would bailout Europe (yeah, don't ask). Well we can put them all to rest...for at least a few more hours. Because in the battle of inverse counter disinformation, it is important to refute the rumors you yourself have created just so next time the same rumor is spread it has some impact.... Unfortunately said impact will be less, much less, with every single iteration, until just like central bank intervention, its impact is lost in the noise. Per Businessweek: "Officials from China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-biggest economies, indicated that their support for Europe will have limits  and the region needs to solve its own debt crisis. Japanese Finance Jun Azumi said in Washington today that while his nation can buy European Financial Stability Facility bonds if needed, there is no blank check. “At the margin we can do quite a bit to help,” Chinese central bank Deputy Governor Yi Gang said in a panel discussion yesterday at the International Monetary Fund in the same city. At the same time, “the real solution of the European sovereign debt crisis has to be done by Europeans themselves." Good luck in that whole Europeans coming up with a solution: after all it was mere hours ago that France’s Baroin said that the Eurozone is "open to support from others." Translation: "Show us the money." In other news, the countdown for the latest European bailout rumors from the FT is now on.


Group of 20 finance chiefs today pledged coordinated efforts to tackle rising risks as Greece teeters on the brink of default and stocks plunge around the world. Weak growth, high unemployment, sovereign stresses and turbulence in financial markets are “renewed challenges facing the global economy,” the officials said.

Azumi said that euro-area nations had “said that this is a euro-area problem, and that the euro-area nations should be the ones to solve the problem.” “We don’t reject that view, we respect it,” he said.


Yi Gang’s remarks came amid investors’ expectations that China may help stabilize the euro region, after Italy this month followed Spain, Portugal and Greece in seeking investment from the world’s fastest-growing major economy. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, facing calls to widen support for indebted European countries, signaled this month developed nations should cut deficits and open markets rather than rely on China to bail out the world economy.


Also this month, other Chinese officials indicated the country is prepared to offer assistance. Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice chairman of China’s top economic planning agency, said the nation is willing to buy euro bonds from countries involved in the sovereign debt crisis “within its capacity.”


In the panel discussion yesterday, Yi said his nation’s involvement could be at the country level or with the European Union, and could also extend to cooperation with the IMF.

As to why we are sometimes baffled by why everyone automatically assumes the Chinese are ultra clever:

It is unlikely that the global economy will slide into another slump, in part because “the whole world is still at a very low level” of activity, Yi said. “We have a very moderate recovery” following the financial crisis, which indicates global growth “won’t decrease too much,” he said.


“The probability of that is still rather limited,” Yi said, referring to a double-dip recession. With the right combination of policies, countries can manage the debt crisis and “we can still have moderate growth” in the global economy, he said.

Uh.... what?


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