Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lender of the last resort-China?

Since the beginning of the European debt crisis, the Europeans solely are trying to stave off the contagion that will happen if Greece fails. Among other suggestions, one that is gaining somewhat support is to contact China and have it buy some heavily indebted European countries bonds. The Italians have already talked to them and the Chinese have obliged somewhat but nothing more. Now it is such an irony that China was sometimes called the Sick man of Asia and now it has the world’s biggest foreign currency reserves and clout to go with it and now the Sick man of Asia is being courted by the Sick people of Europe to save them from bankruptcy.

But as with other solutions, this will not materialize as the Chinese are too smart to start buying the European Debt without any substantial in return. Although Europe is one of their biggest markets and they don’t want to go down, but to invest in individual countries will not cut out for the Chinese. For one they are still classified as a developing country with millions of people under poverty (unlike Europe) and they don’t want to squander away their foreign reserves on bonds where they will get nothing in return. They may be the biggest foreign currency holders but they want to make sure that they invest it wisely in these uncertain times and right now Europe is not a good place to invest as it has now become the Sick man of Europe.

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