When comparing the credit ratings of domestic and global agencies on Chinese corporations, because of the differences in ratings scales, it is best to focus on the domestic and global agency orderings of relative credit risk. Testing for differences in the determinants of ratings, we find that asset size is weighed more heavily as a positive factor by domestic agencies, while profitability and state-ownership are weighed more positively by global rating agencies, which also weigh leverage more heavily as a negative factor. In spite of these differences, both domestic and global ratings appear to be priced into the market values of rated bonds.
This paper argues that after a quarter century of sharp and sustained increase, Chinese inequality is now plateauing and even turning using various data sources and inequality perspectives. The evolution of inequality is further examined through decomposition by income sources and subgroups. Some preliminary explanations are provided for these trends in terms of shifts in policy and the structural transformation of the Chinese economy.
Following the four Trillion RMB fiscal stimulus in 2009, People's Bank of China tightened up its M2 supply. Kaiji Chen, Jue Ren and Zha Tao from Emory University and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta explored how the banks reacted to the tightening of M2 supply by expanding shadow banking activities, and how the rapid growth of shadow banking in turn hampers the effectiveness of monetary policy.
China is on a path to capital account liberalization. If the renminbi is to become an international reserve currency (e.g. Prasad, 2016), as it has started to and one day will be, China must have an open capital account. But once the capital account is open, the economy will be exposed to gyrations of the global financial cycle (Rey, 2014). This column argues that international credit supply shocks have powerful effects on real and financial variables of the receiving countries, but not all economies are affected similarly, and those that have lower loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) and limits on foreign currency borrowing (FXLs) are less vulnerable. As China lowers controls on capital flows (e.g., Benigno et al., 2016) it should consider tightening domestic macro-prudential policy regulations (e.g., Cesa-Bianchi and Rebucci (2017) to avoid excessive volatility.
In this paper, we analyze “trusted-assistant loans,” which were loans issued (typically) by Shanxi Banks during the Qing period to finance newly appointed scholar-officials. Even though creditors lacked legal rights and, in fact, lacked every repayment enforcement mechanism advanced by economic contract theory, repayment rates on these loans were relatively high and they constituted a large and profitable portion of many banks’ loan portfolios. This paper develops a theory of “resource-based” debt contract enforcement that rationalizes repayment and tests the hypothesis of this theory using data from scholar-officials’ diaries and nineteenth century Chinese bank records.