China’s Liquidity Paradox

BEIJING – Consider this: Despite China’s swelling foreign-exchange reserves – the result of persistent current-account surpluses – market and interbank short-term interest rates are soaring. How did this happen, and what should policymakers do about it?

The problem is, at root, structural. China’s monetary stock is relatively abundant. As the world’s largest currency issuer, China’s broad money supply (M2) is 1.5 times larger than that of the United States, with an M2/GDP ratio of about 200%, compared to about 80% in the US.