人民币崛起?

上海—在中国,一场日益激烈的争论是人民币是否应该国际化,加入美元和欧元的行列成为国际媒介货币(international vehicle currency,IVC),即其他国家用来为贸易商品和国际贷款计价的货币。与此有关的一场争论是上海是否能够成为顶级国际金融中心(first-tier international financial center ,1-IFC),与伦敦和纽约相抗衡。

金融史可以帮助回答这些问题。首先,一个城市只有在所在国货币成为IVC时才可能成为1-IFC。但是,正如伦敦的地位所表明的,即使所在国货币已不再是IVC,老牌1-IFC仍可以保有其在国际金融体系中的地位。

其次,使用外国货币作为交易媒介的交易成本与这种货币的全球使用程度成反比。外国投资者使用某一特定国际金融中心具有类似的规模经济特征。因此,IVC和1-IFC的数量不会超过三四个。

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