State capitalism and the crisis

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State capitalism and the crisis

  1. 1. 国家资本主义与经济危机 尽管国家大规模干预经济在全世界大行其道,而许多企业领导和投资者的所作所为看起来却好像全球化模式仍居主导地位。这其实是个错 误。 Antoine van Agtmael 琢磨出“新兴市场”一词,用来描述发展中世界中觉醒的巨人们,从那时起,至今已经过去近三十年了。在这期间,我们开始认为新 兴市场(包括巴 西、俄罗斯、印度和中国这所谓的金砖四国)是不成熟的国家,对于这些国家的市场而言,政治因素至少与经济基本要素同样重要。随 着全球化似乎越来越像是一种 历史必然趋势,富裕国家出现了这样的假设:政治干预只是一个临时阶段,这些发展中经济体将会按照各自的节奏走向成 熟,经济平衡而不是政治力量将成为推动当 地市场发展的主要动力。 这次金融危机完全颠覆了这一假设。当前,政治斗争严重影响着经济政策的制订,甚至在世界上最富裕的经济体都是如此。这种转变在华盛顿最为明 显;在这 里,有关拯救汽车行业、新金融规则以及 7870 亿美元刺激计划中各个要素的争论,都成为党派政治博客圈的话题,已经为立法者和投资者都 创造了各种复杂的风 险和潜在回报的组合。 新兴市场的增长,以及全世界政治官员为避免全球性金融危机可能引发社会动荡所做的决策,都为全球市场的表现注入了政治因素和政治动机,其程度 之高,为我们几十年来所未见。 国家资本主义的兴起 随着冷战在磕磕碰碰中结束,关于政府能够从微观上管理国家经济并带来繁荣的信仰似乎已经灰飞烟灭了。日本、美国以及西欧等国家靠私人财富、私 人投资 和私营企业带来的发展活力和强大市场地位,似乎完全并最终确立了自由经济模式的主导地位。随着这些国家的政府将企业和养老金私有化,诸 如埃克森美孚、微 软、丰田和沃尔玛等企业都狂热地推出了全球扩张计划。全球化成了家喻户晓的词汇。 但是,即使在时下仍在发展的全球金融危机撼动自由市场信仰的基础之前,新兴市场中的新一代要人(其中许多都是政治威权主义者)就决定要走繁荣 加权力 的道路,以确保公共财富、公共投资和公共企业的大肆卷土重来。在过去数年中,国家资本主义开始显现,政府再次掌控巨大的资本流——甚至 跨越资本主义民主国 家的界限——对自由市场和国际政治产生了深刻的影响。 国家资本主义是一种经济体系,政府出于政治目的,在其中操纵市场表现。政府之所以欢迎国家资本主义,是因为它既能满足经济目标,又能满足政治 目标, 而不是因为它是实现繁荣的最高效的方式。它使政府官员控制了大量金融资源,让他们能够动用现金,帮助捍卫其国内政治资本,并且在许多情 况下,增加其在国际 舞台上的砝码。但是,国家资本主义同时也遏制全球化的兴起,因为它在不同程度上阻碍思想、信息、人员、资金、商品和服务在 各国国内以及国际间的流动。 国家资本主义的推动力 尽管发达国家和发展中国家都大量存在国家对经济的大规模干预,但许多企业领导和投资者的所作所为看起来却好像全球化模式仍居主导地位。这其实 是个错误。事实上,国家重新获得的重要影响早在目前的危机爆发之前,就已经很明显了。能源市场就是个很好的例子。 从所控制的储量来看,世界最大的 13 家石油公司均由政府控制。沙特的阿美石油公司、俄罗斯的 Gazprom 公司、中国石油天然气公司(CNPC)、 伊朗 国家石油公司(NIOC)、委内瑞拉国家石油公司(PDVSA)、巴西石油公司(Petrobras)和 Petronas 公司(马来西亚)的规模都大 于任何一家国际石 油公司。最大的跨国公司埃克森美孚在世界上排名第 14 位,跨国石油公司生产的石油天然气只占世界总量的 10%,其拥有石油天然气储量仅占 全球总 量的 3%。而国有控股公司现在拥有全球 75%的原油储量。在深海以及其他有技术难度项目的开发和开采中,跨国公司虽然仍拥有竞争优势,但是,随 着管 理得当的国有巨头不断向行业领先企业学习,这种优势正在逐步消失。 这种情形并不仅仅限于能源领域。中国和俄罗斯都一马当先,在众多的经济部门实施对国有企业的战略部署,其他政府也开始起而效尤。越来越多的新 兴市场政府为了保护其地位已不满足于在电力、电信、金属、矿业和航空等领域仅仅只是监管市场,它们开始采取行动,要主导市场。 这种国家企业行为的推动力,部分来源于一种新型主权财富基金的出现。大量持有其他国家货币的国家成立了规模空前的风险基金,旨在使其投资回报 和政治影响最大化。由于全球信贷紧缩使得获得资金的难度加大,主权财富基金在为国家资本主义提供资金方面的重要性也得到进一步提高。 全球经济衰退加速了国家干预市场的趋势,世界各国政府花费数万亿美元的资金刺激增长,并解救陷入困境的国内行业和公司。20 国集团的政治领导人 在为 金融机构和更可靠的国际监督制定新规则方面,需要达成共识,这会推波助澜地加强国家干预市场的趋势。这些政府也许并不情愿成为国家资本 家,可出于政治需 要,被迫担任这一角色。但是,其效果却是一样的:金融市场中的政治因素份量更重了。 赢家和输家 随着国际公司和投资者周围的格局在发生变化,这些公司和投资者将发现,政治大规模介入市场过程将会产生一批赢家和输家。由于各国所独有的政治 因素将 决定其对国内每一次经济低迷的反应,那些政治基础因素对于市场影响相对较强的国家将会更容易迅速恢复。例如,30 年的飞速增长使中国共产 党领导层获得了雄 厚的政治资本,高涨的民族自豪感帮助中国领导缓解了公众恐惧,挡开了批评,并将经济低迷的原因归咎于腐败的西方资本主义者。 由于政府可以拿出大笔钱用于财 政刺激,中国将有可能比多数发达国家都更早地走出全球衰退。这会进一步使中国领导人相信,由国家大量控制经济发 展,是走向繁荣并保持国内稳定的最可靠的途 径。 在过去的数年中,巴西总统路易斯•伊纳西奥•卢拉•达席尔瓦就制定了受到严格监管的宏观经济政策,并在国内达成了持久的共识。巴西总统保持较高的 支持率和较强的财政平衡的能力,有助于其政府通过国家支出和对开放外国投资来刺激巴西经济。
  2. 2. 其他政府则面临着更为艰难坎坷的道路。在俄罗斯,经济的急速下滑可能已暴露了执政精英内部的裂痕,这会加剧政治辩论,并引发大规模的资本外 逃。在俄 罗斯农村,有些工人失业了,而有些虽在继续工作,但不能定期领到工资,已经出现了程度有限的动荡。在乌克兰,总统、总理和主要反对党 领袖之间激烈的对抗, 让该国议会在很大程度上陷入了瘫痪。在巴基斯坦,联合政府的对手和敌人要比伙伴和朋友多得多,这导致其没有时间和空间来 实施必要的改革以便将已经士气低落 的公众从更深的现实困境中拯救出来。 投资者和企业领导能从这种趋势中指望什么呢?许多经济学家指出,从全球经济低迷中复苏将是一个缓慢的过程,有些政治因素支持这一观点。华盛顿 的民主 党和共和党、布鲁塞尔暴躁的立法者、北京竞争行业的优胜者、莫斯科克里姆林宫的强势领导以及德里的政治官员,会在有关如何、何时以及在 何地对资产进行估值 以及如何、何时以及在何地对资源进行分配方面做出更多的关键性决策,我们必定会看到更多的政策不连贯性,这种更高程度的不 一致性将对未来增长产生巨大影 响。眼下,政治领导人有更充分的动听理由去干预国内经济。如果别无选择,我们只能寄希望于为将来的现金、商品和 服务流制定出更好的规则。但是,这种认同并 不能模糊如下事实:市场可以比政治家更高效、更有效地做这些事情。 次级影响 这些趋势还会产生其他值得注意的影响。我们可能会看到,某些公司进入某些国外市场会面临新的限制。竭力帮助拯救其国内经济的政治家在做出选择 时不会 考虑全球经济。他们首先感兴趣的是,通过保护当地投票人、政治捐助者及强有力的行业和利益团体等最有影响力的选民并为其服务,来巩固他 们个人的政治资本。 他们拥有大量的机会,牺牲国外竞争对手的利益,来支持本土公司。 正是由于这个原因,在全球衰退结束之前,针锋相对以牙还牙的保护主义风险仍将是严重的威胁。在过去几个月中,我们看到一些政府推出了数十项保 护主义 举措,而正是这些政府在数月前召开的 20 国峰会上曾信誓旦旦地保证要避免此类举措。随着各国政府匆匆建立起旨在让本地工人在下次选举前 能保住饭碗的贸易和 投资壁垒,在这些国家运营的全球公司会发现自己处于不利地位。有些公司甚至会面临着资产被没收的问题。 此外,由于全球危机的潜能,有可能在几个国家触发大规模的社会动荡,政治家将会越来越多地求助于熟悉而可靠的手段:补贴。不必担心许多政府可 能不再 支付得起这种补贴。政治官员会保护那些关系铁的本地公司——尤其是在要出高价才能获得现金的时候,从而剥夺国外公司(以及那些有时与国 外公司合作且与政府 关系不那么铁的国内公司)的竞争优势。俄罗斯已经出现了这种现象,政府动用国有控股商业银行来拯救其偏爱的公司。 最后,金融危机将鼓励全世界各国政府重塑其监管环境,从而改变国外及国内公司的游戏规则。其中某些变化将有利于国内企业。即使新的监管规定只 是意在阐明现有规则,投资者和企业决策者也必须仔细掂量这些新规定的影响,这一点至关重要。 国家资本主义会持续多久? 国家资本主义会不会彻底逆转全球化进程?这种可能性很小。不论中国政治领导人怎么讲,全球经济危机并没有证明,政府主导的增长表现从长期来看 会优于 监管良好的自由市场的扩张。中国、俄罗斯乃至非常稳定的波斯湾君主国等国家都会面临巨大压力,发展中存在的内部矛盾――中国为其增长继 续付出环境代价,俄 罗斯以牺牲可信的治理制度为代价继续依赖弗拉基米尔•普京,沙特以及其他海湾国家面临着人口方面的挑战——会考验各国的经 济恢复力。全球化的活力并不依赖 于政治官员的智慧,这就是全球化肯定能经受住国家资本主义挑战的主要原因。 但是,金融危机以及美国在其中显而易见的责任,将会确保国家资本主义在今后数年继续发展。其发展轨迹如何将取决于一系列因素:西方对于自由市 场力量 的信仰是否会出现动摇,奥巴马政府推动美国经济增长的能力,依赖石油出口的各国政府能否承受低油价带来的痛苦,中国共产党创造就业岗位 的能力,以及其他若 干因素。与此同时,企业领导和投资者必须认识到,全球化不再是不受到挑战的国际经济模式,政治会在未来许多年里对市场表现 产生深刻的影响。 作者简介: Ian Bremmer 是政治风险咨询公司欧亚集团的创始人兼总裁。 State capitalism and the crisis Despite massive state interventions in economies around the world, many corporate leaders and investors act as though globalization remains the dominant paradigm. That is a mistake. JULY 2009 • Ian Bremmer It’s been nearly three decades since Antoine van Agtmael coined the term “emerging market” to describe the waking giants of the developing world. During that time, we’ve come to think of emerging markets—including the so-called BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China—as immature states in which political factors matter at least as much as economic fundamentals for the performance of
  3. 3. markets. As globalization came to seem more and more like a historical inevitability, the assumption among wealthy nations was that the injection of politics was a temporary stage, that these developing economies would mature (each at its own tempo) into a state of grace in which economic balances, not politics, would drive local markets. The financial crisis has turned this assumption on its head. Today, political battles weigh on economic policy making, even in the world’s richest economies. Nowhere is this shift more obvious than in Washington, DC, where debates over bailouts for the auto industry, new financial rules, and individual elements of a $787 billion stimulus package have become fodder for the partisan political blogosphere and have created complicated sets of risks and potential rewards for lawmakers and investors alike. Both the growth of emerging markets and the determination of political officials around the world to avoid the social upheaval that the global financial crisis might generate have injected politics and political motivations into the performance of global markets on a scale we haven’t seen in decades. The rise of state capitalism As the Cold War stumbled to a close, the belief that governments could micromanage national economies and generate prosperity seemed dead. The dynamism and market power of Japan, the United States, and Western Europe—fueled by private wealth, private investment, and private enterprise— appeared to have fully and finally established the dominance of the liberal economic model. As these countries’ governments privatized businesses and pensions, companies such as Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Toyota Motor, and Wal-Mart Stores feverishly sketched out global expansion plans. Globalization became a household word. But even before the still-developing global financial crisis had shaken the foundations of faith in free markets, the determination of a new generation of emerging-market heavyweights (many of them politically authoritarian) to chart their own courses toward prosperity and power ensured that public wealth, public investment, and public enterprise would make a stunning comeback. Over the past several years, an era of state capitalism has dawned, one in which governments are again directing huge flows of capital—even across the borders of capitalist democracies—with profound implications for free markets and international politics. State capitalism is an economic system in which governments manipulate market outcomes for political purposes. Governments embrace state capitalism because it serves political as well as economic purposes—not because it’s the most efficient means of generating prosperity. It puts vast financial resources within the control of state officials, allowing them access to cash that helps safeguard their domestic political capital and, in many cases, increases their leverage on the international stage. But state capitalism also stems the rise of globalization, because to varying degrees it hampers the flow of ideas, information, people, money, goods, and services within countries and across international borders. The engines of state capitalism Yet, despite the massive state interventions in economies across both the developed and developing worlds, many corporate leaders and investors act as though globalization remains the dominant paradigm. That is a mistake. In fact, the new importance of the state had become obvious well before the onset of the current crisis. Energy markets provide a good example.
  4. 4. The world’s 13 largest oil companies, measured by the reserves they manage, are now controlled by governments. Saudi Aramco, Gazprom (Russia), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras), and Petronas (Malaysia) are all larger than any international oil company. Exxon Mobil, the largest of the multinationals, ranks 14th in the world and collectively, multinational oil companies produce just 10 percent of the world’s oil and gas and hold about 3 percent of its reserves. State- controlled companies now are in charge of more than 75 percent of global crude oil reserves. Multinationals continue to hold competitive advantages in development and production of deep-sea and other technically difficult projects, but this advantage is eroding as the better-managed of the national champions learn from the industry leaders. The story extends well beyond energy. Across a broad range of economic sectors, China and Russia are leading the way in the strategic deployment of state-owned enterprises, and other governments have begun to follow their lead. In defense, a growing number of emerging-market governments—power generation, telecom, metals, minerals, and aviation—not content with simply regulating markets, are moving to dominate them. Such state-corporate activity is fueled in part by the emergence of a new class of sovereign wealth funds. States with large holdings in the currencies of other countries are establishing ever larger risk- taking funds meant to maximize their return on investment—and their political influence. With the global credit squeeze making funds harder to come by, sovereign wealth funds have become even more important for the financing of state capitalism. The global recession has accelerated the trend of state involvement in markets as governments around the world spend billions to stimulate growth and bail out vulnerable domestic industries and companies. The need for political leaders of the G-20 nations to build consensus behind the establishment of new rules for financial institutions and more reliable international oversight will add to the trend. These governments may be reluctant state capitalists, forced into the role by political necessity, but the effect is the same: a bigger dose of politics in the financial markets. Winners and losers As the landscape shifts around them, international companies and investors will discover that the large- scale injection of politics into market processes will produce its own set of winners and losers. Because political factors unique to each state will determine the response to each domestic economic slowdown, countries with relatively strong political fundamentals will have a better shot at a quick recovery. Three decades of heady growth, for example, has given the Chinese Communist Party elite deep reserves of political capital, and a surge of national pride has helped the leadership ease public fear, fend off criticism, and shift blame for the slowdown onto corrupt Western capitalists. Given the vast sums its government can spend on fiscal stimulus, China will likely emerge from the global recession before most of the developed world. This will further persuade the Chinese leadership that state control of much of the country’s economic development is the most reliable path toward prosperity—and, therefore, domestic tranquility. In Brazil, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has over the past several years forged a durable consensus in favor of disciplined macroeconomic policy. His ability to maintain both high approval ratings and strong fiscal balances will help his government stimulate Brazil’s economy through both state spending and openness to foreign investment.
  5. 5. Other governments face a rockier road. In Russia, a sharp economic slowdown could expose fault lines within the ruling elite, which may polarize policy debates and trigger large-scale capital flight. We’ve already seen limited levels of unrest in the Russian countryside, where some workers have lost their jobs and others continue to work without regular paychecks. In Ukraine, toxic rivalries among the president, prime minister, and primary opposition leader have largely paralyzed the country’s parliament. In Pakistan, a coalition government with far more rivals and enemies than partners and friends won’t have the time or space to implement needed reforms that would save an already demoralized public from still more near-term hardship. What else can investors and business leaders expect from this trend? Many economists suggest the recovery from the global slowdown will be a slow one—and there are political factors that favor this view. As Democrats and Republicans in Washington, fractious lawmakers in Brussels, the champions of competing industry groups in Beijing, the leaders of powerful Kremlin factions in Moscow, and political officials in Delhi make more of the key decisions on how, when, and where assets will be valued and resources allocated, we’re bound to see a higher level of policy incoherence that will weigh on future growth. There are plenty of good reasons for political leaders to intervene these days in domestic economies. If nothing else, we can hope for better-crafted rules for future flows of cash, goods, and services. But this acknowledgment cannot obscure the fact that markets do these things more efficiently and effectively than politicians do. Second-order effects There are other implications of these trends worth considering. We’re likely to see new restrictions on the access to certain foreign markets for some companies. The politicians trying to help rescue their domestic economies aren’t making choices with the global economy in mind. They’re primarily interested in bolstering their personal stores of political capital by serving and protecting their most powerful constituents—be they local voters, political benefactors, or powerful industries and interest groups. They will have plenty of opportunities to favor local companies at the expense of their foreign competitors. This is precisely why the risk of tit-for-tat protectionism will remain a serious threat until the global recession comes to an end. In the past several months, we’ve seen dozens of individual protectionist initiatives from the very governments that pledged during G-20 summit meetings over the past few months to avoid such moves. As governments throw up barriers to trade and investment meant to keep local workers employed through the next election, global companies doing business in those countries may find themselves at a disadvantage. Some may even face the expropriation of their assets. In addition, given the global meltdown’s potential to trigger large-scale social upheaval within several countries, politicians will turn increasingly toward a familiar and reliable tool: subsidies. Never mind that many governments may no longer be able to afford them, political officials will protect well- connected local companies, particularly while access to cash is at a premium, depriving foreign companies (and the less-well-connected domestic firms with which they sometimes partner) of their competitive edge. We’ve already seen this phenomenon in Russia, where the government has used state-controlled commercial banks to bail out preferred companies. Finally, the financial crisis will encourage governments around the world to reshape their regulatory environments, changing the rules of the game for both foreign and domestic companies. Some of these changes will favor domestic firms. Even where new regulations are meant only to clarify existing rules,
  6. 6. it will be crucial for investors and corporate decision makers to think through their implications with care. How long can it last? Will state capitalism completely reverse globalization’s progress? That’s highly unlikely. Whatever Chinese political leaders may argue, the global financial crisis has not proven that government- engineered growth can outstrip the expansion of well-regulated free markets over the long term. States like China, Russia, and even the very stable Persian Gulf monarchies will face tremendous pressures as internal contradictions in their development—the environmental price China continues to pay for its growth, Russia’s reliance on Vladimir Putin at the expense of credible governing institutions, and demographic challenges facing the Saudis and other Gulf states—put their economic resilience to the test. Globalization does not depend on the wisdom of political officials for its dynamism. That’s the primary reason it will almost certainly withstand the state capitalist challenge. But the financial crisis and America’s apparent responsibility for it will ensure the growth of state capitalism over the next several years. The arc of its trajectory will depend on a range of factors: any wavering of Western faith in the power of free markets, the Obama administration’s capacity to kick- start US growth, the ability of governments dependent on oil exports to withstand the pain inflicted by lower prices, the Chinese Communist Party’s ability to create jobs, and dozens of other factors. In the meantime, corporate leaders and investors must recognize that globalization is no longer the unchallenged international economic paradigm—and that politics will have a profound impact on the performance of markets for many years to come. About the Author Ian Bremmer is the founder and president of Eurasia Group, a political-risk consultancy.

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