俄羅斯/烏克蘭戰爭的啟示, 特區政府可以做什麼?

作者: 冼國林 2022年4月15日

政治




俄烏戰爭已經持續了一個多月,我相這是出乎大多數人的意料之外。俄烏戰爭會成為第三次世界大戰嗎?會不會引發世界金融危機?它究竟對我們有什麼啟發?

首先,我不認為它會演變成為第三次世界大戰, 我們可以先看看西方國家採取了什麼行動。他們所採取的行動主要只是經濟制裁,沒有一個西方國家膽敢將他們的軍隊派往烏克蘭直接與俄羅斯作戰。除了制裁行動之外,他們就只有進一步向烏克蘭提供武器或者協助安排僱傭軍參戰, 這已經是西方國家的底線。因為他們都知道,俄羅斯不是伊拉克,普京總統更是一個硬漢,並不好對付。西方國家真正關注的是自己的利益,而不是烏克蘭, 他們並不會為一個烏克蘭而令自己國家蒙受太大損失, 更遑論引起世界大戰。

短期內,這場戰爭確實導致了金融和政治方面的不穩定。然而,它會不會長期持續,給整個世界帶來巨大的傷害?我同意俄烏戰爭短期內會產生一些負面影響, 不過,如果我的分析正確的話,西方國家應該沒有其他更強大的手段可以做進一步的事情。當這樣的壞消息被市場消化之後,除非有其他更大的事件發生, 否則俄烏戰爭的影響將被淡化而不再對市場產生太大影響。眾所周知,近十年來,西方國家對俄羅斯的製裁從未停止遏,但實際效果則微乎其微, 以此推論便可以支持我上述說法。

此外,西方國家扣押俄羅斯人民和組織的資產, 已經對這些國家的信用產生了非常嚴重的負面影響。在敵國之間發生戰爭時,通常會採取扣押對方資產或否認國家債務責任的做法。但俄羅斯和烏克蘭之間的戰爭, 西方國家根本不是戰爭國 他例根本沒有任何合法的理由去沒收俄羅斯人及其親屬的資產, 這做法與強盜並沒有太大區別。瑞士是一個很好的例子, 值得參考. 當她宣布對俄羅斯實施制裁之後,很多大儲戶打算取回他們的存款轉存別國, 有見及此, 瑞士最終收回制裁決定。沒收資產的做法卻提醒了許多富豪,將錢存入西方國家已不再安全,因為他們的信譽已經幾乎破產。

這亦很清楚地啟發了我們,美元不再是一種信譽良好的貨幣,更不是一個可靠的儲備貨幣。美元資產也是一種高風險資產,因為您可能不知道您的國家何時會與美國或其他西方國家發生爭執,然後他們會以此為藉口沒收您的資產。

在過去的一個世紀裡,大多數國家都會使用美元作為儲備, 足因為美國是最強大的國家,所以人們普遍認為美元的風險很低。亦因為風險較低, 所以大多數國際貿易亦一直使用美元來結算他們的商業交易。由於這些原因,美元在世界上一直保持著主導地位,成為美國霸凌其他國家的強大無形武器之一。

隨著中國的發展壯大,人民幣逐漸被許多國家接受為結算貨幣,甚至成為其國家儲備貨幣之一. 儘管現時比例仍然較低, 相信百分比將隨著國家發展逐漸增加, 直至美元的主導地位將被稀釋的水平。

俄羅斯剛剛決定只接受盧布作為購買能源的結算貨幣, 這政策能否成功,取決於賣方(俄羅斯),和買方(西方國家)之間的議價能力。如果俄羅斯策畧成功,則意味著美元不再是國際交易的唯一貨幣, 這情況的出現將會進一步間接加強人民幣在國際的接受程度, 加速人民幣國際化的步伐。如果我的觀點是正確的,西方國家對俄羅斯所採取的制裁, 不單只對俄羅斯經濟造成打擊, 亦會對自己造成了很大的傷害, 更對人民幣有正面影嚮。

總而言之,我認為俄烏戰爭所引起的經濟制裁, 是對人民幣國際化的一個利好因素。香港政府應進一步思考, 如何加強香港成為真正的人民幣離岸中心。因為這對我們來說, 亦是一個巨大的商機,可以進一步加強我們的國際金融中心地位。 此外, 香港特區政府亦應認真考慮分階段採用包括人民幣在內之一攬子貨幣, 作為我們外匯儲備的長期政策,而不僅僅是單一維持美元作為儲備貨幣, 這做法亦可以減低美國無理制裁的風險 。再者, 如果香港有更大的人民幣資金池,亦有助於人民幣的國際化的長遠目標。

有危亦有機, 我認為特區政府應該嘗試從危機中尋找新的機會, 另一方面亦應該有危機感, 預先採取有效政策防止危機發生.

15/4/2022


Engilsh Version:

The Russia/Ukraine war has been lasting for more than one month, I think it is out the expectation of most people. Will it become the 3rd World War? Will it create a world financial crisis? What does it inspire us?

First of all, I don’t think it will become the 3rd World War. To substantiate my saying, we may refer to what the actions taken by the western countries. What they all have taken is economic sanction only, no anyone country dares to assign its army directly to Ukraine and fight against Russia directly. Besides sanction action, what they have further done is to provide Ukraine with weapon or help to arrange mercenary to join the fight. The actions they took do reflect their bottom line. It is because they all know that Russia is not Iraq and Putin is a very tough guy that not easy to deal with. The western countries are just focusing on their own interest, they will not go further to let themselves get hurt, 3rd world is no more than a joke.

In short term, the Russia/Ukraine war did incur instability both in financial and political aspect. However, will it be lasting for long-term and create dramatic hurt to the whole world? I agree that the war will have some impact in short-term. Nevertheless, if my analysis in correct, the western countries will have no other powerful means to do further. When such bad news is digested by the market, the impact of the war will no longer be having much effect to the world market. As we all know that, in the past decade, the western countries have not stopped imposing sanctions on Russia, regretfully, the actual effect is minimal.

Furthermore, seizing the asset of the Russian people and organization do have a very serious negative impact on the credit of western countries. Seizing the asset or denying the liabilities of national bonds will normally be taken while there is a war happened between enemy countries. The war between Russia and Ukraine should have no any reasonable grounds for the western to seize the assets of the Russian and their relatives as the western countries are not the country involved in the war. Western countries’ doing so has no much difference from a robber as it has no neither legal nor reasonable ground. Swiss is a good case worth being referred. Some of big depositor tends to get back their deposit once Swiss declared to impose sanction on Russia. It alerts the rich people that putting money in the western countries is no longer safe as their creditability is almost bankruptcy.

The incident inspires us that USD is not longer a creditworthy currency to be a reserve currency for a country. USD asset is also a high-risk asset as you may not know when will you home country have argument with the USA or other western countries, then they take it as an excuse to forfeit your asset.

In the past century, most countries use USD as their reserve. It is because USA is the most powerful country then, therefore, it is commonly believed that the risk of USD to become valueless is very low. By the same reason, most of the international trade has been using USD for the settlement of their business transactions. By all these reasons, USD has been maintaining a dominant status in the world so it gradually becomes one of the powerful invisible weapons for the USA to bully other countries.

Along with the growing up of China, RMB is gradually accepted by many countries as settlement currency and even as part of their reserve currency, although the percent right now is still comparatively low. It is believed that the percent will increase gradually to the level that the dominance power of USD will be diluted.

Russia has just decided that she will only accept RUB as the settlement currency for buying their energy. Whether this policy could succeed is depending on the bargaining power between seller, Russia, and the buyers, the western countries. If it succeeds, it means that USD is no longer an only currency for international transactions. It will further indirectly strengthen the general acceptance of RMB. If my opinion is correct, the actions taken by the western do create great hurt both on themselves and Russia. On the other hand, it may be good for RMB.

In conclusion, the war does inspire us that it may be a positive impact for the internationalization of RMB. Hong Kong government should think further how to strengthen Hong Kong to be a real RMB offshore center. It is a big business opportunity for us to further perfect our international financial center status. Moreover, HKSAR government should consider seriously step by step to adopt basket currency as our reserve as our long-term goal but not just to maintain only USD as our reserve currency. It does not only a help for the internationalization of RMB, it could also reduce the risk of being sanctioned by whatsoever ridiculous reason by the USA.
Risk and Opportunity is usually twined, we should try to look for opportunity while there are risks. We should have risk sense that to take precaution action to prevent risks from happening.

15/4/2022

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