Bloomberg | November 24, 2009 | 04:23 EST
China should consider raising interest rates to help prevent excessive liquidity in the financial system from creating asset-price bubbles, World Bank economist Louis Kuijs said. The “pros of higher interest rates seem to outweigh the cons,” the lender’s senior Beijing-based economist said in an e-mailed note today. The comments were first posted on his blog on the World Bank’s Web site on Nov. 19. Unprecedented lending by Chinese banks and a benchmark one- year lending rate at a five-year low of 5.31 percent have helped to fuel the nation’s economic rebound this year. The loose fiscal and monetary policies could lead to an asset bubble similar to Japan’s in the 1980s, according to BNP Paribas.
“Some are reluctant to tighten monetary policy because of low inflation, the traditional trigger for monetary policy action,” Kuijs said. “However, the recent global financial crisis has shown the dangers of neglecting asset-price increases in monetary and financial policy making.” In countries where capital inflows are a big problem, interest-rate increases may be counter-productive because extra money from Continue reading