From the September 2014 Issue, Harvard Business Review

https://hbr.org/2014/09/profits-without-prosperity

(作者有新書:Predatory Value Extraction: How the Looting of the Business Corporation Became the US Norm and How Sustainable Prosperity Can Be Restored, William Lazonick and Jang-Sup Shin, Oxford UP, 2019)

股份回購的作用為何?在2003-2012年間,美國上市公司S&P500中449家公司,用了54%的收益(2.4兆美元)來買回其股份,幾乎全是在市場上購買,其餘37%用來分紅,剩下極少%才用來進行投資! 在2012年,全美500個所得最高的CEO平均每人得到30.3百萬,42%來自stock options, 41% stock awards,亦即股份回購在短期內可以提升股票價格,改善EPS。

戰後至1980年代之前,美國公司對收益採取retain-reinvest做法,促進value creation而非value extraction。1970年代末開始採取降低成本、增加分紅的策略,downsize-and-distribute。0.1%所得分額增至11.3%/2012年。薪資停滯(只有1998-2000增了2%)。

Good buybacks: tender offers, a way for executives to have large share and care about the company’s future. (maybe 5% of buybacks)

Bad ones: to manage stock prices. The SEC instituted Rule 10b-18 of the Securities Exchange Act, to allow repurchase of shares with few restrictions (25%), and without fear of price-manipulation charges. CEOs are serving their own interests.

A related issue is the notion that the CEO’s obligation is to maximize shareholder value “MSV”. (Michael Jensen) The MSV school ignores other participants, like the taxpayers and workers, who bear risk. Thus, MSV is a theory of value extraction, not value creation.

Reform the system; put an end to open-market buybacks; rein in stock-backed pay; transform the boards.

3 examples of hypocrisy: 1) Exxon Mobile, received $600 million a year in government subsidies for oil exploration, spends about $21 billion a year on buybacks, and no money on alternative energy research. 2) After Intel’s lobbying, the government launched the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in 2001, through 2013 Intel’s buyback amount was 4 times the NNI budget. 3) Pfizer argues that drug prices are high because they need high prices to support research. But from 2003-2012, Pfizer funneled an amount equal to 71% of its profits into buybacks.

2020-03-18 01:57 聯合報 / 記者陳宛茜/台北即時報導

新冠肺炎防疫成果讓台灣贏得國際讚賞,但相較於防疫的效率,台灣人薪資停滯不前的現狀令人深思。中研院人文社會科學研究中心兼任研究員瞿宛文,在新書「台灣的不成功轉型:民主化與經濟發展」中指出,民主轉型一直被認為是台灣社會巨大的成就,卻也可能是造成台灣經濟困局的關鍵原因。

近年來台灣經濟困局的各個層面,包括投資不振、資金過剩、升級滯後、薪資停滯,以及兩岸政治經濟的難局等。瞿宛文分析,這些困境主要源於發展策略錯誤及政策缺失,而政策的失誤又跟民主轉型密切相關。

瞿宛文指出,台灣有一長期困境—「共識難以形成」;加上選舉週期短暫,經濟政策短期化、口號化、媚俗化,導致早年以長期整體經濟發展為主導的體制共識逐漸被削弱。

瞿宛文分析,台灣戰後初期成長所依賴的發展型國家模式包括:執政者堅定支持經濟發展,經建官僚具能力與自主性,以整體發展為優先目標等。但在民主轉型的過程中,此一發展模式未能成功轉型。

轉型未能成功的問題包括: 政策目標未能成功折衝發展與其他考量;政策趨向短期民粹化,缺乏追求整體發展的共識;主導思潮改尊新自由主義、否定發展為先等。此外,強調打造台灣新國族卻與經濟現實相背離,導致缺乏前瞻性發展策略與願景。

若將南韓民主轉型的經驗與台灣比較,瞿宛文認為,南韓民主化過程遠較台灣激烈,然而各黨派在國家認同上並無不同,歷任總統皆持續施行前後一貫的產業政策,其產業升級、經濟成長方面的成績,清楚優於台灣。此外,南韓社會左翼較能發揮制衡作用,帶來反省與再生的力量、推動社會進步。台灣卻因認同的分裂而缺乏發展共識,難以進行協調往前進步。

瞿宛文認為,台灣經濟如今是在「高速透支以往奠立的基礎」,需要一種「超越」而非「否定」以往傳統經濟發展的發展觀,且需尋回「失去的左眼」—即社會中穩定的左翼制衡監督力量,社會才能平衡發展。而兩岸關係也是不可迴避的關鍵挑戰。

There is no need for the Treasury to put out its foreign exchange report on time this April. There are other, more pressing priorities. And if it does, the Treasury should exercise its discretion to allow those countries that came close to meeting the definition of manipulation last year off the hook.

Blog Post by Brad W. Setser  March 11, 2020

https://www.cfr.org/blog/it-time-currency-manipulation-truce-especially-taiwan-disclosed-its-true-foreign-exchange?utm_source=blognotification&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Blog%20Post%20Notification%20Follow%20the%20Money&utm_term=FollowTheMoney

Taiwan’s central bank (the Central Bank of the Republic of China, or the CBC) helped make this an easy call with a significant increase in its disclosure last week.

It disclosed two things on Wednesday

One that its true foreign exchange position is over $600 billion, as it has over $30 billion in domestic foreign currency bank deposits as well as almost $100 billion in foreign currency swaps with local financial institutions.

And two, that its actual intervention in the market in 2019 was $5.5 billion ($6.6 billion if you look just at the second half of 2019, as it reported that it sold in the first half of 2019). That’s around a percentage point of its GDP, below the Treasury threshold. Remember all those Taiwanese bond ETF purchases? That’s a probably big reason why the CBC didn’t have to intervene that much, as the lifers could buy ETFs (technically local currency products) unhedged (though the ETFs do now carry a higher capital charge).

 

原创 兰小欢 文短图长 2020/3/15

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MjM5ODY2NDkxNw==&mid=2247483751&idx=1&sn=7379a4541b436cc3667164f8d8a41bfd&chksm=a6c60edd91b187cbdc9b20cdb9d845b6515a50eeb1f072d5d1a0ce8ff890c73c96b126460154&mpshare=1&scene=1&srcid=&sharer_sharetime=1584313248628&sharer_shareid=f14234539e09a08e77a9206f4cc494e3&exportkey=AgPF2bp43xVOd2atlhOiBzA%3D&pass_ticket=4K6VHquEuqFRbbI7ojF903ZH3JUa5HKIWIhnpE3br%2B%2BxTrwpXQkMkb52%2FXmbwCTQ#rd

3.17号周二下午,在B站,我参加好友陆铭教授的直播间,和诸位同事朋友一起讨论一个话题,无关中国经济,而是站在老师的角度,讨论如何让经济学教育更加贴近中国现实。

我个人最想请教的问题有三:

1. 当前经济学教科书,大多依托美国成熟的市场经济现状写成,但在中国的教学中,是否应该更加重视经济发展过程、也就是市场经济的形成和培育过程?对中国学生而言,真正重要的“发展经济学”是什么:是站在发达国家角度对当前发展中国家的考察和研究(目前主流发展经济学)呢?还是学习发达国家实际经历的经济发展过程和历史?美国大学的经济系普遍不重视经济史,很多大学干脆不教,中国大学也普遍不重视,这对我们理解经济发展有多大障碍?

2. 什么是经济学本科教育的核心:是宣扬一套市场经济体系的理念(实质是自由主义的理念)?还是去理解中国经济现实?如果事实和教科书理念不符,就自然意味着必须改革现实么?还是应该转变观念?

3. 对以学术为志业的学生,我们大概知道教什么和怎么教;但绝大多数学生并不以学术为志业,对他们,应该教什么和怎么教?

姚洋 雅理读书 2020/3/16

作者姚洋系北京大学国家发展研究院院长,本文由澎湃新闻记者柴宗盛采访整理。

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzAwNjA0OTkzMg==&mid=2656218531&idx=1&sn=ef3f01b9449934cb9ceec4aafde48d06&chksm=80b55440b7c2dd56c02c5e801658732221a4f28d1691eebfb35f9be2e36ff69d95b191a2033e&mpshare=1&scene=1&srcid=0316vR7qUFkIO8vvHAepsGT7&sharer_sharetime=1584335642306&sharer_shareid=f14234539e09a08e77a9206f4cc494e3&exportkey=AvgH0Ikz2e%2FRn6Of1pLe3b4%3D&pass_ticket=4K6VHquEuqFRbbI7ojF903ZH3JUa5HKIWIhnpE3br%2B%2BxTrwpXQkMkb52%2FXmbwCTQ#rd