US forces other countries pay for its economic problems with monetary policy tightening: experts

(Global Times) 09:02, April 13, 2022

With its stock market jumping, the dollar strengthening, and global capital flowing in, the US is again reaping profits but bringing financial shockwaves to foreign countries, whether they are what it claims are rivals, like China, or allies, like the EU, by tightening its monetary policy, experts observed.

As the Fed policy tightening accelerates, analysts said that the US is increasingly turning into a world "damager" instead of "protector" when the country finds its global responsibilities clash with its own national interests, and the world is paying the price for the US' domestic problems, like surging inflation.

In recent days, the side effects of US monetary policy, particularly the Fed's hawkish push for raising interest rates, have spread to multiple regions of the world and multiple financial areas.

The US Dollar Index is turning up sharply, at one point touching a ceiling of 100.19 on Friday, the highest level since May 2020. Accompanied by the rise is the weakening of global currencies including the yen, the euro and the yuan.

Global stock and bond markets are also sliding. The 10-year US Treasury yield topped its Chinese equivalent on Monday for the first time in 12 years.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped by 2.61 percent on Monday, the Hong Kong-based Hang Seng Index dropped by more than 3 percent, and the Japanese Nikkei 225 was down 1.81 percent on Tuesday.

Contractions on global financial markets are generally considered to be a result of the Fed's move to increase interest rates recently, the first time in more than three years. Investors are betting on more aggressive rate hikes in the coming months after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell vowed tough action to rein in inflation during a recent speech at the National Association for Business Economics.

The US government has stepped on the gas to drive up interest rates to contain inflation. The US Consumer Price Index jumped by 8.5 percent on a yearly basis in March, touching a 40-year-high due to rising oil, food and housing costs. The growth beat market expectations of 8.4 percent.

However, Chinese experts criticized the US for shifting the burden of its own economic problems to global markets.

"The US is letting global markets pay the price for its own crisis of inflation, depending on the dominant role of the US dollar and the integration of the global economy," Li Haidong, a professor from the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

According to Li, the countries holding massive US dollar assets will feel the pinch from Fed's tightening, but the blow will be even more vital for countries that have a vulnerable social system, as the US action might bring havoc to social stability there.

He also said that when the US government sees a clash between its global responsibility and its own interests, it does not feel guilt in choosing the latter.

"The US' role in the world is turning from that of a protector to a kind of damager, as it thinks that globalization is bad for its own interests," Li said.

Even countries that are in the same league as the US won't escape the US' profit-seeking moves, experts said.

Xi Junyang, a professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times that the US is adding fuel to the flames of the Ukraine crisis, in order to strengthen its position in the so-called Western alliance, as well as further enhance the role of the greenback after investors saw Europe was not secure.

A direct consequence of this strategy is a weaker EU, both businesswise and politically, as the region's independence is undermined, while the military chaos also hurts the region's energy supplies and the euro's attraction to international investors.

Xi said that US monetary policy shifts will put pressure on the Chinese mainland's financial markets, especially as the mainland expands connections with the Hong Kong stock market, which is more vulnerable to US financial volatility.

However, Xi stressed that the impact on the mainland markets won't be severe because of capital flow restrictions, and China's independent monetary policy will not be swayed by external factors like the US Fed's decisions.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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