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Sebuah pembahasan yang sistimatik dan komprehensif diuraikan dalam Kertas Kerja ini, dimana digambarkan berbagai faktor sebagai penyebab krisis ekonomi Asia Timur, berikut dengan kebijakan yang perlu dilaksanakan dalam konteks lingkungan global liberalisasi aliran modal. Ditegaskan bahwa perlu ditinjau secara seksama sistim moneter internasional dalam pola struktur yang berlaku sekarang, dan juga dibahas sejumlah anjuran mengenai tindakan yang perlu diambil demi mencegah dan mengatasi krisis semacam ini.
Sebuah penilaian terhadap IMF menunjukkan bahwa tidak semua bersikap, dan juga mungkin tidak cukup, hanya mengikuti semata-mata rekomendasi dari IMF. Dapat dilihat bahwa analisa yang diberikan menunjukkan pemahaman mendalam untuk keberhasilan meminimalkan efek dari guncangan krisis.
Meskipun Indonesia tidak disebutkan secara eksplisit, jelas termasuk sebagai salah satu negara yang berperan dan (paling!) menderita akibat krisis.
Seberapa jauh upaya dan inisiatif yang sudah diambil untuk mengatasi krisis ini?

Sumber masalah adalah ketidakimbangan Savings-Investment di sektor swasta yang bergerak di lingkungan institusi domestik dan kebijakan peraturan yang lemah, dan lingkungan pasar modal internasional sangat bebas.
Disamping itu Neraca Pembayaran mengandung unsur defisit pada rekening berjalan, yang terus menerus bertambah besar dibandingkan PDB dan pertumbuhan ekspor. Pinjaman swasta dari sumber-sumber eksternal meningkat dengan tajam dan sebagian besar tidak dilindungnilai, dan jangka pendek. Krisis kepercayaan bersifat sangat berlebihan tetapi tidak irrasional mengingat situasi regulasi sektor finansial dan standar praktek perusahaan. Akibatnya adalah terjadinya arus balik aliran modal yang sangat cepat.
Dari segi kebijakan makro yang fundamental dan persaingan yang terbatas mengakibatkan berbagai ancaman terbuka. Kebijakan nilai tukar yang dipertahankan pada level tertentu selama bertahun-tahun menimbulkan aliran pinjaman luar negeri meningkat cepat. Arus modal masuk dalam jumlah besar tidak terkontrol. Rekening modal diberi kebebasan yang sangat liberal dan tidak ada sistim pengaturan finansial domestik yang baik.
Apa kebijakan untuk mengatasinya? Bentuk ketahanan dan kemantapan kebijakan lembaga-lembaga keuangan. Harus dibentuk pasar modal domestik untuk jangka panjang. Hilangkan mismatch jangka pendek dan jangka panjang. Hidupkan pasar obligasi, dan manfaatkan dana-dana pensiun dsb. Cegah aliran modal jangka pendek, untuk mengurangi bahaya modal asing yang masuk. Harus disusun kerangka kerja untuk menangani turunnya kinerja ekonomi, dengan memberlakukan Hukum Kepailitan.

BERAPAKAH NILAI TUKAR RUPIAH YANG WAJAR?
OPINI : Perlu ada kebijakan yang konkrit untuk mentargetkan nilai tukar Rupiah pada level yang lebih baik dari Rp10.000 per USD. Pemikirannya secara sederhana yaitu bahwa pada level ini, berarti Rupiah merosot sampai tinggal 25% dari nilainya sebelum krisis, semua barang lokal terlalu murah dibandingkan harga-harga luarnegeri. Jika demikian halnya, penyesuaian menuju keseimbangan hanya akan terjadi melalui kenaikan harga-harga semua barang, atau akan terjadi kelangkaan barang dipasar dalam negeri karena semuanya lebih menguntungkan untuk diekspor.
Perlu ada tindakan nyata untuk mengatasi suatu distorsi dan tidak membiarkan distorsi mencari keseimbangannya sendiri, sementara jelas banyak efek berantai yang mengikuti distorsi itu.

Berhubung resep yang diajukan oleh IMF tidak menghasilkan perbaikan, sedangkan situasi sudah semakin memburuk, maka perlu diambil kebijakan yang lebih radikal.
Krugman menganjurkan suatu Plan B, yaitu "kontrol devisa".
Tetapi hendaknya dikaji dengan seksama, apa yang sesungguhnya dimaksud oleh Krugman, dkk(!), dan seberapa yakin dia sendiri dengan saran ini.....
Dan apakah benar tidak ada alternatif Plan C?
Tidak berbeda dengan apa yang dikatakan Krugman mengenai aliran "hard-money" dan "soft-money" bahwa masing-masing mempunyai pandangan atau pendapat yang sebagian benar dan sebagian salah, maka adalah tidak keliru kalau dikatakan argumentasi yang dipaparkan Krugman juga bisa ada yang benar dan bisa ada yang salah!
Yang paling pokok dari apa yang dikatakan Krugman adalah tepat, dan itupun sudah banyak yang menganjurkan, yaitu perlu ada pembatasan-pembatasan lalu lintas devisa, seperti sistim two-tier nilai tukar, dsb. Disamping itu memang sudah jelas bahwa semata-mata mengikuti resep IMF saja tidaklah cukup, perlu ada inisiatif sendiri mencari alternatif yang lebih ampuh agar benar-benar bangkit dari krisis penyakit ekonomi.
Semoga dapat membantu anda menyimak dengan teliti teks asli gabungan Part 1 - 6; dan untuk arsip berbagai artikel kunjungi Homepage Krugman.

Dan agaknya supaya jangan keliru paham, Krugman bergegas menulis sebuah surat terbuka kepada Perdana Menteri Mahathir, sehubungan mulai diberlakukan pengendalian devisa di Malaysia:

Dalam pembahasan yang ramai awal bulan September ini sehubungan diberlakukannya kontrol devisa di Malaysia yang juga berkaitan dengan artikel Krugman, RRCina disebut sebagai salah satu negara yang berhasil mempertahankan perekonomiannya sehingga tidak tertular oleh krisis Asia, karena sistim ekonominya yang tertutup dan masih berlaku kontrol devisa disana. Sebuah artikel yang skeptis dengan daya tahan RRCina dan Hong Kong dalam menghadapi goncangan keuangan yang begitu ganas melanda negara-negara sekitarnya meragukan daya tahan "satu negara, dua sistim" ini dapat bertahan sampai kapan:

Namun, dibalik kisah yang skeptis diatas, agaknya kita harus akui bahwa sampai sekarang Hong Kong tetap berhasil mempertahankan nilai tukar mata uangnya pada tingkat yang tidak berubah sejak tahun 1983, yaitu HK$7,80 per US$1.

Bagaimana sistim kerja currency board yang berlaku di Hong Kong diuraikan cukup mendalam dan lengkap oleh Joseph Yam, Chief Executive dari lembaga keuangan pengganti bank sentral yang bernama Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), dalam teks panjang berjudul

Joseph Yam sendiri percaya bahwa belum banyak yang mengenal bagaimana sistim nilai tukar fixed yang bernama akademik 'currency board' itu dilaksanakan dalam prakteknya, sehingga ia menulis teks pidatonya sekaligus untuk menjelaskan beberapa pilihan tindakan rinci yang dijalankan oleh HKMA dan oleh para pengritiknya dipandang menyimpang dari sistim currency board orthodox.

Meskipun otorita moneter di Hong Kong yakin penuh akan ketangguhan sistim ini, sudah berulangkali serangan gencar dari spekulator berniat betul untuk meruntuhkannya, dan yang besar terakhir terjadi antara tanggal 5 Agustus sampai 7 Agustus 1998 yang baru lalu. Tak dapat disangkal bahwa kebijakan yang diambil pihak otorita moneter sejauh ini benar-benar kredibel dalam memainkan peranannya menghadapi manipulator pasar yang barangkali benar sudah dapat dikatakan, mengulang kata-kata Mahathir, sebagai 'kurang bermoral'.

Dua artikel lagi ditulis untuk menjelaskan tindakan-tindakan HKMA guna menangkal para manipulator yang mencoba menghantam dengan bermain sekaligus di dua front, yaitu bursa stock index futures dan bursa valas. Untuk menghadapinya HKMA dengan terpaksa mulai intervensi di bursa yang sama.

Kebijakan Kontrol Devisa sebagai alternatif yang diambil oleh Malaysia untuk mengatasi krisis ekonomi dinegaranya cukup banyak memiliki pendukung namun banyak juga yang menentang, baik di dalam negeri maupun dari kalangan pakar ekonomi dunia.

Demikian pula masih jadi perdebatan seberapa jauh kontrol devisa itu hendak diterapkan, dan seberapa besar pula kebebasan yang masih ada.
Ikuti link "Jurus Malaysia: Kebijakan Pengendalian Devisa", untuk mengetahui lebih banyak mengenai kebijakan baru yang diterapkan oleh Malaysia mulai awal September 1998 ini. Sejumlah komentar pro dan kontra akan membantu memberikan variasi aspek dan prospek kebijakan ini.

Pada garis besarnya Malaysia memberlakukan larangan perdagangan Ringgit diluar negaranya, serta bertindak ketat dengan memanggil pulang semua Ringgit yang disimpan di luar negeri, dan disamping itu menentukan nilai tukar yang fixed pada tingkat RM 3.80 per US$ 1.00.

Plan B bertolak dari pemikiran perlunya ada pembatasan mobilitas kapital, agar jangan sampai negara-negara kecil dari emerging markets menjadi sasaran perputaran modal yang dimainkan dipasar global secara bebas tanpa batas.

Bagaimana dengan alternatif lain, sudah adakah Plan C? Kembali kepada Krugman, artikelnya tanggal 23 September 1998 berjudul "Latin America's Swan Song", membahas penularan krisis ekonomi yang sudah berjangkit sampai ke Brazil, dan memberikan tiga pilihan. Diantaranya dua yang sekarang kita sudah kenal: Plan A, yaitu tenang-tenang saja sambil 'tahan napas' biarkan kurs bebas mengambang, lalu berbisik dalam hati mudah-mudahan hanya terjadi depresiasi kecil-kecilan ["amit-amit......, jangan sampai kejadian yang seperti di Indonesia atau di Rusia itu....."]. Dan Plan B, kontrol devisa.

Joseph Yam sendiri percaya bahwa belum banyak yang mengenal bagaimana sistim nilai tukar fixed yang bernama akademik 'currency board' itu dilaksanakan dalam prakteknya, sehingga ia menulis teks pidatonya sekaligus untuk menjelaskan beberapa pilihan tindakan rinci yang dijalankan oleh HKMA dan oleh para pengritiknya dipandang menyimpang dari sistim currency board orthodox.

Meskipun otorita moneter di Hong Kong yakin penuh akan ketangguhan sistim ini, sudah berulangkali serangan gencar dari spekulator berniat betul untuk meruntuhkannya, dan yang besar terakhir terjadi antara tanggal 5 Agustus sampai 7 Agustus 1998 yang baru lalu. Tak dapat disangkal bahwa kebijakan yang diambil pihak otorita moneter sejauh ini benar-benar kredibel dalam memainkan peranannya menghadapi manipulator pasar yang barangkali benar sudah dapat dikatakan, mengulang kata-kata Mahathir, sebagai 'kurang bermoral'.

Dua artikel lagi ditulis untuk menjelaskan tindakan-tindakan HKMA guna menangkal para manipulator yang mencoba menghantam dengan bermain sekaligus di dua front, yaitu bursa stock index futures dan bursa valas. Untuk menghadapinya HKMA dengan terpaksa mulai intervensi di bursa yang sama.

Alternatif lain, yang diberikan dalam resep Krugman terakhir ini ialah: bertahan dengan nilai tukar tetap, dan membiarkan penyesuaian-penyesuaian akan terjadi berangsur-angsur melalui tahapan deflasi, disertai reduksi biaya-biaya dan peningkatan produktivitas.

Jangan bilang Krugman, sebab Krugman di artikel itu tidak bilang begini: sistim dengan nilai tukar fixed yang paling mantap ialah tidak lain currency board seperti di Argentina atau Hong Kong. Dengan currency board tidak ada kontrol devisa, siapa saja bebas dan selalu dijamin dapat menukarkan mata uangnya dengan mata uang jangkar pada tingkat nilai tukar yang pasti. Sistim itu sendiri sudah pasti benar. Tapi selalu ada orang yang melihat bahwa itu tidak benar. Misalnya, Nouriel Roubini dengan "Debunking Ten Myths About the Benefits of Currency Board." Atau lihat tiga buku terbitan mutakhir: "Upaya Memperkuat Rupiah: Kumpulan Pemikiran" dari Majalah Gatra, "Sumber Krisis Moneter Indonesia" oleh HMT Oppusunggu, dan "Krisis Ekonomi Menuju Reformasi Total" oleh Sjahrir. Memang canggih-canggih pemikiran para pakar ekonomi Indonesia. Sampai pusing kepala dibuatnya.

".....In retrospect, we can see how [East Asian] nations were enticed into America's con game. The first step was to pour in huge quantities of intentionally short-term capital from America and Europe. Since this is perfect funding for a developing nation with a will to succeed, everyone jumped at the opportunity. Such funding is most effective when invested in production, but local businesses grew intoxicated as their economies took off, and were drawn into speculations that created bubbles in real estate and other areas....."
".....In the next step, [hedge-fund managers] cried "Danger!" and triggered a panic by arbitrarily withdrawing short-term capital. At a single stroke, the Japanese banks which had managed to penetrate local markets were saddled with huge portfolios of bad debt. The severe downgrading credit-rating agencies gave to Japanese financial institutions and local manufacturers only heightened the sense of crisis....."
".....[When the various] governments were in paralysis, the IMF came in and, like an army of occupation, placed whole countries under its jurisdiction. The IMF will never deviate from the prescription laid down by the contingencies of U.S. self-protection, which commands fiscal austerity and control of inflation. But this isn't a remedy that works for every patient. Indiscriminate application ignores the dynamics of economic reality. Each country has a different political landscape, a society with special features. To do as the IMF does, ignores this diversity...."
"....This is a battle of minds and money. Japan has a historical responsibility toward the East Asian countries which, as America's prey, are being slaughtered en masse. It needs a new strategy. We should challenge Asia with an Asian standard that exists within a fair and free framework...."

"......For although global capital flows are more or less free and currency values are more or less set by market forces, governments and central bankers do recognize, if only through periodic ad hoc interventions, that the stakes are simply too high to let speculative capital and currency swings determine the fate of the real economy....."
".....But while Western governments are willing to engage in ad hoc interventions to contain crises, they are uneasy about returning to a more regulated regime for private capital flows and exchange rates. However, re-regulation of capital flows is precisely what is needed if left-of-center governments are to reclaim the capacity to pursue policies of high growth and social justice....."
"......casual observers of the mid-century economy fail to appreciate the importance of the Bretton Woods system. Bretton Woods fixed exchange rates. But by committing central banks to collectively support the fixed rates, it also precluded speculative currency trades or capital movements. The latter was its more important achievement. Regulation of global capital thus created shelter in which it was possible for national governments to build high-employment, high-growth welfare states, free from the downward competitive pressure of global money markets....."

"......much more dangerous, IMF power also flows from the institution's carefully constructed image of infallibility. The IMF gets its way in the developing world because to disagree publicly with the IMF is viewed in the international community as rejecting financial rectitude itself...."
".....In dozens of cases each year in which developing-country governments manifestly do not agree with IMF prescriptions, they are terrified to murmur any opposition. To do so immediately brands the government as "lacking seriousness" in economic management......"
".... The G-7 and the IMF itself should give these new democracies the space to act. The IMF's advice might prove useful—even welcome—if it becomes part of a true collaboration between rich and poor nations in search of common global goals....."

Tidak lepas dari pengaruh krisis ekonomi di Asia, Jepang menjadi pelajaran tersendiri. Apakah memilih proteksionisme atau ekspansi perdagangan? Jepang diharapkan akan berperan lebih besar.
".....While Japan's current problems have been worsened by East Asia's general economic crisis, their roots lie in the country's long-standing policy of protecting its domestic markets. Exactly why protectionism should have had these delayed effects is not widely understood. The lessons of Japan's current predicament, moreover, are not only for protectionists....."
"....The catch is that sustaining this "share the pain" philosophy leads almost inevitably to systemic inefficiencies and bloat. If banks can't be allowed to fail, neither can many of their borrowers....."
"....Trade with either developing countries or advanced countries raises economic growth for all the countries involved....."
"....For reasons of political economy, if nothing else, the benefits of trade cannot be realized without a safety net that can make its rigors and dynamism socially tolerable. As recent reverses on fast track trading authority have demonstrated, the politics of expanding trade become unworkable unless trade expansion moves forward in tandem with robust safety net provisions. And thus the lessons of Japan are no less for the proponents of trade than they are for the champions of protectionism....."

Calls for a comprehensive reform of the world's financial system are getting louder, as finance ministers are gathering in Washington to prepare for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
".....All discussions will be dominated by the Asian financial crisis, which already has infected other emerging markets like Russia and is now threatening the whole of Latin America. Minister will try to calm the markets and reassure investors and companies that all will be done to prevent a worldwide recession....."
"....Some economists and politicians have suggested that international capital flows should be better regulated. They hope that this could prevent future market collapses, caused when both domestic and foreign investors take fright and try to move large amounts of money out of a country...."

"....This economic crisis is already producing devastating social consequences. Tens of millions of Asians have been pushed back into poverty. Human suffering is growing daily. Every child who drops out of school, or misses out on a vaccination against a debilitating disease, will have a human lifetime's impact on the societies of the region. The crisis has also reignited ugly ethnic divisions in societies such as Indonesia's....."
"....The Asian crisis threatens to have a global impact. Deflation is a looming problem. Japan has just posted its worst economic growth figures since World WarII. Russia and Latin America face dangerous strains. Wim Duisenberg of the European Central Bank acknowledges that the international turmoil will have a ``dampening effect'' on European growth....."
"....The November meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum should be an ideal vehicle for coordinating action to address these problems. APEC represents all the key Asia Pacific economies....."
".....It is impossible to look back at the scarifying developments in Asia over the past 12 months without concluding that the policy responses of governments and international institutions have been seriously flawed. If the consequence of addressing the sort of capital account problems a number of regional countries experienced is to plunge the region, and possibly the world, into recession, then either our understanding of what is happening or our prescriptions for dealing with it are seriously flawed....."

"....The pressure for a major overhaul of the International Monetary Fund has been mounting in the lead-up to the organisation's annual meetings which start in Washington this week....."
"....Attaching harsh conditions to its financial bail-outs has meant the poorest people in crisis-hit countries like Indonesia have suffered...."
"....The IMF maintains the Asian contagion would have been far worse if it had not stepped in. But most world leaders agree some sort of reform of the IMF is now essential....."
"....It would also promote international trade by overseeing a system of fixed, but adjustable, exchange rates. Fixed rates ended in 1971, although controls on capital movements lasted until 1979 in the UK and until the 1980s in France and Italy. The IMF now monitors a 'globalised' world financial system with floating exchange rates....."
"....Some leaders have hinted they would like to see a return to a more managed currency zone. Gerhard Schroder, Germany's chancellor designate has backed plans to set target zones for the world's main currencies to help avoid a recession....."

"....The World Bank's chief economist, Joseph Stiglitz, has argued that international flows of short-term capital may expose developing countries 'to unacceptable risks without commensurate returns.'....."
"....The argument is that financial liberalistion should be limited initially to long-term investments, with short-term bank lending restricted until developing countries have more sophisticated banking systems....."
".....Whatever the outcome of the debate, there is no doubt that the unexpected severity of the crisis has shaken the orthodoxy to its roots....."

".....The economic crisis in Asia did not arise and will not recede without assistance from the United States, according to the chief economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz......"
".....In Asia, Western currency traders are a popular target for blame. Stiglitz said this view, too, was overly simplistic....."
".....Instead, it was "the misguided policies of economic liberalization," encouraged by the United States, that drove many Asian countries to ruin....."
"....'We had a lack of understanding of what it takes to make a market economy work,' he said. Increased liberalization of markets and industries without a commensurate rise in oversight can create economic disaster, he said....."

"....These crises can only be solved by the political entity in the country involved. Outsiders can pour money in, as we did in Russia, which has disappeared. Outsiders can give advice, which we've done in Japan fairly well...."
"....Outsiders can suggest ways in which to reform the system, but at the end of the day, the political process in Indonesia, in Thailand, in Korea, has to get its act together and say we have to get rid of the bum loans in the banks, whether you do it on the American model of the good bank-bad bank that we did with the S&L. Or do it another way is a local problem. But you cannot repair a bad political situation which caused this problem by pouring money in it...."

A Panel Discussion Moderated by J. (ONNO) de BEAUFORT WIJNHOLDS, IMF Executive Director with Panelists: BARRY EICHENGREEN, John L. Simpson Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California-Berkeley, JAGDISH BHAGWATI, Arthur Lehman Professor of Economics, Columbia University, RICHARD COOPER, Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics, Harvard University, RICARDO HAUSMANN, Chief Economist, Inter-American Development Bank, and MICHAEL MUSSA, Economic Counsellor and Director, IMF's Research Department.
Transkrip dari Diskusi Panel yang melibatkan tokoh-tokoh ekonom Amerika, membuka gambaran pendalaman bahwa liberalisasi kapital memerlukan sejumlah kesiagaan dan kehati-hatian yang tidak dapat diabaikan, mulai dari kebijakan makroekonomi, sistem keuangan domestik, perbankan, sampai kepada kestabilan politik, dan pentahapan dalam liberalisasi itu sendiri, harus disesuaikan dengan kondisi masing-masing negara.

".....I will cover four points. First, I will provide some background on Long-Term Capital's financial problems. Second, I will explain our judgment that an abrupt and disorderly close-out of Long-Term Capital's positions would have posed unacceptable risks to the American economy. Third, I will explain the limited role we played in facilitating the private-sector resolution to this private-sector problem. Fourth, I will identify some of the issues that should concern us as we begin to understand the lessons of this experience....."
"....It has many of the characteristics of a "hedge fund" in that it borrows money to leverage its capital and is only available to wealthy investors...."
"....Perhaps their success went to their heads. Long-Term Capital took on larger and larger positions. They also leveraged their investments at higher levels, returning capital to their investors but not, apparently, reducing risks....."
"....The unusual widening of credit spreads also caused significant losses at Long-Term Capital. As markets around the world moved in the same direction at the same time, the diversification on which Long-Term had previously relied failed them utterly. Instead of offsetting positions, their losses were compounded....."
".... One important objective of the Federal Reserve is to assure financial stability. Particularly in times of stress, it is essential that the Federal Reserve continue to take the pulse of the market. One way to do that is through candid and open communication with key market participants. Everyone I spoke to that day volunteered concern about the serious effect the deteriorating situation of Long-Term could have on world markets....."
".....The team also came to understand the impact which Long-Term Capital's positions were already having on markets around the world and that the size of these positions was much greater than market participants imagined....."
".....Had Long-Term Capital been suddenly put into default, its counterparties would have immediately "closed-out" their positions. If counterparties would have been able to close-out their positions at existing market prices, losses, if any, would have been minimal. However, if many firms had rushed to close-out hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions simultaneously, they would have been unable to liquidate collateral or establish offsetting positions at the previously-existing prices. Markets would have moved sharply and losses would have been exaggerated. Several billion dollars of losses might have been experienced by some of Long-Term Capital's more than 75 counterparties....."
".....Two factors influenced our involvement. First, in the rush of Long-Term Capital's counterparties to close-out their positions, other market participants -- investors who had no dealings with Long-Term Capital -- would have been affected as well. Second, as losses spread to other market participants and Long-Term Capital's counterparties, this would lead to tremendous uncertainty about how far prices would move....."
".....This would have caused a vicious cycle: a loss of investor confidence, leading to a rush out of private credits, leading to a further widening of credit spreads, leading to further liquidations of positions, and so on....."

"......What the Long Term Capital Management affair represents is the disintegration of the financial system. The reason why the bankers had to move in and bail out Long Term Capital -- and they actually didn't bail it out, they {foreclosed} on it -- what they bailed out was the derivatives market, because Long Term had in excess of $1 trillion in derivatives....."
"......The global derivatives market has been hit very hard with losses. The banks have suffered big losses on loans and other financial instruments to Russia, to Asia, growing now in Ibero-America, and also, domestically, in the United States, a lot of this hasn't been reported yet, but there's a meltdown underway globally ......"
".......you have to ask yourself, if there are $140 trillion in derivatives outstanding in the world today, what kind of risk they're managing? ..."
".....But, the real answer to what a derivative is, is to look at it in terms of a dog and fleas. During the 1980s, you had the creation of a huge financial bubble. This was the miracle, the Reagan-Bush economic miracle. And, you could look at that as fleas who set up a trading empire on a dog. And they're trading more and more -- they build up their trading empires. They start pumping more and more blood out of the dog to support their trading, and then at a certain point, the amount of blood that they're trading exceeds what they can pump from the dog, without killing the dog. The dog begins to get very sick. So being clever little critters, what they do, is they switch to trading in blood futures. And since there's no connection -- they break the connection between the blood available and the amount you can trade, then you can have a real explosion of trading, and that's what the derivatives market represents...."
".....Well, the danger is that the system as a whole will collapse, is one. And also, the very existence of this bubble depends upon looting the physical economy. So in a sense, you have to kill people to keep the bubble going....."
"...... It used to be that the IMF was one of the most feared institutions in the world, that when the IMF spoke, nations shuddered, they jumped. But the IMF has proven to be a complete failure. If you look at all of the bailouts that it's handled over the last year, through Asia and now Russia, everything they touch blows up in their face....."
"......Well, governments must, first of all, assert their sovereignity over the financial markets. The markets are not sovereign, the governments are. And nations must act in concert, as sovereign nations, to put this bubble into receivership. You have to, basically, admit that all of these IOUs that are floating around out there, can't be paid. They don't really exist; the money doesn't exist to pay them, so you shut them down, ......"

".....the world is blaming Russia for the chaos sweeping through financial markets over the past month. Russia's abrupt decision in mid-August to let the ruble's value fall and default on part of its debt is widely viewed as the reason for widespread selling in everything from Brazilian bonds to U.S. stocks...."
".....The result is that in the past five weeks, international investors have lost an estimated $95 billion on the stocks and bonds of so-called emerging markets, according to J.P. Morgan & Co. Throughout, huge amounts of debt, built up over years to finance securities purchases, have been unwound. Some victims have disclosed staggering losses...."
".....Much of the damage has been concentrated at securities firms and banks, and especially hedge funds -- investment pools for rich investors that often use arcane trading strategies and borrowed money in a quest for outsize returns. ...."
".....Beyond that are fears that other nations will follow Russia's lead. Already, Malaysia has applied rigid controls that limit foreign investors' ability to get their money out. Stock markets around the world remain volatile as investors worry about a crisis of confidence erupting in another developing nation....."
".....At Long-Term Capital's plush headquarters in Greenwich, Conn., traders watched in horror as one after another of the firm's bets exploded. ..."
".....Even when firms have disclosed their global market losses, these amounts often are severely understated....."

Pengendalian devisa dimaksudkan sebagai upaya membebaskan diri dari keterikatan moneter dan mengisolir perekonomian Malaysia dari prospek kemunduran yang berlanjut dalam lingkungan ekonomi dan keuangan dunia. Pengalaman menunjukkan bahwa usaha pemisahan dari perkembangan eksternal akan memberi posisi yang lebih baik dalam menghadapi perubahan-perubahan global yang merugikan. Pertimbangannya adalah:

* Membatasi efek imbasan perkembangan eksternal terhadap perekonomian Malaysia.
* Mempertahankan keberhasilan yang telah tercapai dalam kebijakan untuk menstabilkan perekonomian domestik.
* Mempertahankan stabilitas harga-harga domestik dan nilai tukar Ringgit serta menciptakan lingkungan yang kondusif bagi kepercayaan investor dan konsumen untuk menyehatkan kembali perekonomian.

Tindakan pembatasan transaksi devisa akan dihapuskan setelah tercapainya normalisasi lingkungan keuangan global.

Peraturan pembatasan devisa yang diberlakukan oleh Malaysia antara lain meliputi :

* Pembatasan penggunaan dana dari rekening valas di dalam negeri, hanya diperbolehkan untuk transaksi tertentu.
* Dana RM yang berada di luar negeri harus kembali ke dalam negeri dalam waktu 1 bulan.
* Pengiriman RM ke luar negeri dibatasi, terkecuali dalam transaksi ekspor/impor.
* Investasi di luar negeri dilarang atau memerlukan persetujuan pemerintah.
* Pembayaran ekspor harus diterima dalam valuta asing.
* Dilarang memberikan kredit kepada non-residen, dan tidak diijinkan pemberian kredit dalam RM bagi residen dari non-residen.
* Transaksi sekuritas dalam RM harus melalui lembaga depositori pemerintah.
* Hasil transaksi atau penjualan saham dalam RM harus ditahan selama 1 tahun sebelum dapat diambil.
* Pembatasan RM yang boleh dibawa ke luar negeri oleh wisatawan.
* Nilai tukar RM ditetapkan fixed pada RM3.80 per US$1.00

Capital controls, interventions and what they mean to free markets
by Tim Healy.
".....laissez-faire Hong Kong has intervened in its stock market. And after a decade of growth built with the help of foreign investment, Malaysia has announced capital controls. What's going on?..."
"... What can the rich countries do?......"
"....Until the day a single global currency takes root (unlikely anytime soon, mostly for nationalistic reasons) currency markets remain the best early-warning systems....."

Malaysia's Mahathir wants to rein in global speculators.
So do other leaders. Will the free market become a casualty in the crossfire?
by Ricardo Saludo.
".....But now more and more leaders and officials feel obliged to do more than merely leveling the field for market players...."
"....In the face of a plummeting rupiah, the Indonesian despot gave no thought to currency controls and imposed a 60% interest rate instead, crushing banks and companies en masse and throwing millions out of work..."
"... Hence, by far the gravest threat to freedom today, both political and economic, is not recalcitrant strongmen or unruly speculators and demonstrators - but mass hardship......"

A confident Malaysia reinforces its rebel stance
by Jonathan Sprague and Assif Shameen
"......Malaysia's defenders point out, the textbook prescriptions of higher interest rates and lower spending pushed by the International Monetary Fund - and championed in Malaysia by ousted deputy premier Anwar - have not yet brought recovery anywhere in the region...."
"....to wall Malaysia off from international capital surges so that they could prime the economic pump without a financial market backlash....."
"...So will Malaysia's departure from economic orthodoxy work? The key, analysts say, is if it can overhaul its banks, which are straining under a rising mountain of bad loans, while using capital and currency controls as a short-term shield...."

Speech by Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
".... Malaysia has set out to prove to the world that it will succeed in restoring its economy on its own, and in its own way...."
"....In Singapore, we have taken a number of measures to cushion the impact of the crisis on the economy and to enhance our productive capacity and prepare for the eventual recovery in the region. Firstly, we are managing our exchange rate more flexibly, consistent with economic fundamentals, in order to maintain confidence in the Singapore dollar while maintaining our external competitiveness. Secondly, the government has also used fiscal measures to reduce business costs and enhance productive capacity. It implemented one package of cost cutting and pump-priming measures in June. .....Thirdly, Singapore is carrying out economic restructuring and strategic planning, to enhance our attractiveness as a regional and international business hub...."

Let's Fix the System, Not Abandon It
Remarks by Fed Reserve Governor Edward M. Gramlich
".....Without world capital flows, the general level of development in the world would be far less...."
".....Why are countries turning away from open capital markets? It turns out that there is some fine print that goes with the neoclassical model, and the world economy has had some trouble with the fine print....."
".....While exchange rate changes have this potentially stabilizing effect, they can also be destabilizing. When exchange rates are allowed to fluctuate, they are set in currency markets according to the demands and supplies of forward-looking traders, and they can be very volatile, often overshooting long term values......"
"..... Financial institutions engage in what is known as maturity transformation. .....As with capital flows, there are risks. If the banks' loans go bad, the institution is in trouble and may not be able to redeem deposits......"
".....The basic need here is for better bank supervision. Supervision must be improved to insure that proper risk management techniques are put in place and followed....."
".....Countries have often gotten into trouble when they have done too much maturity transformation - that is, borrowed from abroad at short maturities to finance long term investment. Steps could be taken to limit such borrowing, either nationally or through bank supervision. Some economists have used this idea to propose taxes on short term borrowing, ....."
".....Transparency alone cannot do the job of good bank regulation, but it is hard to imagine a solution to the international lending problems of the day without more transparent accounting...."
".....As a general rule, the exchange rate flexibility issue is a hard one and it is hard to make broad recommendations. Sometimes a country's cost structure is clearly out of line, or its inflation rate is clearly too high, and exchange rate flexibility seems to be the least costly way to bring prices and wages back into line. But exchange rate flexibility will cause capital losses and will raise the cost and risk of future capital transactions. That does not mean that the exchange rate must be preserved at all costs, but it does mean that capital flows themselves put some constraints on the normal international adjustment mechanisms....."

by Martin Wolf
Martin Wolf, kolumnis Financial Times sudah lama mempertanyakan kebebasan aliran modal, dan memberikan contoh Indonesia sebagai negara yang nasibnya paling buruk... Apakah sepadan penderitaan yang harus ditanggung rakyat Indonesia akibat dosa-dosa 'crony capitalism' dan 'moral hazard'?
"....Can one still justify freedom of capital flows? How, in particular, can one persuade leaders of emerging economies that the "reward" for liberalising capital will not be as ghastly as, say, Indonesia's? These questions must be addressed while memories of east Asia's crisis are fresh...."
"....Indonesia: its current account deficit was less than 4 per cent of GDP throughout the 1990s; its budget was in balance; inflation was below 10 per cent; at the end of 1996 the real exchange rate (as estimated by J.P. Morgan) was just 4 per cent higher than at the end of 1994; and the ratio to GDP of domestic bank credit to the private sector had risen merely from 50 per cent in 1990 to 55 per cent in 1996. True, the banking system had mountains of bad debt, but foreign lending to Indonesian companies had largely bypassed it. Is anyone prepared to assert that this is a country whose exchange rate one might expect to depreciate by about 75 per cent? Some exchange-rate adjustment was certainly necessary; what happened beggars belief...."

by Florence Chong
".....Malaysia is justified in imposing controls on foreign exchange in today's "extreme" conditions, according to Rubens Ricupero, secretary general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development...."

Economy is 'recovering but foreigners may frustrate our efforts'
by Shamsul Akmar
"....Dr Mahathir also pointed out how those who had criticised Malaysia for blaming hedge fund managers for the economic downturn of Malaysia and other countries, were now changing their tune....."
"....Dr Mahathir said the article pointed out how the Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) fund was suffering from huge losses in currency trading....."
".....'If LTCM collapses, it will have a bad effect on American banks which provided big loans to LTCM. It means banks there may even go bankrupt. But I believe the US Government will bail out these banks,' he said......"
"....Dr Mahathir said they now realised the evil of currency trading and they were now talking about the need to have regulations on such trading...."

Uraian bersifat teknis mengenai kebijakan moneter pemerintah Hong Kong yang mempertahankan sistim dewan mata uang, dengan sejumlah format telah dimodernisasi guna mengikuti perkembangan teknologi dan perluasan pasar yang amat pesat. Mulai dari pengendalian basis moneter yang senantiasa berdasarkan aturan ketat, keterbukaan dalam penyebarluasan informasi mengenai kebijakan maupun pergerakan besaran moneter, serta pertanggungjawaban dalam proses politik dari pengelolaan moneter.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority menjelaskan alasan-alasan mengapa perlu melakukan intervensi di pasar saham dan bursa index futures, untuk meredam para spekulator yang berusaha mencari keuntungan dari sistim keuangan Hong Kong. Tegas dan secara terbuka Hong Kong bertekad mempertahankan fair market. Namun tak dapat dihindari harus mengambil tindakan drastis karena tindakan para spekulator (dalam istilah HKMA 'para manipulator') jika dibiarkan akan terus-menerus mengguncangkan sistim keuangan. Akan berakibat fluktuasi suku bunga dan diikuti panik kalangan bursa, dan semakin menekan situasi deflasioner yang sedang berlangsung. Dipihak lain, komentator barat menekankan intervensi sebagai perbuatan tercela yang menghianati liberalisme pasar bebas.
".....Kami berkesanggupan untuk menanggung hancurnya harga-harga asset seberapapun sulitnya. Apa yang kami upayakan adalah menghadapi manipulasi harga. Dan kami melakukannya dengan membuat frustrasi mereka yang 'bermain-main' melalui tindakan balasan di pasar, dan diikuti dengan usaha perbaikan agar pasar kami lebih sukar dimanipulasi....."
".....Kami mempunyai alasan untuk berkeyakinan bahwa mereka yang ingin memanipulasi pasar telah sejak awal tahun ini mengumpulkan transaksi swap senilai lebih dari HK$30 milyar melalui para perantara keuangan, dengan lembaga multilateral seperti Bank Dunia dan Bank Pembangunan Asia, yang telah menerbitkan surat hutang berjangka satu dan dua tahun dalam dolar HK. Kami mempunyai bukti-bukti bahwa pada waktu bersamaan mereka telah mengakumulasi posisi short dalam bursa index futures. Mengambil kesempatan dari desas-desus dan kabar angin yang sedang beredar, mereka menjual dollar Hong Kong yang telah dikumpulkan kepada HKMA, yang berkewajiban mengambilnya berdasarkan disiplin sistim dewan mata uang, dan segera melontarkan suku bunga keatas dan harga saham merosot tajam. Kesempatan ini memberikan keuntungan besar bagi posisi short dalam index futures mereka...."
"....lingkungan pasar bebas bukan berarti boleh dimanipulasi secara bebas. Pasar harus berimbang dan wajar juga. Lagi pula, jika pihak-pihak penganut pasar bebas bisa didesak untuk melakukan tindakan yang tidak konvensional dan kontroversial, apakah mungkin ada sesuatu yang salah besar di lingkungan keuangan internasional dan perlu segera ditangani?...."

by Keith B. Richburg.
"....Strange things are happening in Asia......: The government's unprecedented stock-buying spree has produced cries of outrage, with one local economist saying chief executive Tung Chee-hwa has turned the Hong Kong administration into 'a kind of ATM machine for speculators.'......."
"...Then ....Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced it was essentially taking the country out of the global financial system, making its currency, the ringgit, nonconvertible overseas and taking other measures to isolate Malaysia's economy....." (lihat Jurus Malaysia: "Kebijakan Pengendalian Devisa")
"..... to defend that peg against periodic attacks by outside speculators, the government has to jack up interest rates, and that in turn drives the stock market down. Speculators can thus work the 'double play' by putting pressure on the Hong Kong dollar, and then selling short on the market, which means ####### that the stock market will fall. So they make money whether the currency peg collapses, which is unlikely, or the market falls...."
"....Some market analysts suggested the intervention may have been prompted by pressure on Tung, a former shipping tycoon before he became chief executive, from the territory's billionaire property barons who were watching their fortunes fall as the stock market plummeted...."
"......'This is a return to the so-called Asian values, which is basically a cover for crony capitalism,' said one local market analyst....."

Joseph Yam kembali mempertegas posisi yang diambilnya, lebih dari dua bulan setelah tindakan intervensi yang menggemparkan dan dikritik oleh banyak pihak. Pada saat ini hasilnya mulai nyata dan semakin banyak pihak mengakui ada titik terang yang membenarkan kebebasan tanpa batas bisa dipermainkan oleh pihak-pihak yang semata-mata mencari keuntungan dari gerakan yang bisa diatur dengan kekuatan tertentu.
Hanya penjelasan langsung dari pejabat yang bersangkutan dapat berbagi pemahaman kepada pihak luar mempertimbangkan bagaimana tindakan yang seharusnya dilakukan demi kepentingan masyarakat. Fakta demi fakta mengungkapkan siapa, mengapa dan bagaimana caranya pihak-pihak yang hendak mengambil keuntungan pada akhirnya terpaksa menyingkir dengan mengalami sejumlah kerugian menghadapi otorita moneter Hong Kong yang menggebrak secara inkonvensional.
Sekali lagi stabilitas adalah sasaran suci kebijakan moneter. Dan Pemerintah HKSAR bukanlah "bebek bengong". Mudah-mudahan Alan Greenspan memahaminya.

To save itself, China may worsen Asia crisis.
by Steven D. Kaye and Jack Egan.
"....During the week that ended August 7, as the Hong Kong dollar came under increasing attack from currency traders, Hong Kong's Hang Seng stock market index tumbled by 11.5 percent to just over 7000, close to a five-year low. More ominously, fears spread that deteriorating economic conditions in China will force the country to devalue its main currency, the yuan....."
"....Because of the extreme damage a devaluation could do to the rest of Asia, China is under intense pressure from the United States and other nations to maintain the yuan's value...."

"Di kalangan kaum muda, kehausan akan gagasan dan inspirasi merupakan suatu hal yang cenderung diabaikan oleh para analis sosial dan tidak ditulis oleh para jurnalis. Hal ini patut disayangkan, karena dari kehausan seperti itulah para pemimpin politik, intelektual publik, aktivis sosial di dunia ketiga meneguhkan diri mereka. Di Jakarta, anda bisa melihat fenomena itu dalam seminar, diskusi, dan peluncuran buku yang digelar di Freedom Institute." Goenawan Mohamad, Sastrawan.

Events abroad will mainly determine how deep and long the downturn will be.
by Peter Montagnon.
"....Now the territory is bracing itself for a full-scale recession, and the questions are how deep will it be and how long will it last...."
"....Residential property prices fell by about a third between last June and May this year and have fallen further since....."
"....Hong Kong will have to live off its nerves for several months while it waits to see which way things go....."

“Sejak berdiri pada 2001 Freedom Institute sangat aktif dalam mensponsori dan menyelenggarakan penelitian, seminar, pelatihan, penerjemahan buku dari bahasa Inggris ke bahasa Indonesia, serta penerbitan buku-buku yang ditulis dalam bahasa Indonesia. Freedom Institute juga membangun sebuah perpustakaan yang terbuka untuk umum dengan koleksi lebih dari 8000 buku. Melalui berbagai kegiatannya, Freedom Institute memberikan suatu sumbangan besar pada masyarakat Indonesia dalam menyebaluaskan gagasan tentang demokrasi, nasionalisme and ekonomi pasar.”Thee Kian Wie, ahli ekonomi, peneliti LIPI.

"Di negeri yang serba setengah-setengah, Ketika berbagai hal tak sebaik tampaknya, Juga tak seburuk tampaknya, Freedom Institute coba menjaga sebuah hak yang sebagian besar orang baru sadar hanya ketika ia hilang." Nono Anwar Makarim, Ketua Yayasan Aksara.

"Pada zaman ketika kebebasan dan martabat manusia terancam oleh fanatisme ideologis dan intoleransi, kejamnya keserakahan ekonomi, penindasan, serta korupsi yang tak mengenal batas, kita sangat membutuhkan suatu organisasi seperti Freedom Institute. Lembaga ini menganggap kebebasan sebagai nilai utama martabat manusia. Dengan mendorong keterbukaan dan iklim intelektual yang memajukan wacana publik, dan dengan menyediakan begitu banyak informasi bagi publik, Freedom Institute menjadi salah satu pilar terpenting masyarakat sipil Indonesia."Franz Magnis-Suseno, filsuf di Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Driyarkara, Jakarta.

"Melalui diskusi, seminar, perpustakaan, dan penerbitan bukunya, Freedom Institute telah menjadi salam satu pemain utama dalam wacana demokrasi dan liberalisme ekonomi di Indonesia. Freedom Institute telah banyak membantu saya dan banyak peneliti lainnya, dan memungkinkan kami menjadi bagian dari jaringan pemikiran dan gagasan intelektual yang sangat dinamis." Julie Chernov, University of Colorado-Boulder, Ilmu Politik.

"Freedom Institute menjadi tempat utama bagi saya untuk menyelesaikan penelitian doktoral saya. Selain koleksi buku perpustakaan Freedom Institute yang sangat bagus, staf-stafnya sangat terdidik dan memunyai banyak hubungan dengan tokoh-tokoh penting di Indonesia sekarang ini. Sponsor dan para pekerja Freedom Institute sangat layak dipuji karena sumbangsih mereka yang begitu besar bagi masyarakat sipil Indonesia." Thomas Pepinsky, Yale University, Ilmu Politik.
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