Could it be Bitcoin? Bernstein’s Michael Parker highlights how high the transaction costs are for some of the best-known ways to slip capital out of China — gambling in Macau, buying life insurance policies to cash out in US dollars abroad – or buying handbags and luxury watches.
So, do what you think is best but do note that Bernstein think that “From the perspective of simplicity, cost and systemic risk, this match-making role of underground banking is, in our view, the ‘best’ outcome…” Others might disagree, but we’ve discussed them already this week. Interestingly with match-making, “foreign currency reserves in China are not altered. RMB that belonged to one party in China now belongs to another. Foreign currency outside China is transferred in compensation. There is no systemic risk to the Chinese financial system as a result as no foreign currency actually leaves the country.” The problem is of course that there is rarely going to be an even number of people on both sides of the trade. As Bernstein say, “the system does not work if no one wants to bring money into China.