Twofish's Blog

November 8, 2007

Non story – Chen Siwei and the sky falling

Filed under: china, economics, finance — twofish @ 4:02 am

The sky is falling. China is going to dump dollars for Euros. The sky is falling!!!

After googling a bit, I found what Chen Siwei really said, and it wasn’t quite what was reported

http://bank.money.hexun.com/list.aspx?sl=4659

http://bank.money.hexun.com/4659_2577899C.shtml

Translating the third paragraphs….

Chen Siwei said that improving liquidity could allow for the adjustment of foreign exchange reserves. He proposed that from a strategic and tactical viewpoint it would be appropriate to relax restrictions controls on individuals and enterprises, and so “save the reserves among the people.” In this currency system, stronger currencies would rise and balance the fall in weaker currencies.

Thanks to the magic of sensationalist journalism, this became CHINESE GOVERNMENT ABOUT TO DUMP DOLLARS!!!!!

Also it seems to be a big conference with lots of papers with lots of different points of view, and it seems that the reporters just went through the dozens and dozens of speakers and papers to find the bits that would make nice headlines.

What annoys me is the shoddy journalism in the internet age. Not one newspaper that I’ve seen gave a hyperlink to the talk, nor did anyone think of just translating the whole speech or even a paragraph versions. What’s more, once one newspaper came up with a quote, every other newspaper, did a “me too” and repeated exactly the same set of quotes with some extra exclamation marks to it.

It wasn’t a huge amount of effort for me to find out what Chen Siwei actually said. I just googled for financial conferences in Beijing in November 2007 and looked for Chen Siwei.

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