Sunday, October 5, 2008

Toxic Debt, Collective Error dan Bailout Plan

Dari pendapat Ludwig Von Mises di buku Human Action: A Treatise on Economics - saya kutip hal berikut, "The economists were and are still today confronted with the superstitious belief that the scarcity of factors of production could be brushed away, either entirely or at least to some extent, by increasing the amount of money in circulation and by credit expansion."

Sejalan dengan argumentasi dari Ludwig, ada sebuah artikel di Washington Post dari James Grant edisi 5 Oktober yang saya rekomendasikan untuk dibaca, artikel ringkas tapi padat dalam mengulas situasi krisis keuangan dan ekonomi di US. Judulnya adalah Bad Medicine, berikut adalah kutipan beberapa paragraf yang menarik untuk disimak,

""Low interest rates, easy money and malleable accounting rules are what plunged Wall Street into crisis. Yet it is low interest rates, easy money and malleable accounting rules that top the list of federal fixes. The unifying theme of the new bailout bill, all 451 pages of it, is the hair of the dog that bit you."

"But inflation and debasement are the very policies being put in place. The Federal Reserve, not waiting for Congress, embarked last month on a radical program of money-printing. Reserve Bank credit -- the raw material of bank lending -- is growing at the year-over-year rate of 61 percent."

"Credit creation is the Fed's signature crisis-management policy: Let a bubble inflate, then watch it burst; clean up with lots of dollar bills. After the stock market broke in 2000, then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan set about easing policy. In company with Fed Governor Ben S. Bernanke, the man who wound up succeeding him, Greenspan warned against "deflation." He vowed that this country would not sleepwalk through a decade of falling prices, as Japan had done. Rather, the Fed would push interest rates low enough to jolt the U.S. economy back into prosperity."

Ada beberapa pesan yang ingin saya sampaikan terkait dengan postingan saya terdahulu mengenai pembelian toxic debt.

Pertama, bailout plan yang telah disetujui oleh Congress tidak lepas dari manuver politik yang lazim dikenal dalam teori political economy ataupun global economy. Seperti disampaikan oleh Willem Buiter di FT.com dalam artikel Corporate governance in the financial sector: state share ownership yaitu, "It is clear that, throughout the observable universe, most banks and many other highly leveraged financial institutions are deemed to large, too interconnected or too politically connected and sensitive to fail. Indeed, even financial corporations masquerading as units of non-financial corporations (GE and GM come to mind) may well fall into this category. One way or another, the tax payer is on the hook for the banks, the AIGs and GEs of this world."

Sehingga tidak aneh bila bailout plan dengan polesan sweetener berhasil disetujui Congress. Tapi indeks Dow per Jumat kemarin memperlihatkan bahwa market justru memberikan negative signal terhadap hal tsb.

Kedua, keputusan untuk membanjiri market dengan mencetak dana baru (baca: kredit baru) bukanlah barang baru di US. Tulisan Grant diatas cukup mewakili sikap otorita keuangan US saat ini yang memang lebih memilih injeksi likuiditas sebagai alternative terbaik utk "menyelesaikan" masalah (yang saya baca sebagai menunda masalah ke masa datang bukan menyelesaikan masalah saat ini).

Ketiga, saya setuju bahwa pada akhirnya pasti ada hal positive yang dihasilkan oleh implementasi bailout plan tsb. Namun seberapa besar? Pada kenyataannya yang dibeli adalah toxic debt - dimana nilai aktual dari collateral yang menjadi dasar valuasi CDO dan produk derivative lainnya telah jauh dibawah nilai proyeksi disaat pembentukan produk tsb. Lebih ironis lagi, collateral tersebut telah kehilangan cash flow dalam belasan bulan terakhir. Jadi sebenarnya apa yang dibeli oleh pemerintah US? Bila demikian, dapat dibayangkan siapa penerima benefit tertinggi dari injeksi USD 700 billion tsb. Bila sang penerimapun tahu bahwa ekonomi tetap akan terdorong ke bawah, apa yang kira kira mereka lakukan dengan dana tersebut?

Coba simak yang satu ini dari Rex Nutting di TWSJ "The U.S. recession will be "significantly deeper" than they previously thought, Goldman Sachs economists predicted Friday in a research note. The economy will probably show no growth at all between the middle of 2008 and the middle of 2009, with gross domestic product falling 2% this quarter and 1% next, they said. Two other quarters will show 0% GDP growth. The unemployment rate will likely rise to 8% by the end of next year from 6.1% currently. "We now also see at least another 100 basis points of monetary easing from the Federal Reserve, aggressive measures to stabilize the money markets, and a possible further easing of fiscal policy under a new administration," wrote Jan Hatzius and his team of economists."

Keempat, mempertegas kenyataan bahwa masalah di US bukan sekedar kesulitan likuiditas tetapi kerusakan semi permanent di dalam sistem, berikut adalah kutipan dari ahli ekonomi favorit saya - Roubini "This is indeed a cardiac arrest for the shadow and non-shadow banking system and for the system of financing of the corporate sector. The shutdown of financing for the corporate system is particularly scary: solvent but illiquid corporations that cannot roll over their maturing debt may now face massive defaults due to this illiquidity. And if the financing of the corporate sectors shuts down and remains shut down the risk of an economic collapse similar to the Great Depression becomes highly likely.

So what needs to be done? Even several hundreds of billion dollars in emergency liquidity support to the financial system by the Fed and other central banks in the last week alone have not been enough to stop the seizure of liquidity in interbank markets and the shut down of financing for the corporate sector as counterparty risk is now extreme (no one trusts any more in this crisis of confidence even the most reputable and trustworthy financial and corporate counterparties).
"

Terakhir, ucapan terima kasih saya bagi semua rekan pembaca yang telah sudi memberikan berbagai komentar di artikel terkait. Sungguh kehormatan buat saya mendapatkan atensi dan kontribusi pemikiran dan pendapat dari berbagai kalangan. Semoga diskusi kita dapat terus berlangsung. Jangan kapok yah :)

4 comments:

Andy said...

Terlalu dalam, pakai inggris lagi. Gak ngerti heehhe.
Anyway thanks pak sirait. Keep posting terus yah. Kalau bisa minimal 1 minggu 2 kali lah heheh
thanks

SMI said...

Kita perlu memahami secara lengkap krisis yang terjadi di AS untuk menghindari spekulasi yang tidak perlu.

untong said...

Sore Pak,
Saya adalah importir gurem yang sangat tertarik dengan situasi ekonomi dan keuangan global yang tengah berkembang.
Apakah saya boleh bertanya, dalam kondisi seperti ini apa prediksi terbaik yang akan terjadi dalam setahun kedepan dan dalam konteks perkembangan sekarang ...., apa yg mesti kita lakukan. Ini penting, mengingat pengaruhnya sudah sangat besar dan dampaknya akan sangat dirasakan oleh semua negara termasuk kita !.
Bagaimana pendapat anda?.

Salam,
US_65

wira said...

As a small investor we need to get back to a basic question: what to do? may be we should go out and look others investing that has nothing to do with US crisis. Any idea? Inform me, i'd rather think something new then go with the hot-red-flows on my screen everyday. Yihaaa!