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It would be for China to peg the RMB to a basket of major currencies

Comments on Yu Yongding "China still has room to move on RMB" , 7/02/2016

While it is the conventional economic wisdom that the exchange rate should be determined by the market, the tendency of exchange rate overshooting and the generally observed excessive fluctuations (partially due to speculations) even in major currencies, as well as the impact of exchange rates on international trade and business costs (disruptions to businesses as either costs or prices) (consumption of traded goods and services should probably be included too), probably suggest that it would be desirable if exchange rate movements truly reflect relative economic fundamentals.

Economists' reliance on market is because it is regarded as efficient. However, the faith in the foreign exchange market should be tested by the relative importance of its rationality and irrationality. When market is predominantly irrational, that is, generating bubbles, its efficiency should be questioned, and perhaps ways to correct inefficiency or find a better alternative. If one still argues for rely on the market when the market has clearly lost its efficiency does not represent good logic.

As such, it would be an appropriate strategy for China to adopt a compromise between free floating and a hard peg to the US dollar, that is, to peg, with some margins to move, the RMB to a basket of major currencies with weight reflecting relative trade and capital account positions with those countries.

In this way, the RMB is not fixed with any major currencies, but the relative movement against any single major currency would be smaller than some other major currencies.

Yes, the Chinese central bank still needs to keep an eye on the peg and has to use foreign currency reserves to balance the peg, but the costs would be much lower than to defend a currency against the US dollar as it has been doing in the last couple of years as Yu mentioned in the post.

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