How do we build a strong Russian economy? Part of 4
A stable ruble exchange rate relative to world currencies should be achieved by a fixed ruble exchange rate to the chosen currency. It is no secret that today the Russian economy is heavily dependent on imports of various kinds of goods, and, alas, there is no doubt that this will continue to be the case - import substitution is, without a doubt, an archival and archival thing, but you need to understand that a country with a population of less than 150 million people, moreover, forced to produce almost the entire range of weapons necessary for its strategic nuclear forces, army, airborne forces and fleet, will not be able to provide herself with all the necessary goods exclusively of her own production. We will continue to make bulk purchases of products from other countries, and we should not be afraid of this - but we should minimize exchange rate fluctuations, as they break down the economy of enterprises using imported equipment and components, and also have an extremely negative impact on purchasing power population - which, in turn, is also harmful to the economic development of our country.
In general, our key task in foreign trade is not to abandon it, but to ensure the development of our economy, in which we would sell foreigners more goods than we bought from them. This is the main condition under which a fixed exchange rate will contribute to the development of our economy. To achieve this, the state must take control of the foreign trade balance - that is, its task is not only to determine the fixed rate for the next year (previous rate + planned ruble inflation), but also to restore the monopoly on foreign exchange earnings, as well as the use of comprehensive support measures own manufacturer in order to maximize exports while minimizing imports.
In one ofarticlesdevoted to the possible transformations of the Russian economy, an interesting proposal was voiced - to transfer trade in our oil products for rubles. That is, it is about concluding contracts with foreign buyers not in dollars or euros, but in rubles, and let them buy our rubles for currency to pay for contracts.
Unfortunately, such a scheme of work will not bring us anything except losses. The thing is that there is a world market for oil and gas, and their prices are set in exactly the dollar equivalent. Accordingly, any buyer who dares to conclude a ruble contract buys a “cat in a bag” - if suddenly the ruble exchange rate rises against the dollar during the contract period (that is, more rubles will be paid for the dollar), the buyer will benefit because when buying rubles, he will spend less currency, but if he does the opposite, he loses. In this case, neither one nor the other option is bad for us, but we will explain this with an example.
Suppose a dollar is worth 60 rubles, and the world price per barrel of oil is 50 dollars, or 3 000 rubles. at the time of the transaction. We conclude a contract for the supply of a certain amount of oil during the year on 3 000 rub. per barrel. In order for the buyer to pay us these 3 000 rubles, he needs to spend 50 dollars by buying rubles on them and paying these rubles to us. But if the value of the dollar suddenly rose to 70 rubles, then it will be enough for him to pay only 42,86 dollars, and he will win, and we? We lost - instead of changing the barrel of oil to 50 dollars, we will change it to 42,86 dollars, and what is the benefit?
Suppose the ruble strengthened against the dollar, and the latter began to cost not 60, but 50 rubles. In this case, the buyer for the execution of the contract will have to spend on the purchase of 3 000 rubles. no longer 50, but 60 dollars, but why would he do that if oil on the world market costs 50 dollars per barrel, and not 60? He will break the contract, if he can do it, and if he cannot, he will remain unhappy with the deal and in the future will try to buy oil from someone else. In general, trading for rubles generates great uncertainty and risks for both the seller and the buyer. Nobody needs such risks and only pushes buyers away from us - they will prefer to enter into dollar transactions with other sellers. It ends with the fact that our sales volumes will fall - but why do we need this? As a matter of fact, the sale of oil and gas for rubles would suit everyone only with a fixed exchange rate of the ruble against the currency, but in this case it does not make sense - sell at least for dollars, even for rubles, the amount of currency entering the country will not change.
The next task - providing the economy with a sufficient money supply - can be solved by a rather simple mechanism of filling the economy with money, which, alas, has caused rejection of many VO readers. Let's try to explain his work again.
As we have said, a simple injection of money into the economy (for example, in the form of additional loans issued to commercial banks by issuing money from the Central Bank) leads only to spur inflation, and does not help us to solve the problem. This is due to the fact that such money injections only increase effective demand, but it is much easier for the manufacturer to respond to this by increasing prices (which he urgently needs), and not by increasing the quantity of goods and services produced.
We need something completely different. The fact is that the lack of money has led to the fact that our enterprises, for the most part, have huge debts that impede normal economic activity. The scheme “buyers do not pay me and I do not pay suppliers” has long become natural for our firms, but this, of course, is completely wrong. And you need to understand that this is not a question of the mismanagement or incompetence of a business - we have half the amount of money in the economy per ruble of production in the economy than in the euro countries. Quite often, enterprises that are successful and have profits “on paper”, but nevertheless experience a shortage of funds due to late payment of customers and, therefore, often cannot provide their production activities with timely deliveries of raw materials and materials. The lack of funds worsens the economy of enterprises, as it often forces them to purchase not from the one who offers the best price, but from the one who can give a big delay in payment. Therefore, we need to come up with such a way of introducing additional money into the economy, in which this money would be used to normalize mutual settlements, and would not create additional effective demand and would not inflate inflation.
This is the way the author suggested. We must first significantly toughen the penalties for late payment of debts and simplify the procedure for collecting funds from debtor enterprises, that is, create a conscious need for enterprises to pay their bills in time, and only when this need is obvious for them, give them This is money. At the same time, the issuance of funds, again, should be strictly targeted, that is, the money transferred to the company should be used by it to pay off debts to suppliers and contractors, and not on anything else.
In other words, if we at the legislative level provide for a limit on the maximum deferred payment in the contract, and also provide for a mechanism for extrajudicial debt collection (or judicial, but very accelerated, allowing you to collect money for 25-30 days after the start of the delay), but we will declare that these changes will take effect, say, in a year - and at the same time provide an opportunity to attract financial resources to cover the debts to suppliers and contractors, then it will go, and the money entering the economy will be spent We are talking about the normalization of mutual settlements, and not the rise in prices. Accordingly, we will be able to replenish the economy with money, without dispersing inflation.
The only question that arises is “under what sauce” to give money to enterprises. The easiest way is targeted loans, which would be extremely convenient for us, because banks have long and very well worked out procedures for monitoring the targeted spending of funds issued for loans. But alas, this method will not work for us, because today the majority of enterprises are already indebted and do not indulge in anything and simply cannot take any new loans, but they will take a lot of them.
This is where the idea of a credit amnesty is born - that is, we need to issue loans not in addition to those that the company has already gained, but instead of them, that is, replacing them. That is, when a target loan is issued, the bank should “forgive” the enterprise for the same amount of existing debt. As a result, a balance of interests is achieved - let's explain this with a simple example:
1) The Central Bank (CB) issues 1 million rubles. There is new money that needs to be channeled into the economy;
2) A certain enterprise wants to receive a loan of 1 million rubles. in order to pay off their overdue obligations to suppliers and contractors. But it already has a loan of 1 million rubles from the bank and cannot take more;
3) The Central Bank transfers 1 million rubles to the bank free of charge, and the bank “forgives” the company’s loan debt for 1 million rubles. Thus, it turns out that the bank does not lose anything - it had an asset in the form of an enterprise liability for 1 million rubles, and now it has been replaced by money in the amount of 1 million rubles;
4) The bank issues a loan of 1 million rubles. the company to pay its obligations and control the execution of payments.
As a result, we achieve the goal - by issuing 1 million rubles, we introduced them into the economy in such a way that they reduce the overdue debts of the enterprise, and the indicators of other participants of the action did not change - the bank did not receive superprofits, because He was "forgiven" the debts of the enterprise, and the enterprise, as a result, as it had debts to the bank in 1 million rubles, continues to have it. The company did not add any money either, since the million loan to it went to pay off its debts, but the amount of these debts decreased.
And here many readers suspect that something in this scheme is unclean. After all, if everything worked as outlined above, it turns out that the state, occasionally conducting credit amnesties, has the opportunity “for no particular reason” to regularly repay the obligations of enterprises, arranging for them “heavenly life on earth” - but it also does not happen! After all, everyone knows that free cheese can only be in a mousetrap.
That's right, but we must not forget that such a scheme is not a means of subsidizing enterprises, but a way to replenish money in the economy (although this, of course, will help the business). We do not have enough money in circulation, as we said earlier, in terms of money supply per ruble of GDP, we are losing to the eurozone countries by half. Our enterprises are “paying off” for a lack of money - they do not have enough money to carry out their activities, and they are in debt like silk. Accordingly, by increasing the money supply about twice, we will largely solve the problems of non-payments, and really ease the position of enterprises - this is quite positive. However, if we continue to arrange issues and credit amnesties according to the proposed scheme, then the amount of money supply will exceed the production of products and services - and then we will begin to cause harm instead of benefit, because by our actions we will disperse inflation. In other words, the proposed method will work only until we restore the normal ratio of money in circulation to the goods being manufactured, and then its use will be impossible.
Interestingly, the normalization of mutual settlements between enterprises will become a very serious factor inhibiting inflation. The fact is that today enterprises, realizing that they will be waiting for money for the delivered products for a very long time, inflate prices. Deferred payment, in essence, is a form of credit to the person to whom it is granted, but the loan is a paid thing, so the seller overcharges the price - he lays in it not only the company's normal profit, but also a certain percentage for using its funds. Accordingly, with the normalization of payments, the company will either be able to reduce the price for its goods, or, selling for the same price, extract greater profits - which, again, will be good for the business, but also for the end buyer, because with such a profit, the manufacturer can and wait with the price increase.
A fixed ruble exchange rate will also lead to a decrease in inflation. After all, our exchange rate jerks are one of the strongest stimulators of its growth - as soon as the ruble once again sinks down, imported components become more expensive in ruble equivalent, respectively, the cost of production with such components grows and, sooner or later, leads to the need to raise prices on her.
All this is important, but inflation itself will not win. In order to introduce inflation into the framework acceptable to us (that is, Central European 1-2%), we will need a drastic reduction in bank interest rates on loans - at least to 3-4%. This can be done only if the key rate of the Central Bank (as well as the refinancing rate) is reduced to 1-1,5% maximum. The author of this article does not see any “invincible” reasons why this cannot be done, although it is possible that this will require a significant change in the organizational structure, working conditions and tasks of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.
A fixed ruble exchange rate, replenishment of the money supply and low interest on the loan - these are the three pillars on which low inflation is based, but they will also need a fourth one - this is the professional work of the antimonopoly committee that prevents unreasonable price rises for natural monopolies (such as as electricity, it is clear that if a certain city receives electricity from hydropower plants, then it has no choice from whom to buy it), as well as cartel collusion (with the goal, for example, of raising domestic prices for gasoline).
So, we have analyzed the ways to achieve four goals from the five voiced by us. Only the support of the domestic producer remains - but this is such a voluminous topic that it should devote a separate article to it.
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