Guo Shuqing, a high-profile banking regulator and key ally of President Xi Jinping in cleaning up China’s financial system, is said to have been appointed as Communist Party secretary of the People’s Bank of China, the New York Times reported Sunday. The role has few equivalents among major global central banks.Here’s what such an appointment would mean if confirmed:What’s a party secretary and why does the PBOC have one?China’s government ministries and state-owned companies each have an official designated to be the Communist Party’s representative, for the purpose of communicating the party’s will and reporting back on the body’s work.Xi has given the party a greater role in the workings of government and the economy. The government restructuring approved this month at the National People’s Congress was tailored to “strengthening the Communist Party’s overall leadership of the state.”While it is undoubtedly a powerful agency within China, and sits astride a balance sheet that has the size to move global markets, the PBOC is subordinate to both the higher echelons of government and to the party. Unlike the Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank, the PBOC is not independent.What Our Economists Say:“It would signal continuity with departing Party Secretary Zhou Xiaochuan on… Read full this story
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