Sorry I have not been updating this website lately.  Life has been quite hectic for me in the last few months.  But I have been enjoying myself, spending quite a lot more time playing golf, travelling and watching with interest the developments in international finance.  I managed to make a few speeches too, one in Toronto in September on the “Role of China in International Finance”, one in Beijing earlier this month on “The International Monetary System and the Renminbi” and one in Singapore just yesterday on “Lessons learnt from Financial Crises – A Central Banker’s Perspective”.  Links to these speeches are given below for those interested in reading them.

Joseph Yam




有朋友問我, 在6月21日发表的人民币離岸市场的文章(只有英文版)裏的第8段第2句說的”不分割的支持”的意義是什么.  今天人民银行公布了利用香港人民币清萛行為台湾地区提供人民币現鈔清萛服务, 沒有另起爐灶, 便是不分割的支持的好例子, 可喜可賀.




I was asked what I meant by “undivided support” in the second sentence of paragraph 9 of my Inaugural Lecture delivered on 21 June 2010 on the Off-shore renminbi market.  Today the People’s Bank of China gave a very good example of such “undivided support” to develop Hong Kong as the off-shore renminbi market.  The renminbi Settlement Bank in Hong Kong is tasked to provide renminbi settlement services to Taiwan. 


Joseph Yam


今天早上参加了一間中学的畢業典禮, 並发言.  其实, 我很少有機會面对中學生講人生觀. 雖然不知道我的发言是否合適, 但对我來說是一次很有趣的经驗.  現附上講詞, 請指教.




I attended a graduation ceremony of a secondary school this morning and delivered a speech.  I seldom get an opportunity to talk to secondary school students about things that may be of interest to them.  It was quite an experience, although I do not know whether it was an appropriate speech for the occasion.  The speech is attached for those interested to read.


Joseph Yam





現附上今天早上在全球经济金融研究所的研討会上的发言稿, 供大家參考.  抱歉, 只有英文版.




Herewith the Inaugural Lecture I delivered this morning at the Inaugural Conference of the Institute of Global Economics and Finance.


Joseph Yam





大家好. 6月初又去了一次北海道自駕遊, 到了洞爺湖, 函館, 小樽和札榥. 覺得函館特別好, 可能是以前沒去过的原因. 海胆, 鲜鮑, 北寄貝, 毛蟹, 每樣都很美味. 在这月份竟仍看到很燦爛的櫻花, 实在很驚喜. 附上几幀相片與大家分享.

下週一, 即6月21日, 全球经济金融研究所有演講活动. 我会就人民币離岸中心的課題发言. 发言後会將講詞在此上網, 請指正. 很抱歉, 只有英文.



Hello, everyone. My wife and I made another trip to Hokkaido in early June. We did Lake Toya, Hakodate, Otaru and then Sapporo. Hakodate crowned it all, possibly because it was the first time there for us. The sea food was fantastic. Sea urchin the size of your fist was only 1,000 yen. And surprisingly the cherry trees were still blooming. Herewith a few photographs to share with readers.

Next Monday, 21 June 2010, I will be delivering one of the Inaugural Lectures of the Institute of Global Economics and Finance. I will speak on the off-shore renminbi market. I will put the speech on this site for those interested.

Joseph Yam



刚在新加坡就人民币这个熱門話題演講.  現附上講詞和幻燈片, 供大家參考, 請指教.  很抱歉, 只有英文. 



I attach two files (in different word versions) on the speech entitled “The People’s Currency” I just made in Singapore and another file on the power point presentation slides I used.

Joseph Yam






大家好 Hello


很抱歉,很久沒有和大家溝通了。自從四月在中文大学全球经济金融研究所的工作開展後,我忙於協助研究所將未來幾年的研究議題定下來,同時又要特別留意国际金融近期令人擔心的发展,所以个多月未有「招呼」大家。 可能是因為我和美国財長蓋特納曾经見面的關係,最近有頗多朋友問我對人民幣的看法,這也是我一直非常関心的範圍。所以,我会利用於本月19日在新加坡演講的机会,发表一下我的意見,供大家參考。在演講发表後,我会將演詞放在這個網址上。



Sorry for not communicating with you here for over a month. I have been busy with the work at the new Institute of Global Economics and Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, trying to help out in determining the research agenda of the Institute for the next few years. I have also been busy observing and studying recent, worrying developments in international finance. There have been a number of requests for my views on the renminbi, perhaps because I had the opportunity of meeting with Secretary Geithner when he came through here on his way to Beijing. This, of course, is also a subject matter of great interest to me. I will therefore make use of the opportunity of delivering a keynote address at a conference to be held in Singapore on 19 May to give my view of the subject. I will put the speech on this website after delivery of the speech.

Joseph Yam








It is not easy to learn how to “hea”, but the “hea” feeling is certainly a good one. No pressure, no schedule to observe, no responsibility, it is just fantastic. Instead of constantly stretching your life to the limit like a rubber band about to break, you stretch your muscles that have been aching because you have been inactive for too long. What a contrast!

I still get up early in the morning, turn on the TV and watch the news on financial developments overnight, but with an entirely different state of mind. Before retirement I would make an assessment of whether there was a need, in accordance with the macro prudential approach to managing monetary and financial stability that I preached, for me to provide my views and analyses at 7.30 am to the likely congregation of financial reporters at 2 IFC after significant developments have taken place overnight. Now, I do the same mental analysis and, for my own professional satisfaction, quietly predict what is likely to happen next. I then have breakfast with my wife at home, and head off to the Club, either to play a round of golf or to do exercise, or both, and read the newspapers. By the time I finish with this nice routine and return home, it would be around 11 am. It is then that I would turn on the computer, read e-mails and start working.

I think I have got my balance (half-half) and priority right between “hea” and work. The earlier decision not to accept any full time work in the private sector is also right. But I am acutely aware of the possibility that if you “hea” too much your brain could well stop functioning properly. Fortunately, filling up the half time to be devoted to work does not appear to be difficult. The difficulty, instead, has been to handle all the kind offers. I have decided to give priority to work arrangements that enable me to sustain my professional interest in financial and related matters so that I can continue to contribute to the financial developments in China.

Between being the Executive Vice President of the China Society for Finance and Banking and the forthcoming academic work at the Institute of Global Economy and Finance, the majority of the time I intend to spend working after retirement will have been taken up. Regrettably, therefore, I have to turn down many kind and attractive offers. Whatever working time that I have left, I would probably, after the expiry of the sanitization period (end of March), take on some non-executive or consultancy work relating to governance and risk management at both the macro or the micro levels so that I can also apply my skills in these areas productively and for the benefit of society. Hopefully this would not eat into my “hea” time.

Joseph Yam

















A few friends with a keen interest in monetary policy asked me to provide an interpretation of the Statement of the Fed of 10 February before the US Committee on Financial Services and the subsequent hike in the US Discount Rate. I thought that the messages are quite clear from the Statement, which we all should read carefully, including its 9 footnotes.

Credit easing and other temporary support measures for the financial system have meant that the money market is flooded with liquidity. Excess reserves are now over US$1 trillion. Technically, to hit a positive interest rate target, determined by the Fed Funds Target Rate, there is a need for shortage in the money market. As it is now, the condition in the money market makes the Fed Funds Target Rate unworkable as the policy interest rate and there is a need for an alternative tool.

The intention of the Fed, as articulated quite clearly in the Statement, is to use an interest rate corridor (something similar to the Liquidity Adjustment Facility used in Hong Kong in the past before formalizing the Discount Window), with the Discount Rate as the upper limit and the Interest on Excess Reserves introduced recently as the lower limit. With the hike in the Discount Rate last week, the upper limit of the corridor is 0.75% and the lower limit is 0.25%, giving a corridor of 50 basis points. Later on, if there is a need for higher interest rates, I believe that the Fed will shift the corridor upwards by changing both the upper and lower limits, or just increase the lower limit (the Interest on Excess Reserves), in which case the height of the corridor would narrow. The role of the Fed Fund Target Rate will be correspondingly, and perhaps temporarily, diminished.

This is a structural change in the monetary policy operation model of the Fed, which does not occur very often and may have important implications. This is something to be watched closely from now on (if not already), starting with whatever that Chairman Bernanke has to say this week.

Joseph Yam