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Apakah Emerging Markets Rentan Terhadap Fed Tightening?

“Emerging-market assets are at risk as the tapering of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program will probably trigger a reversal of $2 trillion in carry trades, according to strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Carry trades, where investors borrow in a country with low interest rates to fund purchases of higher-yielding assets elsewhere, helped developing nations raise foreign-exchange reserves by $2.7 trillion since the end of the third quarter of 2008, Hong Kong-based Ajay Singh Kapur and Ritesh Samadhiya at BofA wrote… The capital inflows spurred economic growth and inflated prices, particularly those of bonds and property, they said… The U.S. central bank has kept its benchmark interest rate in a range of near zero to 0.25% since 2008 and boosted the supply of dollars via its stimulus policy. That compares with borrowing costs of more than 13% in Argentina, 7.5% in Indonesia and 2.5% in Poland. ‘As the Fed continues to taper its heterodox policy, we believe these large carry trades are likely to diminish, or be unwound… We believe carry-trade driven emerging-market asset prices remain at risk, are a global deflationary threat, could drive defensive asset bids, and competitive devaluations.”

            — Bloomberg (Fion Li)

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Mantra yang selalu diucapkan para anggota dewan moneter bank sentral AS (FOMC) terhadap isu taper adalah: “Tapering isn’t tightening.”

Mungkin memang belum di AS, namun konsekwensi tidak langsung dari tindakan the Fed tersebut sudah terjadi di negara-negara lain.

Aksi sell off di emerging markets (pasar negara-negara berkembang) menjadi isu besar tahun 2014 ini, dan meskipun sentimen mulai membaik, hal yang terburuk belumlah datang.

Untuk menahan pelemahan mata uangnya atas dolar AS, banyak negara-negara berkembang yang harus menopang nilai tukar mereka masing-masing.

Bahkan, mereka juga terpaksa menaikkan suku bunga untuk menahan outflow maupun inflasi, meskipun GDP kuartalan turun.

Nothing matters to anybody until it matters to everybody, namun jika demikian maka bukankah itu terlambat?

Di saat bank sentral dunia perlu menyajikan sebuah front bersatu, justru terpaksa ‘pecah’ karena tapering oleh bank sentral AS menyedot arus modal dari negara-negara berkembang yang kondisinya jelek.

Dan mereka adalah “the Fragile Five”, yang terdiri dari Turki, Brasil, India, Afrika Selatan dan Indonesia.

Negara-negara itu teridentifikasi yang paling rentan terhadap dampak negatif dari penurunan investasi asing.

Jadi yang kita hadapi adalah pertanyaan krusial: “Is tapering tightening, or not?”

Menurut saya tapering tida