Global industrial chain adjustment, virtual and real differentiation

  Guan Jinyong

  At present, the global industrial chain pattern is facing the most profound changes since the Industrial Revolution.

Some developed country politicians hatched from protectionism and populism hope to reshape a global industrial chain pattern that is beneficial to them by creating trade frictions. The new crown pneumonia epidemic seems to increase the urgency of accelerating the adjustment of the industrial chain, but in the short term Internally, the pace of adjustment of the real economy industrial chain has been delayed, and it may be difficult to provide sufficient funds for the adjustment of the real economy industrial chain after the monetary policy turns to tightening. On the contrary, the new life and work mode under the epidemic has provided a new world for the virtual economy industrial chain.

  Since the Industrial Revolution, the cross-border flow of trade, the shuttle of capital, and the rapid transmission of information have built a global industrial chain.

The commodity-producing countries that provide raw materials, the manufacturing countries that are responsible for processing and production, and the consumer countries that have the right to print the final base currency, rely on this "net" formed by the industrial chain to work and live.

With the outbreak of the international financial crisis in 2008, those developed countries that occupy the high end found that the old industrial chain was not so beneficial to them. Some politicians, taking advantage of the trend of conservatism and populism, planned to reorganize the global industrial chain and continue to live well. day.

  At this time, the new crown pneumonia epidemic has swept the world, and the security problems of key industrial chains have become prominent.

The epidemic has only intensified the pressure of restructuring the industrial chain, but the successive shutdowns have reduced the possibility of the recent industrial chain restructuring.

Moreover, a series of practical problems have become obstacles to the reorganization of the industrial chain of the real economy.

  First of all, the U.S. government, as the initiator, may not have figured out how to plan as a whole and how to operate in stages.

So far, what the Trump administration and the Biden administration have done has only been to improve the domestic industrial chain, preventing opponents from obtaining resources in many fields such as energy, network technology, semiconductors, telecommunications infrastructure and key raw materials, and have not shifted the industrial chain on a large scale.

The Anglo-American legal system is case law. Their way of thinking is not to first establish a detailed framework and then fill in the blanks one by one. Therefore, the so-called reconstruction of the industrial chain layout in the United States will be a piecemeal model - spread out little by little, not overnight.

  Second, Wall Street thinks differently than Washington.

The epidemic has made corporate cash flow extremely tight. It is difficult for manufacturing companies to rely on their own strength to invest in rebuilding factories. Government funding is also a drop in the bucket. The capital market will be reluctant to lend due to reduced corporate profits.

The reorganization of the industrial chain is not to relocate one or two companies, but to relocate the entire industrial cluster.

The infrastructure and labor allocation supporting the reconstruction of the industrial chain will be difficult to quickly deploy within a decade or two.

The most important thing is that when an economy enters the rent-profit model, it can live a good life by printing money, and it is largely unwilling to spend time building industrial clusters.

  Again, monetary policy trends may not be supportive.

By convention, every globalization is accompanied by a monetary expansion, and every deglobalization is accelerated by a monetary contraction.

If Washington's provocation of trade frictions is regarded as a clarion call for deglobalization, then in the process of deglobalization, the source of funds for restructuring the industrial chain after the currency shrinks is very problematic.

Federal Reserve Chairman Powell recently said that he is considering raising interest rates in the spring, which means that funds will be reduced and more expensive. Where can the huge funds to rebuild the real economy industrial chain be found?

  In fact, the reorganization of the industrial chain of the real economy is difficult to cover every industry, and some adjustments are possible, but that will be gradually promoted in a long period of time in the future.

  However, the reorganization of the real economy industry chain, which is labor-intensive and costly, will not be able to move for a while, but the "grand blueprint" of the virtual economy industry chain has already been paved.

After Zuckerberg entered the digital currency, he was the first to announce his move towards the metaverse.

In this virtual world built through digital technology and parallel to the real world, the Metaverse has absorbed the latest achievements of the information revolution, the Internet revolution, and the artificial intelligence revolution. It has been considered by the investment community as a very promising track. It is a new highland for digital economic innovation and industrial chain extension.

  When the housing prices in the Metaverse are already more expensive than Manhattan, New York, scholars should wake up. Capital is not entangled in the reorganization of the real economy industrial chain. soar.

Facing an unknown metaverse, the virtual economy industry chain has in fact entered a new territory full of hope and threats.