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William Pesek

China Needs a Grown-Up Central Bank

The country's economic policy is far too erratic.
Parental supervision needed.

Parental supervision needed.

Photographer: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Zhou Xiaochuan is governor of the People's Bank of China. But among some financial types, he's earning another, less enviable title: the killer of weekends.

On May 10, Zhou announced a surprise interest rate cut, forcing anyone with a stake in the Chinese economy to put a premature end to what had likely otherwise been a day off. Even worse, the move leaked hours earlier on social media, adding to what Deutsche Bank calls an unnecessary "atmosphere of alarm" in the global economy. It was just the latest example of the PBOC's penchant for making surprise moves on Friday, Saturday or Sunday evenings -- or, in one instance in 2010, on Christmas Day -- with zero warning and little explanation.