What is it about the People’s Bank of China and the number 27? I’ve been wondering for a while now why the central bank hiked interest rates twice this year, and both times settled for a 27 basis points rise. Today, researching a story on informal lending, I came across another 27 point hike, this time on October 28, 2004.
Maybe it’s a PR thing. Anything less than 25 basis points will be reported – possibly in a disparaging tone – as less than a quarter of a percentage point, which is hardly taking a hard line on a run-away economy. A quarter of a percentage point is simply to bland, while a 26 basis points increase runs the risk of being reported as a quarter anyway. Perhaps 27 is just the first reputable cab off the rank.
But it is also the product of 3 times 9, and 9 is the ultimate Chinese lucky number.
Third time lucky, good PR, or perhaps just a case of wishful thinking? Any insights appreciated.