CHINA'S release of its money supply figures for the world's scrutiny is a brave move. Regardless of whether they trust figures released by civil servants reared in a culture of compulsive secretiveness, fact-hungry economists from investment banks, multinationals and supranationals will pore over these numbers. According to the figures, the worst fears of China's central bankers earlier this year were correct - money supply is still growing too quickly. Less than two months ago, they were predicting that M2 - the broadest indicator of money supply in China - would grow at similar levels to the 24 per cent recorded last year. They were wrong. According to the latest numbers from the People's Bank of China's official organ , Financial News, M2 growth was actually a massive 37.1 per cent. But the release of such data, which would previously have been jealously guarded, reflects Beijing's realisation that it needs to move towards Western-style disclosure to gain and retain Western investors' trust. China has seen what slavish adherence to old theories of command-style economics has done in countries like Russia, also theoretically modernising its economic management. In Russia, lack of discipline, resolve or ability has seen the rouble plummet 32 per cent in the past three months, and further falls of up to 26 per cent are predicted, according to The Economist . This contrasts sharply with the yuan's relative stability and strength against the United States dollar as it moves towards total and genuine convertibility. Russia's central bankers have allowed rouble printing to continue, although official inflation was 220 per cent and gross domestic product (GDP) fell 16 per cent in the year to September 30. Compare this with China's figures, which show inflation in 35 major cities rose by 27.5 per cent and GDP rose by 10.6 per cent over the same period. The mainland's central bankers trust China's economic direction, and must believe that breaking with the past and publishing these sorts of figures - Western economists love inputting central bank data to their spreadsheets - is only going to emphasise the gulf between China and Russia.