海外之声|英国前首相经济顾问:谁应为危机后十年的低迷买单(中英双语)

摘要: 危机后政府出面为金融机构买单的行为了社会的不平等,也未起到刺激经济的效果。

09-13 14:39 首页 IMI财经观察

观点速递

本文作者布莱恩·雷丁曾任爱德华·希思首相的经济顾问,现任货币金融机构官方论坛(OMFIF)顾问委员。

作者提出,在金融危机爆发之后的近十年间,对金融机构的财政援助造成了一种“每个人都受损”的现象。紧缩的财政政策和货币政策组合,不仅增加了社会的不平等和社会分歧,也引起了经济增长缓慢的十年,与之推动经济繁荣的目标相背离。最后本文作者认为,在这样的低迷时期,欧美当局应启动财政稳定机制,减少赤字。

中文译文如下:

经济增长低迷的十年

不可避免,错误连连:贝尔斯登,一错十年

布莱恩·雷丁

翻译:郑泽

校对:肖柏高


整整10年前,投资银行贝尔斯登公司“挽救”了旗下两个毫无价值的次贷基金,点燃了2008年金融危机的导火索。财政与货币政策的合理组合避免了20世纪30年代大萧条悲剧重演,但造成了大范围的间接破坏,其后果至今还阴魂不散。

我们已经见证了英国一年前退欧以及美国、英国和法国选举结果大相径庭。过去十年间的财政援助将“无产者”的资源输送给了“有产者”。愤怒的选民已经发出了声音。财政援助的总体结果加剧了不平等和社会分歧,抑制了经济增长。下一场危机爆发时,或许该任凭已经失灵的系统崩溃。

金融危机之后的政策应对可以解释美国、英国和法国的深度分裂。受保护的贵族被群起而攻之。连续两任英国首相大卫·卡梅隆与特蕾莎·梅威风扫地。分别身处白宫与爱丽舍宫的特朗普与马克龙虽风格大有不同,但都是利用本国民众愤怒的反建制赢家。这些社会裂痕之所以出现,很大程度上是因为在危机中,对金融机构救助是以每个人都受损为代价的。

如果贷方无法偿还贷款,信贷系统就会崩溃。受损的一方往往是能负担得起损失的“有产者”。无法收回资金的借方则将损失转嫁给其他有资产者。损失由此扩大,资产价格下跌,往往导致“有产者”利益受损。系统失灵会导致放贷的积极性和能力骤减,进而削弱借款和消费的能力,导致短暂而急剧的震动。但经济体的实力并未毁于一旦,工厂和机器也完好无损。劳工技能并未削弱,生产力也未受影响。在一般情况下,负担由“有产者”承担,以减少不平等。

过去的十年情况却并非如此。

对金融危机的总体反应或许别无选择的,但是错误的。银行紧急援助挽救的是贷方,而非借方。随之而来的财政紧缩低估了资产负债表恶化之际的收入乘数。英国等国实施的财政紧缩既有失公平,又没有奏效。削减公共服务、警方、医疗保健与教育,对每个人都不利。

财政紧缩是搬起石头砸自己的脚,会影响经济增长、减少税收收入、增加基于需求的福利开支。过去十年间,政府一直在放水;而用这种方法来补救财政紧缩会令危机雪上加霜。宽松的货币政策尽管旨在增加需求,但也会制造资产价格泡沫,最终加深“有产者”与“无产者”之间的鸿沟。

自从贝尔斯登公司尝试紧急援救之后,我们度过了经济增长低迷的十年。美国的实际GDP比2007年高出14%,而英国和欧元区的这一比率分别为10%和5%。实际工资要么迟迟不涨,要么有所下降。年轻人受创的程度更是空前。或许更好的做法是启动财政稳定机制,让赤字逐渐消失。失灵系统的出路就是系统崩溃,置之死地而后生。我们或许应该一试。

英文原文如下:

A low-growth decade

Inevitable, mistaken: Bears Stearns, 10 years on

by Brian Reading in London

Fri 23 Jun 2017

The ultimate objective of central banks is to increase the welfare of people through designing and implementing monetary and financial regulatory policies. This mandate is captured in different ways in central bank laws. Within the framework of these laws, many of which justifiably set down the doctrine of central bank independence, its time to consider again the idea of monetary financing of government deficits. As long as this is not practiced excessively, and is carried out as part of agreed co-operation between the central bank and the fiscal authorities, monetary financing has a valid role in promoting growth and employment during downturns.

Some central banks have multiple objectives, like the Federal Reserve, which is required to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. No matter how the objectives are written in the primary legislation, central banks must support growth and employment, even if they are primarily pursuing the objective of price stability. Maintaining a prudent balance between these objectives is difficult, shown in many countries post-2008 experience.

Coordination between monetary and fiscal authorities is crucial, yet this has become weaker with the modern approach to central banks as independent institutions. However, independence in no way precludes such useful co-operation.

The shift to central bank independence was motivated partly by the need to set safe limits on monetary financing of deficits. Unfortunately, post-second world war thinking has progressed to the stage where all monetary financing has been labelled as an evil, to be opposed whatever the circumstances.

It is true that excessive monetary financing has caused hyperinflation in many countries: Germany and Yugoslavia in the 20th century and Zimbabwe in the 21st century are examples. Japan, on the other hand, successfully followed this path in the early 1930s to fight depression.

One possible reason why quantitative easing in Europe and Japan has failed to lift inflation and growth is that the share of (non-debt-creating) monetary financing in total QE is low. In line with the current central bank role as banker to the government, monetary financing results in the accumulation of public debt. However, according to James Buchanan, 1986 Nobel Prize winner in economics, The efficient means of purchasing the services of unemployed resources is through inflation of the currency. Buchanan proposed creating money without increasing the liability of a central bank. This would be controlled by the way resources are transferred to fiscal authorities for undertaking employment-generating development expenditures, and without increasing public debt.

This can be done if government becomes the issuer of currency and the central bank becomes the distributor. Under the existing system, banknotes are issued by central banks, which become their liabilities backed by financial assets like Treasury bills and government bonds that raise public debt. If governments directly issue all denominations of currency notes, these will become assets of central banks, since central banks must purchase these from governments. This mechanism will provide direct nominal seigniorage revenue to the government, instead of increasing government debt.

This approach to financing fiscal deficits is out of fashion, especially in advanced countries. But it is not new. Keynes acknowledged this in A Tract on Monetary Reform in 1923 in these words: The method is condemned, but its efficacy, up to a point, must be admitted.

These important signals cannot be ignored. We need new research to estimate Keynes point up to which monetary financing is not only harmless, but beneficial. And then we need central banks and governments which are willing to defy convention and implement policies that could help promote growth and jobs at a difficult time for the global economy.

Brian Reading was an Economic Adviser to Prime Minister Edward Heath and is a Member of the OMFIF Advisory Board.

观点整理  田雯

图文编辑  田雯


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