Wednesday, August 20, 2014
5

欧洲的经济消耗战

纽波特海滩—我九岁的时候,埃及和以色列打了一场现在被称为“消耗战”的战争。在这段“非战非和”时期,基本冲突在不断恶化,脆弱的平静不断地被小规模武装冲突打断。

这场消耗战在1967年6月的战争后开始,埃及显然是战败的一方——乍一看,埃及人民和外部世界一定会对这一结果感到诧异。其空军打残,其陆军也保守蹂躏,而以色列占领了整个西奈半岛。

部署在苏伊士运河东岸的以色列军队距离开罗只有100公里。以色列战斗机控制着空域,埃及首都及其大部分人民暴露在以色列轰炸机下。

官方说法对此几乎一字不提。不管在国家电视台还是在政府控制的报纸上——那时候还没有言论自由、互联网和有线电视新闻——埃及人民看到的是埃及已夺回命运主动权的豪言壮语。但他们知道的远不止这些。

我至今仍能清晰地记得埃及人民中间广泛弥漫这的忧虑,人们对未来会如何忧心忡忡。人们不敢投资,很多人在考虑要不要为了更美好的未来而移民。

基本问题还没有解决,消耗战便演变为1973年的全面战争——这场战争再一次震惊了埃及内外的大部分人。这一回,埃及陆军赢得了早期一系列战役,并在停火时夺回了西奈半岛的部分领土,为1979年与以色列的和平协议创造了条件。

我叙述这些往事不是为了描绘今日巴以冲突图景——几周前,巴以冲突导致众多平民(绝大部分是加沙居民)丧生。我叙事这些往事是因为我认为它与欧洲债务危机的发展态势有着太多的相似之处。

欧洲人民——特别是希腊、葡萄牙和西班牙等外围经济体的人民——十分焦虑。失业率保持在不可接受的高水平,并在继续上升。经济继续萎靡,累积衰退已经创造了悲剧新纪录。贫困在抬头。毫不奇怪,向坚挺欧元区国家(比如德国)的移民在增加,并伴随着金融资本的加速外流。

不可否认的幸事是,这只是相似,绝不是相同。欧洲并不存在武装冲突。深深的不安全感与炸弹和防空警报无关。欧洲的威胁是经济上的,而不是军事上的。但欧洲确实存在“非战非和”的感觉。

欧洲的经济和平仍然晦暗不明,原因很简单:政府仍未找到增长、就业和金融稳定三管齐下的办法。这一状况维持得越久,相对健康的部门失血就会越多,原因有三。

首先,欧元区经济互相之间紧密相连。如此,疲软从其中一部分蔓延到其他部分只是时间问题。以德国为例,该国治理良好,一度自认为不会受周边麻烦的影响。在经历了一段时间创纪录的低失业率之后,德国经济增长显著放缓,7—9月季度增长率只有0.2%。若按现有趋势发展,第四季度增长率将为负数。

其次,欧元区援助规模在继续上升。预计塞浦路斯也将加入“计划国”(希腊、爱尔兰和葡萄牙)行列,要求大规模正式融资;而在上述三国中,只有爱尔兰接近于重新正常进入资本市场。西班牙也在要求数十亿的新援助以重组其银行,核心国纳税人的或有债券在继续增加。事实上,这正是穆迪(步标准普尔之后)剥夺法国AAA信用评级的一大因素。

最后,传染病正在冲出欧元区17国范围之外。欧元区债务危机正在破坏规模更大、拥有27个成员国的欧盟的合作,造成最近峰会上关于欧盟预算方案的大失败。中国的经济放缓也受此影响,人们开始担心(我认为这有瞎操心之嫌)中国新领导人难以让这个习惯了两位数(或较大一位数)增长的国家实现软着陆。

要不是欧洲央行所扮演的关键而分量日重的角色的话,和平的缺乏早已引发全面经济和金融战争了。在德拉吉的强力领导下,欧洲央行尽量提供时间让大部分政府能够共同行动。欧洲央行之所以能如此,靠的是以其弹性资产负债表替代过度扩张的政府、风声鹤唳的私人投资者以及仓皇出逃的银行存款人的创新手段。

但认为欧洲央行能够带来持续经济和平将是严重的错误。它无法完成这一点。如果政府继续萎靡和争吵,欧洲央行行动充其量也只能延长些许时间。

与埃及的消耗战一样,欧元区的基本经济、即溶和社会问题在不断发酵。如果政府继续在一个又一个修补方案之间换来换去——这样的可能性相当高——全面解决方案的迟迟得不到实施将压倒欧洲央行所尽力争取的效果。

有人说,正如埃及消耗战最终演变为全面战争和和平条约,欧洲也需要一场大危机来推动其前进。但这是危险的想法,不仅包含巨大的风险,还隐含着不可接受的高昂过渡性人力成本。

欧洲各国政府都得到了很好的意见:利用欧洲央行所愿意为他们买来的金融停火。坐视金融停火结束而无法向永久稳定方向取得进展将让欧洲面临灾难,极大地挫伤其长期经济稳定、增长和就业创造前景。

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  1. Commenteddimitris Pafilas

    Mr M. EL- Arian your findings about europe crisis are right. But, as you write the main question that europe needs a major crisis to move forward. war ; with the exterme right parties in Greece-Italy - france etc.
    I didnt live this expierence, but i have visit dachau- auswich and i know what is the huge human cost in Europe- usa and elsewhere.Germany will pay the price for the deny of significant haircut in greek depth.
    Imagine 25% unemployment in Germany with this cold weather ;
    ΑΝΥWAY, PIMCO WILL BUY GREEK DEPTH AFTER A HAIRCUT 50% IN THE OFFICIAL SECTOR ;


  2. Commenteddonna jorgo

    every time i read your article .because in my opinion you are open mind and very good analyst about the economy .(realist )
    to day i have to say you see the problem economic like (some one ) have the problem .(war)
    Egypt ..have problem with Israel because they are allmost Muslim (to day half of Egypt ) demostrate for open mind to M.MORSI (because he thinking constitution is CURAN)
    Palestin Mr M,A,EL-ERIAN WAS AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE PROBLEM )now much deeper ..because some state (sentimental) give to tham right for the state (and after this they wanted Jerusalem) SO .. because JERUSALEM IS capital of ISRAEL STATE (AND WORLD ) . now about the EUROPE i have large focus this is not really FINANCIAR CRISIS but is POLITICAL crisis (and bankar) IS NOT THE MIDDLE EAST war make the problem there ..
    iam agree with you to the solution you give for fiscal cliff ''in USA
    i like you to be open mind (with out religion intreses) in problems insade middle east ..
    i am concern about the war in SYRIA because this is one aphormy or plann for war in EU Turkey doesn't need to be part of this problem (is not emigration or provocation from syria) Syria is thyma to religion too
    thank you

  3. CommentedPaul A. Myers

    The European countries are running out of the means to borrow and spend to sustain growth. Some sort of deep structural change needs to be tried to let market forces put people back to work. Some combination of change working on both the real wage level and the productivity level needs to be tried.

  4. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    One important parallel in between the Middle East's volatile and unpredictable scenarios and the ongoing Eurozone crisis is that neither of them can be taken out of the global context, and any viable solution has to be global and systematic.
    The whole humanity has evolved into this global, interconnected network, where each individual and nation depends on all the others.
    There is no Greek, Spanish, European, US, Chinese or BRICS crisis, there is a system failure as the present socio-economic system, the free market, constant quantitative growth economy and its supporting governance has exhausted itself and became self destructive.
    The same way the situation in the Middle East has been formulated, developed from its beginning in a global context, and it goes way beyond the borders of Israel and the Palestinian territories and even beyond the whole region itself. Joschka Fischer had an excellent review article about it here yesterday.
    Today any crisis or conflict situation the world is facing requires a global, mutually responsible and considerate approach, introverted, self calculating, national or local resolutions, interventions, actions only lead to further collapse.

      CommentedMark Pitts

      Without significant quantitative growth, the 5 billion people who live in poverty will never escape.

      Any economic viewpoint that disregards the well-being of the poorest 70% is not to be taken seriously.

      CommentedEdward Ponderer

      There are to many balls in the air, and it will take a juggler with 14 billion hand to master them. Fortunately we have such a juggler. Unfortunately he is delusional, in continuous disagreement with himself, and eating his own flesh.

      How do we awaken him before all the balls plummet -- that's the only question.

  5. Commentedatul baride

    More often than not unforeseen events create awkward situations but radical solutions. The General logic of Peace is superseded by What may appear to be a Turmoil. So many instances are served by the history

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