Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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难以宽松

发自纽约——美联储实施第三轮量化宽松(QE3)的决定引出了三大重要问题:QE3能否紧急启动美国当前乏力的经济增长?它是否会导致风险资产的持续增长,尤其是在美国以及其他全球股票市场?最后,其对GDP增长和股票市场的影响将会相似还是有所不同?

许多人如今认为QE3对风险资产的影响应该与第一轮(QE1),第二轮量化宽松(QE2)以及美联储早前的债券购买计划“扭曲操作(Operation Twist)”具备同样威力(如果不是更大的话)。毕竟以股票价格计算的话,QE3的规模和持续时间都更具实质性。但尽管美联储实施积极货币宽松的许诺非常引人注目,但此举对实体经济和美股的影响可能比前两轮的都要更小也更短暂。

首先,考虑到以往的宽松政策都是在股票估值和收益都更加低的时候推出。在2009年3月,标准普尔500指数下跌到660点,美国企业和银行的每股收益率都降到了危机以来的最低点,市盈率降到了单数。如今,标准普尔500指数已经翻了超过一番(接近1430点),平均每股收益率约有100美元,市盈率超过了14。

即便是2010年夏的QE2期间,标普500指数,市盈率和每股收益率都比今天要低得多。倘若(而且很可能)美国的经济增长在QE3之下依然疲软,营业收入和实际利润将下降,并对股票估值也会产生负面的影响。

此外,本次宽松也缺乏财政支持:QE1和QE2分别防止了陷入更严重衰退并阻以及二次下滑,因为每次宽松都是与一个大型财政刺激计划联系在一起的。相比之下,QE3将会与一轮财政收紧联系在一起,甚至很可能是一场财政大幅削减。

即便美国避免了可能在今年年末出现的相当于GDP4.5%的全面财政削减,也很有可能会有一场相当于GDP1.5%的财政拖累来对2013年的经济造成打击。美国经济目前的年均增长为1.6%,即便住宅和制造业都已经出现温和复苏,加上QE3,都能将美国2013年的增长保持在这一水平,但即便是1%的财政拖累都将意味着经济增长会在2013年近乎停滞。

但目前没有更大范围的反弹出现。在2010和2011年,一些前导经济指数显示上半年的经济放缓已经触底反弹,且增长在货币宽松宣布之前就已经开始加速。因此当时宽松助推了一个已经开始复苏的经济,并因此延长了资产的再膨胀。

相比之下,最近的数据显示美国当前的经济表现正如上半年一样步履维艰。事实上,更可能表现出来的是,美国劳动力市场的疲软,低资本支出以及缓慢的收入增长都反映出第三季度是不可能出现更强劲增长的。

与此同时,货币刺激向实体经济传导的主要渠道——债券,信贷,货币和股票市场——都依然疲软——如果不是千疮白孔的话。事实上,债券市场渠道不太可能去刺激增长。长期政府债券收益已经非常低下,即便进一步下调,也不会对私人机构的借贷成本产生太大影响。

而信贷渠道同样不甚通畅,因为银行已经囤积了来自量化宽松的大部分额外流动性,不但没有增加贷款,反而还产生了多余的储备。那些有资格贷款者都拥有充足的现金并小心控制支出,而那些急需贷款者——高负债的家庭和企业(尤其是中小企业)——都在面对着信贷紧缩。

货币渠道同样也存在缺陷。当全球增长减弱之时,即便美元贬值也难以使净出口出现极大改善。此外,许多主要中央银行都在和美联储一样实施某些量化宽松政策的变体,抵消了美联储行动对美元价值的影响。

或许更重要的是,一个弱势美元对贸易平衡的作用以及因此对增长的影响会受到两个因素的限制。首先,一个弱势美元是与一个更高的大宗商品美元采购价格联系在一起的,而这也意味着会对贸易平衡产生拖累,因为美国是一个大宗商品的净进口国。其二,任何源自于更强劲出口的GDP改善都会引发进口增加。观察研究预计弱势美元对贸易平衡的总体影响接近于零。

量化宽松向实体经济传导的另外唯一一个重要渠道就是股市上涨所带来的财富效应,但在QE3将引发股票价格持续上涨的观点中存在着某种自相矛盾的东西。如果持续的资产再膨胀需要GDP增长显著复苏来实现的话,那么声称如果股票价格能在量化宽松之后出现足够上涨,而因此产生的由财富效应所引发的GDP上涨就证明资产价格上升是合理的说法就是一个有逻辑的废话罢了。如果货币政策向实体经济的传导渠道出了问题,人们也不能假设量化宽松会对经济增长产生较大影响。

美联储主席本·伯南克最近强调了另一条额外渠道的重要性:信心渠道,美联储维持大量货币供应状况的承诺可以改善私人消费。问题是这些措施就能有多大实质性,又能维持多长时间?在一个不断去杠杆化,充满宏观不确定因素,劳动市场增长疲弱以及财政拖累的现状下,信心是极为脆弱的。

简而言之,QE3减少了立刻出现经济收缩的尾部风险,但也不可能为一个依然承受着痛苦去杠杆化过程的经济体立刻带来持续复苏。在短期内,QE3会令投资者敢于承担风险,并会刺激温和的资产价格再膨胀。但如果经济增长令人失望的话——这情况很可能出现,股票价格的上升也会随着时间逐渐消弭,并拖低对企业收入和盈利的预期。

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  1. CommentedRobert O'Regan

    We all know that, without a gold standard, you can screw with the rate of interest and monetary policy to benefit specific groups....this is not new stuff; deal with the issue, please.

  2. Portrait of Christopher T. Mahoney

    CommentedChristopher T. Mahoney

    QE1 represented a 125% growth in the monetary base; QE2 represented a 30% growth. QE3, if it continues for six months, will represent 9% growth. Its scale builds with time, at $40B or ~2% per month. Right now it has zero effect, because the monetary base has not yet begun to grow.

  3. CommentedMarten Klein

    Easing is an euphemism for money printing. Aggressive monetary easing the road to hyperinflation. With easing dollars becomes an official banana currency. An issue, Mr. Roubini? Depends, hope the US FED know what they are doing, otherwise the US may quickly detroitify.

  4. Commentedsrinivasan gopalan

    Mr.Roubini has demonstrated the futility of persisting with monetary easing to artificially flood the money market, even when such unorthodox monetary mesures have their own limits. Given the structural rigidities embedded in the US economy it is not the availability of credit at zero rate that would fire up entrepreneurial animal spirit because basically the private sector is finding it difficult to pay back when times are bad like this on loans they had contracted at easier terms. Besides, productivity of labour and efficiency of capital need to be focused if the Federal Reserve seeks to have some result of its quantitative easing. The Federal Government cannot pursue a fiscal splurge policy when borrowings are easier for both State-funded programmes including bailouts of investment banks and to private sector which does not have any appetite to lap up funds for expansion and greenfield projects. The dilemma of fiscal and monetary policy coherence needs to be resolved before any contemplated surge in activity could supervene. This is as good a case for the United States as it is for India where the authorities had to zero in on unrelenting inflation that slaps the cruelest form of taxation on the poorest of the poor. G.Srinivasan, Journalist, New Delhi.

  5. CommentedRoman Bleifer

    QE3, as the previous QE, will only increase the scale of speculative financial transactions, but does not lead to economic growth. From another throw empty money GDP will not increase. And the risk that a financial bubble bursts significantly increased. The real economy does not get as credit and will not receive them. Throw-empty money does not solve the systemic problems, and the global crisis is systemic ( http://crisismir.com/analiticheskie-materialy/ekonomika/13-mirovoj-ekonomicheskij-krizis-prichiny-i-posledstviya-quo-vadis.html ). Need for reform of the stock markets. the current system of stock market investment is not fulfilling its functions and work on herself as a speculative system.

  6. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    As many of the other comments suggest this is simply another cosmetic surgery, like pouring petrol (more precisely virtual petrol) into a car that has no engine.
    Easing or stimulus only makes sense if it could kick-start something that has slowed down, stopped, but structurally still intact and can be restarted.
    But this is not true to the US or to the global economy.
    People are desperately trying to avoid looking at the real root cause of the crisis: the unsustainable and unnatural constant quantitative growth model.
    Besides in a global, interdependent network no individual or country can make unilateral decisions based on self-calculations since it changes, disturbs the mechanics of the whole network.
    Until people, especially today's leader start taking into consideration that we all fully depend on each other as we are interconnected whether we like it or now, and that in a closed and finite natural living system constant quantitative growth is impossible, we are going to slide deeper and deeper into this system failure.
    This is an unprecedented, evolutionary stage humanity has no historical experience for, thus first we need to study and understand where we are and how harmony and balance can be restored.
    We already significantly exhausted both the natural and human resources, thus there is not much time left to start building a new system before we are running out of options.

  7. CommentedDavid Rodrigues

    Same thing occurred during Japanese crisis, well I mean Japanese depression (when it's so long, it's not a crisis anymore :).

    Japan did the same fearing the systemic risk, injecting a so huge amount of liquidity and creating an unsustainable public deficit. All the financial and banking system stood unchanged (no need to change when they give you free money for your failures).

    So my question is : is a system based on growth possible for already grown countries, without huge amount of debt of course ?

  8. CommentedElizabeth Pula

    My following comments are twisting “Hard to be easing”. Really since, we’re in to the third round of QE, OMG! I am looking at the crisis ??? from a down-to-earth street view. Roubini and the other greats that are the lead contributors to this site take the high road. I live on a dirt road. So, I am going to use some statistics and comments starting with the ordinary day-to-day transactions of a dollar and dollars. Hopefully, ALL the PRICES that I have selected are what a dollar at that time could purchase at that time, and then I present some questions about the dollar today. And, yes, I think I am doing a more relevant “OPERATION TWIST”, than Bernanke couldn’t even dream about, if I can stay alive at least a year or so past 2014. But, I don’t want to digress too much so, to get back down to earth…….

    What is the price of gasoline in 2012, in 2012 dollars in the US?
    What was the price of gasoline a few years ago, relatively speaking?

    From http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/2012/03/14/charting-the-dramatic-gas-price-rise-of-the-last-decade/

    Average cost for a gallon of gas in the U.S. between 1998-2011:
    CLINTON YEARS
    1998 — $1.03
 1999 — $1.14 
2000 — $1.49
    BUSH YEARS
    2001 — $1.43
 2002 — $1.34
 2003 — $1.56 
2004 — $1.85
2005 — $2.27
 2006 — $2.58 
2007 — $2.81 
2008 — $3.26
    OBAMA YEARS
    2009 — $2.35
 2010 — $2.78
 2011 — $3.53


    So, now lets look at labor over a longer time period beginning from 1970’s through 2006, just to get an idea about wages and the distribution of earnings in the USA. AND what are you earning today in today’s dollar? AND what is the minimum wage today in today’s dollar? Could you buy gas and make a round-trip home on a minimum hourly wage today? Could you ten years ago? How many people have public transportation to go to work and get back home EASILY? Or would it take 3 hours or more roundtrip??? What’s affordable?


    From WIKIPEDIA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

    (the whole article has some pretty good information to think about for a while. Even a 10-year-old can read it.)

    In 2006, there were approximately 116,011,000 households in the United States. 1.93% of all households had annual incomes exceeding $250,000.[6] 12.3% fell below the federal poverty threshold[7] and the bottom 20% earned less than $19,178.[8] The aggregate income distribution is highly concentrated towards the top, with the top 6.37% earning roughly one third of all income, and those with upper-middle incomes controlling a large, though declining, share of the total earned income.[3][9]
    Income inequality in the United States, which had decreased slowly after World War II until 1970, began to increase in the 1970s until reaching a peak in 2006. It declined a little in 2007.[10] Households in the top quintile (i.e., top 20%), 77% of which had two or more income earners, had incomes exceeding $91,705. Households in the mid quintile, with a mean of approximately one income earner per household had incomes between $36,000 and $57,657. Households in the lowest quintile had incomes less than $19,178 and the majority had no income earner.[11]

    Are you making more money or less money annually than you were 10 years ago? How many people do you think are making more money annually than they were 10 years ago?

    Now, let’s look at the price of milk. Just a snapshot comparision in 1999 and 2009 dollars:

    Gallon of milk $2.88 $3.05


    There is a great list of other comparisons, from this site:
    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/12/29/then-vs-now-how-prices-have-changed-since-1999/

    How much is a gallon of milk at your grocery store in 2012? Are you experiencing inflation or deflation of the US dollar?
    And, now to get a little bit nosy…
    Are you still earning a living where any kind of taxes are reported on your earnings? Do you report and actually pay any kind of taxes based on any kind of annual earnings? How about consumption taxes? Who pays the highest relative percentage of consumption taxes based on income, poor people or rich people? What's poor and what's rich?

    How has quantitative easing helped you financially in any kind of way? How has quantitative easing helped other human beings in your neighborhood, town, county in any way? If you have any, are any of your investments or real assets worth more than 10 years ago? What can you sell? What can you buy? How EASY is it to buy or sell what you need and what you think you may want?

    How many others of approximately 116,011,000 households in the United States can enjoy some fun times together, or are stuck between a rock and a hard place, caught in a real steal? Where are you after working 30 years or so? Where are you just getting out of high school or college?

    How many wage earners are really on easy street or any where near to it? How many can even get close to it, or ever find it in 2012?

    So, depending on actual numbers, estimated numbers, or general statistics, until more folks really have some extra money, rather than incomes allowing spending for only bottom-line essentials on a daily or whatever statistical basis, GDP is only going to change based on annual birth and death statistics, and the effect of those births and deaths on the GDP and basic consumption. What are the projected birth and death statistics for the US? What is the projected effects to annual GDP?

    And to include an effective austerity example to affect any economy:

    Is the activity in Syria the new trending, or the new repeat of a really old model of the most effective significant way to affect economic growth?
    Isn’t Syria using principles of austerity to the max? It’s not pretty. But, it works.

    What’s some practical alternatives at local levels, by local people?

    Any body got any practical ideas? And, of course, how and who pays for what, with what, and when, and where?


      Commentedjames durante

      Yes, this is a more detailed examination of the points i raised (and frank callaghan below). Only Obama's stimulus plan, most of it, went to middle and low income people. But it mostly just kept public employees at work and gave a little tax boost. All the trillions went to banks, gm, aig, qe's and zero interest rates (with historic record spreads between prime rate and the anks rates to customers). The rich win again even when they lose.

      I don't have any solutions at least any that are realistic given the political dynamics in place. Occupy was swept out of the parks by storm troopers, and no one seemed to object. I guess people accept that neo-fascism for dssenters is the flip side of bailing out the rich. Well, you can always join the "tea party." How Orwellian!

      The dam will have to break through sustained political turmoil and ten we hope that the rich will be forced to give way a bit. Otherwise we are ultimately facing a "golden dawn."

  9. Commentedjames durante

    We keep going around in circles. No aggregate demand due to excessive debt and stagnant or falling wages. The top 1% get 25% of the income and have 40% of the wealth. The gini coefficient for the US is on par with Russia, Venezuela, Argentina and a smattering of African countries.

    The wage squeeze has set corporate profits soaring and the cozy relationship between banks and DC means no serious financial reform.

    There is no mechanism for altering inequality, quite the contrary. So, invest in a luxury goods fund. What did Citigroup call it? The "plutonomy?"

      Commenteddalai guevara

      James
      Correct, the increasing spiral of QE as preached predominantely by the UK and the US will further fuel inequality and commodity pricing. We will ultimately come to the point, where ENERGY will become unaffordable for large sections of society. Travel will reduce, heating your home will become unaffordable, up to the point where even renationalisation of the energy market will be on the table.

      Blimey, interesting times lie ahead.

  10. CommentedRay DAMANI

    All QEs are of the banks, for the banks, by the banks! (I exclude the English Queens Elizabeth.)

    Everything else is spin without real transmission fluid money into the pockets of working Americans.

    Free money for Wall Street and TBTF banks to earn risk free returns and artificially support their [formerly toxic] asset prices mean a GULAG ECONOMY for ordinary Americans and savers.

  11. CommentedJohn Wiederspan

    You can lead business to credit, but you can't make them borrow. Two more points: (1) Easy credit/low % rates, in many countries, was the cause of their troubles (2) Using central banks to stimulate an economy is to misuse the bank. As an old school monetarist, I can only sadly shake my head at the idea that a central bank should play any role in stimulating economic growth. Price stability is the alpha and the omega.

  12. Commentedhacim obmed

    The effect of QE3 will be a massive increase in price of stock, especially for companies with inelastic cash flow, regular dividends and a semi-monopolistic position that allows them to stay even with inflation. Examples would be AT&T, Tobacco companies, natural resource companies, railroads, certain REITs, some pharma/healthcare companies, and Master limited partnerships in the midstream energy business. Such companies will sell 20 or 30 year bonds while QE3 keeps rates low and will use the proceeds to buy back their own stock while their stock prices are a bargain. They will take on the maximum leverage possible now now now. Then in a few years inflation will tick up towards 10% and the bond prices will fall. They will retire the bonds with inflated money. The net result will be a huge contraction in the supply of stock and a huge increase in its value and in dividends. It is going to be great for investors who have capital. Sadly it will be a total wipe out for the real economy and for middle class people who work for a salary. As usual they will be screwed.

      CommentedRay DAMANI

      As long as people have money to pay their ever increasing iPhone bills and increasingly taxed Marlboro packs.

  13. CommentedFrank O'Callaghan

    What has happened to the world economy?
    Over the last half Century it has become more prosperous. That prosperity has been spread widely in a geographical sense. The benefits have accrued more narrowly in recent years in a social sense. Less than one million families have gained the greater part of the wealth of a world of seven thousand million people.

    What is the role of easing? It is currently a tool in the system that has created this unsustainable system. It does not address the core issue of inequality.

  14. Commenteddonna jorgo

    so you mean they needed stimulation ..but not from money becouse is very low valute (bond and gold).
    AND my opinion fiscal cliff can fix with stimulation recapitalize bank ..(this will not be imediatly )because is difficult but will give push for start..
    you know this is global poblem (GLOBAL) YOU KNOW BETTER OF EVERYONE WHY?
    THANK YOU NICE ARTICLE

  15. CommentedIvan Kitov

    There is an internal controversy in your piece. There was some traction between QE and real economy in the beginning and then it disappeared somehow. What has happened to this traction and why it was not used to a greater extent? A simpler hypothesis is that there was no traction before and there is no traction now, with monetary policy just following natural evolution of system. It have saved the financial system, however.

  16. CommentedDoug Levin

    I admit to being confused. I thought that the channel for getting QE into the economy was federal government spending. The means described here all appear to this economy novice to be secondary or indirectly supported. Why isn't federal deficit spending of this QE money considered as a source for economic stimulation? Please Mr. Roubini if you would comment I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

      CommentedPaulo Sérgio

      QE is more of a money printing exercise than deficit/government spending. Very simply, the Fed prints money, the value of the dollar declines.

      It basically represents a wall of cash - liquidity - the Fed is targeting at specific points, mainly financial institutions. It hopes that there will be "enough to go around" to the average consumer who needs the credit to do a, b and c and create employment by doing so -- which lifts labor market sentiment, in turn lifting consumer sentiment. Consumers account for nearly 80% of US GDP.

  17. CommentedProcyon Mukherjee

    The relative ease with which monetary stimulus can be extended in the downturn (and therefore increase the balance sheet by bond buying), the same ability is halted to unwind the stimulus (and therefore sell the assets) when the upturn starts and this asymmetry in the transmission mechanism translates into shocks that impact the price-wage stickiness.
    The same is true as given in the recent IMF report on page 67, when it comes to fiscal deficits, where it is easier to operate with deficits in the downturn while difficult to reduce the same when the upturn starts.
    These asymmetries do not bode well with the general perception that monetary and fiscal actions can be made effective if the timing is right and is in measured dozes.
    Procyon Mukherjee

  18. CommentedLuke Ho-Hyung Lee

    If monetary policy’s transmission channels to the real economy are broken, what should we do? How can we fix them? That is the real question. Disappointedly, nobody has provided the answer.

    Please also see this article for fixing that broken channels: “A Real Market Revolution as a Solution for the Current Economic Crisis: A Reappraisal of Current Forecasts of Upcoming US Federal Deficit and Employment” http://savingtheworldeconomy.blogspot.com/2010/11/real-market-revolution-as-solution-for.html

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