紧缩之后

纽约—今年的IMF年会清楚地表明,欧洲和国际社会对经济政策还是一头雾水。财政领导人们——不管是财政部长还是私人财政机构——不断地念念有词,说危机国必须收拾好自己的房子,削减自己的债务,降低自己的国民债务水平,实施结构性改革,并努力刺激增长。需要重塑信心这一点被反复重申。

这些把持着央行行长、财政部长、私人银行老板高位的大佬们几乎把全球金融系统拉下悬崖,造成的混乱至今仍在影响着我们,他们能说出这样的话真是有些“难能可贵”。更糟糕的是,这不啻缘木求鱼。在危机经济体深陷衰退的时候,如何重塑信心?在紧缩几乎肯定会进一步拖累总需求、使产出和就业继续恶化的时候,如何重塑增长?

现在我们需要知道的是,市场不能靠自己稳定下来。市场不但一再造成不稳定的资产泡沫,当需求疲软时,市场还会形成加剧下滑趋势的力量。失业以及对失业蔓延的担心压低了工资、收入和消费,从而拖累了总需求。家庭形成速度的下降——比如,年青一代美国人越来越多地搬回家去和父母同住——抑制了房价,导致了更多的人被剥夺了按揭权。实行平衡预算框架的国家被迫削减预算,因为税收收入降低了——这就是欧洲一根筋地力行不懈的“动摇器”(destabilizer)。

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