​President Franklin D. Roosevelt​ signs the Gold Bill (also known as the Dollar Devaluation Bill) ​ Bettmann/Getty Images

汲取被遗忘的美国违约的教训

洛杉矶—关于美国的一则流传甚广的传说是联邦政府从未对其债务违过约。每一次国会争论债务上限,政客和记者都会站出来说,美国不会失信于债权人

只有一个问题:这不是真的。几十年前,美国曾经一度更像是一个“香蕉共和国”而不是发达经济体,单方面和追溯性地重组债务。尽管很少有人记得这段经济史上的重要时期,但它对于今天的领导人来说是非常宝贵的教训。

1933年4月,为了帮助美国摆脱大萧条,罗斯福总统宣布准备让美国脱离金本位并让美元贬值。但这不像罗斯福想象的那么简单。当时的大部分债务合同都含有“黄金条款”,规定债务人必须用“金币”或“黄金等价物”偿付。这些条款产生于内战时期,初衷是为了保护投资者免收可能的通货膨胀飙升的影响。

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