对一场危机的剖析

 伯克利-从我们当前的金融混乱状态脱身首先需要了解我们是怎样陷入其中的。根据像约翰·麦凯恩这样的人的观点,最根本的原因是华尔街的贪婪和腐败。虽然我不否认这样的基础动力的存在,但是,我还是坚持认为这场危机根源于过去几十年里关键的政策决定。

在美国,有两个关键的决定。第一个是在20世纪70年代解除了对支付给股票经纪人的佣金的管制;第二个是在20世纪90年代废止了《格拉斯-斯蒂格尔法》对商业银行和投资银行混业经营的限制。在固定佣金的时代,投资银行可以通过登记股票交易很舒适的生存下去。解除对固定佣金的管制意味着竞争和利润的减少,而《格拉斯-斯蒂格尔法》的废止使商业银行可以蚕食投资银行的其他传统业务领域。

作为回应,投资银行渗透到像创设和发行复杂的衍生证券这样新的业务领域。它们借钱然后进行运作以维持其利润率。这引发了危机产生的第一个原因:证券化的创设和发行模式以及对杠杆的广泛使用。

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