Ben Bernanke trackrecord/Flickr

本·伯南克的悲剧

伯克利—阅读美联储前主席本·伯南克的新自传《行动的勇气》(The Courage to Act),除了悲剧之外再难有别的感觉。这是一个关于一个男人的故事,他是全世界最适合做给他的任务的人,但很快就发现力不从心,只能明知不可为而为之。

2007—2008年的冲击没有引发又一场大萧条,这笔功劳要记在伯南克身上。但他在危机后的反应出人意料地令人失望。2000年,伯南克指出,有足够意愿的央行“永远”可以至少在中期通过量化宽松重塑充分繁荣。如果央行印钱并大规模购买金融资产,人们就会开始增加支出。即使人们相信只有一小部分量化宽松是持久的,即使支出激励十分微小,央行也可以让经济重新起步。

但是,最后伯南克并没有实现这一点。尽管美联储和其他许多央行印钞数量之大远远超过了经济学家所认为的抵消金融危机影响所需要的量,但充分繁荣至今没能重建。伯南克将美国货币基础扩大了四倍,从8,000亿美元扩大到4,0000亿。但这还不够。接着,他失去了信心,采取了又一次“大跃进”:将货币基础再扩大一倍多,达到9万亿美元。在担任美联储主席的最后一年,伯南克甚至开始徒劳地乞求国会采取财政扩张。

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