加州噩梦

斯坦福——在中央政府财政问题困扰众多经济体的同时,一场可与之媲美的危机正在席卷世界各地众多的地方政府。从西班牙到中国到美国到意大利,包括地区、州、省、市、镇在内的各级政府所面对的财政挑战异常艰巨。上级政府被迫出手挽救资不抵债的地方政府,甚至可能因此受到牵连而遭遇债券降级。西班牙、意大利和中国的任务落到了国家政府的头上,而美国则需要州政府担负挽救市镇的职责。

各国地方财政灾难的性质和成因有很多相似之处。地方官员根本不考虑未来可能付出的代价,在经济繁荣期利用不断增长的财政收入资助特殊项目,或提高工资福利。经济陷入低迷后,来自中央财政的补贴收入锐减,票据到期。极富创意的会计花招掩盖了问题的严重性,现在已经到了清算的时候。

中国地方政府利用地方政府融资平台(LGFV)避开直接借贷禁令,为当地企业提供融资。西班牙住宅及就业市场萎缩导致财政收入急剧下降。即将陷入债务违约的流言充斥着西西里岛,因罗马紧缩开支导致的借贷成本骤增迫使西西里岛总督提出辞职。由前美联储主席保罗·沃尔克任联席主席的特别工作组发表全新报告,指出因养老金和医疗保健费用无着,美国不少州的中长期财政前景极其黯淡。

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