Logic Cubes Sarah R/Flickr

معضلة أسعار الفائدة

بازل ــ اليوم، تستطيع حكومة الولايات المتحدة أن تقترض لمدة عشر سنوات بسعر فائدة ثابت يبلغ نحو 2.5%. وبعد تعديل هذه النسبة تبعاً للتضخم المتوقع فإنها تترجم إلى تكاليف اقتراض حقيقية أقل من 0.5%. وقبل عام واحد، كانت أسعار الفائدة الحقيقية سلبية في واقع الأمر. ومع هيمنة أسعار الفائدة المنخفضة على العالم المتقدم، يخشى كثيرون أن حقبة من الركود المادي قد بدأت.

إن مدى تعقيد أسعار الفائدة المنخفضة يتوقف على الأسباب التي أدت إلى انحدارها. ويتلخص الرأي السائد في أن هذا الاتجاه النزولي يعكس إلى حد كبير هبوطاً في أسعار الفائدة المتوازنة أو "الطبيعية"، بسبب التغيرات الطارئة على أساسيات الادخار والاستثمار. بعبارة أخرى، أدى الميل الزائد إلى الادخار في الاقتصادات الناشئة، جنباً إلى جنب مع تفضيل المستثمرين بشكل متزايد للأصول الآمنة، إلى زيادة المعروض من الادخار في مختلف أنحاء العالم، حتى مع تسبب توقعات النمو الضعيف وتفاقم حالة عدم اليفين في الاقتصادات المتقدمة في تثبيط الطلب على الاستثمار.

ويُنظَر إلى هذا الانحدار "الطبيعي" في أسعار الفائدة باعتباره عقبة رئيسية تحول دون تحقيق التعافي الاقتصادي، لأنها تعوق قدرة السياسة النقدية على توفير الحوافز الكافية من خلال دفع أسعار الفائدة الحقيقية إلى ما دون مستوى التوازن، لأن أسعار الفائدة الاسمية عند مستوى الصفر بالفعل. وبالتالي فإن كيفية وقف الانحدار في أسعار التوازن أصبحت موضوعاً لمناقشة نشطة.

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