Действительно ли низкие процентные ставки гарантируют высокую стоимость активов?

Исторически сложилось так, что стоимость активов – акций, коммерческой недвижимости и даже нефти – во всем мире высока. Хотя с помощью истории часто можно хорошо предсказать будущие тенденции, время от времени происходят кое-какие фундаментальные изменения, создающие новую картину. Важный вопрос сейчас заключается в том, является ли сегодняшняя высокая стоимость активов результатом одного из таких фундаментальных преобразований, или это просто «мыльный пузырь».

Высокую стоимость активов часто оправдывают тем, что реальные (с поправкой на инфляцию) долгосрочные процентные ставки очень низки. Но инвесторы должны с осторожностью относиться к этому аргументу. Он может казаться логичным, но вряд ли он так уж убедителен, и, что еще более важно, он совершенно не говорит нам о том, что высокие цены будут держаться и далее.

Это правда, конечно, что реальные долгосрочные процентные ставки уменьшились весьма заметно – не в одночасье и не вчера; они снижались в довольно устойчивом темпе в течение более чем двадцати лет. По данным Международного валютного фонда, реальные долгосрочные процентные ставки в мире достигли максимума в среднем на уровне почти в 7% в 1984 и упали менее чем до 2% к 2004. В ходе этого процесса наблюдались некоторые подъёмы и спады, но общая тенденция была нисходящей, и размер снижения – почти на пять процентов – поразителен.

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