underinvestment Luca Bruno/Flickr

投资不足的世界

米兰—70年前,当二战结束时,世界大部——包括工业化的欧洲、日本和其他占领国——因为地缘政治而被割裂,并背上了沉重的主权债务,许多主要经济体满目疮痍。你也许会认为,在相当一段长的时间里,国际合作将非常有限,增长将十分缓慢,失业率将保持高位,还会出现极端私有化啊,因为各国无力为巨大的投资需要提供融资。但事实并非如此。

相反,世界领导人采取了长期的远见卓识。他们认识到,他们的国家的债务减少取决于名义经济增长,而它们的经济增长前景——更不用说持续和平了——取决于世界的复苏。因此,它们利用——甚至扩大——资产负债表进行投资,同时向国际贸易开放自己,从而帮助重塑需求。美国——它面临着巨大的公共债务,但实体资产基本安然无恙——自然在这一过程中起到了领导作用。

战后经济复苏有两个显著特点。首先,各国没有将主权债务视为硬约束(binding constraint),而是追求投资和潜在增长。其次,它们在诸多前沿彼此合作,资产负债表最强的国家帮助别的国家刺激投资,吸引私人投资。冷战的爆发也许鼓励了这一方针。如论如何,各国并没有各自为战。

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