欧洲的金融弱点

维也纳—在过去20年里最引人注目的创新是金融创新。像技术创新那样,金融创新关注的也是对更高效率的永远的探求—在金融创新的情况中,就是降低资金从持有人手中转移到投资者手中的成本。代表社会获得净收益的成本降低应该得到支持。但是,像当前的金融危机显示的那样,当金融创新是为了逃避监管或税收的时候,我们要对此更加慎重。

可悲的是,金融革命在本质上主要是为了寻租而不是提升社会福利。它建立在消除,或者至少是降低银行成本中两个与审慎安排有紧密关系的关键因素的基础上。

 一个因素是银行和其他金融机构需要保留流动准备金。银行资产的流动性越不足,银行就越需要这种准备金。但是,这种准备金的收益很小,所以减少它们是有利可图的。去年英国罗森若克(Northern Rock)银行的倒闭将会在很长时间内作为一个不要怎样管理这种风险的例子。

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