优化欧元区

东京—欧元区正面临暗淡的经济前景,增长依然停滞不前,通缩风险挥之不去。从一开始就对此保持怀疑的经济学家马丁·费尔德斯坦(Martin Feldstein)称之为“失败”。费尔德斯坦说对了吗?欧元能够成为创立者相信其能够成为的“最优货币区”吗?

要回答这一问题,最重要的是理解不同汇率制度的利弊。七十年前,国际货币基金组织(IMF)之所成立,是为了管理“可调整的盯住”制度。这是一个混合制度,汇率通常情况下与美元保持固定汇率,但偶尔也可以调整以改善一国在出口市场中的竞争力。

在最初几十年里,这一制度严重倾向于“盯住”,这是因为美元与黄金直接可兑换。这给全球货币秩序带来了巨大的稳定性,许多经济学家认为有害的20世纪30年代式的竞争性贬值一去不返。

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