福岛危机与金融衍生品崩盘

发自剑桥——许多经济评论家们都将本次日本地震,海啸与核灾难比作金融衍生品在2008年金融危机中所扮演的角色——两者的相似之处其实显而易见:一方面都能谋取巨额收益,另一方面却也暗含着概率极低的爆炸性风险。然而在人们防止危机重演的举措方面,两场危机的相似性却荡然无存了。

对福岛核电站来说,一波千年一遇的海啸和一个平时不太要紧的设计瑕疵碰到了一起,最终引发几座反应堆冷却水断供并导致严重核辐射泄漏。而金融市场则是房地产债券意外崩溃和金融衍生品与再购协议市场的设计缺陷两者联合作用,极大削弱了了金融机构履行其偿还责任的能力。

当基本风险来自系统之外的时候——正如福岛的海啸以及金融机构对房地产抵押贷款的过度投资——设计缺陷和坏运气意味着系统无法承受其破坏效应。在美国,美国国际集团(AIG),贝尔斯登和雷曼兄弟——手里都握有大笔金融衍生品和再购协议投资——相继垮台,使整个信用市场陷入了持续几周之久的可怕停滞之中。

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