通胀是灵药吗?

芝加哥——最近,不少评论家指出,来一次可控的急剧通胀是削减债务、重振美国和其他工业化化国家经济增长的良方。果然如此吗?

为了评估这一药方,我们需要先理解症状。正如卡门·莱因哈特(Carmen Reinhart)和肯尼斯·罗格夫(Kenneth Rogoff)所指出的,资产负债表杠杆过高所引起的危机之后的复苏是非常缓慢的,且传统的宏观经济刺激手段会失效。过度负债的家庭无法增加支出,过度负债的银行无法增加贷款,过度负债的政府则无法加大刺激力度。

于是,药方来了:为什么不让通胀飞一会儿呢?这会让过去愿意以低利率借长钱的固定收益投资者大为惊诧,拉低债务的实际价值,消除债务“宿醉”,从而重振增长。

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