认真对待货币

在世界范围内,人们都深受一个严重的误解之苦。这一误解妨碍了他们采取切实步骤防范通货膨胀或通货紧缩。这一误解被称为“货币错觉”,也就是相信,货币的名义单位是价值的最佳衡量标准,即使实际价值并不稳定。

历史上,防范通货膨胀或通货紧缩不力造成了灾难性后果。当1923年突如其来的通货膨胀打击德国时,数以百万计的人的毕生积蓄和社会保障福利(未加以套期保值和未与指数挂钩)的实际价值化为乌有。德国人的愤怒造成了纳粹主义的崛起。

同样,二十世纪三十年代早期世界范围内许多国家大规模的通货紧缩放大了债务(未加以套期保值和未与指数挂钩)的实际价值,导致数以百万计的违约和大规模的银行倒闭。通货紧缩还放大了工资的实际价值,因此加剧了解雇和失业。未能套期保值或者与指数挂钩给我们带来了经济大萧条。近年来日本的许多经济问题反映的是1999年以来通货紧缩所放大的债务(未加以套期保值和未与指数挂钩)。

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