负利率的假前途

伦敦—作为约翰·梅纳德·凯恩斯的传记作者和发烧友,时常有人问我:“凯恩斯对负利率会如何看待?”

好问题。这个问题让我想起凯恩斯的《通论》中有一段指出,如果政府找不到更好的解决失业的办法(比如造房子),那么埋掉装满钞票的瓶子,再把它们挖出来总比什么都不做强。也许对于负利率他也会这么说:这是政府在走投无路的情况下的绝望之选。

负利率无非是2008年全球金融危机以来为了重振经济而采取的最新的无果货币措施。央行将利率降低到历史最低水平,但仍无法重振经济,因此采取了所谓的量化宽松:通过购买长期政府和其他债券为经济注入流动性。这起了一些作用,但在大部分情况下,出售债券者都把现金囤积起来而没有支出或投资。

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