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ماذا يعيب أسعار الفائدة السلبية؟

نيويورك ــ في بداية يناير/كانون الثاني، كتبت أن الظروف الاقتصادية هذا العام من المتوقع أن تكون ضعيفة كما كانت حالها في عام 2015، والذي كان العام الأسوأ على الإطلاق منذ اندلعت الأزمة المالية العالمية عام 2008. وكما حدث مرارا وتكرارا على مدار العقد الماضي، بدأ آخرون من أصحاب التوقعات الأكثر تفاؤلا يعدلون توقعاتهم نزولا بعد مرور بضعة أشهر من بداية السنة.

تتلخص المشكلة الأساسية ــ التي ابتلي بها الاقتصاد العالمي منذ اندلاع الأزمة، ولكنها ساءت قليلا ــ في الافتقار إلى الطلب الكلي العالمي. والآن، قرر البنك المركزي الأوروبي في الاستجابة لهذه المشكلة تكثيف برامج التحفيز، وانضم إلى بنك اليابان وبضعة بنوك مركزية أخرى في إظهار أن "حد الصِفر الأدنى" ــ عجز أسعار الفائدة عن التحول إلى المنطق السلبية ــ ليس حدا إلا في مخيلة خبراء الاقتصاد التقليديين.

ورغم هذا، لم نشهد أي عودة إلى النمو والتشغيل الكامل للعمالة في أي من الاقتصادات التي حاولت تجربة أسعار الفائدة السلبية غير التقليدية. وفي بعض الحالات، كانت النتائج غير متوقعة: فقد ارتفعت بعد أسعار الفائدة على القروض في واقع الأمر.

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