US Federal Reserve Karen Bleier / Getty Images

降低下限的大危险

坎布里奇—如今,都在关注未来12个月美联储会将利率提高到多高的程度。这是危险的短视:真正的关注点应该是它会在下一次深度衰退中将利率降低到多低的程度。在未来一年中,美联储可能最多只能让基准利率提高到2%,如果发生衰退,降低利率的空间将非常小。

8月底,美联储主席耶伦试图在讲话中安抚市场,表示大规模政府买债和利率政策前瞻指引的组合所起到的刺激作用相当于将隔夜利率降低到负6%(如果负利率可行的话)。她也许是对的,但大部分经济学家怀疑美联储的非常规政策工具根本没有那么有效。

也可以尝试其他概念。比如,美联储可以效仿日本银行最近的做法,以十年期利率为目标,而不是它通常紧盯的极短期目标。其中的思想是,即使极短期利率为零,较长期利率也可能为正。10月底,十年期美国国债利率大约为1.8%。

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