Venezuela economy crisis Federico Parra/Getty Images

公共债务的可恶评级

坎布里奇—8月25日星期五,美国政府对委内瑞拉实施了金融制裁,限制总统马杜罗政府及其石油公司PDVSA在美国资本市场发行新债的权利。该制裁是针对马杜罗政权违宪和欺诈性的制宪会议选举以及实质关闭依宪选举的国民大会的行为。在国民大会选举中,反对派赢得了三分之二多数。

运转良好的市场早就应该切断马杜罗政权的融资源了。它们没有这样做,这一事实不但让许多人在道德上无法接受,更揭示出主权债务市场制度设计上的根本性缺陷。委内瑞拉经济崩溃不会带来什么好处,但一个积极的结果将是出现改革,为这些市场打下更可靠的金融以及道德基础。

一切债务都隐含着借款人偿还所借款项并支付利息的承诺。对于公共债务,“契约必须遵守”(pacta sunt servanda)原则意味着未来政府有义务尊重前任政府做出的承诺。但亚历山大·萨克(Alexander Sack)在1927年就指出,后续政府不应该永远尊重前任的承诺:“当一个专制政权签订债务契约,不是出于国家的需要或利益,而是为了让自己做大做强,从而镇压群众起义等,那么这笔债务,对于整个国家的人民而言,就是可恶的。”

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