A man walks past a display showing bank notes Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

全球经济的真正风险

华盛顿—当今全球市场的最大的谜题之一是无法抑制的热忱,即便周围的世界正处在混乱或崩溃的边缘。但投资者在为潜在风险定价方面,可能要比表面看上去更加理性。如果投资首先是对未来现金流的贴现,那么精准关注什么会影响这一计算、什么不会非常重要。讽刺的是,潜在危机也许是最剧烈、最暴力的,但同时也是市场最容易看穿的。

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更加危险的是国际性全球机构的逐渐变化,这些变化可以让关于重要行动方如何行动的预期彻底颠倒。这些变化也许发展缓慢,但能够从根本上改变风险和潜在回报的定价计算。

今天的市场,从根本面因素来看很容易解释:收益在增长,通胀完全掌控,全球经济看上去正处于全方位的同步扩张之中。10月,国际货币基金组织(IMF)更新了其全球展望,预测明年将只有少数小国可能出现衰退。而尽管主要央行无不在计划或已经开始了货币政策紧缩,目前的利率水平仍然很低。

政治危机听上去再耸人听闻,也很难改变投资者的经济计算。即使遭到了二十世纪最糟糕的灾难,市场也能非常快地收复失地。日本偷袭珍珠港后,美国股市下跌了10%,但不出六周便涨了回去。类似地,2001年9月11日恐怖袭击后,美国股市下跌了近12%,但一个月后也收复了失地。肯尼迪总统遇刺后,股票下跌了不到3%,第二天就全部收回了跌幅。

诚然,每场政治危机都是不同的。但老牌新兴市场投资者延斯·奈斯迪特(Jens Nystedt)指出,最常见的情况是市场参与者能够依靠决策者的应对。央行和财政部几乎每次都会用利率调整和财政政策来非常快地抵消不断上升的风险溢价,而投资者对资产的出价也随之恢复到危机前的价值。

如今,与朝鲜因其核和导弹计划发生冲突的可能性是最大的潜在危机源。朝鲜半岛公开打仗或核事故将引发人道主义灾难,破坏对韩贸易(韩国是世界第十三大经济体),并在全世界造成政治余波。但如此灾难很有可能只是暂时性的,其结果几乎立刻就会显露殆尽。世界主要力量或多或少将保持一致,大部分投资的未来现金流不会受到干扰。

沙特阿拉伯也是如此,王储穆罕默德·本·萨勒曼刚刚清洗了政府和安全部门,以巩固自己的权力。即使沙特王国突然爆发剧变,改变了中东的实力平衡,沙特仍将尽力保持出口。而如果全球石油流动真的受到了干扰,其影响也有产油国竞争对手和新技术提供缓冲。

类似地,委内瑞拉政治和经济全面崩溃将产生严重的地区性后果,并由可能给这个国家带来更深度的人道主义危机。但除此之外很难带来更广泛、更具系统性的的能源和金融市场影响。

这些情景经常会登上媒体头条,因此它们的发生不太可能被视为意外。但即使是意外爆发的危机,如网络攻击或传染病,所引起的市场扰动常常也只能持续到投资者重新评估贴现率和未来利润流为止。

相反,如果被广泛接受的经济假设发生改变的话,就很有可能引发甩卖潮,因为投资者将重新评估实现预期现金流的实际可能性。投资者之间可能会形成初步意识,认为增长率正在放缓,或央行再次没有能够注意到通胀抬头的迹象。或者这些变化回来得更加突然,比如发现了大量不可能得到偿还的有毒贷款。

新兴市场投资者早已熟知,政治变化可能影响经济假设。但不要忘记,来自不可预测的冲击的风险,要少于投资者相信能够让不确定的世界变得更加容易预测的机构逐渐变质。

比如,土耳其投资者知道土耳其背叛民主使它与欧洲渐行渐远,并给未来回报带来了新风险。另一方面,在巴西,尽管持续发酵的腐败丑闻已经让一位总统惨遭弹劾,并有可能让第二位总统也黯然下台,但投资者认为巴西的机构仍在起作用——尽管相当笨拙——并且他们会据此对风险进行定价。

因此,如今全球市场最大的政治风险是影响投资者预期的重要行动方正在经历根本性的调整。最令人关注的是美国,目前,在总统特朗普的带领下,它正在寻求重塑自己的全球角色。

退出国际协定并试图重新谈判已有贸易协议表明,美国变得更加难以预测了。放眼未来,如果特朗普和美国的未来领导人继续用零和交易,而不是合作性机构建设来与外国打交道,世界将无法构建对下一个全球市场动荡期的联合应对之道。

总而言之,不太可靠的美国意味着几乎所有国家的贴现率都将因此提高。除早非投资者的预期发生变化之前发生新的经济周期,否则这就将是本次市场繁荣的终点

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