هل ينقذنا الغاز الصخري؟

لندن ــ إن العالم المتقدم يخرج الآن وببطء من الركود العظيم، ولكن السؤال يظل قائما: بأي سرعة قد ينطلق التعافي وإلى أي مدى قد يذهب؟ كان أحد أكبر مصادر التشاؤم يتلخص في فكرة مفادها أن فرص الاستثمار بدأت تنفد ــ وأن هذه كانت الحال منذ ما قبل انهيار 2008. ولكن هل هذا صحيح حقا؟

كانت ثورة الإنترنت آخر موجة كبرى من موجات الإبداع، والتي بدأت منتجاتها تنتشر في تسعينيات القرن العشرين. وفي أعقاب انهيار فقاعة الإنترنت في أوائل العقد الماضي، ساعدت المضاربة في العقارات والأصول المالية ــ بفضل الأموال الرخيصة ــ في الإبقاء على الاقتصادات الغربية على مسار صاعد. والواقع أن الركود في مرحلة ما بعد عام 2008 كشفت عن اختلال الطفرة السابقة؛ وتعكس رداءة التعافي أيضاً رداءة التوقعات السابقة، إذا أمعنا النظر. ويكمن الخطر الآن في أن يكون ارتفاع أسعار الأصول الذي يتغذى على الدين سبباً في إدامة دورة الرواج والكساد.

أعاد الخبير الاقتصادي لاري سامرز تقديم مصطلح "الكساد المادي" لوصف ما ينتظرنا. في مؤتمر صندوق النقد الدولي الأخير زعم سامرز أن متوسط العائد المحتمل على الاستثمارات الجديدة في الولايات المتحدة هبط بحلول منتصف العقد الماضي إلى ما دون أي خفض ممكن لأسعار قائدة بنك الاحتياطي الفيدرالي الأميركي القياسية.

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