美联储陷阱

纽黑文—美联储试图退出其非常规货币政策,这一政策面临着一对矛盾:它成功地阻止了经济灾难,但没能铸就强健的经济复苏。由于这一矛盾已经导致了金融市场过度,退出政策将会给市场以及依赖市场的美国货币当局造成相当大的问题。

美联储目前的窘境的根源在于央行业务艺术和实践上的剧烈变化。为了满足美联储的两大职责——稳定物价和充分就业而制定的常规货币政策无法处置资产和信用泡沫的系统性风险,更不用说这些泡沫破裂后持续的资产负债表衰退了。近几年来,这一点变得相当明显,面对2008—2009年全球金融危机的各央行纷纷转向非常规政策——特别是通过量化宽松(QE)进行的大规模流动性注入。

这一变化背后的理论是——由学者出身、后担任美联储董事、最后成为美联储主席的本·伯南克(Ben Bernanke)提出——信用周期数量维度上的操作,其功能与在方程的价格端进行操作是等价的。这一论断使美联储不再担心其2003—2004年曾经接近过的令人畏惧的“零区间”。当时,面临股票泡沫崩溃的局面,美联储将其基准政策利率下降到1%。该理论指出,即使美联储不再有基点空间可用于降息,它仍然有足够的工具支持和指引实体经济。

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