美联储的鸽派时代

发自剑桥——这是一场关于谁来取代现任美国联邦储备委员会主席伯南克(Ben Bernanke)的战争。人们或许预计美联储主席——可以说是美国权力第二大的行政职位,当然也是全世界最具权威的金融宝座——会由中央银行家组成的小团体来决定。但事实上,这个选择主要取决于美国总统。因此让我们先考虑两个排名领先的候选人,前美国财政部长劳伦斯·森玛斯(Lawrence Summers)和现任美联储副主席珍妮特·耶伦(Janet Yellen)。

森玛斯和耶伦两人都是才华横溢的学者,在公共服务方面也有着丰富的经验。而主流媒体似乎想要把两位候选人的竞争描述为作为一场不同性格特质之间的斗争,事实上两位候选人的能力都足以胜任这一职位。此外,两人都认为美联储不应该过多关注与失业相关的价格稳定问题。通常,这种稳健的鸽派倾向是不利的,如今,它却成为了优点。

在货币政策中,技术能力的重要性已得到全球各国中央银行的多次证明。根据经济学家克莉丝汀·罗默(Christina Romer)和戴维·罗默(David Romer)在2003发表的研究,货币政策的质量主要取决于中央银行家是否对政策制定和通货膨胀有明确和细致入微的理解。20世纪20~30年代和70年代充斥着中央银行家不了解这些基本原理的例子,而这些人所在的国家也因此在经济上付出了代价。

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