通胀仍是次要问题

发自剑桥——全球几大中央银行依旧在为自身抗衰退行为所导致的通胀溢出感到担忧。但这是错误的。在经历了百年一遇的金融危机之后,相对于经济持续低迷所带来的政治、社会和经济风险,持续爆发的温和通货膨胀并没什么好担忧的。相反,大多数地区的人们应该乐于接受这种通货膨胀。

也许温和的通货膨胀(约为4~6%的年通胀率)的情况相对于危机最初爆发之时——即我首次提出这个问题的时候——并没有那么迫切。在当时的大背景下,政府不愿去强制减轻债务,房地产价格大幅高估而某些领域的实际工资过高,当时如果能有适当的通货膨胀,应该是帮助极大的。

当然,当时人们的共识是经济很快会出现“V型”强势复苏,所以听信通货膨胀这种异端邪说显然是不智的。然而基于2009年与卡门·M·莱恩哈特(Carmen M. Reinhart)合著的《这次不一样》一书所做的研究,我当时却持有不同的观点。通过研究以往的深度金融危机,我们有充分的理由担心就业率会灾难性地下降而经济复苏也会异常缓慢。如果当时能对中期风险能作一个评估的话,就能支撑我2008年11月所下的结论“我们需要用尽一切手段工具来解决当今这个百年一遇的金融危机”。

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