Paul Lachine

美元的长尾

新德里——没完没了的危机和美国赤字正在日渐威胁美元世界锚货币的地位。最近,人民币国际化的动作已经引起了人们关于全球货币体系大变迁的猜测。许多知名经济学家——包括由诺贝尔奖获得者斯蒂格利茨领衔的联合国专家委员会成员们——建议用“全球储备体系”代替美元独大的现状。但全球锚货币的漫长历史表明,美元的主导地位还将持续很久。

在古代,印度对罗马帝国存在巨额贸易盈余。蒲林尼在1世纪时写道:“印度每年从罗马拿走5000万塞斯特斯,没有哪一年不是这样。”印度-罗马的贸易失衡让罗马的金币和银币持续流失,造成了金银的短缺。用现在的话讲,罗马面临着货币压缩。

罗马的应对措施是降低金银含量(即货币化的古代版),这导致罗马帝国出现了持续通胀。但印度频繁发现罗马硬币表明,罗马硬币在其金银含量早已大大下降之后很久仍被接受为国际货币。

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