欧美债务困境

帕罗奥图——富庶的欧洲和美国,资本主义+民主政体的王冠上的宝石,目前正在赤字和债务泥淖中愈陷愈深。原因是欧洲的福利国家已经不堪重负,而美国正在走在不堪重负的路上。欧洲在为防止金融危机蔓延作斗争,而美国则在忙于削减创纪录的赤字,它们的债务水平非常危险,已经到了威胁未来生活水平、束缚国内和国际政治制度的程度。评级机构在威胁将进一步下降信用评级;其他人则在想象欧元崩溃和/或美元全球储备货币地位的终结的情景。

据经济学家罗格夫(Ken Rogoff)和莱因哈特(Carmen Reinhart)估算,如果一国债务-GDP比率达到90%,那么该国增长前景就相当堪忧了。希腊的负债率已经超过了120%,意大利大约为100%,美国为74%(几年前还只有40%)并且在迅速向90%靠拢。IMF估计,负债率每升高10个百分点将导致经济增长率下降0.2个百分点。因此,40—50%GDP幅度的债务增幅将令西欧部分国家长期经济增长率腰斩,令美国长期增长率下降三分之一,将对整整一代人的生活标准带来严重打击。

更坏的是,银行损失负担迟早要被社会化,未来公共养老金和医保将入不敷出,而这一切通常都会在官方债务数字中被淡化。此外,次一级政府的财政问题(比如美国和西班牙情形)将向中央政府伸手要援助,这将进一步增加中央财政的压力。

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