اقتصاد حَـد السكين

بيركلي ـ منذ العام 2003 ظللت أكرر أن الاقتصاد العالمي يعاني من خلل شديد في التوازن وأنه معرض لكارثة تتعلق بالاقتصاد الشامل، وأن هذه الكارثة سوف تسفر عن واحدة من أسوأ المحن الاقتصادية في العصر الحديث. ومنذ العام 2004 ظللت أكرر أن الموقف، بمجرد أن يبدأ، سوف يتجلي على الأرجح في غضون عام واحد: حيث سنرى ما إذا كان الاقتصاد العالمي قادراً على تصحيح نفسه أو السقوط في دورة من الهبوط حاد. وأثناء الفترة من العام 2004 إلى العام 2007 تصورت أنني ربما أخطأت في تقدير السرعة النسبية لتجلي المحنة الاقتصادية التي سيواجهها العالم: فطبقاً لتعبير الراحل رودي دورنبوش فإن اختلال التوازن في الاقتصاد الشامل قادر على دعم ذاته لمدة أطول من تصور كل خبراء الاقتصاد.

ولكن منذ عام واحد، ومع انهيار سوق الرهن العقاري الثانوي في أغسطس/آب 2007، بِت على يقين. إذ أن الموقف كان لابد وأن يتجلي في غضون عام واحد ـ وإلا فإن العواقب لن تكون بسيطة. فإما أن تتمكن البنوك المركزية على نحو ما من توجيه أسعار الصرف وأسعار الأصول نحو العودة إلى نمط مستقر من التوازن والقدرة على الاستمرار، وإما أن تمتد الفوضى والاضطرابات في أسواق المال إلى الاقتصاد الحقيقي، فتبدأ بذلك دورة انحدار اقتصادي عالمية. وكانت الظروف تشير بشدة نحو النتيجة الثانية: كارثة اقتصاد شامل عالمية.

إلا أنني كنت مخطئاً في تقديري بالفعل. فها نحن وقد مرَّ عام كامل وما زالت الأمور متوازنة على حَـد السكين.

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