唯一可行的办法

东京—在政客似乎行动无能的时候,央行应该做些什么?到目前为止,它们倒是愿意挺身而出,寻早新的、越来越非常规的办法改变受困经济的前进方向。但我们如何判定央行什么时候会越界?果断和鲁莽的临界点在哪里?

在周期性衰退中,央行可以起到重要作用。降低利率可以提振借贷——从而提振投资和消费支出。央行还可以在金融市场冻结时挺身而出。通过提供不需抵押的贷款,它们可以让资产“流动”起来,防止银行被迫削减贷款或以跳楼价甩卖证券。由于存在这类流动性保险,银行可以发放低流动性的长期贷款或持有其他低流动性金融资产。

用非常规货币政策——包括各种形式的量化宽松以及宣布延长低利率期限等——实现这些目标或许不无道理。

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