谁的中央银行?

伯克利—从广义上说,关于什么是中央银行以及中央银行应该服务于什么目的这个问题,经济学家分裂为两个阵营至少已经有115年(或许还要长)的历史了,也就是说,至少从瑞典经济学家维克塞尔的《利息和价格》(Geldzins und Güterpreis)一书出版时就开始了。

其中一方可以称为银行阵营,它认为中央银行是银行的银行。中央银行客户是银行;银行可以在真正需要时向中央银行借钱,而中央银行的功能是支持银行部门,使银行可以在合理的业务经营中获得合理的利润。总而言之,中央银行必须确保货币供给足够大,仅仅出现流动性不足而非资不抵债情形不会迫使银行破产、走向清盘。

另一方可以称为宏观经济阵营,它认为中央银行需要管理作为一个整体的经济。中央银行的责任是支持萨伊定律的实践——即产出由需求来平衡,使需求既不能太少以至于无法买走生产出来的东西(这会造成失业),也不能太多(这会造成通胀)——因为萨伊定律在理论上肯定是无法维持的。换句话说,中央银行的首要责任不是保护企业健康、造就银行部门,而是维持作为一个整体的经济的鲁棒运行。

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