央行行长的隐秘语言

“如果在你们看来我说得过于清楚”,阿兰·格林斯潘对美国国会他的政治领导们说,“那你们肯定是误解了我的意思。”当时是1987年,这位刚刚确认就职的美联储主席正在详细地说明自己为什么会在“当选央行行长”之后的短短几个月内就“学会了在说话时前言不搭后语。”

格林斯潘先生坚定地认为央行行长们应该使用一种闪烁其辞的晦涩语言,即使他没有将这种看法上升为一种理论(谁能知道他到底信奉什么理论?),但至少在实际操作层面他对这一点始终坚信不移。相比之下,特尔菲对吕底亚国王建议中的预言¾“如果你攻打波斯,你将会毁灭一个伟大的王国”¾本身就清清楚楚、不容混淆。

有一种为“格林斯潘语言”辩护的声音已经由来已久:这种意见认为选民或者政客天生就目光短浅。他们总是关注并想获取较低利率和更多一点的需求压力所能带来的益处¾那就是更高的产量,更多的就业,更高的薪酬,还有短期内更多的利润,却对随之而来的经济滞胀或者视而不见,或者冷嘲热讽、漠不关心。根据格林斯潘的老前辈威廉·麦克切斯尼·马丁的观点,央行的任务就是在政党试图抢走(低利率)的潘趣酒杯之前就消灭这种可能性。

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