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利率的麻烦

伯克利—全球金融危机爆发后出现了许多怪异新颖的经济思想,其中最另类也许要数斯坦福大学经济学家约翰·泰勒(John Taylor)提出的理论。在他看来,美国、欧洲和日本在危机后所采取的经济政策是给长期利率施加上限,这“很像是给房租减少了租房供给量的租房市场施加价格上限所产生的效应。”泰勒说,低利率、量化宽松和前瞻指引的结果是“信用越来越难以获得,以至于降低了总需求,而总需求的降低总是会增加失业,这是经典的意料外后果。”

泰勒的比方在根本上毫无意义。房租管制不受待见的原因是它禁止了能让租客和房东都获益的交易。当政府机构施加房租上限时,它禁止房东要求给定数额以上的房租。这扭曲了市场,让房东愿意以更高价格用来出租的公寓空置,也让租客无法以他们愿意支付的价格租到房子。

对于泰勒所批评的经济政策,根本不存在这一机制。当央行通过当前或预期的未来公开市场操作降低长期利率时,它并不阻止潜在贷款人要求更高的贷款利率;它也不阻止借款人接受这一要求。这些交易之所以不发生,只有一个简单的原因:借款人自由地选择了不贷款。

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