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美联储应该买衰退保险

伯克利—下一场全球衰退也许还有些遥远。北大西洋全体一年后陷入衰退的机会已经下降至大约四分之一。本季度德国增长显著为正,中国也可能反弹。而尽管美国的增长毫无疑问是在减速——本季度降至1%左右——但这可能只是暂时现象。

但愿如此吧。因为如果下一次衰退真的到来,北大西洋诸央行没有政策空间有效应对。如果衰退到来,美联储最理想的情况是要能削减利率五个百分点,这也是面对衰退的常规做法。但目前短期安全利率为2.4%,这一点无法实现。而欧元和日元利率仍然接近于零,欧洲央行和日本银行也无法给出多少帮助。

因此,着眼未来,大的风险不在于通货膨胀开始螺旋上升,而美联储无法足够快地提高利率以稳定经济。相反,大风险在一年后北大西洋陷入衰退时,政府无法提供足够的财政刺激,而美联储也无法足够多地降低利率——即使试图稳定经济也无能为力。

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