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美元外交的失败

华盛顿—马克吐温其实从没有说过“关于我的死讯,被大大地夸张了。”但这段错误的引用语实在说得太好,以至于流传至今。而其言下之意,用来描述关于美元的国际角色真是再合适不过了。

专家们一直在谈论美元的全球主宰地位的最后仪式——从20世纪60年代,也就是大半个世纪以前开始,美国一直享有这一地位。通过谷歌对所有英语出版物中所含的“美元的坠落”一次的统计,便可一窥端倪。

这种说法被频繁提及,(根据每年出版物页数进行调整后)首见于1969年伦敦黄金总库(London Gold Pool)崩溃之后。伦敦黄金总库是由八家央行组成的联合支持美元盯住黄金的安排。到了20世纪70年代,美元坠落论开始兴盛,原因是以美元为核心的布雷顿森林体系的崩溃,以及70年代尼克松、福特和卡特总统执政期间的通胀高企现象。

但与2001年以来对美元坠落论的提及和相关的担忧相比,20世纪70年代的高峰也只能感叹一山更比一山高。2001年后的美元坠落论与当年9月的恐怖袭击冲击、美国贸易赤字激增以及随后的2008年全球金融危机有关。

但经历了所有这些看空的美元,其国际地位岿然不动。我的合作者和我在新书中指出,面对这些事件,美元占全球央行和政府所持外汇储备中的比例几无动摇。美元仍然是外汇市场中最主要的交易货币。它仍然是全世界石油计价和交易用货币,尽管委内瑞拉领导人对“美元的暴政”颇有微词

许多货币交易者惊恐于美元价值的大幅波动,去年以来的上涨、下跌和恢复就是明证。但这对于美元在国际市场中的吸引力几乎毫无影响。

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央行仍然持有美国国债,因为美国国债市场是全世界流动性首屈一指的金融市场。美国国债也非常安全:自灾难性的1812年战争以来,联邦政府从未对其债务逾期。

此外,美国的外交和军事关系也鼓励美国的盟友持有美元。拥有核武器的国家,持有美元的数量要少于需要依赖美国提供保护的国家。如果一国与一个发行储备货币的国家成为军事盟国,那么其外汇储备中该国货币的比例就会提高大约30个百分点。这一证据也表明,如果失去了这一效应,持有美元作为储备货币的比例将大幅下降。

地缘政治盟友关系和国际货币选择之间的这一不太为人知的联系是一系列因素综合作用的结果。政府有理由相信,储备货币国会将履行盟国所持债务的义务列为重点。反过来,这些盟国持有它的负债则有助于降低储备货币发行国的借贷成本。

因此,这,而不是即将到来的12月份又将出现令人尴尬的联邦债务上限问题,就是美元国际主宰地位的真正威胁所在。一位不愿披露姓名的美国国务院官员表示,特朗普总统“似乎不太在乎结盟,因此也不太在乎外交。”

据说韩国和日本的国际储备中大约有80%是美元。可以想象,如果美国与其盟友之间紧密的军事联盟有所松懈,它们和其他国家的金融行为将会发生巨大的改变,对美元汇率和美国借贷成本造成不利影响。

也不难想象这一松懈为何会发生。特朗普总统已经把自己逼到了战略的墙角:他需要朝鲜在核武器问题上有所让步,以挽回他在选民基本盘(更不用说在全球社会)中的颜面。此外,尽管特朗普言辞和姿态咄咄逼人,但确保朝鲜做出让步的唯一可行办法是通过谈判。讽刺的是,这一过程最有可能的结果是与奥巴马总统的政府与伊朗所谈成的内容没有什么两样的检查机制。

要想达到这一目标,特朗普政府也必须给予一些回报。要让朝鲜政权有安全感的显而易见的讨价还价筹码是缩减美军在朝鲜半岛和整个亚洲的规模。而这样一来,美国对亚洲的安全保证就会被削弱,反过来给中国提供填补地缘政治缺口的机会。

而在中国领衔地缘政治的地方,人民币也会跟进。

http://prosyn.org/6xcYQfa/zh;

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