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政治正在染指美联储吗?

坎布里奇—从20世纪80年代初直到2008年9月金融危机爆发,美联储似乎一直在调整其主要短期利率—联邦基金利率。其政策主要由三部分组成:名义利率要比通货膨胀率上升更快;实体经济走强就提高名义利率;以及名义利率趋向长期正常值。

据此,你就可以从长期平均联邦基金利率推断正常利率。1986年1月至2008年8月间,平均通货膨胀率为2.5%(基于个人消费支出平减指数),这意味着平均真实利率为2.4%。

长期正常真实利率可视为实体经济的突生性质(emergent property)。从投资和储蓄的角度讲,经济均衡即低安全真实利率(它为投资者提供了低成本信用)所带来的好处与高真实利率(它意味着储蓄者回报较高)所带来的好处之间达到平衡。

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