低利率的长期秘密

美国剑桥—决策者和投资者仍对当今极低的全球利率而不安,学界经济学家则仍在争论背后的原因。目前,所有人都在某种程度上同意美联储主席伯南克2005年的讲话:“全球储蓄过剩”是问题的根源。但经济学家就过剩的原因、过剩会持续多久以及更基本的,过剩是否事件好事等问题存在分歧。

伯南克的原始讲话强调了几个因素——一些因素降低了全球储蓄需求,另一些因素增加了供给。无论如何,利率必须降低,以使世界债券市场出清。他指出,20世纪90年代末的亚洲金融危机导致了该地区巨大的投资需求崩溃,同时导致亚洲各国纷纷囤积流动性资产作为下一场危机的对冲手段。伯南克还提到了德国和日本老龄人口退休储蓄的增加,以及人口快速增长、担心长期石油收入的石油出口国的储蓄。

而货币政策并非伯南克诊断书的主要内容。与大部分经济学家一样,他认为如果决策者试图将利率人为地压低太长时间,需求终将激增,通胀会快速抬头。因此,只要通胀维持在稳定低水平,央行就不必为低长期利率担责。

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