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我们面临的不是通胀,而是通缩!(1)  

2009-07-18 12:31:36|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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     简介:

         克鲁格曼就曾说过,现在不会通胀只会通缩;而今,ALAN S. BLINDER 的观点和克老如出一辙。                     

                                             Why Inflation Isn’t the Danger

                                                  为什么没有通胀的危险

                                              By ALAN S. BLINDER(纽约时报专栏)

SOME people with hypersensitive sniffers say the whiff of future inflation is in the air. What’s that, you say? Aren’t we experiencing deflation right now? The answer is yes. But, apparently, for those who are sufficiently hawkish, the recent activities of the Federal Reserve conjure up visions of inflation.

山雨欲来风满楼。那些神经过敏的人,又在空气中嗅到了通货膨胀来临的气息。你可能觉得没这回事---现在不正在通缩吗?确实如此,但是对最近联储的种种举措,鹰派成员们都看在眼里,急在心头。他们心中又浮现出了通胀的幻觉。

The central bank is holding the Fed funds rate at nearly zero and has created a mountain of bank reserves to fight the financial crisis. Yes, these moves are unusual, but these are unusual times. Concluding that the Fed is leading us into inflation assumes a degree of incompetence that I simply don’t buy. Let me explain.

为了抵御金融危机,联储的挥刀向利率头上砍去,现在利率维持在接近零的水平;同时联储还借由提高法定储备金率,创造出巨量银行储备金。特殊时期的确需要这样特殊的政策。然而有人却断言联储措施甚不得力,会将我们领向通胀。对这点我不敢苟同。以下是我的看法。

First, the clear and present danger, both now and for the next year or two, is not inflation but deflation. Using the 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index as the measure, inflation has now been negative for three consecutive months.

首先,当前和未来的一两年里,我们面临的首要敌人不是通胀,而是通缩。以一年期CPI(消费者物价指数)的变化衡量,通胀指数到目前已经连续三个月为负值。

It’s true that falling oil prices, now behind us, were the main reason for the deflation. Core C.P.I. inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, has been solidly in the range of 1.7 percent to 1.9 percent for six consecutive months. But history teaches us that weak economies drag down inflation — and ours will be weak for some time. Core inflation near zero, or even negative, is a live possibility for 2010 or 2011.

过去,石油价格的下跌曾是通缩的主因。到如今,虽然除去食品和能源价格后的核心通货膨胀率,已连续六个月稳定在1.7%至1.9%之间,但若以史为鉴,通常羸弱的经济状况会将通胀拉低。说起来,现在美国的经济说是羸弱并不为过,并且还会保持这样一段时间。因此到2010或2011年,核心通胀率都将有可能保持接近零,甚至是负数的水平。

Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman, is a keen student of the 1930s, and he and his colleagues have been working overtime to dodge the deflation bullet. To this end, they cut the Fed funds rate to virtually zero last December and have since relied on a variety of extraordinary policies known as quantitative easing to restore the flow of credit.

联储前主席伯南克(Ben S. Bernanke)对大萧条的研究十分热心。在探索怎样避免通缩的损害方面,他和同事们付出了诸多努力。以此为目标,去年12月联储在他的领导下,将联邦基金利率(美国基准利率)削减至接近零的水平,并实施了一系列称为“量化宽松”的有效措施,以期解决信贷紧缩问题,保证信贷流畅通。

These policies basically amount to creating new bank reserves by either buying or lending against a variety of assets. But quantitative easing is universally agreed to be weak medicine compared with cutting interest rates. So the Fed is administering a large dose — which is where all those reserves come from.

这些量化宽松的措施,基本上相当于通过买卖各种资产创造新的银行储备金。但目前人们的一致认为,量化宽松相较削减利率“药效”太小;有鉴于此,这服药联储不得不施用很大剂量,这样就导致了储备金的激增。

The mountain of reserves on banks’ balance sheets has, in turn, filled the inflation hawks with apprehension. But their concerns are misplaced. To understand why, start with the basic economics of banking, money and inflation.

看着银行资产负债表上储备金日增夜长,鹰派成员愁眉紧锁。其实他们的担忧大可不必。其中的理由,我们可以从银行业,货币,和通胀的经济学原理中略窥一二。

In normal times, banks don’t want excess reserves, which yield them no profit. So they quickly lend out any idle funds they receive. Under such conditions, Fed expansions of bank reserves lead to expansions of credit and the money supply and, if there is too much of that, to higher inflation.

由于超额准备金无法带来收益,因此银行通常不愿持有。一旦有任何闲置资金,银行都会迅速将其贷出,以赚取利润。所以如果联储利用政策工具,使银行手中准备金增多,银行信贷额也将应声上涨,可能随之而来的就是货币供给的增多和通货膨胀。

In abnormal times like these, however, providing frightened banks with the reserves they demand will fuel neither money nor credit growth — and is therefore not inflationary.

这是通常的情况,但是在金融危机的特殊经济气候下,银行对于放贷十分谨慎,货币与信贷难以增长,相应地也就不会带来通胀。

 

 

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