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再谈"负利率时代"  

2009-04-23 20:47:50|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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中文博主按:这当然还是我的美女同事的译作.今天上搜狐的博客很慢.这很考验我的耐心.但是,想到要让大家欣赏她的作品,这也就没有什么了.



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More on Negative Interest Rates

Commentary on my negative interest rate piece in the NY Times (and the follow-up here)continues to pour in. To answer the most common queries: Yes, theserial-number-lottery plan was tongue-in-cheek. The goal of mentioningit was to get people thinking about whether, as a matter of firstprinciples, zero is really an unavoidable lower bound for interestrates. And no, I am not the devil incarnate, at least as far as I know.

我在纽约时报上发表的,关于负利率的文章(还有随后的博客),引发的评论如潮,而且还在继续涌入。回答一个最常碰到的疑问:是的,序列号码抓阄就是一个开玩笑的想法。提及它的目的,是让大家想想,零利率是否就是一道跨不过去的坎。不,我可不是什么魔鬼的化身,至少就我所知。


Asto the Fed announcing a commitment to a moderate amount of inflation,let me point out that according to many macroeconomic historians, theabandonment of the gold standard was the most useful thing that thefederal government did to get the country out of the Great Depression.A commitment to producing a moderate amount of inflation would be themodern equivalent of that act.

关于联储宣布一个适度的通胀这个想法,我指出一点:根据许多宏观经济史学家,大萧条时期,联邦政府做了件最有用的事,就是抛弃黄金准则,它让整个国家从泥潭中走了出来。


Ishould note that I am not alone among economists in thinking alongthese dimensions lately. Several prominent economists have been musingabout the possibility of levying a fee on reserves (either total orexcess reserves) held by banks. See, for example, Hall and Woodward, Edlin and Jaffee, and Scott Sumner.That fee could be described as a negative interest rate for holdings ofreserves. Because this proposal does affect the return on currency,however, it does not generate the kind of heated reaction my Timespiece did.

我要说明的是,经济学家中,做如是想的人,可不是只有我一个。有几位很著名的经济学家也在思考,是否存在对银行的准备金(总准备金或超额准备金)征收费用的可能性。比如,Hall WoodwardEdlin JaffeeScott Summer。这种费用可以当作持有准备金的负利率。由于这个提议确实影响了货币的回报率,然而它并没有一石激起千层浪,象我那篇纽约时报的文章一样,。


Butfor precisely that reason, I am doubtful that this plan by itself wouldwork. If reserves earned a negative return at the margin, banks wouldhave more incentive to lend (which is the motivation for theseproposals). But that might not be the outcome. Banks could insteaddiscourage deposits by, for example, passing the reserve fee on todepositors. Deposits would then earn a negative return, which wouldgive households an incentive to hold currency rather than bankdeposits. Moving the monetary base from excess reserves to currencyholdings, however, would yield no macroeconomic benefits. The onlything you would end up stimulating is sales of home safes.

但是,正是由于这个原因,我很怀疑这个计划能否行得通。如果准备金获得了一个负的回报,银行就有更多的激励去放贷(这正是这些提议的动机所在)。但是,结果也许不是这样。譬如,银行通过把费用转嫁到储户头上,反而抑制了储蓄。随后,储蓄获得负的回报,将会促使家庭持有货币,而不是存入银行。然而,将基础货币从超额准备金换成货币持有量,对宏观经济并没有什么好处。最终的结果就是刺激了家庭保险箱的销售。

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