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政府怎样成批地生产出巴菲特? (推荐)  

2009-03-15 19:57:13|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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中文博主按:我的女同事(她让我把“美”字去掉,害怕眼镜掉一地),看中了这篇好文章。我记得李岚清在一次采访中说到,当初中美谈判,美方代表说:我们不妨做一个joint venture。但是,当时没有人知道这个词的意思。当然,现在所有的人都知道了,这叫“合资”。如果我没有看错,曼昆这里的建议,正是这个joint venture的一个进化,而且,更加细致可行,尤其是那个甄别机制,令人耳目一新。深深佩服我的同事的好眼光!


How to Recapitalize the Financial System

Thereis broad agreement among economists that what the financial systemneeds right now is not only an injection of liquidity but also arecapitalization. The essence of the current financial crisis is thatmany firms bet that housing prices would not fall; the prices fellnonetheless; and now these firms have too little capital to perform thecrucial function of financial intermediation.
现在的金融体系不仅需要流动性,而且需要资本调整(即“再资本化”),对此经济学家们存在广泛的共识。当前金融危机的本质在于,许多企业押宝在房价不会下跌;不幸房价却一落千丈;到头来这些企业却囊中羞涩,无法执行金融中介的关键职能。

(As an aside, onemight ask, why did these firms make such bad bets? Essentially, it wasa result of poor judgment among various private decisionmakers,encouraged by equally poor judgment of various public policymakers,many of whom were more interested in promoting homeownership amongquestionable borrowers than in the preserving the safety and soundnessof the financial system. But this is not the time for recriminations.We have to face up to the problem sitting in our laps.)
(顺便插一句,有人可能会问,这些企业的赌技为何如此糟糕?本质上来说,众多的个体决策者差劲的判断导致了这样的后果,同时他们还受到了判断力同样差劲的公共决策者的影响。这些公共决策者们,他们中的大部分更关心,帮助那些信用有问题的借款者买到房子,而忽视了维持金融体系的安全与稳健。当然现在不是指责的时候,我们必须面对扑面而来的问题。)

Thequestion for the moment is, How can we get capital back into thefinancial system? Ideally, it would be great if more Warren Buffettswould step up to the plate and recapitalize financial firms withprivate money. Unfortunately, that might not happen fast enough toprevent a major economic downturn.
现在的问题是,我们如何能够使得资本重返金融系统?理想的状况是,有更多的沃伦巴菲特入场,将私人资金注入金融企业。不过,这一切不会来得太快,以阻止一场严重的经济衰退。

Some economists have proposedforcing these firms to go raise more capital from private sources. Buthow exactly can the government do that? It is not entirely clear how,as a legal matter, that can be accomplished. Perhaps regulators cantwist the arms of the financial institutions. Call it the Tony Sopranoapproach. “Nice bank you have here. I wouldn’t want anything bad tohappen to it.”
有的经济学家也曾提议,强迫这些企业从民间募集资本。但是,政府具体该如何去做作为一个法律问题,如何去实现这个目标,却是很不清楚的。也许,监管者可以肆意抬高金融企业的权威,也就是运用所谓的Tony Soprano方法。“你们最好把钱存进来。我可不想有什么事情发生。”

Other economists have suggested that thegovernment inject capital itself. That raises several questions. First,which firms? The government does not want to put taxpayer money into“zombie” firms that are in fact deeply insolvent but have not yetrecognized it. Second, at what price should the government buy in?Third, isn’t this, kind of, like socialism? That is, do we really wantthe government to start playing a large, continuing role running WallStreet and allocating capital resources? I certainly don't.
还有的经济学家建议由政府注入资本。这样会产生几个问题。首先,注资给哪些公司?政府不想把纳税人的钱打水漂,给那些 “僵尸”企业,它们早就资不抵债只是还没有露出庐山真面目而已。其次,政府应该以什么价格买进?再次,这是不是有点象社会主义了?也就是说,我们真的希望政府在华尔街的运行中和资本的配置中发挥更多的作用,施加持续的影响?我当然不希望这样。


Hereis an idea that might deal with these problems: The government canstand ready to be a silent partner to future Warren Buffetts.
对此我有一个想法:政府可以成为未来沃伦·巴菲特们的合伙人,一个“不吭声”的合伙人。


Itcould work as follows. Whenever any financial institution attracts newprivate capital in an arms-length transaction, it can access an equalamount of public capital. The taxpayer would get the same terms as theprivate investor. The only difference is that government’s shares wouldbe nonvoting until the government sold the shares at a later date.
具体的办法是这样:只要金融机构在非关联的交易中吸引到新的民间资本,就可以对其注入等量的公共资本。这样,纳税人就可以得到与私人投资者一样的对等条件。唯一的区别在于政府的股份不具有投票权,除非日后将股份卖出。


Thisplan would solve the three problems. The private sector rather than thegovernment would weed out the zombie firms. The private sector ratherthan the government would set the price. And the private sector ratherthan the government would exercise corporate control.
这个计划可以解决刚才的三个问题。由私人部门而非政府来剔除那些僵尸企业。由私人部门而非政府来决定价格。由私人部门而非政府来实施公司的控制职能。

Why wouldan undercapitalized financial firm take advantage of this offer?Because it would need to raise only half as much capital from privatesources, that financing should be easier to come by. With WarrenBuffetts in scarce supply, the government can in effect replicate them,by pigging backing on what they do.
那么资本不足的金融企业为什么会赞同这个办法呢?因为它们只需要从民间筹集到一半的资本,因而融资变得更容易了。当市场上的沃伦巴菲特太少时,政府可以通过有效地增加巴菲特们的作用,从而有效地复制出这个巴菲特。

I believe that Treasury hasthe discretion to use some of the $700 billion recently approved byCongress to make these equity injections. I would recommend that theTreasury announce an upper limit, say, $300 billion, allocated on afirst-come, first-served basis. The limit would encourage financialinstitutions to act quickly to get in before the door closed. Given howfast matters are deteriorating, the sooner capital gets back into thefinancial system, the better.
我认为,最近国会通过的7000亿救市方案中,财政部可以将其中的一部分如此使用。我还要建议财政部对这笔资金设定一个上限,比如说,3000亿美元,采取先到先得的分配办法。设定限额可以鼓励金融机构尽早行动起来。倘若事态正在迅速恶化的话,资本越早回到金融体系越好。

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