世界经济 任重而道远

作者:未知 来源:经济学人 2013-01-24

Finance and Economics;The world economy;Mountains to climb
财经;世界经济;任重而道远

August was a nerve-racking month for the world economy. September and October will be no better
对世界经济来说,八月是伤脑筋的一个月,而九月和十月经济形势也不见得好转。

Central bankers are not known for seeking solace in the heavens. But at their annual symposium in Jackson Hole, organised by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the world’s leading monetary mavens could be found, after dinner, peering enthusiastically into telescopes set up by the local astronomy club. As he spied the M82 galaxy, 12m light-years away, one central banker remarked: “That puts our problems into perspective.”
央行行长不是因向天空寻求安慰而出名,但是由堪萨斯城美联储组织召开的杰克逊霍尔年度研讨会上,世界首席货币专家们在晚宴后,通过当地天文学俱乐部设置的望远镜满腔热情地凝望着天空。一位央行行长在找到离地球1200万光年的M82星系时说:“这让我们全面看到我们的问题。”

On the ground, though, those problems are as big as ever. Christine Lagarde, the new managing director of the IMF, voiced a collective sentiment when she said the world economy found itself in a “dangerous new phase”. Things could get riskier still in the coming weeks.
尽管研讨会当场,那些问题像原来一样严重,当国际货币基金组织(IMF)新总裁克里斯蒂娜·拉加德(Christine Lagarde)认为世界经济处于“危险的新阶段”,她说出了集体的观点。在接下来的几周,经济形势有可能会更加危险。

In America, the worry is dashed expectations. The Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee next meets on September 20th and 21st and has scheduled an extra day’s discussion on its arsenal of unconventional monetary weapons. Wall Street hopes it will mark the onset of “QE3”, another big bout of bond-buying. The mood in Jackson Hole suggested that any action will be modest and incremental.
在美国,对经济前景的担忧击垮了人们的期望。美联储政策制定委员会下一次的会议原定于9月20、21日召开,现会期额外增加一天,用于讨论其非常规的货币武器。华尔街希望这标志着再一次大量购买国债的第三轮量化宽松政策(QE3)的启动。杰克逊霍尔的气氛表明任何措施将会是适度的、递增的。

Many central bankers, including Ben Bernanke, the Fed’s chairman, think it is time for fiscal policy to do more. He gave Congress a scolding at Jackson Hole, arguing that politicians need to address the medium-term fiscal mess while leaving room to cushion the economy now. Barack Obama is working on a jobs plan but the chances of a political rapprochement on issues like America’s payroll-tax cut, due to expire soon, remain uncertain. No deal implies sharply tighter fiscal policy.
包括美联储主席本·伯南克(Ben Bernanke)在内的很多央行行长认为,到了财政政策发挥更大作用的时候了。伯南克在杰克逊霍尔大会上大肆责骂国会,认为政客们应该集中精力解决中期的财政混乱,同时给目前的经济留下缓冲的空间。奥巴马总统正着手于一项就业计划,但是在即将到期的美国减少工资税等问题上两党达成协议可能性仍然不确定。没有达成协议意味着更紧的财政政策。

Far more serious danger lies in Europe. Policymakers there put great faith in an agreement they struck on July 21st, which promised more money for Greece as well as more resources and a broader remit for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). That expanded role is due to be ratified by euro-zone parliaments in the next few weeks. The European Central Bank (ECB) regards its recent decision to buy Spanish and Italian bonds as a stopgap until the expanded EFSF is up and running.
欧洲则面临更加严重的危险。欧洲决策者极大地相信于7月21日紧急达成的协议,该协议保证为希腊提供更多的资金,同时也保证给予欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)更多的资源和更大的借贷范围。其扩大的范围应该在随后的数周内经过欧元区议会批准。在欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)借贷范围扩大并运转之前,欧洲中央银行(ECB)将其最近购买西班牙和意大利国债的决定视为权宜之计。

But three shadows hang over the EFSF. First, the political timetable for its ratification could slip. Potential causes include Finnish demands for collateral against its contribution to the Greek bail-out and a vote by Germany’s constitutional court, due on September 7th, on the legality of the rescue package (see table).
但是,欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)面临着三大障碍。第一,其借贷范围扩大得到批准的政治时间表有可能一拖再拖,可能的原因包括芬兰要求其对希腊紧急救助进行抵押,以及定于9月7日由德国宪法法院对其一揽子救援计划的合法性进行投票。(见图表)

Second, there is growing confusion about what the revamped rescue fund should do. Europe’s central bankers are desperate for it to take over the bond-buying duties if markets stay skittish over Italy and Spain. Ms Lagarde is pushing another priority. She thinks Europe’s banks urgently need more capital to “cut the chains of contagion” and wants a mandatory recapitalisation, using public funds if necessary and the EFSF in particular. In effect, the IMF wants a repeat of what America’s Treasury did in 2008, when it bullied big banks into taking capital injections.
第二,对于如何使用修订后的储备金的疑问越来越多。如果意大利和西班牙的市场保持活跃的话,欧洲的央行行长极度渴望欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)能够承担起购买国债的重担。拉加德正敦促优先考虑另一件事。她认为欧洲的银行急切需要更多的资金来阻断金融危机蔓延的趋势,而且需要对银行进行一次强制的资本重组,如果必要的话将使用公共基金,以及尤其是欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)提供的基金。实际上,国际货币基金组织想要重复2008年美国财政部的措施,当时美国财政部迫使大型银行注入资金。

Many Europeans were furious at Ms Lagarde’s comments, denying any serious capital shortage and arguing instead that if there is a problem, it is one of attracting funding from skittish wholesale markets. Jean-Claude Trichet, the ECB’s president, tried to damp down even that concern, pointing out that banks could tap unlimited liquidity at the ECB and that they had ample collateral left to post in return.
很多欧洲人对拉加德的评论大为光火,他们否认存在任何严重的资本短缺,同时争论如果存在问题的话,那也是如何从活跃的批发市场吸引资金的问题。欧洲中央银行行长让·克罗德·特里谢(Jean-Claude Trichet)试图消除这样的担心,他指出各银行能够从欧洲中央银行取得无限制的流动资金,反过来,欧洲中央银行则可以获得足够的保证金。

Mr Trichet is right, but only up to a point. The sheer scale of European’ banks’ funding needs (about 1.7 Euro trillion, or 2.5 dollor trillion, in the next three years) is daunting: an idea from Morgan Stanley, to use the EFSF to offer European guarantees on new bank debt, has gained traction recently. And illiquidity is a symptom of concerns about solvency. So Ms Lagarde is right that strengthening banks’ buffers is important. The July stress tests, which did not allow for sovereign defaults, offer scant guidance. Using the market price of sovereign bonds, the IMF thinks that European banks could have unrecognised losses of Euro200 billion, meaning lots more capital would be needed. The EFSF is one sensible source.
特里谢说的没错,但也不完全如此。欧洲各银行的基金需求的绝对规模(在接下来的三年大概1.7万亿欧元,或2.5万亿美元)让人瞠目:摩根史坦利的想法是用欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)在新的银行债务上作为欧洲担保,最近该想法获得青睐。而且非流动性是对偿还能力担心的一个特征。因此,拉加德认为加强银行的缓冲是非常重要,这样的观点是正确的。7月份的压力测试,因为没有考虑到主权违约,缺乏指导意义。国际国币基金组织认为,如果采用国债的市场价格,欧洲银行看不到的损失将达到二千亿欧元,这意味着需要更多的资金。欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)则是一个明智的资金来源。

The third and biggest reason to worry is that the EFSF is too small. The fund is being increased to Euro440 billion. But subtract the money already committed to bail-outs as well as the extra Greece might need if “voluntary” private debt-restructuring falls short (see article), and only around Euro 200 billion may be left. At the ECB’s current pace of bond-buying (Euro 6 billion-22 billion a week), that will not last long, especially if some is also set aside for banks.
第三,也是最主要的原因,欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)规模太小。基金已经增长到4400亿欧元。但是减去已经用于应急措施的资金,以及如果“自愿的”私有债务重组资金短缺时希腊可能需要额外的资金(见图表),那么大概只剩2000亿欧元。在目前欧洲中央银行购买国债的速度下(每周达60亿—220亿欧元),这笔资金将不会维持很长时间,特别是其中有些是为银行留着的。

European politicians are unlikely to cough up more, so much discussion behind the scenes is about how to lever up the rescue facility. Daniel Gros of the Centre for European Policy Studies and Thomas Mayer of Deutsche Bank think the EFSF should be registered as a bank and allowed to borrow from the ECB, using the government bonds it buys as collateral. That kind of arms-length arrangement, they argue, would be much better than having the ECB buy bonds itself, and would give the EFSF huge firepower. Conservative central bankers worry that it would still break the rule that bans direct purchases by the ECB, in spirit at least.
欧洲政客不愿意被迫支付更多,秘密地讨论如何抬高救援额度。欧洲政策研究中心的丹尼尔·格罗斯(Daniel Gros)和德意志银行的托马斯·梅耶尔(Thomas Mayer)认为,欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)应该以银行资质进行注册并且能够将其购买的国债作为抵押从欧洲中央银行贷款。他们认为,这种保持距离的安排将比欧洲中央银行自己购买国债要好很多,而且将给予欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)更大的能力。保守的央行行长们担心这仍将会破坏禁止欧洲中央银行直接购买债券的规定,至少在精神上破坏了规矩。

An alternative, quietly touted by some North American officials, is to tempt investors into buying bonds by giving them access to non-recourse loans from the ECB. The model is another American innovation from the financial crisis—the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF. Soft loans from the Fed were designed to tempt investors into buying securities; the Treasury promised to take the first tranche of any losses, thus protecting the Fed. In a European version, cheap, non-recourse loans would encourage investors to buy Italian or Spanish bonds and bring down yields. The ECB would provide leverage, but any initial losses would be borne by the EFSF. The facility’s resources would be magnified, private investors would be drawn in and the price of bonds would still be set by the market.
还有种方式,一些北美洲的官员私底下大肆吹捧,就是通过让投资者得到欧洲中央银行的无追索权贷款来引诱他们购买债券。该模式是美国在金融危机中的另一项创新——定期资产支持证券贷款工具(TALF)。美联储提供的软贷款计划用于引诱投资者购买证券。财政部许诺如果出现任何亏损将承担第一笔款项,从而保护美联储。在欧洲,低价、无追索权贷款将会鼓励投资者购买意大利或西班牙债券,而且减少收益。欧洲中央银行将会提供杠杆,但是任何前期损失将由欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)来承担。欧洲金融稳定机构(EFSF)的资源将扩大,私人投资者将被引诱进行投资,而且债券价格仍然由市场决定。

Dusting off America’s crisis-management ideas makes sense: they were effective. But Europe’s task is far harder, not just because there are many more parties involved but because the end goal is so unclear. American officials were battling the temporary collapse of a financial system. European politicians need to create a new one, either with a more integrated fiscal union or a break-up of the current euro area. Without political leadership, the technocrats cannot solve the problem.
复制美国的金融危机管理理念是说得通的,因为它们有效。但是,欧洲的任务更加艰巨,不仅仅是因为欧洲牵涉的党派较多,而是因为最终的目的还不明确。美国官员为了金融系统的临时崩溃而战斗。欧洲官员需要通过创建一个更加和谐的财政联盟,亦或将目前的欧元区分开来创造一个新的金融系统。没有政治领导,技术专家将无法解决这个问题。

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