安联首席 | 美国长时间经济扩张背后的脆弱性

安联首席 | 美国长时间经济扩张背后的脆弱性
2019年06月12日 17:46 新浪财经-自媒体综合

来源:人民币交易与研究

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安联首席经济学家埃利安近日对美国经济表达了自己的担忧:在克服了过去10年的重大政治和经济挫折之后,美国经济如今似乎经历了历史上持续时间最长的扩张。然而,在数据显示创纪录的低失业率和人们期待已久的工资增长背后,隐藏着不可忽视的脆弱性。
政治两极化、经济政策捉襟见肘、社会收入财富和机会机会不平等、美国国际形象和地位的改变,都需要政策制定者未来极其谨慎。

图|ProjectSyndicate

America’s Unusual Recovery is Now Also its Longest

未来几个月发布的数据将显示,目前美国的经济扩张是有记录以来持续时间最长的。但是,尽管美国经济继续领先于其他发达经济体,但这一成功尚未消除许多美国人长期以来对经济的不安全感和挫折感;它也没有缓解人们对缺乏政策空间来应对下一次经济衰退或金融冲击的担忧。

Data released over the next few months will show that the current US economic expansion is the longest on record. But while the United States continues to outperform other advanced economies, this success has yet to dispel many Americans’ persistent sense of economic insecurity and frustration; nor does it alleviate concerns about the lack of policy space to respond to the next economic downturn or financial shock.

目前的扩张始于2008年金融危机和“大衰退”之后的2009年年中。最初,异常的财政干预和此前难以想象的货币政策为经济提供了动力,为私营企业信心的恢复和企业资产负债表的复苏奠定了足够的基础。再加上新技术的加速进步,这种扩张在很大程度上是由主导新“零工经济”的技术和平台公司主导的。促进经济增长的措施,包括放松管制和减税,进一步推动了经济增长。

The current expansion began in mid-2009, following the 2008 financial crisis and the “Great Recession.” Powered initially by exceptional fiscal interventions and previously unthinkable monetary policies, the economy built enough of a foundation for private-sector confidence to return, and for corporate balance sheets to recover. Coupled with accelerating advances in new technologies, the expansion came to be led in large part by technology and platform companies presiding over the new “gig economy.” It was given further impetus by pro-growth measures, including deregulation and tax cuts.

注:Gig economy临时经济,或零工经济,是一种自由市场体系,在这种体系中,临时职位很常见,企业与独立员工签订短期合同。通常指的是“一段时间内的工作”。来自:Wikipedia

在美国失业率为3.6%的情况下,实际(经通胀调整)工资目前增长1.6%。最新的季度数据显示,美国GDP年增长率为3.1%,美国经济活动继续大幅超过欧洲和日本。基于这种实力,美国在海外追求国家目标方面变得越来越自信,包括绕过长期合作和解决冲突的机制,威胁征收进口关税和其他保护主义措施。

With the US unemployment rate at 3.6%, real (inflation-adjusted) wages are now growing at 1.6%. And with the most recent quarterly data indicating an annualized GDP growth rate of 3.1%, US economic activity continues to outpace that of Europe and Japan by a significant margin. Owing to this strength, America has become increasingly assertive in pursuing national objectives abroad, including by circumventing longstanding cooperative and conflict-resolution mechanisms and threatening import tariffs and other protectionist measures.

为了达到这一目标,美国必须克服来自海外的阻力,包括欧洲存在的债务危机和中国经济增长放缓。在美国国内,特别是自2011年以来,深刻的政治两极化阻碍了国会的立法活动,并导致了多起实际的或有威胁的政府关门(包括有记录以来最长的一次)。由于国会没有出台新的促进增长的措施,货币政策成了“唯一的手段”。“在危机期间被迫大幅扩大其在经济中的作用之后,美联储曾在政策上犯下一些重大错误,变得更容易受到政治干预。

To get to this point, the US had to overcome headwinds from abroad, including an existential debt crisis in Europe and slowing economic growth in China. Domestically, deep political polarization, especially since 2011, has impeded congressional legislative activity and produced multiple actual or threatened government shutdowns (including the longest on record). In the absence of new pro-growth measures from Congress, monetary policy became the “only game in town.” After being forced to expand its role in the economy substantially during the crisis years, the US Federal Reserve flirted with some major policy mistakes, and became more vulnerable to political interference.

由于过去10年的年度增长不温不火,包容性不足——即所谓的“新常态”或长期停滞——美国经济残留了一种表现不佳和潜在脆弱性的感觉。根据一项经常被引用的美联储调查,近半数美国家庭表示,他们的储蓄不足,无法支付400美元的紧急开支。

Because annual growth over the past decade has often been tepid and insufficiently inclusive – what has become known as the “new normal,” or secular stagnation – the US economy has been left with a residual sense of underperformance and potential vulnerability. According to an oft-cited Fed survey, almost half of US households report having insufficient savings to cover a $400 emergency expense.

难怪人们对机构和专家意见的信任仍然如此之低。同时,过度的不平等(收入、财富和机会),挫败感和政治愤怒仍然很高。更糟糕的是,对技术和全球化影响的恐慌继续加剧人们对就业岗位混乱和混乱的担忧。在美国以外,许多人开始担心,美国作为负责发行全球储备货币(在许多多边互动中发挥决定性作用)的超级大国,不再是全球贸易和金融的可靠和可预测支柱。

No wonder trust in institutions and expert opinion remians so low. Coupled with excessive inequality (of income, wealth, and opportunity), frustration and political anger remain high. Making matters worse, fearmongering about the implications of technology and globalization continues to fuel concerns of job dislocations and disruptions. And outside the US, many have come to worry that the superpower responsible for issuing the global reserve currency, and that plays a decisive role in many multilateral interactions, is no longer a reliable and predictable anchor for global trade and finance.

此外,与以往的扩张不同,美国尚未建立足够的缓冲,以应对未来的经济和金融挑战。或者,用美国前总统约翰 肯尼迪(John F. Kennedy)最近对IMF总裁拉加德(Christine Lagarde)的话说,我们没有在阳光明媚的时候修理屋顶。

Moreover, unlike in prior expansions, the US is yet to build sufficient buffers to deal with future economic and financial challenges. Or, to quote former US President John F. Kennedy by way of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde more recently, we have not fixed the roof while the sun was shining.

除了家庭层面缺乏自我保险之外,美联储应对经济衰退和金融动荡的能力相当有限。尽管当前的政策利率为2.25%-2.5%,但过去的经济衰退通常要求降息5个百分点或更多。此外,美联储的资产负债表膨胀,将货币政策措施传导至实体经济的机制相当薄弱。而且,即使财政政策制定者变得更有反应,他们也将从相对较高的赤字和债务开始。

Beyond the lack of self-insurance at the household level, the Fed’s ability to counter economic recessions and financial disruptions is rather limited. Whereas the current policy rate is 2.25%-2.5%, past downturns have usually required cuts of five percentage points or more. Also, the Fed has a bloated balance sheet and a rather weak mechanism for transmitting monetary-policy measures to the real economy. And even if fiscal policymakers were to become more responsive, they would be starting from a point of relatively high deficits and debt.

延长当前的扩张将需要极大的谨慎。政策制定者,尤其是国会,需要避免重大错误,在采取更多措施促进增长的同时,将市场事故的风险降至最低。美国需要一个目标明确的方法来实现其基础设施的现代化和升级。

Prolonging the current expansion will require great care. Policymakers, particularly Congress, need to avoid big mistakes and minimize the risk of market accidents while doing more to promote growth. The US needs a well-targeted approach to modernizing and upgrading its infrastructure.

政策制定者和主要经济学家还必须对如何分享经济增长成果更加敏感;除此之外,应该对社会中最脆弱的群体提供更好的保护,并加强自动稳定器。就企业而言,他们需要付出更多努力来承担自己的社会责任,哪怕只是为了避免重蹈2008年金融危机后银行的覆辙。已经有越来越多的人呼吁加大对大型科技公司的监管限制。

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安联 脆弱性 埃利安

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