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美联储真的为加息做好准备了吗

来源:可可英语 编辑:shaun   VIP免费外教试听课 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet

While debate about the relevance of the secular stagnation idea to current economic conditions continues to rage, there is now almost universal acceptance of a crucial part of the argument. It is agreed that the “neutral” interest rate, which neither boosts nor constrains growth, has declined substantially and is likely to be lower in the future than in the past throughout the industrial world because of a growing relative abundance of savings relative to investment.

关于长期停滞观点是否切合当前经济状况,人们还在热议,但这种观点中的一个关键部分已被极为普遍地认可。人们近乎一致地认为,既不会刺激增长、也不会抑制增长的“中性”利率已经大幅下降,而且未来工业国家的中性利率有可能比过去更低,原因是相对于投资来说,储蓄日益充裕。

The idea that real interest rates — that is, adjusted for inflation — will be lower than they have been historically is reflected in the pronouncements of policymakers such as Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, the medium-term forecasts of official agencies such as the Congressional Budget Office and the International Monetary Fund and the pricing of government bonds whose payments are tied to inflation.

实际利率(即经过通胀调整后的利率)将比历史水平更低的观点,可见于美联储(Fed)主席珍妮特耶伦(Janet Yellen)等政策制定者的声明、美国国会预算办公室(Congressional Budget Office)和国际货币基金组织(IMF)等官方机构的中期预测,以及那些与通胀挂钩的政府债券的定价中。

This is important progress and has contributed to more prudent monetary policies than otherwise would have been made and the avoidance of a deflationary psychology taking hold particularly in Europe and Japan. Policymakers, despite having adjusted their views, still overestimate the extent to which neutral real interest rates will rise.

这是重要的进步,导致了更为审慎的货币政策,并避免了通缩心理的形成,特别是在欧洲和日本。政策制定者们尽管观点有所转变,但仍然高估了中性实际利率将会上升的幅度。

Neutral real interest rates may well rise over the next few years as the American economy creates jobs at a rapid rate and the effects of the financial crisis diminish. This is what many expect, though the fact that an imminent return towards historically normal interest has been widely expected for the past six years should invite scepticism.

随着美国经济快速创造就业,以及金融危机的影响消退,中性实际利率很可能在今后几年出现上升。许多人都是这么预期的,然而过去6年里人们也普遍预期利率即将回归历史正常水平,这种情况应该激起人们的怀疑心理。

A number of considerations make me doubt the US economy’s capacity to absorb significant increases in real rates over the next few years. First, they were trending down for 20 years before the crisis started and have continued that path since. Second, there is at least a significant risk that as the rest of the world struggles there will be substantial inflows of capital into the US leading to downward pressure on rates and upward pressure on the dollar, which in turn reduces demand for traded goods.

出于种种考虑,我怀疑美国经济在今后几年承受实际利率大幅上升的能力。首先,实际利率在危机开始前有20年处于下降通道,而且危机以后又继续下降。其次,至少存在一个巨大风险,即在全球其他地区经济增长乏力的情况下,资本将会大量流入美国,引发利率的下行压力和美元的上行压力,这反过来将减少对贸易商品的需求。

Third, the increases in demand achieved through low rates in recent years have come from pulling demand forward, resulting in lower levels of demand for the future. For example, lower rates have accelerated purchases of cars and other consumer durables and created apparent increases in wealth as asset prices inflate. In a sense, monetary easing has a narcotic aspect. To maintain a given level of stimulus requires continuing cuts in rates.

第三,最近几年由低利率带来的需求增长实际上是预支了需求,将导致未来需求水平下降。例如,利率下降刺激消费者提前购买汽车和其他耐用消费品,而随着资产价格上升,财富也明显增加。从某种意义上来说,货币宽松有着起到麻醉作用的一面。要保持既定水平的刺激,就需要继续削减利率。

Fourth, profits are starting to turn down and regulatory pressure is inhibiting lending to small and medium sized businesses. Fifth, inflation mismeasurement may be growing as the share in the economy of items such as heathcare, where quality is hard to adjust for, grows. If so, apparent neutral real interest rates will decline even if there is no change in properly measured rates.

第四,利润开始下降,同时监管压力正在抑制对中小企业的放贷。第五,随着医疗保健等服务在经济中的比重增长,在衡量通胀时误差会越来越多。若情况果真如此,表面的中性实际利率将会下降,即便正确衡量的利率没有任何改变。

All of this leaves me far from confident that there is substantial scope for tightening in the US and there is probably even less scope in other parts of the industrialised world. The fact that central banks in countries, including Europe, Sweden and Israel, where rates were zero found themselves reversing course after raising rates adds to the cause for concern.

所有这些都让我很难相信美国有巨大的紧缩空间,其他工业化国家的紧缩空间甚至可能更小。有一种情况让人更有理由担忧:欧洲、瑞典和以色列等地的央行曾经实行零利率,它们在加息之后就又改变了做法。

But there is a more profound worry. The experience of the US and others suggests that once a recovery is mature the odds of it ending within two years are about half and of it ending in less than three years over two-thirds. As normal growth is below 2 per cent rather than the historical near 3 per cent, the risk may even be greater. While recession risks may seem remote given rapid growth, no postwar recession has been predicted a year ahead by the Fed, the administration or the consensus forecast.

但还有一种更深层次的担忧。美国和其他国家的经历表明,一旦复苏进入成熟阶段,它在两年内结束的几率大约为一半,在不到三年内结束的几率超过三分之二。由于正常增长低于2%而不是历史上的近3%,风险可能更大。尽管鉴于增长迅速,衰退风险似乎很遥远,但二战后的任何一次衰退,不论美联储、政府还是共识预测,都不曾提前一年预测到。

History suggests that when recession comes it is necessary to cut rates more than 300 basis points. I agree with the market that the odds are the Fed will not be able to raise rates 100 basis points a year without threatening to undermine recovery. Even if this were possible, the chances are very high that recession will come before there is room to cut rates enough to offset it. The knowledge that this is the case must surely reduce confidence and inhibit demand.

历史表明,当衰退来临时,就有必要降息逾300个基点。我赞同市场的这种观点,即美联储大概无法一年加息100个基点还能不破坏经济复苏。即便有此可能,在美联储能够及时大幅降息以阻止经济衰退之前,极有可能衰退已经降临。对于这种情景的认知必定会打击信心并抑制需求。

Central bankers bravely assert that they can always use unconventional tools. But there may be less in the cupboard than they suppose. The efficacy of further quantitative easing in an environment of well-functioning markets and already very low medium-term rates is highly questionable. There are severe limits on how negative rates can become. A central bank forced back to the zero lower bound is not likely to have great credibility if it engages in forward guidance.

央行官员们大胆宣称,他们总是可以使用非传统工具。但可动用的工具可能比他们预料的要少。在市场运转良好、中期利率已非常低的环境里,进一步量化宽松的效力非常令人怀疑。利率能够达到的负值有很大限制。被迫退回到零利率下限的央行公信力不会太好,如果它发布前瞻性指引的话。

The Fed will in all likelihood raise rates this month. Markets will focus on the pace of its tightening. I hope their response will involve no great turbulence. But the unresolved question that will hang over the economy is how policy can delay and ultimately contain the next recession. It demands urgent attention from fiscal as well as monetary policymakers.

美联储很可能在本月提高利率。市场将关注其紧缩步伐。我希望市场做出的回应不会造成巨大的震荡。但一个困扰美国经济的问题没有得到解决,那就是如何利用政策延迟、并最终遏制下一场衰退。这需要财政及货币政策制定者立即重视起来。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
likelihood ['laiklihud]

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n. 可能性

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quantitative ['kwɔntitətiv]

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adj. 数量的,定量的

 
inflation [in'fleiʃən]

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n. 膨胀,通货膨胀

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current ['kʌrənt]

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n. (水、气、电)流,趋势
adj. 流通的

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response [ri'spɔns]

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n. 回答,响应,反应,答复
n. [宗

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secular ['sekjulə]

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n. 牧师,凡人 adj. 世俗的,现世的,不朽的

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pressure ['preʃə]

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n. 压力,压强,压迫
v. 施压

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scope [skəup]

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n. 能力,范围,眼界,机会,余地
vt. 仔

 
guidance ['gaidəns]

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n. 引导,指导

 
unresolved

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adj. 无决断力的;未解决的;不果断的

 


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