注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

谢国忠

谢国忠博客:只说出心中真相

 
 
 

日志

 
 
关于我

麻省理工学院经济学博士

个性介绍: 1960年出生于上海,1983年毕业于上海同济大学路桥系,1987年获麻省理工学院土木工程学硕士,1990年获麻省理工学院经济学博士。同年加入世界银行,担任经济分析员。在世行的五年时间,谢国忠所参与的项目涉及拉美、南亚及东亚地区,并负责处理该银行于印尼的工商业发展项目,以及其他亚太地区国家的电讯及电力发展项目。1995年,加入新加坡的Macquarie Bank,担任企业财务部的联席董事。1997年加入摩根士丹利,任亚太区经济学家,2006年9月辞去该职务。

网易考拉推荐

谢国忠:奥巴马的刺激经济方案让人担忧  

2009-01-20 16:45:23|  分类: 言论 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

奥巴马的刺激经济方案让人担忧

Barack Obama's fiscal stimulus could dig a hole for the US and lead its economy towards hyperinflation

Andy Xie
Updated on Jan 20, 2009



BarackObama's election has sent the hopes of so many soaring. No modernleader has inspired people from so many countries and all walks of life- even before he takes up the post of US president. After eight "don'tworry, be happy" Bill Clinton years and eight "we kill them" George W.Bush years, the world is elated to see someone with honesty andintegrity in the White House.



Unfortunately, hopeusually begets disappointment. Mr Obama has put together a team of bignames, like John F. Kennedy's best and brightest, as his advisers.Their bright idea is to stimulate, stimulate, stimulate. Mr Obama iswarning that there will be years of trillion-dollar budget deficitsahead. Does he want to get re-elected in four years by pumping up theeconomy with government largesse? That would be a catastrophe. Theexcessive monetary stimulus after the technology bubble burst in 2000,which is behind much of today's pain, was probably designed to get MrBush re-elected in 2004. If Mr Obama tries the same with a fiscalstimulus, instead of reviving America, he would lead the US towardshyperinflation.



The US economy is experiencing thehangover of the two-decade-long Alan Greenspan party. Most of thehardship is unavoidable and deserved. How could one avoid pain after abubble? Economic stimulus can be justified to minimise excess economicadjustment. But such overshooting cannot be totally avoided. Forexample, when workers are laid off in response to declining profits,unnecessary losses occur to the overall economy while workers are idle.A rising unemployment rate, however, is a driving force for economicadjustment away from bubble activities. If government stimulus couldtotally replace lost private-sector demand, adjustment wouldn't benecessary.



The Obama team is putting out aUS$800-billion-plus stimulus package. The magnitude seems intended tototally offset the negative wealth effect from declining stock andproperty prices, and keep the US economy operating at capacity. Thiswould be wrong. It would slow, and may prevent, structural adjustment.If the economy is hooked to the fiscal stimulus to sustain inefficienteconomic activities, the US would become Japan - with inflation. Thenegative wealth effect on the US economy could be US$800 billion. Theknock-on effect could add considerably to it. It would obviously take abig bite out of the US$14 trillion American economy. But, much of thecontraction is unavoidable and necessary. It would grow back, but withdifferent economic activities. Overstimulus would only prevent sucheconomic activities from emerging and hook the economy to governmentmoney. Instead, the right stimulus package would be half the size, andmost of the money should go to help unemployed workers.



Overspendinggot the US into trouble; spending more won't solve the problem. The UShas to either cut spending or increase production. On the surface, whatgot the US into trouble was borrowing against overvalued properties tofinance consumption. The driving force is actually skyrocketing healthcare costs, which means there is less money available for otherexpenditure. During his campaign, Mr Obama promised government help toincrease health insurance coverage. Unfortunately, cost, not coverage,is the key issue. People don't have health care insurance because theycan't afford it. To rein in the cost, some form of service rationing,which is still a taboo subject in the US, is unavoidable.



Ifthe US doesn't want to cut expenditure to balance its books, it canincrease production. America has lost competitiveness in mostmanufacturing industries. Oil, pharmaceuticals, IT and aerospace arethe few where it still leads. Protectionism to revive manufacturingwill not work, I believe. Expanding primary industries has potential.The US is underpopulated and underexplored. If it replaces imported oilwith domestic energy resources, it can solve half its problems.



Improvingefficiency was Mr Obama's great idea during his campaign. There areendless possibilities. Improving energy efficiency alone could wipe outmost of the US trade deficit. But improving efficiency is a long andarduous process. It is unlikely someone will come up with a magic ideasoon to solve America's economic woes.



America'scourse of action seems to be for the government to borrow and spend.This debt approach carries risks for all creditor nations. All otherentities in the US have lost credibility with creditors; households,businesses and banks have used up their goodwill. The US governmentstill has it, and intends to use it to support the domestic economy.But, unless the US economy restructures to balance its books, how wouldthe government pay back its debt?



Mr Obama can sellthe message of sacrifice, instead of government largesse, as the wayforward for the country. If his message remains about government help,we can envision a disastrous future for the US economy and itscreditors. In the next five years, the US government could double itsdebt, to more than US$20 trillion, from recapitalising its financialsystem and financing its budget deficits. At that point, the interestpayments on the debt could surpass half its fiscal revenue. The worldwould suddenly stop buying treasuries. The Federal Reserve would stepin to buy, causing the US dollar to plummet. Hyperinflation follows.Sound familiar? It was Russia in 1998.



Many analystsin the US view foreign debt casually: if needed, America could justprint more dollars, but the subsequent financial chaos could ruin theUS for years to come. There is no free lunch, not even in terms ofrobbing foreigners.



As Mr Obama glides into the WhiteHouse, he must rely on common sense, not clever free-lunch ideas, tomanage the US economy. The good life can only come from hard work, notdebt.



Andy Xie is an independent economist


  评论这张
 
阅读(2893)| 评论(15)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017