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

谁能从通胀中获益  

2009-06-17 11:53:42|  分类: 言论 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

Taming the beast

2009-06-17

The US could benefit from inflation as long as it doesn't push the government into default

 

Andy Xie

Updated on Jun 16, 2009

 

 

Atide of inflation fear is sweeping financial markets: the oil price hasdoubled in three months, the US Treasury yield has surged by a third inone month, gold is nearing its record high again and agriculturalcommodities are all soaring. The rising prices are taking place amidweak demand. Inflation fears are driving the surge.

 

 

Themarket is getting it right this time. The US is targeting a 5 percent-plus inflation rate for the foreseeable future. It is the only wayto speed up relief for indebted American households. Inflation workswell when debts are locked into long-term fixed rates and don't neednew financing. The recent wave of mortgage refinancing, for example,has put many American households in an excellent position to benefitfrom inflation. If inflation surges, American household income willrise with it, but the debt will remain locked into the previous lowrates. Of course, the people who lent to American households will berobbed by inflation.

 

 

However, the USgovernment isn't quite ready for high inflation. It has US$11.4trillion in outstanding debt, and that is growing by over US$6 billionper day. The average maturity of the federal debt is only four yearsand, hence, a quarter needs refinancing every year. With US$2 trillionnet financing for 2009, the federal government needs to raise aboutUS$10 billion per day. If the Treasury yield continues to surge, theexpected interest burden for the federal government may spiral out ofcontrol. At some point, the market may stop lending to the USgovernment, if it expects it to go bankrupt.

 

 

Thegovernment bond market is usually a Ponzi scheme. Governments rarelyrun budget surpluses to pay off old debts. They almost always borrownew money to pay off the old and spend the difference. A check ofmodern history will show that most countries have experienced agovernment debt crisis. These were about defaulting government debtsaccumulated over decades. Government bonds are usually viewed as safe,as they rarely default. But, that is only the case as long as investorsare willing to lend. When the bonds do default, they do so on all thedebt they have borrowed. The safety of government debt is aself-fulfilling market expectation. Hence, when interest rates are highand government financing need is great, the expectation bubble canburst.

 

 

When the market stops givingmoney to the federal government, the Fed can step in and print it, tomonetise national debt. However, that will almost certainly lead to adollar crash and hyperinflation. Russia did it in 1998: it did wipeaway the national debt but, with investors shunning Russia afterwards,it remained poor for many years. Only surging oil prices have broughtprosperity back. Is the US ready to "do a Russia"? I think not. Americastill has enough credibility to charter a more profitable path thatwould impoverish its creditors slowly.

 

 

TheFed will probably talk tough on inflation soon and may raise interestrates before the end of the year. Though its action may calm bondvigilantes, it could spark panic over liquidity among commodity andstock market speculators. A market crash is likely. The Fed may need torespond to the liquidity panic with soothing words and more purchasesof Treasuries. It will have to skilfully navigate between bondvigilantes and liquidity junkies. The idea is to fool both: they shouldbe made to believe in the Fed's determination to fight inflation andlater to support growth. The reality will actually be stagflation.

 

 

Theideal path for the Fed is for interest rates to stay well belowinflation - keeping the real interest rate negative - and for the USdollar to decline gradually. The former minimises the US debt burdenand transfers it to foreigners. The latter draws manufacturing back tothe US. It won't be easy to pull off such a feat. The liquidity junkiesare easy to manage. They speculate with other people's money anddesperately want to be fooled. It takes little to make them jump.

 

 

Bondvigilantes, however, are not easy to pacify. They are ardent wealthpreservers and will run at the first sign of inflation. However, theymay not be as tough as before. Everything else is inflated already.When the consumer price index inflates, to devalue money, there are noplaces to hide. If the Fed performs well, the bond vigilantes couldbecome pussycats too.

 

 

"Feeling lucky"must be hard-wired into the human psyche. When Homo sapiens evolved onthe African Savannah, the ones with a penchant for trying new horizonsprospered. It was the right strategy in an underpopulated world. Onegroup that felt lucky left Africa for Eurasia and got really lucky;they got the ultimate free lunch - the rest of the world for nothing.We are all their descendants. We are all born with the "get lucky"gene.

 

 

Today, however, the world has 6.6billion people. Everything is taken. So we have created financialmarkets to satisfy our "get lucky" urge. In this virtual world, centralbankers play god and print pieces of paper for us to fight over.

 

 

Overthe next five years, governments and central banks will suck investorsinto subsidising economic growth through volatility. We have seen thisin the tech world before. Nasdaq attracts people with its ups anddowns. Volatility creates the illusion that one can get lucky andbecome rich.

 

 

Over the past 20 years,hundreds of billions of dollars have been poured into tech space. Themoney has spawned many technologies to benefit mankind. But investorsas a whole have not made money.

 

 

Thesame will happen to the stock market in general. A weak economy needslow-cost capital, preferably negative, to maximise employment. No onewill put money into a sure loser. Volatility creates the possibility ofwinning. Nothing turns Homo sapiens into willing losers like a chance.

 

Andy Xie is an independent economist

 

 

翻译文章:

通胀只要没有让美国政府破产,那么就会令美国受益。

对通胀的恐惧正席卷金融市场:石油价格在三个月内翻番,美国国债收益率已上升三分之一,黄金也曾再次逼近历史高点,农产品价格飙升。这种价格的上升是在需求疲软的情况下发生的,是对通胀的担忧促成了这种上升。

这次市场大概是正确的。在可预见的未来,美国的通胀率目标是5%甚至更高。这是加速拯救负债累累的美国人的唯一方法。在债务锁定了长期利率时,通胀是减轻债务负担的好办法,而且不需要再融资。比如,最近抵押贷款再融资的风潮就令很多美国家庭能够很好地利用通胀。如果通胀上升,美国家庭的收入也会随着上升,但债务的利率则被锁定在之前的低水平上。当然,那些贷款者则会因通胀而受到损失。

然而,美国政府并没有对高通胀做好完全的准备。美国政府债务已经有11.4万亿美元,而且还以每天60亿美元的速度增长。联邦政府债务平均到期期限是四年,也就是说,每年四分之一的债务需要再融资。以2009年需要净融资2万亿美元来看,美国政府每天需要融资大概100亿美元。如果国库券收益率继续飙涨,那么可以预见,利率负担将渐渐地令联邦政府无法控制。在某一时点,市场会停止借钱给美国政府,如果市场预期它将要破产的话。

国债市场通常是个庞氏骗局。政府很少用财政盈余来偿还旧债,它们通常的做法是借新还旧。看看现代史就知道,大多数国家的政府都曾发生过债务危机,通常是宣布不偿还数十年积累起来的政府债务。国债通常被看作是安全资产,因为很少出现违约。但仅在投资者还愿意借钱给政府时方才如此。国债的安全性取决于预期的自我实现。因此,当利率居高不下而政府融资需求巨大时,预期的自我实现机制就会崩溃。

当市场停止借钱给联邦政府后,美联储可以介入印钞,使国债货币化。然而这几乎肯定会导致美元崩溃和恶性通胀。1998年俄罗斯就是这样做的:这一做法令俄罗斯政府的债务一笔勾销,但是投资者从此远离俄罗斯,此后很多年俄罗斯都非常贫困。唯有油价飙升才为其带回了财富。美国准备好这么做了吗?我想没有。美国还有足够的信誉来采取更好的方式,慢慢掠夺贷款给它的人。

美联储可能很快就会对通胀措辞严厉,并在年内开始加息。这种做法会抑制国债利率上升,但是也会令大宗商品市场和股市的投资者产生流动性恐慌,可能会导致市场崩溃。美联储可能需要以安慰性的言辞以及购买更多国债的行动来应对流动性恐慌。它需要在“国债义和团”(bond vigilantes,指投资者因担心政府的财政及货币政策难以为继,而卖出公债,拉高国债利率)和“流动性瘾君子”(liquidity junkies)之间寻求平衡。办法是同时愚弄二者:令市场相信美联储会坚决对抗通胀,然后促进经济增长。然而事实上是滞胀。

对美联储来说,最完美的办法是让利率处在通胀率之下——令真实利率为负——同时让美元逐步贬值。前者令美国债务负担最小化并将其转移给外国人。后者则吸引制造业重回美国。这一壮举可不容易实现。“流动性瘾君子”好办,它们用其他人的钱进行投机,乐于被愚弄。然而“国债义和团”却不好安抚。他们是狂热的守财奴,一有通胀的迹象就会逃之夭夭。不过现在他们的行动可能已经不那么迅速了。其他的投资品早已通胀化。当CPI上升,整个货币贬值,那么就无处可逃了。如果美联储措施得当,“国债义和团”也会如猫一般温顺。

“觉得幸运”一定扎根于人类灵魂深处。在非洲大草原进化时,那些敢于探索新大陆的人得以兴盛起来。在人口稀少的世界,那是正确的战略。一些觉得幸运的人离开了非洲前往欧亚大陆,从而真正有了运气;它们获得了最后的免费午餐——其他人什么也没有。我们都是他们的后代。我们生而带有“获得运气”的基因。

然而现在,世界拥有66亿人口。所有的一切都正被取尽。所以我们创造了金融市场来满足我们“获得运气”的渴求。在这个虚拟的世界中,央行点纸成金,供世人争夺。

在未来五年中,政府和央行将通过市场波动令投资者“补贴”经济增长。以前我们在科技领域看到过类似情形。纳斯达克吸引着人们随之涨跌。市场波动描绘了一个假相,人们可以通过运气致富。

在过去20年里,数千亿美元投入到科技领域。这些钱孵出了无数新技术,造福了人类。而投资者整体而言并没有赚到什么钱。

同样的情形也会发生在整个股票市场。疲软的经济需要低成本的资本,最好是负回报的资本来最大程度地促进就业。没有人会投资给确定会赔钱的项目。然而市场波动创造了赢的可能。没有什么能像偶然的机会那样,把智者变成乐意输钱的人。(翻译:第一财经日报 王慧卿))

  评论这张
 
阅读(15151)| 评论(24)
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