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美国经济学家

2008年诺贝尔经济学奖得主。 美國經濟學家及紐約時報的專欄作家,普林斯頓大學經濟系教授,是新凱恩斯主義经济学派代表。1953年出生美國紐約,约翰·F·肯尼迪高中毕业。1974年就讀耶鲁大學,1977年在麻省理工學院取得博士學位,受到经济学家诺德豪斯的注意。畢業後先後於耶鲁大学、麻省理工及史丹福大學任教。2000年起,成為普林斯頓大學經濟系教授。

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克鲁格曼: 令人绝望的金融政策 (2 )  

2009-06-18 09:21:45|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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That’s what Sweden did in the early 1990s. It’s also what we ourselves did after the savings and loan debacle of the Reagan years. And there’s no reason we can’t do the same thing now.

这个方法在上世纪90年代早期,瑞典就曾经用过。在里根执政期间,面对储蓄和贷款崩溃的时候,我们自己也用过。现在我们也没什么道理不去用它。

But the Obama administration, like the Bush administration, apparently wants an easier way out. The common element to the Paulson and Geithner plans is the insistence that the bad assets on banks’ books are really worth much, much more than anyone is currently willing to pay for them. In fact, their true value is so high that if they were properly priced, banks wouldn’t be in trouble.

但是,奥巴马政府和布什政府一样,摆明了都想找一条逃生的捷径。保尔森和盖特纳方案的共同点在于,他们坚持认为银行账上的毒资产还值那么点钱,甚至比眼下人们愿意购买的价钱还高。事实上,这些资产的价值是如此之高,以至于如果它们被合理定价,银行压根儿就不会陷入困境。

And so the plan is to use taxpayer funds to drive the prices of bad assets up to “fair” levels. Mr. Paulson proposed having the government buy the assets directly. Mr. Geithner instead proposes a complicated scheme in which the government lends money to private investors, who then use the money to buy the stuff. The idea, says Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser, is to use “the expertise of the market” to set the value of toxic assets.

于是,这个计划便打算动用纳税人的钱,来将毒资产的价格推高至合理的水平。保尔森的提议是让政府直接买下毒资产,而盖特纳则提出一个复杂的方案,也就是让政府借钱给私人投资者,由他们用这些钱来购买毒资产。按照奥巴马的首席经济顾问的说法,这个点子是利用“市场的专业知识”来为毒资产定价。

But the Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: if asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt. So this isn’t really about letting markets work. It’s just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets.

然而,盖氏方案只是一边倒的赌局:如果资产价格上涨,投资者便会盈利;如果资产价格下跌,投资者则可以拍屁股走人。市场机制在这儿根本就没发挥作用。这只不过是用一种拐弯抹角、乔装打扮的方式来为毒资产的购买进行补贴。 

The likely cost to taxpayers aside, there’s something strange going on here. By my count, this is the third time Obama administration officials have floated a scheme that is essentially a rehash of the Paulson plan, each time adding a new set of bells and whistles and claiming that they’re doing something completely different. This is starting to look obsessive.

姑且撇开纳税人所负担的成本不谈,这里面还颇有蹊跷。照我的计算,这已经是第三次,由奥巴马政府的官员所炮制出来的保尔森计划的翻版。每一次,他们都给这个计划加一些点缀,而且声称都是新鲜玩意儿。看上去他们已经沉迷于此无法自拔了。

But the real problem with this plan is that it won’t work. Yes, troubled assets may be somewhat undervalued. But the fact is that financial executives literally bet their banks on the belief that there was no housing bubble, and the related belief that unprecedented levels of household debt were no problem. They lost that bet. And no amount of financial hocus-pocus — for that is what the Geithner plan amounts to — will change that fact.

但这些计划最要命的地方是,它们根本就不管用。的确,毒资产的价值可能在某种程度上被低估。但事实却是金融高管们简单地下了赌注,认为房地产泡沫并不存在,史无前例的房产债务也不构成问题。可是,他们赌输了。哪怕有再多的花言巧语(即使有盖氏计划那么多)也无法改变这一事实。

You might say, why not try the plan and see what happens? One answer is that time is wasting: every month that we fail to come to grips with the economic crisis another 600,000 jobs are lost.

或许,你会说,为什么不尝试一下,看看效果如何呢?一个回答便是,这是浪费时间:在控制经济危机上每浪费一个月时间,就意味着又有60万人失去工作。

Even more important, however, is the way Mr. Obama is squandering his credibility. If this plan fails — as it almost surely will — it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to persuade Congress to come up with more funds to do what he should have done in the first place.

还有更重要的,奥巴马总统是在挥霍自己所获得的信赖。如果这个计划失败(正如它几乎必然会失败),他很可能再也无法说服国会拨付更多资金来完成那些他本该首先完成的任务。 

All is not lost: the public wants Mr. Obama to succeed, which means that he can still rescue his bank rescue plan. But time is running out.

所幸失去的并非全部:民众要求奥巴马胜利,也就意味着他尚有机会拯救自己的银行拯救计划。可是,时间已所剩无几。

 

 

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