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How to avoid the next financial crisis
如何避免下一次金融危机?

沃尔夫:大规模金融危机破坏性极大,在努力让世界回到正轨的同时,应继续保持对银行业的严格监管,确保“绝无下次”。

The financial crisis of 2008-09 and the resulting recession were a historical watershed. The pre-crisis world was one of globalisation, belief in markets and confident democracies. Today’s is a mirror image.

2008年至2009年的金融危机以及由此导致的衰退是一个历史分水岭。危机之前的世界是一个全球化、对市场抱有信念、对民主抱有信心的世界。如今,一切都反过来了。

The economic impacts are certainly not the end of the story. But they are the beginning. The latest World Economic Outlook of the IMF provides a valuable empirical analysis of the effects. It brings out two big points: the impacts have been long lasting and have spread far beyond the countries that suffered banking crises. 

经济影响肯定不是故事的结束。但经济影响是开端。国际货币基金组织(IMF)发布的最新《世界经济展望》(World Economic Outlook)提供了对这些影响的有价值的实证分析。它提出了两个重要问题:影响是长期持续的,而且影响范围远远超过遭受银行业危机的国家。

The obvious way to measure the economic impact of crises is by comparing post-crisis performance with what would have happened if pre-crisis trends had continued. Yet pre-crisis trends were, to some extent, unsustainable. So, the IMF’s analysis adjusts pre-crisis trend growth for credit booms. 

要衡量危机所带来的经济影响,显而易见的方法是,将危机之后的经济表现与假设危机前的趋势继续下去将会出现的结果进行比较。然而,从某种程度上来讲,危机前的趋势不可持续。因此,IMF的分析对危机前的趋势增速进行了调整,剔除了信贷热潮的影响。

The IMF notes that “91 economies, representing two-thirds” of global gross domestic product in purchasing-power-parity terms, experienced a decline in output in 2009. This was the biggest negative shock in the postwar era. Moreover, the bigger the losses in the short run, the bigger they were in the long run, too. Countries with large immediate falls in output also showed larger increases in income inequality, relative to pre-crisis averages. 

Which sorts of countries lost most and how much did they lose? To answer this question, the WEO divides its 180-country sample into ones that suffered banking crises and those that did not. 

IMF指出,以购买力平价计算“占全球国内生产总值(GDP)三分之二的91个经济体”在2009年出现产出下滑。这是二战后产出遭受的最为严重的一次打击。另外,产出的短期损失越大,其长期损失也越大。产出出现大幅即时下滑的国家,收入不平等相对于危机前平均水平的加剧程度也更大。

The former group contained 24 countries, 18 of which are high-income economies. It found that 85 per cent of them still show shortfalls of output relative to trend. For countries that suffered banking crises, the modal (most frequent) average shortfall of output between 2015 and 2017, relative to pre-crisis trends, was close to 10 per cent. But a number suffered losses of between 20 and 40 per cent. (See charts.)

哪些国家的产出损失最为严重,具体损失了多少?要回答这个问题,《世界经济展望》将其180个国家样本分成遭遇银行业危机的国家和没有遭遇银行业危机的国家。

Yet output also remains below pre-crisis trends in 60 per cent of countries that did not suffer banking crises. Modal losses here have been much the same as in crisis-hit countries, though the distribution is less skewed to the downside. 

第一组包括24个国家,其中18个是高收入经济体。报告发现,其中85%的产出仍不及趋势水平。对于那些遭受银行业危机的国家而言,2015年至2017年的众数(出现次数最多的)产出损失均值为接近10%。但很多遭遇20%至40%的损失。

The pervasiveness of losses may not be that surprising: this crisis emanated from the core of the global economy and caused big declines in global demand. The results were deep recessions, which cast very long shadows into the future.

Again, while advanced economies were particularly hard hit, emerging economies did not do much better. This was a western financial crisis, but it was a global economic crisis. China’s stimulus programme of about 10 per cent of GDP greatly cushioned the impact.

然而,在没有遭受银行业危机的国家中,也有60%的产出仍低于危机前的趋势水平。众数降幅与遭受危机的国家大致相同,不过分布不那么偏向下行。

The proximate explanations for the huge shortfalls in output were collapses in investment: by 2017, on average, investment was a quarter below pre-crisis trends. This weak investment must also help explain low rates of innovation, which is particularly visible in directly-hit countries. New technology is often embodied in new equipment: take robots, for example. 

产出损失的普遍存在可能不那么令人意外:这场危机发端于全球经济的核心,造成全球需求大幅下滑。结果是严重衰退,这给未来笼罩上了长长的阴影。

On average, countries that experienced banking crises suffered a four percentage point bigger loss in output by 2011-13 than ones that did not. Those with large pre-crisis macroeconomic imbalances, notably unsustainable current account deficits, also suffered relatively large losses. So did those with relatively inflexible labour markets. Again, those whose exports were more exposed to crisis-hit markets were hit harder. Countries that were more exposed to the global financial system also suffered larger losses. Lack of fiscal policy space proved costly, as well, as did a lack of exchange rate flexibility. The last is certainly an explanation, albeit not the only one, for the terribly poor performance of the eurozone.

同样,尽管发达经济体遭受的打击尤为严重,但新兴经济体的表现并没有好太多。这是一场西方的金融危机,但也是一场全球经济危机。中国约为10%GDP的经济刺激计划大大缓冲了危机的影响。

The monetary actions taken by the high-income countries in the aftermath of the crisis have been controversial in many emerging markets. Many in high-income countries have also argued that the dramatic monetary easing was a mistake. Yet the evidence that output shortfalls are cumulative destroys the argument against strong and sustained policy support. However, stronger fiscal policy responses would have reduced the need for so long a period of unconventional monetary policies.

巨大产出损失的最直接解释是投资断崖式下跌:到2017年,投资平均较危机前的趋势值低出四分之一。这种疲弱的投资也肯定有助于解释创新率低的问题,这一点在受危机直接打击的国家尤为明显。新技术通常体现为新设备:例如机器人。

Equally controversial were the capital injections and guarantees provided to the financial sector in the crisis. Maybe, ways could have been found to rescue banks without rescuing bankers. But the greater the support for the damaged financial sector, argues the WEO, the stronger the rebound. This evidence gives no support to “liquidationism” — the view that banking collapses and depressions are benign purgatives. 

Here are three tasks and a lesson. 

到2011年至2013年,与那些没有遭受银行业危机的国家相比,那些遭遇银行业危机的国家的产出损失平均高出4个百分点。那些在危机前宏观经济存在巨额不平衡(特别是不可持续的经常账户赤字)的国家也出现相对巨大的产出损失。劳动力市场相对不灵活的国家也是如此。同样,那些出口更多的流向受危机影响市场的国家,遭受的产生损失更为严重。那些与全球金融体系往来更为密切的国家,遭受的产出损失也更大。事实证明,缺乏财政政策操作空间代价高昂,缺乏汇率灵活性也是一样。最后一点肯定是欧元区表现非常差的一个原因,不过并非唯一原因。

The first task is that of monetary policy normalisation in a world that has so much debt. Higher US policy rates have already revealed the vulnerability of a number of emerging economies. More turbulence seems highly likely.

高收入国家在危机后采取的货币举措在很多新兴市场备受争议。高收入国家的很多人还一直主张,当初的大规模货币宽松政策是个错误。然而,显示产出损失是累积的证据,让那些反对强有力的长期政策支持的观点站不住脚。然而,更为强有力的财政政策回应,本将减少实施这么长时间的非传统货币政策的必要性。

A second task is how to respond to another big recession, when the policy space is so diminished.

同样备受争议的是这场危机中对金融行业的资金注入以及为其提供的担保。或许,本可以找到在不拯救银行家的情况下拯救银行的方法。但《世界经济展望》认为,对受到破坏的金融业的支持越有力,复苏就越强劲。这个证据没有支持“清偿主义”(liquidationism),即银行业崩溃和萧条是有益的“泻药”。

The final task is coping with the political aftermath of the crisis. The decline in western credibility and relative power and the rise of demagogic forces are real, powerful and dangerous.

以下是3项任务和一个教训。

The lesson is that big financial crises are — no surprise — very damaging. Once they have happened, it is too late. The analysis of regulation in the October Global Financial Stability Report suggests that we must ignore bankers’ bleating against regulation: above all we must keep capital requirements up. 

Recoveries could have been stronger with sustained fiscal and financial action, notably in the eurozone. But the costs of crisis would still have been high. “Never again” must be the watchword.

第一项任务是,在这个债台高筑的世界里实现货币政策正常化。美国上调政策利率已暴露出很多新兴经济体的脆弱。看上去很有可能出现更多的动荡。

第二项任务是,在政策空间严重缩窄之际,再来一场大规模衰退该如何应对。

最后一项任务是,应对危机的政治影响。西方的信誉和相对实力的滑坡以及煽动性力量的崛起,是切实、有力而且危险的。

6

教训是,大规模金融危机的破坏性极大,这毫不意外。一旦发生,一切就已经太迟了。10月的《全球金融稳定报告》(Global Financial Stability Report)对监管的分析表明,我们必须无视银行业人士对监管的抱怨:最重要的是,我们必须对资本金保持高要求。

如果持续采取财政和金融措施,复苏本可能会更有力,特别是在欧元区。但危机的代价仍将高昂。我们必须以“绝无下次”为座右铭。

译者/梁艳裳

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