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市场应该怎样解读乌克兰危机

Mohamed A. El-Erian 2014年03月06日

乌克兰只是全球经济的一个微小组成部分,但它的政治影响却远远不受控制。而更重要的是,乌克兰或许只是一个缩影,而它的危机表明,其他类似的市场还没有充分暴露出内在的地缘政治风险。

    随着乌克兰局势的起起伏伏成为地缘政治领域的主导话题——确实也应该是这样——许多国际市场投资者都开始考虑乌克兰局势对他们的投资到底意味着什么。下面是笔者的一些主要观点:

    就乌克兰本身而言,它不具有系统重要性。乌克兰的GDP规模较小(约为1750亿美元),外部经济联系有限,在全球供需链条上的作用同样有限。实际上,除了从俄罗斯通往欧洲的天然气管道,在乌克兰交易或拥有的东西中,无论是实体产品、服务,还是金融工具,国际经济和货币体系无力轻松消化吸收的东西不多。此外,乌克兰货币的全球覆盖面很小,发行的债券也较少。除了新兴市场,现有的乌克兰债券不太可能对其他金融市场造成真正的、或者技术性的冲击。

    但东西方在乌克兰问题上僵持不下,结果无法预料。这当然是问题的关键所在,它让乌克兰更具有系统性色彩。也正是出于这个原因,投资者探究乌克兰局势的现状和潜在发展方向是正确的选择。如果保持目前的发展方向,随着世界强国之间的地缘政治局势变得越来越紧张,金融市场可能最终还是会受到影响。从某种程度上讲,眼下已经出现了这种情况,表现最明显的就是今天上午俄罗斯股市的急剧下跌以及一批资金开始流向国际上更为安全的市场。

    目前,乌克兰内部和外部势力都还没有强大到可以按自己的意愿行事。在外部军事干预没有压倒性优势的情况下(具备压倒性优势的军事干预将产生极不确定的结果,不可避免地造成相当大的混乱),很难断言任何一方有望在今后几周占据绝对优势。俄罗斯对乌克兰的影响力不足以把后者拉回到自己的轨道,而且俄罗斯不能通过武力途径达到这个目的。欧盟和美国方面则缺乏让乌克兰完全倒向另一边的手段。就这些外部势力的现状而言,处于局部分裂状态的乌克兰社会不太可能让国内的紧张局势很快缓和下来。

    乐观情况下,各方都会冷静下来,申明将通过协商找到折中方案。鉴于各方都发现自己开上了一条单行道,而且如果问题只是乌克兰本身,俄罗斯和西方国家很快就会发现,让局势缓和下来、同时找到折中方案既利己又互惠。原则上它们应该通过协商找到解决方案。在这种情况下,它们还可能为乌克兰国内的反对派圈定栅栏。但目前面临风险的远不止此。

    包括叙利亚在内,各个地区的地缘政治裂隙都在加深,乌克兰只是这种趋势的最新代表。这种情况不可避免地造成了国家战略复杂化,同时大大增加了实现多边合作的难度。它还造成相关各方都难以拒绝国内选民提出的范围较窄的议题,而这些议题引发的舆论无外乎制裁、抵制和八国集团(G8)的失灵。

    就算按照一系列最乐观(但依然现实)的假设,乌克兰的紧张局势也不会在一、两个回合内就得到化解。即使当前的紧张局势缓和下来——这里面有很大的假设成分——我们仍然应该预计今后几个月乌克兰将一而再、再而三地给人们出难题。我们都清楚地看到,对抗势力的外部秘密渠道可能有力地促使乌克兰社会出现分裂。到目前为止,乌克兰既不能恢复原状,也无法果断地开创新的局面。

    总之,国际市场投资者对乌克兰提出了许许多多的问题,这么做没错。要点在于,绝大多数人都需要在大背景下寻找答案,而这会立刻带来最基本、同时也是最有争议的问题。那就是,乌克兰是不是仅仅只是全球政治合作效果减弱这个更令人担心的重大问题及其内在紧张态势的最新例证而已?

    我担心人们会对这个问题做出肯定回答。如果你们同意我的观点,那就是说,一些存在风险的市场到目前为止可能还没有充分表现出全部的地缘政治风险。(财富中文网)

    本文作者穆罕默德•埃尔-埃利安是太平洋投资管理公司即将离任的首席执行官兼联合首席投资官。

    译者:Charlie

    

    With the fluid situation in Ukraine dominating the geopolitical narrative -- and rightly so -- many global investors are wondering what it means for their portfolios. Here are some key takeaways:

    On a standalone basis, Ukraine is not systemically important. With a relatively small GDP (around $175 billion), its external economic links are limited, as is its role in global supply and demand chains. Indeed, other than gas pipelines form Russia to Europe, there isn't much that Ukraine buys, hosts, or sells -- whether physical products, services, or financial instruments -- that cannot be easily absorbed by the international economic and monetary systems. Moreover, its currency has little global reach; and the country's bond issuance is relatively small, with holdings unlikely to create real or technical financial market shocks beyond segments of the emerging world.

    Yet Ukraine is in the midst of an unpredictable tug of war between East and West. This, of course, is the key issue; it is what makes Ukraine more systemic; and it is why investors are correct in seeking information about the situation there and how it may evolve. If the current course of action is maintained, the escalating geopolitical tensions among major world powers would end up by spilling over to financial markets. This is already occurring to some extent, illustrated most vividly by the sharp decline this morning in Russian equities and some generalized flight to quality in global markets.

    No side, whether internal or external, is strong enough to impose its will at this stage. Absent overwhelming outside military intervention (whose outcomes would be far from certain, and its chaos would be considerable and inevitable), it is hard to argue that any single side is in a position to prevail decisively in the next few weeks. Russia does not have sufficient influence with enough of Ukraine to pull the whole country back into its orbit; and it cannot do so by force. For their part, the European Union and the United States do not have the means to decisively pull all of Ukraine the other way. And the reality of these external anchors means that a partly fragmented Ukrainian society is unlikely to resolve the tensions internally any time soon.

    In favorable circumstances, calmer heads would prevail and iterate to a negotiated compromise. Given the cul de sac that all parties find themselves in, and if the issue were just Ukraine, both Russia and the West would quickly conclude that it is in their individual and collective interests to de-escalate the situation and reach a compromise. A negotiated resolution would be the base case. As such, they would also be able to establish some guardrails for opposing political forces within Ukraine. But there is much more at stake here.

    Ukraine is but the latest illustration of a deeper geopolitical rift that has played out elsewhere, including in Syria. This inevitably complicates national strategies, while rendering multilateral cooperation much more difficult. It also makes it hard for all parties involved to resist the narrower agendas of domestic constituents -- all of which give rise to talk of sanctions, boycotts, and G-8 malfunctions.

    Even under a set of most optimistic (and still-realistic) assumptions, the tensions over Ukraine will not be resolved in one or two rounds. If the immediate tensions subsides -- a big if -- we should still expect difficult Ukrainian issues to resurface over and over again in the next few months. As well as what we all observe publicly, competing external back channels could well fuel divisions within a Ukrainian society that, as yet, is neither able to return to its past nor able to forge a decisive new course.

    In sum, global investors are right to be asking lots of questions about Ukraine. Importantly, the vast majority needs to do so in a broad context and, thus, immediately confront the most basic -- and, yes, most contentious -- question of all: Is Ukraine simply the latest example of a more disturbing general phenomenon of less effective global political coordination, and the tensions that inherently come with that?

    I worry that the answer to this question is yes. If you agree with me, then overall geopolitical risk may not, as yet, be adequately reflected in some risk markets.

    Mohamed A. El-Erian is the outgoing CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO.

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