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美联储是否会出手救市?

Chris Matthews 2015年08月25日

全球股市动荡令人们不由质疑:美联储是否应避免加息?甚至说它是否应增加刺激性政策来出手救市?

    美股遭遇了自大萧条结束以来的最大回调,在一片动荡中,前美国财政部长拉里•萨默斯为代表的一些有识之士,正呼吁人们反思美联储加息预期,后者被普遍认为或将在9月份的美国联邦公开市场委员会(FOMC)会议上宣布。

    萨默斯指出,由于各大股市目前“正在抑制信心过度”,美联储没有必要加息,并且,任何加息意愿都是希望经济回到稳定增长、不需要接近零利率刺激的状态。 今早在Twitter上,他的分析更不容乐观:

    In the midst of the worst market correction since the end of the Great Recession, really smart guys like former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers are calling in to question the conventional wisdom that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at the upcoming FOMC meeting in September.

    Summers argues that since markets themselves are now, “dampening overconfidence,” there is no need for the Fed to raise rates, and that any desire to raise rates is a wishful longing for an economic past when steady economic growth didn’t demand near-zero rates. On Twitter this morning, Summers’ analysis took an even darker turn:

    “要判断美联储下一步是否采取紧缩措施,现在还太难看清。如同1997、1998、2007和2008年的那些8月一样,我们可能正走向非常严峻的情况。”

    对于一个紧密关注最近全球金融市场动荡的权威人士来说,这样的结论可谓令人恐慌。但另一方面,虽然美股市值已跌去10%,但即便在牛市,市场出现回调也很正常。在上周之前,美股已有将近1000天未出现回调,而根据德意志银行的统计,每轮股市回调的平均周期是357天。

    股市的修正调整时有发生,而萨默斯等人甚至在此次处境恶化之前就提出美联储不应加息。然而如果依美联储所说,即以经济数据为依据来采取行动,那么我们就不该认为美联储会因为此次股市暴跌而启动新的购债项目,甚至实施负利率。

    Renaissance Macro经济研究主管尼尔·多塔在周一早间在一份客户声明中指出,美联储密切关注的经济数据,如失业率、银行借贷、经济增长等都显示美国经济至少在持续前行,并且失业率还有比较明显的改善,“因此,美国近几周的经济数据并不足以导致金融市场重新定价。”

    此外,他还指出,对太平洋沿岸地区的出口仅占美国GDP总额的2%,即便该区域贸易额下跌10%,对于全年GDP的影响也只有0.2%。虽然这一情况美联储应持续监控,但中国经济的急剧下滑并不会改变美联储的决策。

    即便如此,美联储如果决定等到12月甚至明年再加息也不是没有理由。有关经济数据一直存在合理争论。萨默斯就指出:“消费者价格指数成份股中超过一半的股价在过去六个月有所下跌,而该情况是‘10多年来首次出现’”。

    这是事实,美联储一直在设法解决一段时间内通胀水平不高的问题。由于失业率在明显下降,紧缩的劳动力市场并没有为美联储带来它所期望的小幅通胀上升。更准确地说,在通胀问题上,美联储是拿“预期”做依据,因为它必须在通胀到来前尽量做好预测,等到发现通胀不足就晚了。

    换句话说,如果只看那些让人捉摸不清,甚至有时候相互矛盾的经济数据,要决定是否在9月份加息实属不易。就算近几周股市动荡没有加剧,要做出这样的决策也一样困难。(财富中文网)

    译者:Donna

    This sort of commentary is pretty scary coming from a guy who watched the most recent global financial panic from the front row. But it’s also true that stock market corrections, in which the market loses more than 10% of its value, are very common, even in bull markets. Before last week, it had been nearly 1,000 days since the last correction, when the average span between such events is 357 days, according to Deutsche Bank.

    Stock market corrections happen all the time, and folks like Summers didn’t think the Federal Reserve should raise rates this year even before markets hit this rough patch. But if we take the Federal Reserve at its word—that its actions will be dependent on economic data—there’s no reason to believe that the Fed will take the latest market rout as a reason to step in and launch another bond buying program or even implement a program of negative interest rates.

    As Neil Dutta, head of economic research for Renaissance Macro, pointed out in a note to clients Monday morning, the economic data that the Fed pays close attention to—like the unemployment rate, bank lending, and economic growth—suggest that the U.S. economy continues to, at the very least, tread, water or, in the case of employment growth, make clear progress. “Thus, the performance of the US data in recent weeks is not a sufficient reason for the re-pricing in financial markets,” he writes.

    Furthermore, he points out that since exports to the Pacific Rim account for just 2% of U.S. GDP, even a 10% decline in trade to that region would only shave 0.2% off GDP growth for an entire year. This is certainly a situation worth monitoring for the Fed, but a sharp slowdown in China is not a game changer for the Federal Reserve.

    That said, there has always been the chance that the Fed would decide to wait until December or even next year to begin raising rates. There’s a legitimate argument over just what the economic data says. Summers points out that, “more than half the components of the consumer price index have declined in the past six months, and that this is “the first time this has happened in more than a decade.”

    This is true, but the Fed has publicly been wrestling with the question of why inflation hasn’t been higher for some time. While unemployment is clearly trending downward, there hasn’t been the sort of uptick in inflation that Fed leaders expect to result from a tighter labor market. When it comes to inflation, it’s actually more accurate to say that the Fed is “forecast dependent” because it must try to predict when inflation is on its way; it can’t be satisfied with a lack of inflation in its rearview mirror.

    In other words, the decision to raise rates in September will be a difficult one based on fuzzy and sometimes conflicting data. But that would have been the case even if stock market volatility hadn’t increased so much in recent weeks.

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