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政经迷雾|《经济学人》:世界经济已开始复苏,世界政治仍处于迷途

2017-03-31 从余启 我与我们的世界 我与我们的世界

欢迎打开“我与我们的世界”,从此,让我们一起“纵览世界之风云变幻、洞察社会之脉搏律动、感受个体之生活命运、挖掘自然之点滴奥妙”。

我与我们的世界,既是一个“奋斗”的世界,也是一个“思考”的世界。奋而不思则罔,思而不奋则殆。这个世界,你大,它就大;你小,它就小。

欢迎通过上方公众号名称打开公众号“查看历史信息”来挖掘往期文章,因为,每期都能让你“走近”不一样的世界、带给你不一样的精彩


本期导读:中国有句俗语叫做“前人栽树,后人乘凉”,比喻前人做的劳动,后人来享受。这个说法的哲学依据在于黄老道学的“天道承负论”,其特点是前辈与后辈之间相承相负。


黄老道学的“承负说”,源自最早的道教经典《太平经》,意思是祖先积德行善,则可荫及子孙;若先人屡屡犯过作恶,后人将无辜蒙受灾祸,即人们常说的“前人种树,后人乘凉;前人惹祸,后人遭殃”,并用以解释自然和社会上的各种因果现象。


原因和结果的关系是一回事儿,现象和本质的关系又是另一回事儿。关于现象与本质,我们都曾不止一遍地烂熟于胸,现象与本质,既对立又统一,而最重要的是,要区别真象与假象、假象与错觉。


真象是从正面表现本质的现象。错觉是由于人的感觉上的错误造成的,属于主观的范畴;假象则是由客观存在的种种条件造成的,它是现象的一种,属于客观的范畴。总的来说,我们的任务就是,透过表面的东西看到内在的实质


我们所处的这个世界,一直以来就是一个充满各种真象、假象、错觉的庞杂世界。其中,尤以政治与经济之间的关系最为迷人。政治与经济之间的各种迷雾,不知迷倒过多少专家学者,而普罗大众,身处其中并深处其中,更是难以识别出“庐山的真面目”


当前的世界经济状况,已开始出现复苏的苗头,而当前的世界政治状况,却依然充满民粹和保守情绪。世界经济与世界政治这团迷雾之中,“经济复苏”这棵树已然长成,究竟是谁栽了树,而又是谁在乘凉?


On the rise

世界经济进入上行通道


A synchronised global upturn is underway. Thank stimulus, not the populists

全球各大经济体同步向好,需要感谢的,是刺激政策,而非民粹分子


ECONOMIC and political cycles have a habit of being out of sync. Just ask George Bush senior, who lost the presidential election in 1992 because voters blamed him for the recent recession. Or Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, booted out by German voters in 2005 after imposing painful reforms, only to see Angela Merkel reap the rewards.

经济周期与政治周期,总是有点步调不一。美国前总统老布什,1992年输掉大选,就因为选民们觉得,老布什应为当时美国的经济衰退负责。德国前总理施罗德,因实施了令选民感到痛楚的改革输掉2005年大选,眼睁睁看着默克尔把各种好处收入囊中。


Today, almost ten years after the most severe financial crisis since the Depression, a broad-based economic upswing is at last under way. In America, Europe, Asia and the emerging markets, for the first time since a brief rebound in 2010, all the burners are firing at once.

当下,距2008年爆发自上世纪大萧条后最严重全球金融危机近十年的今天,世界经济终于显露出普遍向好的态势。在美国、欧洲、亚洲以及各大新兴市场,经济引擎都在轰鸣,这还是全球经济自2010年出现短暂复苏后的头一遭。


But the political mood is sour. A populist rebellion, nurtured by years of sluggish growth, is still spreading. Globalisation is out of favour. An economic nationalist sits in the White House. This week all eyes were on Dutch elections featuring Geert Wilders, a Dutch Islamophobic ideologue, just one of many European malcontents.

不过,当下的全球政治氛围却完全是另一幅模样。多年来经济低迷不振导致的民粹主义依然在全球蔓延;曾促进人类福祉提升的全球化现在已被污名化;美国的白宫里住进去一位集商业主义与民族主义于一身的总统;本周,全球目光又聚焦于荷兰大选,只因参选人中有一位选情看涨且患有伊斯兰恐惧症的威尔德斯,而像威尔德斯这样的人,在欧洲还有很多。


This dissonance is dangerous. If populist politicians win credit for a more buoyant economy, their policies will gain credence, with potentially devastating effects. As a long-awaited upswing lifts spirits and spreads confidence, the big question is: what lies behind it?

政经之间的这种错配,很是危险。若民粹政客因当下经济好转而获得声誉,民粹政策就会获得更多支持,不过,随之而来的,却是各种潜在性危害。盼星星、盼月亮终于盼来经济复苏,令人精神振奋、信心大增,不过,最关键问题是:究竟是什么带来了这次的经济复苏?


All together now

搅和成了一锅粥


The past decade has been marked by false dawns, in which optimism at the start of a year has been undone—whether by the euro crisis, wobbles in emerging markets, the collapse of the oil price or fears of a meltdown in China. America’s economy has kept growing, but always into a headwind. A year ago, the Federal Reserve had expected to raise interest rates four times in 2016. Global frailties put paid to that.

过去的十年间,不时出现各种希望,但最终却都被证明是幻想。年复一年,年初的乐观情绪总会被血淋淋的现实击得体无完肤,不是欧元危机,就是新兴市场震荡,不是油价崩溃,就是为中国经济放缓担忧。美国经济一直在增长,但也总是困难重重。一年前,美联储有望于2016年加息四次,但最终也没变成现实,只因当时全球经济依然脆弱。


Now things are different. This week the Fed raised rates for the second time in three months—thanks partly to the vigour of the American economy, but also because of growth everywhere else. Fears about Chinese overcapacity, and of a yuan devaluation, have receded. In February factory-gate inflation was close to a nine-year high. In Japan in the fourth quarter capital expenditure grew at its fastest rate in three years. The euro area has been gathering speed since 2015. The European Commission’s economic-sentiment index is at its highest since 2011; euro-zone unemployment is at its lowest since 2009.

现在,情况不同了。本周,美联储再次加息,这已是三个月内的第二次,一方面是因美国经济充满活力,一方面是因其他经济体也显现出增长态势。在中国,对产能过剩以及人民币贬值的担忧,已经退去,二月份出厂价格增长已近九个月新高。在日本,第四季度资本开支增长速度也创三年来新高。在欧元区,经济自2015年以来一直在加速,欧盟委员会发布的经济信心指数处于2011年以来的高位,欧元区的失业率也处于2009年以来的低位。


The bellwethers of global activity look sprightly, too. In February South Korea, a proxy for world trade, notched up export growth above 20%. Taiwanese manufacturers have posted 12 consecutive months of expansion. Even in places inured to recession the worst is over. The Brazilian economy has been shrinking for eight quarters but, with inflation expectations tamed, interest rates are now falling. Brazil and Russia are likely to add to global GDP this year, not subtract from it. The Institute of International Finance reckons that in January the developing world hit its fastest monthly rate of growth since 2011.

全球经济的活跃参与者,也表现不错。对韩国经济来说,对外贸易极其重要,二月份韩国出口增速超过20%。台湾的制造业连续12个月录得扩张。即使在易于陷于衰退的经济体,最坏的时期也已成为过去。巴西经济过去八个季度一直都在萎缩,但随着通胀有望得到控制,利率水平目前已开始下降。今年,巴西和俄罗斯有望对全球经济增长做出积极贡献,而非像以往总是拖累全球经济。根据国际金融协会(IIF)测算,发展中经济体一月份录得自2011年以来最快月度增速。


This is not to say the world economy is back to normal. Oil prices fell by 10% in the week to March 15th on renewed fears of oversupply; a sustained fall would hurt the economies of producers more than it would benefit consumers. China’s build-up of debt is of enduring concern. Productivity growth in the rich world remains weak. Outside America, wages are still growing slowly. And in America, surging business confidence has yet to translate into surging investment.

不过,这并不意味着世界经济已回归正轨。由于对石油供给过剩产生新一轮担忧,3月15日前一周里油价下跌幅度达10%,油价若继续下行,其对石油生产国带来的冲击将会强于给石油消费国带来的好处。中国的债务水平仍然令人堪忧。发达经济体的生产力提升依然不强。除了美国,工人薪水增长仍旧缓慢。而在美国,尽管商业信心在提升,但还有待转化为实实在在的投资行动。


Entrenching the recovery calls for a delicate balancing-act. As inflation expectations rise, central banks will have to weigh the pressure to tighten policy against the risk that, if they go too fast, bond markets and borrowers will suffer. Europe is especially vulnerable, because the European Central Bank is reaching the legal limits of the bond-buying programme it has used to keep money cheap in weak economies.

想让经济稳固复苏,就要在政策层面进行精心权衡。随着通胀预期提升,央行将不得不在面对采取货币紧缩政策压力与紧缩过快对债市及借贷方所带来的风险之间进行权衡。欧洲那边儿状况特别脆弱,因为欧洲央行在债券回购政策方面的操作空间已非常有限,债券回购规模已达政策上限,之所以这样,主要是因为欧洲央行要通过债券回购让欧元利率处于低位以降低借贷成本、促进经济复苏。


The biggest risk, though, is the lessons politicians draw. Donald Trump is singing his own praises after good job and confidence numbers. It is true that the stockmarket and business sentiment have been fired up by promises of deregulation and a fiscal boost. But Mr Trump’s claims to have magically jump-started job creation are sheer braggadocio. The American economy has added jobs for 77 months in a row.

不过,最大的风险则在于,政界人士从中得出什么样š 47 32287 47 15287 0 0 3594 0 0:00:08 0:00:04 0:00:04 3594„结论。美国就业指数和经济信心指数好转后,特朗普为此大唱赞歌,把功劳归于自己。特朗普曾承诺削减管制、扩大财政支出,确实提振了股市和商界的信心,这一点儿也不假。但是,特朗普声称自己一下子奇迹般地创造了那么多的就业机会,则完全是自吹自擂。过去连续77个月,美国的就业机会一直在增长。


No Keynes, no gains

木有凯恩斯主义,就木有经济复苏


Most important, the upswing has nothing to do with Mr Trump’s “America First” economic nationalism. If anything, the global upswing vindicates the experts that today’s populists often decry. Economists have long argued that recoveries from financial crashes take a long time: research into 100 banking crises by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University suggests that, on average, incomes get back to pre-crisis levels only after eight long years. Most economists also argue that the best way to recover after a debt crisis is to clean up balance-sheets quickly, keep monetary policy loose and apply fiscal stimulus wherever prudently possible.

最需要指出的一点是,美国经济的好转,与特朗普“美国优先”的民族主义经济政策没有半毛关系。全球经济的好转,若能证明点什么的话,那就是能证明经济专家们是正确的,而那些经济专家也正是当下民粹分子经常批判的对象。经济专家们一直认为,从金融危机中实现复苏,需要一个长期的过程。哈佛大学教授莱因哈特与罗格夫针对100场银行危机的研究显示,收入水平要回到危机前水平所需的时间,平均长达八年之久。多数经济专家也认为,债务危机后让经济复苏的最好办法是,尽快对资产负债进行清理,保持货币政策宽松,并尽可能地实施谨慎的财政刺激政策。


Today’s recovery validates that prescription. The Fed pinned interest rates to the floor until full employment was in sight. The ECB’s bond-buying programme has kept borrowing costs in crisis-prone countries tolerable, though Europe’s misplaced emphasis on austerity, recently relaxed, made the job harder. In Japan rises in VAT have scuppered previous recoveries; this time the government wisely deferred an increase until at least 2019.

当下的经济复苏证实了上述那套经济复苏办法。美联储一直把利率保持在低位,直到充分就业开始显现。欧洲央行的债券回购,使得易发生危机的欧元区国家的借贷成本,保持在可接受水平,尽管欧洲央行对财政紧缩政策的强调让就业状况雪上加霜,不过最近对财政紧缩政策的强调已有所缓和。曾经,日本对增值税的提高打压了之前出现的经济复苏,这次,日本政府变聪明了,把提高增值税推迟到至少2019年才实施。


The tussle over who created the recovery is about more than bragging rights. An endorsement for populist economics would favour insurgent parties in countries like France, where the far-right Marine Le Pen is standing for president. It would also favour the wrong policies. Mr Trump’s proposed tax cuts would pump up the economy that now least needs support—and complicate the Fed’s task. Fortified by misplaced belief in their own world view, the administration’s protectionists might urge Mr Trump to rip up the infrastructure of globalisation (bypassing the World Trade Organisation in pursuing grievances against China, say), risking a trade war. A fiscal splurge at home and a stronger dollar would widen America’s trade deficit, which may strengthen their hand. Populists deserve no credit for the upsurge. But they could yet snuff it out.

对究竟是谁带来了这次经济复苏进行探讨,不仅仅关乎把经济复苏归功于谁的问题。若当下的经济复苏被民粹分子拿了去,则会对相关国家的民粹党派起到鼓动作用,像在法国,极右翼民粹领袖勒庞正全力向总统宝座冲刺。还有,也会对政府的政策取向形成误导。特朗普政府准备出台减税措施,这将进一步对美国经济形成刺激,但目前美国经济是最不需要刺激的时候,这进而也会对美联储的工作带来扰乱。特朗普政府的保守分子们一直坚持着他们错误的世界观,可能也会鼓动特朗普采取措施,侵蚀全球化的基础(如,绕过世贸组织把自己心中的不忿撒向中国),提高发生贸易战的风险。财政扩张,加上强势美元,则会让美国的贸易赤字进一步扩大,这进而可能会让保守分子们更为嚣张。民粹分子们,对当下的经济复苏没做出过任何付出,不过,他们却有可能让当下的经济复苏偃旗息鼓。


往期精彩:


量子世界|《经济学人》:存在是一种缥缈,缥缈也是一种存在

大国博弈|《中美关系》:路透社“剧透”,特朗普想见习大大

遥望世界2050|《普华永道》:中国和印度,将领跑全球

全球青年报告|《瓦尔基基金会》:青年就是太阳,青年就是希望

诗图一家|《命运遐想》:命里有时终须有,命里无时莫强求

世界经济|《全球脑库》:险情让人警醒,危机就是转机


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