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灰犀牛作者最新警告:金融资产的通胀导致实体经济出现通缩!(专访)

来源:财经自媒体

原标题:灰犀牛作者米歇尔·沃克最新警告:金融资产的通胀导致实体经济出现通缩!上市公司回购股票而不是继续投资!美联储的担心出现了!(专访)

来源:经济学家圈

灰犀牛作者最新警告:金融资产的通胀导致实体经济出现通缩!(专访)

米歇尔·沃克(Michele Wucker),1969年出生,是美国作家、评论员和政策分析师。2007年古根海姆学者奖获得者,2009年世界经济论坛“青年领袖”。财经畅销书《灰犀牛:如何应对大概率危机》作者。(图为米歇尔·沃克近照,由本人提供)

采访&翻译:傅碧涵

经济学家圈:欧盟和美国都制定了到2050年实现碳中和的目标。中国的目标是在2030年前完成碳达峰,并在2060年前实现碳中和。您怎么看全球范围内主要国家的碳中和之路?

米歇尔·沃克:碳中和是有助于促进国际竞争走向共享的绝佳机会,以实现共同的、互利的目标。现在,在贸易和其他全球竞争和紧张局势下,如果看到一种不是以邻为壑的政策,而是帮助每一个国家更好,就像同时采取积极的气候行动一样,那将是非常美妙的。如果你愿意,这是一场良性竞争,帮助各个国家尽快登顶,实现彼此目标的比赛,而不是一场恶性竞争。我很想看到一场全球减排奥运会,各国和各地区竞争,看谁能减少最多排放量;不仅是碳,还有甲烷,这是一种更强大和危险的温室气体,我们还没有足够多关于它们的信息。我们的目标越积极越好,而且我们都应该争取早日达到这些减排目标。

经济学家圈:您如何看待中国的碳达峰碳中和的目标,在去碳化的道路上,您能给中国企业提供什么建议?

米歇尔·沃克:从很多方面来说,积极实现碳中和是一项明智的政策。它减少了污染以及相关的健康和生产力成本。它降低了未来的能源成本。它还创造了就业机会。支持碳中和转型的政府政策越多,它就会走得越快,这是一件好事,可以为企业和国家创造竞争优势。公司可以在不同的层次上脱碳,最好是尽可能多。首先,它们应该追踪自己在生产商品和服务以及运送人员和产品时产生的碳影响。他们的目标应该是通过建造更节能的建筑,积极减少自己内部的碳使用;如果可能的话,通过扩大在家工作计划减少通勤;在他们制造和消费的产品的整个生命周期内减少浪费。他们可以坚持要求供应商报告并减少其碳影响,转而选择碳强度最低的供应商。他们可以停止对碳密集型活动的投资。甚至更好的是,根据它们所在的行业,通过更清洁的技术和更有效的流程,企业可以积极生产和投资一些减排的商品和服务。

经济学家圈:关于退出宽松货币政策,为什么全球进展太慢?

米歇尔·沃克:许多中央银行担心,如果他们过快地收紧货币政策,负债累累的公司将无法偿还债务,政府的债务负担将迅速升级。甚至在受新冠疫情伤害最严重时人们仍在努力抗争疫情的时候,这可能会阻碍对经济的财政支持。中央银行仍然太受制于金融市场,两者都参与到对廉价货币的共同依赖中。一般来说,人类的行动往往过于缓慢,无法阻止明显的问题出现,尤其是当决策者面临资产泡沫,而这些泡沫有利于本国富人和有权有势的人群时。

在我看来,货币政策是一个非常广泛的经济政策制定工具,不能像近年来许多国家那样严重依赖。除非政府出台政策减少不必要的副作用,否则过于宽松的货币政策会加剧财富和收入的不平等,吹大金融资产泡沫,助长不健康的投机行为,使人们更难买得起房子,给老一辈人造成重大困难,他们往往依赖固定收入的资产,而在今天这样的货币条件下,其收益远远低于通货膨胀。极端宽松的货币政策还使经济效率降低,因为它支持那些无法用当前收入完全偿还债务的 "僵尸公司",从而将投资从那些前景更光明的新企业中转移出来。

中央银行家们经常抱怨,当涉及到极度宽松的货币政策的意外副作用时,他们的手被绑住了。当然,每个国家的动态是不同的,这取决于财政和货币政策制定者的合作程度。在我最了解的美国,但毫无疑问,在许多其他地方,财政政策制定者可以做得更多,以抵消这些不必要的副作用。税收政策的设计可以阻止投机,鼓励实体经济投资,并减少不平等,但这只是众多例子中的一个。

灰犀牛作者最新警告:金融资产的通胀导致实体经济出现通缩!(专访)

经济学家圈:自2008年以来,全球通胀率一直没有这么高,这是否意味着拐点即将到来?如何采取行动?

米歇尔·沃克:显然,即将公布的通胀数字是一个令人担忧的问题。解读它们是困难的,因为综合了不同影响因素的主要 "标题 "数字并没有反映出行业之间的巨大差异。例如,通货膨胀似乎在酒店业高得多,这些行业受到新冠疫情的严重打击,所以在2020年削减价格最多,目前正在正常化;与2019年相比,通货膨胀的情况非常不同。供应链的冲击造成了地区性的通货膨胀,打断了这些地方的制造、食品加工和运输。市场和许多银行家认为这些冲击是 "过渡性的"–也就是暂时的–这就是为什么他们没有更加担心,至少是公开的担心。

在我看来,许多中央银行对金融资产通胀或其对实体经济通胀的影响关注不够。我们已经知道金融资产通胀对不平等的加剧有多严重。但它也影响了实体经济的通货膨胀。往往由投机者推动的高房价,最终会增加租金,这是许多家庭的最大支出。多年来,美国联储一直担心实体经济可能出现通货紧缩。在我看来,金融资产的通货膨胀增加了这个问题,因为它鼓励公司将其利润投资于回购股票,而不是投资于人力资本或扩张。为什么呢?因为公司认为膨胀纸面利润比实体经济有更多好处,而实体经济的需求一直很低,因为这么多钱都进入了金融市场的泡沫而不是工资和生产。

至少在美国,通货膨胀故事的积极部分是,许多工人现在有更多的权力要求更高的工资,特别是在涉及大量客户接触和通常工资低的工作领域。这是对几十年来工资落后于行政人员报酬和投资者回报的趋势的积极逆转。收入最低的工人的工资增长将有助于整体经济,因为它允许更多的资金流通。

经济学家圈:您如何看待互联网平台的反垄断问题?

米歇尔·沃克:世界各地的监管机构对最大的技术公司的市场集中和支配地位的担心已经有一段时间了。随着公司争夺市场份额,我们将看到公司之间因涉嫌垄断行为而产生越来越多的冲突。公司将需要重新评估其当前战略的成本和效益,并思考他们的客户需要什么。当然,消费者会从更多的竞争中受益,所以那些与他人合作更灵活的公司将对使用其服务的人更具吸引力。而投资者无疑更愿意看到公司私下解决问题,而不是在法庭上解决。部分原因是,我们看到的有关所谓垄断行为的冲突越多,监管机构介入的压力就越大。

经济学家圈:您如何看待人民币升值?人民币密切跟踪美元指数的走势?

米歇尔·沃克:世界各地的投资者对中国的金融资产给予了更多的关注,尤其是债券,5月份外国投资者持有的债券创下了新的记录。这部分是因为美国利率仍然很低,因为中国经济从新冠疫情恢复得更快,因为它们提供了多样化,因为中国债券收益率与美国收益率没有密切关联,还因为人民币一直很强劲。一些高知名度的投资组合经理和分析师最近推荐了中国债券,在去年11月监管变化和今年10月中国政府债券将被纳入富时罗素世界政府债券指数后,大型机构投资者对中国的兴趣越来越大。这种兴趣的部分原因可能还在于,在经历了特朗普政府的不可预测性之后,他们预计拜登担任总统期间中美关系的波动性会降低。不过,一些投资者对进入中国债券以及人民币走强会持续多久持谨慎态度,特别是如果美国联储比预期更快地缩减其对金融市场的支持–无论是因为对通货膨胀的担忧增加,还是对美元疲软的担忧,或者两者都是如此。

1. Both EU and Us has set a carbon neutrality goal by 2050. China will aim to hit peak emissions before 2030 and for carbon neutrality by 2060. How do you think countries all over the world path to carbon neutrality?

Michele Wucker:Carbon neutrality is a great opportunity to promote constructive international competition towards a shared, mutually beneficial goal. Right now, with trade and other global competition and tensions, it would be wonderful to see a competition that is not characterized by beggar-thy-neighbor policies but rather one that helps every single country, as simultaneous aggressive climate action would: a race to the top rather than a race to the bottom, if you will. I would love to see something like a global Olympics for emissions reduction, with countries and regions competing to see who can reduce emissions the most; not just carbon but also methane which is an even more powerful and dangerous greenhouse gas we don’t hear enough about. The more aggressive we can make the goals, the better, and we should all aim to reach those emissions reductions targets early.

2. How do you think about China’s aim of carbon neutralization for carbon peaks, and what suggestion can you offer to Chinese companies on the way to decarbonization?

Michele Wucker:Aiming aggressively for carbon neutrality is a smart policy in many ways. It reduces pollution and the related health and productivity costs. It lowers future energy costs. And it creates jobs. The more government policies support the carbon-neutral transition, the faster it will go, and this is a good thing that creates a competitive advantage for companies and countries. Companies can decarbonize at different levels, and ideally as many as possible. First, they should track their own carbon impact in producing goods and services and transporting people and products. They should aim to aggressively reduce their own carbon use in-house through more energy efficient buildings, reducing commutes through expanded work-from-home programs when possible, and by reducing waste throughout the life cycle of the products they make and consume. They can insist that their suppliers report and reduce their carbon impact, and switch to the suppliers with the lowest carbon intensity. They can stop investing in carbon-intensive activities. Even better, depending on their industry, companies can actively produce and invest in goods and services that reduce greenhouse emissions through cleaner technologies and more efficient processes.

3.About exit from monetary easing, Why global progress too slow?

Michele Wucker:Many central banks worry that if they tighten monetary policy too fast, highly indebted companies will not be able to service their debts and government debt burdens will escalate quickly. This could discourage fiscal support for economies even as the people hurt hardest by the pandemic are still struggling to catch up. Central banks are still too beholden to financial markets and both are involved in a co-dependent addiction to cheap money. And in general, human beings tend to move too slowly to head off obvious problems, especially when they are policy makers faced with asset bubbles that benefit the wealthy and powerful parts of their populations.

In my view, monetary policy is much too broad an instrument of economic policy making to be relied on as heavily as many countries have done in recent years. Unless governments put in place policies to reduce unwanted side effects, too-loose monetary policies add to wealth and income inequality, inflate financial asset bubbles and promote unhealthy speculation, make it harder for people to afford homes, create major difficulties for older generations who often depend on fixed-income assets that yield much less than inflation in monetary conditions like the ones today. Extremely loose monetary policy also makes economies less efficient by propping up “zombie companies” that cannot service their debts fully from current revenues, and thus diverts investments from newer businesses that have brighter futures.

Central bankers often complain that their hands are tied when it comes to the unintended side effects of extremely loose monetary policy. Of course, the dynamics are different in every country depending on how closely fiscal and monetary policy makers work together. In the United States, which I know best, but no doubt many other places too, fiscal policy makers could do a lot more to offset those unwanted side effects. Tax policies can be designed to discourage speculation, encourage real-economy investment, and reduce inequality, but this is just one of many examples.

4. Global inflation hasn’t been this high since 2008, Does that mean and inflection point Will coming? How to take action?

Michele Wucker:Obviously, the inflation numbers coming out are a cause for concern. Interpreting them is difficult because the main “headline” numbers that combine different influences do not reflect the wide differences between industries. For example, inflation appears to be much higher in hospitality industries, which were hit hard by the pandemic so cut prices the most in 2020 so are normalizing; compared to 2019 the inflation story is very different. Supply chain shocks have caused inflation in areas where the pandemic interrupted manufacturing, food processing, and transportation. Markets and many bankers see these shocks as “transitory” –that is, temporary—which is why they have not been more worried, at least publicly.

In my view, many central banks have not been concerned enough with financial asset inflation nor its impact on inflation in the real economy. We already know how badly financial asset inflation has increased inequality. But it impacts real economy inflation too. High home prices, often driven by speculators, will eventually increase rent, the single biggest expense for many households. For years, the US Fed has been worried about possible deflation in the real economy. In my view, financial asset inflation increases that problem by encouraging companies to invest their profits into buying back their shares instead of investing in human capital or expansion. Why? Because companies see more benefit to inflating paper profits than in the real economy, where demand has been kept low because so much money is going into financial market bubbles instead of wages and production.

The positive part of the inflation story, in the US at least, is that many workers now have more power to demand higher wages, particularly in lines of work that involve lots of customer contact and where typically wages are low. This is a positive reversal of a decades-long trend when wages have lagged executive compensation and investor returns. Rising wages for the lowest-paid workers will help the economy overall by allowing more money to circulate.

5. How do you see the anti-monopoly issue of Internet platforms?

Michele Wucker:Regulators around the world have been worried about market concentration and dominance by the biggest technology companies for quite some time. As companies jostle for market share, we will see more and more conflicts between companies over alleged monopoly behavior. Companies will need to re-evaluate the costs and benefits of their current strategies and think about what their customers want. Consumers benefit from more competition, of course, so the companies that are more flexible working with others will be more attractive to the people who use their services. And investors no doubt would prefer to see companies work things out privately instead of in the courts. Part of this is because the more conflicts over alleged monopolistic practices we see, the more pressure there will be for regulators to step in.

6.What do you think about appreciation of the RMB?yuan closely tracking moves in the dollar index?Michele Wucker:Investors around the world have been paying much more attention to Chinese financial assets, particularly bonds where foreign holdings hit a record in May. This is in part because US interest rates remain low, because the Chinese economy has recovered more quickly from the pandemic, because they provide diversification as Chinese bond yields are not closely correlated to US yields, and because the yuan has been strong. Several high-profile portfolio managers and analysts have recently recommended Chinese bonds, and big institutional investors have been increasingly interested in China after regulatory changes last November and the inclusion of Chinese government bonds in the FTSE Russell World Government Bond Index October. Some of that interest may also be because they expect less volatility in US-China relations under the Biden presidency after the unpredictability of the Trump administration. Still, some investors are wary of how long the move into Chinese bonds, along with yuan strength will last, especially if the US Fed tapers its support of financial markets faster than expected -whether because of increased inflation fears, worries about dollar weakness, or both.

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