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。
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.