经济学人:危机应对:因病施治,对症下药(01)

Finance and Economics

财经

Free exchange: A lost decade

自由交流:失去的十年

Governments prevented a second Depression, but left the world vulnerable.

各国政府防止了二次衰退。但是,却让世界变得脆弱不堪。

Ten years ago this month, America entered the “Great Recession”.

十年前的这个月,美国步入了“大衰退”。

A decade on, the recession occupies a strange space in public memory.

十年后的今天,这场衰退在公共记忆中占据着一处奇怪的空间。

Its toll was clearly large.

它的损失显然是巨大的。

America suffered a cumulative loss of output estimated at nearly $4trn, and its labour markets have yet to recover fully.

美国遭受了估计将近4万亿美元的累计产出损失。

But the recession was far less bad than it might have been, thanks to the successful application of lessons from the Depression.

但是,由于得自大萧条经验教训的成功应用,衰退远不如可能的那样严重。

Paradoxically, that success spared governments from enacting bolder reforms of the sort that might make the Great Recession the once-a-century event economists thought such calamities should be.

吊诡的是,这种成功反而使得各国政府免于实施那种或许会让大衰退成为经济学家认为此类灾难理应是百年一遇事件的更大胆的改革。

Good crisis response treats its symptoms; the symptoms of a disease, after all, can kill you.

好的危机应对,因病施治,对症下药;毕竟,病症可能置人于死地。

On that score today's policymakers did far better than those of the 1930s.

在这一点上,今天的决策者要比上世纪30年代的决策者做得好得多。

Government budgets have become a much larger share of the economy, thanks partly to the rise of the modern social safety net.

政府预算已然成为了一种大了很多的经济占比,这部分是拜当今的社会保障网所赐。

Consequently, public borrowing and spending on benefits did far more to stabilise the economy than they did during the Depression.

因而,社会福利上的公共举债和开支为稳定经济起到了比它们在大萧条期间更大的作用。

Policymakers stepped in to prevent the extraordinary collapse in prices and incomes experienced in the 1930s.

决策者介入了进来,以防止在上世纪30年代曾经经历过的价格和收入方面的大崩溃。

They also kept banking panics from spreading, which would have amplified the pain of the downturn.

他们还控制住了或许会放大衰退痛苦的银行业的恐慌,使之未能外溢。

Though unpopular, the decision to bail out the financial system prevented the implosion of the global economy.

尽管不受欢迎,救助金融体系的决定防止了全球经济的内爆。

But the success of those policies, and the relatively bearable recession that resulted, allowed governments to avoid more dramatic interventions of the sort which, after the 1930s, gave the world half a century of (relative) economic calm.

但是,这些政策的成功以及由此所带来的相对可以承受的衰退却给了各国政府避免那种曾在上世纪30年代之后让世界获得了半个世纪的(相对)经济平静的更加剧烈的干预。

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