2012年10月26日星期五

通货膨胀会帮助削减政府债务吗?

当教导意外通货膨胀的影响时,我总是指出那些以固定利率借用的人从通货膨胀中获益,因为他们可以偿还他们的借款(和更有价值)的美元。有时我折腾了大师开朗的提醒,即美国政府是最大的借款人 - 因此可能对更高的通胀率具有既得利益。但假设从更高的通胀联系到减少政府债务负担的实际上是一个比最初出现的更为有问题的政策。

Menzie Chinn和Jeffry Frieden为较高的债务负担达到较低的真正债务负担,为较高的债务负担制造一个清晰的案例一篇文章在里面挤奶学院评论(可在线提供免费注册)。They point out that after World War II the U.S. government had accumulated a total debt of more than 100% of GDP, but that it cut that debt/GDP burden in half in about 10 years with a combination of economic growth and about 4% inflation. They are at pains to point out that they aren't suggesting a lot of inflation. But as they see it, given the fact that debt/GDP ratios are extremely high by historical standards in the U.S. and in a number of other high-income countries, a quiet process of slowing inflating away some of the real value of the debt is far preferable to the messy process of governments threatening to default. They write:

“当然,债权人的实际条款少于他们的合同 - 并且可能少于他们同意合同时的预期。这可能似乎是不公平的。但结果与债权人被迫时的结果差异不一样不同to accept the restructuring of their claims through one form of bankruptcy or another. ...It’s important to remember, though, that
我们并不暗示了很多通货膨胀 - 当然没有像双层的速度一样
在1979年到1981年的第二次油震动。相反,我们相信目标应该是目标
适度通货膨胀,只需将债务负担降低到更可管理的水平,
并相应地调整货币政策。这可能意味着4到6%的东西
范围几年。......我们并不声称通货膨胀是速度透射的无痛方式。但是,我们声称,它比现实替代品更痛苦。......不寻常的时代要求不寻常的措施。“

逆势,这持有通货膨胀可能没有多少来减少债务/国内生产总值比率,从这个洞察力开始:是的,通货膨胀减少了过去债务的未偿还价值,并且在第二次世界大战之后,当发生大型债务时,就像在第二次世界大战后的情况一样,但借款然后停止。例如,美国政府在1947年至1951年的五年中占用了预算盈余四分之四。但是,如果财政政策是一个不可持续的路径过于巨大的赤字,那么通货膨胀就不会解决问题。在中小学美联储银行的年度报告中出现的一篇文章中,“不可持续的财政政策:对货币政策的影响,“Renee Haltom和John A. Weinberg做出一个论点,即通货膨胀实际上不会提供减少当前美国政府债务负担的希望。

“考虑需要充分减少当前的债务水平需要多少通货膨胀措施是有用的。根据目前需要满足许多通货膨胀,以解决当前的债务失衡,迈克尔·克劳德和Stéphane莫耶森(2011)估计一个适度的上升in inflation to 4 percent annually sustained for at least 10 years—in effect a permanent doubling of the Fed’s inflation objective—would reduce the value of the additional debt that accrued during the 2008–09 financial crisis, not the total debt, by just 25 percent. If the rise in inflation lasted only two or three years, a 16 percentage point increase—from roughly 2 percent inflation today to 18 percent—would be required to reduce that additional debt by just 3 percent to 8 percent. Such inflation rates were not reached even in the worst days of the inflationary 1970s. The reason inflation has such a minimal impact on debt in Krause and Moyen’s estimates is that while inflation erodes the value of existing nominal debt, it increases the financing costs for newly issued debt because investors must be compensated to be willing to hold bonds that will be subject to higher inflation. This effect would be greater for governments such as the United States that have a short average maturity of government debt and therefore need to reissue it often.

"With these estimates in mind, it is worth recalling the CBO’s projection that debt held by the public may triple as a percent of GDP within 25 years. The estimates cited above suggest that inflation is simply not a viable strategy for reducing such debt levels. In addition, it is important to remember that inflation is costly on many levels. Inflation high enough to significantly erode the debt would inflict considerable damage on the economy and would require costly policies for the Fed to regain its credibility after the fact. Inflation that was engineered specifically to erode debt would provide a significant source of fiscal revenue without approval via the democratic process, and so would
提出关于中央银行的作用的问题,而不是国会和行政部门在提高财政收入方面的作用。最终,高债务水平的解决方案必须来自财政部门。“
在类似的精神中,国际货币基金组织写道第3章其最近的世界经济前景低水平的通胀似乎似乎对减少政府债务的影响很小:“通货膨胀与[政府]之间的关系更加暧昧。虽然过货膨胀与急剧减少过度的债务明显相关,但当排除过货膨胀发作时,没有平均通胀率与债务变更之间的结案结合。“

简而言之,如果联邦赤字首次明确地放置在递减路径上,那么意外通货膨胀的安静激增可以帮助减少过去的债务。但是,在目前的美国,在未来几十年中,稳步上升的债务/国内生产总值/国内生产总值的轨迹,通货膨胀并不是答案 - 并且最终可能只是成为问题的另一部分。