- 作者: Yanis Varoufakis
- 出版社/メーカー: Vintage
- 発売日: 2017/02/02
- メディア: ペーパーバック
- この商品を含むブログ (1件) を見る
QE was invented in Japan in the 1990s and adopted in the United States after the 2008 disaster. Once a crisis proves so large that everyone is trying against all hope, to pay off debt in conditions of shrinking incomes, no one wants to borrow even if interest rates come down to zero. At that point central banks run out ou means to stimulate the economy in their usual way—by reducing interest rates. Zero is, indeed, a radical number, and any interest rate below it means that depositors, who must now pay for the banks to hold their money, will rush to withdraw every penny, causing the banking sector's collapse.
John Meynard Keynes, back in 1936, had to quote Ibsen's Wild Duck in order to convey to his readers the problem that a central bank faces when interest rates fall to zero but economy is still in the doldrums: “The wild duck has dived down to the bottom—as deep as she can get—and bitten fast hold of the weed and tangle and all the rubbish that is down there, and it would need an extraorfinarily clever dog to dive after and fish her up again.”*3 QE was meant to be Keynes's 'extraordinarily clever dog'--an alternative way by which central banks could stimulate the economy.
The idea is simple: the central bank buys from commercial banks other people's debts. Who are those 'other people'? They can be families that owe mortgages to the bank, corporations, or even a government that has sold bonds to the bank. In exchange for those debts and the stream of incvome they produce, the central bank deposits dollars or euros in an account the commercial bank keeps at the cenrtal bank. Where does the central bank find the money? From thin air, is the answer: they are just nembers that central bank conjures up and adds to the commercial bank's account. (…) In the hope that the commercial bank will use this money by lending it to businesses wishing to invest and to families wanting to buy houses, cars, gadgets and so on. If this happens, economic activity will rise again as liquidity rushes in/ At least this is the theory of how QE stimulates a flagging economy.
QE works but even under the best possible circumstances works neither very well nor in the manner it is intended to. The reason is that for QE's virtuous wheel to start spinning, a multiple coincidence of impsossible beliefs must occur.
Jack and Jill, who are Bank Y's customers, must trust that the property market has bottomed out in the medium term and that their jobs are secure enough to dare ask the bank for a mortgage. Bank Y must be willing to take the risk of stretching its already large assets column(list of income-generating loans) by lending Jack and Jill the money to buy a house in the hope that Bank Xwill buy that mortagage from it using its QE funded reserve account at the central bank. Companies thinking of employing peope like Jack and Jill in the medium to long term must believe that Bank X will indeed buy Jack and Jill's mortagage from Bank Y and, moreover, that this sort of transaction will increase demand for their products, thus justifying hiring more staff.
To cut our ling story short, a grat deal of believing must occur before QE delivers on its promises to boost the real economy. But given the state of self-confirming pessimism that prevails in the depth of a severe crisis, to expect that these beliefs will flood into the different agents' minds simulataneously is to believe in miracles. More likely, as witnessed in Japan and in America, where QE was tired out with a vengerance, banks tend to lend money conjured up by the central bank not to other banks or to Jack and Jill but to companies. Except that companies do not invest the borrowed money in machinery and workers, fearful that the demand will not be there for extra output produced. What they do is to buy back their own shares in the stock market in order to increase their price and collect a nice bonus for having 'added value to the company.” While this process does bopost, to some extent, upmarket house prices and demand for luxuries, the only beneficialry is gross inequality. (pp.187-188)
Kimberly Amadeo “What Is Quantitative Easing? Definition and Explanation” https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-quantitative-easing-definition-and-explanation-3305881
Julia Kollewe and Phillip Inman “What is quantitative easing?” https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/22/what-is-quantitative-easing