美国货币政策

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美国货币政策(United States Monetary Policy)

目录

美国货币政策概述

  美国的货币政策的制定和执行职责,长期以来由美国的中央银行美国联邦储备委员会(简称美联储,FRS)承担。货币政策是美国调控国民经济和社会发展的主要宏观政策工具。美国法律规定,货币政策目标是实现充分就业并保持市值的稳定,创造一个相对稳定的金融环境。在货币政策执行过程中,美联储积极运用有关金融工具以尽量减少利率货币信贷量的变化,努力达到兼顾 “充分就业、市值稳定”的两大目标的目的。随着市场经济的成熟和发展,美联储货币政策在宏观调控经济方面发挥了日益重要的作用。

美国货币政策的调控思想及工具的运用

  调控的思想是逆经济风险行事,衰退时降低准备率和再贴现率,公开市场买入;繁荣时则反过来操作。

  准备金制度原本为了保障商业银行的流动性,后来演变成控制商业银行信用创造的工具。

美国货币政策调控的效果

  货币政策的运用存在着认识时滞、决策时滞和生效时滞,然后使得正确的政策在错误的时间发生作用,不是“熨平”,而是扩大经济的波幅。30年代的大危机据说就是货币政策的失误造成,90年代初格利斯潘的调控实践也不很成功。

美国货币政策调控思想与工具的变化

  90年代以来调控思想主要是,稳定经济与“逆经济风向行事”交替,更侧重于稳定经济,也就是尽可能抵消影响经济波动的因素。

美国货币政策的实质

  美国货币政策的实质是服务于本国经济,美联储深刻理解美国资产泡沫是美国多年扩张的货币造成的,主观上希望泡沫永远不会破裂,另一方面通过微调美国经济、消化历史包袱。

二战后美国货币政策传导机制的发展

  1、40-50年代初。1941年,美联储为筹措军费,采取了廉价的货币政策,即钉住战前的低利率:三个月期的国库券利率为0.375%,长期财政债券利率2.4%。无论什么时候,只要利率上升到高于上述水平,而且债券价格开始下跌时,美联储就进行公开市场购买,迫使利率下降。这一政策在大部分时间内是成功的,但当1950年朝鲜战争爆发时,引起了通货膨胀。1951年3月,美联储和财政部达成“一致协议”,取消钉住利率,但美联储承诺它将不让利率急剧上升。同时,美联储正式独立于财政部,此后货币政策才开始具有完全的独立性,这也标志着美国货币政策开始成为影响美国经济的主导力量。

  2、50-70年代。这期间美国经济周期性扩张和收缩的特征非常突出,因此,扩张性货币政策紧缩性的货币政策交替也很明显,货币政策目标经常变化。50年代,美联储控制的中介指标有自由储备金净额、三个月期的国库券利率货币总量比,并按此次序来决定指标控制的重要性。结果表明,美联储对前两个指标的控制较好,对货币总量控制较差,这导致最初的10年内竞发生了三次经济危机。到了60年代,又重新推行廉价的货币政策,同时重视财政政策的运用。货币供应量增长率日趋上升,松的货币政策加之松的财政政策导致通货膨胀率不断上升,从1965年的2.3%到1969年的6.1%。这些政策进一步导致了70年代滞胀的发生。70年代,美联储将货币总量作为中间目标,从M1 和M2的增长率来看,美联储以紧缩的货币政策为主,最终导致了1979年的经济危机。

  3、80-90年代。70年代后,随着通货膨胀被抑制,美联储又转向了平稳利率政策,并获得了极大成功。例如90年代初,美国经济陷入萧条,美联储在1990年7月到1992年9月间连续逐步降息17次,将短期利率从8%降到3%,促进投资与消费上升,从而带动了整个经济的发展。在1994年到1995年7月,美国经济过热时,又连续7次提高联邦基金利率,成功地实现了软着陆。1994年美联储主席格林斯潘指出,美联储将放弃以货币供应量的增减对经济实行宏观调控的做法,今后将以调控实际利率作为经济调控的主要手段。这标志着美国货币政策的重大转变。

  4、目前。自1999年6月开始,为防止经济过热,美联储开始抽紧银根,半年中先后三次提高利率。但美国经济增长势头仍没有减缓的迹象,于是在2000年2月2日、3月21日和5月16日又分别提高利率,使联邦基金利率达到65%。5月底公布的数据表明力度加大的宏观调控开始见效,经济增长逐步放缓。但2001年伊始,种种迹象表明,美国经济已进入了明显放慢的敏感时期。为刺激经济回升,从1月至6月底,美联储连续六次降息。在这么短的时间内采取如此大的降息动作,是近20年来的第一次。目前,美国联邦基金利率和贴现率分别为3.75%和3.25%,均为7年多来的最低水平。美联储表示,美国经济今后一段时期面临的主要危险仍是疲软,这意味着美联储可能还会降息。虽然目前美国经济还没有明显好转的迹象,但大多数经济学家认为,下半年美国经济形势将会出现好转。因为,首先,利率调整通常需要6至9个月的时间才能对经济产生全面影响。这意味着美联储今年1月开始的降息行动将在下半年充分发挥作用。其次,布什政府已开始实施其大规模减税计划。根据这一计划,美国家庭下半年可获得450亿美元的减税。再次,美国的消费者信心已开始回升,个人消费开支可望继续增加。

美国的货币政策与经济发展

  从美联储提供的1971呈2001年美国GDP增长、生产力水平和物价走势图可以看出:90年代中后期是美国经济最活跃的时期,在此期间,美国经济持续保持高速增长,通货膨胀率也控制在较低幅度,生产力水平的增长超过了30年的平均水平。在美国过去十年经济高速增长时期,一个很显著的特征是各类投资基金发展迅速。风险投资基金的发展,有力支持了新兴企业特别是高科技企业不断成长壮大;并购基金的发展,加快了企业的兼并重组,使一大批企业加快转型步伐,更多的由传统行业转向半导体、电信、信息技术等新兴产业,居民及企业投资意愿旺盛。

  随着经济快速增长,1998年以来,美国经济也不同程度上出现投资过度、投机增加等泡沫经济现象,一些新兴企业股价被严重高估,如从事信息网络业务的亚马逊公司股票市值在一段时间竟与通用公司的市值几乎相当,严重背离了实际情况。为了防止经济进一步过热,美联储在两年曾连续7次提高贷款利息,促使市场修正过热的经济预期,导致美国股市回落,企业投资特别是高新技术领域投资明显下降,经济增长逐步趋缓。

  2000年第四季度开始,美国经济增长出现停滞之势。2000年以来,为了防止经济衰退,提升企业和个人投资意愿,促进经济增长,尤其是振兴 “9·1l”事件后遭受重大打击的美国经济,美联储又连续11次降息,美元一年期浮动利率从原来的6.5%下降到1.75%,以刺激居民消费和投资的增长。美联储有关官员认为:从近30年来美国生产力水平曲线图可以看出,这次美国经济衰退与历史上其他时期的经济衰退有所不同。由于美国生产力水平仍保持在基本高于平均增长值状况,竞争力仍属较高水平,因此美国经济有望在今年下半年开始复苏,并逐步进入新一轮增长。

美国货币政策的目标

  Judd, Rudebusch

  下面是一封旧金山联邦储备银行的经济学通信。里面谈到了美国的货币政策目标及其历史演变。1913年,美联储成立的时候,没有规定目标,只说它的作用是维持货币弹性。1946年《就业法》规定美联储的货币政策目标是促进最大就业。1977年和1978年的《全面就业和预算平衡法》规定,货币政策有三个:“完全就业,价格稳定,中长期利率平稳”。现在,正在争论是否将货币政策目标只减为保持价格稳定这一项。欧洲央行已经这样做了。

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FRBSF Economic Letter

99-04; January 29, 1999

The Goals of U.S. Monetary Policy

* The evolution of the Fed's legislative mandate * The debate about the Fed's current mandate * References

The Federal Reserve has seen its legislative mandate for monetary policy change several times since its founding in 1913, when macroeconomic policy as such was not clearly understood. The most recent revisions were in 1977 and 1978, and they require the Fed to promote both price stability and full employment. The past changes in the mandate appear to reflect both economic events in the U.S. and advances in understanding how the economy functions. In the twenty years since the Fed's mandate was last changed, there have been further important economic developments as well as refinements in economic thought, and these raise the issue of whether to modify the goals for U.S. monetary policy once again. Indeed, a number of other countries--notably those that adopted the Euro as a common curency at the start of this year--have accepted price stability as the new primary goal for their monetary policies.

In this Letter, we spell out the evolution of the legislation governing U.S. monetary policy goals and summarize the debate about whether they could be improved.

The evolution of the Fed's legislative mandate

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 did not incorporate any macroeconomic goals for monetary policy, but instead required the Fed to "provide an elastic currency." This meant that the Fed should help the economy avoid the financial panics and bank runs that plagued the 19th century by serving as a "lender of last resort," which involved making loans directly to depository institutions through the discount windows of the Reserve Banks. During this early period, most of the actions of monetary policy that affected the macro economy were determined by the U.S. government's adherence to the gold standard.

The trauma of the Great Depression, coupled with the insights of Keynes (1936), led to an acknowledgment of the obligation of the federal government to prevent recessions. The Employment Act of 1946 was the first legislative statement of these macroeconomic policy goals. Although it did not specifically mention the Federal Reserve, it required the federal government in general to foster "conditions under which there will be afforded useful employment opportunities ... for those able, willing, and seeking to work, and to promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power."

The Great Inflation of the 1970s was the next major U.S. economic dislocation. This problem was addressed in a 1977 amendment to the Federal Reserve Act, which provided the first explicit recognition of price stability as a national policy goal. The amended Act states that the Fed "shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy's long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates." The goals of "stable prices" and "moderate long-term interest rates" are related because nominal interest rates are boosted by a premium over real rates equal to expected future inflation. Thus, "stable prices" will typically produce long-term interest rates that are "moderate."

The objective of "maximum" employment remained intact from the 1946 Employment Act; however, the interpretation of this term may have changed during the intervening 30 years. Immediately after World War II, when conscription and price controls had produced a high-pressure economy with very low unemployment in the U.S., some perhaps believed that the goal of "maximum" employment could be taken in its mathematical sense to mean the highest possible level of employment. However, by the second half of the 1970s, it was well understood that some "frictional" unemployment, which involves the search for new jobs and the transition between occupations, is a necessary accompaniment to the proper functioning of the economy in the long run.

This understanding went hand in hand in the latter half of the 1970s with a general acceptance of the Natural Rate Hypothesis, which implies that if policy were to try to keep employment above its long-run trend permanently or, equivalently, the unemployment rate below its natural rate, then inflation would be pushed higher and higher. Policy can temporarily reduce the unemployment rate below its natural rate or, equivalently, boost employment above its long-run trend. However, persistently attempting to maintain "maximum" employment that is above its long-run level would not be consistent with the goal of stable prices.

Thus, in order for maximum employment and stable prices to be mutually consistent goals, maximum employment should be interpreted as meaning maximum sustainable employment, referred to also as "full employment." Moreover, although the Fed has little if any influence on the long-run level of employment, it can attempt to smooth out short-run fluctuations. Accordingly, promoting full employment can be interpreted as a countercyclical monetary policy in which the Fed aims to smooth out the amplitude of the business cycle.

This interpretation of the Fed's mandate was later confirmed in the Humphrey-Hawkins legislation. As its official title--the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978--clearly implies, this legislation mandates the federal government generally to "...promote full employment and production, increased real income, balanced growth, a balanced Federal budget, adequate productivity growth, proper attention to national priorities, achievement of an improved trade balance . . . and reasonable price stability..." (italics added).

Besides clarifying the general goal of full employment, the Humphrey-Hawkins Act also specified numerical definitions or targets. The Act specified two initial goals: an unemployment rate of 4% for full employment and a CPI inflation rate of 3% for price stability. These were only "interim" goals to be achieved by 1983 and followed by a further reduction in inflation to 0% by 1988; however, the disinflation policies during this period were not to impede the achievement of the full-employment goal. Thereafter, the timetable to achieve or maintain price stability and full employment was to be defined by each year's Economic Report of the President.

The debate about the Fed's current mandate

The Fed then has two main legislated goals for monetary policy: promoting full employment and promoting stable prices. With this mandate, the Fed has helped foster the exceptional performance of the U.S. economy during the past decade. Still, some have argued that the Fed's mandate could be improved, especially in looking ahead to future attempts to maintain or institutionalize recent low inflation. Much discussion has centered on two topics: the transparency of the goals and their dual nature.

The transparency of goals refers to the extent to which the objectives of monetary policy are clearly defined and can be easily and obviously understood by the public. The goal of full employment will never be very transparent because it is not directly observed but only estimated by economists with limited precision. For example, the 1997 Economic Report of the President (which has authority in this matter from the Humphrey-Hawkins Act) gives a range of 5 to 6% for the unemployment rate consistent with full employment, with a midpoint of 5.5%. Research suggests that there is a very wide range of uncertainty around any estimate of the natural rate, with one prominent study finding a 95% probability that it falls in the wide range of 4 to 7-1/2 % (see Walsh 1998).

Price stability as a goal is also subject to some ambiguity. Recent economic analysis has uncovered systematic biases, say, on the order of 1 percentage point, in the CPI's measurement of inflation (see Motley 1997). In this case, actual price stability would be consistent with measured inflation of 1%. In addition, at any point in time, different price indexes register different rates of inflation. Over the past year, for example, the CPI has risen about 1-1/2%, while the GDP price index has risen about 1%. Still, a transparent price stability goal could be specified as a precise numerical growth rate (or range) for a particular index (which could take into account any biases). However, economists have also suggested other ways to enhance the transparency of policy. For example, publishing medium-term inflation forecasts might help to clarify the direction of policy (Rudebusch and Walsh 1998). Because the central bank has some control over inflation in the medium term, its forecasts would contain an indication of where it wanted inflation to go.

A second recent proposed modification to the Fed's goals involves focusing to a larger extent on price stability and de-emphasizing business cycle stabilization. Some economists have argued that having dual goals will lead to an inflation bias despite the Fed's best attempts to control inflation. This argument stresses that the temptation to engineer gains in output in the short run will overcome the central bank's desire to control inflation in the long run. As a result of elevated inflation expectations of the public, inflation will end up being higher than the central bank intended, despite its best efforts. This "time-inconsistency" argument, as economists call it, coupled with the pain incurred in the 1970s as inflation skyrocketed and in the early 1980s as inflation was reduced to moderate levels, persuaded many that the primary goal of the central bank should be to stabilize prices.

This view is embodied in the charter for the central bank in the new European Monetary Union: "The primary objective of the European System of Central Banks is to maintain price stability. Without prejudice to the objective of price stability, the ESCB shall support the general economic policies in the Community." Among these latter policies are "a high level of employment" and "a balanced development of economic activities."

Economists remain divided on the importance of the time inconsistency problem and on the need to put primary emphasis on price stability at the expense of output stabilization. Some stress the fact that the central bank is the only entity that can guarantee price stability, and that this goal is not likely to be attained for long unless price stability is designated as the primary goal. Others find the arguments for time inconsistency implausible because policymakers, who are aware of the arguments about an inflationary bias and see the implications for inflation, can conduct policy without an inflationary bias (McCallum 1995). Still others argue that the abdication of other goals is irresponsible (Fuhrer 1997). Also, a good deal of empirical research using simulations of models of the U.S. economy suggests that a focus on dual goals can reduce the variance of real GDP (i.e., smooth the business cycle) while achieving an inflation goal as well (Rudebusch and Svensson 1998).

While these issues are not yet resolved, the experience of the past two decades provides some support to those who think dual goals that lack transparency can function successfully. It is true that some countries around the world have reduced inflation over this period while putting primary emphasis on explicit inflation targeting. But at the same time, with its current legislative mandate, the Fed also has had success in reducing inflation, while maintaining the flexibility of responding to business cycle conditions.

John P. Judd Vice President and Associate Director of Research

Glenn D. Rudebusch Research Officer References

Fuhrer, Jeffrey C. 1997. "Central Bank Independence and Inflation Targeting: Monetary Policy Paradigms for the Next Millennium?" New England Economic Review January/February, pp.20-36. Keynes, John Maynard. 1936. The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. Harcourt, Brace, and Company: New York.

McCallum, Bennett. 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central Bank Independence." American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, vol. 85, no. 2 (May), pp. 207-211.

Motley, Brian. 1997. "Bias in the CPI: Roughly Wrong or Precisely Wrong." FRBSF Economic Letter 97-16 (May 23).

Rudebusch, Glenn D., and Lars E.O. Svensson. 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting." NBER Working Paper 6512.

Rudebusch Glenn D., and Carl E. Walsh. 1998. "U.S. Inflation Targeting: Pro and Con." FRBSF Economic Letter 98-18 (May 29).

Walsh, Carl E. 1998. "The Natural Rate, NAIRU, and Monetary Policy." FRBSF Economic Letter 98-28 (September 18).

美国货币政策大事记

1942年美国参加第二次世界大战。FED应财政部的要求正式承担保持国债低利率的义务。财政部需要低成本的资金来为战争筹款。FED因此不得不放弃货币存量的目标,专注于控制利率。
1950年朝鲜战争爆发。财政部希望FED继续承担保持低利率的责任,而FED更希望控制战争带来的通货膨胀压力,双方发生矛盾。
1951年3月4日FED和财政部签署《财政部和联邦储备系统协议》(the Treasury-Federal Reserve Accord),该协议终结了FED支持美国国债价格的义务,确保了联储制定和执行货币政策的独立性。在该协议之前,美国没有独立的货币政策,货币政策只是财政政策的附庸。
1958年11月.W.Phillips发表《The Relation Between Unemployment and the Rate of Change of Money Wage Rates in the United Kingdoms,1861-1957》(Economica, November 1958, pp. 283-299)。它的直接含义就是通货膨胀与失业率之间存在替代关系,这篇文章的发表标志着Phillips Curve曲线的发现。
1975年美国开始试验货币增长量目标制(Money-Growth Targeting)。FED宣布对三个主要的货币总量:M1、M2、M3的目标增长范围。由于实际上FED在存款方面能够控制的,只是基础货币,所以要想同时达到这三个不同的货币总量目标,实际上是不现实的。事实上,FED经常达不到它事先宣布的目标,经常有很大的误差。货币主义者声称,FED同时宣布三个不同的货币总量目标,表明它对于实行固定的货币增长规则并非十分严肃。
1979年8月保罗·沃尔克就任FED主席。两个月后,他说服联邦公开市场委员会FOMC)的同僚们赞同削减通货膨胀,使他们相信联储的运作程序需要根本性的变化。1978年的通货膨胀率为9%,1979年为12%。通货膨胀率的激增,使得FED下定决心对付通货膨胀问题。
1979年10月FED宣布,它致力于货币供应的缓慢增长,将乐于默认更大更频繁的短期利率变动。这标志着FED操作程序的重大改变,FED将货币政策的中介目标集中到M2上,而放弃了短期利率。在这之后,利率迅速上升,而经济低迷。卡特政府对这一做法并没有表示反对。
1980年3月短期利率超过15%,联储失去了卡特政府的支持。因为距离总统大选不到9个月了,卡特总统授权联储对信贷实行强行管制,并连续利用电视媒体有力地劝诫消费者抑制信贷的使用。在接下来的三个月里,经济明显地衰退了。FED将短期利率几乎削减了一半,以应对货币存量的下降。这个措施更像是为了在大选年扭转衰退的尝试,而不是联储瞄准货币总量的新政策的利率后果。利率降低以后,经济有所复苏。非常短期的紧缩货币政策和微弱的经济复苏,不足以降低通货膨胀率。
80年代初期在实践货币增长目标制的期间,美国、德国、英国、加拿大的通货膨胀率确实都显著下降,但是它们的产出和失业率也变得很不稳定,失业率都显著上升。
1982年由于无法接受失业率上升,FED宣布不再特别强调实行货币增长目标制(Money-growth targeting),转而更重视利率目标制(Interest Rate Targeting)。
1993年FED宣布彻底废止使用货币增长目标制。在此之前的80年代,其他实行货币增长目标制的国家也已经纷纷不再实行(德国和瑞士除外,不过德国也在 1987年宣布将货币增长的目标从中央银行货币转为M3)。FED解释的原因是70年代和80年代,货币需求频繁变动,十分不稳定。这时,如果依然保持货币供给不变,就会造成利率的剧烈变动,这对经济是很不利的。
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评论(共6条)

提示:评论内容为网友针对条目"美国货币政策"展开的讨论,与本站观点立场无关。
202.98.100.* 在 2008年5月12日 15:59 发表

不懂。

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222.76.36.* 在 2008年12月17日 20:12 发表

不错

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219.234.81.* 在 2009年12月23日 19:33 发表

很好~~

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58.212.233.* 在 2012年3月12日 10:03 发表

成熟的自由经济 人类最好的货币体制

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223.129.0.* 在 2013年6月15日 20:17 发表

58.212.233.* 在 2012年3月12日 10:03 发表

成熟的自由经济 人类最好的货币体制

不见得吧

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123.124.19.* 在 2013年12月31日 14:24 发表

58.212.233.* 在 2012年3月12日 10:03 发表

成熟的自由经济 人类最好的货币体制

显然是片面的而且过于绝对的观点

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