Problem Minskyjeve nestabilnosti je v prosti mobilnosti kapitalskih tokov

Paul Krugman pravi, da je sedanja velika recesija odprla tri ključna makreokonomska vprašanja. Prvič, vprašanje predkriznega zadolževanja, predimenzioniranega finančnega sistema in posledične makroekonomske ranljivosti. Drugič, akutna finančna kriza s kolapsom likvidnosti ter z bankroti in bail-outi bank. In tretjič, dolgo obdobje depresivnega gospodarstva in brezposelnosti. Prvo je Minskyjevo vprašanje, drugo Bagehotovo in tretje Keynesovo. Modtem ko naj bi empirične študije v zadnjih nekaj letih že zadovoljivo pojasnile Bagehota in potrdile pravilnost Keynesovih receptov, pa ostaja odprto vprašanje Minskyja. In glede slednjega tudi Krugman ne vidi očitnega: problem nestabilnosti je v prosti mobilnosti kapitalskih tokov.

Krugman sicer poskuša najti nekaj pojasnil za pomanjkanje odgovorov na Minskyjevo finančno ranljivost (denimo v pretirani deregulaciji finančnega sektorja, omejeni racionalnosti itd.), vendar pa si ne upa omeniti najbolj očitnega. Velik del problema finančne nestabilnosti izhaja iz procesov globalizacije, ki so sprostili ne samo trgovinske tokove, pač pa tudi kapitalske. In v skladu s plačilno-bilančno logiko so povečana specializacija nekaterih držav in njihovi izvozni presežki (Azija na čelu s Kitajsko, v Evropi pa Nemčija) sprožili enormne presežke v varčevanju in kapitalske tokove v isti smeri. Finančna deregulacija (v ZDA) ter evrska monetarna unija (v Evropi) pa so zgolj ponudili ugodno okolje, v katerih so popolnoma prosti kapitalski tokovi lahko ustvarili opustošenje.

Problem je v prosti mobilnosti kapitalskih tokov. Kadarkoli v zgodovini so bili kapitalski tokovi prosti, je to za seboj potegnilo globoke finančne krize v prejemnicah kapitala: od kreditne krize v letu 1772, dolge depresije 1873-1896, velike depresije v 1930-ih, azijske finančne krize v 1990-ih do sedanje krize.

Tukaj pa se pojavi ideološki problem: trgovinska liberalizacija in odprtost držav za kapitalske tokove sta dve izmed desetih zapovedi v Washingtonskem konsenzu, zapovedih, ki so jih washingtonske inštitucije (IMF in WB) dolga leta predpisovale kot recept za uspešen gospodarski razvoj. Po eni strani je problem v tem, kako pristati zgolj na proste trgovinske tokove, ne pa tudi na kapitalske, na drugi strani pa je problem, kje bo ameriška finančna industrija “iskala visoke donose”, če države spet uvedejo kapitalske ovire.

Toda “brettonwoodsko obdobje” po drugi svetovni vojni in do začetka 1970-ih let, je bila zelo uspešna kombinacija liberalizirane trgovine in kapitalskih kontrol. To je bilo obdobje brez finančnih kriz. Tudi Slovenija, ki je ob izbruhu azijske finančne krize leta 1997 uvedla skrbniške račune za tuje portfeljske naložbe, da bi se tako izognila nenadnemu begu tujega kapitala, se je z uvedbo kapitalskih kontrol uspela izogniti finančni krizi, ki je nato doletela ostale vzhodnoevropske države z liberaliziranimi tokovi kapitala. Liberalizirana trgovina in kapitalske kontrole, čeprav v ideološkem nasprotju, torej nista medsebojna sovražnika. Nasprotno, kapitalske kontrole pomagajo ohranjajti stabilnost držav z liberalizirano trgovino.

Dodatno branje:

On the Keynes question, it’s true that we haven’t had a radical change in thinking, but that’s mainly because the old thinking still works pretty well. That is, the answer for people asking who would be the new Keynes turns out to be that Keynes is the new Keynes. Or maybe that’s Hicks — anyway, IS-LMish analysis worked well, and the economists who made fools of themselves were those who rejected the time-tested approaches.

What is new is that we have had a flowering of empirical work, and have much more econometric evidence on monetary and especially fiscal policy, price behavior, and more than we used to. Look, for example, at Nakamura/Steinsson’s survey, or at the Blanchard work on multipliers in the euro area. So this is a happy story: the existing framework worked fairly well, and is now buttressed by a lot of really good empirical evidence.

On the Bagehot question, economists were initially caught flat-footed, for two reasons: failure to realize that shadow banking had recreated the risk of bank runs, and failure to appreciate the problems of leverage because there is no room for such problems in representative-agent models. But it wasn’t very hard to fix these problems, or at least apply workable patches. Once you realized that repo was the new bank deposits, the basic crisis framework was already there; and there was already enough existing analysis of balance-sheet constraints and all that to make creation of a somewhat messy, inelegant, but usable set of models quite easy.

And here too we have seen a flowering of empirical work, e.g. Mian and Sufi on household debt.

Where we have not, as far as I can tell, made much progress is the Minsky question. Why did the system become so vulnerable? Was it deregulation (or failure of regulation to keep up with institutional change)? Simple forgetting, as memories of past crises faded? Excessively loose policy? I have views, but I have to admit that there isn’t a lot of either fresh thinking or hard evidence here.

Why is Minsky still mostly missing? Partly because asking how we got here may be less urgent than the question of what we do now. But also, I’d guess, because it’s hard. Bubbles, excessive leverage, and all that probably have a lot to do with the limits of rationality, and behavioral economics doesn’t provide anything like as much guidance as it should.

Vir: Paul Krugman

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