【英语财经】国际清算银行警告负利率政策的反作用 BIS warns negative rates risk backfiring

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2016-3-8 21:25

小艾摘要: Negative interest rates risk backfiring the longer and more deeply central banks in Europe and Japan venture into this unconventional monetary policy, economists from the Bank for International Settle ...
BIS warns negative rates risk backfiring
Negative interest rates risk backfiring the longer and more deeply central banks in Europe and Japan venture into this unconventional monetary policy, economists from the Bank for International Settlements have warned.

The caution over one of the most important experiments in monetary policy’s history comes before the European Central Bank’s meeting on March 10. Markets expect the ECB to push its deposit rate deeper into negative territory by 10 basis points to minus 0.4 per cent to help stave off the threat of deflation.

Policy makers view negative rates as part of their strategy to raise worringly low inflation. But the strategy is attracting criticism from other central banks, who say they are engaging in deliberate and short-sighted attempts to weaken currencies. Financial investors are also critical, arguing that banks are having to foot too much of the bill for the experiment.

Dubbed the central bankers’ central bank, the BIS published research on Sunday which cautioned that it was difficult to predict how individuals or financial institutions would behave if rates were to fall further below zero or stay negative for a long period.

While central banks’ negative rates had impacted borrowing costs in the money markets that banks use to fund themselves, they were yet to affect businesses and households in the way that normal cuts would.

It was unknown, the BIS said, how borrowers and savers would react or whether the channels through which central banks’ rate moves are usually passed on to the broader economy would “continue to operate as in the past”.

The economists also warned that the policy could have serious consequences for the financial sector. Banks have so far taken the brunt of negative interest rates, and have not passed on most of the cost of the cuts to their customers. “The viability of banks’ business model as financial intermediaries may be brought into question,” the research stated.

The ECB and the Bank of Japan are the biggest central banks to have taken rates negative. Others include Sweden’s Riksbank, which cuts its main repo rate last month to negative 0.5 per cent, and the Swiss central bank, which has lowered rates to minus 0.75 per cent.

There are increasing doubts about whether negative rates work -- the BoJ’s surprise move into negative territory halted the yen’s appreciation only for a matter of days.

Pointing to some unexpected effects, the BIS research finds that retail deposits have been insulated from the policy and that some mortgage rates in Switzerland have “perversely increased” .

“If negative policy rates do not feed into lending rates for households and firms, they largely lose their rationale,” said BIS economists, Morten Bech and Aytek Malkhozov. “On the other hand, if negative policy rates are transmitted to lending rates for firms and households, then there will be knock-on effects on bank profitability unless negative rates are also imposed on deposits, raising questions as to the stability of the retail deposit base.”

国际清算银行(BIS)经济学家发出警告,欧洲和日本央行的负利率政策冒险越久、越深,这一非常规货币政策越可能产生反作用。

在3月10日欧洲央行(ECB)举行会议前,国际清算银行向这个货币政策史上最重要的实验之一提出警告。市场预期欧洲央行将把存款利率推至更深的负值区间,即降息10个基点,至-0.4%,以帮助阻挡通货紧缩的威胁。

为提高低得令人担忧的通胀率,政策制定者将负利率视作其策略的一部分。但该策略已引发其他央行批评,称他们在有意而短视地试图削弱其货币。金融投资者也提出批评,认为银行将不得不为这场实验付出太多代价。

被称为“央行的央行”的国际清算银行在上周日发表研究报告,警告说如果利率在零以下进一步下降,或长期处于负值,很难预测个人或金融机构将如何表现。

尽管央行的负利率已经影响了银行用以融资的货币市场的借款成本,但尚未像常规降息那样影响到企业和家庭。

国际清算银行表示,尚不清楚借款者和储户会作何反应,也不清楚通常将央行利率变动传递给整体经济的通道是否会“继续像过去那样运作”。

这些经济学家还警告称,该政策可能对金融部门造成严重后果。目前受负利率冲击的主要是银行,后者还未将降息的大部分成本转嫁给客户。该项研究称:“银行作为金融中介机构的营运模式的可行性或将受到质疑。”

欧洲央行和日本央行(BoJ)是实行负利率的规模最大的央行。其他央行还包括上月将主要回购利率降至-0.5%的瑞典央行(Riksbank),以及已将利率降至-0.75%的瑞士央行(SNB)。

对于负利率能否奏效的质疑也越来越多——日本央行实行负利率的意外举动仅仅让日元升值暂停了几天时间。

国际清算银行指出了一些意想不到的影响,其研究发现,零售存款并未受到这一政策影响,而瑞士一些抵押贷款利率“反而出现上升”。

“如果负政策利率无法影响面向家庭和企业的贷款利率,那它们很大程度上就失去了存在的意义,”国际清算银行经济学家莫滕?本奇(Morten Bech)和艾泰克?马尔霍佐夫(Aytek Malkhozov)说,“另一方面,如果负政策利率转导至面向企业和家庭的贷款利率,那么,将对银行的盈利能力产生连锁效应,除非对存款也实行负利率,而这会对零售存款基础的稳定性造成疑问。”

译者/何黎

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