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Obama's Down Payment (Larry Summers)

Obama's Down Payment
A Stimulus Must Aim for Long-Term Results
By Lawrence Summers (WaPo)
Sunday, December 28, 2008; Page B07

読むには、「lawrence_summers_mr. Obama.pdf」をダウンロード

【後記】世間で丁寧に解説・論評をつけるが解説を早速アップされるだろうと予想していたが、おそらく年末進行で漏れているらしい(081230後記:失礼しました。参照、081231後記:さらに参照)。私の身勝手な読みだと、このop-edはここ3週間で、特にワシントンの経済官僚候補たちにとって、極めて重要なものだと思う。タイミング、そして、venue(出版先)もこの上ない。タイミングとしては、クリスマスのあと、アメリカはget back to the businessという雰囲気になりかかっている。出版先としては、Larry Summersは、FTにop-ed枠を持っていたし、望めばNYTにも簡単に書けたであろうが、WaPoを選んでいる。これは、ワシントンの経済官僚(and候補)たちへのメッセージであることが明白である。君たち、これを読んでよく頭をtuningしておきなさいよ、と言わんばかりのop-edである。ということで、精密な解説・論評は識者に任せて、段落ごとに自分の理解のためだけの勝手なコメントをつけてみようと思う。

Obama's Down Payment
A Stimulus Must Aim for Long-Term Results
By Lawrence Summers
Sunday, December 28, 2008; B07

当然ながら、Down Paymentとは、頭金のことである。投資ではなく、頭金だというところが面白い。キャッシュ・フローとリターンを見ると、頭金がある場合には、普通、最初に頭金で支払が多く、その後は、リターンの経済価値がキャッシュ・フローを上回るのが通常である。そういう支払が今回の経済刺激策なのだというメッセージなのか。

When President-elect Barack Obama takes office, he will face what may well be the bleakest economic outlook since World War II. Economic forecasts have been revised significantly downward over the past several months; today, many experts believe that unemployment could reach 10 percent by the end of next year and our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity -- which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four.

下線部(筆者)はGDP gapを読みやすく言い換えている。要は、総需要不足だと。

As difficult as these conditions are, however, the Obama administration also inherits an economy with great potential for the medium and long terms. Investments in an array of areas -- including energy, education, infrastructure and health care -- offer the potential of extraordinarily high social returns while allowing our country to address some long-standing national challenges and put our economy on a solid footing for years to come.

経済学者の言葉では、socialとはせいぜい「経済全体」と言った意味で考えておいたほうがよい。もちろん、social return vs. private returnを意識しないわけにはいかない(知らない方はミクロ入門の該当項目を自習のこと、ゴメンネ)。エネルギー、教育、インフラ、そして健康保険医療だと。公共財、もしくは正の外部性がある事業である。ここでは、健康保険を挙げていることが重要。(081230訂正)health careといえばmedicare, medicadに直感的に帰結してしまう私の短絡的思考に反省。ここは医療です。(優れた翻訳を読むことの便益はここにもあります。素晴らしい公共財にただ感謝、感謝、感激。)

In this crisis, doing too little poses a greater threat than doing too much. Any sound economic strategy in the current context must be directed at both creating the jobs that Americans need and doing the work that our economy requires. Any plan geared toward only one of these objectives would be dangerously deficient. Failure to create enough jobs in the short term would put the prospect of recovery at risk. Failure to start undertaking necessary long-term investments would endanger the foundation of our recovery and, ultimately, our children's prosperity.

下線部は、普通のケインジアンの理解。一石二鳥をするぜ、という基準だと明言している。仕事を創出し、将来に生かせる投資なんだと。

Our president-elect understands both the peril and the promise of the situation and the importance of responding to changing conditions. That is why his economic team is crafting a broad proposal, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, to support the jobs and incomes essential for recovery while also making a down payment on our nation's long-term financial health.

題名は「American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan」となりました。アメリカの経済回復と再投資の計画、だそうです。極めて地味な名称。国の長期的な「金融健全性」と言っているのは、金融部門と政府の財政とを両方とも念頭に置いた用語法だと思う。

A key pillar of the Obama plan is job creation. In the face of deteriorating economic forecasts, Obama has revised his goal upward, to 3 million. For one thing, significantly fewer positions would be created in the absence of any recovery plan. Second, more than 80 percent of these 3 million jobs will be in the private sector, including emerging sectors such as environmental technology. This is a bold goal. But economists across the political spectrum recognize that it is far less risky to stand firmly against the forces propelling our economy downward than to be timid in the face of a mounting crisis.

三百万のうち、8割が民間での雇用創出、つまり、60万人が政府の雇用、このサイズについては、New Dealと比べてサイズおよび定義を含めて検討されることだろう。

The Obama plan represents not new public works but, rather, investments that will work for the American public. Investments to build the classrooms, laboratories and libraries our children need to meet 21st-century educational challenges. Investments to help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil by spurring renewable energy initiatives (many of which are on hold because of the credit crunch). Investments to put millions of Americans back to work rebuilding our roads, bridges and public transit systems. Investments to modernize our health-care system, which is necessary to improve care in the short term and key to driving down costs across the board.

公共事業じゃなくて、投資なのよと再確認。ここでも、健康保険医療が取り上げられている。ここで、オバマ政権は最初の百日に、小出しではなく、包括的な政策体系を出してくるだろうことが見えてきた。

Laying the groundwork for recovery and future prosperity will require shedding Washington habits. We must measure progress not by the agendas of interest groups but by whether the American people experience results. We must focus not on ideology but on drawing the best ideas from all quarters. That is why, for example, in key sectors such as energy, Obama is pushing for both public investments and the removal of barriers to private investment. It is also why his plan relies on both government spending and tax cuts to raise incomes and promote recovery.

ワシントンの習慣は駄目よ、と苦言。万機公論で行くと。

The president-elect has insisted that investments proposed in the recovery plan meet standards much higher than has been traditional. There will be no earmarks. Investments will be chosen strategically based on what yields the highest rate of return for the economy and monitored closely not just by officials but also by the public as government becomes more transparent. We expect to evaluate and to be evaluated rigorously to ensure that Washington is held accountable for how tax dollars are spent.

returnで見ていくと宣言。つまり、弁護士の代わりに、ミクロ実証経済学者を雇う必要がありますね。テクノクラティックな政権になることが予想される。ハルバースタムのThe Best and the Brightestを再読したほうがいいかも。AEI、Cato Institute、さらにはBrookingsもかかってらっしゃい、という感じ。

Some argue that instead of attempting to both create jobs and invest in our long-run growth, we should focus exclusively on short-term policies that generate consumer spending. But that approach led to some of the challenges we face today -- and it is that approach that we must reject if we are going to strengthen our middle class and our economy over the long run. Far from being an excuse for inaction or delay, the magnitude of the work ahead is all the more reason to begin that work.

予想される反論として、IやGじゃなくて、なぜCを刺激しないというものを挙げている。答えは、これが今までの道だったじゃないのと言っている。そして、IとGをやることで、中間層にもプラスになるんだと言っている。直感的には想像つくが、これが実証でどこまで言えるか楽しみ。

The writer served as Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration and will head the White House National Economic Council in the Obama administration.

言わなかったこと。第一、対外部門、ドル、国際協調、輸出、輸入である。当然だが、国内経済立て直しに躍起になっている。為替レートについては、切り下げ容認と思われても仕方がないだろう。このあたりはFedともoverlapしているので、第二、金融政策についても「独立性」におもんばかってか、何も言わない。しかし、あと二人の空席理事について任命権を持っているから、credible threatになっているだろう。第三、不動産市場、とくにモラトリアムなどについて言っていない。これは、不動産価格の様子を見て、何がしかの判断がなされているのだろう。

【後記081231】さて、社会的投資収益率の推計をするのに、どういうパラメーターを使うのだろうか。たとえば、最終財の相対価格をどうおくかで、社会的投資収益率は変わってくるのではないだろうか。為替レートの仮定は?I-O表でも、クライン風の多部門マクロでも、GEでもなんでもいいのだが、ここが微妙だと思う。どの年のパラメーターを使うのだろうか。シミュレーション、カリブレーションするんでしょうね。2005はすでに住宅バブル?2000はITバブル?1995?2007年までの最近は金融業が儲かっていただけに、最近のパラメーターを使うと、金融インフラに投資するのが収益率が高い、なんて推計結果が出かねない、そうなったらお笑いだし、じゃぁ、いつのパラメーターを使うんだと議論になるだろう。必死に計算をしているんじゃないだろうか。

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