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基思·亨尼西(Hennessey)的博客

美国前国家经济委员会主任、乔治·布什的首席经济顾问Keith Hennessey

 
 
 

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给金融危机调查委员会的20个问题  

2009-10-14 11:31:17|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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这里有20个问题,我希望我们能够在金融危机调查委员会上逐一回答。正如今天上午我在委员会第一次会议的开幕词中所说的,如果委员会能够回答这些问题,我想我们就能够极大程度地深化对已然事态的认识,并帮助政策制定者意识到金融与经济危机的根本原因之所在。

我不打算使这张问题清单变得十分详细全面,也不打算涵盖所有对危机具有重大意义的政策领域。比如,问题中没有提及信用评级机构(而它要为重要信息的错误负责)。然而这张清单的重点是那些我认为至关重要而又争议不断,悬而未决的问题。回答这些问题,将有助于更全面解释过去发生的事情。

我自己对这些问题有些初步的看法,敏锐的读者将会在我的措辞中看出我的立场。我尽量不刻意突显出我的一己之见,并努力使得这些问题得到开放式的,合乎逻辑的讨论。我希望你和我的同事都会觉得这些问题是有价值的。也希望在委员会的工作进程中,我可以发掘到更好的答案。

以下就是20个关于金融和经济危机的重要问题。(严格讲,其实是20个论题,因为一些条目下包含多个子问题。)我恳请得到评论、附加问题(最好是以同样相对开放的形式提出)和启示性的回答。你提供的所有信息都对我有所助益。委员会主席Angelides今天表示,他的目标是在月底前建立一个网站和方法,向全体委员会成员提供条理明晰的信息输入。

 

信用泡沫

1、  哪些相关的因素导致了美国的信用泡沫,是(a)全球储蓄的改变,还是(b)美国和其他(尤其是发展中)国家相对储蓄的改变,还是(c)格林斯潘美联储的低利政策,和美国及其他国家的系统性过低定价的风险?

 

 

住宅信贷

1、出于善意的政策为了使更多人买得起房子,在何种程度上导致了贷款标准的放松,使那些还不起钱的人购买了房子?如果真是如此,那么,具体是哪些政策导致了这一问题呢?

2、住房信贷问题是造成经济危机的一个因素,还是危机的主因,又或者只是一系列连锁问题中的一个导火线呢?

 

金融机构(广泛的政策问题)

1、 这是金融机构或者说金融市场的问题吗?到了市场崩溃的程度时(如某些证券化的市场),是市场机制的失灵的缘故,还是由于融资渠道的枯竭呢?当政策制定者和监管人员说到:“(金融机构)太庞大、太紧密相连,以至于不能让他们突然破产”时,具体指的是什么呢,判断的标准又如何变化?怎样最好地去定义这个标准呢,是否应该事前指定好监管规则抑或随特定情势酌情处理呢?

2、 问题资产救助计划(TARP)所施行的资本购买程序是否起了作用?用纳税人提供的资金给几家最大的金融机构提供公共资本以阻止系统性的崩溃,这是否是个明智之举?回首过去,用TARP(问题资产救助计划)的资金直接进行权益投资而不是购买问题资产,这又是否明智呢?根据实际情况,救市的7000亿是否是个合理的数字呢?

3、 为什么压力测试会奏效?是因为投资者都有一套共同的评估基准,还是因为,鉴于一家银行也包含于压力测试之中,市场参与者视此为这家银行过大而不宜破产的暗示呢?压力测试是否暗示着,政府会给予全美最大的19家金融机构新的保障呢?

4、 Gramm - Leach – Bliley法案允许公司合并商业银行和投资银行的业务。这是否导致极高的杠杆并把金融体系置于极大风险之下。这面防火墙的移除,也使得联储可以迅速的批准高盛集团和摩根士丹利转型成银行控股的公司,并在他们遇到危机时,予以援手。这一移除,究竟是好是坏呢?

 

个别金融机构的破产和濒临破产

1、房利美和房地美策略的三个部分a:它们在政策引导下取得的在按揭证券化中的支配地位B:它们大量保有的抵押贷款资产投资组合C:类似于美国国债的控制管理,在何种程度上引起或导致了以下三个最终的失误1,房地美和房利美多的偿债困难2抵押贷款的信用标准降低3其他金融机构的破产(或者预期中的破产)

2、是否有一个法律上和经济上可行的选择可以支持拯救雷曼公司?如果是这样,据我们现在所知的情况,是否应该救雷曼?

3、调至市价会计准则和相对固定的资本基准两者的交错应用是否在很大程度上导致了个别金融机构的破产?

4、08年9、10月份,一些大型金融机构的领导人对政府说,“做空”行为正在使看起来健康的机制变得失败。这些领导人认为美国证券交易委员会(SEC)应该恢复报升价格规定,以使得做空行为变得困难。是做空行为使这些机构垮台吗?如果是这样,他们的行为是否非法或不当呢?美国证券交易委员会的恢复规则又是否有任何影响呢?

 

监管者

1、 一些受到严格监管的大型金融机构的倒闭了,这一方面是因为太高的杠杆率,同时也因为他们的呆坏账。监管者是否忽略了这两个因素?如果没忽略的话,为什么会使金融机构和金融体系陷于如此危险之境地?

2、银行监管部门依赖银行,以监测其业务及活动,这一事实在何种程度上导致了现在的危机?

3、决策者和监管者是否忽略了与以下三点有关的实时信息:(a)对冲基金(b)违约过期的信用(c)不受监管的金融机构及“黑市”对查明某些问题(在它们发生之前)极有助益,或者在危机中改变政策反应。

 

 

标准

1.是否在经济学上有一个关于金融机构的融资最好的且简单扼要的尺度和标准?

 

2.我们该怎么比较08年中的这个大型非金融机构的融资标准和曾经在历史上有过重要意义的标准?它又该如何与其他国家相比?

 

管理层的酬金

1、 如何定义“过度冒险”,是什么样的报酬结构导致了过度冒险?是这些报酬结构导致了问题的全部,还是仅仅只是诸多诱因之一?

 

现在的处境如何,又要何去何从呢?

1、 相比2008年9月1日,今天的金融体系,激励机制和大型金融机构的活动,除了少了一家大型投资银行之外,和去年对比,还有什么其他的不同呢?

2、 政策制定者应该把今日的借贷、资金流动水平和类型恢复到13个月前的状态吗?还是应该保持一个较低的、与前不同的“标准”呢?

 

(翻译纠错。读者发现任何翻译错误请发邮件给我们,谢谢:ls8225692@163.com

 

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英文原文(地址:http://keithhennessey.com/2009/09/17/twenty-questions/#):

20 questions for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

Posted on September 17th, 2009 by kbh in Blog format, economy, featured, financial  

给金融危机调查委员会的20个问题 - hennessey - 基思·亨尼西(Hennessey)的博客

Here are twenty questions I hope we can answer on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC).  As I said this morning in my opening statement at the commission’s first meeting, if the commission could answer these questions, I think we would significantly advance the understanding of what happened and help policymakers address the root causes of the financial and economic crisis.

I do not intend this list to be comprehensive, nor does it cover every policy area that was important to the crisis.  For instance, it ignores the role of credit rating agencies, which were responsible for key information failures.  This list instead focuses on what I think are the most important and difficult unresolved questions about which there is significant debate.  Answers to these questions could be fit into a larger explanation of what happened.

I have preliminary views on answers to many of these questions, and perceptive readers may be able to infer my lean from some of the phrasing.  I have tried to tone that down as much as possible and present these as questions that are open for legitimate debate.  I hope you and my fellow commissioners find them useful.  I also hope that I can develop better answers during my work on the commission.

Here then are 20 important questions about the financial and economic crisis.  (Technically this is better labeled “20 topics,” since several items contain multiple sub-questions.)  I invite comments, suggested additional questions (ideally framed in the same relatively open manner), and suggested answers.  Please assume any input you provide is principally for my use.  Commission Chairman Angelides said today his goal is to have a website and method for providing formal input to the entire commission established by the end of this month.

Credit bubble

  1. What were the relative contributions to a credit bubble in the U.S. of (a) changes in global savings; (b) changes in relative savings between the U.S. and other (especially developing) countries; and (c) low interest-rate policies of the Greenspan Fed?  Was risk systematically underpriced in the US and other countries?

Housing finance

  1. To what extent did well-intentioned policies designed to encourage the expansion of homeownership contribute to a relaxation of lending standards and people buying houses they could not and would never be able to afford?  If so, which specific policies contributed to this problem?
  2. Were housing finance problems a cause of the crisis, the primary cause of the crisis, or primarily the trigger that set off other problems?

Financial institutions (broad policy questions)

  1. Was this a problem of financial institutions or financial markets?  To the extent that markets collapsed (like certain securitization markets), did the market mechanisms fail, or instead did the funding sources just dry up?
  2. What definitions of “too big and interconnected to fail suddenly” did policymakers and regulators use, and how did those change over time?  What’s the best way to define this test, and should it be set in advance by rule or left as a judgment call based on the specific situation?
  3. Did the capital purchase program of TARP work?  Was it the right decision to use taxpayer funds to provide public capital to the largest financial institutions to prevent systemic failure?  In retrospect, was the decision to use TARP resources for direct equity investment rather than to buy troubled assets a wise one?  Was $700 B a reasonable number given the circumstances?
  4. Why did the stress tests work?  Was it because investors had a common set of benchmarks, or because market participants perceived a bank’s inclusion in the stress test as an indication that it was too big to fail?  Did the stress tests create a new implied government guarantee around 19 of the largest U.S. financial institutions?
  5. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act allowed companies to merge commercial and investment banking activities.  Did this contribute to extremely high leverage levels and place the financial system at risk?  The removal of that same firewall also allowed the Fed to quickly approve Goldman Sachs’ and Morgan Stanley’s conversions into Bank Holding Companies, providing them protection during the height of the crisis.  Was removal of the firewall net good or bad?

Failures and near-failures of particular financial institutions

  1. To what extent did three aspects of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:  (a) their policy-induced dominant position in mortgage securitization; (b) their large retained portfolios of mortgage-based assets and (c) their regulatory treatment as equivalent to US government debt; cause or contribute to three resultant failures: (i) the insolvency of Fannie and Freddie; (ii) the lowering of credit standards for mortgages; and (iii) the failure or anticipated failure of other financial institutions?
  2. Was there a legally and economically viable option available to save Lehman?  If so, based on what we know now, should Lehman have been saved?
  3. Did the intersection of mark-to-market accounting and relatively inflexible capital standards substantially contribute to the demise of any particular financial institution?
  4. In September and October 2008, leaders of several large financial institutions told the Administration that “the shorts” were trying to cause their apparently healthy institutions to fail.  These leaders argued the SEC should reinstate the uptick rule to make this behavior more difficult.  Were the shorts trying to bring down these institutions?  If so, was their behavior illegal or inappropriate?  And did the SEC’s reinstatement of the rule have any impact?

The regulators

  1. Several heavily regulated large financial institutions failed both because they were highly leveraged and because they made bad bets.  Did regulatory examiners miss both elements?  If they didn’t miss them, why did regulators allow these institutions to place themselves and the financial system at so much risk?
  2. To what extent did banking regulators’ reliance on the banks to monitor their own operations and activities contribute to the crisis?
  3. Was there specific real-time information that policymakers or regulators lacked about (a) hedge funds; (b) credit default swaps; or (c) other unregulated financial institutions and “dark markets” that would have been helpful in identifying particular problems before they occurred or changed policy reactions during the crisis?

Metrics

  1. How did different definitions of Tier I capital contribute to the crisis?  Did different parts of the financial system with more stringent definitions perform better?
  2. Is there an economically best summary measure of a financial institution’s leverage?  How did that metric compare for the largest financial institutions in mid-2008 to historic norms?  How did it compare to other countries?

Executive compensation

  1. How does one define “excessive risk-taking,” and what specific compensation structures contributed to it?  Did these compensation structures cause problems across-the-board, or only in firms with other problems?

Where are we now, and where should we be?

  1. Other than the absence of one large investment bank, how are the financial system and incentives and behavior in large financial institutions today different from September 1, 2008? (h/t James Aitken)
  2. Should policymakers try to restore the levels and types of lending and funding flows that existed 13 months ago, or is there a lower and different “new normal”?

[

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