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新聞對照:聯準會風雲女 布蘭納德是希拉蕊暗樁?
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Lael Brainard, Donning a Global Lens, Champions Low Rates at Fed
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

WASHINGTON — Lael Brainard is poised to win another round this week in her fight for the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low.

Ms. Brainard, a Fed governor in Washington since 2014, has emerged over the last year as a leading advocate for patience, pressing the case that low rates are important for domestic economic growth and for global stability.

The Fed is expected to announce on Wednesday, after a two-day meeting of its policy-making committee, that it again will pass on an opportunity to increase its benchmark interest rate, although officials have said they are still considering rate increases later in the year.

Ms. Brainard has become the leading voice among Fed officials for a concern widely shared among left-leaning economists: that the central bank will raise rates too quickly, potentially stifling economic growth. It is a role that has raised her profile in Democratic circles, and driven speculation that she is in line for a top job if Hillary Clinton wins the White House.

Gene Sperling, a longtime Democratic policy maker who is now advising Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, hired Ms. Brainard as his deputy at the Bill Clinton White House in the mid-1990s. He said he was tickled that lately, when he gives public speeches, he is often asked about her views.

“My outside impression is that she has been as much a champion as anyone on the inside for the go-slow, full-employment perspective that many of us on the outside are advocating for,” Mr. Sperling said.

Ms. Brainard has fueled the talk about her future by donating $2,700 to the Clinton campaign — the maximum amount an individual can give — raising eyebrows at the Fed and among congressional Republicans. Mrs. Clinton has said she intends to fill half her cabinet with women, and Ms. Brainard is among the few widely regarded as having the relevant credentials to serve as United States trade representative — or, even better, Treasury secretary, a job no woman has ever held.

Senator Richard Shelby, the Alabama Republican who heads the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees the Fed, said Ms. Brainard’s donations “call into question the political independence” of the central bank. Fed officials have said that Ms. Brainard did not violate any rules.

Ms. Brainard declined to be interviewed for this article. The description of her views is based on her public remarks and the accounts of others.

Ms. Brainard’s case for caution combines the idea that the domestic economy is not ready for higher rates, with something new and controversial: that the Fed should care about other countries.

The American economy, until recently, seemed impervious to all but the largest global shocks. But the integration of financial markets has increased the importance of events elsewhere. The rest of the world plays a growing role in determining American mortgage rates.

“The world has just changed fundamentally,” Ms. Brainard said at a New York conference in February. “What China does matters to the U.S.”

In placing greater weight on the global economy, Ms. Brainard has argued that the Fed needs to consider the impact of its decisions on other countries. She said at the February conference the Fed might achieve better results by coordinating with other central banks.

Otherwise, she said, countries may simply steal growth from one another.

“There is a risk that uncoordinated policy on its own could have the effect of shifting demand across borders rather than addressing the underlying weakness in global demand,” she told an audience of academics and policy makers at the United States Monetary Policy Forum.

This view has drawn criticism both inside and outside the Fed.

Laurence Meyer, a former Fed governor who argued with Ms. Brainard at the February conference, said in a recent interview that Congress had instructed the Fed to focus on the United States.

“I tell other central banks, ‘I’m really sorry to tell you this, but the Fed doesn’t care about you at all,’” said Mr. Meyer, who runs L. H. Meyer, a research firm. “You can say that’s very nasty, very selfish. But do you think that other central banks care about us? Of course not. They don’t want us to hurt them, but they don’t care what their actions do to us.”

Others, however, say a recalibration is overdue. Eswar Prasad, a professor of international economics at Cornell University, said financial integration had clearly amplified the Fed’s role in the global economy, even if the contours were just beginning to be understood.

“Many people have taken an ostrich ‘head in the sand’ approach,” he said. “But the financial channel is clearly a crucial one, and the fact that it is not well understood is not an excuse for ignoring it.”

Ms. Brainard was raised to see America in the context of a broader world. As the daughter of a State Department diplomat, she spent parts of her childhood in communist Poland and in East Germany.

“She is basically an internationalist,” said Edwin M. Truman, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics who worked with Ms. Brainard in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. “That’s not particularly popular these days, but she lives and breathes the idea we’re all in the same boat and we need to cooperate. And cooperating doesn’t mean do what the U.S. says — or else.”

Ms. Brainard, who holds a doctorate in economics from Harvard University, was hired in 1997 as Mr. Sperling’s deputy on the National Economic Council. Mr. Sperling, then 38, said he was advised to find a more experienced deputy than Ms. Brainard, then 35. But she was already working at the White House, and each time he interviewed someone else, he came away convinced that Ms. Brainard was a superior choice. Ms. Brainard later served as President Clinton’s “sherpa,” or liaison, to the Group of 8 industrial nations.

“She’s supersmart, well prepared, even-tempered,” said Mr. Sperling, who worked with Ms. Brainard in the Obama administration. “Anything she touches will be done to the highest standards.”

After spending eight years at the Brookings Institution, waiting out George W. Bush’s presidency, she joined the Obama administration as under secretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department. In that role, she spent long hours trying to cajole European leaders into addressing the continent’s problems with greater vigor. She also played a leading role in selling an overhaul of the International Monetary Fund’s ownership structure that gave greater control to emerging economies, principally China, at the expense of advanced economies, particularly in Europe.

Ms. Brainard is “not a backslapper,” said Mr. Sperling, but she has developed a reputation as a subtle but unbending advocate for the goals she is assigned to pursue.

Mr. Prasad, a former official at the International Monetary Fund, said Ms. Brainard conveyed a sense of empathy and respect for the interests of other countries. “She did not come across as a very aggressive advocate, so she was a very effective advocate,” he said. “She has a lot of credibility with policy makers around the world as a consequence of that, especially in emerging markets.”

Ms. Brainard joined the Fed in the summer of 2014, but she said almost nothing about monetary policy until October 2015, as the Fed prepared to raise rates for the first time since the financial crisis.

The move was hotly criticized by left-leaning economists and by centrist Democrats like Lawrence H. Summers, the former Treasury secretary. And in that October speech, Ms. Brainard chimed in, breaking with the Fed’s chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, to argue that the Fed was overstating the risk of inflation and underestimating the threat of a global downturn.

Ms. Brainard and Daniel Tarullo — a fellow governor and former colleague in the Clinton administration who raised similar concerns — ultimately acquiesced in the Fed’s December increase, providing Ms. Yellen with unanimous support.

While regional reserve presidents frequently dissent, no Fed governor has done so in the last decade.

But since December, Ms. Brainard’s public speeches have become more frequent and more forceful. And maybe she won’t need to formally dissent. After all, the Fed, which entered the year predicting that it would raise rates four times, has yet to move again.

聯準會風雲女 布蘭納德是希拉蕊暗樁?

紐約時報報導,美國聯準會廿七日預料不會升息,過去一年力主維持低利率的聯準會理事布蘭納德(Lael Brainard)又贏了一次,而她的主張與民主黨總統候選人希拉蕊.柯林頓裡應外合,民主黨內盛傳,希拉蕊若當選,布蘭納德可能入閣,甚至成為美史上第一位女財長。

布蘭納德與希拉蕊頗有淵源,丈夫坎貝爾是希拉蕊國務卿任內的亞太助卿,希拉蕊的競選顧問史伯林在柯林頓政府擔任國家經濟委員會主席時,請布蘭納德當副手。

布蘭納德自二一四年起擔任聯準會的理事,主張低利率對國內經濟成長和全球經濟穩定都很重要。她的主張與支持民主黨的左傾經濟學家相同:聯準會升息太快,可能阻礙經濟成長。因此,她在聯準會內的角色引起民主黨內揣測,她是希拉蕊的內閣人選。

希拉蕊曾表示,她的閣員將有一半是女性,布蘭納德是可勝任貿易代表,甚至財長的人選。

史伯林說,他最近發表談話時,常被問到布蘭納德的觀點。他說:「我在外面的印象是,她是聯準會內主張慢慢升息、充分就業的戰將,與我們在外面的主張相同。」

布蘭納德也不避諱支持希拉蕊,捐款二千七百美元給希拉蕊陣營,這個金額是個人捐款的上限。

但她的捐款引起聯準會內部和共和黨人士側目。監督聯準會的參院銀行委員會主席、共和黨籍參議員謝爾比說,布蘭納德捐款「引起有關聯準會行政中立的問題」。聯準會指布蘭納德未違反規定。

現年五十四歲的布蘭納德,擁有哈佛大學經濟學博士學位,史伯林說,當時年僅卅八歲的他堅持請當時卅五歲的布蘭納德當他的副手。

史伯林說,有人建議他找更有經驗的人當副手,但他認為當時已在白宮工作的布蘭納德是最好的人選。他說:「她極聰明、準備充分、脾氣好,她經手的事,都做到最高標準。」史伯林和布蘭納德也都曾在歐巴馬政府任職。

原文參照:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/business/lael-brainard-donning-a-global-lens-champions-low-rates-at-fed.html

2016-07-28.聯合報.A11.國際.編譯田思怡


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