코로나 19 대유행 이후 경제 슬럼프 – 마이클 로버츠

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The post-pandemic slump

The coronavirus pandemic marks the end of longest US economic expansion on record, and it will feature sharpest economic contraction since WWII.

코로나 바이러스 팬더믹 때문에 미국 역사상 가장 길었던 경제 팽창 (128개월)이 종지부를 찍었다. 2차 세계대전 이후 가장 가파른 경제 수축이 눈에 띌 것이다.

(*feature: distinctive mark of sth: 어떤 것의 특질을 구성하다. 특성이 그것이다. 중요한 부분이다. )

The global economy was facing the worst collapse since the second world war as coronavirus began to strike in March, well before the height of the crisis, according to the latest Brookings-FT tracking index.

2차 세계대전 이후, 2020년은 최초로 지구 전체  GDP가 하락하는 해가 될 것이다.

역사적으로 전세계  GDP 가 하락하는 년도는 2차 세계대전이 끝나갈 무렵 몇 년간 뿐이었다.

 

 

파란색 그래프는 선진자본주의 국가

분홍색 그래프는 신흥개발국가-이머징 자본주의 국가

2020 will be the first year of falling global GDP since WWII. And it was only the final years of WWII/aftermath when output fell.

JPMorgan economists reckon that the pandemic could cost world at least $5.5 trillion in lost output over the next two years, greater than the annual output of Japan. And that would be lost forever.  That’s almost 8% of GDP through the end of next year. The cost to developed economies alone will be similar to that in the recessions of 2008-2009 and 1974-1975.  Even with unprecedented levels of monetary and fiscal stimulus, GDP is unlikely to return to its pre-crisis trend until at least 2022.

제이피 모건 계산에 따르면, 코로나 팬데믹은 다음 2년간 5.5조 달러 손실을 유발시킬 수 있고, 이는 일본 연간  GDP 보다 더 큰 액수이다.

2021년 말까지   GDP의 8%를 영구히 잃어버린 셈이다. 특히 선진자본주의 국가들에서 손실량은 2008-2009년 금융공황 시기, 1974-75년 경제공황 시기 손실액수와 비슷하다.

GPD 는 최소한 2022년까지는 코로나 위기 전 수준에 이르지 못할 것이다.

 

 BIS ( 국제 조정 은행) 경고에 따르면, 미국이 전국적인 공조체제를 갖추지 못하면 제 2차 코로나 위기가 닥칠 것이고,  GDP가 2020년 말까지 위기 전보다 12% 감소할 것이다. 이는 2008-2009년 금융공황 시기보다 더 악화된 것이다. 미국내 실직자는 2천만명이 될 것이다.

이는 1930년대 대공황 이후 최대수치이고  전체 경제활동인구의 40%에 영향을 미칠 것이다.

이러한 지구 북반부 선진자본주의 국가들 이외에도, 지구 남반부, 신흥개발국가 상황도 문제다.

이들은 에너지, 철강석, 농업 식량 등과 같은 기초 상품 수출국가들이기 때문에, 2008년 금융공황 시기에 이 상품들의 가격 하락을 경험한 바 있다. 지금 현재 코로나 19 팬데믹이 이러한 경기 수축을 강화시키고 있다.  1951년 최초로 측정한 이래, 2020년 신흥개발국가 (이머징 마켓)의 경제생산량은 1.5% 하락할 것이다.

세계은행도 사하라 이남 아프리카 국가들도 지난 25년 동안 최초로 경기침체 국면을 맞을 것으로 내다보고 있다. 세계은행의 ‘아프리카 펄스 리포트’에 따르면, 이 지역 경기침체는 작년 2.4% 성장율과 비교해서, 2.1%~5.1% 정도 수축할 것이다.

코로나 바이러스가 몰고온 무역과 가치 연결망의 붕괴로, 사하라 남부 아프리카 국가들은 370억 달러~ 790억 달러의 손실을 입을 것이다.  전  IMF 수석 경제전문가  Ken Rogoff 1930년 이후, 이러한 상품 가격 하락과 국제 무역 붕괴는 경험해 보지 못했다고 말한다.

90 개 이상 신흥개발국가들은    IMF에 긴급구제금융을 요청한 상태고, 그 중 60%는 세계은행에 돈을 빌리고 있다. 세계은행과 IMF은 위기 타개책으로 1.2조 달러를 준비해 놓고 있다고 했지만, 이 액수는 소득, GDP,  자본 유출량에 비해 지극히 적은 양에 불과하다.

2020년 1월 이후, 개발국가들로부터 960억 달러 자본이 빠져나왔다. 2008년 금융공황 시기에는 260억 달러 자본이 도피했는데, 그 때와 비교해도 현재 3배 이상이다. 켄 로고프에 따르면, 향후 정부 부채는 눈덩이처럼 불어나고, 경제체제가 이러한 수많은 채무불이행과 재구조조정을 감당할 수 없을 것이다.

 

이러한 비관과 달리, 낙관론자들의 견해도 있다. 현재 집단 격리와 폐쇄가 종료되면, 그 동안 억눌린 수요가 분출되어 나오면, 세계 경제는 원래 상태로 되돌아 갈 것이라고 본다.

사람들이 다시 직장에 복귀하게 되고, 가계는 다시 소비를 하게 되고, 회사는 옛날 노동자들을 다시 고용하고, 코로나 19 팬데믹 이후 밝은 미래를 기대하면서 더 많은 투자를 할 것이다.

아이슬랜드 은행장은, 지금 쓰지 않고 있는 돈들이 다 증발하지 않고 있으니까, 팬데믹이 종료되면 그 돈들은 다시 경제를 활성화시킬 것이라고 본다.

세계 경제 강대국의 수장들이 이러한 낙관론을 펼친다.

미 재무장관 음누친도 용감하게 이렇게 말했다. “코로나 위기는 단기적인 현안이다. 몇 개월 정도 지나면 경제는 이전보다 더 활성화될 것이다. ”

래리 서머스 역시, “경기 회복은 예상보다 훨씬 더 빠를 수 있다. 왜냐하면 여름 휴양지로 유명한 케이프 코드 경제가 겨울 시기에는 얼어붙어 버린 총체적 경기침체로부터 회복,  혹은 매주 월요일 아침마다 발생하는 미국   GDP의 회복과 같은 특성을 지니고 있고 있기 때문이다.”

케이프 코드   Cape Cod 지역의 비수기 경기침체에 비유했다.

이러한 낙관론자들이 신속한  V자 회복을 언급하고 있다. 하지만 이러한 낙관론자들이 놓치고 있는 것은, 코로나 19 위기가 한 지역에 타격을 입히는 것이 아니라 전체 지구 경제에 타격을 입히고 있다는 사실이다.

팬데믹 이후에는 경제 규모가 적은 기업들은 회생하지 못할 것이다. 팬데믹 이전에도 미국과 유럽 기업들의 10~20% 는 가까스로 운영비와 대출변제 자금을 마련할 정도로만 이윤을 창출하고 있었다.

속칭 이러한 좀비 기업들은, 겨울 한철 비수기  케이프 코드가 그들의 관에 마지막 못질을 의미할 것이다. 이미 중간 규모 소매 레져 기업들이 부도 신청을 했고, 항공사 여행사들이 연이어 부도 신청을 할 것이다.

셰일 오일 회사 상당수가 이미 지불 불능 상태이다.   금융 분석가 모하메드 엘 에리안 Mohamed El-Erian 에 따르면, “이미 채무가 이번 코로나 19 위기 상황에서 살아 남느냐 마느냐를 결정하는 결정적 요소가 되었다”  “이러한 적자생존 경쟁에서 살아남아 돌아오면, 수많은 당신 경쟁자들은 이미 사라지고 없다는 것을 발견하게 될 것이다”

따라서 자택 감금, 격리 lockdown 이후에 위기 이전 생산 수준에 이르기까지는 상당한 시간이 걸릴 것이다.

일본 노무라 경제 연구소 계산에 따르면, 유로존  GDP는 2023년까지는 Q42019 수준까지 도달하지 못할 것이다.

내 책 “The Long Depression 장기 침체”에서, 2008년 금융공황 이후에 어찌되었든 간에 그 이전 성장 추세로 돌아가지 못했다. 성장이 재개되더라도, 그 이전보다 그 속도는 느릴 것이다.

2009년 이후, 미국 1인당 연간   GDP  성장율은 평균 1.6%였다.  2009년 말에,  1인당  GDP 는 2008년 이전과 비교했을 때, 성장율이 13%나 뒤처져 있었다. 2008-2009 경기침체 말에는 1인당 GDP 성장율이 9% 정도 더 적었다. 2008년 경기침체 이후, 10년 넘게 경기팽창 국면이었지만,

 

 

under water: 좋지 않은 일이 벌어지다:

( used for saying that you should stop thinking about something bad that happened in the past and you should forgive people who did bad things Don’t worry – it’s all just water under the bridge.  )

 

 

 

(*pent up:pent up emotions are strong feelings, for example anger, that you do not express so that they gradually become more difficult to control

)

 

 

 

 

 

The Bank for International Settlements has warned that disjointed national efforts could lead to a second wave of cases, a worst-case scenario that would leave US GDP close to 12% below its pre-virus level by the end of 2020.  That’s way worse than in the Great Recession of 2008-9.

 

The US economy will lose 20m jobs according to estimates from @OxfordEconomicssending unemployment rate soaring by greatest degree since Great Depression and severely affecting 40% of jobs.

And then there is the situation for the so-called ‘emerging economies’ of the ‘Global South’.  Many of these are exporters of basic commodities (like energy, industrial metals and agro foods) which, since the end of the Great Recession have seen prices plummet.

And now the pandemic is going to intensify that contraction.  Economic output in emerging markets is forecast to fall 1.5% this year, the first decline since reliable records began in 1951.

The World Bank reckons the pandemic will push sub-Saharan Africa into recession in 2020 for the first time in 25 years. In its Africa Pulse report the bank said the region’s economy will contract 2.1%-5.1% from growth of 2.4% last year, and that the new coronavirus will cost sub-Saharan Africa $37 billion to $79 billion in output losses this year due to trade and value chain disruption, among other factors. “We’re looking at a commodity-price collapse and a collapse in global trade unlike anything we’ve seen since the 1930s,” said Ken Rogoff, the former chief economist of the IMF.

More than 90 ‘emerging’ countries have inquired about bailouts from the IMF—nearly half the world’s nations—while at least 60 have sought to avail themselves of World Bank programs. The two institutions together have resources of up to $1.2 trillion that they have said they would make available to battle the economic fallout from the pandemic, but that figure is tiny compared with the losses in income, GDP and capital outflows.

Since January, about $96 billion has flowed out of emerging markets, according to data from the Institute of International Finance, a banking group.  That’s more than triple the $26 billion outflow during the global financial crisis of a decade ago.  “An avalanche of government-debt crises is sure to follow”, he said, and “the system just can’t handle this many defaults and restructurings at the same time” said Rogoff.

Nevertheless, optimism reigns in many quarters that once the lockdowns are over, the world economy will bounce back on a surge of released ‘pent-up ‘ demand.  People will be back at work, households will spend like never before and companies will take on their old staff and start investing for a brighter post-pandemic future.

As the governor of the Bank of (tiny) Iceland put it:  “The money that now being saved because people are staying at home won’t disappear – it will drip back into the economy as soon as the pandemic is over.  Prosperity will be back.”  This view was echoed by the helmsman of the largest economy in the world.  US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin spoke bravely that : “This is a short-term issue. It may be a couple of months, but we’re going to get through this, and the economy will be stronger than ever,”

Former Treasury Secretary and Keynesian guru, Larry Summers, was in tentative concurrence: “the recovery can be faster than many people expect because it has the character of the recovery from the total depression that hits a Cape Cod economy every winter or the recovery in American GDP that takes place every Monday morning.”  In effect, he was saying that the US and world economy was like Cape Cod out of season; just ready to open in the summer without any significant damage to businesses during the winter.

That’s some optimism.  For when these optimists talk about a quick V-shaped recovery, they are not recognising that the COVID-19 pandemic is not generating a ‘normal’ recession and it is hitting not a just a single region but the entire global economy.  Many companies, particularly smaller ones, will not return after the pandemic.  Before the lockdowns, there were anything between 10-20% of firms in the US and Europe that were barely making enough profit to cover running costs and debt servicing. These so-called ‘zombie’ firms may have found the Cape Cod winter the last nail in their coffins.  Already several middling retail and leisure chains have filed for bankruptcy and airlines and travel agencies may follow.  Large numbers of shale oil companies are also under water (not oil).

As leading financial analysts Mohamed El-Erian concluded: “Debt is already proving to be a dividing line for firms racing to adjust to the crisis, and a crucial factor in a competition of survival of the fittest. Companies that came into the crisis highly indebted will have a harder time continuing. If you emerge from this, you will emerge to a landscape where a lot of your competitors have disappeared.”

So it’s going to take a lot longer to return to previous output levels after the lockdowns.  Nomura economists reckon that Eurozone GDP is unlikely to exceed Q42019 level until 2023!

And remember, as I explained in detail in my book The Long Depression, after the Great Recession there was no return to previous trend growth whatsoever. When growth resumed, it was at slower rate than before.

 

1인당 실질   GDP 와 1947~2007년 추이

2019년 말에, 1인당  GDP는 2008년 이전과 비교했을 때, 그 성장 추이가 마이너스 15%였다.

2008-2009년 경기침체 말에는 마이너스 9%였던 것이.

지난 10년간 지속적인 경기 팽창 국면이었지만, 2008년 경기침체가 끝난 이후에도 미국 경제는 성장 추이보다 훨씬 더 아래에 위치하고 있다.  그 차액은 1인당 연간 1만 200달러에 해당한다. (소득의 영구적 손실)

골드만삭스 예측으로는, 미국 1인당  GDP 손실액은 지난 10년간 증가분과 동일할 것이다.

 

 

Since 2009, US per capita GDP annual growth has averaged 1.6%.  At the end of 2019, per capita GDP was 13% below trend growth prior to 2008. At the end of the 2008–2009 recession it was 9% below trend. So, despite a decade-long expansion, the US economy fell further below trend since the Great Recession ended. The gap is now equal to $10,200 per person—a permanent loss of income.  And now Goldman Sachs is forecasting a drop in per capita GDP that would wipe out all the gains of the last ten years!

 

Then there is world trade.  Growth in world trade has been barely equal to growth in global GDP since 2009 (blue line), way below its rate prior to 2009 (dotted line).  Now even that lower trajectory (dotted yellow line).  The World Trade Organisation sees no return to even this lower trajectory for at least two years.

세계 무역을 보자.

 

파란 선 2009년 이후, 세계 무역 성장은 전세계  GDP 성장율과 거의 비슷하다.

그러나 2009년 이전 성장율 추이 (점선 ) 과 비교했을 때는, 차이가 크다는 것을 알 수 있다.

노란 점선 (2011-2018) 성장율 추이와 비교해도, 밑에 위치하고 있다는 것을 알 수 있다.

세계무역기구 (WTO)는 다음 2년 동안은 이 노란 점선도 회복하기 힘들다고 보고 있다.

 

 

But what about the humungous injections of credit and loans being made by the central banks around the world and the huge fiscal stimulus packages from governments globally.  Won’t that turn things round quicker?  Well, there is no doubt that central banks and even the international agencies like the IMF and the World Bank have jumped in to inject credit through the purchases of government bonds, corporate bonds, student loans, and even ETFs on a scale never seen before, even during the global financial crisis of 2008-9.  The Federal Reserve’s treasury purchases are already racing ahead of previous quantitative easing programmes.

 

다음으로, 천문학적인  중앙은행의 융자 대출 지원과 정부 경기부양책은 어떠할 것인가?

중앙은행, 세계은행과 IMF는 국채, 회사채, 등록금 대출, 상장지수펀드 (ETF) 을 대규모로 매입해서 긴급구제금융지원을 하고 있는데, 이는 2008년 금융공황 시기에서도 볼 수 없었던 것이다.

미 연준은 이미 과거 양적완화(QE) 방식을 뛰어넘는 채권 매입 방식을 추진하고 있다.

3월 미 의회가 승인한 정부 지출은 2008년 경기침체 시기보다 더 많은 액수이기도 하다.

 

And the fiscal spending approved by the US Congress last month dwarfs the spending programme during the Great Recession.

I have made an estimate of the size of credit injections and fiscal packages globally announced to preserve economies and businesses.  I reckon it has reached over 4% of GDP in fiscal stimulus and another 5% in credit injections and government guarantees. That’s twice the amount in the Great Recession, with some key countries ploughing in even more to compensate workers put out of work and small businesses closed down.

 

내가 계산해본 바로는, 전 세계적으로 재정 경기부양의 경우  GDP의 4% 이상, 신용대출과 정부보증 대출로는 GDP의 5%가 투하되었다.

2008년 금융공황 시기 때보다 2배나 더 많은 액수다.

몇몇 경제강대국들의 경우, 일자를 잃은 노동자, 폐업한 소상공인들을 지원하는 금액은 2008년 경기침체 시기보다 더 많았다.

각 정부는 또 다른 지원 패키지를 발표할 것이다. 밀튼 프리드먼이 말한 ‘헬리콥터 머니’, 즉 정부가 직접 가계와 기업에 현금을 지급할 것이다.

은행들은 잊어버려라. 정부가 직접 돈이 필요한 사람들에게 현금을 나눠주고, 사람들이 소비를 할 것이다.   은행을 통하지 않고 정부가 직접 현금을 나눠줘야 한다는 포스트 케인지안들의 주장은 따라서 옳은 것으로 입증되었다.

또한 주류경제학이 그 동안 부정해오고 무시한

 

 

These packages go even further in another way. Straight cash handouts by the government to households and firms are in effect what the infamous free market monetarist economist Milton Friedman called ‘helicopter money’, dollars to be dropped from the sky to save people.  Forget the banks; get the money directly into the hands of those who need it and will spend.

Post-Keynesian economists who have pushed for helicopter money, or people’s money, are thus vindicated.

In addition, suddenly the idea, which up to now was rejected and dismissed by mainstream economic policy, has become highly acceptable, namely fiscal spending financed, not by the issue of more debt (government bonds), but by simply ‘printing money’, ie the Fed or the Bank of England deposits money in the government account to spend.

Keynesian commentator Martin Wolf, having sniffed at MMT before, now says: “abandon outworn shibboleths. Already governments have given up old fiscal rules, and rightly so. Central banks must also do whatever it takes. This means monetary financing of governments. Central banks pretend that what they are doing is reversible and so is not monetary financing. If that helps them act, that is fine, even if it is probably untrue. …There is no alternative. Nobody should care. There are ways to manage the consequences. Even “helicopter money” might well be fully justifiable in such a deep crisis.”

The policies of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) have arrived! Sure, this pure monetary financing is supposed to be temporary and limited but the MMT boys and girls are cock a hoóp that it could become permanént, as they advocate.  Namely governments should spend and thus create money and take the economy towards full employment and keep it there.  Capitalism will be saved by the state and by modern monetary theory.

I have discussed in detail in several posts the theoretical flaws in MMT from a Marxist view.  The problem with this theory and policy is that it ignores the crucial factor: the social structure of capitalism.  Under capitalism, production and investment is for profit, not for meeting the needs of people.  And profit depends on the ability to exploit the working class sufficiently compared to the costs of investment in technology and productive assets.  It does not depend on whether the government has provided enough ‘effective demand’.

The assumption of the radical post-Keynesian/MMT boys and girls is that if governments spend and spend, it will lead to households spending more and capitalist investing more.  Thus, full employment can be restored without any change in the social structure of an economy (ie capitalism).  Under MMT, the banks would remain in place; the big companies, the FAANGs would remain untouched; the stock market would roll on.  Capitalism would be fixed with the help of the state, financed by the magic money tree (MMT).

Michael Pettis is a well-known ’balance sheet’ macro economist based in Beijing.  In a compelling article, entitled MMT heaven and MMT hell, he takes to task the optimistic assumption that printing money for increased government spending can do the trick.  He says: “the bottom line is this: if the government can spend these additional funds in ways that make GDP grow faster than debt, politicians don’t have to worry about runaway inflation or the piling up of debt. But if this money isn’t used productively, the opposite is true.

He adds: “creating or borrowing money does not increase a country’s wealth unless doing so results directly or indirectly in an increase in productive investment…  If U.S. companies are reluctant to invest not because the cost of capital is high but rather because expected profitability is low, they are unlikely to respond to the trade-off between cheaper capital and lower demand by investing more.” You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

I suspect that much of the monetary and fiscal largesse will end up either not being spent but hoarded, or invested not in employees and production, but in unproductive financial assets – no wonder the stock markets of the world have bounced back as the Fed and the other central banks pump in the cash and free loans.

Indeed, even leftist economist Dean Baker doubts the MMT heaven and the efficacy of such huge fiscal spending.  “It is actually possible that we could be seeing too much demand, as a burst of post-shutdown spending outstrips the immediate capacity of the restaurants, airlines, hotels, and other businesses. In that case, we may actually see a burst of inflation, as these businesses jack up prices in response to excessive demand.”  – ie MMT hell.  So he concludes that “generic spending is not advisable at this point.”

Well, the proof of the pudding is in its eating and we shall see.  But the historical evidence that I and others have compiled over the last decade or more, shows that the so-called Keynesian multiplier has limited effect in restoring growth, mainly because it is not the consumer who matters in reviving the economy, but capitalist companies.

And there’s new evidence on the power of Keynesian multiplier. It’s not been one to one or more, as often claimed, ie. 1% of GDP increase in government spending does not lead to a 1% of GDP increase in national output.  Some economists looked at the multiplier in Europe over the last ten years. They concluded that “in contrast to previous claims that the fiscal multiplier rose well above one at the height of the crisis, however, we argue that the ‘true’ ex-post multiplier remained below one.”

And there is little reason that it will be higher this time round.  In another paper, some other mainstream economists suggest that a V-shaped recovery is unlikely because “demand is endogenous and affected by the supply shock and other features of the economy. This suggests that traditional fiscal stimulus is less effective in a recession caused by our supply shock. … demand may indeed overreact to the supply shock and lead to a demand-deficient recession because of “low substitutability across sectors and incomplete markets, with liquidity constrained consumers.” so that “various forms of fiscal policy, per dollar spent, may be less effective”.

But what else can we do?  So “despite this, the optimal policy to face a pandemic in our model combines as loosening of monetary policy as well as abundant social insurance.”  And that’s the issue.  If the social structure of capitalist economies is to remain untouched, then all you are left with is printing money and government spending.

Perhaps the very depth and reach of this pandemic slump will create conditions where capital values are so devalued by bankruptcies, closures and layoffs that the weak capitalist companies will be liquidated and more successful technologically advanced companies will take over in an environments of higher profitability.  This would be the classic cycle of boom, slump and boom that Marxist theory suggests.

Former IMF chief and French presidential aspirant, the infamous Dominique Strauss-Kahn, hints at this“the economic crisis, by destroying capital, can provide a way out. The investment opportunities created by the collapse of part of the production apparatus, like the effect on prices of support measures, can revive the process of creative destruction described by Schumpeter.”

Despite the size of this pandemic slump, I am not sure that sufficient destruction of capital will take place, especially given that much of the bailout funding is going to keep companies, not households, going.  For that reason, I expect that the ending of the lockdowns will not see a V-shaped recovery or even a return to the ‘normal’ (of the last ten years).

In my book, The Long Depression, I drew a schematic diagram to show the difference between recessions and depressions. A V-shaped or a W-shaped recovery is the norm, but there are periods in capitalist history when depression rules. In the depression of 1873-97 (that’s over two decades), there were several slumps in different countries followed weak recoveries that took the form of a square root sign where the previous trend in growth is not restored.

The last ten years have been similar to the late 19th century.  And now it seems that any recovery from the pandemic slump will be drawn out and also deliver an expansion that is below the previous trend for years to come.  It will be another leg in the long depression we have experienced for the last ten years.

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