本杰明·弗里德曼（Benjamin M. Friedman），美国哈佛大学威廉·约瑟夫·迈尔政治经济学教授，著名经济学家。本杰明·弗里德曼先后获得哈佛大学的文学学士学位、文学硕士学位和经济学博士学位，1972年开始在哈佛大学执教，曾任哈佛大学经济学院院长，被认为是“货币学派”的新领军者及全球化主义的权威研究者。凭借多年研究美国经济政策所具有的远见卓识，多次为美国政策制定者与公共职位候选人就经济问题提供建议。
FED has raised interest rate regardless of
the objection of president Trump on 19th. And the main stock markets in the
world fell sharply, which have arisen the public concern. Here are the points
of Benjamin M. Friedman, Professor of Department of Economics at Harvard
Economic Research Bureau: There was a view that
Fed's interest rate hike process will be reversed in December. But, finally, a
tough rate hike was adopted. What is the reason?
M. Friedman: With the U.S. economy operating at or
beyond full employment, and real growth at or above potential, it is wise to
remove any remaining elements of expansionary monetary policy. At the very least, the central bank's policy
should be neutral; and some degree of restraint would be even better. With the
latest increase in the short-term interest rates, the Federal Reserve is only
just now beginning to be back to a range that some observers would consider neutral.
Depending on one's view of the equilibrium real interest rate (a question on
which research is far from conclusive), several more increases may be necessary
to attain a neutral stance.
Economic Research Bureau: How do you understand the
game between Trump and Powell? Now, is it a wrong decision that FED did not
M. Friedman: Janet Yellen did an outstanding job as
Federal Reserve chair. Jerome Powell is
doing a fine job now. If the president
had allowed Ms. Yellen to continue, the Federal Reserve would have been in good
hand, but it is now in good hands with Mr. Powell. The president's public criticism is
Economic Research Bureau: Has FED assessed the
possible negative impact of interest rate hikes on the stock market?
M. Friedman: Yes, I believe the senior people at
the Federal Reserve have thought carefully about the implications of their
policy actions, including potential consequences for the stock market.
Economic Research Bureau: The Federal Reserve
raised interest rate and the U.S stock market plunged. Will the interest rate
hike reverse the momentum of the U.S. economy?
M. Friedman: Slowing the economy's growth is what
the central bank's move to a less expansionary monetary policy is supposed to
do. It is unlikely to slow the growth all the way to zero. If that were to happen -- or if the growth
were to stop for any other reason -- I am confident that the Federal Reserve
would reverse course.
Economic Research Bureau: How will Fed's interest
rate hike impact China's economy? Will it further increase downward pressure on
China's economy? How should China respond?
M. Friedman: I do not know enough about China's
economy to answer this question.
Economic Research Bureau: What do you think of
Fed's decision to reduce the times to raise its interest rate next year?
M. Friedman: It is too early to judge how much
further the Federal Reserve will need to raise interest rates. If the economy's growth slows quickly,
perhaps no further increase will be needed.
But if growth continues to exceed the growth of potential, then a
tighter policy will be warranted and therefore interest rates will need to rise
beyond current levels. The Federal Reserve's leaders are correct to wait to see
how the economy develops in the first part of 2019 before committing
Economic Research Bureau: How should investors in
the U.S and global stock markets cope with the negative impact of the Fed's
interest rate hike? Are there bubbles in the stock markets of the U.S,
especially in technology stocks? And is it possible to get back to bull market?
M. Friedman: Most observers of the U.S. equity
market have been commenting for some time on the high level of valuations. There are plenty of reasons to think stock
prices would well fluctuate -- either up or down -- other than monetary policy.