martedì 29 giugno 2010

Clifford Asness sulle strategie momento. La terza depressione è alle porte.

Clifford Asness è una personalità di spicco del mondo degli hedge funds e uno dei protagonisti di The Quants: How a Small Band of Maths Wizards Took Over Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed it,  uno dei numerosi libri sulla crisi finanziaria che ha tuttavia la particolarità di concentrarsi sul mondo degli hedge funds e dei quants (l'ho letto un mesetto fa: mi sono divertito a leggerlo, la descrizione di qualcuno dei caratteri è ben fatta, contiene degli spunti di riflessione interessanti ma non consideratelo un libro utile per approfondire le cause della crisi finanziaria). Nell'intervista qui sotto Asness discute le difficoltà che i fondi quantitativi che impiegano strategie di tipo momento hanno attraversato negli ultimi 12-24 mesi (quando il momento prima si è affossato scendendo a livelli non visti da molti anni e poi ha avuto uno spettacolare rimbalzo, trascinato tuttavia soprattutto dai titoli più ipervenduti).



Vi state preparando per la terza depressione? Se vi sfugge di cosa si tratti, beh c'è un premio Nobel per l'economia pronto a spiegarvelo: ecco cosa scrive Krugman 

Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.
Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.
We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.
And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.(...)
Why the wrong turn in policy? The hard-liners often invoke the troubles facing Greece and other nations around the edges of Europe to justify their actions. And it’s true that bond investors have turned on governments with intractable deficits. But there is no evidence that short-run fiscal austerity in the face of a depressed economy reassures investors. On the contrary: Greece has agreed to harsh austerity, only to find its risk spreads growing ever wider; Ireland has imposed savage cuts in public spending, only to be treated by the markets as a worse risk than Spain, which has been far more reluctant to take the hard-liners’ medicine.
It’s almost as if the financial markets understand what policy makers seemingly don’t: that while long-term fiscal responsibility is important, slashing spending in the midst of a depression, which deepens that depression and paves the way for deflation, is actually self-defeating.
So I don’t think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the tradeoffs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.
And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy? The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.

2 commenti:

giovanni.gambino ha detto...

un bel periodo per vivere....

Stefano Marmi ha detto...

Beh i giudizi al riguardo sono necessariamente molto personali. Constato però che viviamo in pace, con una certa agiatezza e liberi di esprimere le nostre opinioni. Le tre cose per lungo tempo sono state impossibili per tutti tranne forse una ristrettissima cerchia di privilegiati. Dunque non mi lamento.
Se invece restringiamo l'orizzonte agli ultimi 10-20 anni beh allora forse sì, non è un gran momento...!