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为什么应该担心中国?(双语)

cocotang 于2015-09-08发布 l 已有人浏览
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我没有聪明到理解“市场先生”(Mr Market)行为的程度,也没有愚蠢到认为自己能理解他的地步。“市场先生”是投资大师本杰明?格雷厄姆(Benjamin Graham)虚构出的患有燥狂抑郁症的人物。但是,市场先生的确处于抑郁之中。背后的原因似乎是对中国的担忧。市场先生的焦躁是合理的吗?简单说,是的
Iam neither intelligent enough to understand the behaviour of “Mr Market” — the manic-depressive dreamt up by investment guru, Benjamin Graham — nor foolish enough to believe I do. But he has surely been in a depressive phase. Behind this seem to be concerns about China. Is Mr Market right to be anxious? In brief, yes.  
我没有聪明到理解“市场先生”(Mr Market)行为的程度,也没有愚蠢到认为自己能理解他的地步。“市场先生”是投资大师本杰明?格雷厄姆(Benjamin Graham)虚构出的患有燥狂抑郁症的人物。但是,市场先生的确处于抑郁之中。背后的原因似乎是对中国的担忧。市场先生的焦躁是合理的吗?简单说,是的。
One must distinguish between what is worth worrying about and what is not. The decline of the Chinese stock market is in the second category. What is worth worrying about is the scale of the task confronting the Chinese authorities against their apparent inability to deal well with the bursting of a mere stock market bubble. 
我们必须分清哪些事值得担忧,哪些事不值得。中国股市下跌就属于后一类。真正值得担忧的是,中国当局明显连一次股市泡沫破裂都没有能力很好地应对,但他们面对的任务却非常之艰巨。
Stock markets have indeed been correcting, with the Chinese market in the lead. Between its peak in June and Tuesday, the Shanghai index fell by 43 per cent. Yet the Chinese stock market remains 50 per cent higher than in early 2014. The implosion of the second Chinese stock market bubble within a decade still seems unfinished. (See charts).
在中国股市的带领下,全球股市确实已开始了调整。从6月的顶点至周二,上证综指下跌了43%。不过,中国股市较2014年初仍高出50%。10年内第二次中国股市泡沫内爆似乎仍未结束。(见图表)。
The Chinese market is not a normal one. Even more than most markets, this is a casino in which each player hopes to find a “greater fool” on whom to offload overpriced chips before it is too late. Such a market is bound to be extremely volatile. But its vagaries should tell one little about the wider Chinese economy. 
中国股市并不正常。它甚至比大多数股市更像赌场,每个玩家都希望找到一个“更大的傻瓜”,在最后一刻之前把价格过高的筹码传递到他们手上。这样的市场注定会暴涨暴跌。但这种变幻莫测的行情,应该反映不了中国的宏观经济状况。
Nevertheless, events in the Chinese market are of wider significance in two related ways. One is that the Chinese authorities decided to stake substantial resources and even their political authority on their (unsurprisingly unsuccessful) effort to stop the bubble’s collapse. The other is that they must have been driven to do so by concern over the economy. If they are worried enough to bet on such a forlorn hope, the rest of us should worry, too.
然而,由于两个相互关联的原因,中国股市行情有了更重要的含义。第一个原因是,中国当局决定押上巨大的资源、甚至他们的政治权威,试图阻止股市泡沫破裂(这一努力没有成功并非意外)。第二个是,他们一定是出于担心经济才这么做的。如果他们担心到对这样渺茫的希望下注的地步,我们其他人也应当感到担忧。
Nor is this the only way in which the behaviour of the Chinese authorities gives reason for concern. The other was the decision to devalue the renminbi on August 11. In itself this, too, is an unimportant event, with a cumulative devaluation against the US dollar of just 2.8 per cent so far. But it has significant implications. The Chinese authorities want room to slash interest rates, as happened this Tuesday. Again, that underlines their concerns about the health of the economy. Another possible implication is that Beijing might seek a revival of export-led growth. I find this hard to believe, since the global consequences would be devastating. But it is reasonable at least to worry about this destabilising possibility. A last possible implication is that the Chinese authorities are preparing to tolerate capital flight. If so, the US would be hoist by its own petard. Washington has sought capital account liberalisation by China. It might then have to tolerate a destabilising short-term consequence: a weakening renminbi.
以上并非中国当局的行为让人有理由担心的唯一方面。其他方面还有8月11日的人民币贬值。就本身而言,这不算重大事件,迄今人民币兑美元汇率累计跌幅仅为2.8%。但人民币贬值有重要的含义。中国当局想要大幅降息的空间,如同本周二降息那样。这再次突出显示了他们对经济健康状况的担心。另一个可能的含义是,北京方面或许在寻求重振出口驱动的增长。我发现这一点难以置信,因为它的全球后果将是毁灭性的。但至少,对其破坏稳定的可能性感到担忧是合理的。最后一个可能的含义是,中国当局开始准备容忍资本外流。如果是这样,美国将会自食其果。华盛顿方面一直敦促中国放开资本项目管制。那么,美国或许不得不忍受破坏稳定的短期后果:人民币贬值。
Recent events must be seen in the context of a deeper concern. The question is whether the Chinese authorities can and will secure a shift from an investment-led economy to a consumption-dominated one, while sustaining aggregate demand. If they can, the economy will also sustain growth of 6-7 per cent. If they cannot, economic and political instability threatens.
看待近期事态,必须考虑到更深层次的担忧。问题在于,中国当局是否有能力、并且愿意实现经济从投资驱动转型为消费主导,同时维持总需求。如果能办到,中国经济还将保持6%至7%的增长率。否则,就可能发生经济和政治动荡。
China’s economy has already slowed. The talk of a “new normal” recognises this reality. But Consensus Economics has brought together alternative growth forecasts. The mean of these new forecasts shows growth of only 5.3 per cent in the year to the fourth quarter of 2015 (see chart).
中国经济已然放缓。“新常态”的说法承认了这一现实。但共识经济学公司(Consensus Economics)提出了不同的增长预测。新预测的平均值显示,在截至2015年第四季度的一年内,中国经济增速将仅为5.3%(见图表)。
Suppose something like this were true. According to official figures, gross fixed investment was 44 per cent of gross domestic product in 2014. Figures for investment are more likely to be correct than those for GDP. But does it make economic sense for an economy to invest 44 per cent of GDP and yet grow at only 5 per cent? No. These data suggest ultra-low, if not, negative marginal returns. If so, investment could fall sharply. That might not lower potential growth, provided wasteful investment were cut first. But it would cause a collapse in demand. Everything the Chinese authorities have been doing suggests they are worried about just that. 
假设这是真的。根据官方数据,2014年固定资产投资占国内生产总值(GDP)的44%。投资数字有可能比GDP数字更准确。但是,一个经济体的投资占到GDP的44%,增长率却仅为5%,这在经济上合理吗?不合理。这些数据反映了超低的(如果不是负值的话)边际回报率。如果这样,投资可能大幅下降。如果首先砍掉浪费性投资的话,这或许不会降低潜在增长率,但将造成需求大减。中国当局在做的每一件事都表明,他们担心的正是这一点。
This worry about deficient aggregate demand is not new. It has been a big concern ever since the west’s financial crisis, which devastated demand for China’s exports. This is why China then embarked on its own credit-fuelled investment boom. Remarkably (and worryingly), the share of investment in GDP rose just as the growth of potential output declined. That was not a sustainable combination in the longer term.
这种对总需求不足的担忧由来已久。自从西方的金融危机以来,这就成了一个非常令人担心的问题,因为危机摧毁了对于中国出口的需求。正因如此,中国自己推动了一次信贷助长的投资繁荣。潜在产出增长率下降的同时,投资占GDP的比例却在显著地(并令人担忧地)升高。长期来看,这两种状况的组合是不可持续的。
This now leaves the Chinese authorities with three huge economic headaches. The first is cleaning up the legacy of past financial excesses while avoiding a financial crisis. The second is reshaping the economy, so that it is more dependent on private and public consumption and less dependent on extraordinarily high levels of investment. The third is achieving all that while sustaining dynamic growth of aggregate demand.
现在,这给中国当局留下了三个巨大的经济难题。第一个是清理过去金融过度行为的遗产,同时避免发生金融危机。第二个是重塑经济,使增长更依赖私人与公共部门的消费,减轻对超高水平投资的依赖。第三个是在实现以上所有目标的同时维持总需求的强劲增长。
Recent events matter because they suggest the Chinese authorities have not yet worked out a way of pulling this triple combination off. Worse, the expedients they have tried over the past seven years have made the predicament even worse. Maybe, Mr Market has grasped how difficult this is going to be and so how destabilising some of the options the Chinese might choose actually are. These include devaluation, ultra-low interest rates and even quantitative easing. If this is the case, the market turmoil might not be foolish. The global savings glut can get worse. That would affect everybody.
近期动态很重要,因为它表明,中国当局尚未找到解决这三个难题的办法。更糟糕的是,他们在过去7年里所尝试的权宜之计甚至已使困境变得更麻烦。或许,市场先生已预感到,中国的处境将是多么的艰难,而中国可能会采取的一些选项实际上会造成多么大的动荡。中国的选项包括货币贬值、超低利率,甚至还有量化宽松。如果真是如此,当前市场动荡或许并不显得愚蠢。全球储蓄过剩可能变得更严重。那会让所有人都受到影响。
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