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[经济学人] [2008.01.03]Aspirin, not morphine 阿司匹林治病,吗啡要命

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发表于 2010-4-28 21:38 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Aspirin, not morphine

阿司匹林治病,吗啡要命

Jan 3rd 2008

From The Economist print edition



America's economy will be weak in 2008, but policymakers should dispense the pain-killers with care

2008年美国经济将会疲软,政策制定者要小心应对








MORE drugs do not always speed a patient's recovery. And strong medicine can have unpleasant side-effects. These medical homilies are worth bearing in mind as America's economy enters 2008. With a year of weak growth in prospect and a high risk of recession, the clamour for action is getting louder. Critics charge that the Federal Reserve, which in recent months has cut its short-term policy rate by one percentage point, to 4.25%, has been far too cautious. An economy at risk, the argument goes, needs much cheaper money, and quickly.




不是吃的药越多,病人好的越快。强力的药物可能会产生副作用。美国经济进入2008年,政策制定者也应该把这些药物上的警告铭记于心。由于据预测,08年美国经济将缓慢增长,开始衰退的风险也很高,要求政府采取行动的呼声越来越高。评论家们指责美联储过于谨慎,因为美联储最近几个月把短期政策利率降低了一个百分点到4.25%。有人说,越是处于危机边缘的经济越是需要更多便宜的货币,而且动作要快。





In recent weeks luminaries such as Larry Summers, treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, and Martin Feldstein, a Republican economist, have also called for fiscal stimulus. Mr Feldstein wants a tax cut that would automatically kick in if employment fell for three consecutive months. Mr Summers wants a fiscal boost worth $50 billion-75 billion. Congressional Democrats are working on a stimulus of temporary tax cuts and spending increases. The White House is said to be exploring a fiscal package.




最近几周,像拉里.萨默斯(克林顿时期的财政部长),马丁.菲尔德斯坦(共和党经济学家)等著名专家也一致要求政府采取财政刺激手段。菲尔德斯坦希望如果连续三个月就业率下降就自动启用减税政策,萨默斯建议政府给与500亿到750亿美元的财政支持。国会的民主党人正在致力于一项暂时的减税政策以期增加支出来刺激经济。据说白宫正在研究综合的财政措施。





The political appeal of a stimulus is easy to understand. It is an election year and Americans are feeling increasingly pinched. The economy has soared to the top of voters' priorities; approval of Mr Bush's handling of it has fallen to a record low; and one poll suggests that Americans are already gloomier than they were during the 2001 recession.




刺激经济对于政治上的吸引力很容易理解。因为2008年适逢总统竞选,美国人对此也感到越来越头疼。经济一下子成为美国选民最关注的问题,布什处理经济问题的支持率降到有史以来最低点,一项民意调查显示,美国人比他们在2001年经济不景气时还要悲观。





But does speedier action make economic sense? In a recent speech Mr Summers argued that America risked the worst downturn since the early 1980s. Failing to deal with this, he argued, would be far costlier than loosening policy too much to avert it. If overly loose monetary policy created “undue inflation pressures”, they could be countered at a “moment of much less financial peril”. A “timely”, “temporary” and “targeted” fiscal boost could complement more monetary easing without compromising America's long-term budget health.




但是加速采取行动对经济而言真的有效么?最近,萨默斯在讲话说,美国正面临着80年代以来最严重的经济衰退。如果处理不当,付出的代价比为避免衰退而采取从宽的政策所付出的代价还要大。如果过度放松货币政策,从而产生“过度通货膨胀压力”,他们将遭遇金融危机。所以,所谓“及时的”,“临时的”“有针对性的”财政刺激可以弥补银根放松带来的危险,而且从长远看不损害美国经济。





This argument hinges on three questions: How vulnerable is the economy? What is the price of overdoing monetary easing? Will politicians design a sensible stimulus package? Each, on closer inspection, argues against rushing to action.




这个观点要取决于三个问题:经济到底有多脆弱?过度放松银根的代价有多大?政治家们能否设计出一个合理的综合刺激政策?每一个问题细究起来,都和快速采取行动背道而驰。





Cold-shower treatment


冷水浴疗法




No one doubts that 2008 will be hard. The combination of a weakening labour market, slipping house prices, tighter credit and higher fuel costs will weigh on domestic spending. The price of oil hit $100 a barrel this week (see article). House prices have fallen by 5% from their peak and by all accounts have far further to go. A pessimistic survey of manufacturing published on January 2nd only deepened the gloom.




没有人怀疑2008年将是艰难的一年。劳动力市场疲软,房价下跌,信贷收缩,能源成本更高,这一切都会制约国内消费水平。本周油价已经触及100美元每桶的高价。房价与最高点相比下跌了5%,而且所有人都说还会跌的更多。12出版的制造业一项调查更是雪上加霜。





And yet, although tumbling house prices and a sharp credit contraction could indeed pull the economy into a noxious downward spiral, the evidence of such an economic disaster is, as yet, slim. The lastreading of consumer spending, in November, was surprisingly strong. The stickiness of house prices suggests the drag on consumer spending will be long and grinding, not sudden and sharp. And it is worth remembering that slower domestic spending and higher saving is exactly what America needs to correctits current-account deficit.




虽然翻着跟斗一路下跌的房价和骤然紧缩的房价的确把经济拉下马,进入一个不良的循环,但是就此断言经济灾难还是没有证据的空谈。11月的消费支出显示出惊人的强劲。房价带动下的消费将是长期而稳定的,而不是突然的,剧烈的变动。而且,我们应该记住,缓慢的国内消费和更多的储蓄刚好是美国正需要的,因为这可以弥补国内经常项目上的赤字。





Anyway, insuring against calamity can be costly. The last time the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to shore up the economy, between 2001 and 2003, it sowed the seeds of today's housing mess. Although a housing and credit collapse would be deflationary, pre-empting that risk too dramatically could be inflationary. Consumer prices are rising uncomfortably fast, and people's expectations of future inflation,by some measures, have inched upwards. If central bankers allow inflation expectations to become unhinged, they will have a nasty, protracted problem on their hands. That is why the Fed's measured pace of interest-rate cuts is prudent.




总之,想要确保不发生经济灾难所要付出的代价是高昂的。2001-2003年,美联储最后一次降低利率以刺激经济,为今天房地产的混乱瞒下了祸根。虽然房地产和信贷的崩溃会产生通货紧缩,但是大幅度的未雨绸缪也会引发通货膨胀。消费品价格现在正在迅速提高,人们对未来通货膨胀的预期也同样步步升高。如果中央银行对于人们的通货膨胀预期置之不理,他们就要有大麻烦了。这就是为什么美联储降低利率的步伐走的如此小心翼翼。





If America's economy falls into a long slump, then of course politicians should grasp the fiscal lever. That is one way to reduce the pressure for extreme monetary easing. Cash-strapped consumers in depreciating houses might respond more forcefully to tax cuts than lower interest rates. And if the mortgage mess gets bad enough, a public bail-out—say by using institutions such as the Federal Housing Administration—may prove a less damaging palliative than heavy-handed government rewriting of mortgage contracts.




如果美国经济进入长期衰退,那么政治家们当然应该使用财政手段来调节。这是减轻过度放松银根压力的办法之一。由于房子贬值而变穷的消费者对减税政策的反应可能比降息更强烈。如果抵押事件不好收场,政府支援,即联邦房地产管理局等机构出面解决,也比政府强令改写抵押合同带来的损害小的多。







But none of this means it is right to act now. With private spending weakening, not slumping, there is no case for a fiscal offset. Although America's budget deficit, at 1.2% of GDP, is not enormous, the room for manoeuvre is smaller than in 2001, when Mr Bush sold his tax cuts as a stimulus.




但是这些方法没有一个现在就可以立即执行的。随着私人消费的减弱,但没有大幅下跌,没有理由采用财政手段干涉。虽然美国的预算赤字是GDP1.2%,也算不得庞大,
比起2001年,布什用减税来刺激经济,还有很大的活动余地的。







Partly as a result, Congress is contemplating only modest actions—such as a tax rebate, more food stamps, perhaps some infrastructure spending. It is likely to be a vain exercise: unnecessary if the downturn is mild, but insufficient to deal with a truly dire mess. Like good doctors, policymakers ought to plan for the worst. But, for now, they should keep their strongest pills locked away.




国会正在考虑采用适度的办法来调整经济,比如退税,发放更多的食物券,也许会投资一些基础设施。不过这可能是徒劳一场:因为如果衰退是温和的,这些做法就没有必要,但如果发生真正的大萧条,这些措施又杯水车薪。像好医生一样,政策制定者们也应该作最坏的打算。但是,现在还没到他们用最强力的药物的时候。





《经济学人》(The Economist ( http://www.economist.com ))
仅同意本网站翻译其杂志内容,并未对上述翻译内容进行任何审阅查对
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发表于 2010-4-28 21:43 | 显示全部楼层
提出几条意见

1. If overly loose monetary policy created “undue inflation pressures”, they could be countered at a “moment of much less financial peril”. A “timely”, “temporary” and “targeted” fiscal boost could complement more monetary easing without compromising America's long-term budget health.
就算过于宽松的货币政策会导致“通胀过度的压力”,它们在“轻微的金融危机”时也是微不足道的。“及时”、“临时”且“有针对性的”财政刺激可以冲抵放松银根带来的不利影响,而且不至于对美国长期预算造成什么负面影响。 你的理解似乎有点问题。

2. Although America's budget deficit, at 1.2% of GDP, is not enormous, the room for manoeuvre is smaller than in 2001, when Mr Bush sold his tax cuts as a stimulus.  这句话说现在的财政刺激政策空间比2001年要小,好像和你的理解正好反了。

3. 第一段cheaper money我觉得还是译成“低成本资金”比较好,“便宜的货币”有通货膨胀之嫌。

4. mortgage是抵押贷款的意思,就是国内的按揭。
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发表于 2010-4-28 21:48 | 显示全部楼层
你的标题似乎不够准确,
这里,吗啡和阿司匹林都是止痛药,应该是比喻应对的策略
吗啡并非致命,主要是存在严重的副作用
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发表于 2010-4-28 21:53 | 显示全部楼层
多谢斑竹,金融上的东西我其实不太明白,可是,版主你说我们是应该多练习自己熟悉的领域呢,还是广泛涉猎,以扩大自己的知识面?

3楼的哥哥,给改个标题把,我和你理解的一样,但是想不出更好的词了,多谢
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:03 | 显示全部楼层
我觉得标题可能想表达一个意思,指美国的经济要有要效的合适对策,而不是一些看似行得通的政策,却带来更大的麻烦。
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:08 | 显示全部楼层
多谢斑竹,金融上的东西我其实不太明白,可是,版主你说我们是应该多练习自己熟悉的领域呢,还是广泛涉猎,以扩大自己的知识面?

3楼的哥哥,给改个标题把,我和你理解的一样,但是想不出更好的词了,多谢
--------
1.有时间多看其他领域,没时间就focus。懂得越多,翻的越顺。
2.个人觉得标题问题不大,要不出错,就直译,反正意思在文章里也出的来。

继续努力~~
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:13 | 显示全部楼层
标题的个人意见~适而可止,不必猛药
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:18 | 显示全部楼层
--------
1.有时间多看其他领域,没时间就focus。懂得越多,翻的越顺。
2.个人觉得标题问题不大,要不出错,就直译,反正意思在文章里也出的来。

继续努力~~

starr的说法深有道理,最好广泛涉猎,但现实中往往囿于时间,时间有限的时候,就得讲成本和效益了

NO。。。要准确一点,同意直译——阿司匹林,而不是吗啡
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:23 | 显示全部楼层
我感觉标题可谓是这篇译文里最大的亮点了,不仅保持了原作者的用词,也译出了文章的基本论点,而且还是押韵的:lol
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:28 | 显示全部楼层
moment of much less financial peril
  翻译是 “金融危机”,但是我觉的不太对劲,求问。。。
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