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[经济学人] [Britain] Binary blues二段式蓝调

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发表于 2010-4-28 21:23 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Britain
Binary blues
二段式蓝调
Nov 19th 2008
From The World in 2009 print edition
By Anatole Kaletsky


Will the economy experience a common-or-garden recession, or a severe slump?
经济只是在经历一般的衰退,还是暴跌?



THE tradition of The World In is to make clear predictions, avoiding conditionals or qualifications. Any rational assessment of the British economy in 2009, however, requires a modification of this approach. The problem is not that the outlook is cloudy; uncertainty is a permanent feature of economics. What makes 2009 unusual is actually the clarity of the outlook: this will be a binary year. Two very different economic scenarios are not just possible, but almost certain, depending on what has happened to the British financial system by the start of 2009. But before considering these distinct scenarios in greater detail, let us begin with the elements they both have in common—the “known knowns” of 2009.

The world in 的传统是避开各种条件和资质做一次明确的预言。然而,要理智地对英国2009年的经济进行评估,这种方式却需要作一次修正。问题不在于前景不明,不确定性是经济的永久特性。使得2009年的经济形势变得不寻常恰恰在于前景的明确性:这将是一个二元年。基于2009年伊始发生在英国经济体系上的事情来看,两种截然不同的经济走势不是可能,而是几乎确定了。

One thing we know for sure is that the British economy will suffer its first recession for 18 years in 2009. To be more precise, the recession will be officially confirmed in early February with the release of GDP figures for the fourth quarter of 2008. These figures will show a second consecutive quarter of GDP decline, satisfying a common definition of a recession. For observers more concerned about the state of business than semantic arguments among economists, these figures will also confirm that the recession deepened dramatically towards the year-end and that the first half of 2009 will see the economy suf琭ering its deepest slump since the 3.4% annualised rate of decline in the second half of 1991.

头一件我们可以肯定的事就是英国的经济将在2009年经受18年来的第一次衰退。更确切地说,在2009年二月初,这次衰退将随着2008年第四季度GDP数据的披露而被官方肯定。这些数据将显示连续第二个季度GDP数据的下滑,这恰恰符合经济衰退的一般定义。鉴于观察家们关注国家事务更甚于经济学家间只言片语的争论,这些数据将更肯定经济衰退将在今年年底加剧,2009年的上半年将会见证,经济遭受自1991年下半年年降率达3.4%以来的最大的一次暴跌。

As a result of this recession, unemployment will rise sharply in the first few months of the year—to around 2.5m or 8% of the workforce, compared with only 1.7m or 5.6% before the autumn banking meltdown. And the housing market will continue its collapse, with prices falling by some 15% in the 12 months to mid-2009, a fall which will imply a decline of at least 25% from the house-price peak in August 2007.

这次经济衰退的后果之一便是失业率在2009年初几个月的急速上升,将会达到大约250万人,占总劳动力的8%,相较之下,在今年秋季银行业大面积塌陷之前,失业人口为170万,占总劳动力的5.6%。住房市场将持续崩塌,12个月以来价格已经下滑了15%并将持续到2009年中期。这一下滑预示着房屋的价格将从2007年八月的高峰至少下跌25%。

With tax revenues shrinking and unemployment spending rising, the government deficit will soar in 2009 (see article)—attracting stern admonishments from the European Commission for breaching the 3% of GDP Maastricht limit. But Alistair Darling, the chancellor of the exchequer, will allow the deficit to expand unchecked. Indeed, he intends to bring forward planned public investments to cushion the economy in 2009. In a recession, measures to increase taxes or reduce public spending would be politically impossible and economically foolish.

随着税收收入锐减,失业方面支出的增加,政府的财政赤字在2009年将火速上窜——这将受到来自欧盟委员会持续的警告,因为破坏了《马斯垂克条约》中规定的赤字不能超过GDP 3%的限制。但是,达林——这位财政大臣将会允许赤字的扩大。实际上,他试图通过推动计划中的公共投资来缓冲2009年的经济。在经济衰退之时,采取措施来增加税收或者减少公共开支,在政治上是不可能的,从经济上来说是愚蠢的。

The British economy will suffer its first recession for 18 years
英国的经济将遭受十八年来的第一次衰退


With the “fiscal rules” invented by Gordon Brown at the dawn of New Labour reduced to rubble, Mr Darling will doubtless introduce a new “fiscal framework” designed to bring borrowing under control in the me琩ium term and restore credibility to the government’s economic management. However, nobody will take this seriously—not with pressures for public spending in瑃ensifying as unemployment rises and as a general election draws near.

有了戈登•布朗在粉碎新工党黎明之时所创设的“财政准则”,达林先生将会毫无疑问地引入一个新的“财政框架”,从而在中期控制借款并重建政府经济管理的信用。然而,没有人会把这个太当一回事—— 由于失业增加,压力将来自于公共开支的增加,而且大选投票越来越近了。

The “known” good news about 2009, which seems even more certain than the catalogue of woes above, is that interest rates and inflation will be much lower by the spring of 2009 than anyone would have expected six months earlier. The Bank of England’s base rate will at least match the 50-year low of 3.5% estab琹ished in 2003 and may well dive further. In fact, for the first time since 1952, British interest rates may well boast a “two” in front of the decimal point. A weak pound, especially against the dollar, is another near-certain consequence of the British economy’s recessionary troubles. Although the pound may hold its own or even rise a bit against the euro, it is bound to fall much further against the dollar, with the 2003 level of $1.60 merely one milestone and $1.40 quite possible before the end of the year.

关于2009年,众所周知的好消息——这个甚至要比以上所列的坏消息更肯定——就是,在2009年春季,利率和通货膨胀将比任何人在六个月前所预测的大幅降低。英格兰银行的基准利率将至少与2003年的3.5%这一50年来最低点持平,而且有可能进一步降低。实际上,自1952年首次,英国的利率可能已涨到小数点前两位了。羸弱的英镑,尤其是在对抗美元的时候,是另一项几乎可以肯定的英国经济处于衰退泥潭所造成的后果。尽管英镑可能会坚守或甚至在对欧元的时候略微上扬,对美元的时候,它注定要进一步贬值。2003年时候的1.6美元是个里程碑,而在年底很可能跌至1.4美元。

Fears that the weakness of the pound, combined with ultra-low interest rates, will stoke inflation will prove unfounded. The Bank of England will have no problem reconciling an ultra-easy monetary policy with its 2% inflation target and will actually welcome the decline of the pound, because inflation will have vanished from the list of economic worries by the spring. With house prices collapsing, the labour market in the doldrums and oil and commodity prices roughly half their year-earlier levels, the inflationary worries of early 2008 will seem like distant dreams.

英镑走弱带来的恐惧夹杂着超低利率将加深通货膨胀,将被证明是毫无根据的。揣着2%的通胀目标,英格兰银行将会毫不费力的协调出一个超易货币政策,并且实际上欢迎英镑的走弱,因为到了春季,通胀将已经从经济隐忧榜上消失了。随着房价下挫,劳动力市场的不景气,石油和商品价格已只有年初价格一半的水平,2008年初关于通货膨胀的担忧看上去就像一个遥远的梦。

On the other hand 另一方面

Now for the bad news—and for the binary, even bipolar, nature of the 2009 outlook. If something like normal functioning of the banking system has been restored by the beginning of 2009, then the first half of the year will see nothing worse than a common-or-garden recession, as described above, followed by a decent recovery in the second half of the year, driven by ultra-low interest rates and a competitive exchange rate. Unemployment may continue to rise until the year-end, but other economic indicators—including business confidence, stockmarket prices and even housing—should show clear signs of improvement by the third quarter. In short, the down瑃urn will be painful, but nowhere near as traumatic as the inflationary recessions of the early 1980s and 1990s. In these circumstances, Britain by the end of 2009 will again be seen as a fundamentally strong economy.

现在说说坏消息——或者是2009年前景的双元性,甚至是双极实质。如果说在2009年初银行体系的一些正常功能已经重建,那么,如上所述,该年度的上半年就仅仅只是一般的衰退而不是什么更糟糕的东西,下半年,在超低利率和极具竞争力的汇率刺激下,随之而来的将是体面的经济复苏。失业率也许会持续上升直到年底,但是其他经济指标——包括商业信心,股票市场价格,甚至是房地产市场——在第三季度应该会清楚地显示出好转的迹象。总之,衰退将是痛苦的,但不会比上世纪八十年代早期和九十年代早期时候更甚。在这种情形下,到2009年底,英国将会再次成为实实在在在的经济强国。

Suppose, on the other hand, that the global financial implosion continues into 2009 and bank nationalisations around the world turn the allocation of capital into a governmental responsibility, in a bizarre resur瑀ection of Soviet-style central planning. In that case, the outlook for capitalist economies everywhere will drastically deteriorate through 2009, instead of improving. And Britain, as the world’s most financially oriented economy, will suffer more than any other country.

另一方面,设想全球金融内爆继续到2009年,全球银行国有化使得资本的分配由政府掌控,这是一种古怪的苏联风格中央计划形式的复苏。如果是那样,2009年世界各地的资本主义经济将急速倒退,而不是改善。而英国,作为世界上最具财政性倾向的经济体,将比任何一个国家遭受更严重的灾难。

Britain, with its clear comparative advantage not only in finance but in all business services associated with free capital movements, has most to lose if global capitalism is permanently hobbled. But it has most to gain from a long-term revival in global finance.

英国,她所拥有的相对优势很明确的不仅在于金融业,更在所有与资本自由流动相关的行业上,如果全球的资本主义像这样永久性的摇摆,她就已经几乎要走向没落。但从全球金融的长期复兴中,她又会受益。


Anatole Kaletsky: partner, GaveKal Research; editor at large, the Times
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发表于 2010-4-28 21:43 | 显示全部楼层
这篇文章译下来有很多地方不确定,欢迎各位高手指正哈!:loveliness:
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:03 | 显示全部楼层
第一段我试着重新翻译了一下,意思和楼主是一样的,仅在方式和思路上有所不同:
THE tradition of The World In is to make clear predictions, avoiding conditionals or qualifications. Any rational assessment of the British economy in 2009, however, requires a modification of this approach. The problem is not that the outlook is cloudy; uncertainty is a permanent feature of economics. What makes 2009 unusual is actually the clarity of the outlook: this will be a binary year. Two very different economic scenarios are not just possible, but almost certain, depending on what has happened to the British financial system by the start of 2009. But before considering these distinct scenarios in greater detail, let us begin with the elements they both have in common—the “known knowns” of 2009.

《展望》系列特刊一贯的宗旨是做出明确的预测,避免条件假设。然而,要对09的年英国经济作出任何理性的估量,都需要改变这一套路。问题并不在于前景不明-----变幻不定本来是经济千古不变的特性。2009年要特殊处理的原因恰恰在于前景是明确的:接下来的一年将会是上演两重天的一年。两种大不相同的经济结果不仅只是可能,几乎就是必然。至于出现哪种结果,就要看英国的金融体系在09年年初如何运作了。不过,在对这两种大相径庭的结果进行更深层次的考虑之前,我们还是从“已知的已知”出发,着眼于两者的共性。
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:23 | 显示全部楼层
谢谢楼上的回帖:loveliness: :handshake
这一段的确翻的更有文采,佩服。
相较之下,我的的确需要再修炼修炼,偶竟然还漏译了最后一句:L
以后还请多多指教哈:lol
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:43 | 显示全部楼层
怪我不该放那么多修饰语进去,所以楼主才误会了我的意思

我的意思是楼主理解得很正确,但是没有在译文中保护原文的逻辑关系。第一段的大体思路就是说:

我们“展望系列”(按照本论坛的共识,将 "World in ... " 默认为展望)原本的风格是说什么就是什么,不搞模棱两可的假设,但是09年我们要来点例外。然后对他们为什么要破例作出了解释:我们这么做不是迫于经济前景不明,因为经济前景任何时候都是捉摸不定的,俨然不能成为我们这一次做出改变的诱因。真正的原因不是因为前景不清楚,而正相反,是因为它太清楚了------- 不外乎就是悲喜两重天嘛。至于到底是上天堂还是下地狱,那就要看金融体系有什么动作了。所以咱先不谈这两种可能的细节,咱只看看这两种可能的共同点。
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发表于 2010-4-28 23:03 | 显示全部楼层
:lol 我正确滴理解了你的意思。
相较而言,俺比较欣赏你翻的那一段。
我翻的时候,感觉是总体思路没有偏差,就是遣词的过程中,觉得便扭。
偶喜欢这样子可以互相讨论,有讨论才有进步嘛:victory:
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