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[经济学人] [2008.12.04] Passive aggression 貌似积极实则保守

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发表于 2010-4-29 01:28 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Monetary policy  
货币政策

Passive aggression
貌似积极实则保守
Dec 4th 2008  
From The Economist print edition

译自经济学家印刷版


The ECB’s biggest-ever cut looks timid
欧洲央行降息幅度有史以来最大,仍显缩手缩脚

WHEN the economy is sinking and inflation fading rapidly, is there any merit in cutting interest rates gradually? On December 4th the Bank of England again opted for boldness. It cut its benchmark rate by a percentage point, to 2%, following a stunning one-and-a-half-point reduction a month earlier. On the same day Sweden’s central bank slashed its rate, from 3.75% to 2%, and said big cuts were needed because monetary policy was less effective than usual. But the European Central Bank (ECB) was stuck somewhere between caution and boldness. Less than an hour after the Bank of England’s decision, the ECB reduced its main rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, to 2.5%. That was the biggest cut in its ten-year history. It may look daring, but in the circumstances seems inadequate.
经济下滑、通胀率迅速下降,有没有必要采取缓和的、逐步的降息方式?12月4日,英格兰银行再一次选择大幅度降息,继一个月前1.5%的惊人降幅将市场基准利率降低了1个百分点,至2%。同一天,瑞典央行将利率从3.75%降到了2%,宣称鉴于当前货币政策效果低于平常,大幅降息是必要的。与这两家央行相比,欧洲中央银行仍在大胆出击与谨慎行动之间徘徊。英格兰银行做出降息决定后不到一个小时,欧洲央行宣布将主要利率降低0.75%,至2.5%。这个欧洲央行十年历史上的最大降息行动似乎很大胆,但在当前经济形势下尚显不足。



One reason for the Bank of England’s haste is that the British economy, with its housing bust and exposure to financial services, is falling fast. Yet the euro area is struggling almost as badly. A closely watched index of activity, based on surveys of purchasing managers in manufacturing and services, slumped in November to its lowest level ever. That suggests euro-area GDP is shrinking fast, and for a third successive quarter. Business and consumer confidence is at a 15-year low, according to a survey by the European Commission. Unemployment is rising—rapidly in Spain, but also now in France, where the jobs market had seemed resilient.
房地产市场泡沫破灭和金融业危机导致的英国经济迅速下滑,是英格兰银行如此匆忙大幅降息的一个原因。从这一点看,欧元区的情况并不比英国强多少。经常被引用的商业活动指数(通过调查制造业和服务业采购经理获得相关数据)在十一月份下滑至历史最低点,说明欧元区国内生产总值在连续两个季度下降之后,今年三季度仍在迅速下降。根据欧洲委员会的调查,商业和消费者信心指数降到了15年来的最低点。不光是西班牙的失业率在迅速上升;即便是劳动力市场似乎很有弹性的法国,失业率也在攀升。


The ECB’s remit is to stabilise inflation, not the economy. But inflation is no longer a barrier to big rate cuts and the bank needs to act to ensure it does not fall too low. On a first estimate, inflation fell in November to 2.1% from 3.2%, the biggest drop in decades. It may well fall below the ECB’s 2% target ceiling in coming months.
欧洲中央银行的职责在于保持物价稳定,而非经济稳定增长。但是当前情况下,通胀风险已不复存在,大幅降息并无这方面的障碍,欧洲央行应当采取行动确保通胀率不要降得太低。根据初步统计结果,11月份欧元区通胀率从3.2%降到了2.1%,为数十年来的最大降幅。在未来几个月里,通胀率很可能远远低于欧洲央行预定的2%的最高上限。


With news this grim, why not cut interest rates by more? In a speech last month, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, of the ECB’s rate-setting council, argued against a hyperactive monetary policy. A big rate cut, he said, is more likely to drain confidence than perk it up, if “it is interpreted as a signal that the central bank has a more pessimistic assessment of the economy than market participants”. A central bank that acts aggressively to insure against deflation could cement expectations of it, making that outcome more, not less, likely. Policymakers who slash rates at the first sign of danger will quickly run out of “ammunition”, he said.
既然情况如此不乐观,为什么不采取更大幅度的降息?欧洲央行利率委员会的Lorenzo Bini Smaghi在上个月的一次演讲中明确反对过度主动的货币政策。他表示,如果公众把大幅降息理解为央行对经济形势的预期比市场参与者更为悲观,那么将大大损伤市场信心而非相反。一个过度积极反通缩的央行,恰恰坐实了市场的通缩预期,使得通缩更可能从预期变为现实。政策制定者若危机一开始就大幅降息,会过快消耗“弹药储备”。


Yet the immediate outlook for the economy is so bleak that there seems little merit in holding fire. In America the Federal Reserve has hardly any room left for bold cuts: its target rate is at 1% but the actual rate is lower. Even so, the Fed’s policy of pushing vast sums of cash into the economy has shown that monetary-policy options are not exhausted even when interest rates approach zero. The Economist went to press before Jean-Claude Trichet, the ECB’s president, had held his usual press conference, but the bank seemed likely to cut rates again at its next rate-setting meeting on January 15th. Many will ask what argument will make a lower rate sensible then that is not compelling now.  
话虽如此,以眼下经济前景的黯淡程度,欧洲央行似乎没有理由一味谨慎。美联储其实已经不剩下什么大幅降息空间了:目标利率已经降到了1%,实际利率则更低。但是美联储依然在向经济大量注入现金,说明就算利率接近零,美联储也可以采用其他货币政策工具,货币政策仍然还有调整的空间。在欧洲央行主席让•克劳迪•特里谢举行例行记者招待会之前,本期经济学人已经付印,而市场普遍预期欧洲央行在1月15号的例会上可能再次降息。人们不仅要问,难道现在进一步降息的条件还不够成熟?有什么好的理由要等到下个月降息?
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发表于 2010-4-29 01:53 | 显示全部楼层
个人不是很喜欢这个题目,好像没有把passive的感觉译出来,也就是说题目没有起到对文章的点睛作用。“被迫”“消极”的这种态度没有译出来。
呵呵,个人意见~
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发表于 2010-4-29 02:18 | 显示全部楼层
自己也对标题不满意。改了改,大家再拍吧!
我觉得文章是认为欧洲央行降息还不够到位,欧洲央行的决策者在降息上略显保守,在形势严峻的情况下还想一步步来,倒也不是“消极”,只是理念不同吧。
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发表于 2010-4-29 02:43 | 显示全部楼层
挑个小毛病:

That suggests euro-area GDP is shrinking fast, and for a third successive quarter
这句话如果翻译成“说明欧元区国内生产总值在连续两个季度下降之后,第三个季度仍在迅速下降” 会产生歧义。这里所谓的“third quarter”指的其实是今年的第四季度。欧元区今年的增长事实是:第一季度增长强劲且高于预期,二三季度则连续衰退。该句前列举的事实正表明人们预计第四季度也会同样出现下滑。
建议翻译成:“这表明欧元区的GDP正在连续的第三个季度中迅速下滑”
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发表于 2010-4-29 03:08 | 显示全部楼层
既然欧洲央行的第一且唯一使命是保持价格稳定,那就不同指望他对积极的利用货币政策提振经济,但他毕竟有来自各国的压力,所以翻译成被动进攻 我觉得挺好的。
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发表于 2010-4-29 03:33 | 显示全部楼层
的确是有歧义:handshake 。第三季度让人以为是今年7-9月份。
不过我觉得”这表明欧元区的GDP正在连续的第三个季度中迅速下滑”不是很符合平时说话的习惯
改成“说明欧元区国内生产总值在连续两个季度下降之后,今年三季度仍迅速下降“
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发表于 2010-4-29 03:58 | 显示全部楼层
标题改成“貌似积极实则保守”是希望标题能体现文章的态度--对欧洲央行的降息方式不以为然
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