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[经济学人] [2009.03.26] Dr Geithner's bank rehab 盖特那博士的银行复兴计划

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America's toxic-asset plan 美国的不良资产救援计划

Dr Geithner's bank rehab
盖特那博士的银行复兴计划


Mar 26th 2009 | NEW YORK
From The Economist print edition


There should be no shortage of buyers for American banks’ rotten assets, thanks to generous subsidies. Sellers will be harder to entice
由于慷慨的补贴,美国银行不良资产的购买者应该不会少。然而卖者却难以寻觅。


http://img0.topsage.com/club/427/201004/001/Image/201004290401279340.jpg

ONE way to treat a recovering drug addict is to force him to go through cold turkey. Another is to prescribe him a substitute for the original poison, such as methadone. America’s long-awaited effort to relieve banks of troubled assets leans towards the second approach, aiming to entice private buyers by offering the same supercharged leverage that coursed through the veins of the financial system during the credit boom. Paradoxically, at a time when the private sector is furiously cutting back on debt, the government sees the copious provision of cheap financing as the best way to loosen up the market for illiquid debt.
对待康复期的瘾君子,一种方法是强迫他断然戒掉。另一种是给他开一种药物来替代原来的毒品,例如美沙酮。期待已久的美国用以解决银行不良资产的措施倾向于第二种方法,目标是通过提供强力信贷杠杆来吸引私人购买者,就如同在信贷狂潮中渗透入金融系统每一个角落的杠杆力量一样。颇为矛盾的是,在私人部门大肆消减债务的时候,政府把大规模提供低息融资作为解冻非流动债务的最好方式。

The public-private partnership[1]  announced on March 23rd marks a revival of sorts for the asset-buying component of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a $700 billion rescue fund created last October which was quickly refashioned into a bank-recapitalisation vehicle. This time, however, the buyers will be money managers and insurers, not the government, though they will have plenty of help, through co-investment by the Treasury, cheap loans from the Federal Reserve and guarantees from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). For every private dollar invested, the taxpayer will provide a matching dollar of equity and up to $12 of other financing. Investors can walk away from their debts if a deal loses money.
去年十月建立的7000亿的救援基金很快就变成了银行资本重组的工具,而3月23号宣布的公私合作项目勉强算是标志着不良资产救援计划中资产收购部分的再次启动。然而这次的购买者将是基金经理和保险公司,而不是政府。但是他们将会获得财政部联合投资、联储的低息贷款和联邦存款保险公司(FDIC)的担保。每增加一美元私人投资,纳税人就要提供相应的一美元股份和总共12美元的其他形式融资。就算一笔交易亏损了,投资者们也可以安然脱身。

In theory, private buyers, bidding against each other, should be better than the government at determining the real value of assets. But some economists have denounced the plan as a disguised subsidy posing as a market solution. The taxpayer is on the hook for most of the losses but gets only half of the profits.
理论上讲,相互竞价的私人买家要能比政府更好的确定资产的真实价值。但是一些经济学家指责该计划看似是市场解决方案,实则为隐蔽的补贴。纳税人要为大部分损失买单却只能得到一半利润。

Mr Geithner sees this as a price worth paying to unclog banks’ balance-sheets. And this is a cost that America has swallowed before to get out of trouble. Like the new plan, the Resolution Trust Corporation, an entity set up to resolve the savings-and-loan crisis, used auctions and government co-investment to attract buyers. Some of them made fortunes, but the mechanism helped the market to clear and was deemed a success.
盖特纳认为为了清理银行资产负债表问题,这样的代价值得付出。这也是在摆脱困境之前美国已经付出的成本。就像新计划一样,用以清理存贷危机的清债信托公司利用拍卖和政府联合投资来吸引购买者。其中一些人赚钱了,但是这一机制帮助清理了市场,被认为是成功的。

This time, too, the sweet terms have piqued the interest of big fund managers, such as BlackRock and PIMCO. The biggest obstacle to their participation is no longer financial risk but the political sort, thanks to the bonus frenzy over American International Group (AIG). The Obama administration may have toned down its Wall Street-bashing, and Congress is rethinking its plan to tax bonuses at up to 90%. But many still worry that they could become a target if they reap big windfalls. Some fear that low-cost leverage might tempt buyers to overpay. Barclays Capital thinks it could lift market prices by 10-20%. The Treasury argues that these prices are artificially depressed because of illiquidity, though more pessimistic types suspect that they merely reflect future losses. Such concerns explain why, although stockmarkets leapt when the plan was announced, credit markets—generally a more reliable barometer—reacted less enthusiastically. Indices linked to risky mortgages remained near record lows.
这一次这些诱人的条件同样引起了例如黑石基金、太平洋投资管理基金等基金经理的兴趣。 由于AIG的红利事件,他们参与进来的最大障碍不再是金融风险,而是政治风险。奥巴马政府对华尔街的压制或许已经有所缓和,国会也在重新考虑高达90%的红利税计划。但是许多人仍然担心他们如果捞到了好处就会再次成为靶子。一些人担心低息的信贷可能使购买者出价太高。Barclays Capital认为这可能把市场价格抬高10-20%。财政部反驳说价格因为缺乏流动性而被人为压低了,尽管更悲观的观点怀疑低价格只不过反映了未来的损失。这些担心解释了为什么当收购计划宣布以后股市上扬,而作为更可靠的晴雨表的信贷市场却反应平淡。与风险抵押贷款相关的指标仍然处在历史低位。

If the plan falls flat, however, it is more likely to be because of a lack of sellers. Many banks are still holding assets, particularly whole loans, at values far above their market price because, under accrual accounting, losses can be booked over several years (see article). Even with government help, bids may not be high enough to tempt banks to deal, since any price below the carrying value would force them to take a write-down and deplete precious capital.
An example of this problem is adjustable-rate mortgages. Wells Fargo has written its portfolio (largely inherited from the acquisition of Wachovia) down to around 70 cents on the dollar. But the market price is half that. With leverage, a buyer might be prepared to pay close to its estimated “economic value” if held to maturity. But this is only perhaps 60 cents. Why sell now, and take an immediate ten-cent hit, when you can spread out the pain by holding on to the loans?
如果计划失败,其实,因缺少卖家它很可能失败。许多银行仍然持有其价值高于市场价格的资产,尤其是整体贷款,因为在权责发生制下,损失可以在许多年后才入账。即使有了政府资助,竞买价格仍旧不足使银行进行交易,因为任何低于账面价值的价格都会迫使银行进行核销操作并消耗掉宝贵的资金。例如可调利率抵押贷款。Wells Fargo已经把他的资产组合(大部分来自于收购Wachovia)的价值消减到70美分。但是市场价格却是它的一半。通过贷款,如果持有到期的话,购买者可能打算出价在与估计的“经济价值”相近的水平。但这也可能才60美分。当你可以通过坚持持有贷款而把痛苦分散出去,谁会现在卖并直接损失10美分呢?

This problem is less acute in mortgage-backed securities, which holders of all stripes have been more willing to write down. Indeed, those banks, such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, that have been most assiduous in marking to market expect to be able to sell some of their holdings for a higher price, boosting their bottom line. They may use these gains to repay TARP investments: Goldman is reportedly keen to pay back its $10 billion as early as next month.
抵押贷款证券的问题则不那么严重,各种证券持有者都更加希望进行销减。确实,如高盛和摩根斯坦利这样钉住市场价值的投行都期望可以給手中的资产寻个好点的价格,来提高他们的账本底线。他们或许用这些收入来偿还不良资产救援计划的贷款:据报道高盛希望最早在下个月就偿还它的100亿美元贷款。

The key to encouraging selling could be the “stress tests” being conducted on the 19 largest banks, which are due to conclude in late April. Regulators might use these to force over-optimistic banks to write loans down to levels at which they would find takers in “shotgun sales”, in the process topping them up with fresh capital in return for a bigger government stake. Sheila Bair, the FDIC’s chairman, indicated this week that banks would be given a nudge.
正在19家最大银行进行的“压力试验”将在4月得出结论,这是鼓励银行出售的关键。监管者可能借此迫使过于乐观的银行把贷款价值销减到他们不得不用“鸟枪法”才能找到买家的水平,在这一过程中向他们注满新鲜资本以换取政府的更多的入股。联邦存款保险公司主席希拉•拜尔暗示本周将再次对银行业进行敦促。

Still, some fear that the plan may not be big enough. Firepower of up to $1 trillion may sound a lot, but much more than that amount is in danger of souring in America as consumer credit deteriorates and more companies default. With little chance of wringing more bail-out money from Congress, barring a stunning change of mood, the new plan could hit a funding wall.
然而,一些人仍担心此项计划还不够庞大。1万亿美元的火力听起来不小,但是随着美国更多的消费信贷恶化和公司违约,更大的数额正岌岌可危。除非气氛出现不可思议的扭转,否则从国会挤出更多救市资金的可能性很小,而新计划则会因资金不足而止步不前。

To date, just under half of the TARP’s $700 billion has been disbursed. Add in the toxic-asset plan, and the total climbs to as much as $608 billion. With large dollops needed to plug banks’ capital holes once the stress tests are completed, and other industries clamouring for help, the remaining $92 billion may fall short of what is required. One hope of topping up the pot may lie in an expansion of the FDIC’s emergency credit line, from $30 billion to as much as $500 billion, though that would require congressional approval.
到今天,不良资产救援计划已经支出了7000亿美元中的将近一半。加上有毒资产计划,总计高达6080亿美元。一旦“压力测试”结束,银行将会有更多的漏洞需要去堵,而其他的产业也在高呼救援,剩下的920亿美元恐怕难填其壑。补充资金的希望来自于联邦存款保险公司300亿到5000亿美元的应急信贷额度,尽管这将需要国会批准。

So Mr Geithner faces hard choices. He will desperately want the new plan to succeed, not least because its failure could unseat him. He is already reeling from criticism that he was slow to respond to the AIG handouts. Now, at least, he has provided a detailed scheme, even if there is still devil in the details. America can claim to be tackling its troubled assets.
所以盖特那面临着困难的选择。他将迫切希望新计划能够成功,尤其是因为失败将会导致他的下课。由于对AIG红利事件反应迟钝而受到的批评已经使他头晕目眩。现在他至少提出了详细的计划,即使其中瑕疵颇多。美国可以声称开始解决问题资产了。

Whether it has picked the right approach is another matter. The alternative chosen by Britain, to leave the assets in place and insure them for a fee, has many proponents—indeed, America did just that with the worst assets of Citigroup and Bank of America, but rejected it as a system-wide solution. Others continue to push the nationalise-and-recapitalise option, though this remains politically unpalatable in America. World leaders must hope that, in banking as in narcotics, there are numerous paths to rehabilitation.
是不是选择了正确的方案是另一个问题。英国选择不动那些资产,而是用一定费用将其纳入保险,这种方式的确有很多支持者。美国处理花旗银行和美国银行最差资产时用了这种方式,但拒绝将其扩展为针对整个系统的方案。其他人继续支持国有-重组方案,尽管从政治角度讲,它在美国仍旧很煞风景。世界的领导者们一定希望在银行业和选择麻醉药一样,有数不清的复原之路。
幸苦了!
1)尽管他们将会获得财政部联合投资、联储的低息贷款和联邦存款保险公司(FDIC)的担保。每增加一美元私人投资,纳税人就要提供相应的一美元股份和总共12美元的其他形式融资。
尽管 是不是换成 但是 更好?

2)The taxpayer is on the hook for most of the losses
纳税人承担大部分损失的风险。on the hook for 有 冒险 的意思

3)the sweet terms
诱人的条件
多谢指正。
(1)同意你的看法,已改。
(2)The taxpayer is on the hook for most of the losses
查了一下辞典:
go on the hook for
1. [美国英语] [俚语] 为(某人、某事)而负债(或借钱)
2. 为(某人)冒险
此处用第一种用法较妥:纳税人为大部分的损失买单却只能得到一半的利润。

(3)纠正的非常好,已改。

另外最不解的一句是:If the plan falls flat, however, it is more likely to be because of a lack of sellers.这句话,感觉整句话都是由if引导的,好像没说完似的。希望高人指正。
如果这个计划失败了,它(计划的失败)很有可能是由于缺少卖家。
一时转不过弯来看着还真别扭,呵呵,谢谢whynot
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