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[经济学人] [2011.11.12] After the crisis: Making do 危机之后,欧洲凑活过吧

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发表于 2011-11-24 10:55 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
After the crisis
危机之后


Making do
凑活过吧


Instead of going all out for the serious reforms it needs, Europe is likely to settle for the minimum
欧洲可能只满足于最低限度,而不是集中精力进行自身必须的严肃改革


IN THE HEART of the EU’s administrative district in Brussels, a little way inside the council building where EU ministers hammer out legislation, stands a big bronze bust of Justus Lipsius. A 16th-century humanist who sought to reconcile Christianity and Stoicism, Lipsius betokens learning and integrity.

位于布鲁塞尔的欧盟行政区中心是欧盟理事会大楼
,也就是欧盟各部长立法之处,进入大楼后不远处,有一尊贾斯特斯•利浦休斯的铜铸半身像。他是一位16世纪的人道主义者,致力于协调基督教教义和禁欲主义,堪称博学多才与诚实正直的化身。

On closer inspection, though, the bust turns out to be made of painted plaster. If you rap it with your knuckle you hear the thwack of gypsum rather than the ring of cold metal. Low down on the great scholar’s mantle is a small white patch where the paint has chipped away. Far from adding dignity to the business of the council, the mock-bronze inadvertently honours the Brussels tradition of making do. It is this spirit of grubby compromise, not lofty idealism, that will determine the future of the euro.

然而,仔细观察会发现,这尊半身像实际上是用染色的石膏铸成的。如果用指关节击之,能听见石膏的闷响,而非冷冰冰的金属发出的鸣响。这位伟大学者的斗篷下方有一块白色的补丁,上面的油漆脱落了。这尊放铜雕像不经意间对布鲁塞尔“凑活”的传统致以了敬意,而根本没有给理事会的事务增加庄严感。决定欧元未来的正是这种卑鄙的妥协态度,而不是高尚的理想主义。(或:决定欧元未来的正是这种得过且过的折衷态度,而不是高瞻远瞩的理想主义。)

That is because, as Joseph Schumpeter argued, a monetary system cannot be separated from the society that underlies it. Saving the euro is about much more than the optimal design of a currency area. Even as the euro zone fights to steady its banks and its sovereign borrowers, it must grapple with the profound choices that this special report has set out.

约瑟夫•熊彼得认为,这出现这样的妥协是因为货币系统不可能脱离其所赖以存在的社会基础。拯救欧元不仅仅是货币领域的一个最佳计划。哪怕欧元区已经在想方设法稳定其银行和主权债务人,还必须紧紧抓住这篇特别报道提出的几个重要抉择。

Four choices
4个选择

The most important of these is Europe’s attitude to globalisation. The more the euro zone embraces growth-enhancing reform, the lower the chance that its members will, after years of grinding austerity, succumb to the political fatigue that could lead to the euro’s collapse. However, the economic imperative for austerity and restructuring is already putting the governments of the euro zone’s troubled periphery under severe strain. 

欧洲对全球化的态度是其中最重要的一点。欧元区经济增长改革进行地越深入,那么经过几年紧缩,其成员国就越不可能屈服于政治乏力。政治乏力有可能使欧元崩溃。然而,财政紧缩和重组方案在经济层面上的紧迫性,已将麻烦不断的欧元区外围政府置于严重紧张的局面之下。

A second choice is about what it means to be “European”. Among the euro zone’s creditors, populist parties are increasingly rallying against the EU. Battered by austerity, the citizens of debtor countries could easily go the same way. Elites all across Europe have lost their authority. The European Commission and the parliament tend to be resented by national governments. All this limits the scope for fixing the euro by transferring sovereignty to Brussels.

第二个选择:成为“欧洲人”的意义何在。欧元区众多债权人中,民粹主义党派越来越频繁地聚集在一起反对欧盟。债务国的公民受到紧缩的重击,很有可能重蹈覆辙反对欧盟;整个欧洲大陆的精英们已经丧失了权威;各国政府逐渐对欧盟委员会和欧洲议会更加怨恨。所有这一切,限制了通过向布鲁塞尔转移主权从而稳定欧元的规模。

A third is about the leadership of Germany and France. The crisis has given the leading role in Europe to Germany. It must decide what price it is willing to pay for leadership and how to use its new power. Will it come round to the idea that the European Central Bank (ECB) must put its balance-sheet behind the euro zone’s governments? Meanwhile, France, greedy to redesign Europe according to its own tastes, must decide whether it is prepared to take the difficult steps needed to keep up with Germany.

第三个选择:德国和法国的领导权。危机使德国成为了欧洲的领袖,因此该国必须决定,愿意为领袖地位付出多少代价,以及怎样利用新的权力。德国是否会炒冷饭,认为欧洲中央银行必须用其资产负债表支持欧元区各国政府?与此同时,垂涎于以自己的喜好重塑欧洲的法国必须决定,是否做好准备进行艰难的斗争,以与德国并驾齐驱。

The fourth is about Europe’s divisions. Eastern Europe is anxiously watching the confusion and disarray to its west. It must choose whether its destiny should eventually be inside the euro. Britain, too, must work out what it wants from the EU. In the past it has yanked the continent towards open markets and economic liberalism. Today Britain is striding away from Europe in a very British fit of absent-mindedness.

第四个选择:欧洲的划分。东欧正紧张地看着西欧各国的困惑和混乱,必须选择该不该将最终自己的命运同欧元联系在一起。英国也必须解决一个问题,即本国想从欧盟得到什么。过去,英国曾使欧洲大陆突然走向市场开放和经济自由;如今,英国正以非常适合本国的心不在焉姿态,大步驶离欧洲。


The sun sets 日薄西山

These questions are complicating the rescue of the euro. In the crystalline world of political and economic theory the immediate task is to stop the run on Europe’s banks and sovereign borrowers. This requires a controlled default of insolvent governments—which, so far, means Greece—and the protection of solvent governments by a pledge to buy as many of their bonds as it takes to ward off market panic. At the same time Europe’s banks must be protected with fresh capital. The euro zone showed at last month’s summit that it is coming around to this design—though the package they came up with was still too puny. But the two other components of any complete euro rescue are still embryonic.

这些问题都使得欧元的拯救行动日趋复杂。在纯政治与经济理论的象牙塔中,当务之急就是阻止欧洲银行和主权债务国的扩大。这就要求无力偿还债务的政府(目前为止只有希腊)控制违约行为,有偿还债务能力的政府通过保证购买与其售出债券同等价值的债权来保护自身,从而规避市场恐慌。同时,欧洲的银行必须获得新资金的保护。在上个月召开的峰会中,欧元区表示正在转回这个布局,尽管出台的一揽子计划还是太微不足道。然而,任何一个完善的欧元拯救计划的另外两个部分仍处在初级阶段。

One is reform of the euro’s governance. The euro zone needs a fund that can help member states cope with shocks. More ambitiously, the credit rating of the entire area might be used to issue Eurobonds, which would be less vulnerable to speculation. The euro zone must ensure that delinquent borrowers do not exploit these facilities to run up bills for everyone else to pay. And, to block the vicious circle in which failing banks amplify the weakness of sovereign borrowers, it must establish a European mechanism for insulating banks from their sovereigns.

其中之一就是欧元管理方法改革。欧元区需要成立一项基金,帮助成员国应对经济震荡。整个地区的信贷评级必须用于发行欧元债券,使其在投机活动中更不易受到影响——这个想法更有野心。欧元区必须保证有拖欠记录的借贷人不能利用这些服务来增加自己的账单,却让他人支付。为了防止破产银行扩大主权债务人的弱点这一恶性循环,必须建立机制,使银行同主权分离。

In theory all this is possible. In practice, however, it would involve a large transfer of sovereignty to give the central euro-zone authorities the scope to raise money, regulate banks and prevent errant fiscal policy. Few countries are ready for that. The prospect of a United States of Europe is about as real as the bronze of Justus Lipsius’s bust.

理论上这一切都是可行的。而实际上,这些行动要求大规模转让主权,给欧元区中央当局留出余地去筹款,管理银行,防止财政政策误入歧途。几乎没有国家对此做好准备。欧盟想组成“欧罗巴合众国”的前景,就像贾斯特斯•利浦休斯“铜像”一样货真价实。



For a start, Germany and France will not allow the European Commission to gain much extra power. In recent years Germany has become suspicious of the institution. Neither Ms Merkel nor Mr Sarkozy is fond of José Manuel Barroso, its president. The money for the euro-zone rescue pot, the European Financial Stability Facility, has come from the member states, mostly from France and Germany. They are not about to hand control over hundreds of billions of euros to the commission.

首先,德国和法国不会让欧盟委员会得到太多额外的权力。近年来,德国对该机构的疑心越来越重。不管是默克尔还是萨科奇,对委员会主席乔斯•曼努埃尔•巴罗佐都没什么好感。欧洲金融稳定局用来拯救欧元的资金筹自其成员国,大部分是法国和德国,这两个国家并不准备把几千亿欧元的管理权交给委员会。

One alternative might be to fix everything among governments, in the Eurogroup, as France would wish. But smaller countries have seen, in the treatment of Greece and Italy, how France and Germany get to call the tune: “intergovernmentalism” leaves them vulnerable. And Germany’s federal constitutional court in Karlsruhe ruled after the 2007 Lisbon treaty, the EU’s most recent piece of constitutional re-engineering, that the German government could never again transfer sovereignty away from the German parliament to Brussels without also ensuring that German citizens have more say at the European level. Deals among a roomful of governments do not meet that test.

另一个选择可能就是,任何事情都由欧盟各国政府间协商解决,这是法国所希望的。但是较小的国家通过对希腊和意大利的处理方法,看到了法国和德国口中“跨政府主义”的论调将会使自身变得更加脆弱。2007年里斯本条约(即欧盟最近通过的一份宪法性质的重组文件)签订以后,位于卡尔斯鲁厄的德国联邦宪法法庭规定,在无法保证德国公民在整个欧洲层面获得更多发言权的情况下,德国政府绝对不可把主权从议会转交到布鲁塞尔。多国政府签署的协议未能通过这个考验。

Few countries are ready for a large transfer of sovereignty. The prospect of a United States of Europe is about as real as the bronze of Justus Lipsius’s bust
几乎没有国家做好准备移交主权。欧盟想组成“欧罗巴合众国”的前景,就像贾斯特斯•利浦休斯“铜像”一样货真价实


What about the German idea to give more power to the European Parliament? Many national governments would object. How would Nicolas Sarkozy, emperor of the Fifth Republic, feel if the European Parliament had more sway over him than his own tame Assemblée Nationale?

那么,德国想赋予欧洲议会更多权力这一想法又如何呢?许多民族政府可能会反对。如果欧洲议会的对法国支配权超过了顺从的法国国民议会,身为法兰西第五共和国君主的尼古拉斯•萨科奇会做何感想?

In short, there is no consensus in the euro zone for an ambitious transfer of sovereignty to Brussels. Instead, in the spirit of shoddy compromise, it will do as little as it can. As the summit in October hinted, the emphasis will be on binding countries by the norms of prudent economic management—a supercharged version of the set of rules the commission presented a year ago, including warnings about imbalances and fiscal sustainability.

简言之,对于向布鲁塞尔转交主权这个充满野心的想法,欧元区并未达成一致。相反,本着卑鄙妥协的精神,各国几乎会没有座位。10月份召开的峰会暗示,重点将放在,通过谨慎的经济管理标准来约束成员国。一年前,委员会曾经出台了一系列规则,目前这个标准则是旧规则的一个压力升级版,包括对成员国提出经济失调和财政持续性提出警告。

Perhaps such rules could be enshrined at national level. Just as euro-zone members are required to have an independent central bank, they could be obliged to set up independent offices of statistics and budget sustainability and to enact constitutional guarantees of good behaviour. That would provide euro-zone reassurance without euro-zone sovereignty. Perhaps, too, banks could be regulated at the EU level and be prevented from ever becoming as dependent on their sovereigns as they are today.

也许,这些规则可以在国家层面予以贯彻。欧元区成员国被要求拥有一个独立的中央银行,同样也可以要求这些国家成立独立的数据和持续性预算办公室,制定宪法,保证运转良好。这样一来,既能不转移主权,又能使欧元区回复信心。也许,银行也可以在欧盟层面上得到管理,避免银行像如今这般依靠本国的主权。

All this will need to be backed up by strong discipline—and that will lead to yet more trouble. France would prefer the stick to be wielded at the discretion of governments. Germany, however, wants binding rules and strong punishments. Germany is likely to carry the day, but only if it can find a way to force through a new treaty.

所有这些都需要得到强有力纪律的支持,但这样会带来更多的麻烦。法国选择坚持随各国政府的意愿运用这些规则。然而德国则希望出台有约束力的规则和强有力的惩罚措施。德国有可能获胜,但是只有当其强行通过一项新的条约后才有可能。

That will be harder than it sounds. A full treaty requires a convention, an intergovernmental conference and then ratification by national parliaments and a referendum in Ireland and quite possibly in other countries, too. Old Brussels hands think that all this would take three to four years. Moreover, the mood in Ireland just now is so bad that you could not get the ten commandments approved in a referendum.

实际上则没有请起来那么容易。一项完整条约的通过须要通过召开大会和政府间会议,然后由国民议会批准,在爱尔兰进行公民投票,而且很有可能也要在其他国家进行。布鲁塞尔的元老们认为,要进行完这些流程需要三四年时间,而且目前爱尔兰的国民情绪非常差,十大戒条可能无法通过公民投票。

Scarred by the difficulties of trying to write and ratify a constitution for the EU, the euro-zone countries may therefore try to dress up a treaty as merely a “technical” adjustment. They may try to sign a treaty among themselves, outside the EU. That would stop Britain from causing trouble, and negotiations among 17 countries may be speedier than among 27. However, existing EU law requires the new agreement to mesh with all other EU treaties, which may be awkward.

撰写以及批准欧盟宪法困难重重,各成员国被吓退,因此有可能试着编纂出一个仅仅作为“技术性”调整方案的条约,也有可能在几个国家内部签署条约,而不是在欧盟的层面上。这样,英国就不能找麻烦了,而且17个国家的谈判比27个国家谈判要更快。然而,现存的欧盟法律要求,所有的新协议必须同其他的欧盟条约相契合,但这样一来,这种操作就会变得很棘手。

From an economic point of view such minimal new rules for governing the euro would be second-best. Despite what is often said, no economic law dictates that a common currency must have a common fiscal policy. But fiscal co-ordination does make life a lot easier.

从经济角度来看,这种管理欧元的小型新规则是第二最优选择。尽管常言道,任何经济学定律都要求,同一种货币必须拥有同一种财政政策,但是财政上的协调的确使生活方便多了。

The price of a cobbled-together rescue is that some day the euro zone will probably have to endure yet another existential crisis. It is all very well to talk of discipline and oversight right now, when disaster is still an imminent possibility; but wariness is bound to fade with time. Bubbles inflate precisely because people fail to recognise that they are living with dangerous imbalances. One French official remembers being told by commission economists during the boom to copy Ireland and Spain. Now the same people are telling him to copy Germany.

胡拼乱凑式救援行动要付出的代价就是,将来欧元区有可能不得不经受另一个潜在的危机。现在,灾难还只是有可能即将发生的事情,因此讨论原则和疏忽问题恰到好处,但是谨慎感一定会随着时间慢慢变淡。经济泡沫不断膨胀,恰好是因为人们无法意识到自己正生活在危险的不平衡之中。经济激增时期,委员会的经济学家告诉一位法国官方人士,要借鉴爱尔兰和西班牙的经验;现在,同样一拨人却告诉他要向德国学习。

Postwar postscript
战后的后记

The third component of a textbook euro rescue would rebalance Europe’s dangerously lopsided economies. In the troubled countries of the euro zone this requires a programme of thoroughgoing structural reforms, along with a plan to reduce government budget deficits over the medium term. The euro zone’s creditor states would match this with a fiscal stimulus designed to boost demand in their economies. That would help drag the ailing members out of recession.

教条式的欧元拯救计划第三个组成部分,会重新稳定欧洲极端不平衡的经济状况。欧元区陷入麻烦的国家,要进行这个计划就必须进行彻底的结构性改革计划,以及一个在中期减少政府财政赤字的计划。欧元区债权国会通过拉动内需的财政刺激来与此相匹配,这能帮助面临困境的成员国摆脱经济衰退。

Again, reality will fall far short of this ideal. The citizens of uncompetitive economies are already exhausted by austerity, and Germany and the other creditor nations are reluctant to run deficits. The danger is that people will refuse to accept the unemployment and austerity being imposed on them. If so, that will hugely raise the economic damage wreaked by crisis, as yet more output is lost and more jobs are destroyed.

再次声明,现实与理想状态会截然不同。无竞争力国家的居民已经被经济紧缩榨干了,但德国和其他债权国还是不愿意安排赤字。危险在于,人们会拒绝接受强加给自己的失业和经济紧缩。如果这样,危机对经济所造成的破坏会大大增加,以至于失去更多产值和就业岗位。



This is the greatest single threat to the survival of the euro. Governments will topple and the programmes underpinning international aid will fall apart. An angry, populist Greece might well storm out of Europe as a harmful act of protest. At that moment the risk of contagion would be at its greatest. Would the single market survive? Would the ECB and Germany, staring into the abyss, at last commit themselves to ring-fencing solvent governments?

对于欧元的复苏来说,这是最大的威胁。政府将倒闭,支撑国际援助的项目将崩溃。充斥着愤怒和民粹主义情绪的希腊将“离家出走”,用这种有害的方式表示对欧洲的抵抗。到那个时候,这种歪风邪气的风险将会上升到最大值。单一的市场是否能存活?欧洲中央银行和德国仔细审视了这个困境,会不会到最后想尽办法用绝缘的方法保护有偿还能力的国家政府?

Sometimes the worst really does happen. However, even if Greece goes, a general fragmentation of the euro zone remains unlikely. Collapse would not benefit any of its members. Even if joining was a mistake, quitting would be a bigger one. Moreover, all the arguments over rescue funds and bank bail-outs are in the end about who will pay, not whether the system is worth saving.

有时的确会发生最糟糕的事情。但是就算希腊离开了,欧元区分崩离析还是不大可能的。欧元区崩溃不会给任何一个成员国带来好处。即使加入欧盟是一个错误,那么离开欧盟就是错上加错。而且,关于拯救基金和银行救援的争执说到底无非就是谁来买单的问题,而不是值不值得拯救这个系统的问题。

The brinkmanship could go on for months and there might be more half-rescues like the one in October. But were a bank or a solvent economy suddenly to fall prey to a market panic, then governments and the ECB would surely step in. It would make no sense for the ECB to put its own reputation for orthodoxy before the ravages of deflation. And if the euro zone ceased to exist, the ECB would have nothing to be orthodox about.

边缘政策可能会实行一个月,期间可能会出台更多的半救援计划,10月份就出台了一项。但是只要一家银行或者一个有偿还能力的国家突然成为了市场恐慌的牺牲品,那么各国政府和欧洲中央银行就肯定会步其后尘。再遭到通货紧缩的破坏之前,欧洲中央银行把自己的名誉当作教条毫无意义。如果欧元区不复存在,欧洲中央银行就毫无教条可循了。

Remember, though, that even this action would only buy time for Europe’s troubled economies to resume the relentless slog of regaining competitiveness and working off their debts. Sometimes you read that such an enforced workout is ahopeless cause. Ageing, comfortable Europeans have no stomach for hard work or invigorating globalisation. Many governments will want to protect their companies, not subject them to competition. The temptation to use the euro zone to defend unaffordable privileges will be strong. The political culture in a country like France has long seen globalisation as a threat to be managed. That view may be hard to shift.

尽管如此,别忘了哪怕采取这个行动也只是为欧洲陷入麻烦的几个国家拖延时间,重新开始重获竞争力和清偿贷款所带来的残酷打击。有时你会发现这种强制的解决措施是一种无望的原因。随着年龄增加,安逸的欧洲人无法适应高强度的工作和不断加强的全球化趋势。许多国家政府都会开始保护本国企业,而不是放任其参与竞争。利用欧元区来保护负担不起的特别待遇这一趋势会逐渐加强。一些国家的政治文化一直都把全球化看成必须控制的一种威胁,比如法国。这种观念很难转变。


Yet this argument is too fatalistic. Europe has a choice, just as America had a choice after the miserable decade of the 1970s, when it decided to beat inflation and re-establish the dollar. Europe has much to offer: creativity and imagination, skills in design and manufacturing, expertise in science and engineering. And it has something to prove to an interconnected world. Confronted by global finance and business, no political system seems able to cope alone. If collaboration cannot be made to work among the states of Europe, bound by history and culture, can it work anywhere?

但是这种观点太像宿命论。欧洲还是有选择的,就像美国一样。20世纪70年代这悲惨的10年中,美国也面临着打压通货膨胀和复苏美元的挑战。欧洲还是有许多优势的:创造力和想象力、设计和制造方面的技术、科学和工程方面的专家等等。面对全球金融和商业情况,没有任何一个政治系统能够单刀赴会。如果欧洲各国由于历史和文化问题,而无法在一个战壕中合作,难道会有出路么?

This newspaper’s fervent hope would be that Europeans embrace globalisation by at last getting serious about reforming their rigid economies and their welfare states. Indeed, the present crisis has presented them with a unique chance tobreak apart the political interests that have held them back.

报纸热切地希望,欧洲人能够欣然接受全球化,最终认真考虑改革本国死板的经济体制和福利国家制度。的确,目前的危机给欧洲人带来一个独特的机遇,打破那些会拖累他们的政治利益。

The failure of the euro would not benefit any of its members. Even if joining was a mistake, quitting would be a bigger one
欧元崩溃不会给任何一个成员国带来好处。即使加入欧盟是一个错误,那么离开欧盟就是错上加错


Crises have a way of speeding up history. In his magisterial account of Europe after 1945, Tony Judt writes: “Postwar in Europe lasted a very long time, but it is finally coming to a close.” The near-failure of the euro has made Judt’s world seem more remote than ever. The post-Nazi taboo on populist parties is falling away. Without the Soviet Union’s occupying armies, Germany is once again the power that leads Europe but is unable to dominate it. The bloodless politics of Brussels, once a bulwark against extremism, has now become an obstacle. The welfare state, built on postwar prosperity, has become too expensive for these straitened times.

在某种程度上,危机加速了历史的进步。托尼•朱特在二战后欧洲权威记录中写道:“战后的欧洲延续了很长时间,但最终会走向终止。”几乎崩溃的欧元使朱特描述的世界比以前看起来要更近了。纳粹后时代对民粹主义党派的禁忌正在逐渐淡化。如果不是因为苏联占领部队,德国将再一次成为领导欧洲的大国,但只是领导而不是掌控。布鲁塞尔冷酷的政治活动曾经是反对极端主义的堡垒,而现在却成了一个障碍。对于现在这个拮据的时代来说,建立在战后繁荣基础上的福利国家已经太过昂贵了。

It is often said that in the face of the euro crisis the EU must either integrate or disintegrate. Either is possible. More likely, though, it will muddle through, integrating as little as it can get away with, disintegrating as Britain becomes ever more detached, and reforming just enough to get by. When the fuss is over, the chances are that Europe will breathe a sigh of relief and continue rather faster down the path of genteel decline.

经常有人说,面临着欧元危机的欧洲要么整合要么分裂,哪一种都有可能。尽管欧盟更有可能蒙混过关,尽可能减少合并以侥幸脱逃,随着英国的远离而逐渐分裂,并在最大限度内进行改革。当度过了紧张局势,欧洲和有可能会长吁一口气,然后继续以更快的速度踏上“优雅”衰落这条不归路。
Time can both ruin everything and build everything-It depends on you
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