酷兔英语


It has been two years since the flames were first spotted in Greece, yet the blaze still hasn't been put out. Now it has spread to Italy.


希腊火光初现到现在已经有两个年头了,火灾还没有被扑灭。如今,意大利也被卷了进来。



It's been five years since the U.S. housing bubble burst. Housing remains among the biggest reasons the U.S. economy is doing so poorly.


从美国房地产市场泡沫破裂到现在已经有五个年头了。美国经济表现如此糟糕的最重要原因之一就是房地产市场。



On both continents, there is no longer any doubt about the severity of the threat or the urgent need for better policies. Yet the players seem spectacularly unable to act.


不管是在欧洲大陆还是在美洲大陆,所有人都不再怀疑威胁的严重程度,所有人都了解推出更有力政策的紧迫性。然而令人惊讶的是,政治家们似乎都还不能采取行动。



What's taking so long?


到底是什么事要花这么长时间呢?



Deciding who will get stuck with the tab.


那就是决定最终由谁来埋单。



'In every crisis, you have to allocate the losses between debtors, creditors and taxpayers,' says Anna Gelpern, an American University law professor and former Treasury official. 'It's a shockingly simple concept, and completely intractable.'


美利坚大学(American University)的法律教授、前财政部官员盖本(Anna Gelpern)说,不管哪一次危机,损失都要由债务人、债权人和纳税人来分担。这是一个极其简单的概念,丝毫不容变通。



'By definition, it's a political problem,' she adds. 'Even if you came up with an optimal allocation, if it's not politically salable, it can't happen.'


她补充说,从定义上来看,这是一个政治问题。就算你的分担方案是最优的,但如果在政治上没有人买账,那也行不通。



This time, the scale is daunting. The International Monetary Fund estimates that holders of U.S. mortgage and other debt lost $2.7 trillion in the U.S. phase of the global financial crisis, some of that already shifted to taxpayers. American homes are worth nearly $7 trillion less than they were five year ago, a 25% decline. Nearly 23% of Americans with mortgages owe more than the value of their homes.


这一次的损失大得让人望而生畏。据国际货币基金组织(International Monetary Fund)预计,在这场全球性的金融危机中,美国的住房抵押贷款和其他债务的持有人损失了2.7万亿美元,而一部分的损失已经转嫁到了纳税人的头上。与五年前相比,美国住房市场总值下降了近7万亿美元,降幅达25%。将近23%的美国人的抵押贷款余额高于手头住房的价值。



All sorts of attempts have been made to reduce monthlymortgage payments for some, to refinance high-interest mortgages, to be sure foreclosures are done correctly, to recapitalize banks so they can absorb losses, and so on. The big step untaken: reducing the principal on mortgages. The big hurdle: Who takes the hit? The banks? Mortgage investors? Taxpayers?


为了降低某些人每月支付的抵押贷款的额度,为了给高利率抵押贷款再融资,为了确保止赎不出差错,为了对银行进行资本重组(以便让这些银行消化掉损失)等等,什么办法都想尽了。然而还有一个重大举措没有出台:降低抵押贷款的本金的额度。主要的困难:谁来埋单?银行?住房抵押贷款投资者?纳税人?



In Europe, delays in admitting that Greece borrowed too much turned what might have been a difficult but manageable problem into a calamity. One big reason for the delay: deciding who would take the hit. German taxpayers? French-bank shareholders? Foreign bondholders?


在欧洲,由于迟迟不肯承认希腊借了太多的债,结果一个困难但却还有能力解决的问题演变成了一场灾难。拖延的一大原因:决定由谁来埋单。德国的纳税人?持有法国银行股票的股东?外国债券持有人?



When a borrower