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'A shark has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.' Woody Allen's description of his failing relationship with Annie Hall is as apt when applied to the euro zone. Tensions within the zone are mounting as we enter a week in which Italy, Belgium, Spain and France plan to tap the markets for some 17 billion euros ($22 billion) in new loans and, says Goldman Sachs, the European economy slides into recession.


爱情就像一条鲨鱼,必须不停地向前游,否则就会死去。我觉得我们之间的爱情就是一条死鲨鱼。"伍迪•艾伦(Woody Allen)形容自己与安妮•霍尔(Annie Hall)之间失败的爱情的这句话也适用于欧元区。高盛(Goldman Sachs)说,随着意大利、比利时、西班牙和法国计划在这周发行约170亿欧元(220亿美元)的国债,欧元区内紧张气氛不断升级,欧洲经济也将陷入衰退。



Bankrupt Greece; junk-rated Portugal pleading with Angola for inbound investment; jobless Spain, facing some interest rates that have doubled in the past month; and recovering Ireland have already fallen to the bond vigilantes. Growth-free Italy is fighting a rearguard action, facing unsustainable interest rates despite the stellar reputation of its newly appointed technocrat prime minister, Mario Monti; Belgian debt, now equal to its GDP, has been downgraded, in part because of the inability of this seat of the EU to form a new government. France, consumer confidence dropping, is likely next. Some German IOUs were unsold, and prices of bunds are slipping. No euro-zone country and no euro-zone company can any longer escape the consequences of the structural flaw in the euro-zone architecture.


希腊破产;主权信用评级为垃圾级的葡萄牙在恳求安哥拉投资;失业率高企的西班牙的利率在过去的这个月里已经翻倍;投资者对正在复苏的爱尔兰的债券持高度警惕的态度。增长停滞的意大利正在负隅顽抗,尽管新上任的技术型总理蒙蒂(Mario Monti)有着明星般的声誉,但意大利仍面临着不可持续的高利率;而对于在欧盟的成员国比利时来说,负债已经与GDP相当,债务信用评级已被下调,原因之一就新政府迟迟未能成立。消费者信心正在下降的法国很可能是下一个。德国的部分国债还没卖出去,并且国债的价格也在下滑。任何欧元区国家以及欧元区公司都无法逃脱欧元区这座建筑的结构性缺陷所带来的影响。



Nor can countries outside the euro zone. Great Britain, with high deficits, mounting debt, and a deficit-reduction plan that just might not work, retains its triple-A rating because it has its own currency and the rating companies increasingly consider governance when deciding whether to downgrade. Britain is considered governable, but that might change after Wednesday's strike of public-service workers shuts down the country.


欧元区以外的国家也未能幸免。英国赤字高涨,债台高筑,减赤方案有可能不起作用。英国之所以还维持着AAA的评级,是因为该国拥有自己的货币,并且评级机构在决定是否降级时越来越多地考虑到国家的管理能力。英国被认为管理能力较强,但等周三公务员大罢工令全国陷入瘫痪后,情况可能就不一样了。



The failure of the supercommittee to find some trivialdeficit reductions means America might also slip into the ungovernable category. And the Federal Reserve Board is imposing new stress tests to determine whether leading banks can withstand a wave of sovereign- debt and bank defaults in Europe.


"超级委员会"未能就减赤计划达成协议,意味着美国也可能被归入政府管理能力较差的类别。联邦储备委员会理事会(Federal Reserve Board)正在进行新的压力测试,试图确定美国主要银行是否能经受住欧洲主权债务和银行违约浪潮的冲击。



Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer isn't alone in arguing that the euro-zone disease, unless cured, might well turn slow growth in the U.S. into recession, and scupper any chance President Barack Obama has of avoiding a forced return to Chicago in 2013. Which is why Mr. Obama will do more than present German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Presidential Medal of Freedom when she arrives in Washington Monday evening. He and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner hope to persuade her to stem the rot. Whether she is prepared to take advice from the team that has driven American deficits and debt to such levels that their nation's debt has been downgraded while Germany's remains triple-A is uncertain.


普利策奖得主、专栏作家克劳萨默(Charles Krauthammer)认为,如果欧元区的疾症不能治愈,美国很可能会从缓慢增长变成衰退,并摧毁奥巴马(Barack Obama)在2013年再次获选总统的任何机会,而且持此观点的并非只有克劳萨默一人。这就是为何在德国总理默克尔(Angela Merkel)周一晚间抵达华盛顿时,奥巴马向她颁发了总统自由勋章(Presidential Medal of Freedom)之后,又与她进行了磋商。奥巴马和财政部长盖特纳(Tim Geithner)希望说服她支持遏制危机的方案。但默克尔是否准备听取这二人的意见仍是未知数。美国赤字和债务陷入如今这种境地正该归"功"于奥巴马和盖特纳,美国的信用评级也因此遭到下调,而德国的评级依然是AAA。



One thing is certain: The euro can't survive without a major change in the governance structure of the euro zone. The first prescription for what ails the zone was 'austerity', but that has produced recessions and government oustings. Then came the European Financial Stability Facility, but it turns out to be too puny to halt the bond vigilantes' rampage through the euro zone, and anyhow rests in part on France's waning ability to join Germany as a guarantor by retaining its triple-A credit rating.


有一点可以肯定的是:如果欧元区的治理结构不进行重大改革,欧元就无法继续存在。欧元区顽疾的第一个处方是"紧缩",但这种方法已经造成了衰退和政府垮台等后果。第二个处方是欧洲金融稳定基金(European Financial Stability Facility),但结果证明这个基金实力太弱,无法压制欧元区债券警卫的嚣张气焰。而且这个基金还在一定程度上取决于法国以及德国作为担保国维持AAA评级的能力,而法国已经越来越无力保住AAA的评级。



The European Central Bank, operating within the legal limits imposed on it by the treaties that govern the European Union, is providing some liquidity to the banks and a bit of relief on the interest-rate front for sovereign borrowers, but it can't do much to prevent the insolvent from being forced to default.


欧洲央行(European Central Bank)是在欧盟管理条约规定的法律限制内运行的。它正在为各银行提供一定的流动性,并在利率方面对主权债务方有所放松,但对无力偿还债务的国家被迫走向违约则束手无策。



Ms. Merkel, Germany's latest Iron Chancellor, has set her face against any of the measures that might stem the tide that is about to engulf the euro.


欧元正面临被狂风巨浪吞噬的威胁,而德国的这位铁腕总理对所有可能抑制这股浪潮的措施都进行了坚决的抵制。



She is against allowing the ECB to become the lender of last resort, aka printer of money. She refuses to share her balance sheet with stressed countries by allowing the issuance of euro bonds, until they reform, even though such reforms can't be implemented in time to head off sovereign defaults that would take down many undercapitalized European banks, now desperately juggling their books to inflate their capital ratios.


她反对让欧洲央行成为最后贷款人,也就是说,不允许欧洲央行印钱。她反对发行欧元区债券,与受困国家共同承担债务,除非这些国家进行改革,即便这种改革及时实施也无法及时阻止主权债务违约──而主权债务违约将拖垮许多资金不足的欧洲银行。目前,这些银行正极力在账目上做文章,以抬高资本比率。



These banks are already suffering from an inability to raise funds as American and other lenders pull their money out, leaving Europe's banks dependent on the ECB for short-term cash. If a credit crunch comes, can recession be far behind?


由于美国及其他贷方把资金撤了出来,这些银行已经无力筹集资金,导致欧洲各银行只能依赖欧洲央行获得短期资金。如果信用紧缩出现的话,那么衰退还会远吗?



Cynics say that all of this suits Ms. Merkel. Lenders fleeing from risk put their money in safer bunds, keeping German interest rates low, saving Germany 20 billion euros between 2009 and 2011, with an additional 20 billion euros still to come, according to a Brussels research institute. The troubles of Greece et al are keeping the euro lower than it would otherwise be, fueling Germany's export machine. And German voters heartilyapprove of Ms. Merkel's insistence on teaching the overly-indebted nations the virtues of German prudence and hard work.


刻薄者称,这一切正中默克尔的下怀。据布鲁塞尔一家研究机构统计,逃离风险的借贷方把资金用于购买更安全的德国国债,从而使德国利率保持在低水平,并在2009年和2011年间为德国节约了200亿欧元,而且预期未来还能再节约200亿欧元。希腊等国的麻烦在于,人为地让欧元贬值将刺激德国的出口机器。对于默克尔的坚持,德国选民表示大力支持,并希望她能继续教导负债过多的国家学习德国人谨慎和勤奋等美德。



Whatever the reason -- voter opposition to more transfers of their wealth to beach-lolling southerners, a desire to force reforms on reluctant profligates, a desire to force several nations to surrender even more sovereignty, or mere self-interest -- Ms. Merkel is earning her sobriquet as Madame Nein. And will continue to do so until she has persuaded her colleagues to amend the euro-zone treaty to permit Brussels (spelled B-e-r-l-i-n) to control the tax, spending and fiscalpolicy of euro-zone members.


无论是由于选民反对将更多自己的财富转移给在海滩懒洋洋晒太阳的南方人希望迫使不愿改革、挥霍无度的国家进行改革,或是希望迫使某些国家交出更多的主权,还是出于纯粹的自私心理,不管原因为何,总之默克尔都已经为自己赢得了"反对夫人"的绰号。而且她还会一直坚持下去,直到说服同僚修改欧盟有关条约,允许欧盟委员会──实质上也就是德国──控制欧元区成员国的税收、开支和财政政策。



Work on that final piece of the still incompletearchitecture of a united Europe will begin at the next euro-zone leaders' meeting on Dec. 9.


发展程度不一的欧洲各国组成的这座建筑并不完善,还需要最后一点努力。而这一努力将在12月9日欧元区领导人的下一次会议上开始。



At that meeting, the shark that is the euro zone will resume its forward motion. Unless, of course, many of the member nations prefer leaving the euro zone to becoming part of what they have taken to calling the Fourth Reich.


在这次会议上,欧元区这条鲨鱼将重新开始向前游。当然,除非有很多成员国愿意离开欧元区,成为他们口中所谓的"第四帝国"(Fourth Reich)的一员。



Irwin Stelzer

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