必赢亚洲www565netThe Economist 词汇解析(13)

本期原文选自The Economist 2016-9-24之Leaders板块The low-rate
world,释义来自牛津高阶七版、搜狗百科等资源。如果你吗于习The Economist,欢迎订阅我的文集The
Economist,一起上学交流。英文修习者可以经过上文中词汇,然后拿商论的官译文回译成英文,再比英文原文进行比较,找有差异,以此提高自己之英文水准。

The low-rate world

They do not naturally crave the limelight【1】. But for the past
decade the attention on central bankers has been
unblinking【2】—and increasingly hostile. During the financial
crisis the Federal Reserve and other central banks were hailed for
their actions: by slashing rates and printing money to buy bonds, they
stopped a shock from becoming a depression. Now their signature
policy, of keeping interest rates low or even negative, is at the
centre of the biggest macroeconomic debate in a generation.

【1】limelight 公众瞩目的主导,本意是石灰光(灯)

【2】unblinking 目不转睛地;blink 眨眼,闪烁

The central bankers say that ultra-loose monetary policy【3】
remains essential to prop up still-weak economies and hit their
inflation targets. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) this week promised to keep
ten-year government bond【4】 yields around zero. On September
21st the Federal Reserve put off a rate rise yet again. In the wake
of【5】
the Brexit vote, the Bank of England has cut its main
policy rate【6】 to 0.25%, the lowest in its 300-year history.

【3】ultra-loose monetary policy 超宽松货币政策

【4】government bond 政府债券,政府公债

【5】in the wake of 在……之后

【6】policy rate 政策利率

Come Yellen and high water

But a growing chorus of critics frets about【7】 the effects of
the low-rate world—a topsy-turvy【8】 place where savers are
charged a fee, where the yields on a large fraction of rich-world
government debt come with a minus sign, and where central banks matter
more than markets in deciding how capital is allocated. Politicians
have waded in【9】. Donald Trump, the Republican presidential
nominee, has accused Janet Yellen, the Fed’s chairman, of keeping
rates low for political reasons. Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance
minister, blames the European Central Bank for the rise of Alternative
for Germany, a right-wing party.

【7】fret about 担忧,焦虑

【8】topsy-turvy 颠倒混乱

【9】wade in/wade in sth 强行参与;wade涉水

This is a debate on which both sides get a lot wrong. It is too simple
to say that central bankers are causing the low-rate world; they are
also reacting to it. Real long-term interest rates have been declining
for decades, driven by fundamental factors such as ageing populations
and the integration of savings-rich China into the world economy (see
article). Nor have they been reckless【10】. In most of the rich
world inflation is below the official target. Indeed, in some ways
central banks have not been bold enough. Only now, for example, has
the BoJ explicitly pledged to overshoot【11】 its 2% inflation
target. The Fed still seems anxious to push up rates as soon as it
can.

【10】reckless 鲁莽的,无所顾忌的

【11】overshoot 超过,突破

Yet the evidence is mounting that the distortions caused by the
low-rate world are growing even as the gains are diminishing. The
pension-plan deficits of companies and local governments have
ballooned【12】 because it costs more to honour【13】
future pension promises when interest rates fall (see article). Banks,
which normally make money from the difference between short-term and
long-term rates, struggle when rates are flat or negative. That
impairs their ability to make loans even to the creditworthy.
Unendingly low rates have skewed financial markets, ensuring a big
sell-off【14】 if rates were suddenly to rise. The longer this
goes on, the greater the perils that accumulate.

【12】balloon 激增,膨胀;名词本意是气球

【13】honour 信守(承诺)

【14】sell-off 抛售

To live safely in a low-rate world, it is time to move beyond a
reliance on central banks. Structural reforms to increase underlying
growth rates have a vital role. But their effects materialise only
slowly and economies need succour now. The most urgent priority is to
enlist【15】 fiscal policy. The main tool for fighting
recessions has to shift from central banks to governments.

【15】enlist sth (in sth) 谋取(帮助)

To anyone who remembers the 1960s and 1970s, that idea will seem both
familiar and worrying. Back then governments took it for granted that
it was their responsibility to pep up【16】 demand. The problem
was that politicians were good at cutting taxes and increasing
spending to boost the economy, but hopeless at reversing course when
such a boost was no longer needed. Fiscal stimulus became synonymous
with an ever-bigger state. The task today is to find a form of fiscal
policy that can revive the economy in the bad times without
entrenching government in the good.

【16】pep up demand 提振需求

That means going beyond the standard response to calls for more public
spending: namely, infrastructure investment. To be clear, spending on
productive infrastructure is a good thing. Much of the rich world
could do with new toll roads, railways and airports, and it will never
be cheaper to build them. To manage the risk of
white-elephant【17】 projects, private-sector partners should be
involved from the start. Pension and insurance funds are desperate for
long-lasting assets that will generate the steady income they have
promised to retirees. Specialist pension funds can advise on a
project’s merits, with one eye on【18】 eventually buying the
assets in question.

【17】white-elephant必赢亚洲www565net
昂贵而不管用的东西;白象方便面就开发国外市场的时刻,就管其的品牌翻译成了white
elephant,结果可想而知

【18】with one eye on sth;have one eye/half eye on sth
做同码事常常偷注意别一样宗事

But infrastructure spending is not the best way to prop up weak
demand. Ambitious capital projects cannot be turned on and off to
fine-tune the economy. They are a nightmare to plan, take ages to
deliver and risk becoming bogged down【19】 in politics. To be
effective as a countercyclical tool, fiscal policy must mimic the best
features of modern-day monetary policy, whereby independent central
banks can act immediately to loosen or tighten as circumstances
require.

【19】bog sth/sb down (in sth) 使陷入烂泥,阻碍

Small-government Keynesianism【20】

Politicians will not—and should not—hand over big budget decisions to
technocrats. Yet there are ways to make fiscal policy less politicised
and more responsive. Independent fiscal councils, like Britain’s
Office for Budget Responsibility, can help depoliticise
public-spending decisions, but they do nothing to speed up fiscal
action. For that, more automaticity is needed, binding some spending
to changes in the economic cycle. The duration and generosity of
unemployment benefits could be linked to the overall joblessness rate
in the economy, for example. Sales taxes, income-tax deductions or
tax-free allowances on saving could similarly vary in line with the
state of the economy, using the unemployment rate as the
lodestar【21】.

【20】Keynesianism凯恩斯主义(Keynesian),或称凯恩斯主义经济学(Keynesian
economics),是因凯恩斯的写《就业、利息及钱通论》(1936年)的考虑根基及的经济理论,主张国家行使扩张性的经济方针,通过多需求推动经济提高。(以上释义来自搜狗百科)

【21】lodestar 北极星辰,指导原则

All this may seem unlikely to happen. Central banks have had to take
on so much responsibility since the financial crisis because
politicians have so far failed to shoulder theirs. But each new twist
on ultra-loose monetary policy has less power and more drawbacks. When
the next downturn【22】 comes, this kind of fiscal ammunition will be
desperately needed. Only a small share of public spending needs to be
affected for fiscal policy to be an effective recession-fighting
weapon. Rather than blaming central bankers for the low-rate world, it
is time for governments to help them.

【22】downturn 衰退

【小结】

各央行并无专门渴望受到关注(limelight),但以过去之十年里,人们对央行官员等连关注(the
attention on central bankers has been
unblinking),而且越怀有敌意。金融危机期间,美联储和任何央行就削减利率(slashing
rates)、印钱购买债券,从而阻碍了事半功倍萧条(recession)。但今天,保持小利率竟然负利率的方针也惨遭争议。中央主管认为,要惦记提振仍旧疲软的经济状况(prop
up still-weak economies),仍亟需下超宽松货币政策(ultra-loose monetary
policy)。日本银行本周承诺将十年期朝公债收益率(government bond
yields)保持在零左右。英国脱欧公投之后(in the wake
of),英国央行用那重点政策利率(policy
rate)降到0.25%,这是300年来之史最低点。但更多的批评之名(chorus
of critics)担心(fret
about)低利率环境会招一个倒混乱的(topsy-turvy)世界。政治家们已经强行参与(wade
in)。央行官员之报办法并非鲁莽(reckless)之选。央行在好几地方还是不够大胆(bold
enough)。现在日本央行才保证超越(overshoot)2%底通胀目标。低利率环境会导致市场转。当利率下跌时,要贯彻未来养老金发放的答应(honour
future pension
promises)就得投入还多资金,这招公司以及地方当局之养老金计划赤字激增(balloon)。如果突然加息,必然引发周边抛售(sell-off)。谋取财政政策的援(enlist
fiscal
policy)才是当务之急。上世纪60年代和70年间,政府觉得生责任提振需求(pep
up demand)。政治家们擅长通过减税和搭支出的艺术提振经济(boost the
economy),但不再要如此的刺激时,指望他们改弦更张则令人大失所望。投资基础设备(infrastructure)是屡见不鲜之回复方式。为了防有很如不论是用(white-elephant)的档次,私营部门一开始即应当与中。在针对有项目的独到之处提出意见时,专门养老基金为应关心(with
one eye
on)最终之投资者。基础设备项目用多年的施行,还可能坐政治素使停滞不前(bogged
down)。可以以失业率作为指导原则(lodestar),依据经济状况来调整营业税(sales
taxes)、所得税减免(income-tax deductions)或存款免税额(tax-free
allowances on
saving)。当下一模一样蹩脚经济衰退(downturn)来临时,政治家们许诺负担责任,使财政政策成为强大的军火。现在,政府未承诺以低利率世界归咎为央行官员们(blame
central bankers for),而应帮助她们。

注:本文特供上交流之故,不意味作者观点。

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