词汇解析,以逸待劳

本期原来的作品选自The Economist 201陆-玖-2肆的Leaders板块The low-rate
world,释义来自耶鲁高阶七版、搜狗百科等财富。要是你也在求学The Economist,欢迎订阅作者的文集The
Economist
,一起念书调换。英文修习者能够通过学习文中词汇,然后将商论的官方译文回译成英文,再对照英文原稿实行相比,找出差距,以此进步自身的英文水准。

In the coming two weeks, the BoJ (January 23rd), the ECB (January 25th),
and the Fed (January 31st) will all hold their first monetary policy
meetings in 2018. The synchronized up-trend of global growth has already
suggested that global monetary easing has approached its inflection
point and monetary policies among major central banks will gradually
converge, from easing to tightening, in the future. Recently, the BoJ’s
data on reduced government bond (JGB) purchases and the ECB’s December
meeting minutes showing stronger confidence on economic growth further
fueled market expectations of faster pace of monetary tightening this
year, boosted the value of euro and yen as well as bond yields. However,
we still see a number of uncertainties regarding faster monetary
tightening, mainly, the still subdued inflation. Thus, we expect all of
the central banks to stand pat in January meetings, and the BoJ and the
ECB could even adopt a somewhat dovish tone to gauge market
expectations.

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.

    As we have addressed in our previous reports, supported by the
robust labor market and the potential boosts from tax cut, the US has
the biggest upside in economic growth, among developed economies. Thus,
for now, we see that the Fed is the most likely to speed up its monetary
tightening process in 2018, with more rate hikes. However, there are
still several caveats: 1) inflation is only expected to gradually pick
up, so the risk of overshooting is limited; 2) downside risk on economic
growth could be a concern in 2H, as the mid-term elections would
increase uncertainties; 3) Trump’s tax reform and other fiscal stimulus
plans suggest a widening fiscal deficit and higher government debt
level; and a low-interest environment will be beneficial to the
government. Thus, even under the most hawkish case, we do not expect to
see the benchmark rates reach well above the upper bound of Fed
prediction, i.e., 2.5% – 2.75%, or 5 rate hikes in 2018.

【一】limelight 公众瞩目标主干,本意是石灰光(灯)

    Secondly, for the ECB, we expect the ECB to stop QE purchases in
September as its current plan ends, but rate hike this year still seems
too early, mainly due to the notable slack in labor market and weak
inflationary pressure. Specifically, the region’s unemployment rate is
still as high as around 9%, which constrains wage growth and inflation;
HICP inflation was at 1.4% YoY in December, still well below ECB’s
target. Besides, political risks are still lingering: 1) after Merkel’s
failure of forming the Jamaica coalition, the grand coalition with SPD
is now the only way to avoid a second election or a minority government;
in case that it fails, Germany or even EU’s future would be in risk; 2)
the Italian election scheduled on March 4th could also pose some risk as
the populist party, five star movement, led the poll, and we cannot rule
out the odds that its possible victory could trigger another round of
populism trend in Europe. Thus, for now, we do not expect the ECB to
speed up its QE tapering, or hike the rates before the end date in
September.

【二】unblinking 潜心贯注地;blink 眨眼,闪烁

    For Japan, although the economic recovery gained momentum and
deflation concerns abated for now, neither the recovery nor the
inflation has come close to the point that deserves an explicit monetary
tightening. As we have addressed, BoJ’s “QQE with Yield Curve Control
(YCC)” enabled the central bank to make more flexible adjustments to its
bond purchases; and what we see is a notable reduction of the net
purchases in JGBs, without any formal announcement. The average monthly
purchases of JGB reduced from JPY 6.6 trillion last year to 4.8 trillion
this year, making the expected annual purchases falling from JPY 79
trillion last year to JPY 58 trillion. However, looking forward, we do
not expect the BoJ to significantly tighten its policy as: 1) inflation
is still very weak at around 0.5%; 2) a stronger yen could dampen export
growth and risk the stability of Japan’s export led growth.

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.

    In sum, we expect to see global growth and monetary policy
converging in 2018, which would lead to more synchronized increase in
interest rates and bond yields. Thus, although the US leads the
tightening process, this convergence would limit the upside of the

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

    dollar.

【四】government bond 政党债券,政坛公债

【5】in the wake of 在……之后

【陆】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

【八】topsy-turvy 颠倒混乱

【九】wade in/wade in sth 强行参加;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.

【十】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.

【1贰】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.

【1六】pep up demand 提振需要

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.

【壹七】white-elephant
昂贵而无用之物;白象方便面当时开发国外市镇的时候,就把它的牌子翻译成了white
elephant,结果由此可见

【18】with one eye on sth;have one eye/half eye on sth
做一件事时偷偷注意另一件事

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.

【1玖】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】凯恩斯ianism凯恩斯主义(凯恩斯ian),或称凯恩斯主义管管理学(凯恩斯ian
economics),是依照凯恩斯的写作《就业、利息和货币通论》(一玖四〇年)的思索基础上的经济理论,主张国家采纳扩充性的经济方针,通过增添必要拉动经济进步。(以上释义来自搜狗百科)

【二壹】lodestar 北极星,指点标准

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】

各国中央银行并不曾越发渴望受到关心(limelight),但在过去的10年间,人们对中央银行官员们连连关心(the
attention on central bankers has been
unblinking),而且尤其怀有敌意。金融风险时期,美国联邦储备系统和别的中央银行曾削减利率(slashing
rates)、印钱购买债券,从而阻碍了经济萧条(recession)。但近年来,保持低利率竟然负利率的国策却惨遭争议。宗旨首长认为,要想提振依旧疲软的经济情状(prop
up still-weak economies),仍需使用超宽松货币政策(ultra-loose monetary
policy)。日银本周承诺将10年期当局公债收益率(government bond
yields)保持在零左右。United Kingdom脱欧选举之后(in the wake
of),United Kingdom中央银行将其首要策略利率(policy
rate)降至0.二五%,那是300年来的历史最低点。但更加多的批评之声(chorus
of critics)担心(fret
about)低利率环境会促成二个颠倒混乱的(topsy-turvy)世界。革命家们已经强行出席(wade
in)。中央银行官员的应对办法并非鲁莽(reckless)之举。中央银行在好几方面依然不够大胆(bold
enough)。以往东瀛中央银行才确认保证超越(overshoot)二%的通货膨胀目的。低利率环境会导致市集扭曲。当利率下落时,要促成今后养老金发放的答应(honour
future pension
promises)就必要投入更多资金,那致使公司和地点政坛的养老金安顿赤字激增(balloon)。如若突然加息,必然引发大规模抛售(sell-off)。谋取财政政策的帮衬(enlist
fiscal
policy)才是当务之急。上世纪60年份和70年份,政党觉得有义务提振须求(pep
up demand)。革命家们擅长通过减税和充实开支的法子提振经济(boost the
economy),但不再须要如此的鼓舞时,指望他们改弦更张则让人适得其反。投资基础设备(infrastructure)是通常的回复办法。为了防止万一产生大而无用(white-elephant)的品种,合营部门一早先就相应参预其间。在针对某个项目标帮助和益处提出意见时,专门养老费用也应关注(with
one eye
on)最后的投资者。基础设备项目需求多年的实践,还或者因政治因素而抱残守缺(bogged
down)。能够将失掉工作率作为指点标准(lodestar),依照经济意况来调整营业所得税(sales
taxes)、所得税减免(income-tax deductions)或存款免税额(tax-free
allowances on
saving)。当下3回经济衰退(downturn)来临时,军事家们应承责,使财政政策成为强大的枪炮。以后,政坛不应将低利率世界归结于中央银行官员们(blame
central bankers for),而应扶助他们。

注:本文仅供就学交换之用,不意味着作者观点。

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