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Finance and economics财经商业The new head of the Federal Reserve新任联邦储备局长Dove ascendant鸽派主政Janet Yellen will stick to her predecessors expansionary policies詹尼特将会继续推行前任扩张性经济政策FOR most of the past few years, monetary policy has urged the economy on while dysfunctional fiscal policy has held it back.过去的几年货币政策促进了美国经济的发展而运行不正常的财政政策却阻止其发展。Barack Obamas decision to nominate Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as the Feds chairman in February raises the odds that stimulative monetary policy will continue.巴拉克·奥巴马提名Janet Yellen 接过Ben Bernanke的衣钵于二月担任联邦储备局主席一职,这将加大继续推行刺激性的货币政策的优势。But disquiet about that stance is growing.然而人们对于这一立场的担忧不断增长。In addition to being the first woman to run the Fed, Ms Yellen is also the first acknowledged dove.她不仅是首位入主联邦储备局的女性,而且是著名的鸽派人物。Presidents once felt compelled to appoint monetary-policy hawks such as Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan to reassure markets that the Fed would not succumb to the political systems inflationary bias.总统为情况所迫曾任命鹰派强硬持货币政策的Paul Volcker和Alan Greenspan确保市场运行良好,避免联邦储备局遭受来自政治体系的通货膨胀趋势。In appointing Ms Yellen Mr Obama has implicitly acknowledged how much the world, and the Feds priorities, have changed.通过任命Ms Yellen,奥巴马含蓄地表明世界的转变,联邦储备局重心的转变。Since 2008 America, like many other countries, has struggled with slack demand and high unemployment.如许多其他国家一样,自2008年以来,美国一直为疲软的需求及较高的失业率所困扰。Meanwhile, energy prices excluded, inflation has persistently fallen short of the Feds 2% target.与此同时,排除能源价格的影响,通货膨胀率一直未能达到联邦储备局2%的目标。Ms Yellen is not alone in believing that unemployment is a bigger problem than inflation.并非Ms Yellen一人认为较之通货膨胀失业率居高不下是更为严重的问题,So do most of her colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee, through which the Fed sets interest rates.她很多在联邦公开市场政策委员会制定联邦利率的同事也这么认为。But she has felt that way longer and more strongly.但她比他们更早更强烈地意识到这一点。She pushed publicly last year to hold interest rates near zero for longer than the Fed then planned, to hasten the fall in unemployment, even if that caused inflation to rise briefly above 2%.去年她公开推进利率趋零以促进就业降低失业率,使这一货币政策比联邦计划的时间要长,即便这一行动使通胀率高于2%。She was the principal author of the Feds current statement of long-term goals and operating principles, which stresses the equal importance of its twin statutory goals of full employment and low inflation.她是此次联邦现行长远目标及管理原则的主要推行者,这一政策将促进就业和压低通胀率这两个法定目标置于同等重要的地位。As vice-chairman, Ms Yellen helped Mr Bernanke nudge the FOMC towards its commitments to keep its benchmark interest rate at zero at least until unemployment has dropped to 6.5% and to keep buying billion-worth of bonds a month with newly printed money until the labour market has improved substantially.过去作为联邦储备局副主席,Ms Yellen协助Mr Bernanke推进联邦公开市场政策委员会实践其承诺,保持基准利率为零的状态直至失业率至少降至6.5%,继续印刷新钱购买850亿美元的债券直至劳动力市场情况持续好转。These policies have not fuelled inflation, as hawks feared they might.这些政策并没有像鹰派预估的那样加速通胀。Indeed, Ms Yellen would probably welcome having to tighten due to inflationary pressure, because that would mean demand was buoyant.的确,要是通胀压力过大,Ms Yellen势必会实施紧缩的货币政策,因为这意味着市场需求旺盛。But hawks still worry that the Fed is distorting prices in financial markets, breeding excessive risk-taking and preventing investors in Treasury bonds from demanding fiscal discipline.然而鹰派依然担心联邦储备局打乱了金融市场的价格,导致过多的风险从而使投资者因为繁多的财政纪律放弃购买国库券。Such concerns are widesp among Republicans in the Senate.参议院的共和党人普遍担心这一趋势。Several voted against her nomination to be vice-chairman in 2010.2010年几个议员在提名她为联邦储备局副主席时投了反对票。She was not particularly modest about the role of monetary policy in the economy and I dont see any evidence that thats changed, one such Republican, Bob Corker ofTennessee, said this week.一位来自田纳西州的共和党议员Bob Corker本周称,对于货币政策在经济中所扮演的角色,Yellen似乎不是很审慎,并且我并没有看到她作出的改变。With the support of the Senates Democratic majority, Ms Yellen is almost certain to be confirmed.因为得到参议院大多数民主党议员的持,Ms Yellen在联邦储备局的地位已经确立。But with many Republicans opposed, she will probably get fewer than the 70 votes Mr Bernanke did for his second term in 2010, at the time the lowest on record for a Fed chairman.但由于许多共和党人反对,她的得票很可能会比Bernanke2010年连任时的70票更低,而这在当时创造了联邦储备局主席最低的得票率记录。Moreover, one of the seven seats on the Feds board is vacant and another five may come up for grabs in the coming year, given expirations and the tug of other opportunities.此外,联邦董事会7个席位尚有一个空缺,在下一年换届时,倘若还有其他有利机会将有5人竞争该席位。The weight of opinion within the institution could change markedly as a result.因此,联邦储备局内部观点很可能会带来巨大转变。Minutes of the Feds last meeting, in September, show that it is aly divided on QE.联邦储备局9月份的会议记录显示,人们对量化宽松的货币政策已有分歧。Many officials wanted to slow its pace.很多官员想要放缓量化宽松的步伐。But the view that the economy was not strong enough prevailed, and the Fed surprised the market by sticking to its current pace of bond-buying.然而经济状况并不允许紧缩货币政策的观点盛行,联邦继续推行现行券交易的步伐出乎市场的预测。Once in office, Ms Yellen is likely to pursue a gentle taper coupled with a firm commitment to keep interest rates at zero.一旦就任,Yellen很可能会追求趋缓温和的货币政策但是会坚持维持利率为零。If the economy falters—an all-too-real possibility givenAmericas budget mess—she may want to increase QE, but might struggle to persuade her colleagues.倘若经济衰退—美国混乱的经济预算负主要责任—她可能会提高量化宽松的程度,但她要费力地说她的同事们持她。The Feds strength, she said in accepting the nomination, is its capacity to vigorously debate diverse views, and then to unite.在接受任命的时候,她说联邦储备局的优势在于它能够让不同的观点相互辩论最后获得统一。Maintaining that trait may be her biggest challenge.而发扬这种优良传统或许是她面临的最大挑战。 /201310/260172How money works钱是如何运作的Gold rush淘金热A good guide to the stuff in our pockets一本关于我们囊中物的优秀指南Money: The Unauthorised Biography. By Felix Martin.《金钱:非授权自传》。作者:Felix Martin。ONE story in this surprisingly entertaining book on the nature of money is about the Irish banking crisis. The countrys bank system ground to a complete stop, with branches closed, the clearing system suspended and customers unable to withdraw or deposit money. As cash ran out, people had to find a way of paying their regular bills, or even just stumping up for a pint of stout in a pub. What actually happened was that businesses started accepting IOUs or cheques for everything, even though there was no telling when the cash would be forthcoming. It helped that a lot of Irish life is lived locally: builders, greengrocers, mechanics and barmen all turned out to be dab hands at personal credit profiling.这本关于金钱性质的书出乎意料地有趣,其中一个故事与爱尔兰危机有关。爱尔兰的系统完全瘫痪,各分行全部关闭,清算系统被暂停,顾客无法存取款。在现金用完后,人们不得不想办法付日常账单,就连在酒吧为一品脱烈性黑啤埋单也是如此。结果商家开始接受欠条或票,虽然没人知道现金何时会来。还好爱尔兰人的生活起居很大程度上都可以在当地解决:建筑工、零售店主、机械师和酒保摇身变成了个人信用建档的行家 。In short, Ireland developed a new class of money. Its currency was not backed by any central bank, but based solely on informal if surprisingly accurate credit scoring. And the currency was transferable: if certain people said the bond was good, then the bond was good.总之,爱尔兰发展出一种新的钱种类。其货币不被任何央行持,仅仅基于非正式却出奇准确的信用记录。并且这种货币是可流通的,如果某些人说债券有效,那么债券就有效。This particular Irish banking crisis might seem vaguely familiar, but only vaguely. It took place more than 40 years ago, when the Irish financial sector came to a seven-month halt as a result of a national labour dispute. The point of the story is that it supports two of the authors main contentions—first that money is not currency and that sovereign support for currency is not particularly important, and second that financial crises are endemic. No sooner has the last one been put to bed than the next is waking up.这个奇特的爱尔兰危机听起来可能隐约有些熟悉,但也只是隐约而已。那次危机发生在40多年前,当时爱尔兰金融业因全国劳动争议瘫痪了七个月。讲这个故事是因为它持了作者的两点主张——第一,钱不是货币,并且主权对货币的持并非特别重要;第二,金融危机是普遍的,刚刚解决一个危机,另一个危机又出现了。For some people, money is merely something underwritten by the state and designed to enhance a basic barter economy. Felix Martin, an economist and fund manager, goes further. Early societies, such as the Babylonians and the ancient Egyptians, were static, with a fixed hierarchy of social obligations. They had no need of money or currency. Money was the instrument through which later societies unshackled themselves from preordained social orders and became individualistic.对于一些人来说,金钱仅仅是国家担保的东西,用于增强基本的物物交换。经济学家、基金经理Felix Martin对金钱的理解更进了一步。早期社会,例如巴比伦和古埃及,是静止的,每个阶层承担的社会责任固定不变。这些社会不需要金钱或货币。金钱将之后的社会从上天安排的社会制度中解放出来,变为个人主义。With money came speculation, bringing in turn those endemic financial crises. To ensure greater stability, Mr Martin would like to see the introduction of an ultra-simple version of “limited-purpose banking”. Money must be “shorn of its specious promise” he says; let the state underwrite a tiny core of deposit-taking banks. Everything else—from interest-rate derivatives to collateralised debt obligations should carry on unregulated and uninsured. If you lose your dough, tough. You knew the risks. It is a solution that will attract anyone seeking a clean, clear, fair way of managing financial markets. Until they lose their money, of course.有金钱就有投机,有投机就有普遍的金融危机。为确保稳定性,Martin希望引入超简版的“限制用途”。他说,必须“去除”金钱“似是而非的承诺”;让国家为储蓄极少的核心业务担保。其他业务—从利率衍生工具到债务抵押债券—应继续不受监管,不受保护。如果你输了钱,糟糕。不过你本来就知道风险的。这个解决方法会吸引寻求以干净、清楚、公正的方式管理金融市场的人。当然在他们自己输钱以前。 /201405/294177

Finance and economics财经商业Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa非洲撒哈拉以南地区就业状况Sorry, no vacancies抱歉,暂无空缺Why African firms create so few jobs为何非洲公司创造的就业机会如此之少AFRICAN businesses are reluctant employers.非洲企业均为不愿聘请员工的雇主。A given firm in Sub-Saharan Africa typically has 24% fewer people on its books than equivalent firms elsewhere, according to a recent paper from the Centre for Global Development, a think-tank based in Washington, DC.全球发展中心一份近期的报告显示,在给定的相同规模条件下,非洲撒哈拉以南地区的公司通常比其他地方的公司在账面上要少雇佣24%的员工。Given the links between employment and development, economists want to figure out the reasons for the shortfall.就业与增长之间的是有所关联的,而在考虑到这一点后经济学家们都想要弄清楚上述差额产生的原因。The study calculates the missing jobs by crunching information on 41,000 formal businesses globally from a World Bank survey.此次研究使用了来自世界全球41000家正规企业的调查资料,统计出了岗位流失情况。The data capture only a sliver of what actually happens in Africa: nine in ten workers have an informal job.而这些数据只反映出了零星非洲的真实情况:事实上,十个工人当中有九位是在干着非正式的工作。Shunned by the formal sector, workers turn to below-the-radar employment—toiling on family farms or otherwise beyond the governments reach.由于被正规部门所抛弃,工人们转向了地下就业市场—在家庭农场工作或是进入到政府监管之外的领域。But a big informal sector makes it harder for Africa to reduce poverty, even when economic growth is strong.但一个庞大的非正规就业市场,甚至是在经济增长强劲的条件下,也会使得非洲国家难以减少贫困人口。Increases in income on the production side of the economy translate weakly into higher wages for workers.国家经济在生产方面的收入增长,难以转化为更高的工人薪资水平。Indeed the relationship between economic growth and poverty reduction is weaker in Africa than any other developing region.事实上,经济增长与贫困人口减少之间的联系密切程度,在非洲地区的要比其他发展中地区弱得多。Several factors explain African bosses reluctance to take on new workers.以下一些因素能够去解释为何非洲的老板们不愿意雇用新工人。One is that firms tend to be younger than elsewhere, but even older ones have fewer employees.首先是非洲公司都普遍比其他地区的公司年轻,但即便是老牌公司也雇用很少的员工。More broadly, Africas business climate discourages hiring.更广泛地说,那就是非洲的市场不鼓励雇用员工。Government officials in search of taxes and bribes tend to chase large firms, rather than small ones, says Vijaya Ramachandran of CGD, because they are considered more likely to cough up.来自CGD组织的Vijaya Ramachandran解释道,渴望税收和贿赂的政府官员更倾向于对大公司下手而不是小公司,因为他们觉得大公司更有可能缴税和贿赂。The managers of Nigerien and Liberian firms with more than 100 employees spend 14% longer dealing with government officials than smaller peers.尼日尔和利比里亚当中规模超过100名员工的公司负责人,要比小规模的同行花费多出14%的时间去与政府官员打交道。A recent study from South Africa revealed that bosses there were desperate to dodge the attentions of bureaucrats and thus avoided taking on new workers.最近一份南非的研究报告揭示,非洲这边的老板们正迫不及待地想要避开政府的关注,因此他们选择避免聘请新工人。High unit labour costs are also culpable.高昂的单位劳动力成本也是其中一个因素。Employing people in Africa should be cheap, given that many of its countries have rock-bottom income levels.鉴于许多非洲国家的国民收入水平都处于底部,这边的劳动力应该是十分低廉的。Yet in half of African countries labour costs are higher than in China because workers are less productive.然而,由于工人生产力低下,半数非洲国家的劳动力成本比中国还要高。They are nearly 80% higher in Africa than those in other countries at similar levels of income.与其他收入水平相当的国家相比,非洲的劳动力成本要高出约80%。That lowers competitiveness and makes hiring less likely.而这不仅降低了国家的竞争力,还令雇佣就业水平大减。Economists disagree about the possible causes of this.对其成因,经济学家们的观点并不一致。Red tape and unionisation may be responsible, though on average indicators of labour-market regulation are no different in Africa than elsewhere.虽然平均来看劳力市场监管的各项指标显示非洲与其他地区没什么不同,但政府的官僚作风和工会的组织不力有着一定的责任。Nonetheless there are horror stories.尽管如此,这里还是有可怕的故事。A 2012 report on South Africa, which lays the blame on greedy unions, calculates that the average employee at Eskom, a state-owned electricity utility, earns 40% more in terms of purchasing-power parity than a German professor.一份2012年来自南非的报告谴责了贪婪的垄断联合团体。该份报告统计了一家国有电力公司Eskom的情况,发现以购买力平价计算,该公司平均员工的薪酬水平比德国教授的薪酬水平还要高40%。Africas commodity-driven export models may be another cause of low formal employment.非洲实体商品出口模式或许是正规就业市场低迷的另一大因素。Four-fifths of the continents export revenues are from commodities.五分之四的非洲出口利润是从实体商品中获取的。That can lead to overvalued exchange rates if their prices rise.如果商品价格上升,这便会导致货币汇率被高估。That hurts firms competitiveness, curbs their growth and thus discourages hiring.而这伤害了公司的竞争力,损害了他们的业绩增长,因此也导致了就业市场的低迷。Changing labour-market dynamics could exacerbate the job problem.动荡的劳动力市场会加剧就业问题。Some 250m people are expected to join the African workforce between 2010 and 2050.有2亿5千万人将在2010年至2050年间加入非洲的劳动力市场。In the short term many will go into farming, which employs 65% of the African labour force.短期内,许多人将会投身于农业耕作当中,而目前这正是非洲65%的劳动力的工作内容。The agricultural sector struggles to create enough jobs.农业部门一直在为创造足够的新就业机会而挣扎。In the 1990s donors lost interest in using their aid dollars for agricultural investment.20世纪90年代,捐赠者们已经对农业方面的投资捐助失去了兴趣。Shame: better farming techniques could bring unproductive land into use and help Africa shift into higher-value-added crops.而这正是一个值得羞愧的事情:更好的农耕技术能够让贫瘠的土地变肥沃,与此同时,还能帮助非洲转向生产更高价值的作物。According to a report by McKinsey, a consulting firm, that could create 6m extra jobs by 2020.麦肯锡咨询公司的报告表示,这样的技术将会在2020年前为非洲创造额外600万个就业机会。But agricultural improvement can also free up labour to work in more productive sectors—if the jobs are available.但是,农业技术进步的同时也解放了劳动力的使用,使得富余劳动力能够往更高产出的部门流动。Africa is embracing structural reform: a recent report from the World Bank shows that of the 20 economies worldwide making the most progress in improving business regulation, nine are in Sub-Saharan Africa.非洲正在实现自身的结构性改革:一份世界近期的报告显示,全球20个在改进商业法规的方面做得最好的国家当中,有9个是非洲撒哈拉以南地区的国家。Without further improvement, employment growth in Africas formal sector will remain depressingly stunted.然而,在没有进一步改善的情况下,非洲正规部门的就业增长将依旧呈现出令人失望的受阻态势。 /201404/284608

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