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Whopper to go 至尊汉堡,打包带走

Will Burger King be gobbled up by private equity? 汉堡王是否会被私人股本吞并?

Sep 2nd 2010 | NEW YORK

SHARES in Burger King (BK) soared on Septembe

r 1st on reports that the fast-food company was talking to several private-equity firms interested in buying it. How much beef was behind these stories was unclear. But lately the company famous for the slogan ―Have It Your Way‖ has certainly not been having it its own way. There may be arguments about whether BK or McDonald‘s serves the best fries, but there is no doubt which is more popular with stockmarket investors: the maker of the Big Mac has supersized its lead in the past two years.

有报道披露,快餐企业汉堡王(BK)正在与数个有收购意向的私人股 本接洽,9 月 1 日,汉堡王的股值随之飙升。这些报道究竟有多少真 材实料不得而知。汉堡王的著名口号是―我选我味‖,但如今显然它身 不由己,心中五味杂陈。汉堡王和麦当劳哪家薯条最好吃,食客们一 直争论不休,但股票投资人更喜欢哪家股票,却一目了然:过去两年


Recession has favoured McDonald‘s over BK, whose share price has fallen by half since the economy was flame-grilled in the summer of 2008. Shares in McDonald‘s have risen, reaching an all-time high in August. Same-store sales at BK have fallen for five successive quarters.

金融危机却更青睐汉堡王, 2008 年经济低迷以来, 自 其股票价格跌至 原来的一半。而麦当劳的股票不跌反涨,在 8 月又创下了历史新高。 汉堡王的同店销售额连续五个季度下跌。

Why has McDonald‘s been eating BK‘s lunch? Among other things, BK has always had a higher proportion of sales to young men, who have been hit especially hard by the recession. McDonald‘s, by contrast, has for several years wooed women and older people with relatively healthy salads and drinkable coffee. BK has struggled to follow suit. At the same time, it has had to contend with angry shareholders, as the rising cost of beef and other ingredients has clobbered its profits. BK may also have cannibalised its existing sales by offering value meals that were a bit too irresistible.


更多的是年轻人,而年轻人受金融危机打击尤其严重。相对地,麦当 劳近年来一直以相对健康的沙拉和可口的咖啡, 吸引女性和中老年人。 汉堡王一直难以模仿。与此同时,随着牛肉等原材料的成本上涨,利 润一跌再跌, 汉堡王又不得不去对付那些愤怒的股东。 汉堡王的套餐 太过诱人,可能也影响了其他产品的销量。

BK is used to changes in ownership. It went from being part of Pillsbury, a food company, to Grand Metropolitan, a British conglomerate, then to Diageo, a drinks giant. In 2002 it was sold to a group of private-equity investors: TPG, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs. They did a fair job, improving sales with better marketing. They also helped turn around the most troubled of the franchisees who operate most BK restaurants. In 2006 BK floated its shares again. Its bosses may hope that going private once more will protect them from short-term stockmarket pressures while they ponder how to beat McDonald‘s.

汉堡王此前多次易主,已经习以为常了。它曾是皮尔斯百利食品公司 的一部分, 后转入英国大都会集团, 继而转投饮品巨头帝亚吉欧。 2002 年又被转手卖给一批私人股本投资者:德克萨斯太平洋集团(TPG) , 贝恩资本和高盛。他们经营良好,利用优秀市场策略增加了销售。大 部分汉堡王餐厅的运营商当时经营不善,他们还助其扭亏为盈。2006 年汉堡王再度上市。 其老板可能希望再度私有化以规避短期股市压力,


If BK does go private, it may be part of a trend in the private-equity industry—now that some of the bigger firms have rediscovered their appetite for deals—of gobbling up the companies they had taken public during the bubble years but which are now trading cheaply. TPG, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs still own a sizeable stake in BK, despite listing it on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006. However, it seems that other private-equity firms are interested in buying it. If that happens, no doubt BK servers will appreciate the irony: the act of passing a company from one private-equity firm to another is known in the business as ―flipping‖.

私人股本行业——如今一些大公司重新对收购有了兴趣——吞并那些 他们在经济泡沫时代卖掉, 现在十分廉价的公司, 俨然已成一股大潮, 如果汉堡王真的私有化,就将融入这股大潮之中。德克萨斯太平洋集 团(TPG) ,贝恩资本和高盛虽然 2006 年在纽约证券交易所已经兜售 了汉堡王,但他们仍握有可观的股份。然而,其他私人股本公司似乎 也有意收购。要是真被他们收购,无疑汉堡王的服务生都能领会其中 的讽刺:在私人股本公司中被倒卖,在做汉堡这行叫―翻面‖。

本主题由 shiyi18 于 2010-11-12 13:16 移动

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Down the slipway 下水 ―Quantitative easing‖ is unloved and unappreciated—but it is working ―量化宽松‖不受待见,但是有效 Nov 4th 2010 | Washington, dc

EVEN before the Federal Reserve unveiled its second round of quantitative easing (QE) on November 3rd, critics had already denounced it as ineffectual or an invitation to inflation. It cannot be both and it may not be either. 美联储的第二轮量化宽松政策在 11 月 3 日公布之前便已受到了各方抨 击,有人说它不会起效,也有人说这样会导致通胀。这两者根本不可 能同时发生,甚至一个都不会发生。

The announcement of ―QE2‖ was hardly breathtaking. The Fed said it will buy $600 billion of Treasuries between now and next June, at about $75 billion a month, although it also said it could adjust the amount and timing if need be. That was about what markets expected but far less than the $1.75 trillion of debt it bought between early 2009 and early 2010 in its

first round of QE. Yet QE2 seems already to have exceeded the low expectations it has aroused. Since Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Fed, hinted at it at Jackson Hole on August 27th, markets have all done exactly what they should (see chart). 第二轮量化宽松并没有惊人之处。美联储称,从现在起到明年 6 月, 它将购买 6 000 亿美元美国国债,相当于每月购买 750 亿美元,但具 体数字可能随情况进行调整。这一规模与市场预期相当,远低于 2009 年初至 2010 年初第一轮量化宽松(总共购买债务 1.75 万亿美元) 。但 第二轮量化宽松似乎已经超过了它所引起的低预期。 自美联储主席本? 伯南克于 8 月 27 日在杰克森霍尔(Jackson Hole)暗示这一计划以来, 市场对此已有了充分的反映(见图) 。

Under QE the Fed buys long-term bonds with newly created money. This lowers long-term yields and chases investors into riskier, alternative investments. The real yield on ten-year, inflation-indexed Treasury bonds has fallen from 1.05% to 0.5%, a result of relatively flat nominal yields and a rise in expected inflation. The yield on their five-year cousins is negative (see Buttonwood). Share prices are up by 14% in the same period. Lower yields make the dollar less appealing: it has duly fallen by 5% against the Japanese yen, by 9% against the euro and by 5% on a

trade-weighted basis. ―You can declare QE to be a success already,‖ says one hedge-fund economist. ―Whether this translates into real activity remains a question-mark. But the question of whether the mechanism would work has been answered.‖ 在量化宽松计划中,美联储将通过发行新钞买入长期债券。这压低了 后者的收益率,使投资者转向风险更高的替代投资品。在名义收益率 相对较平和预期通胀的双重作用下, 年期通胀指数化美国国债真实 10 收益率从 1.05%下降至 0.5%。五年期品种则已呈现负利率(见本期 Bottonwood) 。同期,股票市场上涨了 14%。收益率的下降使美元失 去了吸引力:美元对日元下跌了 5%,对欧元下跌了 9%,从贸易加权 角度看,则下跌了 5%。一位对冲基金经济学家说:―可以说,量化宽 松已经获得了成功。它能不能转化为实际行动还不好说。但其机制是 否起作用已经毋庸置疑了。‖

With a bit of a lag, these easier financial conditions are supposed to boost growth through three channels. First, lower real yields spur borrowing and investment. This channel is bunged up: many households cannot borrow because their homes have fallen in value and because banks are less willing to lend. But the remaining two channels remain open. Higher share prices have raised household wealth by some $1.4 trillion, which will spur some spending. And the lower dollar should help trade. American factory purchasing managers reported a sharp jump in export orders in October

and a drop in imports. 一般认为,宽松的金融环境将通过三个渠道提振经济增长(可能存在 时滞) 。第一,真实收益率下降能够刺激借贷与投资。这一渠道目前已 经失去了作用:许多家庭因为房价下跌和银行不愿意借贷而无法得到 贷款。 但剩下的两个渠道仍然畅通。 股价上涨已使家庭财富增加了 1.4 万亿美元,这将刺激支出。美元下跌则应该有利于贸易。美国工厂采 购经理报告显示, 月份出口订单出现了大幅增长, 10 进口则有所下降。

Macroeconomic Advisers, a consulting firm, reckons that the Fed will eventually buy $1.5 trillion of debt under QE2, and that this will raise growth next year to 3.6% from 3.3% without QE. That‘s not exactly overwhelming: the firm thinks the Fed would have to buy $5.25 trillion of bonds to achieve the equivalent of a –4% federal-funds rate, which is what the economy needs. The Fed will not do that for fear of unknown consequences, among them the response of Congress‘s newly empowered Republicans. In a Bloomberg poll, 60% of self-identified tea-party supporters favoured overhauling or abolishing the Fed. 咨询公司 Macroeconomic Advisers 认为,美联储在第二轮量化宽松中 将总共购买 1.5 万亿美元债务,使明年的经济增长率从 3.3%(如果不 实行量化宽松的话)提高到 3.6%。这还不是最令人震惊的:该公司还 认为,美国经济需要联邦基金利率下降到-4%的水平,要达到这一效 果,美联储必须购买 5.25 万亿美元债券才行。要美联储抛出如此大手

笔是不可能的,因为它害怕因此导致不可预料的后果,比如引起最近 在国会中重掌大权的共和党人的激烈反应。彭博社(Bloomberg)的调 查显示,60%自称茶党支持者的人赞成改组甚至取消美联储。

Could QE work too well and drive inflation expectations to dangerous levels? ―The odds aren‘t zero,‖ says Don Kohn, a former Fed vice-chairman, but they‘re small. There‘s more risk that expectations could rise once credit loosens up and spending accelerates. That, however, would be a signal that the Fed has succeeded; it can then tighten policy. 量化宽松会过犹不及、 将通胀预期推高到危险水平吗?―并非不可能。 ‖ 前美联储副主席邓?考恩(Don Kohn)说,但可能性很小。更大的风 险是通胀预期在信贷放松和支出增速之后抬头。但这正是美联储成功 的信号,届时它已经可以采取紧缩措施了。

Other countries complain that QE is merely bringing them overvalued currencies and bubbly asset markets by pushing investors to seek higher returns elsewhere. But that may be unavoidable given their divergent growth paths. Both India and Australia raised interest rates this week despite rising currencies. 其他国家抱怨量化宽松的唯一作用是,将美国投资者驱向其他国家寻 找高收益,是当地货币升值并产生资产泡沫。但这是无论如何都不能 避免的事情,因为各个国家的增长路径各不同。印度和澳大利亚本周


A damaging round of beggar-thy-neighbour currency interventions cannot be ruled out. But the Bank of Japan, after intervening directly to weaken the yen in September, has struck upon a more benign response. It had been scheduled to release details of its own QE at a regular policy meeting in mid-November but moved the date forward to this week. Analysts suspect this was to counteract upward pressure on the yen because of the Fed‘s move. If central banks all print money in unison, and don‘t mop up excess liquidity, then the result could be a worldwide monetary fillip. QE‘s benefits should not be over-egged. Nor should they be dismissed. 不能排除发生一种危险情况,那就是各国竞相采取以邻为壑的货币市 场干预手段。日本银行在 9 月就曾经直接干预外汇市场使日元贬值, 但这一回, 日本银行的反应较为温和。 原定 11 月中旬政策例会上宣布 的日本量化宽松计划将提前至本周。分析师认为日本央行此举是为了 缓和美联储动作给日元带来的升值压力。如果各国央行一起开动印钞 机,而不顾流动性过剩的后果,那么结果将是全球货币刺激。没有必 要过分强调量化宽松的好处,但也不应该刻意贬低。 Opening stand 登场

Luck may play a big role in launching successful careers 上佳的运气是成功职业开端的一半

Nov 18th 2010

IN CRICKET batsmen often need a slice of luck to build a decent innings. Might that be true of cricketers‘ careers in general, and even of other jobs? In an IMF working paper Shekhar Aiyar and Rodney Ramcharan suggest that it is lucky for international cricketers to play their debut Test (international) match at home. 在板球比赛中,击球手通常需要点运气才能打出不错的击球局。所有 板球选手都是这样吗?其他职业也是如此吗?在一篇 IMF 工作论文 中, Shekhar Aiyar 和 Rodney Ramcharan 提出, (国际) 就 对抗赛 (Test) 而言,能在主场上演职业生涯首秀对于板球选手来说是件幸事。

Playing at home means familiar pitches and climatic conditions, and a more supportive crowd (just ask the English cricketers whose series against Australia starts in Brisbane on November 25th). Sifting through the data on 790 cricketers who made their Test debuts between 1950 and 1985, the authors find that playing at home rather than away raises the

average number of runs scored in their first series by 33% and reduces the runs that a bowler concedes by 18%. 主场作战意为着更熟悉的场地和天气状况, 以及更高的观众支持率 (关 于这一点,11 月 25 日做客布里斯班与澳大利亚进行系列赛的英格兰 板球队队员将有切身体会)通过分析 1950 至 1985 年间 790 位板球手 。 在对抗赛处子秀上的表现,两位作者发现,主场作战平均能将处子系 列赛得分―跑‖次数较客场提高 33%,将被对方投手封杀的―跑‖的次数 降低 18%。

This would not be luck, of course, if team selectors deliberately give home debuts to better players. But first starts are often the result of random events such as the injury or poor performance of existing team members. By using age as a proxy for ability (assuming that younger players who force their way into international sides tend to be more talented), the authors find that the distribution of cricketers‘ ages is almost identical for home and away debuts. 当然,如果各队有意将主场处子秀的机会留给较为优秀的选手的话, 那么出现上述结果就并非运气了。但处子秀本身是由一系列随机事件 决定的:比如队友受伤或是状态低迷等。两位作者将年龄作为能力的 一个代表因素(假设选手成功登上国际赛场的年龄越低,则其水平就 越优秀) ,结果发现,板球选手主场处子秀年龄分布和客场没有区别。

A strong debut seems to lead to a shinier career. Every additional ten runs scored in a debut series adds an extra five runs to a player‘s career average. The effects of initial success are similar for bowlers. One possibility is that a good start builds confidence and experience that boosts future performance. A bad start, in contrast, is not easily forgiven: selectors appear to discard potentially high-ability players who had the misfortune to debut abroad. 强势处子秀似乎意味着辉煌的职业生涯。系列赛处子秀上得分跑次数 每增加 10 次, 选手职业生涯平均得分跑次数就能增加 5 次。 开门红效 应对投手也适用。原因可能是成功的开端所带来的信心和经验能够刺 激选手的未来表现。反之,如果处子秀演砸了,就可能留下持久的阴 影:首秀是在客场,又没能出彩,那么即使你很有潜质,在后来的比 赛中也可能得不到出场机会。

A good start may have a persistent, positive impact in other fields, too. That‘s especially likely if employers take things at face value and fail to discount the impact of other factors that might enable good performance—a boom in financial markets for a trader, let‘s imagine. 良好的开端在其他领域也可能有持久的正面效应。特别是,当雇主只 看表面结果而忽略其他可能带来良好表现的因素时,开门红效应就尤 为显著。大牛市对于交易员的影响就是其中之一。 A rock, not a hard place 选石的,不选硬的

Boom time for miners in a resource-hungry region 资源饥渴地区的矿业繁荣

Nov 11th 2010 | Hong Kong

IT CAN sometimes feel as if bankers in Asia are shifting their focus backwards along the economic food chain. First they moved from manufacturing to property. Now it‘s the turn of rocks. 有时候,银行家在亚洲的一举一动让人感到他们是在逆经济食物链而 动。他们先是将注意力从制造业转向房地产。现在则轮到了矿石。

In Hong Kong alone seven mining and natural-resources firms have gone public this year, raising HK$36 billion ($4.6 billion) in the process. Another 13 listed in 2009, raising HK$58 billion, up from not very much the year before. A further 10-15 firms are due to list over the next year and the sums raised will almost certainly be bigger than before, thanks to Asia‘s appetite for raw materials and inexorably rising commodities prices. 光是在香港,今年以来便已有 7 家矿产和自然资源公司上市,总融资

额高达 360 亿港币。2009 年全年共有 13 家矿产类公司在香港上市, 融资 580 亿港币,较清淡的 2008 年有所增长。明年还有 10~15 家公 司等着上市。由于亚洲对原材料的巨大需求和不断上涨的商品价格, 总融资额达到空前高度已是板上钉钉。

One of the more meteoric ascents has been that of Sino Prosper State Gold Resources Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed company which a year ago was barely more than a shell company. It had an agreement to buy what was thought to be a small mine in Inner Mongolia, along with five undeveloped tracts of land in a remote area of Heilongjiang, in China‘s north-eastern tip. The firm was valued on the Hong Kong stock exchange at HK$400m. Since then the price of gold has spiked, and the mine has been bought and turned out to be not so very small after all. Sino Prosper‘s valuation is currently HK$3.5 billion and it has become a beacon for other minerals firms. 矿产类股票中火速蹿升, 其中中盈国金控股有限公司的表现尤其耀眼。 这家香港上司公司一年前还是个皮包公司,手里握有一张协议,内容 据说是关于收购内蒙古一家小型金矿和黑龙江省边远地区五块未开发 地皮的,去年的市值为 4 亿港币。从那儿以后,金价开始飙涨,于是 小金矿摇身一变成了大宝库,中盈国金的市值目前已高达 35 亿港币, 成了矿业股中的明星。

Hong Kong‘s Canadian Chamber of Commerce this week held an invitation-only conference on mining. It was packed with Canadian companies in search of capital either through a direct listing (difficult, given profitability requirements at the Hong Kong stock exchange) or a partial investment by a cash-laden, resource-hungry Chinese firm. Investors seemed less concerned by the risks of digging up minerals, more by potential political obstacles in the wake of the Canadian government‘s intervention to block BHP Billiton‘s hostile takeover of Potash Corporation. 上周,众多加拿大公司出席了一个由香港加拿大商会( Canadian Chamber of Commerce)举办的凭柬入场矿业会议,或是争取直接上市 (这比较困难,因为香港股票交易所对上市公司盈利能力要求较高) , 或是寻求手握重金又急切需要资源的中国企业作为部分投资人,以获 得资本。投资者们似乎不太担心挖矿风险,而是更加顾忌潜在的政治 障碍——加拿大政府干预叫停了必和必拓(BHP Billiton)对 Potash 公司的敌意收购。

Enthusiasm for minerals firms is not found just in Hong Kong. There are stirrings in less likely places, too. The Mongolian stock exchange, located in a lovely old cinema in Ulan Bator, has been transformed into a meeting

place for international bankers. Locally listed miners are booming. A tie-up between the Mongolian bourse and the London Stock Exchange is expected to be announced by the end of the month. 并非只有香港出现了矿业公司狂热。在某些意想不到的地方,矿业股 也是热火朝天。位于乌兰巴托一座漂亮的老剧院内蒙古证券交易所最 近成了国际银行家的聚会之地。本地的上市矿业公司非常火爆。蒙古 证券交易所与伦敦证券交易所(London Stock Exchange)的合作预计 将于本月末公布。

Only two large mines are currently being developed—gold and copper in Oyu Tolgoi, coal in Tavan Tolgoi—but there are numerous smaller mines throughout the country and 15 major deposits that are the source of serious discussions between global mining giants and the government, says Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt of TenGer, a bank holding company. Financiers are on the hunt for investment opportunities in other businesses, too. Mr Hutagt calls Mongolia a wolf economy, hungry and eager. Just like the bankers. 目前蒙古只有两个较大的矿处于开发中——Oyu Tolgoi 的金铜伴生矿 和 Tavan Tolgoi 的煤矿。但是,TenGer 银行控股公司的 Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt 透露,有传言说蒙古政府正在就全国众多小型矿和 15 个主要大矿与全球矿业巨头进行重要谈判。除了矿产企业之外,金融 家也在蒙古寻求着其他业务机会。Hutagt 用―狼‖来形容蒙古经济,认

为它又饥饿又迫切。这倒是与银行家颇为相似。 America's budget deficit 美国的预算赤字

Speak softly and carry a big chainsaw 轻声细语的德州电锯

Sorting out America‘s fiscal mess is relatively simple. What‘s needed is political courage 欲解美国财政乱局何其简单,政治勇气足以

Nov 18th 2010

LAST week Asia, this week Europe: no wonder Barack Obama has been to so many foreign summits since his party took a pounding in the mid-term elections. With the prospect of gridlock at home, a president naturally turns abroad. Yet Mr Obama badly needs to show that he can still lead on domestic policy. He should start by cajoling Congress into an agreement to tackle America‘s ominous fiscal arithmetic. 自从奥巴马领军的民主党在中期选举中身受重创后,他两周内接连出

访欧亚两洲;因此频繁出席境外峰会也就不稀奇了。既然国内前景仍 是一片僵局,那么总统先生转战国外也算是自然而然的事情。然而奥 巴马目前急需证明自己仍有能力引领国内政局; 鉴于目前美国的―预算 数学题‖非常难解, 他不妨从这里开始, 但需要拉拢国会以便达成共识。

Conventional wisdom says such an agreement is impossible: the problem is too big, the politics too difficult. But it is wrong to suppose that the deficit is unfixable, as two proposals for fixing it have shown this month (see article). And even the politics may not be totally intractable. 公众的态度是这种共识无法形成:问题太严重,政见太复杂。不过认 为赤字问题无药可救也是片面的,因为仅本月就已经出现了两个应对 提案。甚至掌控政治问题也非难事。

A trillion-dollar trove 上万亿的聚宝盆

The scale of America‘s fiscal problem depends on how far ahead you look. Today‘s deficit, running at 9% of GDP, is huge. Federal debt held by the public has shot up to 62% of GDP, the highest it has been in over 50 years. But that is largely thanks to the economy‘s woes. If growth recovers, the hole left by years of serial tax-cutting and overspending can be plugged:

you need to find spending cuts or tax increases equal only to 2% of GDP to stabilise federal debt by 2015. But look farther ahead and a much bigger gap appears, as an ageing population needs ever more pensions and health care. Such ―entitlements‖ will double the federal debt by 2027; and the number keeps on rising after then. The figures for state and local debt are scary too. 美国财政问题的严重程度取决于预期时间的长短。目前巨额的赤字水 平已经达到了 GDP 的 9%。拜美国的苦难经济所赐,社会需求造成的 联邦债务对 GDP 比例达到了 62%, 这是过去 50 多年来从未出现过的。 如果经济恢复增长,那么连续数年减税政策和过度消费导致的缺口就 有可能得到弥补: 如果希望在 2015 年使联邦债务达到稳定水平, 仅需 相当于 GDP2%的支出削减或者税收增加就可以实现。但如果预测更 长远的未来, 那么人口老龄化会增高的养老金和健康保障计划的需求, 缺口就将变的更大。 类似的―社保支出‖将会迫使联邦债务在 2027 年翻 倍;而且会越来越高。州债务和地方债务看起来同样可怕。

The solution should start with an agreement between Mr Obama and Congress on a target for a manageable level of publicly held federal debt: say, 60% of GDP by 2020. They should also agree on the broad balance between lower spending and higher taxes to achieve this. This newspaper believes that the lion‘s share of the adjustment should come on the spending side. Entitlements are at the root of the problem and need to be

trimmed, and research has shown that although spending cuts weigh on growth in the short run, they hurt less than higher taxes. And in the long run later retirement and other reforms will expand the labour force and thus potential output, whereas higher taxes dull incentives to work and invest. 解决问题的前提是奥巴马必须同国会达成共识,目标是将社会需求造 成的美国政府债保持在可控的水平内; 比如 2020 年达到 GDP 的 60%。 同时还要在减少支出和增加税收上形成一致意见,以便寻求二者之间 的大体平衡。本刊认为调整的重头戏是在支出方面。社保支出是问题 的根源,需要进行削减;尽管研究表明削减支出在短期内会影响到经 济增长,但对经济造成的伤害却远不及税收增加。从长期来看,延长 退休年龄及其他改革举措必将扩张劳动力大军,进而增加潜在产出; 但高税收弱化了工作的激励机制,同时使投资热情也大大衰退。

Yet even to believers in small government, like this newspaper, there are good reasons for letting taxes take at least some of the strain. Politically, this will surely be the price of any bipartisan agreement. Economically, there is sensible room for manoeuvre without damaging growth. American taxes are relatively low after the reductions of recent years. In an ideal world the tax burden would be gradually shifted from income to consumption (including a carbon tax). But that is politically hard—and there is a much easier target for reform.

本刊属于笃信小政府的人,甚至对于所有这样的人来说,都有充足的 理由认为税收应该分担部分压力。从政治角度上来说,两党取得的任 何共识都要付出一定的代价;从经济角度上看,在不伤害经济增长的 情况下还有一定的调整空间。经过近些年的连续削减,美国的税率水 平已经达到了相当低的程度。在完美状态下,税收负担应该逐渐从收 入领域转移到消费领域 (包括烟尘排放税) 不过这对政治是一个巨大 。 的挑战,毕竟还有很多容易解决的改革目标。

America‘s tax system is riddled with exemptions, deductions and credits that feed an industry of advisers but sap economic energy. Simply scrapping these distortions—in other words, broadening the base of taxation without any new taxes—could bring in some $1 trillion a year. Even though some of this would have to go in lowering marginal rates, it is a little like finding money behind the sofa cushions. The tax system would be simpler, fairer and more efficient. All this means that America can sensibly aim for a balance between spending cuts and higher taxes similar to the benchmark set by Britain‘s coalition government. A ratio of 75:25 is about right. 美国的税收体系给税收豁免、税收扣减和信贷留了许多开口,这不仅 养活了整个顾问行业,还消耗了经济的整体能量。每年仅仅为了冲抵 这些差异(换而言之,没有新税种增加的情况下增加税收基础)就要 耗费一万亿美元。为了实现这个目的不得不降低边际税率,但多少有

点儿像在沙发垫子后面寻找钱财。税收体系将会更加简单、公平和高 效。所有这些意味着美国可以理智的在职出削减和提高税收之间找到 平衡,类似于英国联合政府设定的基准。75:25 差不多就是正确的比 例了。

There is legitimate concern that, done hastily, austerity could derail a weak recovery. But this strengthens the case for a credible deficit-reduction plan. By reassuring markets that America will control its debt, the government will have more scope to boost the economy in the short term if need be—for instance by temporarily extending the Bush tax cuts. 这其中还有一些合理的担忧:如果操之过急,限制消费必将颠覆原本 就很羸弱的经济复苏。这种忧虑让人们主张削减赤字方案必须值得信 赖。如果美国政府可以向市场证明自己仍然可以控制债务,那么在需 要的时候仍有更大的余地去推动经济发展,比如继续延长布什政府时 期的税务削减政策。

Mr Obama and the Republicans are brimming with ideas for freezing discretionary spending, which covers most government operations from defence to national parks. They have found common cause in attacking ―earmarks‖, the pet projects that lawmakers insert into bills. But discretionary outlays, including defence, are less than 40% of the total budget. Entitlements, in particular Social Security (pensions) and

Medicare and Medicaid (health care for the elderly and the poor), represent the bulk of spending and even more of spending growth. 奥巴马和共和党人都热衷于冻结机动支出的理念,这涵盖了从国防到 国家公园的大部分政府部门。他们已经将声讨―特定用途之处‖作为共 同事业,这正是法律制定者们梦寐以求的计划。问题在于包括国防在 内的机动支出仅占总预算的 40%。社保支在支出中的权重很高,增长 幅度也比较大;特别是社会保障(养老金) 、医疗保险和医疗补助制度 (针对老年人和贫困人群的健康保障计划) 。

On pensions, the solution is clear if unpopular: people will need to work longer. America should index the retirement age to longevity and make the benefit formula for upper-income workers less generous. The ceiling on the related payroll tax should be increased to cover 90% of earnings, from 86% now. 养老金方面的应对举措可能不太受欢迎,但是却非常明了:延长人们 的工作年限。美国应该根据寿命调整退休年龄系数,同时应该调低高 收入工人的福利。目前相关的工资税应税上限是收入的 86%,这个比 例应该增加到 90%。

Health-care spending is a much tougher issue, because it is being fed by both the ageing of the population and rising per-person demand for services. Richer beneficiaries should pay more of their share of Medicare,

while the generosity of the system should be kept in check by the independent panel set up under Mr Obama‘s health reform to monitor services and payments. The simplest way for the federal government to restrain Medicaid would be to end the current system of matching state spending and replace this with block grants, which would give the states an incentive to focus on cost-control. 健康保障支出方面的问题要麻烦得多,因为人口老龄化现象和增高的 人均服务需求共同促进了这项支出的增长。富裕的受益者应该为他们 的医疗保险付出更多,同时保障体系的恩惠必须长期受都独立委员会 的监察,该组织成立于奥巴马的健康改革过程中,指责是对服务和各 项支付进行监督。联邦政府也有简单易行的方法来限制医疗补助制度 的开销:取消各州相同的现行体系,代之以分类财政补贴,此举可以 激励各州政府关注与支出控制。

Chainsaw you can believe in 电锯绝对值得信赖

Devising a plan that reduces the deficit, and eventually the debt, to a manageable size is relatively easy. Getting politicians to agree to it is a different thing. The bitter divide between the parties means that politicians pay a high price for consorting with the enemy. So Democrats cling to entitlements, and Republicans live in fear of losing their next party

nomination to a tea-party activist if they bend on taxes. Even the president‘s own bipartisan commission can‘t agree on what to do. 设计方案来压缩目前的赤字、并最终缩减债务,使其达到可控的水平 是非常容易的。困难的事让政客们同意这个方案。两党分歧之痛意味 着政敌间的结交需要高昂的代价。因此民主党人紧抓社保支出;如果 共和党人专注于税收变革, 就会终日担心在下次党内选举中败给茶党。 即使总统的两党工作组也无法决定下一步的举措。

But true leaders turn the hard into the possible. Two things should prompt Mr Obama. First, the politics of fiscal truth may be less awful than he imagines. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both won second terms after trimming entitlements or raising taxes. Polls in other countries suggest that nowadays tough love can sell. Second, in the long term economics will tell: unless it changes course, America is heading for a bust. If Mr Obama lacks the guts even to start tackling the problem, then ever more Americans, this paper and even those foreign summiteers will get ever more frustrated with him. 但真正的领袖可以胜任人所不能。奥巴马面前有两个提示:第一,财 政真相政治后果应该没有他想象的那么恐怖,里根和克林顿就在削减 社保计划或提高税收后谋得连任。其他国家的选举也表明今时今日专 制的爱同样有市场。第二,从长远来看,除非美国可以改变发展方向, 否则必然走向衰败。如果奥巴马连着手应对问题的勇气都没有,那么

更多的美国民众、本刊和那些峰会的参与者对他将更加泄气。 Divided we fall 不合则亡

Britain and France need each other to continue as great(ish) powers 英国和法国要想继续保持其全球大国(或准大国)的地位,两国就必 须牢牢捆在一起

Nov 4th 2010 2010 年 11 月 4 日

表 1:防务能力的混合与重组

英国 法国

2009 年国防预算 583 亿美元 639 亿美元

武装部队总人数 17.8 万人 25 万人

航空母舰 2艘 1艘

驱逐舰 6艘 11 艘

护卫舰 17 艘 20 艘

攻击型潜艇 7艘 6艘


300 架 360 架

武装直升机 233 架 246 架

战略导弹核潜艇 4艘 4艘

数据来源: ⅡSS;DASA/MOD:经济学人杂志社

THEY may not always see eye to eye, but when it comes to defence, the interests of France and Britain converge. The two countries are respectively the third and fourth biggest military spenders in the world. Both see themselves as global players, ready and willing to project expeditionary force. But fiscal austerity has threatened the ability of both to live up to those grandiose ambitions. Only by working much more closely together, they have concluded, can two medium-sized European

countries hope to stay in the great-power game. Hence the 50-year defence and security co-operation treaty signed this week in London by David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy.

法国和英国偶尔可能也会出现一些纷争,但涉及到国防,他们的利益 就无甚差别了。这两国的军事开支分别居世界第三和第四位。两国都 认为自己是全球事务参与者,具有远距投送军事力量的能力与意愿。 但紧缩的财政已经威胁到两国实现上述宏大目标的能力。这两个欧洲 大国已经得出结论,要想继续参与全球大国的博弈,他们只有进行更 加紧密地合作。正是有鉴于此,卡梅伦与萨科齐本周在伦敦签订了这 项为期 50 年的防务与安全合作条约。

The main items in the pact are a combined joint expeditionary force and an agreement to operate aircraft-carrier strike groups using aircraft and escort vessels contributed by both countries. But much of the treaty deals with less glamorous equipment and capabilities. Training and maintenance for the new A400M transport aircraft that the two nations are buying will be pooled. Britain is keen to share its new A300-based aerial tankers, if a financial deal to do so can be reached.

该条约的主要条款包括组建一支联合远征部队和一个联合航母作战 群,舰载机与护航舰只由两个国家分摊。但条约的大量条款涉及的都

是不那么引人注目的装备与能力。这两个国家都正在购买 A400M 型 军用运输机,这种新机型的培训与维护将联合进行。如果能够达成资 金分摊的协议,英国是急切地想要两国共享其新购进的 A300 改型空 中加油机。

The two countries will jointly develop nuclear-submarine technologies, satellite communications and maritime-mine countermeasures. The big defence industries of both will be encouraged to co-operate on the next generation of surveillance drones and assorted new missiles, with the aim of forging a single prime European contractor for ―complex weapons‖.

两国将联合研发核潜艇技术,联合发展卫星通信和反水雷战的能力。 将鼓励两国的大型国防工业企业合作研发新一代的无人侦察机和各种 新型导弹,目标是要打造单一的―复杂武器系统‖欧洲总承包商。

Most dramatically, a separate treaty has been signed on nuclear co-operation. This is remarkable, given the different approaches that France and Britain have taken towards their nuclear deterrents (Britain depends heavily on American kit, while France‘s force de frappe is a supreme symbol of national sovereignty). With the blessing of the United States, Britain‘s Aldermaston research establishment will concentrate on developing technology, while its French counterpart at Valduc will carry

out simulated warhead testing.

最有戏剧性的是,两国还签订了一个单独的核合作条约。考虑到英法 两国在构建核威慑力量上的不同做法, 这一点颇为引人注目。 (英国的 核武系统严重依赖美国提供的装备,而法国的核攻击力则是其国家主 权的最高象征) 由于有美国盟友的帮助, 。 英国的奥尔德玛斯顿研究机 构可以专注于研发技术,而法国位于瓦尔杜克(Valduc)的核研究机 构就必须进行核弹头的模拟试验。

Predictably, there was much harrumphing in Britain‘s jingoistic popular press. A few retired politicians were dragged out to reminisce about slights suffered at the hands of the perfidious Frogs. The reaction in France was more muted, perhaps because the agreement carefully avoids any of the visionary language about European architectures that excites French imaginations, but which many British Conservatives, such as the defence secretary, Liam Fox, viscerally loathe.

可以预见,在支持强硬外交政策的英国大众媒体上会出现一片不满和 反对之声。还会拖出几个退休赋闲的政客来追忆背信弃义的法国佬在 过去给英国带来的小小不快。法国的反应则要温和的多,原因也许是 该协议小心翼翼地回避了对欧洲架构的预见性表述。只要提起欧洲架 构就会激起法国人的想象力,但许多英国保守党人,如国防部长利亚

姆?福克斯(Liam Fox)之流,就发自内心地厌恶之。

In fact, most of the objections raised seem either ignorant or anachronistic. Even before France rejoined NATO‘s integrated military structure last year, British and French forces had frequently worked and fought together under the command of one or other country. With the exception of the Iraq controversy, the two have rarely found themselves on opposite sides during recent international crises. For example, Britain‘s defence secretary during the Falklands war, John Nott, revealed in his memoirs that France had been Britain‘s staunchest ally, providing information that helped to render the Exocet anti-ship missiles used by Argentina ineffective, and supplying Mirage and Super-Etendard fighters for British Harrier pilots to pit themselves against in training.

事实上,大多数持反对观点的人似乎要么是无知,要么就是落伍于时 代。甚至在法国去年重返北约军事一体化架构之前,英法两国的军队 就已经频繁地在对方指挥下共同工作和作战。除了伊拉克战争的论战 之外,两国在最近出现的国际危机中很少出现对立。例如,英国在马 岛战争期间的国防部长约翰?诺特 (John Nott) 就在他的回忆录中透露, 法国在这场冲突中是英国最坚定的盟友,法国提供的情报使阿根廷的 飞鱼反舰导弹收效甚微,法国还提供―幻影‖和―超军旗‖式战斗机供英 国的鹞式战斗机飞行员进行对抗训练。

Difficulties could arise, however, over shared use of the two countries‘ aircraft carriers, if national priorities and policies do not coincide during future conflicts. One solution would be for Britain not to sell the second carrier it is currently building, which at present seems its likely fate, but to operate it on a timeshare basis with the French. That way it could be made available without caveats to whichever country needed it when its main ship was in refit (a three-year job required every seven years or so). Just don‘t call it Trafalgar.

然而共用两国的航母的话,在未来可能爆发的冲突中如果出现国家利 益优先和对外政策不相一致的情况,就可能会出现困难。一个解决办 法就是英国不卖第二艘在建的航母(目前看来它可能面临胎死腹中的 命运) 而是与法国分时共享这艘航母。 , 这样一来就可以在其航母整修 期间 (大约每航行七年左右要有三年时间进行整修) 哪个国家需要它 , 都可以不受限制的进行使用。 但绝对不要把它命名为―特拉法尔加‖号。

The liquefaction of hardware 硬件熔解

The rise of the virtual computer 虚拟计算机兴起

Nov 18th 2010

IMAGINE a personal computer that has two souls. One moment it is your work machine, complete with a set of corporate applications and tight security settings. Then it becomes an entertainment centre, allowing you to watch any video and download any program. 想象一下,一台个人电脑有两个化身,一会是你的工作机器,配有一 套企业应用软件和严密的安全设置,一会又变成了一个娱乐中心,准 许你随心所欲看视频,下程序。

Thanks to a process called ―virtualisation‖, such computers are now being created. Ever more processing power and clever software are allowing devices of all kinds to separate from their hardware vessels and move to new homes. If this process continues as some expect, it will change computing radically. And more than one IT company will have to rethink how it does business. 多亏一种称为―虚拟化‖的技术,这种电脑正被制造出来。处理能力日

益强大,聪明软件越来越多,正让各种设备从所在的硬件容器中剥离 出来,迁入新居。如若虚拟化进程,像某些人所料那般持续下去,就 将从根本上改变计算机运作。 而多家 IT 公司将不得不重新考虑, 如何 运用该技术做生意。

Virtualisation dates back to the age of mainframe computers. To make better use of them they were sometimes split into smaller ―virtual machines‖, each of which could run its own operating system and application. But the approach took off only in recent years, when VMWare, a software firm, applied it to servers, the powerful computers that populate today‘s corporate data centres. VMWare and its main rivals, Citrix and Microsoft, have since developed all kinds of software tools to manage virtual machines—moving them between data centres, for example. 虚拟化始于大型机时代。为优化利用,大型机有时被分割成一些小型 ―虚拟机‖,每个虚拟机都能运行自己的操作系统及应用软件。但此法 近几年突然风行, 当时, 一家软件公司 VMWare 将其运用到服务器上, 正是这些功能强大的服务器,构成了今天的企业数据中心。VMWare 及其主要对手 Citrix 和 Microsoft,那时起就开发了各种虚拟机管理软 件工具,比如让虚拟机在数据中心间迁移的软件。

The success of server virtualisation has inspired IT firms and their customers to do the same thing with other types of hardware, such as

devices to store data. Software now pools their capacity and allocates ―virtual disks‖ as needed. Going further, Dropbox, an online storage service, saves identical files only once. Even large files can take only seconds to upload if they already exist somewhere on one of these firms‘ disks. 服务器虚拟化的成功, 启发 IT 公司及其顾客在其他类型的硬件 (如数 据存储设备)上,做同样的事。现在,软件可共用这些设备的存储容 量, 并按需分配―虚拟磁盘‖。 进一步来说, 一种网络存储服务 Dropbox, 同一份文件仅存一次。即便是大文件,只要已存在这些公司某个磁盘 的某处,上传也只需数秒。

The virtualisation of PCs is now under way. Many company computers can already work with applications that run on a central server. But start-ups are pushing the concept further. Desktone offers virtual desktops as an online service. NComputing, a maker of computer terminals, virtualises PCs so they can be shared by up to 30 users. It has already sold more than 2.5m devices, mostly to developing countries and schools. And technology from MokaFive can send an entire virtual machine—complete with operating systems, applications and data—over the network and install it on any PC. Eventually people may no longer need to carry laptops at all. Virtual computers, including data and applications, will follow them everywhere.

个人电脑虚拟化正在进行。许多公司的电脑已能使用运行在一台中心 服务器上的应用软件。 不过, 一些新兴企业正推动此概念进一步深化。 Desktone 公 司 提 供 虚 拟 桌 面 网 络 服 务 。 而 一 家 电 脑 终 端 制 造 商 NComputing 公司,则将个人电脑虚拟化,使之能为多达 30 个用户共 享。该公司已售出了超过 250 万台设备,大部分销往了发展中国家与 学校。MokaFive 公司的技术则能将一整台虚拟机——包括操作系统、 应用软件及数据——在网络上迅速迁移, 并安装在任一台个人电脑上。 最终,人们也许根本不再需要随身携带笔记本电脑。虚拟计算机,包 括数据与应用软件,将如影随形。

In the long run, smartphones and other mobile devices may also become shells to be filled as needed. Open Kernel Labs, a start-up in which Citrix has a stake, already lets smartphones run applications, multimedia and radio functions on a single processor, cutting manufacturing costs. Software from Citrix turns the iPad, Apple‘s tablet computer, into a terminal for applications that run in a corporate data centre. 终究, 智能电话与其他设备也可能变成空壳, 按需填充各种软件数据。 一家 Citrix 持股的新兴企业 Open Kernel Labs, 已使智能电话在一个单 处理机上运行应用软件、 实现多媒体及收音机功能, 削减了制造成本。 Citrix 的软件,把苹果的平板电脑 iPad,变成了一个应用软件终端, 而这些软件运行在一个企业数据中心内。

How quickly will virtualisation advance? Gartner, a market-research firm, predicts that the overall market for virtualisation software will grow from $2.7 billion this year to $6.3 billion in 2014. There is certainly no lack of demand. Virtualisation lowers costs by enabling firms to make better use of their servers and buy fewer new ones. The technology also allows PCs to be maintained remotely, which is much cheaper. But improved reliability and security are even more of an attraction. Users of MokaFive, for instance, can relaunch their virtual machine should a computer virus infect it. And it can be shut down if a laptop is lost or stolen. 虚拟化步伐将会多快?市场调查公司 Gartner 预计,虚拟软件整体市 场将从今年的 27 亿美元,增至 2014 年的 63 亿美元。需求当然不缺。 虚拟化让企业优化使用服务器, 减少新服务器采购, 从而降低了成本。 该技术也允许远程维护个人电脑,这相当便宜。不过,可靠性及安全 性改善,则更具吸引力。例如,MokaFive 的用户,一旦电脑染毒,虚 拟机就重启。 而要是其笔记本电脑丢失或被偷, 虚拟机就会完全关闭。

Yet the technology also has to overcome a few hurdles. The virtualisation of servers is well understood, but for PCs and mobile devices the technique has yet to mature. In the longer run institutional barriers will prove more of a problem, argues Simon Crosby, Citrix‘s chief technology officer. Virtualising IT systems, he says, is only the first step to automating their management. This is seen as a threat to existing workers and makes

many IT departments hesitant to embrace the technology. 然而,该技术还须攻克几个障碍。服务器虚拟化,大家都很清楚,但 对个人电脑及移动设备而言,该技术尚未成熟。Citrix 公司首席技术 官 Simon Crosby 表示,从更长远来看,制度障碍也将证实是个问题。 他称,IT 系统虚拟化仅是其管理自动化的第一步。这被在职员工视为 一个威胁,令许多 IT 部门接受这种技术犹豫不决。

Still, analysts believe virtualisation will win out. Its impact will be felt through the industry. The technology not only makes IT systems more flexible, but allows firms to switch vendors more easily—which will weigh on the vendors‘ profits. Big software firms such as Microsoft and Oracle may be hit hardest. But many hardware-makers may suffer as well, since their wares will become even more of a commodity than they are today. 尽管如此, 分析家认为虚拟化将最终胜出。 整个 IT 业都将感受到其影 响。该技术不仅使 IT 系统更为灵活,也让企业更换销售商更为容易, 这将给这些销售商盈利造成压力。诸如 Microsoft 及 Oracle 之类的软 件巨头可能受打击最重。但许多硬件制造商,由于其产品将变成比现 在更有价值的一种商品,也可能遭受重创。

What‘s up, BYOC?(注 1) ―自带电脑‖如何?

Moreover, virtualisation makes it much easier to add new servers or storage devices. Alternatively, firms can simply rent extra capacity from operators of what are called ―computing clouds‖, such as Amazon Web Services. That outfit has built a network of data centres in which virtual machines and disks can be launched in seconds. As a result, IT systems will increasingly no longer be a capital expense (注 2) but an operational , cost(注 3), like electricity. 此外,虚拟化使得增添新服务器或存储设备非常容易。如若不然,企 业也能简单地从所谓的―计算云‖运营商(如 Amazon Web Services 公 司)那租用额外磁盘容量。这家厂商已建立了一个数据中心网络,其 中的虚拟机及磁盘能在数秒内启动。结果,IT 系统愈来愈不是一种资 本支出,而是一种运营成本,跟电力一样。

Yet the most noticeable change for computer users will be that more employees will be allowed to bring their own PC or smartphone to work, says Brian Madden of TechTarget, a consultancy. Companies can install a secure virtual heart on private machines, doing away with the need for a separate corporate device. A ―bring your own computer‖ or ―BYOC‖ movement has already emerged in America. Companies such as Citrix and Kraft Foods pay their employees a stipend, which they can use to buy any PC they want—even an Apple Mac.

然而,电脑用户感受到的最显著变化,则是更多雇员将获准携带自己 的个人电脑或智能电话工作,一家咨询公司 TechTarget 的 Brian Madden 这样说。企业可在私人机器上安装一个可靠的虚拟心脏,这 也摆脱了对企业设备的单独需求。一种―自带电脑‖或―BYOC‖运动已 在美国出现。像 Citrix 和 Kraft Foods 这样的公司,付给雇员津贴,让 他们用其购买想要的任何电脑,甚或苹果 Mac 电脑。

Such innovations may help to ease growing tensions between workers and IT departments. New privacy regulations and rampant cybercrime are pushing firms to tighten control of company PCs and smartphones. At the same time more and more ―digital natives(注 4)‖ enter the workforce. They have grown up with the freewheeling internet and do not suffer boring black corporate laptops gladly. Giving workers more freedom while helping firms keep control may prove to be the biggest benefit of virtualisation. 这类创新或许有助于缓解员工与 IT 部门间日益紧张的关系。 新的隐私 规则出台,网络犯罪猖獗,正推动企业加强对公司个人电脑与智能电 话的管控。与此同时,越来越多的―数码原住民‖步入职场。他们与无 拘无束的互联网一起长大成人,很高兴不用忍受单调乏味的公司黑笔 记本电脑。给予员工更多自由,同时协助企业管控,或许证明是虚拟 化的最大收益。

注 1:What‘s up, BYOC? 小标题源自美国 1972 年出品的电影―What‘s up, Doc?‖,中文片名一般 译为《爱的大追踪》 ,或―出什么事了,大夫? / 疯狂飞车大闹唐人街 / 爱的大逃亡‖。

注 2:capital expense Capital Spending/Capital Expenditures/Capital Expense 资本支出 某些支出—如购置厂房、机器、设备等—可以使以后多个会计年度受 益而非当年消耗完毕,这种支出形成的企业的生产能力,称为资本支 出(capital expenditures)。当一个企业花钱购买固定资产或给已有固定 资产增加价值时,这就产生了资本支出。在会计中,把支出记作资产 的办法,称为资本化。 由于税收的目的, 资本支出不能在它们被支付或发生的年度扣除成本, 并且必须被资本化。一般的规则是,如果收购的物业的使用年限超过 纳税的年限,成本必须被资本化。资本开支成本会在以上资产的使用 时期被分期偿还或贬值。 如上所述,资本支出给资产或财产创造或 增加了基准, 而一旦资本支出调整, 将决定出售或转让时的税务责任。 对任何公司的会计问题是, 特定的支出是该被资本化还是被算作开销。 某个月里被算作开销的支出会很简单的作为成本出现在当月的财务报 表中。而资本化的开支,会很多年来分期偿还。资本化的开支会出现 在资产负债表上。大多数普通的商业开支很明显的是资本化或是被算


注 3:operational cost 营业成本(Operating costs),也称经营成本、运营成本,是指企业所销 售商品或者提供劳务的成本。营业成本应当与所销售商品或者所提供 劳务而取得的收入进行配比。营业成本是与营业收入直接相关的,已 经确定了归属期和归属对象的各种直接费用。营业成本主要包括主营 业务成本、其他业务成本。 销售产品、商品和提供劳务的营业成本, 是由生产经营成本形成的。工业企业产品生产成本(也称制造成本) 的构成主要包括: 1.直接材料:包括企业生产经营过程中实际消耗的直接用于产品的生 产,构成产品实体的原材料、辅助材料、备品备件、外购半成品、燃 料、动力、包装物以及其他直接材料。 2.直接工资:包括企业直接从事产品生产人员的工资、奖金、津贴和 补贴。 3.其他直接支出:包括直接从事产品生产人员的职工福利费等。 4.制造费用:企业可以根据自身需要,对成本构成项目进行适当调整。

注 4:digital natives 从 80 年代就开始接触 PC 的人, 现在通常都已过不惑之年。 年代中 90 国 PC 进入普及阶段的用户,现在也都 30 出头。这些人经历了模拟时 代(机械时代)的种种生活方式和工具,他们试着去转变自己的使用习

惯和思维方式,这些人可称为―数字移民(Digital Immigrants)‖。然而 1985 年之后出生的人,则大不相同:他们成长的年代,已经是数字化 的年代。他们属于天生数字(Born Digital),而且习惯且依赖连接世界 (Live Connected)。这类人称为第一代―数字原住民(Digital Native)‖。 A digital native is a person who was born after the general implementation of digital technology, and as a result, has had a familiarity with digital technologies such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones,and digital audio players over their entire lives. A digital immigrant is an individual who was born before the existence of digital technology and adopted it to some extent later. Alternatively, this term can describe people born in the latter 1970s or later, as the Digital Age began at that time; but in most cases the term focuses on people who grew up with 21st Century technology. This term has been used in several different contexts, such as education (Bennett, Maton & Kervin 2008) (in association with the term New Millennium Learners (OECD 2008)).

More complicated than you think 比你想象的复杂 A new, giant virus is confounding old certainties 新的、巨型病毒正在挑战人类的思维定势 Oct 28th 2010

BIODIVERSITY is not just a matter of tigers and whales, or butterflies and trees, or even coral reefs and tuna. It is also about myriad creatures too small to see that live in numbers too large to count in ways too numerous to imagine. It is easy to forget, especially at meetings like the one to discuss the Convention on Biological Diversity that has been taking place in Nagoya under the auspices of the United Nations, that most of biology is in fact microscopic. Indeed, the more microscopic biology gets, the more diverse it becomes. 生物多样性不仅仅是指老虎和鲸鱼、蝴蝶和森林,甚至也不仅仅是珊 瑚礁和金枪鱼。它还指各种小得无法看见、多得无法计算、生存方式 令人无法想象的生物。尤其是在联合国主持在名古屋(Nagoya)召开 的生物多样性大会上,人们很容易忘记讨论生物学的绝大部分事实上 是关于微生物的。实际上,生物越微观,多样性也越明显。

In that context, the discovery by Curtis Suttle of the University of British Columbia and his colleagues of a critter they propose to call Cafeteria roenbergensis virus, or CroV, should not be surprising. But for those brought up on a textbook definition of what a virus is, it is still a bit of a shock. For CroV is not a very viruslike virus. It has 544 genes, compared with the dozen or so that most viruses sport. And it may be able to make its own proteins—a task that viruses usually delegate to the molecular

machinery of the cells they infect. 从这个意义上讲,英属哥伦比亚大学的 Curtis Suttle 和他的同事发现 的一种新生物,不应该太出人意料。他们建议将其命名为 Cafeteria roenbergensis 病毒,或 CroV。但是对于那些从小到大就熟悉课本对病 毒的定义的人而言,这还是让人有点儿让他们震惊。因为 CroV 是一 种不太象病毒的病毒。它有 544 个基因,而大多数病毒只有十几个。 此外,它还可能制造自己的蛋白质—而病毒通常将这一任务交给自己 感染的细胞由其通过分子机械功能来完成。

CroV, as its full name suggests, is a parasite of Cafeteria roenbergensis, a single-celled planktonic organism that was itself discovered only in 1988. Despite the recentness of its discovery, C. roenbergensis is one of the commonest creatures on the planet. It is also reckoned by some, given that it hunts down and eats bacteria, to be the most abundant predator on Earth. It is found in every ocean. The samples of C. roenbergensis from which Dr Suttle and his team extracted their quarry were collected off the coast of Texas. CroV,正如其名字所表示的一样,是 Cafeteria roenbergensis 的一种寄 生虫, 而前者则是一种人们于 1988 年发现的以浮游生物为食的单细胞 生物。尽管其发现历史不长,Cafeteria roenbergensis 是我们这个星球 上最常见的物种之一。此外,由于它猎杀、捕食其他细菌,有人据此 推断它是地球上数量最多的捕食者。各大洋都能见到其身影。Scuttle

和他的团队从中发现 CroV 的 Cafeteria roenbergensis 的样品就是来自 德州海岸的海水。

To see a world in a grain of sand 从一粒沙子看到一个世界 That quarry‘s nature, reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is not a complete surprise. A larger virus, called Mimivirus, which lives in freshwater amoebas, turned up in 2003 and a few other, similar, viruses have been found since then. But CroV is by far the biggest to come out of the sea. 本周的《美国国家科学院院刊》报道了这一新发现病毒的性质,这也 并非完全出人意料。因为另一个比较大称为―Mimivirus‖的病毒,是一 种生活在淡水中变形虫, 2003 年就被人发现, 在 还有其他几个类似的 病毒之后也相继被人发现。但是 CroV 是来自海洋的最大的病毒。

Those who like their categories cut and dried may wonder whether viruses are alive or not. Wise biologists do not struggle too much with such questions. Viruses have genes, can reproduce and are subject to the evolutionary pressures imposed by natural selection. That is enough for biology to claim them. As for CroV, those 544 genes (composed of 730,000 base pairs, the DNA letters in which the language of the genes is written) mean its genome is bigger than those of several

bacteria—creatures which everyone agrees are alive. 那些习惯于传统分类学的人可能想知道病毒是活的还是死的。真正明 智的生物学家不太纠缠于这类问题。病毒有基因,能再生,需要应对 自然选择的进化压力。 对生物学而言, 这足以让其有资格成为生物了。 至于 CroV,那些 544 个基因(由 73 万组碱基对组成,这是构成基因 语言的 DNA 字母)表明其基因图谱比几种大家认为是活体的细菌生 物要大。

The problem with categorical thinking in biology is that evolution does not work like that. It actually works by whatever works working. If an organism can successfully subcontract part of the business of metabolism to another while retaining the rest itself, rather than offloading the whole lot as most viruses do, then there are no rules to stop it happening. 在生物学上,对什么都要分门别类的思维面临的问题是生物进化的方 式并非一成不变。进化实际上是不拘一格,随遇而安。如果一种生物 能够成功地将部分新陈代谢工作分包给另一个生物,但同时又保留其 余的新陈代谢工作, 而不是象大多数病毒那样把工作全部推掉, 那么, 就没有任何规则阻止其进化。

CroV seems to do just that. Besides the genes that relate to protein synthesis it has others which encode DNA repair mechanisms and still others which are involved with protein recycling and signalling within

cells. This is not mere hijacking. It is tantamount to a complete personality transplant for the infected cell. Crov 似乎正是这么做的。除与蛋白合成有关的基因外,它将 DNA 修 复机制的编码工作以及细胞内蛋白的回收和发送信号工作都交给其他 生物完成。这不仅仅是简单的劫持。这相当于将特性完整植入被感染 的细胞。

About a third of CroV‘s genes are similar to Mimivirus genes, suggesting they share a distant ancestor. On the other hand, two-thirds are not. A significant chunk of them seem to have been copied from bacteria. But the majority are unique, and previously unknown to science. A whole new chapter of life, in other words, has been opened. CroV 的基因中,约有三分之一同 Mimivirus 基因类似,说明它们之间 都拥有共同的祖先。从另一方面讲,它们之间还有三分之二的基因不 同。其中很大一部分似乎是从细菌中复制的。但大多数基因在科学上 特性明显,属于新发现的基因。换句话说,人类已经翻开了生命研究 的新篇章。

This discovery, then—and the earlier one of C. roenbergensis itself—speak volumes, albeit in a microscopic language, about biodiversity. Two centuries after Carl Linnaeus invented the system now used to describe it, and a century after Charles Darwin worked out what

causes it, the ability of that diversity to surprise is still staggering. 这一发现—以及早先发现的 C. roenbergensis —充分说明了生物的多 样性,尽管是以微生物的语言表述的。生物多样性至今依然让人眼花 缭乱,目不暇接,尽管卡尔?林奈(Carl Linnaeus)200 年前就发明了 我们现在仍然使用的其描述体系,尽管达尔文 100 年前就找到了其发 生的原因。 Science and Technology

译者心得: 1. 本文是科技文章,又是微生物的,很多业外人士有恐惧感

(我也不例外) 想象拉丁文名字就够头大的。 , 但这类文章语言比较规 范,逻辑性强,所以,通过专业工具书解决掉最困难的名称之外,其 他部分的翻译,同一般英文一样。


几个词汇的处理。 首句中的―matter‖很多人译为―事情‖, ―是

关于什么什么的事情‖,这样的译文读起来很罗嗦,其实担子大一些, 置之不理, 中文意思也出来了。 另外, ―Viruses have genes, can reproduce and are subject to the evolutionary pressures imposed by natural selection. That is enough for biology to claim them‖本段中的―Claim‖不太好翻, for biology to claim them,让生物学对它们有主张,让生物学认领它们, 其实就是―它们有资格属于生物范畴‖的意思,如果直译,估计译者本 人也觉得不是滋味。


一个复杂句子的处理。―In that context, the discovery by

Curtis Suttle of the University of British Columbia and his colleagues of a critter they propose to call Cafeteria roenbergensis virus, or CroV, should not be surprising‖,先看一下直翻,―从这个意义上讲,由英属哥伦比 亚 大 学 的 Curtis Suttle 和 他 的 同 事 发 现 的 一 种 他 们 建 议 命 名 为 Cafeteria roenbergensis 病毒的生物,或 CroV,不应该太出人意料。‖ 这样的句子不能说不对,但但起来非常罗嗦,翻译腔太强,因此,在 准确表述愿意的前提下, 我译为―从这个意义上讲, 英属哥伦比亚大学 的 Curtis Suttle 和他的同事发现的一种新生物,不应该太出人意料。 他们建议将其命名为 Cafeteria roenbergensis 病毒,或 CroV。‖将原句 拆为两句,使其更符合中文行文习惯。这在翻译中很常见,毕竟译出 的东西是让中国人看的。


一个简单句型的处理。―It is found in every ocean‖,这句话

很简单,它被发现于各大洋,它存在于各大洋等等,都不错。但鉴于 前 文 出 现 ―hunts down and eats bacteria, to be the most abundant predator ‖这类动作性很强的语句,我们不妨在这里也―生动‖一些,译 为―各大洋都能见到其身影‖。



外 语 按 照 译 入 语 的 逻 辑 性 进 行 翻 译 。 本 文 中 CroV 和 Cafeteria

roenbergensis 什么关系?不要被名字吓倒,注意这句―CroV, as its full name suggests, is a parasite of Cafeteria roenbergensis, a single-celled planktonic organism that was itself discovered only in 1988‖,说得是 CroV 其实是寄生在 Cafeteria roenbergensis 上的一种生物, 是宿主身上 的 一 种 病 毒 。 关 系 弄 清 了 , 下 文 接 着 讲 的 都 是 宿 主 Cafeteria roenbergensis 的事情,它们如何捕食,生存在什么地方。这其实也就 间接介绍了 CroV。


名言警句的引用。 《经济学人》的文章经常不经意间引用一

些名言警句、诗词歌赋,恰当地表述其意义。本文不例外。―To see a world in a grain of sand‖在本文中就有类似中文―麻雀虽小,五脏俱全‖ 的意思,即使是一粒沙子,那上面生存着芸芸众生。建议大家看一部 动画片,―Horton hears a who‖,里边讲的是一头大象如何同一朵蒲公 英上的生命群体沟通的故事。 这句话来自英国诗人 William Blake 的一 首诗: ―A Grain of Sand 一粒沙子 William Blake/威廉.布莱克 To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.

从一粒沙子看到一个世界, 从一朵野花看到一个天堂, 把握在你手心里的就是无限, 永恒也就消融于一个时辰。‖(摘自网络)

总之,翻译需要什么都懂,否则译出的东西要么让人如坠五里雾中, 要么让人笑掉大牙,因此,译完之后,多次校对,是必不可少的步骤。

Raú the pragmatist l 实用主义者劳尔

Bold changes intended to preserve Cuban communism may herald the beginning of its end 旨在保护古巴共产主义的大胆变革反而有可能变成了掘墓人

Nov 11th 2010

SHORTLY after he took charge of Cuba from his ailing brother, Fidel, in 2006, Raúl Castro declared that his country‘s moribund communist economy needed to change. But his failure to make anything more than marginal adjustments disappointed hopes that he would follow Chinese and Vietnamese communist leaders in combining capitalist economics and growing social freedom with continued party control. 劳尔.卡斯特罗 2006 年从他罹病的兄长—菲德尔卡.斯特罗手中接过了 执掌古巴的大权,不久之后他宣称祖国的经济处于垂死边缘,亟需改 变。但他最大的失败在于只进行不管痛痒的调整,这让人们的期望大 大落空;大家原以为他可以效法中国和越南的共产党领导者,将资本 主义经济及日益增长的社会自由性与党的持续控制有效的结合在一 起。

Now, at last, Mr Castro is showing signs of boldness. Over the past few weeks he has launched some potentially far-reaching changes. By April 1st 500,000 Cubans will be laid off from their state jobs and encouraged to make their own living in small businesses. Over the next two or three years, another 800,000 are likely to join them. Eventually up to two Cubans in five will no longer work for the state. 从现在的形式看来,卡斯特罗先生最终还是显现出了果敢的迹象。过 去数周时间里, 他推行了一些极其深远的变革举措。 截至到 4 月 1 日, 50 万古巴民众丢掉了国家工作的铁饭碗, 政府鼓励他们用小买卖自谋

生路。未来 2-3 年的时间中,另外 80 万人也将加入下岗大军的队伍。 最终将有五分之二的古巴人不会再为国家工作。

This week Mr Castro convened a much-postponed Congress of the Communist Party for late April: its job will be to bless the new economic model (see article). Meanwhile, the government has released more than 50 political prisoners. Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, is Cuban communism finally on the way out? 本周卡斯特罗先生召开了从 4 月底一直推迟到现在的共产党代表大 会,会议的主旨是批准全新的经济模式歌;与此同时,政府已经释放 了超过 50 名政治犯。在柏林墙倒塌 20 年后的今天,难道古巴共产主 义最终还是难逃过时的命数?

Any answer must be hedged about with caveats. The economists advising Mr Castro are barred from talking of ―reform‖. In its guidelines for the party congress, the leadership declares that ―only socialism [ie, communism] is capable of overcoming our difficulties and preserving the gains of the revolution‖ and that in the new economy ―planning will be paramount, not the market.‖ No Cuban official has matched Deng Xiaoping‘s embrace of ―market socialism‖, let alone his (perhaps apocryphal) injunction that ―to get rich is glorious‖. The welcome release of prisoners seems merely to have been a move to deflect outside criticism

after the death of one of them in a hunger strike, rather than a first step in dismantling the island‘s police state. Indeed the army is playing a bigger role in the economy and in government. 任何答案都必须谨小慎微。给卡斯特罗先生提供咨询的经济学家们被 禁止谈论改革。 领导在会议纲领中指示―只有社会主义, 暨共产主义才 有能力克服当前的艰难困苦, 并保持革命取得的胜利果实‖; 同时还指 出,在新经济模式中―占据最高地位的是计划,而不是市场‖。没有一 个古巴官员可以达到邓小平的高度,领悟到―社会主义市场‖的真谛, 更不必说他―致富最光荣‖的命令了(也许这是杜撰出来的) 。在一名囚 徒因绝食斗争送命后,深受欢迎的释放囚犯行为似乎只是为了转移外 界的批判,而非迈出了废除本岛极权国家的第一步。实际上军界才是 在经济和政府中更为重要的角色。

Yet Raúl‘s reforms go much further than Fidel‘s reluctant acceptance of foreign investment and limited self-employment after the collapse of the Soviet Union, partially reversed on the appearance of a new benefactor, Hugo Chávez‘s Venezuela. For the first time since the 1960s Cubans will be able to employ other Cubans (even though the constitution bans such ―exploitation‖). Many of the rules under which these new businesses will operate are still being drawn up. But it seems that Cubans will now be able to get loans and rent and buy property. Other changes are likely to follow. Mr Castro talks of gradually eliminating the free food rations that Cubans

get, and moving towards targeted social assistance (as elsewhere in Latin America). The corollary is that wages will have to go up—and increasingly they will be set in the market. 苏联解体后, 菲德尔极不情愿的接纳了境外投资和有限的自由职业者; 然而劳尔的改革比他的兄长深入很多,在委内瑞拉的大恩人查韦斯登 台后,部分举措与从前大相径庭。从上世纪 60 年代至今,尽管宪法禁 止这类―剥削‖,但古巴人首次可以对本国公民进行雇佣。很多对新型 企业的生产经营进行规范的法规还正在规划中;但古巴人似乎已经可 以获得贷款、出租房屋以及购买不动产。一些其他的变革也很有可能 紧随其后。卡斯特罗提及逐渐取消古巴民众正在获得的免费的食物配 给,而是同拉美其他地区一样,向着计划好的社会救济发展。必然出 现的结果是工资不得不上调,并且日益受到市场的控制。

In all this Mr Castro is bowing to reality. He has been withering in his criticism of the featherbedding that has bankrupted the state. He has also refused to blame the American economic embargo for problems which he rightly says are self-inflicted. His pragmatism has finally won out against his brother‘s doctrinaire Utopianism. 卡斯特罗在这些方面都屈从于现实:他对于导致国家破产的额外雇工 进行了极尖刻的批判;同时也拒绝对美国采取贸易禁运所造成的问题 进行批判, 他认为这些问题都是自寻烦恼。 在卡斯特罗兄弟的较量中, 劳尔的使用主义最终战胜了菲德尔教条的乌托邦主义。

Apart from the economy, the other big task facing Mr Castro, who is 79 (and Fidel 84), is to start handing over power to a younger generation. That may come after the party congress next year. In the meantime, his new boldness represents an opportunity for those who hope that Cuba will eventually join the rest of Latin America in accepting democracy and the market economy, for once the market‘s green shoots appear they tend to flourish. 除了经济问题以外,现年 79 岁了劳尔(菲德尔已经 84 岁了)所面临 的更艰巨的任务是开始着手将全力传递到年轻一代手中,不过这将是 明年党代会以后的事情了。同时,对于那些希望古巴最终可以加入拉 美其他国家的行列,接受民主和市场经济的人来说,他果敢的新政代 表着希望; 只要市场经济出现一抹新绿, 必将是一派繁花似锦的景象。

How to help kill communism 怎样搭把手,灭了共产主义

Outsiders should take their lead from the common position that Europe adopted in 1996, which allows it to help in ―the progressive and irreversible opening of the Cuban economy‖ while predicating closer friendship on moves towards democracy. Offering training and credit—as

Brazil has done—to Cuba‘s incipient private sector would be a good move. Rewarding Cuba for releasing prisoners who should never have been locked up in the first place—as Miguel Moratinos, Spain‘s recently sacked foreign minister, wanted—would not. 局外人应该从 1996 年欧洲采用的共同立场中着手,旨在帮助―古巴进 行先进且不可逆的经济改革‖, 同时在走向民主的道路上还能建立日益 深厚的友谊。象巴西一样给古巴的早期私营经济提供培训和信贷,不 失 为 一 个 很 好 的 尝 试 。 如 果 象 最 近 遭 解 雇 的 西 班 牙 外 长 Miguel Moratinos,所希望的那样, 古巴因为释放那些原本就不应该遭到逮捕的 犯人而得到奖励,就不是一个好的尝试。

America‘s embargo remains as futile and counter-productive as ever. Although Barack Obama has commendably reversed George W. Bush‘s restrictions on visits and remittances by Cuban-Americans, Republican control of Congress will make it even less likely that the embargo will be dismantled. That‘s a great shame. The embargo has allowed the Castros to pose as proud Cuban nationalists standing up to a bullying hegemon and thus helped them cling to power. If change is at last under way it is despite the embargo, not because of it. 美国的贸易禁运一如既往的无效甚至是达到了反效果。奥巴马已经很 好的撤销了小布什针对古巴裔美国人实施的拜访及汇款禁令,但共和 党掌舵的国会让接触贸易禁运的可能性变得更加渺茫;这将是非常大

的遗憾。贸易禁运让卡斯特罗兄弟摆出一副古巴民族主义者的英雄形 象,直面恃强凌弱的至高强权;他们更是借此紧握政权。如果说改变 正在发生,那这些改变不是因贸易禁运而起,甚至无视它的存在。 Lebanon and the region 黎巴嫩与中东地区

Can there be justice as well as stability? 既要正义也要稳定,可能吗?

As the UN prepares to announce indictments for a series of murders and assassinations, the mood in Lebanon is getting edgy 联合国准备宣布针对一系列谋杀案的起诉,黎巴嫩人的心情日渐紧张

Nov 11th 2010 | Cairo

IT IS the strangest of courtroom dramas. Distinguished judges and a prosecutor sit in a sleepy suburb of the Dutch capital, The Hague. The case has plenty of victims: 61 people, including Lebanon‘s then prime minister, Rafik Hariri, were murdered and 494 injured in a spree of bombings and assassinations that racked Lebanon from 2004 to 2008. But though the

UN-sponsored Special Tribunal for Lebanon has yet to convene or to charge anyone for the crimes, the impending trial threatens not only to reignite a firestorm in Lebanon, but also to spread sectarian tensions across the Middle East and to vex relations even more between the region‘s big adversaries, Iran and the United States. If Lebanon were to blow up again, Israel and Syria could well step in once more, turning the current Middle East peace process into a slide back towards war.

这是一部最为怪诞的法庭剧。尊贵的法官大人们与检察官坐在荷兰首 都海牙郊外昏昏欲睡。此案受害者甚多:从 2004 至 2008 年间发生了 一系列疯狂的爆炸和暗杀事件,包括黎巴嫩前总理拉菲克?哈里里 (Rafik Hariri)在内共有 61 人被害,494 人受伤。这些事件使黎巴嫩 陷入痛苦之中。尽管联合国成立了黎巴嫩问题特别法庭,但尚未开庭 或指控任何人对上述罪行负责。即将到来的开庭审判不仅可能引燃黎 巴嫩国内的火药桶,而且还可能将教派冲突扩散到整个中东地区,对 本地区最大的一对冤家——伊朗和美国的关系火上浇油。如果黎巴嫩 内战再次爆发,以色列和叙利亚也很有可能再次介入,如此将导致目 前的中东和平进程发生逆行,滑向另一场中东战争。

Few foresaw this when the UN Security Council ordered an investigation into the car-bombing of February 2005 in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, when Mr Hariri, a billionaire Sunni who was seeking his sixth turn at

running the government, was assassinated along with 22 others. That sparked a furious popular backlash, prompting the exit of Syrian troops who had lingered, increasingly unwanted, to enforce peace after Lebanon‘s civil war of 1975-90. Then followed the electoral triumph of Mr Hariri‘s pro-Western coalition, known as the March 14th alliance, after the date of a big anti-Syrian demonstration. Many Lebanese, as well as the UN‘s first investigating team, assumed that Syria had arranged Mr Hariri‘s murder, and expected the case‘s swift resolution.

2005 年 2 月在黎巴嫩首都贝鲁特发生了一起汽车炸弹爆炸事件, 当时 伊斯兰逊尼派的亿万富翁哈里里正在寻求第六次就任黎巴嫩总理一 职, 在这起暗杀中哈里里与其他 22 人一同遇难。 当联合国安理会下令 对这起事件进行调查时,没有任何人预见到其后果会如何。这一事件 引发了公众愤怒的反应,促使了叙利亚的撤军行动。黎巴嫩于 1975 至 1990 年间爆发了内战, 叙利亚随后派出了这支维和部队, 这支部队 尽管愈来愈不受欢迎,但之前一直赖着不走。接着,在随后进行的一 场大规模反叙利亚示威游行后,哈里里的亲西方盟友,所谓的―3?14 联盟‖获得了选战的胜利。 许多黎巴嫩人以及联合国派出调查此案的第 一个调查团都认为是叙利亚策划了哈里里的谋杀案,并预期此案能够 得到迅速解决。

It was not to be. Over the next three years sporadic bombings and

shootings targeted prominent backers of the March 14th alliance, Christian areas, and Lebanese officers involved in the investigation. Even as the investigators‘ brief widened to include these later attacks, their credibility fell when it emerged that key witnesses implicating Syria had apparently made up their testimony.

但这是不可能的。在随后的三年内又陆续出现了几起针对―3?14 联盟‖ 支持者中有影响力的人士、基督教派系人士及参与调查此案的黎巴嫩 官员的爆炸和枪击事件。正当调查人员们将调查范围扩大到后来的这 些袭击事件时,人们对调查小组的信任却下降了。因为此时关键证人 暗示叙利亚显然是编造了证词。

Meanwhile, March 14th‘s pro-Syrian adversaries, led by Hizbullah, the Lebanese Shia party-cum-militia which emerged strengthened from a war with Israel in July 2006, mounted a tenacious and effective campaign to challenge the pro-Western faction. This culminated in an invasion of central Beirut in May 2008 by Hizbullah gunmen that forced March 14th to accept a power-sharing deal. Hizbullah and its allies thereby secured a veto over government decisions but at the cost of deepening the bitter schism that now largely pits Lebanon‘s Sunnis and Shias, each with nearly one-third of the population, against each other, and splits the third who are Christian into sparring factions backing one side or another.

此时,―3?14 联盟‖的对手,由真主党领导的亲叙利亚的黎巴嫩什叶派 政党暨民兵组织通过 2006 年 7 月与以色列的一场战争而强大起来, 他 们展开了一场挑战亲西方派别的顽强而有效的运动。这场夺权运动的 高潮出现在 2008 年 5 月, 真主党武装人员闯入贝鲁特市中心, 用武力 迫使―3?14 联盟‖接受一项权力分享协议。真主党及其盟友从而获得了 对政府所作决定的否决权,但其代价是加深了教派的分裂,使黎巴嫩 的逊尼派和什叶派间的深沟难以与逾越。这两个派系各占有黎巴嫩近 1/3 的人口,双方水火不相容,并使黎巴嫩另 1/3 信仰基督教的人口也 分裂成两派,他们支持伊斯兰派系的一方或另一方,争吵不休。

Since then, as the tribunal‘s work has dragged on, many Lebanese have grown weary of the whole process. Lately, this weariness has turned to alarm. The court is expected to issue an indictment soon. Leaks strongly suggest it will not accuse Syria but rather senior officers of Hizbullah itself. The implications of such a charge are explosive. The party has long exalted its role as a heroic protector of Lebanon, justifying its impressive arsenal on the grounds, however implausible to outsiders, that its weapons are trained solely on Israeli invaders and not fellow Lebanese.

自那以后,随着特别法庭的开庭审判一拖再拖,许多黎巴嫩人已经对 整个过程感到了厌倦。最近,这种厌倦的情绪变得让人吃惊。预计该

法庭很快就会签发一项起诉书。据透漏出的消息,这份起诉书很可能 不会指控叙利亚,而将指控真主党高级官员为暗杀事件的主谋。这样 一份起诉书将产生爆炸性的后果。真主党长期以来一直自封为的黎巴 嫩英勇的保护者,将之作为维持其庞大武装的冠冕堂皇的理由,但外 人难以相信其枪口只是对准以色列侵略者而不是黎巴嫩同胞的说法。

Along with Hizbullah‘s devoted followers, many non-Shias readily accept such arguments. But should Hizbullah be proven to have mounted a systematic campaign of extermination against Sunni Muslim and Christian political opponents in Lebanon, the party‘s reputation would be severely damaged, along with that of its main backer, Iran, whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, made a recent festively triumphant visit to Lebanon.

与真主党的忠实追随者一道,许多非什叶派黎巴嫩人也准备接受这种 说法。真主党策划了针对黎巴嫩逊尼派穆斯林及基督教政治对手的系 统消灭行动一旦获得证实,该党连同其主要后台——伊朗的声望都将 受到严重损害。伊朗总统内贾德最近刚刚结束了黎巴嫩节日一般喜气 洋洋的访问。

Mr Hariri‘s son Saad, who now leads March 14th as Lebanon‘s prime minister, has quietly reassured Hizbullah that he would publicly insist that

any of its members implicated in the killings would be considered merely rogue actors. Conveniently also, the man most widely believed to have orchestrated the killings is dead. Imad Mughniyeh, well known since being implicated in bombings and hostage-takings during Lebanon‘s civil war, headed Hizbullah‘s special operations forces, and was a key link to Iran‘s Revolutionary Guard before his unexplained assassination in Damascus in February 2008. Curiously, the killings in Lebanon stopped abruptly at the same time.

哈里里的儿子萨阿德现在是―3?14 联盟‖的领导人,也是黎巴嫩现任总 理,他私下向真主党保证他将公开坚持其观点,即任何与这起暗杀事 件有牵连的真主党成员都将被视为仅仅是制造了一起无赖行为。更便 当的是,人们普遍认为是精心策划了这起暗杀事件的人已经死了。伊 迈德?穆尼耶(Imad Mughniyeh)是真主党特种作战部队的首脑,也是 真主党同伊朗革命卫队保持联系的一个关键人物,他以黎巴嫩内战期 间制造了一系列爆炸和劫持人质事件而臭名昭著, 2008 年 2 月他在发 生在大马士革的一场难以解释的暗杀中身亡。令人奇怪的是,同一时 间内黎巴嫩的暗杀事件突然停止了。

But Hizbullah, apparently confident in its strength, rejects any suggestion of its involvement. Instead, its leaders have attacked the tribunal with growing vigour, accusing it of being an American tool and of ignoring

purported evidence of Israel‘s hand in the killings. In Beirut last month party loyalists posing as a pack of angry veiled women scratched, punched and bit members of a team from the UN investigation in southern Beirut. Hizbullah leaders followed this staged provocation with denunciations of the UN‘s supposed affront to the virtue of Lebanese womanhood, declaring that henceforth any co-operation with the tribunal would be equated to collaboration with the ―Zionist enemy‖.

真主党显然是对自身实力信心满满,拒绝接受任何它参与了谋杀的指 控。相反,其领导人攻击特别法庭的调门不断升高,指责该法庭为美 国的工具,对传说中以色列制造了这起谋杀的证据不予采信。上个月 在贝鲁特,一群真主党的支持者扮成蒙着面纱的愤怒妇女,对来自贝 鲁特南部的联合国调查人员是又挠又咬又打。真主党领导人在这起挑 衅事件后谴责联合国调查人员冒犯了黎巴嫩妇女的高贵操守,声称今 后任何与特别法庭的合作行为都将被视为与―犹太复国主义敌人‖同流 合污。

The party‘s allies have made a noisy issue of the initial false testimony cited by investigators and long since discarded, in an effort to discredit the entire judicial process. More ominously, voices sympathetic to Hizbullah whisper that its militia, widely seen as far tougher than Lebanon‘s ill-equipped conscript army, is ready to take swift control of ports, borders

and main cities. Such a move might well provoke Israeli generals, whose itch to tame the Shia party is as intense as it was when they launched their fierce but inconclusive war in 2006, after a spat between Hizbullah and an Israeli border patrol.

真主党的盟友们抓住调查人员最初采信了伪证的问题小题大做,闹得 沸沸扬扬。其实这个伪证被废弃已久,他们这样做的目的无非是千方 百计想抹黑整个司法调查过程。更严重的是,真主党的同情者们透漏 说,真主党民兵武装正在准备采取行动以迅速控制黎巴嫩的港口、边 境和主要城市。真主党民兵武装的实力远远超过黎巴嫩装备低劣的正 规军,这已经成了人们的普遍看法。此举很可能会激怒以色列的将军 们,他们对驯服什叶派武装的冲动与发动 2006 年那场战争时同样强 烈。 那场战争的起因是真主党武装与以色列边境巡逻队间出现的摩擦。 战争的过程非常惨烈,但无果而终。

In Lebanon‘s polarised landscape Hizbullah‘s large core of loyalists is unlikely to be shaken, even by firm evidence of the party‘s involvement in the killing of Mr Hariri and others. Some of its allies, however, especially in the Christian camp, may prove less immune to repulsion. For such a small country, even one with such a violent past, 555 dead and wounded is a big number. Lebanese nerves are jangling.

在黎巴嫩泾渭分明的政治版图中,即使有明确的证据证实真主党卷入 了暗杀哈里里和其他人的行动,真主党的大批核心支持者也不太可能 出现动摇。然而真主党的一些盟友,尤其是基督教派营垒中的盟友, 也许会因此而出现离心的倾向。对于黎巴嫩这样一个小国,即使过去 暴力事件不断,555 人的死伤也绝对不是一个小数目。这件事正在刺 激着黎巴嫩人的神经。

Pros clicking at war An American firm wants to turn computer games into a global spectator sport

电脑游戏 职业选手的鼠标大战 一家美国公司试图将电脑游戏变成世界级的观赏性体育项目

Oct 28th 2010

Arriving for a big e-sports match 参加电竞大赛

THE first round is over and 32 of the world‘s best professional

computer-game players are through to the next stage of the Global Starcraft 2 League being played in Seoul, South Korea. Over the next two weeks the players, including the reigning champion, Kim Won-ki (better known by his online moniker ―FruitDealer‖), will marshal their armies, ponder their strategies and crush their foes. The finalists will play in front of an audience of thousands (and hundreds of thousands more online) for an $87,000 first prize and the respect due the best Starcraft 2 player on the planet.

第一轮比赛硝烟落定, 世界上最优秀的 32 名职业电脑游戏选手登上了 新的舞台,参加在韩国首尔举行的星际争霸 2 世界联赛。卫冕冠军金 宏基 (大家更熟悉他在线上使用的 ID―水果贩子‖) 也在这批选手当中。 在接下来的两周时间里,他们将运筹帷幄,挥师征战,直指敌酋。进 入决赛的选手将在数千名观众(以及数以十万计的在线观众)面前争 夺 8.7 万美元的奖金,以及全世界最好的星际 2 选手这一头衔。

This is e-sports, or professional computer-gaming, at its highest level. Just like football or baseball, computer games can be played competitively and in front of paying spectators. South Korea, where the original Starcraft game was released in 1998, is the spiritual home of e-sports.


球一样,电脑游戏也成了一项具有竞赛性质的运动,可以吸引付费的 观众。1998 年,星际争霸在韩国首发,从那之后,韩国成了电子竞技 精神上的故乡。

South Korean fans watch games broadcast on cable television and the players are celebrities. Teams flush with sponsorship money pay stars salaries on top of their prize money. (One player, Lee Yoon-Yeol, aka ―Nada‖, is rumoured to earn around $200,000 a year; a journeyman player might make $20,000). Now Activision Blizzard, the California-based company that developed the Starcraft games, is keen to spread the popularity of e-sports in the West.

韩国的电竞爱好者通过有线电视观看比赛,电竞选手也都成了名人。 战队通过赞助商筹集资金,再按照获得的奖金为明星玩家发薪水。据 称,绰号 Nada 的选手李云龙每年大约能赚 20 万美元,而一位新人选 手也差不多能拿 2 万美元左右。星际争霸的开发者,总部位于加州的 动视-暴雪公司正致力于在西方提升电子竞争的流行度。

Will it work? Professional computer-gaming in the West has been around for several years, with outfits like the Electronic Sports League in Europe and Major League Gaming in America. But it has never taken off to the extent that it has in South Korea. Activision Blizzard thinks that will

change as faster broadband makes it easier to broadcast games over the internet. The company designed Starcraft 2 with spectators in mind and has flown famous Korean players to America to play an exhibition match. GomTV, the Korean firm that runs the league, is providing English commentary on games and it has opened the tournament to any non-Korean player that can manage to qualify.

这种努力是否能够获得成果?职业电子竞争在西方也已经开展了不少 年头了, 在欧洲有电子体育联赛 (ESL) 美国则有游戏大联盟 , (MLG) , 然而其发展程度始终没有达到韩国的水平。动视-暴雪认为,随着宽频 网络的发展,在网络上转播比赛会变得更加容易,这种局面也会随之 改变。在星际争霸 2 的设计中,公司始终以竞技性为核心理念,还邀 请韩国选手到美国打了一场表演赛。韩国方面负责运营这次表演赛的 GomTV 公司提供了英文解说,并表示支持所有非韩国选手参加预选 赛。

Advertisers are attracted by the ability of e-sports to target an audience with plenty of spending money; Sony Ericsson is sponsoring the tournament in Seoul. The average American gamer is in his 30s and well-educated. With sponsorship comes the money necessary to attract players to pursue computer gaming as a career, says Sean Plott (better known as ―Day[9]‖), an American player-turned-commentator. Intel

recently sponsored a European tournament with a $15,000 prize pool. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to exporting e-sports to the West is a lingering belief that playing computer games is not a proper job—an idea that would no doubt sound familiar to pioneers of professional sports from tennis to snooker.

由于电子竞技面向的观众具有相当的消费能力, 广告商也非常感兴趣。 索尼-爱丽信赞助了在首尔举行的比赛。 美国的游戏玩家平均年龄都在 30 岁以上,且受过良好的教育。Sean Plott(即著名选手 Day[9])曾经 是一名电竞选手,现在改行做了解说员。他表示随着赞助商的加入, 电子竞技会有更多的资金来源,也会鼓励电脑游戏的玩家将电子竞技 作为自己的职业。因特尔最近就为一项欧洲电竞赛事提供了 15000 美 元赞助作为资金。也许将电子竞技引入西方国家的最大障碍,是人们 仍然认为玩电脑游戏并不能算一份真正的工作。这种想法听起来并不 陌生,在网球和斯诺克这些职业体育的发展过程中,其行业先锋无疑 也听到过类似的声音。

Silver lining 银光闪闪 Gold's poor relation is on a winning streak 黄金的穷二弟阔起来了 Sep 30th 2010

AT THE first Olympic games of the modern era in 1896, winners were awarded silver medals. Since then the metal has had to get used to second-class status. But for some time now silver prices have been outpacing those of gold (see chart), its flashier neighbour on the periodic table. On September 29th silver exceeded $22 an ounce, a price not seen since 1980 when the Hunt brothers, a pair of Texan oil barons, unwisely attempted to corner the market. Then silver spiked as high as $50 an ounce before the strategy unravelled, sending the price crashing and the Hunts back to the oil business. 在 1896 年第一届现代奥运会上, 冠军获得的奖牌是银质的。 从那以后, 白银便沦为了老二的象征。不过,近来银价上扬之速已超过黄金(见 图,银价一直压着它在元素周期表上的光鲜邻居一头) 月 29 日, 。9 银价突破 22 美元/盎司。 上一次白银达到如此高度还要追溯到 1980 年, 当时德州石油大亨亨特兄弟(Hunt brothers)妄图操纵银市,使银价 一度站上了 50 美元/盎司。接着,他们的如意算盘破产,银价随之崩 盘,兄弟俩只能回去继续做石油生意。

The explanation for the steady rise of silver this time round is less dramatic. But high prices have a better chance of enduring. For investors, silver and gold have much of the same allure. The combination of a weak dollar, low interest rates and economic uncertainty that has convinced

some to buy gold and pushed its price up to around $1,300 an ounce has also encouraged them to put their money into other likely-looking stores of value. Silver not only offers investors diversity but it is also supported by real industrial demand. 此次银价稳步上升背后的就没有如此精彩的故事了。但此次银价高企 可能会持续更长时间。对投资者而言,白银与黄金吸引力相当。弱势 美元、低利率以及经济不确定性促使人们大笔购入黄金,将金价推上 1300 美元/盎司;也促使他们把钱投向与黄金相似的价值储藏物。白 银不但可以为投资者提供多元化之选,而且其价格还受到真实产业需 求的支持。

Whereas around 25-30% of gold is bought by investors, only about a tenth of global silver production goes the same way. Roughly half the world‘s silver goes to industrial users (the balance is accounted for by jewellery and other silverware), although their identity has undergone a huge shift over the past decade. 大约 25~30%的黄金是由投资者购买的,而白银的这一比例只有大约 10%。 大约有一半的白银被用于工业用途 (其余则被制成首饰和银器) , 不过数十年来用途不尽相同。

Old-fashioned film for cameras required mountains of silver. According to Merrill Lynch, an investment bank, photographic demand for silver has

fallen by more than 60% in the past decade. Even in 2004, when the popularity of digital cameras was already well established, the photographic industry consumed 5,600 tonnes of silver, a fifth of total production. That compares with just 9% in 2009. 老式胶片需要大量使用白银。据投资银行美林公司的数据,过去十年 摄影业的白银需求量下降了六成以上。 2004 年数码相机已开始流行 在 时, 摄影业年白银消费量仍高达 5 600 吨, 相当于产量的二成。 2009 到 年已下降到 9%。

New uses for the metal plugged the gap left by film. Silver is widely used in electronics, whether in buttons for TVs, in membrane switches in computer keyboards or as a coating for CDs and DVDs. But the great hope for silver is the solar-power industry. Photovoltaic cells, the technology used in 70% of solar panels, contain silver. Although other technologies that do not use silver are on the rise, heavy government subsidies are forecast to help keep the solar industry growing. 新用途填补了胶片需求萎缩留下的空白。白银被广泛用于电子器件, 包括电视按钮、计算机键盘薄膜开关以及 CD 和 DVD 碟片涂层。但 白银的未来需求主要存在于太阳能产业。70%的太阳能面板使用含银 的光伏电池。尽管不使用白银的技术正在不断发展,但政府的大幅补 贴预计仍将助太阳能产业蓬勃发展。

Demand for silver is likely to keep rising in developing countries in particular: China, which used to export the metal, now imports it. The same cannot be said for supply. As Michael Lewis of Deutsche Bank points out, three-quarters of the world‘s supply comes as a by-product from copper, lead and zinc mines. So ramping up production is difficult. Total supplies of the metal in 2009, at 27,650 tonnes, were barely higher than in 2004. Athletes of the future may not feel quite so bad about taking home a silver medal. 发展中国家对白银的需求可能持续上升。特别是中国,已由白银出口 国变为进口国。 供给方的情形则非如此。 德意志银行的迈克尔?刘易斯 (Michael Lewis)指出,白银供给中有 75%是铜、铅和锌矿开采过程 中的副产品。因此大举增加产量并不容易。2009 年,白银总供给量为 27 650 吨, 只比 2004 年略高。 或许未来运动员拿块银牌回家也不会感 到多沮丧了。

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Ambac's fall

Ambac 倒闭

And then there was one 已成过去

The bond-insurance industry struggles for survival


Nov 4th 2010

AMERICA‘S municipal-bond market is worth around $2.8 trillion. But ―monoline‖ insurers, which insure municipal bonds issued by American cities and counties, are barely breathing. On November 1st the industry edged closer to extinction when one of the largest bond insurers, Ambac, announced that it would skip an interest payment. The company could file for bankruptcy by the end of the month.

美国的市政债券市场市值约为 2.8 万亿。但为美国市县所发市政债券 提供保险的单一险种保险公司只能苟延残喘。11 月 1 日,当最大的债 券保险公司之一 Ambac 宣布停付一期利息时, 这个行业离灰飞烟灭又 近了一点。该公司月底前可能申请破产。

It didn‘t need an oracle to predict Ambac‘s demise. Earlier this year a state regulator siphoned off some of Ambac‘s most toxic assets and put them into ―rehabilitation‖. Ambac has over $1.6 billion in debt, but only $76m in cash and short-term securities. One of its most coveted assets is its $7 billion ―net operating loss tax carry forward‖, which could translate into $2.5 billion in tax savings if it ever manages to turn a profit. Rob Haines of CreditSights, a research firm, does not think it will: ―Ambac is a dying company with a finite life.‖

预测 Ambac 的破产并非难事。今年早些时候,一家州监管机构抽取 Ambac 的一些最为不良的资产,将它们投入―改造‖。Ambac 欠下超过 16 亿美元的债务,但只有 7.6 千万的现金和短期证券。该公司最遭人 觊觎的资产之一是其 70 亿美元的―净营业损失免税金额‖, 如果该公司 有机会盈利, 该免税金额可转换成 25 亿美元的节税金额。 CreditSights 研究公司的罗布?海恩斯 (Rob Haines) 认为 Ambac 不会盈利: ―Ambac 时日无多了。‖

The prospects for other monoline insurers look equally bleak. The industry got going in the 1970s and at first provided insurance only for municipal-bond issuers, which rarely defaulted. Over the past decade, however, the industry has branched out into structured products, such as

risky mortgage-backed securities and collateralised-debt obligations. Big mistake. When subprime mortgages soured, bond insurers such as Ambac and MBIA, another embattled monoline, were on the hook to pay up. Their credit ratings dropped, which meant issuers were less willing to buy insurance from them.

其他单一险种保险公司的前景看来一样惨淡。这个行业始于 20 世纪 70 年代, 起出只为很少违约的市政债券发行人提供保险。 但过去十年, 这个行业涉足结构化产品,如高风险的按揭贷款支持证券和抵押债务 债券。大错特错。当次级房贷恶化时,Ambac 和 MBIA(另一家处境 艰难的单一险种保险公司)等债券保险公司拖延偿还欠款。它们的信 用等级下降,意味着发行人更不愿意向它们买保险。

In 2005 bond insurers covered around 57% of new bond issuance, but now they cover a mere 7% or so. Only one monoline remains active: Assured Guaranty, which sat out most of the structured stampede. All its pre-crisis peers are either being restructured, face litigation or are out of business. Even Warren Buffett, who entered the bond-insurance market in 2008, has pulled back. ―We‘re like an only child,‖ says Dominic Frederico, the boss of Assured Guaranty. ―We don‘t have anybody to play with but all the toys are ours.‖ Still, life isn‘t all fun and games. Standard & Poor‘s, a ratings agency, last month stripped the firm of its AAA rating.

2005 年,债券保险公司覆盖了大约 57%的新债券保险,但现在它们仅 覆盖大约 7%。只有一家单一险种保险公司仍有活力:对结构化浪潮 浅尝辄止的 Assured Guaranty。它在危机之前的所有同行要么正在重 组,要么面临诉讼,要么破产。即使是 2008 年进入债券保险市场的沃 伦?巴菲特(Warren Buffett)也撤出。―我们就像独生子,‖ Assured Guaranty 的老板多米尼克?弗雷德里克(Dominic Frederico)说,―我们 没有玩伴, 但所有玩具都是我们的。 ‖然而, 生活并非只有欢乐与游戏。 评级机构标准普尔上月剥夺了该企业的 AAA 等级。

Some still believe there is hope for the industry. The National League of Cities, a non-profit organisation, thinks there should be a mutual insurance company owned and operated by local governments. But monolines will have to embrace a new model to succeed. Stanislas Rouyer of Moody‘s, another ratings agency, says monolines need to emphasise that they provide not just insurance but also monitoring and surveillance capabilities. This would enable them to sell their wares directly to retail investors, who account for 36% of the buyer base for municipal bonds.

一些人仍然认为这个行业还有希望。非营利组织全国城市联盟 (National League of Cities) 认为应有一家由地方政府拥有和运营的互 助保险公司。但单一险种保险公司将不得不采用新模式以求成功。另

一家评级机构穆迪公司(Moody‘s)的斯丹尼斯拉斯?劳耶尔(Stanislas Rouyer)表示单一险种保险公司需要强调它们不仅提供保险,而且具 备监控和监督的能力。这样做将使它们能够直接向占市政债券买家基 数 36%的散户销售产品。

There are other hurdles to jump first. The shaky finances of some municipalities could put what‘s left of the industry to another huge test. Fragile issuers and nervous investors ought to be a boon to insurers. But mass defaults by cities and counties could be the final blow for Assured Guaranty and its zombie peers.

还有其他障碍尚需先行跨越。一些市政府不稳固的财务状况可能使这 个行业剩下的公司面临另一个巨大的考验。脆弱的发行人和紧张的投 资者应该对保险公司有所裨益。但市县大量违约可能成为 Assured Guaranty 及其毫无活力的同行的致命一击。

Finance and Economics 财经

Oracle v SAP Oracle 对阵 SAP

Maintaining fees 捍卫维护费

A lawsuit against SAP is about more than illegal downloads 针对 SAP 的讼案不仅仅与非法下载有关

Nov 4th 2010

SOMETIMES a tackle says much about a match and even the entire season. This is the case with a trial that opened on November 1st, pitting the world‘s two biggest makers of corporate software, Oracle and SAP, against each other. The dispute goes back to SAP‘s purchase in 2005 of TomorrowNow, which provided maintenance services for some of Oracle‘s software. Its aim was to poach customers. But in 2007 Oracle sued SAP, alleging that TomorrowNow had made illegal downloads from its website. 有时,一次阻截抢断就足以说明一场球赛甚或整个赛季。11 月 1 日开 庭、 挑起全球最大两家企业软件商 Oracle 与 SAP 相互火拼的讼案, 就 属于这种情况。 这场争论要追溯至 2005 年 SAP 收购 TomorrowNow 一 事,后者为某些 Oracle 软件提供维护服务,意在挖走顾客。不过 2007 年 Oracle 起诉 SAP,声称 TomorrowNow 从其网站非法下载。

SAP has since admitted that TomorrowNow had done wrong and closed it down. It will not even contest allegations that it was aware of the copyright infringement and has reportedly agreed to pay $120m in legal fees to Oracle. This essentially leaves only two questions open: the damages—SAP thinks $40m is enough; Oracle wants about $2 billion—and whether Léo Apotheker, SAP‘s former boss and now head of Hewlett-Packard (HP), will appear in court. SAP 自那时起就承认 TomorrowNow 行为失当,并关闭了该公司。而 面对 Oracle 指控自个对版权侵害心知肚明一说,SAP 甚至不会辩解。 并且,据说其同意向 Oracle 支付 1.2 亿美元的诉讼费。这实质上只留 下了两个问题悬而未决。一是 Oracle 的损失,SAP 认为 4000 万美元 足够了,而 Oracle 想要约 20 亿美元;二是 Lé Apotheker 这位 SAP o 前老板、HP 现领袖,是否会出庭。

As a result, it will be up to another trial to answer the underlying question: what are the rules for third-party maintenance? In January Oracle sued another maintenance firm, Rimini Street. It has since countersued, accusing Oracle of anticompetitive behaviour. 因此,SAP 将面临另一场讯问,要回答如下问题:第三方维护的规则 是什么?今年 1 月,Oracle 起诉了另一家软件维护公司 Rimini Street。 该公司那时就提起反诉,指控 Oracle 的反竞争行为。

The issue is the same as with independent car-repair shops: what access to the intellectual property of the original vendor should they have? If the court favours Rimini Street and others, their business could take off. A growing number of firms are thinking about defecting from Oracle and SAP, even though they would no longer get regular updates. They are happy with their existing applications and could cut their maintenance costs in half. 这个问题跟独立汽修店面临的问题是一样的:这些店铺应通过何种途 径获得创始者的知识产权?若法庭站到 Rimini Street 及其他企业一 边, 这些企业就将蓬勃发展。 越来越多企业正考虑背弃 Oracle 与 SAP, 即便不再获得定期升级。 它们满意现有应用, 可能会削减一半维护费。

If many customers jump ship, this would weigh heavily on the results of Oracle and SAP. Maintenance fees, usually 22% of a program‘s price per year, have become a bigger part of firms‘ technology budgets and of software vendors‘ income. For both firms, maintenance generates twice as much revenue as software sales—and all of the profits. 若众多用户掉头离去, 将会极大影响 Oracle 跟 SAP 的业绩。 维护费通 常占一个程序年费的 22%,已成为企业科研预算及软件销售收入的大 部分来源。 Oracle 与 SAP 两家公司而言, 对 维护费是软件销售收入的 两倍,也是全部利润。

Yet if the TomorrowNow trial has attracted so much attention, it is also because of a new epic rivalry in the industry. It started when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems last year, becoming a direct rival to HP. Things got worse in September when Oracle hired HP‘s ex-boss, Mark Hurd, who had been pushed out the previous month. The relationship became downright hostile when HP then appointed Mr Apotheker as successor and installed as chairman, of all people, Ray Lane, who left Oracle in 2000 after falling out with its flamboyant boss, Larry Ellison. 然而,倘若 TomorrowNow 一案吸引了如此多关注,也是因为该行业 产 生 了 新 一 轮 重 大 对 抗 。 这 种 对 抗 始 于 去 年 Oracle 收 购 Sun Microsystems 时,这场收购变成了一场直接针对 HP 的竞争。今年 9 月,情况变糟了,当时 Oracle 雇佣了 HP 前老板 Mark Hurd,而他上 个月刚被 HP 炒了鱿鱼。HP 接着任命 Apotheker 先生充当继任者,安 排 Ray Lane 担任董事长,而偏偏就是此人 2000 年与 Oracle 趾高气扬 的老板 Larry Ellison 大吵一场后,离开了 Oracle。因而此时,两家公 司间的关系变得彻头彻尾充满敌意。

Mr Ellison, who has shown restraint in recent years, has since rediscovered his previous more belligerent form. He compared HP‘s board to ―idiots‖ when they forced Mr Hurd out. He spoke of ―madness‖ after Mr Apotheker‘s appointment. Later he accused HP‘s new boss, who started his new job on the first day of the trial, of having ―overseen an

industrial-espionage scheme‖. Ellison 先生最近几年表现克制,但从那时起,他又找回了从前更好斗 的模样。当 HP 董事会逼迫 Hurd 先生离开时,他将其比作―白痴‖。在 HP 任命 Apotheker 先生后,他说这是―蠢事‖。后来,他指责 HP 新老 板(此案开庭首日他走马上任)正―监管一项工业间谍活动计划‖。

All this has entertainment value. And it may impress Wall Street. But it is unlikely to make firms buy more of Oracle‘s products. Nor will it do anything to counter the growing anger among customers of Oracle (and of SAP, for that matter) over how much they pay in maintenance fees, with so little in return. 这一切充满了娱乐价值,并会让华尔街印象深刻,却不大可能让企业 购买更多的 Oracle 产品。而 Oracle 用户(就此事而言,SAP 的用户同 样)日益愤怒:他们付出了这么多维护费,回报却如此之少。要平息 他们的怒气,这一切也毫无用处。 Transparency International 透明国际

Murk meter 阴暗量表

The best-known corruption index may have run its course


Oct 28th 2010 | BERLIN

CORRUPTION takes many forms; in some countries it is blatant, in others it is barely visible. So the idea that it can quantified on a simple scale is appealing; it gives the impression that an elusive aspect of behaviour can be pinned down.

腐败形式五花八门:它在某些国家明目张胆地存在,而在其他国家则 几乎深藏不露。因此,以一个简单的尺度对其加以量化的想法颇具吸 引力。这给人留下一种印象:一种难以捉摸的行为也可被清晰界定。

No wonder, then, that the annual corruption perceptions index (CPI), which orders countries according to the perceived degree of graft, is closely watched. But when its compilers—Transparency International (TI), an organisation based in Berlin—released their 16th annual ranking on October 26th, there was criticism as well as curiosity.

于是,也难怪按被察觉到的贪腐程度对国家进行排序的年度腐败认知 指数(CPI)会受到密切关注了。不过当其编纂者(位于柏林的透明国际 组织)在 10 月 26 日发布第 16 份年度排名时,既引发了好奇,也招至


To be sure, TI has done a lot for the anti-corruption cause. The group has had an ―enormous impact‖, says Richard Boucher, a deputy

secretary-general at the OECD, a rich-country club. The CPI was the first index comparing corruption globally.

透明国际无疑已为反腐事业做出许多努力。富裕国家俱乐部——经合 组织的副秘书长理查德?鲍彻(Richard Boucher)称透明国际已拥有 ―巨 大的影响力‖。 腐败认知指数是第一个在全球层面上对腐败程度进行比 较的指数。

But it has always been controversial. As might be expected, early complaints came from poor places which felt they were being singled out by an organisation that reflected the ethos of wealthy countries.

不过这一指数始终存有争议。正如你可能预料的那样,早期的抱怨来 自于贫困地区,这些地区感到自己受到了一个反映富裕国家精神特质 的组织的区别对待。

Now there are more subtle critiques, too. Some people take issue, for example, with the methodology based on 13 surveys of experts and

business people. Its precise working varies from country to country, and it has changed over time—so that year-on-year comparisons can be misleading.

如今也出现了更为精巧的批评。 例如, 某些人士反对指数的计算方法, 该方法以 13 项针对专家和商务人士的调查为基础。 在不同国家, 这种 方法的准确运作会有差异,而且它也会随时间变化而变化,因此同比 结果可能具有误导性。

The CPI highlights the general level of corruption, but offers little clue about which aspects are most serious, or how to fight it. Frustration has grown with the idea that ―a single number for a whole country is enough‖, says Nathaniel Heller of Global Integrity, an anti-corruption outfit.

腐败认知指数强调了腐败的整体水平,但却没有为哪些领域腐败最盛 或应如何打击腐败提供多少信息。反腐败组织——环球廉正(Global Integrity)的纳撒尼尔?海勒(Nathaniel Heller)表示,对于那种认为―就整 个国家而言,一个数据便足够了‖的想法,人们已产生受挫感。

The CPI ―has more than run its course‖, in the view of Claudio Weber Abramo, director of Transparê ncia Brasil, a former chapter that left the TI umbrella in 2007.

在 透 明 巴 西 (Transparê ncia Brasil) 主 席 克 劳 迪 奥 ? 韦 伯 ? 阿 布 拉 莫 (Claudio Weber Abramo)看来,腐败认知指数―已经过时‖。该组织曾是 透明国际组织网中的一个分支,但已于 2007 年退出。

TI is aware of the index‘s shortcomings. The CPI, it says, is ―an annual snapshot‖ with ―less of a focus on year-on-year trends‖. Yet the group stands by its ranking. ―We are comfortable we have an important tool—but it is only one tool‖, says Huguette Labelle, TI‘s chair.

透明国际明白指数所存有的缺陷。该组织指出,腐败认知指数是一种 ―较少聚焦于同比趋势‖的―年度快照‖。 不过该组织仍支持自己的排序。 透明国际主席胡吉特?拉贝勒(Huguette Labelle)表示: ―我们为自己拥有 一种重要工具而感到安心——不过这只是一种工具‖。

TI is far from a one-trick pony. It now focuses on boosting international accords and helping enforce them. At the local level, it also does much more than in the past. In some developing countries, legal advice centres help victims of corruption. Still, the CPI looms large, and the organisation faces a dilemma. The index gets a much-needed attention, but it overshadows other activities and exposes it to criticism. If TI had the courage to ditch its score-card, or at least publish it in a less misleading

form, its other work might fare better.

透明国际远非黔驴技穷之辈。目前,该组织正在关注推动国际协议并 助其实施。而在地区层面上,该组织的所作所为也比以往多上许多。 在一些发展中国家,法律咨询中心向腐败受害者伸出援手。不过,腐 败认知指数影响巨大,透明国际正面临着两难局面。这一指数既赢得 了其所急需的关注,却又盖住了其他活动的风头,并将自己推至风口 浪尖。如果透明国际有勇气抛弃这块记分牌,或者至少是以一种误导 性较小的方式加以发布的话,该组织其他工作的进展或许就将更加顺 利。

Broadband in America 美国宽带业

Come sooner, future 快来吧,未来

Verizon has paid dearly to build a fast network. Now it needs customers Verizon 公司付出了高昂代价建设高速网络。现在,它亟需用户

Oct 28th 2010




shirty about





second-biggest telecoms operator successfully complained to the Better Business Bureau that competitors had touted ―fibre-optic fast‖ to consumers, even though their broadband networks did not run fibre all the way to the home, as Verizon does. This is not just a techies‘ argument. By an order of magnitude, an all-fibre network is the fastest way to move information from one place to another on the internet and Verizon has the largest such network in America. The difficult bit is making money from it. Verizon 可能生―纤‖字的气。 因为这家美国第二大电信运营商向商业促 进局申诉成功,称其竞争者的宽带网即便并未如自己那般从头至尾光 纤延伸入户,却纷纷向消费者兜售―光纤高速‖。这并非只是愤愤之辞。 就数量级而言,全光网是互联网信息异地迁移速度最快的方式,而 Verizon 拥有美国最大的全光网。难点在于用它赚钱。

The company is betting that highbandwidth web services will create a huge demand for fast networks—and profits. But that is in the future. In Japan and South Korea, two other countries with fast networks, the government has subsidised the laying of new fibre. In America, which has

relied on private investment, Verizon is having to shoulder more of the risk. 该公司正打赌,高带宽网络业务将创造对高速网络的巨大需求,并产 生巨额利润。不过,这尚未到来。拥有高速网络的日韩两国,政府补 贴新光纤铺设。而在依赖私人投资的美国,Verizon 不得不承受更多风 险。

The reason why the company was so keen to build a fast network goes back to how America was wired originally. In the beginning there was copper wire, which telephone companies ran to almost every house. Then, in the 1980s, cable-television companies secured local monopolies to provide coaxial cable as well. 该公司热衷高速网络建设的原因,要追溯至美国当初如何布线。起初 是铜线,电话公司铺至几乎每家每户。接着,在上世纪八十年代,有 线电视公司获得了本地垄断权,也布设了同轴电缆。

At first the two networks had a fair fight, delivering the internet at about the same speed. No network, however, can run faster than the speed of its ―last mile‖, from the neighbourhood node to the house. This is the most expensive place to lay networks and the last mile of cable is faster than a copper wire. So the telephone companies would, eventually, be unable to deliver the internet as fast as their cable competitors.

最初,这两种网络公平竞争,互联网传输速度大致相同。然而,没有 网络能快过其―最后一英里‖(即从小区节点至用户家里那段)的速度。 这是网络布设造价最贵之处,而电缆最后一英里比铜线快。因此电话 公司也许最终,其互联网传输速度不能像有线竞争者那样快。

Verizon, formed in 2000 out of several regional telephone companies, decided to create a third network. Since 2004 it has strung optic fibre to 60% of the homes where it already had copper wires, mainly in Texas, California and on the East Coast. Verizon calls its new network ―FiOS‖. It cost about $23 billion to build and, according to Sanford Bernstein, an investment firm, contributed to the $32 billion debt of Verizon‘s wireline division. 2000 年成立、由几家区域电话公司组成的 Verizon,决定创建第三种 网络。2004 年来,光纤拉进了 60%已铺有铜线的家庭(主要在德克萨 斯、加利福尼亚及东海岸地区) 。Verizon 称其新网络为―FiOS‖。其建 设费约 230 亿美元,而据投资公司 Sanford Bernstein 的数据,这导致 Verizon 有线部门负债 320 亿美元。

To counter FiOS, the cable companies have run fibre to the neighbourhood node, from where the connection continues to the home through their

existing cable. This technology now reaches more than 70% of homes (see chart) and, unlike Verizon, the cable companies did not have to pay to replace the last mile. 为抗衡 FiOS,有线公司已将光纤延伸至小区节点,从这儿继续用其现 有电缆连接至用户家里。 该技术现抵达了超过 70%的家庭 (如图所示) , 且与 Verizon 不同,有线公司无须掏钱更换最后一英里网络。

Basic copper and cable internet access cannot run faster than about 5 megabits per second, which is just about fast enough to watch something on YouTube or for a video chat over Skype. But networks seldom run as fast as advertised. The cable networks upgraded with fibre can run at speeds in the hundreds of megabits per second, enough to handle most present-day applications and many in the immediate future, like high-definition video. Yet Verizon‘s network could leave these in the dust. In tests in Massachusetts its fibre network has run as fast as 10,000 megabits per second, and it could go faster. 基本的铜线及电缆互联网接入速度不超过 5Mbits/s,仅够看 YouTube 或 Skype 视频聊天。不过,网速鲜有宣传得那样快。光纤升级后的有 线网络,网速达几百兆每秒,足以应付现在的大部分应用,而在不远 的将来出现的许多应用,如高清视频,处理起来也绰绰有余。然而, Verizon 的网络将令上述网络望尘莫及,在马萨诸塞州进行的试验中, 其光纤网速高达 10Gbits/s,还能更快。

This puts Verizon in a tricky position. Its old copper network, still 40% of its customer base, is not fast enough but FiOS is faster than most consumers need. So the company is having to weather the transition to a time when faster networks become more important. On October 22nd Verizon said that its overall revenue, at $26.5 billion in the third quarter, was 2.9% down on the same period a year ago. Its mobile-phone division performed strongly, with revenue rising by 6%, to $16.3 billion. But its wireline business remained under pressure: revenue fell by 3.6% in the period and operating profit slumped by 90%. 这令 Verizon 处境棘手。仍有 40%客户基础的旧有铜线网速不够快, 但 FiOS 却快得超过了大部分用户所需。因此该公司现在不得不挨过 这一过渡期,直到高速网络日渐重要的那一天。10 月 22 日,Verizon 称今年第三季度总收入达 265 亿美元,较去年同期下降 2.9%。其移动 电话部门表现强劲,收入增加了 6%,达 163 亿美元。但其有线业务 仍面临压力:这一时期收入下跌 3.6%,营业利润大幅下滑 90%。

For now, Verizon has halted new investment in fibre while it tries to drum up more customers for FiOS. And for the long term it is trying to create demand for an even faster internet. Verizon has suggested that it be allowed to offer companies super-fast, premium access to its network while continuing to provide what it calls ―the open internet‖ to its

customers. Verizon sees its fast network supplying programmes to 100-inch television screens and providing 3-D online gaming. More speed-demanding video games are coming (see article). The company has also been discussing linking medical devices in hospitals and doctors‘ surgeries. It is building connections to intelligent power grids, which businesses and homes could use to reduce their energy bills. For Verizon, the future cannot come fast enough. 目前,Verizon 暂停往光纤上再投资,同时设法力争更多 FiOS 顾客。 而长期以来,它一直试图创造同样的高速互联网需求。Verizon 表明, 它应获准向企业提供高速、优惠的网络接入,同时继续向用户提供其 所称的―开放式互联网‖。 Verizon 考虑让其高速网络提供 100 英寸电视 屏幕节目及 3D 网络游戏。更多苛求速度的视频游戏正在涌现。该公 司也一直在谈论用高速网络连接医院医疗设备及医生手术室。它正构 建智能电网连接,企业及家庭用户可用其削减能源开销。对 Verizon 而言,未来来得还不够快。 Born digital 数码人生

National libraries start to preserve the web, but cannot save everything 各国的图书馆开始保存网站,但不能面面俱到 Oct 21st 2010

The library of the future

IN THE digital realm, things seem always to happen the wrong way round. Whereas Google has hurried to scan books into its digital catalogue, a group of national libraries has begun saving what the online giant leaves behind. For although search engines such as Google index the web, they do not archive it. Many websites just disappear when their owner runs out of money or interest. Adam Farquhar, in charge of digital projects for the British Library, points out that the world has in some ways a better record of the beginning of the 20th century than of the beginning of the 21st. 在数码界,出乎意料的事情屡见不鲜。当谷歌忙于将书籍扫描成数字 文档时,各国图书馆已经开始保存这个在线巨人漏掉的资料。尽管谷 歌这类搜索引擎提供网站的索引服务,但并没有把网站保存起来。很 多网站因其所有人缺乏资金或失去兴趣而昙花一现。Adam Farquhar 负责大英博物馆的数字项目, 他指出在某种程度上全世界对 20 世纪初 期的记录比 21 世纪初期的记录要好。

In 1996 Brewster Kahle, a computer scientist and internet entrepreneur, founded the Internet Archive, a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving websites. He also began gently harassing national libraries to worry about preserving the web. They started to pay attention when several elections produced interesting material that never touched paper.

在 1996 年, 一个名为 Brewster Kahle 的计算机科学家和因特网企业家, 成立了英特网档案室, 这是一个非营利性的组织, 致力于网站的保存。 他也开始委婉地敦促各国的图书馆关注保存网站的问题。几轮选举中 出现很多有意义材料,但从未以书面形式保留下来时,此时,各国图 书馆开始关注这一问题。

In 2003 eleven national libraries and the Internet Archive launched a project to preserve ―born-digital‖ information: the kind that has never existed as anything but digitally. Called the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC), it now includes 39 large institutional libraries. But the task is impossible. One reason is the sheer amount of data on the web. The groups have already collected several petabytes of data (a petabyte can hold roughly 10 trillion copies of this article). 2003 年, 家各国图书馆和因特网档案室启动一个保护数码信息的项 11 目: 此类信息没有以数码之外的任何其他形式存在过。 这个称为―国际 因特网保护联合体‖的项目,现有 39 家大型机构图书馆。但是这一任 务几乎无法完成。理由之一是网络上的数据量极其庞大。这些团体已 经收集了几拍(petabytes)的数据(一拍大约能装下 10 万亿篇本文) 。

Another issue is ensuring that the data is stored in a format that makes it available in centuries to come. Ancient manuscripts are still readable. But much digital media from the past is readable only on a handful of fragile

and antique machines, if at all. The IIPC has set a single format, making it more likely that future historians will be able to find a machine to read the data. But a single solution cannot capture all content. Web publishers increasingly serve up content-rich pages based on complex data sets. Audio and video programmes based on proprietary formats such as Windows Media Player are another challenge. What happens if Microsoft is bankrupt and forgotten in 2210? 另一个问题是如何确保现在储存数据的格式,在几个世纪之后依然存 在。古代的一些书稿人们到今天还能读。但是很多过去的数字媒体, 即使勉强能读,也仅限于为数不多的几台老掉牙的机器。国际因特网 保护联合体已经单独创立一种格式,让未来的历史学家更有可能找到 读取这些数据的机器。但一种解决方案不能抓取所有内容。网站发布 工具越来越多地按照数据的复杂程度提供内容丰富的网页。以各类专 有格式(如 windows media player)储存的音频和视频内容也是个大问 题。万一 2210 年微软破产或无人知晓怎么办?

The biggest problem, for now, is money. The British Library estimates that it costs half as much to store a digital document as it does a physical one. But there are a lot more digital ones. America‘s Library of Congress enjoys a specific mandate, and budget, to save the web. The British Library is still seeking one. 现在面临的最大问题是钱。大英博物馆估计储存数字文件的花费是储

存物理文件的一半。 但是数字内容要多很多。 美国国会图书馆很幸运, 因为国家有具体的保护网站的命令和预算。大英博物馆还在争取这种 命令。

So national libraries have decided to split the task. Each has taken responsibility for the digital works in its national top-level domain (web-address suffixes such as ―.uk‖ or ―.fr‖). In countries with larger domains, such as Britain and America, curators cannot hope to save everything. They are concentrating on material of national interest, such as elections, news sites and citizen journalism or innovative uses of the web. 因此,各国的图书馆决定共同完成这个任务。它们分别承担其顶级域 名内的数字作品 (如后缀为―.uk‖或―.fr‖的网址) 如果某些国家域名庞 。 大,如英国和美国,馆长们不要指望把什么都保存下来。他们需要重 点处理关系国计民生的材料,如选举、新闻网站和公民的报章杂志或 创意使用网站的方法。

The daily death of countless websites has brought a new sense of urgency—and forced libraries to adapt culturally as well. Past practice was to tag every new document as it arrived. Now precision must be sacrificed to scale and speed. The task started before standards, goals or budgets are set. And they may yet change. Just like many websites, libraries will be stuck in what is known as ―permanent beta‖.

每天,都有无数网站消失,更让人感到时间紧迫——图书馆也不得不 根据社会文化需要,灵活处理。过去习惯做法是凡是新文件,一一标 注保存。现在则必须牺牲准确性换取规模和速度。标准、目标或预算 都没确定,就开始工作了。而标准、任务、预算还可能变更。同很多 网站一样,图书馆也将陷入所谓―永久试用‖的境地。

译者注: 本文不长,语言相对简单,但要译出―韵味‖,还是不容易。我觉得有 几点需要大家尤其注意: 1. 大意的把握。两方面内容,保存什么?保存的是网站内容,

不是某个网页。谁来保存?各国的图书馆,这不是一个国家的图书馆 能做得了的工作。这两点弄不好,文中 web、national libraries 就不好 翻。 某些具体语句的把握。除了要翻出意思,还要翻出感情色彩。就拿开 头一句―things seem always to happen the wrong way round‖来说,有人 翻成―倒行逆施‖,这就说明译者没有理解中文的倒行逆施有―贬义‖, 用来形容某个不得人心、 逆历史潮流而动的做法等, 感情色彩很浓厚。 而本文则没有这种强烈的情绪, 因此, 我认为―出乎意料的事情屡见不 鲜‖、―事情的发展总是让人摸不透‖等比较贴切,看似―不准确‖,其实 意思出来了。

Virtual outsourcing 虚拟外包业

Mobile work 移动工作

A way to earn money by texting 发短信赚钱之法

Oct 28th 2010 | new york

Mobile worker 移动工作者

THE idea came to Nathan Eagle, a research scientist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, when he was doing a teaching stint in rural Kenya. He realised that, as three-quarters of the 4.6 billion mobile-phone users worldwide live in developing countries, a useful piece of technology is now being placed in the hands of a large number of

people who might be keen to use their devices to make some money. To help them do so, he came up with a service called txteagle which distributes small jobs via text messaging in return for small payments. 麻省理工学院研究员 Nathan Eagle 在肯尼亚乡下进行短期教学时,冒 出了这一念头。 他意识到, 全世界 46 亿手机用户有四分之三生活在发 展中国家,因而一项实用技术,此刻正掌握在大量或许渴望用自己手 机赚钱的人手中。为帮助他们那样做,Eagle 先生想出了一种叫做 txteagle 的业务,可以靠发文字短信分发零活来换取小额报酬。

Only 18% of people in the developing world have access to the internet, but more than 50% owned a mobile-phone handset at the end of 2009 (a number which has more than doubled since 2005), according to the International Telecommunication Union. One study shows that adding ten mobile phones per 100 people in a typical developing country boosts growth in GDP per person by 0.8 percentage points. 根据国际电信联盟的数据,2009 年底,发展中国家仅有 18%的人接入 了互联网, 却有超过一半的人拥有手机 (这一数据自 2005 年以来增加 了一倍以上) 。一项研究表明,在一个典型的发展中国家,每百人增加 十部手机,会使人均 GDP 提升 0.8 个百分点。











―crowdsourcing‖—breaking down jobs into small tasks and sending them

to lots of individuals. These jobs often involve local knowledge and range from things like checking what street signs say in rural Sudan for a satellite-navigation service to translating words into a Kenyan dialect for companies trying to spread their marketing. A woman living in rural Brazil or India may have limited access to work, adds Mr Eagle, ―but she can still use her mobile phone to collect local price and product data or even complete market-research surveys.‖ Payments are transferred to a user‘s phone by a mobile money service, such as the M-PESA system run by Safaricom in Africa, or by providing additional calling credit. Eagle 先生希望 txteagle 业务通过移动―众包‖(将工作拆分成零星任务 后派发给众多个体)有所贡献。这些工作通常牵涉本地知识,涵盖各 种事情,如为一种卫星导航业务核对种种路标在苏丹乡下表明什么, 为那些试图扩展市场的公司将文字翻译为肯尼亚土语。一位住在巴西 或印度乡下的妇女,或许工作机会有限,Eagle 先生补充道,―但她仍 能用自己的手机搜集当地价格及产品数据, 甚或完成市场调研。 ‖报酬 通过一种手机钱包业务(比如非洲 Safaricom 移动通信公司运营的 M-PESA 移动转账系统)转到用户手机上,或者打入额外的手机预付 费。

Working with over 220 mobile operators, txteagle is able to reach 2 billion subscribers in 80 countries. It already has the largest contract-labour force in Kenya and new ways of using it are being found all the time. Recently a

large media firm asked Mr Eagle for help in monitoring its television commercials across Africa. The company was concerned that, although it had paid for broadcasting rights, its ads could be replaced with others by local television companies. So txteagle pays locals to watch and then text notes about which ads are shown. ―I would never think of that myself,‖ says Mr Eagle. Which is why he is not sure just how big all these small text jobs could become. txteagle 业务与 220 多个移动运营商合作, 能到达 80 个国家的 20 亿订 户。 在肯尼亚已拥有了最大的包工力量, 新的使用方式一直层出不穷。 最近一家媒体巨头向 Eagle 先生求助,监视其在非洲全境的电视商业 广告。该公司担心,尽管其已为播映权掏了钱,但自个的广告却可能 被当地电视公司的广告替换。于是 txteagle 业务付钱给当地人观察哪 些广告播出了,然后用文字标注。Eagle 说,―我自己决不会想到这个 法子。 ‖他不确定所有这些零星的文字工作究竟会变成多大的力量, 而 这就是原因。The Big Mac index 巨无霸指数 An indigestible problem 难题 Why China needs more expensive burgers 为什么说中国的巨无霸太便 宜了 Oct 14th 2010 | Hong kong

A WEAK currency, despite its appeal to exporters and politicians, is no free lunch. But it can provide a cheap one. In China, for example, a

McDonald‘s Big Mac costs just 14.5 yuan on average in Beijing and Shenzhen, the equivalent of $2.18 at market exchange rates. In America, in contrast, the same burger averages $3.71. 出口商和政客所吁求的弱势货币绝非免费的午餐。不过它确实可以使 午餐变得很便宜。比如说,在中国的北京和深圳,一个麦当劳巨无霸 汉堡平均只需 14.5 元人民币即可买到,按市场汇率计算,相当于 2.18 美元。而在美国,相同的汉堡要卖到 3.71 美元。

That makes China‘s yuan one of the most undervalued currencies in the Big Mac index, our gratifyingly simple guide to currency misalignments, updated this week (see chart). The index is based on the idea of purchasing-power parity, which says that a currency‘s price should reflect the amount of goods and services it can buy. Since 14.5 yuan can buy as much burger as $3.71, a yuan should be worth $0.26 on the foreign-exchange market. In fact, it costs just $0.15, suggesting that it is undervalued by about 40%. 这使得人民币成为本周巨无霸指数——本刊的实用单一货币失调指标 ——中最被低估的货币(见图) 。巨无霸指数的基础是购买力平价,即 一种货币的价格应该反映它所能买到的商品和服务。14.5 元人民币可 以买到 3.71 美元的汉堡, 因此 1 元人民币应该在外汇市场中价值 0.26

美元。而事实上 1 元人民币只能兑换 0.15 美元,这意味着人民币被低 估了 40%。

The tensions caused by such misalignments prompted Brazil‘s finance minister, Guido Mantega, to complain last month that his country was a potential casualty of a ―currency war‖. Perhaps it was something he ate. In Brazil a Big Mac costs the equivalent of $5.26, implying that the real is now overvalued by 42%. The index also suggests that the euro is overvalued by about 29%. And the Swiss, who avoid most wars, are in the thick of this one. Their franc is the most expensive currency on our list. The Japanese are so far the only rich country to intervene directly in the markets to weaken their currency. But according to burgernomics, the yen is only 5% overvalued, not much of a casus belli. 在货币失调所造成的国际紧张局面面前, 巴西财政部长曼特加 (Guido Mantega)上个月发出了巴西是―货币战争‖潜在受害者的感叹。或许他 是在抱怨自己吃的东西太贵了。在巴西,一个巨无霸汉堡的价格相当 于 5.26 美元,表明雷亚尔被高估了 42%。巨无霸指数还显示欧元被高 估了 29%。而传统的中立国瑞士这次站在了货币战争最前线。瑞士法 郎已成为指数中最昂贵的货币。日本是目前唯一直接干预货币市场使 本国货币贬值的发达国家。但从我们的汉堡经济学视角来看,日元只 被高估了 5%,显然不能作为发动货币战的借口。

If a currency war is in the offing, America‘s congressmen seem increasingly determined to arm themselves. A bill passed by the House of Representatives last month would treat undervalued currencies as an illegal export subsidy and allow American firms to request countervailing tariffs. The size of those tariffs would reflect the scale of the undervaluation. 货币战争是否一触即发姑且不论,美国的国会议员们似乎是铁了心要 开始武装戒备了。上个月,众议院通过了一项法令,将被低估的货币 视同非法出口补贴,美国公司有权要求征收抵消性关税。具体的税率 体现了被低估的程度。

How does the bill propose to calculate this misalignment? It relies not on Big Macs, but on the less digestible methods favoured by the IMF. The fund uses three related approaches. First, it calculates the real exchange rate that would steadily bring a country‘s current-account balance (equivalent to the trade balance plus a few other things) into line with a ―norm‖ based on the country‘s growth, income per person, demography and budget balance. 这一法令通过什么方法计算货币失调程度呢?不是巨无霸指数,而是 IMF 所惯用的深奥算法。IMF 使用三种相互关联的手段来计算汇率。 一是根据使一国经常项目收支 (相当于贸易收支在加上少数其他项目) 与―标准‖(由该国增长率、人均收入、人口和财政收支等因素决定)


The fund‘s second approach ignores current-account balances and instead calculates a direct statistical relationship between the real exchange rate and things like a country‘s terms of trade (the price of its exports compared with its imports), its productivity and its foreign assets and liabilities. The strength of Brazil‘s currency, for example, may partly reflect the high price of exports such as soyabeans. 第二种算法忽略经常项目收支,而是计算一国真实汇率与该国进出口 比价(出口品价格与进口品价格之比) 、生产力、对外资产负债情况等 因素的直接统计关系。比如,巴西里亚尔的强势一定程度上是拜其出 口品(如大豆)价格较高所赐。

Third, the fund also calculates the exchange rate that would stabilise the country‘s foreign assets and liabilities at a reasonable level. If, for example, a country runs sizeable trade surpluses, resulting in a rapid build-up of foreign assets, it probably has an undervalued exchange rate. 三是计算使一国对外资产和负债稳定在合理水平的汇率。比如,如果 某国有着巨大的贸易盈余,因而对外资产迅速囤积,那么该国货币就 有可能是被低估的。

The IMF has typically assessed its members‘ policies one at a time. But

the fund‘s managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, now proposes to assess its biggest members all at once to make sure their macroeconomic strategies do not work at cross-purposes. He is keen to identify the ways in which a country‘s policies, including its exchange-rate policies, ―spill over‖ to its neighbours. 在通常情况下, IMF 会逐一评估各成员国的政策。 但总干事多米尼克? 斯特劳斯-卡恩 (Dominique Strauss-Kahn) 最近建议同时评估所有最重 要成员国,以确保它们的宏观经济策略目标不会相互冲突。卡恩急切 地想弄明白一国的政策——包括汇率政策在内——是如何―溢出‖从而 影响到邻国的。

Those spillovers depend on the size of the economy as much as the scale of any misalignments. But the biggest economies are also the hardest to bully. The fund‘s last annual report on the Chinese economy, in July, included the government‘s rebuttal of every criticism the fund offered. In a decorous compromise the report concluded that the yuan was ―substantially‖ undervalued but refrained from quantifying the size of the problem. 溢出效应既取决于失调的严重程度,也取决于经济规模的大小。但大 经济体通常也是强硬派。 IMF 最新一期的中国经济年报 月发布) 在 (7 中,中国政府逐条反驳了 IMF 提出的所有批评。IMF 只能作出适当让 步,仅仅称人民币被―显著‖低估了,而没有给出到底低估多少的具体


Big revaluations of the kind required to satisfy the fund or equalise the price of burgers are unlikely. A recent study of the Big Mac index by Kenneth Clements, Yihui Lan and Shi Pei Seah of the University of Western Australia showed that misalignments are remarkably persistent. As a result, the raw index did a poor job of predicting exchange rates: undervalued currencies remain too cheap and overvalued currencies remain too pricey. 要被低估的货币一下子升值到符合 IMF 的标准或者使巨无霸汉堡价 格一致的水平是不可能的。西澳大利亚大学的肯尼斯 ?克莱门茨 (Kenneth Clements) 、Yihui Lan 和 Shi Pei Seah 对巨无霸指数的最新 研究表明,失调具有明显的持久性。因此,原始指数无法很好地预测 汇率走势:被低估的货币通常会持续低估,而被高估的货币则持续高 估。

But since this bias is systematic, it can be identified and removed. Once that is done, the three economists show that a reconstituted index is good at predicting real exchange rates over horizons of a year or more. Since The Economist costs just $6.99 (a little less than two burgers) on the news-stand, the index provides decent value for money for would-be currency speculators, the authors conclude. The Big Mac index may itself

be undervalued. 但这一偏差是系统性的, 因此可以被识别和移除。 只要修正这一偏差, 三位经济学家显示,改进的巨无霸指数就可以很好地在年及年以上时 间单位上预测汇率走势。鉴于本刊报摊零售价不过 6.99 美元(还不到 两个汉堡的价钱)笔者认为我们的指数对欲从事货币投机者来说绝对 , 物 超 所 值 。 也 许 巨 无 霸 指 数 本 身 也 被 低 估 了 。 Microsoft's mobile operating system 微软的移动操作系统

Windows or curtains(注 1) 良机还是死路?

The software giant is desperate to make a splash in the smart-phone business 软件巨头孤注一掷,想要在智能电话行业大展拳脚

Oct 7th 2010 | San Francisco

AT A company meeting last year, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft‘s pugnacious boss, spied an employee taking a photo on an Apple iPhone. He promptly grabbed the offending device and pretended to stamp on it. Microsoft would love to crush competitors in the smart-phone market, but it has

repeatedly failed to come up with compelling offerings of its own. Now the software firm is gearing up for another assault on a business that is crucial to its future. 去年,在一次公司会议上,斗志旺盛的微软老板斯蒂夫?鲍尔默,发现 一名雇员正在用苹果的 iPhone 拍照。他一把夺过这台令其不快的设 备,作势猛踩。微软巴不得击垮智能电话市场上的对手,却一而再再 而三地、未能整出强有力的产品。现在,这家软件公司正憋足了劲, 要在智能手机行业发起又一轮出击,该行业对其未来至关紧要。

On October 11th Microsoft is due to unveil phones from manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung that incorporate its new operating system, Windows Phone 7 (WP7). An accompanying media blitz will seek to position it as an attractive alternative to Apple‘s iPhone, Google‘s Android and Symbian, which powers many Nokia phones (see chart). The stakes are high for Microsoft and for Mr Ballmer, whose stewardship of the firm is the subject of intense debate. Microsoft‘s share price has fallen by almost 20% since the beginning of this year, while the S&P 500 stockmarket index has risen by 4%. 10 月 11 日,微软打算揭晓几款含有其新操作系统 WP7 的手机(由诸 如 HTC 与三星等制造商生产) 。随之而来的媒体广告狂轰滥炸,试图 将此操作系统定位成苹果 iPhone、谷歌 Android 及驱动许多诺基亚电

话的塞班系统的替代物 (如图所示) 无论对于微软还是因公司管理工 。 作而饱受非议的鲍尔默先生来说,这一赌注的风险都极高。今年初以 来, 微软的股价下跌了近 20%, 而标准普尔 500 股价指数却上涨了 4%。

Microsoft hopes not only to profit from selling licences for its software but also to push its other services via the phones. Bing, the firm‘s internet search engine, Xbox Live, its gaming platform, and Zune, its music and video player, are baked into the new operating system. Microsoft is also betting that WP7 will help it preserve its once vice-like grip on the workplace. That hold is slipping as firms let employees toting iPhones and Android-based devices use them for work. 微软不仅希望从软件授权销售中获利,也期望通过这种智能手机推销 别的业务。该公司的互联网搜索引擎 Bing,游戏平台 Xbox Live,及 音乐视频播放器 Zune,均植入了这款新操作系统。微软也打赌说, WP7 将帮助其捍卫昔日在工作场所中坚不可摧的掌控地位。 由于许多 公司让雇员配备 iPhone 及基于 Android 系统的设备用于工作,这种掌 控正慢慢松弛。

The new phones boast a slick touch-screen interface and several novel features, including one that makes it easier than on most smart-phones to post news and photos to social networks on the move. Microsoft has also laid down minimum standards to which phonemakers must adhere for

things such as built-in cameras. Some earlier Windows phones suffered from poor hardware. ―There isn‘t a thing about our approach to this business that we haven‘t changed,‖ says Greg Sullivan, a Microsoft executive. 这种新电话自诩拥有平滑流畅的触摸屏界面及数个新颖的特点,其中 之一,是人们移动时用其发布新闻及照片到社交网络上,要比其它大 部分智能手机更为轻松方便。微软也制定了电话制造商必须支持的某 些事物如内置摄像头的最低标准。 早期的某些 Windows 系统手机深受 工艺落后的硬件之苦。 ―我们进入这个行业, 没有什么是一成不变的, ‖ 微软高级主管格雷格?沙利文说。

The firm is also expected to spend enormous sums promoting its new system. According to some estimates, it has earmarked $400m-500m to boost WP7, an amount that is likely to be matched by phonemakers and telecoms companies that will offer the new devices. By comparison, Motorola, Verizon and Google spent $100m on the launch of the Android-powered Droid smart-phone at the end of 2009, reckons Deutsche Bank. Microsoft is also taking to the courts. Last week it sued Motorola, arguing that the firm‘s phones violated some of its patents. 微软也料到新系统推销会花费巨大。根据一些估计,它将拨出 4 到 5 亿美元专款宣传 WP7, 这一数额可能相当于那些提供这种新设备的手 机制造商与电信公司的行销费用。相比之下,根据德意志银行估计,

2009 年底,摩托罗拉、弗莱森与谷歌公司发布 Android 驱动的 Droid 智能电话花了 1 亿美元。微软也习惯上法庭了。上周,它起诉摩托罗 拉,理由是该公司的智能电话侵犯了自己的某些专利。

Such legal quarrels are unlikely to halt the rise of Android. Google‘s operating system is now the most popular one among recent buyers of smart-phones in America, although Apple will become a stronger competitor if it releases a Verizon iPhone, as has been rumoured. ―Microsoft is way behind the competition and the chances of it catching up are fairly low,‖ says Brent Thill of UBS, an investment bank. He points out that it will take time to persuade developers to create a rich range of software applications for Microsoft‘s operating system. IDC, another research company, reckons that by 2014 Microsoft will still trail both Apple and Android, as well as Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry. 此类法律争端不大会遏制 Android 的发展。若苹果如传言那般,发布 一款 Version iPhone,它就将成为更为强有力的竞争者,但即便如此, 近期的美国智能电话买家, 目前最亲睐的仍是谷歌的操作系统。 ―微软 在竞争中远远落后, 赶上的机会也极为渺茫, ‖一家投资银行瑞士联合 银行(UBS)的布伦特?希尔称。他指出,要说服开发者创建出一系列 适用于微软操作系统的丰富多彩的软件应用,尚需时日。另一家研究 公司国际数据集团 (IDC) 估计, 2014 年, 到 微软仍会被苹果及 Android

甩在身后,亦将落后于黑莓手机制造商移动研究所(RIM) 。

Hence persistent speculation in Silicon Valley that the software behemoth, which has a $37 billion cash pile, might be tempted to bid for RIM, whose phones are popular with corporate road-warriors. If Mr Ballmer is still around to negotiate such a deal, it might be the best chance he has of putting Microsoft‘s stamp on the smart-phone world. 因此,硅谷不断推测,这家拥有 370 亿美元现金资产的软件巨无霸, 试图竞购 RIM,而 RIM 的智能电话广受经常出差的公司员工欢迎。 若鲍尔默先生仍盘算着要谈判这样一项交易,那么,这将是其所拥有 的、在智能电话领域打上微软烙印的一个最佳机会。

注 1:windows or curtains 标题语带双关,windows 既指微软的―视窗‖操作系统,又指―最佳 时机、有可能完成某事的一段时间或机会‖;curtains 俚语指灾难、死 亡、完蛋,同时对应 windows,是一种文字游戏。 Charlemagne

Economic sanctions? Yes, please 经济制裁?拜托,快来吧

Brussels wants to delve deep into the running of national economies. It

should beware of digging too far 欧盟想深入钻研国家经济的运行。应该留神不要钻的太深。 Sep 30th 2010 2010.09.30

THEY came to Brussels this week in their tens of thousands, from Finland to Greece, to say no to austerity. Their message was simple: the poor and the workers are being made to pay for the sins of the bankers and the speculators. To judge from some banners, they may have a new category of enemy: Eurocrats. 数以万计的抗议者们从芬兰到希腊的广大地域内来到布鲁塞尔,抗议 财政紧缩政策。他们传达的信息很简单:穷人和工人正在被迫为银行 和投机者犯下的罪行买单。从一些打出的标语来看,他们又有了新的 一群敌人---欧盟官员。

José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, keeps saying that the days of stimulus spending are over; now is the time for budget cuts. To ensure that members of the European Union maintain fiscal discipline, he proposed on September 29th stern new measures to give the commission power to scrutinise their budgets and impose

hundreds of millions of euros‘ worth of penalties on the profligate. Even those that pig-headedly refuse to reform their economies could be punished. 欧盟委员会主席巴罗佐一直在说,刺激经济的支出已告结束,到了削 减预算的时候了。为了保证欧盟成员国继续遵守财政纪律,他于 9 月 29 日提出了一份苛刻的新方法,授予委员会对成员国预算的审查权, 以及有权对肆意铺张的国家处以相当于上亿欧元的处罚。连那些顽固 地拒绝对本国进行经济改革的国家也可能被罚。

For Mr Barroso this ―economic governance‖ is the only way to ensure the survival of the euro. But outside the commission, demonstrators see things differently. To John Monks, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, the EU is turning into a ―punishment squad‖. Left-wing members of the European Parliament are in a quandary. They want ―more Europe‖, but in this case more Europe means more austerity. 在巴罗佐看来,这种―经济管理‖是保证欧元得以存续的唯一方式。但 在欧盟委员会之外的示威者可不这么看。在欧洲工会联邦总干事 John Monks 看来,欧盟正在变成一个―惩罚班‖。欧洲议会中的左翼成员左 右为难,他们想要―更加欧洲化‖,但就此情况下,更加欧洲化意味着 更严厉的财政紧缩。

This year‘s Greek crisis exposed the inadequacies of the euro, a single

currency without a joint economic or fiscal policy. Trouble in even a peripheral country like Greece, whose GDP is less than a tenth of Germany‘s, posed dangers to all. Loose agreements have not proved strong enough to stop reckless behaviour. Sanctions exist, in theory, in the stability and growth pact, which requires euro-area countries to keep deficits below 3% of GDP and government debt below 60% of GDP, but they have never been imposed. Governments have been reluctant to criticise each other in public, let alone to mete out fines. 今年希腊的危机暴露了欧元的缺陷,身为单一货币却没有共同的经济 和财政政策。就连希腊这种 GDP 不到德国十分之一的次要国家有了 麻烦,就使所有国家都陷入了危险。事实证明,松散的协议不足以阻 止鲁莽的行为。制裁只在理论上存在于稳定与增长公约【注 1】中, 公约要求欧盟区国家的赤字要低于 GDP 的 3%,政府债务低于 GDP 的 60%,但制裁从未真正实施过。各国政府连公开地互相批评都不愿 意,更别说交罚款了。

The commission‘s suggested solution is to appoint itself as fire warden, firefighter and prosecutor. European leaders agreed earlier this month to submit their budgets to Brussels for scrutiny six months earlier than they used to. Countries will be monitored not just for excessive deficits and debts, but also for imbalances and falling competitiveness. Penalties for the recalcitrant will include warnings and deposits of up to 0.2% of GDP

into, first, interest-bearing accounts, and then into non-interest bearing ones. In the end, these funds could be forfeited entirely. 委员会建议的解决方案是自任消防管理员,救火队员和检察官。欧洲 各国领导人本月早些时候同意将本国预算比之前提早六个月上报给欧 盟委员会审查。各国被监控的不仅包括过度的赤字和债务,还有预算 失衡和日益下降的竞争力。对不服管的国家的惩罚将包括警告,以及 将最高占 GDP 的 0.2%的保证金首先存入计息空头账户,然后转入不 计息空头账户。最后,这些钱可能被完全没收。

The idea is to impose sanctions early in the process rather than at the end, when they would only exacerbate a country‘s fiscal problems. It is also to focus as much on debt levels as on annual fiscal deficits.To reduce ministers‘ temptation to protect each other, the commission suggests ―reverse voting‖: instead of a majority being required to impose sanctions, the penalties would be approved unless a majority votes them down. 这个意见是要在情况转坏过程的早期就实施制裁,而不是等到最后制 裁只能使一国的财政问题恶化时才实施。同时该意见也给予国家债务 水平和年度赤字同样的关注。为了减少部长们因某种诱惑而互保的行 为,委员会建议实行―反表决‖:只要没有多数票否决,就实施制裁, 而不必有多数票赞成才能实施。

All this would apply at first only to the euro zone, for which the legal

powers are clearer. But later there could be a parallel system, based on withholding future EU payments, for those outside the euro. This would have to wait for next year‘s round of budget negotiations. Britain will keep its opt-out, but several non-euro members want shackles. As a senior EU source says, ―it‘s strange to hear countries saying: ?We want sanctions!‘‖ 以上规则最初将只在法定权力更明晰的欧元区内部实行。但不久,在 对欧盟国家支付实行预扣的基础上,将会出台一套针对欧元区国家之 外的类似体制。这有待于明年的下一轮预算谈判。英国单方面不加入 该体制,但有几个非欧盟国家主动要求带镣铐。一位欧盟高级消息人 士说:―听到有国家表示―请制裁我们吧‖,真是奇怪。‖

As Eurocrats tell it, most countries accept the thrust of these ideas. Germany has, for now, dropped its demand that heavily indebted countries should lose voting rights. Only a few quibble. France dislikes ―semi-automatic‖ sanctions. Italy is against the focus on debt. Spain does not want sanctions for uncompetitiveness. Yet some scepticism is still in order. Even if EU leaders give their nod at a summit next month, months of detailed negotiations lie ahead. All 16 members of the euro zone now breach the 3% deficit threshold, and 12 also violate the 60% debt limit. They are not about to engage in mutual flagellation. The new rules will not be retrospective, and many sanctions will not bite until 2013. There is an escape clause to avoid penalties if Europe faces a general shock such as

the financial crisis. 根据欧盟官员的说法,大多数国家承认这些方案有推动力。德国目前 已经不再坚持负债沉重的国家应被剥夺投票权的要求。只有少数国家 还在用遁词逃避问题。法国不赞成―半自动‖的制裁。意大利反对盯着 债务问题不放,西班牙不同意对无竞争力实施制裁。然而还有一些怀 疑也很有道理。就算欧盟领导人在下月的峰会上同意这一方案,但数 月的关于细节问题的谈判还有待进行。 欧盟全部 16 个成员国都已达到 了 3%GDP 的赤字上限,有 12 国超出了 60%GDP 的债务上限。它们 可不准备互相鞭挞, 新规则并没有追溯力, 很多制裁要到 2013 年才实 施。有一个例外条款可以免除惩罚,条件是欧洲受到如这次金融危机 那样的全面冲击。

Powers like these might have done something about Greece. But would they have saved Spain or Ireland? Both had healthy public finances before the crash, and yet are now among the most troubled countries. Eurocrats argue that monitoring of imbalances and scrutiny by a new EU financial regulator could have spotted their problems sooner. Perhaps. But imbalances are easier to identify after a bust than during a boom. As one Eurocrat mockingly puts it, ―We are now like communist central planners. We know everything.‖ 这样大的力度也许会对希腊有点帮助,但救得了西班牙和爱尔兰吗? 两国的公共财政在金融危机前都很健康,现在却处于麻烦最大的国家

之列。欧盟官员表示,如果实行新的欧盟财政监管者对预算失衡的监 控和审查制度的话,就能更早发现两国的问题了。但预算失衡在萧条 过后本来就比在繁荣时期更容易识别。 正如一位欧盟官员自嘲道: ―我 们现在就像共产主义中央计划的制定者,我们什么都知道。‖

Whipped or skinned? 要挨鞭子还是扒皮?

None of this is the economic integration that federalists dreamed of. It is more like a deal to police minimum standards than a joint economic policy. It is born of fear of the markets, not a love of Europe. Being whipped by Brussels is less scary than being flayed by bond traders. Hard discipline may be needed to preserve the euro, and to mollify German voters who do not want to bankroll irresponsible neighbours. But there are also dangers. 以上没有一个是联邦制拥护者所向往的经济一体化。它更像是为维持 最低标准,而非共同的经济政策而达成的协议。它的产生源自对市场 的恐惧,而不是对欧洲的爱。被欧盟抽鞭子总比不上被证券商扒皮来 的恐怖。强硬的规则是必要的,可以保护欧元,也可以安抚不愿再为 不负责任的邻国掏腰包的德国选民。但危险也同样存在。

The plans would give Brussels unprecedented power to intervene.

Depoliticizing sanctions to make them credible risks delegitimizing them. The commission would be less of an impartial referee and more of an active player in domestic politics. Gauging competitiveness is a murky business, with no obvious benchmarks. In any case, balancing spending and taxes, deciding the level of wages and reforming labour markets ought to be tasks for elected leaders, not appointed bureaucrats. Will Mr Barroso and Olli Rehn, the commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, really tell the likes of Christine Lagarde, Wolfgang Sch?uble, Giulio Tremonti and George Osborne what to do, and fine them if they refuse? The next time protesters hit Brussels, they may not just march past the commission, but right into it 这一计划将赋予欧盟前所未有的干预权力。将制裁非政治化以增加其 公信力,有使其丧失合法性的风险。在成员国的国内政策上,委员会 逐渐地不再扮演公正裁判的角色,而更多地成了一个积极参与者。竞 争力的测定是件很模糊的事,没有明显的基准。像平衡预算与税收, 确定工资水平和改革劳动力市场这些事,无论如何都应该是当选领导 人的差事,而不应由指派的官僚们来管。难道巴罗佐和欧盟经济与货 币事务委员 Olli Rehn 要告诉像 Christine Lagarde, Wolfgang Sch?uble, Giulio Tremonti 和 George Osborne【注 2】这些人该做什么,如果被拒 绝就罚他们的款吗?那么下次抗议人群再到布鲁塞尔时,就该不只是 从委员会门前列队走过,而是直接闯进去了。


注 1: 稳定与增长公约(stability and growth pact) The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) is an agreement among the 16 members of the European Union (EU) that take part in the Eurozone, to facilitate and maintain the stability of the Economic and Monetary Union. The actual criteria that member states must respect:

an annual budget deficit no higher than 3% of GDP (this includes the sum of all public budgets, including municipalities, regions, etc) a national debt lower than 60% of GDP or approaching that value.

注 2: 此四人依次分别为法国、德国、意大利和英国财政部长(或职能相当 于财政部长之官员) 。

Print on the iPad 上了 iPad 的纸媒

A smashing success 摧枯拉朽式的成功

The iPad is transforming media firms, and frustrating them iPad 在改变传媒业,也让他们十分失望

THE advertisement for Newsday‘s iPad application starts blithely enough. A man in a shirt and tie sits in the kitchen, reading the New York newspaper on his tablet computer. He turns the device on its side and watches the live feed from a traffic camera. Then a fly lands on the table. The man quickly raises the iPad and smashes it down, shattering the glass. The ad implies that the iPad is superior to old-fashioned print in all sorts of ways, just not every way. It is a joke—but also a good summary of how newspaper and magazine outfits have come to feel about Apple‘s product in the eight months since it was unveiled.

《新闻日报》为其 iPad 版拍摄了一段广告片,开头时一番家常气氛。 一衬衣领带男端坐厨房,正用他的平板电脑看《新闻日报》 ,然后他横 过电脑看一个交通监视器的实时播放。这时一只苍蝇停在桌上,该男 子迅速举起 iPad 向苍蝇猛拍下去--屏幕粉碎。 这则广告在说 iPad 在各 方面都比已经过时的印刷品出色,但显然也有不及之处。这则广告虽

是个玩笑,但也准确反应了报纸杂志媒体对这款苹果产品上市八个月 来的总体感受。

Even before the device had a name, media executives knew what they wanted from the iPad. Like the Kindle, Amazon‘s e-reader, it could be used to sell digital issues of newspapers and magazines. Like the web, it could be used to deliver targeted advertising. It would look better than both. Newspaper and magazine firms were determined to steer its evolution. Terry McDonell, who oversees Sports Illustrated, helped create a futuristic-seeming video of a hypothetical issue filled with whizzy graphics and interactive ads.

还在 iPad 得名之前,传媒高管们就对该设备有所期待。它要象亚马逊 的电子阅读器 Kindle 一样,可以用来出售报纸杂志的电子版。它要象 网络一样,可以用来传播针对细分受众的广告。它最好比以上两者更 好。报纸杂志业当初决心在这次变革中掌舵。 《体育画报》制作了一期 对这些的畅想,满载眩目图片与交互广告,其中有一段充满未来感的 影像,是《体育画报》的头 Terry McDonell 一起创作的。

It is a mark of the quality of Apple‘s device as well as the efforts at Sports Illustrated that the magazine‘s actual app does not differ much from the video. Others have created beautiful applications that are drawing

consumers. Wired, a technology magazine owned by CondéNast, claimed to sell 24,000 downloads within 24 hours, at $5 each. Newspaper and magazine apps are popular with advertisers, who pay up to 10 cents per reader—several times what newspapers tend to charge for web ads—for the privilege of appearing on a sexy new device.

《体育画报》后来正式发布的 iPad 版与那段影像差别不大,证明了苹 果产品的品质与《体育画报》对此的努力。其它媒体也纷纷制作了漂 亮的 iPad 版来吸引消费者。CondéNast 拥有的科技杂志《连线》号称 24 小时内被下载 24,000 份,每份 5 美元。报纸杂志的 iPad 版备受 广告主们的追捧,他们为了在这个新鲜热辣的设备上抢先露脸,为每 个读者支付 10 美分的价格,这比网络广告收费贵了数倍。

The iPad‘s effect on media firms extends well beyond its screen. The device contains a web browser as well as an app store, bringing together the world of paid content and the open web, where print content tends to be free. It is as though a news-stand carried two versions of every magazine—one costly, the other inferior but free. Media firms that were already coming to believe that the web is a mediocre advertising platform have drawn a stark conclusion: they should pull back from the free web.

iPad 对媒体的影响力远远超出它本身。iPad 装有网络浏览器,同时有

iPad 内容商店,这将开放网络与付费内容世界放到了一起。这好象一 家报摊里为每种杂志提供两种版本,一种挺贵,另一种品质稍差,却 是免费的。媒体已经慢慢确信网络不是个有效的广告平台,结论是明 摆着的:他们应该从免费的网络世界撤出。

Time magazine has begun to hold back some stories from its website, on the ground that it is now providing a decent digital alternative. Time Inc is moving towards all-access pricing, in which content is available on all platforms to people who pay for it. This is in line with the ―TV Everywhere‖ plan developed by Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner‘s chief executive. Others are likely to follow. James Moroney, publisher of the Dallas Morning News, says the release of a paid iPad application later this year is likely to coincide with the erection of a paywall on the Dallas.com website. It is illogical to charge for one but not the other, he says.

《时代周刊》已开始留出一些报道不在网站上发布,其实它现在却有 很象样的电子版本在出售。时代公司正提出一种―套价‖,你付了这个 价,你就能得到各种平台上的《时代周刊》 。这与时代华纳 CEO Jeff Bewkes 提出的―电视无所不在‖计划相互呼应。其它同行很可能会仿 效。 《达拉斯晨报》出品人 James Moroney 称今年晚些时候该报发布 iPad 版,很可能同时会在网站上设立付费墙(paywall)。一个版本收 费,另一版本免费,这说不通,他称。

Yet obstacles lie in the path of media firms that want to move in this direction. The first is that many print publications do not have enough information about their customers to enable them to sell across platforms. Ken Doctor, a media analyst at Outsell, points out that American newspapers tend to sort their readers by address rather than by name. The second obstacle is Apple. The firm has made it difficult to sell subscriptions on the iPad, and is reluctant to disclose much data on buyers. This is a particular problem for magazine firms, which use customer data to push other products and to sell advertising.

但传媒要向此方向前进,尚有一些障碍。首先,许多纸媒还做不到向 消费者跨平台出售,因为他们缺乏足够的客户信息。Outsell 的媒体分 析师 Ken Doctor 指出,美国报纸通常按递送地址记录读者信息,而不 是按订户姓名。第二个障碍则是苹果。苹果的措施使在 iPad 上出售期 刊并不容易,并且不大情愿批露订户信息。这会使期刊特别头疼,他 们要以此为基础推出相关产品、并出售广告页面。

Apple‘s device is proving both transformative and deeply frustrating. Media firms are praying that another device, perhaps using Google‘s Android operating system, becomes popular and gives them leverage over Apple. Much as they love the iPad, they would gladly smash a few if the

thing could be replaced by another, equally compelling, tablet computer.

对于传媒业,苹果产品显然既具革命性又让他们很失望。他们祈求另 一款类似产品能受欢迎,以制衡苹果,或许新产品用的是 Google 的 Android 操作系统。尽管他们喜欢 iPad,如果能有一款同样引人注目的 平板电脑能取代它,他们会很乐意摔碎几台的。

Finance 金融

Taming the banks 驯服银行

The public‘s urge for revenge may not have been sated, but the new Basel rules make sense 公众要求复仇的强烈愿望可能并未得到满足, 但是新的 《巴塞尔协议》 是合理的

Sep 16th 2010 2010 年 9 月 16 日

TWO years ago the collapse of Lehman Brothers heralded a frightening period for the world economy. As one bank after another toppled, or came close to doing so, regulators worried that cashpoint machines would fail to operate and that companies would be unable to meet their payrolls. A second Great Depression seemed to beckon.

两年前,雷曼兄弟的破产宣告世界经济步入了一个令人恐惧的时期。 随着银行一家接一家地倒闭——或是接近于倒闭,监管者担心自动提 款机无法运转,公司也不能正常发放薪水。第二次大萧条似乎再向人 们招手。

Extraordinary efforts were made to bail out the banks, including state guarantees, partial nationalisations, near-zero interest rates and massive fiscal deficits. The public seethed at the banks‘ profligacy. Surely finance would be reformed, as it was in the 1930s when America created a new regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and separated casino-like investment banking from retail banking?

人们为救援这些银行付出了异乎寻常的努力,包括国家担保、部分国 有化、利率接近于零以及大规模财政赤字等。银行肆意挥霍的行为引 起民怨沸腾。金融部门肯定会像上世纪 30 年代那样被改革吗?当时,

美国创立了一个新的监管机构——证券交易委员会,并且把赌场似的 投资银行业从零售银行业中分离出来。

Two years on, the landscape of finance has altered somewhat. Take hedge funds: the crisis wiped out around a quarter of their assets and forced many mediocre ones out of business. Many private clients left in disgust when they found that these self-proclaimed superstars could lose money; the client base is increasingly dominated by institutions, which should insist on more transparency and better risk management. In private equity, the poor performance of the 2006-07 vintage of deals is making it harder for firms to raise money; one manager, Candover, is giving up the ghost.

两年过去了,金融业的面貌略微有些变化。以对冲基金为例:金融危 机让它们的资产缩水了大约 1/4,并迫使许多平庸的对冲基金倒闭。 许多私人客户发现这些自称超级明星的对冲基金可能赔钱,因此满怀 厌恶地拂袖而去;客户基础越来越被机构所掌控,它们应该坚持要求 扩大透明度和改善风险管理状况。在私募股权行业中,2006 到 2007 年的那些交易表现拙劣,导致这些公司更难募集资金;一家名为 Candover 的公司行将就木。

But it is the banks that matter most; and, in banking, it is remarkable how little has changed. Many banks are still ―too big to fail‖ and the casino

side of their activities remains mixed up with the mundane business of deposit-taking. Bankers are once more earning huge bonuses. How could this be?

但是,银行是最要紧的;而值得注意的是,银行业发生的变化何其之 少!许多银行仍是―大而不能倒‖,银行活动中赌博的一面仍与平常的 吸储业务相混淆。银行家再次挣得巨额奖金。情况怎么能是这样?

Breaking up the banks might have satisfied taxpayers‘ desire for revenge, but it is not clear what problems it would have solved. Anglo Irish Bank and Northern Rock collapsed not because they were too big, nor because they were playing the markets: they were classic ―narrow‖ banks which failed in the traditional fashion—borrowing short to lend long against property that turned out to be overvalued. The problems of the Spanish cajas show that a financial system with lots of small banks is not necessarily safer.

拆分银行可能满足纳税人复仇的愿望;但是,人们并不清楚这能解决 哪些问题。盎格鲁-爱尔兰银行和北岩银行之所以倒闭,既不是因为规 模太大, 也不是因为投机倒把: 它们属于以传统方式倒闭的典型的―业 务范围狭窄‖银行——它们以借入的短期存款发放长期贷款, 而用作抵 押的财产最终却被证明是高估的。西班牙银行业面临的问题显示出,


Still, the crisis made it painfully clear that the world‘s banking system needed new international rules to impose lending discipline and guard against any temptation to migrate to the weakest regulatory regime. A new set, known as Basel 3, has been proposed. They will not satisfy radicals, but they will probably do the job.

然而,这场危机令人痛苦地认清这样一个事实:全球银行系统需要新 的国际准则来规范借贷纪律,防止任何将业务转移到监管力量最弱的 外国政权的诱惑。一套称为《巴塞尔协议Ⅲ》的新规定已经被提出来 了。它们可能不会让激进分子满意,但很可能会收到效果。

The purpose of the new rules is to ensure that banks have more capital when they face the next crisis, and are thus better able to cope with bad debts. The core Tier 1 ratio will rise to 7%, slightly less than expected but still a lot better than before the crisis (at the end of 2007, Royal Bank of Scotland had a ratio of just 3.5%).

这些新规则旨在确保各家银行在面临下一场危机前拥有更多资本,从 而能够更好地应对坏账问题。一级资本充足率将提高到 7%,这一比 率略低于人们的预想,但是仍然比这场危机发生前高出很多(在 2007

年底,苏格兰皇家银行的一级资本充足率只有 3.5%) 。

The timing is more questionable. The new requirements are being phased in slowly, under pressure from those countries, such as Germany, which escaped the worst of the crisis. The final deadline is not till 2019. Regulators reckon the rules are fairly tough but critics think this deadline is excessively generous. The fact that bank shares rose in response to the Basel announcement will add to cynics‘ suspicions that the banks have been given too much time.

时间安排方面较为可疑。德国等国逃过了金融危机最严重的打击,在 这些国家的压力下,新规定将缓慢地分阶段实施,最终期限定在 2019 年。监管者认为这些规定相当严厉,但批评人士觉得最终期限定的太 过宽松了。银行股在《巴塞尔协议》宣布后应声而涨,这让愤世嫉俗 者更怀疑银行得到了太多时间。

For the moment, the system does not look dangerously undercapitalised. Most large, internationally active banks in America, Britain and Switzerland already meet the new requirements. As for other banks that don‘t, imposing higher capital ratios on them immediately might only discourage them from lending money to businesses, at a time when credit is already scarce.

银行系统的资金状况目前看上去并非严重不足。美国、英国和瑞士的 许多大型国际银行