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高盛:美国银行尚未走出困境2009-04-03[2009.04.16]American banks 美国银行
American banks 美国银行
Payback time还债赎身
Apr 16th 2009 200年4月16日
From The Economist print edition 摘自《经济学人》印刷版


Goldman Sachs and other banks want to pay back bail-out cash. But the banking system is not in the clear yet
高盛投资公司及其它一些银行希望偿还政府救济资金。但银行业并非已脱离困境。

USING taxpayers’ funds to prop up America’s banking system was a necessary evil. So in many ways it is welcome that some banks now want to repay the money. On April 14th, six months after getting $10 billion from the Treasury, Goldman Sachs sold $5 billion of new shares with that in mind.
用纳税人的钱来支持美国的银行业本就是一件迫不得已的事。因此从许多方面来说,现在一些银行希望偿还这些钱是受欢迎的。在四月十四号,即从财政部获取一百亿救济金六个月之后,高盛投资公司抛售了价值五十亿的新股用于还债。

It is easy to see why. Some banks, including Goldman, say that back in October they had enough capital and took part in the bail-out only to show solidarity with the government’s plan. Since then they have been excoriated by Congress and now face restrictions, mainly on pay but also on hiring foreigners, that Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s boss, says “limit our ability to compete”. Meanwhile banks’ shares have soared on optimism about their profits. Goldman says that repayment is a “duty”. But who wants to rely on livid voters and banker-bashing politicians when private cash is available?
其中缘由显而易见。一些银行(包括高盛)称,早在十月份他们就有充足的资金而参加政府救助计划只是为了声援政府救市方案。自那以后他们就一直受到国会非难而如今还要面临诸多限制。这些限制除薪酬问题外还包括聘用外籍员工方面。正如高盛老板劳埃德.布兰克费恩说,“那将限制我们的竞争力 ”.同时银行的股票已出现上涨,他们对利润收益颇为乐观。高盛称还债是“义务”。想想,当有私人资金可以利用时谁还想依靠满脸愠色的选民和欺压银行的政客?

The principles for letting a bank repay bail-out cash are clear. Its capital position must remain strong: capable of at least maintaining its lending book, absorbing shocks, and commanding enough confidence to allow borrowing without state guarantees. It should repay taxpayers by selling new shares or retaining profits. For a bank to boost capital by withdrawing credit or exiting important business lines would be counterproductive. It must have healthy profits and sane risk and pay policies. European banks, such as HSBC, that have got there without state support have rightly been applauded.
能让一家银行有能力偿还救济资金的条件很明显。那便是它的资本状况务必尚需雄厚:至少有能力维持放贷、缓解冲击及有足够的信心无需国家担保获得借款。银行务必通过出售新股或保住盈利来偿还纳税人的钱。而如果银行靠降低信誉或取消重要业务来募集资金的话只会适得其反。银行务必要有相当的利润及健全的风险和薪资政策。欧洲银行,如汇丰银行,就没向国家寻求支持而被连连称赞。

Does Goldman pass these tests too? Although it has just reported bumper earnings (see article), their quality was mixed, and relied too much on volatile trading. It has a slug of hard-to-value assets and its borrowing costs have yet to return to normal; it is still using the government’s debt-guarantee scheme. But its regulatory capital ratios are solid, half as strong again as those of America’s ten biggest banks overall. When the Treasury completes its stress tests to evaluate the largest banks soon, Goldman should pass with flying colors.
高盛能经得起这些考验吗?虽然据最新报道高盛获得了不错收益(见全文),但这些收益的质量参差不齐,过多依赖于不稳定交易。高盛拥有小部分难估价资产并且它的借款费用又回到了原样;高盛仍沿用政府的债务担保方案。但是它的法定资本比率高,相当于美国前十大银行总体比率的二分之一。一等财政部完成对十大银行评估的压力测试,高盛将胜利通过。

No bank is an island 没有哪家银行能独善其身

Yet the crisis has shown that banks do not exist in isolation. Some say that by letting lenders repay the state, those unable to do so would face runs on their shares and junior debt. This cannot be made the sole consideration—the banking system should not walk at the pace of its weakest members. However there is still a danger that the American banking system as a whole is nearly insolvent. And if the stress tests are rigorous, they could show that insolvency is indeed some banks’ likely fate: losses may well eat up much of the system’s capital.
这次金融危机让人们看到银行不是孤立存在的。有人说如果让银行返还政府救济金,那些没能力偿还的银行将得拿它们的股票和顺应债务去冒险。但不可孤立地看问题-——银行业不能被这个行业的弱者拖了后腿。然而,作为一个整体而言,美国银行业仍有破产的危险。如果压力测试严格的话,破产的确是某些银行的可能面临的命运:破产损失将吞掉银行业好些资金。

The slim margin for error means confidence could still evaporate, with even good banks dragged down by counterparty risk. The government says banks that fail the stress tests must raise capital within six months (from the state if necessary) and sell toxic assets. The tests must not be fudged. Providing that the six-month deadline is a firm one, forcing Goldman and others to retain their unwanted funds till then seems fair. But that is long enough. Meanwhile, the politicians should stop changing the rules about pay and bonuses.
细微的误差率也可能意味着信心的消失,因为即使实力雄厚的银行都可能被交易对手风险拖垮。政府称,如果银行未能通过压力测试,将必须在6个月内筹集资金(有必要的话通过国家筹集)和出售不良资产。测试不得掺假。如果6个月期限确定的话,要求高盛及其他银行保留其空闲资金至那时看起来似乎公平。但是,六个月的时间够长了。与此同时,政界人士应停止对工资和奖金规定变来变去。

发表于21:33 | 阅读全文 | 评论 0 | 编辑 | 分享 0非洲的下一任独裁者2009-04-02[2009.04.16] Africa's next Big Man 非洲的下一任独裁者
South Africa's election
南非大选

Africa's next Big Man
非洲的下一任独裁者

Apr 16th 2009
From The Economist print edition

If Jacob Zuma avoids becoming a caricature of African leadership, he could change the whole continent for the better
如果祖玛避免成为非洲领导人的讽刺画,他将能使非洲大陆向更好的方向发展。



WITHIN weeks, Jacob Zuma is set to become the most powerful man in Africa, a continent of a billion souls that is still the poorest and, despite recent improvements, the worst governed on the planet. South Africa provides more than a third of the 48 sub-Saharan economies’ total GDP. It is Africa’s sole member of the G20 group of influential countries and packs a punch in global diplomacy. Its emergence from the gruesome era of apartheid is a miracle of reconciliation. Africans across the continent and oppressed peoples elsewhere still look to South Africa’s leader as a beacon of hope.

在数周内,祖玛将成为非洲,一个拥有尽管最近有所改善但仍是最贫穷10亿人口及世界上最糟糕政府的大陆,最有权势的人。南非的国内生产总值占48个撒哈拉以南经济体国内生产总值总和的三分之一以上。她是非洲唯一一个G20国集团中有影响力的国家,也是在国际外交中有重要角色的国家。她在可怕的种族隔离时代的异军突起是调解的一个奇迹。整个非洲大陆以及世界各地受压迫的群众仍将南非领导人看作是希望的灯塔。

The country’s president is to be elected by Parliament after a general election on April 22nd which the dominant African National Congress (ANC) is sure to win again. As the party’s candidate, Mr Zuma is unquestionably Africa’s next “Big Man”. But it is a phrase that goes to the heart of the continent’s troubles. Too many African countries have been ruined by political chiefs for whom government is the accumulation of personal power and the dispensation of favours. That the revered Nelson Mandela’s rainbow nation is now turning to a man of Mr Zuma’s stamp may sharpen prejudices about Africa. It is for Mr Zuma to prove these doubters wrong.

南非总统将在4月22号的普选后由国会选出,在普选中占主导地位的非洲国民大会(ANC)将肯定会获胜。作为该党的候选人,祖玛先生无疑是非洲的下一任“领袖”。但这正是引发非洲大陆麻烦的核心原因。己有太多非洲国家毁于政治首领之手,因为他们的政府积累个人权力并分配支持率。崇敬的纳尔逊曼德拉的彩虹之国现在变成祖玛一人的印章,可能会提高对非洲的偏见。正是祖玛来证明这些怀疑者是错误的。

He is undoubtedly a man of remarkable qualities (see article). In contrast to his dour predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, Mr Zuma can charm the birds out of the trees. Unlike the racially twitchy Mr Mbeki, he feels good in his skin, happy to acknowledge, even celebrate, his modest background. He properly educated himself only during his ten years as a prisoner on Robben Island, alongside Mr Mandela. Mr Zuma is charismatic and canny, as you would expect of a guerrilla who rose to be head of intelligence for the now-ruling ANC. He has been a wily negotiator, who magisterially ended the strife between his fellow Zulus in the early post-apartheid era. He connects easily with black slum-dwellers and white tycoons alike.

他无疑是具有可贵的品质的男人。与他阴沉的前任塔博姆贝基相反,祖玛可以吸引树上的鸟儿。不像姆贝基那样受尽种族颠簸,祖玛对他的肤色感觉很好,也乐于接受,甚至庆祝他微薄的背景。他可能只在他与曼德拉一起关在罗宾岛的十年里进行自我教育。祖玛是有魅力且精明的,正如你所预期,他将是一位为了现在执政的非洲国民大会而上升到情报机关核心的游击员。他一直是老谋深算的谈判家,在早期的后种族隔离时代果断地结束与他的同胞祖鲁人的纷争。他一样方便的联系黑人贫民窟居民与白人大亨。

Big man, big problems
大人物大问题

But his flaws are just as patent. He has been entangled for years in a thicket of embarrassing legal cases from which he has only recently been extricated—on a technicality. His financial adviser was sentenced to 15 years in prison for soliciting bribes for Mr Zuma. He has also been tried, and acquitted, on a rape charge. At the least, he has sailed perilously close to the wind. To put the kindest interpretation on his financial dealings, he has been naive and sloppy, not the best qualities for looking after Africa’s biggest economy. During his trial for the rape of an HIV-infected family friend, at the height of the AIDS plague in a country which has the world’s highest recorded rate of rapes, he showed gross chauvinism and staggering ignorance, notoriously explaining that after having sex he had showered to stave off the disease. He is an illiberal populist, sneering at gays and hinting at bringing back the death penalty.

不过他的缺点也同样明显。多年来,他一直纠缠于尴尬的法律案件,直到最近他才摆脱了一个,从技术角度上。他的财务顾问因向他索取贿赂而被判刑15年。他在一个强奸案上被审问,最后宣布无罪。至少,他已经算得上是铤而走险了。为了给他的金融交易给出合理的解释,他显得天真和草率,这都不是管理非洲最大经济体的良好品质。在这个饱受艾滋被蹂躏的国家,有着世界上最高的强奸案记录率,在他因强奸一位艾滋病人的家人的朋友时的审判中,他表现出毛沙文主义及惊人的无知,臭名昭著地解释说在性爱后,他洗了个澡以预防染上这种病。他是一个狭隘的平民主义者,嘲讽同性恋者以及暗示恢复死刑。

When it comes to policy, Mr Zuma travels light. In the wake of Mr Mbeki’s shameful and lethal denial of the link between HIV and AIDS, he has overseen the appointment of a sensible new health minister. He seems to want the awful Robert Mugabe ousted in Zimbabwe, though his pronouncements have varied. Once a member of the South African Communist Party, which used to fawn on the Kremlin, he shamelessly switched to capitalism after his predecessors, Mr Mandela and Mr Mbeki, had persuaded the ANC to somersault away from socialism. These days he tells the hungry black majority that he has their interests at heart, while reassuring businessmen that he will not switch to high-tax redistribution. No one is sure in which direction he will push the economy, now wobbling after years of steady, commodity-fuelled growth.

在政治上,祖玛轻装上阵。尾随姆贝基可耻和致命地否认艾滋病病毒及艾滋病的关系,他忽视了一位明智的新卫生部长的任命。他似乎想让在津巴布韦的罗伯特?穆加贝被推翻,尽管他的言论有所变化。曾是总是讨好克里姆林宫的南非共产党的一员,在他的前任曼德拉和姆贝基己说服非洲国民大会以后空翻远离社会主义后,他厚着脸皮地转向资本主义。目前他向饥饿的大多数黑人说道,他将他们的利益放在心里,同时安抚商人说他不会提高税收进行再分配。没人知道他将往那个方向推动多年稳定而现在微微动荡的商品刺激经济的增长。

As with all the other Big Men, the principal worries revolve around a fatal conflation of party and state. Given South Africa’s racial and tribal mix, robustly independent bodies are vital, from Parliament and the judiciary to human-rights monitors, medical institutions and free media, but the ANC has stuffed all of them with party loyalists to entrench its hegemony. Candidate Zuma has seemed to rate loyalty to the ANC above all else, even the admirable constitution that the party itself was largely responsible for writing. It is not certain he believes in the need to separate powers, letting his fans hurl abuse at judges when they ruled against him.

正如所有其他领袖一样,最大的问题来自党和国家致命地结合。鉴于南非的种族和部落结构,强劲的独立机构是至关重要的,从议会和司法机构,到人权监测员,医疗机构和自由的媒体,但非洲国民大会将他们都塞进了党的支持者,以巩固其霸权。候选人祖玛似乎视对非洲人国民大会的忠诚高于其他一切,甚至是令人钦佩的宪法,它是党本身主要负责撰写的。现在还不确定他是否相信分权的需要,或者让他的支持者任意攻击那些判他败诉的法官。

Confound us all
疑惑所有人

President Zuma must grab his early chances to reassure the worriers. He should state unequivocally that he will not propose a law to render the head of state immune from criminal prosecution. He needs to resist the temptation to elevate some of his dodgier friends to high judicial posts. Parliament needs more bite to nip the heels of the executive; the present system of election by party lists shrivels the independence of members and needs reform. To curb cronyism, all MPs, ministers and board members of state-funded institutions should register their and their families’ assets. He should also keep the sound Trevor Manuel as finance minister. Finally, Mr Zuma should ask his government to revise, perhaps even phase out, the policy of “black economic empowerment”. This may have been necessary 15 years ago to put a chunk of the economy into black hands. But its main beneficiaries now are a coterie of ANC-linked people, not the poor masses.

总统祖玛必须抓住他的早期机会去消除所有的顾虑。他应该明确的表示他将不会提出一项法律使国家元首免于刑事检控。他需要抵制想把他的追随者提到高级司法职位的诱惑。国会需要更独立的保持执法权;现在由政党指定名单的选举系统使得独立成员变得束手无策,所以需要改革。为了遏制任人唯亲,所有的国会议员,部长和国家资助机构的董事会成员应当登记他们和他们的家庭资产。他也应该继续任命可靠的曼纽尔作为财政部长。最后,祖玛应当要求他的政府修订,甚至逐步停止“黑色经济权力”的政策。在15年前,为了把大部分经济权力放回黑人手中,这项政策是必须的,但是现在它的主要受益者是与非洲国民大会有联系的一小集体,而不是贫穷的大多数群众。

Hardest of all for Mr Zuma to accept is that, in the longer run, South African democracy needs a sturdier opposition. The liberal Democratic Alliance, led by a brave white woman, Helen Zille, has good ideas but has failed to expand its appeal beyond a white core. The new Congress of the People, a black-led breakaway from the ANC, has able leaders, yet several are tainted by association with Mr Mbeki. With luck the opposition parties may stop the ANC from getting the two-thirds of parliamentary seats that would let it override the constitution.

其中最让祖玛难以接受的是,从长远来看,非洲的民主需要一个坚固的反对派。由勇敢的白人妇女海伦施莉领导的自由民主联盟有个很好的主意,但是在扩大其影响力时因没有超越白人核心团体而失败了。新一届人民国会,由黑人领导脱离非洲国民大会的组织,己能产生领导人,虽说有几个受到姆贝基的影响。幸运的话,反对党可能能阻止非洲国民大会获得三分之二以上的国会席位,使得他能超越宪法之上。

Mr Zuma could yet prove to be the right sort of Big Man: big enough to hold his party back from creating something akin to a one-party state, big enough to accept that no one, himself included, is above the law. If that is how he chooses to spend his five years in power, South Africa would indeed serve as a model for the whole continent. But will he?

祖玛还尚未被证明他是不是真正的大人物:大到使他的党不能出建立一党制国家等类似的事情,大到足以接受没有人,包括他自己,能超越法律。如果这就是为什么他选择他的五年任期,那么南非的确是整个非洲大陆的模范。但是他会是这样吗?

发表于21:23 | 阅读全文 | 评论 0 | 编辑 | 分享 0德国宪法法院:不知名的小法官影响全球2009-04-01[2009.3.26] Judgment days 审判的日子
Germany's Constitutional Court
德国宪法法院

Judgment days
审判的日子

Mar 26th 2009 | KARLSRUHE
From The Economist print edition

The little-known judges on Germany’s Constitutional Court exert real influence, not only at home but also abroad
德国宪法法院的那些不知名的法官们发挥了实实在在的影响,不但在国内,而且在国外也一样!

Illustration by Peter Schrank



WHEN the principality of Baden merged with two others to form Baden-Württemberg in 1951, its former capital, Karlsruhe, was given a consolation prize: the Constitutional Court of the new federal republic. Modestly housed in squat blocks, the court is far from the capital, Berlin. Yet the federal government (and the states) are forever grappling with its edicts. Any toughening of police powers to deal with terrorism seems to provoke objections in Karlsruhe. So do lesser matters, such as whether commuters can deduct transport costs from taxes or whether bars can let smokers light up. “The Constitutional Court is often called the third chamber of the legislature,” notes Dieter Grimm, a former judge. “There is something in it.”

当1951年巴登和其它两州合并成巴登-符腾堡州时,巴登原来的省会卡尔斯鲁厄[1]拿了一个安慰奖:新的联邦宪法法院就坐落于此。宪法法院建在一堆矮胖的石头里,离德国的首都十分遥远。而联邦政府(以及各州)永远都在法令中摸索。任何对反恐警察权力的增加似乎都会招致宪法法院的反对。一些轻度的事情也有关系:比如,公交一族是否可以从税收中享受交通费的折扣,或者酒吧是否可以允许烟民吸烟。一位前法官Dieter Grimm说,“宪法法院常被称作立法机构的第三极,不可小觑。”

Now the court is to rule on the European Union’s Lisbon treaty, which critics say could put the judges out of business. In February it heard arguments that the treaty would give the EU the attributes of a state without making it democratically accountable, and would sap the court’s powers to protect the fundamental rights of Germans. Yet few court-watchers expect the judges to throw Lisbon out. Germany’s EU membership is enshrined in the constitution; and the court has long-standing partnerships with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

现在该法院将要审理欧盟的里斯本条约[2],评论家们说,这一条约将让法官们毫无“生意”可做。今年二月,该法院听到的一种观点是,条约将使欧盟带有一个主权国家的性质,但却不对民主负责;条约将消耗掉法院保护德国公民宪法权利的职权。但没有一位法治界的观察人士认为法官将抛弃里斯本条约。德国宪法中涵盖了德国的欧盟成员国身份。宪法法院也和卢森堡的欧洲法院以及斯特拉斯堡[3]的欧洲人权法院有着长期合作关系。

Lisbon would tilt the balance of power a bit toward Luxembourg, but not as far as its opponents fear. Judges on the Constitutional Court will not discuss the case, but its vice-president, Andreas Vosskuhle, notes that Germany has often gained influence through the EU. He is right. Moreover, even as the Constitutional Court has been shaping post-war Germany, German jurisprudence has spread to affect Europe and much of the world.

里斯本条约会将权力的天平向卢森堡稍稍倾斜,但并不像那些反对人士担心的那么厉害。宪法法院的法官们不会讨论这个问题,但是德国副总统Andreas Vosskuhle提出,德国常常能影响到整个欧盟。这点是千真万确。而且,甚至在宪法法院重构战后德国时,德国司法的影响就已经波及欧洲甚至整个世界了。

The Constitutional Court is in some people’s eyes Germany’s most powerful institution. Almost 80% of Germans trust it; less than half have confidence in the federal government and the Bundestag, the lower house. Although a political player, the court is seen to be above politics. Parties nominate judges, but they are usually approved unanimously by the legislature. Unlike America’s Supreme Court justices, Germany’s seek consensus and seldom write dissenting opinions. Any citizen may bring a constitutional case, an antidote to Nazi notions of justice, and some 6,000 a year do so.

在部分人眼中,德国宪法法院是德国最有实权的机构。大约80%的人都十分信任她。而对联邦政府和联邦议会及其下级议会的信任不到50%。尽管法院也是政治游戏的玩家,但它却被视为是高于政治的。政党提名法官,但通常要求提名须由立法会全体通过。和美国联邦最高法院的大法官不同,德国法官寻求的是共识,判决书上很少会写反对意见。每个公民都可提起宪法案件,这是对纳粹的法律观的一剂解药。每年大约有6000人会提起宪法案件。

The court is revered partly because Germans’ affinity for the rule of law is greater than for democracy, some scholars say. Germany’s “constitutional patriotism” resembles the American idea of a nation founded on rights and values. But Germans have a different notion of these. American rights—to bear arms and speak freely, for example—are “small and hard”, argues Georg Nolte, a scholar at Humboldt University in Berlin. Germany’s, by contrast, are “fat and flexible”.

也有一些学者认为,宪法法院的崇高地位部分是因为德国人对法治的亲密远胜于她对民主的感觉。德国的这种“宪政热情”和美国以权利和价值建国的观点有些类似。但德国人对此有不同的认识。柏林洪堡大学的一位学者Georg Nolte指出,美国的权利——比如,携带武器和言论自由——是“微小且僵硬的”,与此相对,德国的权利却是“丰富且灵活的”。

The German constitution, or basic law, which will mark its 60th birthday on May 23rd, is a never-again document. Its
first article declares that “human dignity shall be inviolable”. It endows Germany with a weak president and strong state governments. Its freedoms do not extend to those who would destroy freedom, which may explain how Holocaust-denial can be a crime despite freedom of speech.

德国宪法,或者基本法,在5月23日即将迎来她的60岁生日。这部法律是绝无仅有的一部法。在其第一条中,该法规定,“人的尊严是不可侵犯的。”这就造就了一个弱势的德国总统和一个强大的国家政府。她赋予的自由不会延伸至那些破坏自由之人,这就解释了尽管有言论自由,但否认大屠杀的言论也是犯罪。

The court has elaborated rights that the constitution’s authors never envisaged. The Lüth decision of 1958 held that constitutional rights affect citizens’ relations not just with the state but also with each other, a judgment so far-reaching as to be termed a “juridical coup d’état”. The court developed a notion of the “duty to protect” basic rights from threats stemming from private action or social forces. In 1983 the court created a right for individuals to control their personal information. Last year, when considering plans to snoop on the computers of suspected terrorists, it found a right to the “integrity of information-technology systems”. “German society is over-constitutionalised,” observes Donald Kommers, of the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana.

宪法法院详细阐明的有些权利连宪法制定者都没有想到。1958年的吕特案判决书[4]判定,宪法权利影响的不仅仅是公民与国家的关系,而且包括公民间的权利。这个判决影响如此深远,因而也被称为“司法政变”。法院产生了一种“责任”理念,必须要“保护”公民的基本权利免受来自私人或者社会力量的威胁。 1983年,宪法法院创设了公民有保护自己个人信息的权利。去年,考虑到对恐怖主义嫌疑分子电脑的监控计划,宪法法院又创设了一项“信息技术系统完整权 ”。印第安纳州圣母大学的Donald Kommers认为,“德国社会宪政过头了。”

Hans-Jürgen Papier, the court’s president, thinks its reputation for activism is exaggerated. Since 1951 it has judged laws, or parts of laws, unconstitutional in just 611 cases, a small fraction of the number it has considered. But it happens enough to keep the government busy. Recently, for example, it told the government to reinstate a tax deduction for commuters who live near their jobs, one of a number of tax rulings that is causing the finance minister heartburn. The court did not say that commuting costs must be tax-deductible, only that treating people who live close to work differently from those who live far away was unconstitutional.

而宪法法院院长Hans-Jürgen Papier却认为宪法法院这种“激进”的名声夸大其实。自1951年宪法法院开始审查法律(或者说部分法律)时,违宪的法律只有611例,只占接受审查法律的一小部分。而这一小部分已足以让政府忙活一阵了。比如,最近的一例,宪法法院就告知政府要恢复对就近工作的公交一族的减税政策。这是让财政部长极其不适的众多税收判决之一。法院的意思并不是说公交费属于减税范围,而是认为对离工作地点近和离工作地点较远的上班族区别对待这一做法违宪。

Friction has increased over the balance between freedom and security. On rights it deems absolute, the court is implacable. In 2006 it said the air force could not shoot down a plane commandeered by terrorists even to prevent a greater disaster. The court often tells lawmakers to do a better job of balancing means and ends. A decision striking down a state law allowing investigators to monitor suspects’ computers ruled that such powers are permitted only with a judge’s warrant and evidence of a grave crime. That was meant to be a warning to the federal government, which was preparing its own law. Wolfgang Sch?uble, the interior minister, has occasionally struck back; last year he grumbled that some of the judges’ musings were “not democratically legitimate”. Mr Papier says that such tensions between the court and the executive are not new.

在自由和安全间的这种平衡引发了更多的摩擦。但对于那些宪法法院认为必须保护的权利,法院是绝不妥协的。2006年,法院判决,空军不得击落被恐怖分子劫持的飞机,即使是为了防止更大的灾难。该法院经常要求立法者在平衡手段和目的时做得更好些。宪法法院在对一部允许调查人员监控嫌犯电脑的州法审查时,判决该法违宪,认为这种权力只有有证据证明存在严重犯罪且得到了法官的委任状时才能行使。这实质是对正在制定法律的联邦政府的警告。内政部长Wolfgang Sch?uble偶尔也进行了回击。去年,他就抱怨说,法官的一些考量“民主上讲并不合法”。Papier先生说,法院和行政部门的这种冲突已不是第一次啦。

In a world densely populated with rights, every legal act is likely to infringe at least one other. The court uses “proportionality” to decide what can be allowed. The judges subject any infringement to a whole gamut of tests. The answers reveal, for example, where a journalist’s right to free speech ends and a citizen’s right to privacy begins. Possessing a little cannabis is fine, says proportionality, because law enforcement must be balanced against the right to “free development of personality”.

在一个权利密集的世界里,每一合法行为都可能侵犯至少一种其它权利。宪法法院则会使用 “均衡”原则来判断什么行为是法律认可的。法官们对任一侵权行为都将进行全面测试。测试的结果最终会揭示,比如,什么情况下记者的权利不会侵犯言论自由,或者什么情况下公民的权利就是侵犯个人隐私。均衡主义认为,有点大麻没事,因为执法必须和“个性的自由发展”权进行平衡。

Invented by Prussia in the 18th century to limit the Kaiser’s power, proportionality has influenced constitutions from Canada’s to South Africa’s. Mr Nolte calls it “the prime example of the migration of constitutional ideas”. Even America’s Supreme Court, which employs its own form of rights-balancing, is taking an interest. Justice Stephen Breyer referred to proportionality in a recent opinion on gun control, provoking scholarly excitement.

18世纪由普鲁士创造的限制皇帝权力的均衡原则对诸多国家的宪法都产生了深远影响,不管是加拿大还是南非。Nolte先生称之为“宪政思想的传播的典型例证”。美国联邦最高法院(即使她有自己的一套权力平衡体制)对此也颇有兴趣。Stephen Breyer大法官就在最近一项有关枪支管制的判决中提及了均衡原则,这也引发了学界的极大兴趣。

In the meshing of the German constitution with European law, proportionality provides a lubricant. Each side is jealous of its prerogatives but eager to avoid confrontation. Since 1974 Karlsruhe has made the transfer of powers to Europe conditional on the protection of Germans’ basic rights; if these are infringed, the court insists, it can reclaim them. The ECJ, meanwhile, acts as the “motor of European integration” (and on human-rights issues Strasbourg has the last word). Think of an Alexander Calder mobile rather than a pyramid, suggests Renate Jaeger, the German judge on the human-rights court. Occasionally there are conflicts. Strasbourg told the German court that its pro-paparazzi ruling in a case brought by Princess Caroline of Monaco struck the wrong balance between press freedom and privacy. In February the ECJ upheld an EU directive on data collection, using defence of the single market as justification for what looked to Germans like a public-security matter. That raised hackles in Germany.

在德国宪法和欧盟法律的不断融合中,均衡原则起到了润滑剂的作用。各方都对对方的特权心生嫉妒,但又希望不要引发冲突。自1974年开始,卡尔斯鲁厄以保护德国人的基本权利为条件,将权力部分让渡给欧洲。而宪法法院坚持的一点是,一旦基本权利受到侵犯,法院就会收回让渡的权力。同时,欧洲法院扮演着“欧洲整合的发动机”(对于人权问题,斯特拉斯堡有最终决定权)。人权法院的德国法官Renate Jaeger表示,这就像亚历山大?考尔德的活动雕塑,而非金字塔。偶尔,这也有冲突。斯特拉斯堡曾告诫德国法院,它在某一案件中作出的支持狗仔队的判决被摩洛哥卡洛琳公主错误的用来平衡言论自由和隐私。今年2月,欧洲法院支持了欧盟收集信息的法令,以维护单一市场为由为德国人眼中的公共安全问题正名。但这立马激怒了德国。

Lisbon, if ratified, will change things, by giving the European Commission and the ECJ a bigger role in justice and security affairs. Rainer Nickel of the University of Frankfurt foresees a “quantum leap” in the erosion of the Constitutional Court’s powers. But judges are more sanguine. European courts collaborate closely and there is little reason for this to change, whether Lisbon is ratified or not. “It’s a shared learning process,” Mr Vosskuhle argues.

里斯本条约,如果获得批准,将会改变很多事情。这一条约赋予欧洲委员会和欧洲法院在司法和安全问题上更大的权力。法兰克福大学的Rainer Nickel预测说,对削弱宪法法院权力来看,这是一次“量子跃迁”。但是法官们却更加乐观。欧洲的各个法院一直都合作密切,没有理由改变合作的现状,不管里斯本条约是否通过。副总统Vosskuhle先生指出,“这是一个相互学习的过程”。

He will become the court’s youngest-ever president when Mr Papier retires next year. Karlsruhe, he thinks, will have its hands full coping with the implications of new technologies such as genetic engineering, with “sustainability issues” like demography and climate change and with growing threats to “equal living conditions” across Germany, another constitutional issue. It seems certain that there will be life after Lisbon.

Papier先生明年就将离任,他将是宪法法院有史以来最年轻的一位院长。他认为,卡尔斯鲁厄将会忙于处理新技术的内涵(比如生物工程),人口的“可持续性问题”,气候变化,以及另一宪政问题——即对全德的“平等生活条件”的日见增长的各种威胁。似乎可以肯定,后里斯本时代仍是一个生机勃勃的世界。

Notes:
1、卡尔斯鲁厄是德国西南部城市,是德国巴登-符腾堡州的城市。卡尔斯鲁厄是继斯图加特和曼海姆的巴登-符腾堡州第三大城市,面积约173平方千米。卡尔斯鲁厄是德国联邦最高法院和德国联邦宪法法院的所在地。在巴登州与符腾堡州尚未合并为巴登-符腾堡州前,卡尔斯鲁厄曾是巴登州的首府。
2、《里斯本条约》(Lisbon Treaty)是在原《欧盟宪法条约》的基础上修改而成,又被称为“简化版欧盟宪法条约”。
为保证欧盟有效运作和推动欧洲一体化进程,欧盟各国首脑2004年10月在意大利首都罗马签署了《欧盟宪法条约》。按照原定计划,这部欧盟的首部宪法将在所有成员国批准后,于2006年11月1日正式生效。然而,《欧盟宪法条约》却先后遭到法国和荷兰全民公决的否决,批准进程陷入僵局。为解决欧盟制宪危机,2007年6月,欧盟首脑会议决定以一部新条约取代已经失败的《欧盟宪法条约》。同年10月19日,欧盟各国领导人在里斯本就新条约文本达成一致,并将之定名为《里斯本条约》。12月13日,欧盟各国领导人在里斯本正式签署《里斯本条约》。
根据规定,条约签署后交由各成员国批准,在获各国批准后于2009年1月生效。为确保条约顺利通过,欧盟决定各成员国可以通过议会审批方式批准条约,而无需举行可能导致条约遭否决的全民公决。欧盟27个成员国中仅有爱尔兰一国采用全民公决方式来批约。因此,爱尔兰成为《里斯本条约》能否通过的关键。2008年6月12日,爱尔兰在全民公决中否决了《里斯本条约》,欧洲一体化进程再次陷入困境。
3、斯特拉斯堡(法语:Strasbourg,德语:Stra?burg),也译作史特拉斯堡,位于法国国土的东端,与德国隔莱茵河相望,是法国阿尔萨斯大区和下莱茵省的首府。该市人口约27万,而横跨法德两国的都会区(称为“欧洲区”)总人口达到86万多人。
斯特拉斯堡目前属于法国领土。但是在历史上,德国和法国曾多次交替拥有对斯特拉斯堡的主权,因而该市在语言和文化上兼有法国和德国的特点,是这两种不同文化的交汇之地。谷登堡、加尔文、歌德、莫扎特、巴斯德等德法两国名人都曾在斯特拉斯堡居留。
斯特拉斯堡虽然只是法国第七大城市,但是它与日内瓦、纽约以及蒙特利尔一样,是少数几个并非一国首都,却是国际组织总部所在地的城市。斯特拉斯堡与比利时的首都布鲁塞尔一样,驻有欧洲联盟许多重要的机构,包括欧洲理事会、欧洲人权法院、欧盟反贪局、欧洲军团(Eurocorps)、欧洲视听观察,以及最著名的欧洲议会。
4、德国吕特案判决书http://constitutionalism.fyfz.cn/blog/constitutionalism/index.aspx?blogid=329234

发表于10:26 | 阅读全文 | 评论 1 | 编辑 | 分享 0中国建议结束美元时代2009-04-01[2009.03.26] Handle with care 小心应对
[2009.02.26] The dollar as a reserve currency 以美元作为储备货币

Handle with care小心应对

Mar 26th 2009 |
From The Economist print edition

China suggests an end to the dollar era
中国建议结束美元时代

IN FUTURE, changes to the international financial system are likely to be shaped by Beijing as well as Washington. That is the message of an article by Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People’s Bank of China. Mr Zhou calls for a radical reform of the international monetary system in which the dollar would be replaced as the main reserve currency by a global currency. It is a delicate issue, however. When Tim Geithner, America’s treasury secretary, discussed the proposal in New York on March 25th, his remarks sent the dollar tumbling before he made clear that, naturally, he thought the greenback should remain the dominant reserve currency.

在将来,就像美国一样,中国很可能会促进国际金融体系的变革。这是中国人民银行行长周小川发布的一篇文章所隐含的信息。周先生要求彻底改革国际货币体系,由一种全球性的货币来取代美元成为主要储备货币。当然,这是一个很棘手的问题。当美国财政部部长蒂姆.盖特纳于3月25日在纽约讨论这项提议时,他的讲话引发了美元比价的波动,他很快就澄清,认为美元仍然是占主导地位的储备货币。

Mr Zhou’s proposal is China’s way of making clear that it is worried that the Fed’s response to the crisis—printing loads of money—will hurt the dollar and hence the value of China’s huge foreign reserves, of which around two-thirds are in dollars.

周先生的建议清楚地以中国方式表明担忧,美联储为应对危机而大量印制美元将损及美元的价值,进而影响到中国巨额的外汇储备的价值,这其中近三分之二为美元储备。

He suggests that the international financial system, which is based on a single currency (he does not actually cite the dollar), has two main flaws. First, the reserve-currency status of the dollar helped to create global imbalances. Surplus countries have little choice but to place most of their spare funds in the reserve currency since it is used to settle trade and has the most liquid bond market. But this allowed America’s borrowing binge and housing bubble to persist for longer than it otherwise would have. Second, the country that issues the reserve currency faces a trade-off between domestic and international stability. Massive money-printing by the Fed to support the economy makes sense from a national perspective, but it may harm the dollar’s value.

周先生认为基于单一货币(他实际上并没有提及美元)的国际金融体系,有两个主要缺陷。第一,作为储备货币地位的美元促成了全球经济的不平衡性。贸易顺差国家别无选择,只有将大量备用资金投入到储备货币中,用来稳定贸易和拥有最佳流动性的债券市场。但是,这种做法相对其他方式所导致美国更无节制的借贷和持续时间更长的房地产泡沫。第二,储备货币的发行国面临权衡国内和国际的稳定性的抉择。从国际角度来说,美国联邦政府大规模印制美元来支持经济发展无可厚非,但这种做法很可能会损害到美元的价值。

Mr Zhou suggests that the dollar’s reserve status should be transferred to the SDR (Special Drawing Rights), a synthetic currency created by the IMF, whose value is determined as a weighted average of the dollar, euro, yen and pound. The SDR was created in 1969, during the Bretton Woods fixed exchange-rate system, because of concerns that there was insufficient liquidity to support global economic activity. It was originally intended as a reserve currency, but is now mainly used in the accounts for the IMF’s transactions with member countries. SDRs are allocated to IMF members on the basis of their contribution to the fund.

周先生认为,美元的储备地位应移交给由国际货币基金组织所创立的特别提款权,其价值是取决于美元、欧元、日元和英镑的加权平均值。在1969年,因为担心没有足够的流动资金来支持全球经济活动,在制定布雷顿森林固定汇率制度时设立了特别提款权。设立特别提款权初衷是用来作为储备货币的,但现在主要用于国际货币基金组织成员国间的贸易结算。特别提款权对国际货币基金组织成员的配额是以成员国对国际货币基金组织的贡献为基础的。

Mr Zhou’s plan could win support from other emerging economies with large reserves. However, it is unlikely to get off the ground in the near future. It would take years for the SDR to be widely accepted as a means of exchange and a store of value. The total amount of SDRs outstanding is equivalent to only $32 billion, or less than 2% of China’s foreign-exchange reserves, compared with $11 trillion of American Treasury bonds.

周先生的计划可能赢得来自其他拥有巨额外汇储备的新兴经济体的支持。然而,中国也不可能在很短的时间就能取得很大的成效。这将需要几年的时间让特别提款权以一种交易和保值的方式被广泛接受。相比于十一万亿美元的美国国债,特别提款权未缴总额仅相当于三百二十亿美元,还不足中国的外汇储备的百分之二。

There are also big political hurdles. America would resist, because losing its reserve-currency status would raise the cost of financing its budget and current-account deficits. Even Beijing might want to rethink the idea. Mr Zhou praised John Maynard Keynes’s proposal in the 1940s for an international currency, the “Bancor”, based on commodities. But as Mark Williams of Capital Economics says, central to Keynes’s idea was that a tax be imposed on countries running large current-account surpluses, to encourage them to boost domestic demand.

该项提议同时也面临巨大的政治障碍。由于失去储备货币的地位将会提高融资预算成本和导致经常帐户赤字,美国将会抵制这项提议。就连中方可能也要重新考虑这一想法。周先生称赞凯恩斯在二十世纪四十年代所提倡的基于商品定值的国际性货币“ Bancor ”的建议。但资本经济学家马克.威廉姆斯说,凯恩斯的建议的实质是,对那些拥有经常账户巨大盈余的国家征税,来鼓励他们扩大内需。

附加解释:
Bancor: 上世纪四十年代凯恩斯就曾提出采用30种有代表性的商品作为定值基础建立国际货币单位“Bancor”的设想

发表于10:25 | 阅读全文 | 评论 1 | 编辑 | 分享1中国反垄断法:拒外国公司之门外2009-03-24
[2009.03.18] Squeezed out 拒之门外
Coca-Cola in China
可口可乐在中国

Squeezed out
拒之门外

Mar 18th 2009 | HONG KONG
From The Economist print edition

China indicates the real targets of its anti-monopoly law: outsiders

种种迹象表明,中国反垄断法真正的目标是:外国公司


LAST August, after 14 years of debate, the Chinese government at last imposed what was informally referred to as its “economic constitution”, a broad anti-monopoly law for a country rife with state-imposed
monopolies. In the subsequent months, people have wondered how the law would be applied, and whether it would advance China’s transformation into a market economy, or serve as an impediment to genuine competition. On Wednesday March 18th an answer emerged with the rejection of the largest outright acquisition by a foreign company, a $2.4 billion offer by Coca-Cola for China Huiyuan, the country’s largest juice company.

经过了14年的讨论,中国政府最终于去年八月开始实施“经济宪法”,“经济宪法”是一种戏称,因为其只是在国家垄断经济盛行的中国市场上一部粗糙的反垄断法。在此后的几个月里,人们很想看看,这部法律将如何得到应用,是否能帮助中国市场转型成为市场经济,或者是否会成为公平竞争的拦路虎。在今年3月18日,人们得到了答案:中国否决了最大的外商并购案—可口可乐以24亿美元购买中国最大的果汁生产商汇源。

When the deal was announced last September, it was at a price three times Huiyuan’s valuation at the time. Since then, as global markets have collapsed, it has only become more appealing. Huiyuan is a private company and juice had previously been free of government control, so theoretically it should have been available for purchase. “It is a very unfortunate outcome in an industry that has no economic or national-security significance,” says Lester Ross of WilmerHale, a law firm, in Beijing.

去年九月可口可乐公司宣布并购汇源,当时可口可乐公司的出价是汇源价值的三倍。同时,全球市场开始崩溃,使得这一出价更具有吸引力。汇源公司是私营企业,主要经营果汁产品,原本不受政府控制,因此可口可乐公司理应可以购买汇源。来自北京WilmerHale法律公司的Lester Ross说:“这个结果很糟糕,这个行业没有经济意义和国家安全的意义可言。”

The most benign interpretation of the rejection being bandied about
by lawyers and bankers is that it reflects a political response to critical comments by America’s new administration—a warning, of sorts, that could dissipate
quickly if the economic relationship between China and America can find a firm footing. The more dire interpretation is that even as China publicly urges other countries to commit to opening their markets to Chinese investment and trade, it is imposing yet another barrier to outsiders. Worse still, the barriers are in its domestic consumer sector, one of the rare global economic bright spots.

律师和银行家对此的解释很委婉,他们认为此次并购案的否决决议是中国对美国新政府发出的警告所做的政治回应。但事实上,如果中美经济关系能找到稳固的立足点,这个所谓的警告自然烟消云散。另一个解释就比较难听了,中国在催促其它国家对中国的投资与贸易打开大门的同时,却在国内为外国的投资者设置障碍。更糟糕的是,这些障碍设置在国内消费市场—国际经济投资热点之一。

Adding irony to the decision, it comes just as the Chinese government is indicating that it is actively encouraging, if not forcing, consolidation and greater market concentration in a number of areas, including steel, cars and airlines, and just after it imposed a new oligopoly in telecommunications. No domestic Chinese transaction has fallen foul
of the new monopoly law.

更加讽刺的是,此次的并购否决决议表明,即使算不上强制,中国政府也将积极对许多领域进行统一化,集中化整顿,这些领域包括钢铁,汽车和航空。前不久,中国刚刚完成对电信行业的寡头垄断改造。到目前为止,没有任何一桩中国国内交易受到这项新反垄断法的制裁。

Signs that foreign companies might be the primary targets of the law began to emerge in November, when a merger between two brewers, America’s Anheuser-Busch and Belgium’s InBev, was endorsed by Chinese regulators only on the condition that the combined firm’s existing interest in several domestic breweries be frozen. In particular, Anheuser-Busch’s non-controlling 27% stake in Tsingtao, a leading Chinese brewer, was largely liquidated
in January after what is presumed to be pressure from the government.

自去年11月起,种种迹象表明这部反垄断法主要针对的是外国企业。中国批准了两家外国啤酒商的合并案—美国的安海斯布希和比利时的英博,条件是这两家公司在中国本土啤酒厂商的现存利益一律冻结。特别明显的是,安海斯布希在青岛啤酒(中国主要啤酒商)27%无表决权股份于一月基本清算完毕,据说这是由于政府施压所导致的。

The Coca-Cola Company holds as much as half of the domestic Chinese market for carbonated beverages, but the juice business is highly fragmented. Estimates are not particularly reliable, but various accounts suggest the two companies would control more than of 20% of the juice business. In a brief statement, China’s ministry of commerce said Coke’s “dominant status” might “imperil” small competitors and force consumers to face higher prices and less choice.

可口可乐公司占中国碳酸饮料市场一半的份额,但是中国的果汁市场情况极为不统一。虽然统计数据不是非常准确,但各种账目表明,如果可口可乐成功收购汇源,新公司将占中国果汁市场20%以上的份额。中国商务部发表的简短声明中说,可口可乐的“主导地位”会“威胁”到同行业小企业的生存,同时,也会导致消费者在果汁市场上面临更高的价格和更少的选择。

After the decision was announced, investment banks were left wondering, in the words of one employee, whether “a key plank in their business had just blown up
.” Coke has spent years developing its presence in China, and has invested heavily, presumably making it one of the world’s more acceptable buyers. It is also one of the few companies able to finance a big deal in today’s difficult circumstances. If Coke was not acceptable to the Chinese authorities, then who is? The rejection will inevitably be used as evidence of non-reciprocity,and the collusion between the country’s state and private sectors, by anyone opposed to China’s recent efforts to buy companies abroad.

此次并购案否决决议宣布之后,投资银行一片茫然,一位投行雇员说:“业务上的救命木板给吹跑了。”多年来,可口可乐公司一直在加大在华的投资,巨大的投资额为的是成为成为中国市场上令人满意的卖家。可口可乐公司也是现在经济危机中少数有实力进行如此巨大并购活动的公司之一。如果可口可乐公司不能令中国官方满意,还有谁能令中国官方满意呢?对用现在任何反对中国购买国外公司的人来说,此次的否决决议就是中国违反互惠原则的证据,是中国政府与私人企业相勾结的证据。

Deepening the gloom, another new Chinese law comes into effect on May 1st, subjecting
any transfer of a state-controlled asset to yet another layer of review, this time by a local commission. Theoretically this is not aimed at any particular kind of acquirer, and would not block well-conceived deals, but that, of course, was said about the monopoly law as well. The new law had not received much attention. It will now.

雪上加霜的是,3月1日中国又一部新法出台,法律规定,对于国有资产的转移要进行另一层强制审查,由地方委员会完成。理论上来说,这一举措不是针对任何兼并者,也不会阻碍任何良性收购。但事实上,其本质和那部反垄断法是一样的。新法还没有受到关注。但是现在,人们开始关注它了。


发表于13:39 | 阅读全文 | 评论 0 | 编辑 | 分享1

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