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经济学人:降级(Part1)

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Downgraded

Rating firms could lose their special status. The latest in our series


IF THE past decade's financial over-engineering was a crime, rating agencies were the getaway drivers. The punishment for putting their stamp of approval on collateralised-debt obligations, bond insurers and various undeserving dross is becoming clearer. On July 21st the Obama administration proposed legislation that is more comprehensive than many expected.

如果过去十年中金融系统的过度设计是一种罪,那么评级机构就是那个逃逸的肇事司机。越发清晰的是,他们将为他们的过失——为债务抵押债券(CDO),债务保险和各种不值钱的垃圾盖上“赞同”的印章——受到惩罚。奥巴马政府在21日向国会提交了一份立法草案,其中的内容比所预测的更加全面。

The proposals focus on tackling conflicts of interest and on increasing openness. If an analyst is hired by a customer, his past work will be subject to extra scrutiny. The agencies will have to disclose their fees, ratings history and a lot more about their methodologies. They may not do consulting work for ratings clients.

草案致力于解决利益冲突和提高管理透明度。若一个分析师被客户雇佣,那他过往的工作经历将被有关机构严格审查。评级机构将不得不公布他们的收费金额,评级过程以及关于他们如何工作的更多细节。他们也将被禁止向受评企业提供咨询服务。

Such measures should curb the "ratings shopping" that was prevalent in the boom. Greater disclosure will also make it easier for investors to prove in court that agencies were reckless—the industry faces dozens of lawsuits from investors, including CalPERS, a giant Californian pension fund (which, ironically, Moody's put on review for a downgrade this week).

上述措施可以有效抑止繁荣时期所流行的“购买评级”活动。鉴于评级产业正面对无数投资者——这当中包括加州的巨型养老基金CalPERS(讽刺的是,穆迪在本周重新审查了该机构并将其列入降级名单)——的指控,深化的监督能让投资者更容易在法庭上去证明评级机构的评级是鲁莽的。

Like the European Union, which approved its own reforms in April, the Americans stop short of blessing a particular way of paying for ratings. The dominant model, in which the bond issuer pays the rater directly, encouraged cosiness between the two. But the alternatives have flaws too. The "|investor pays" approach encourages freeriding among non-subscribers; and investors, like issuers, have incentives to influence the process. A government ratings utility may be tempted to minimise downgrades when the economy sours.

像在今年4月通过了他们自己的改革方案的欧盟一样,美国人也不再祈祷能找到一个特别为评级付费。现行发行机构直接为评级付费的主导模式,使得两者可以玩些猫腻。但没有一款替代方案是完美的。“投资者付费”方案会给没有申购的投资者搭便车的机会;同时投资者和发行机构一样,也有着强烈影响评级过程的意愿。在经济衰退时,政府评级的效用也会因倾向于减缓经济下滑而受到影响。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
stamp [stæmp]

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n. 邮票,图章,印,跺脚
v. 跺脚,盖章

 
bond [bɔnd]

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n. 债券,结合,粘结剂,粘合剂
vt. 使结

 
particular [pə'tikjulə]

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adj. 特殊的,特别的,特定的,挑剔的
n.

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status ['steitəs]

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n. 地位,身份,情形,状况

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openness ['əupənnis]

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n. 公开;宽阔;率真

 
approach [ə'prəutʃ]

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n. 接近; 途径,方法
v. 靠近,接近,动

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reckless ['reklis]

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adj. 不计后果的,大意的,鲁莽的

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liberal ['libərəl]

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adj. 慷慨的,大方的,自由主义的
n. 自

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dross [drɔs]

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n. 浮渣,糟粕,渣滓

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scrutiny ['skru:tini]

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n. 周密的调查,细看,监视

 


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