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《经济学人》:只要人民高兴

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Gilts as a safe haven for investors
金边债券,投资者的安全港

Whatever floats your boat
只要人民高兴

Long-term interest rates are mercifully low, despite Britain’s huge budget deficit
英国预算赤字再高,低利率也会始终如一

A FORMER chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, once compared financial markets to a sea that was prone to occasional storms. It was better, he said, to be on a big ship when the waters got choppy. But recent events have turned this logic on its head. Market squalls have tossed some of the bigger vessels in the euro-zone flotilla, including Italy and Spain. Nervous investors are jumping instead into some of Europe’s outlying bond markets, such as Sweden, Denmark—and Britain. Although an unlikely haven because of its weak economy, huge private debts, high inflation and swollen deficit, Britain’s ten-year bond yield—ie, the price the Treasury must pay to borrow money for a decade—fell to a record low of 2.2% this month.

前美联储主席保罗•沃尔克曾经把金融市场比作随时可能暴风骤雨的汪洋大海,说在风起云涌的大海中,还是大船比较保险。可近期发生的种种却完全颠覆了他的说法。市场风暴将欧元区舰队中包括意大利,西班牙在内的大型战舰折磨的破败不堪。犹如惊弓之鸟的投资者们纷纷转向欧洲一些外缘债券市场,如瑞典,丹麦,英国。经济疲软,私人债务高企,高通胀和肿胀的赤字,让英国不再是那么安全的避难所,但英国十年期债券收益率,也就是国家需支付借债十年以来的利息的占本息总价格的百分比,已经在这个月下降至2.2%,创史上新低。

Plunging bond yields are not grounds for great cheer. In part, they reflect a fearful retreat from riskier equities and an expectation that low interest rates as a medicine for a sick global economy will be around for a while. But the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, has been quick to claim that the drop in the government’s borrowing costs indicates the markets’ confidence in his deficit-reduction plan.

债券收益率下降,可别高兴的太早。从某种程度上说,这是人们纷纷从高风险股撤退的危险征兆,也说明希望以低利率解决全球经济萎靡的呼声将会持续一段时间。但是财政大臣乔治•奥斯本已迅速声明政府借贷成本的下降表示的是市场对政府削减赤字计划的信心。

There is something to this. In early 2010, even as the euro’s debt crisis was building, Britain’s bond yields were on a par with those of Spain, which has a similarly large budget deficit but smaller public debt. Their paths have since diverged (see chart below). Bond markets, it seems, have taken a more clement view of Britain than of Spain, even though GDP has risen by only 0.7% in the past year in both countries. Mr Osborne’s plan, first unveiled in June 2010, has helped distance Britain from fiscal troubles in the euro zone. It may, of course, simply be that the fetters of euro membership alarm investors more than red ink.

有这样一种说法。早在2010年,即使是在欧元债务危机已经爆发的情况下,英国债券收益率与西班牙仍是持平,不过之后两国收益率的差异也日益明显;当时英国与西班牙拥有同样的巨额预算赤字,但西班牙的国债规模较小。尽管两国去年的GDP增长都只有7%,可债券市场对英国的态度似乎要比西班牙更温和。奥斯本先生在2010年7月首次公开的计划使得英国规避了欧元区的财务纠葛。也许简单来说欧元对于其成员的束缚,比起英国的财政赤字,是让投资者更为担忧的对象。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
securities

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n. 有价证券;担保;保证人;抵押物(security的

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decade ['dekeid]

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n. 十年

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norm [nɔ:m]

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n. 标准,规范

 
unwilling ['ʌn'wiliŋ]

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adj. 不愿意的

 
confidence ['kɔnfidəns]

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adj. 骗得信任的
n. 信任,信心,把握

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fell [fel]

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动词fall的过去式
n. 兽皮
v

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quantitative ['kwɔntitətiv]

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adj. 数量的,定量的

 
mercy ['mə:si]

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n. 怜悯,宽恕,仁慈,恩惠
adj.

 
fearful ['fiəfəl]

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adj. 担心的,可怕的

 
consistent [kən'sistənt]

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adj. 始终如一的,一致的,坚持的

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