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经济学人:新兴市场,取舍之间

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Emerging markets: To have or have not

新兴市场:取舍之间

Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles. By Ruchir Sharma

《经济突破型国家:追逐未来经济奇迹》,拉尔奇.沙尔曼著

“EMERGING markets” is a useful term precisely because it is imprecise. Coined for the convenience of investors looking for somewhere exciting to put their money, it covers a bewildering range of economies with little in common, except that they are not too rich, not too poor and not too closed to foreign capital.

“新兴市场”这个词,准确说来,实用性在于它的定义不准确。投资者想找个热门地区投资,此词便应运而生,它涵盖的经济体范围令人匪夷所思,而且各国间几无共性,当然,除了两点,他们都非贫非富,还不太排斥外资。

The invention of “emerging markets” as an asset class required the invention of experts to manage those assets; experts who could discourse confidently about places as far apart as South Korea and South Africa. It might seem impossible to say anything coherent about such an eclectic mix of places. But in fact emerging markets have shadowed each other surprisingly closely in recent years, as Ruchir Sharma of Morgan Stanley points out in his new book, “Breakout Nations”.

创造“新兴市场”来定义一种资产类别需要专家来掌控这些资产,而此类专家通常能言之凿凿地谈论某两个相距甚远的国家,比如韩国和南非。要讨论这种风马牛不相及组合的相关性似乎是不可能的。但实际上,近年来,这些新兴国家相互间已经出现了千丝万缕的联系,于是摩根斯坦利公司的拉尔奇.沙尔曼在他的新书中提出一个新概念——“经济突破型国家”。

Mr Sharma argues that emerging-market funds have lost sight of local idiosyncrasies in their fixation with global macroeconomic forces. Because of this “macro mania”, funds make “little or no distinction between Poland and Peru, India and Indonesia”, which he suggests further synchronises these markets. Emerging markets may have little in common except the funds created to invest in them, but that in itself creates a powerful affinity between them. The term “emerging markets” has helped to create the world it named.

沙尔曼认为,新兴市场的投资,由于对全球宏观调控力的盲目依赖,已丢失因地制宜的前瞻性。而这类“宏观热”也导致“波兰和秘鲁,印度和印尼几无特色,如出一辙”。对此,沙尔曼提议要再进一步协调这些市场。新兴市场国间除了资本来源外再无共性,但是这些资本本身就产生了强大的联系。可以说,是“新兴市场”一词促使了新兴市场的产生。

Mr Sharma offers a diverting guide to that world. Based in New York, he spends about a week each month in one emerging market or another, briefing Vladimir Putin in Russia, partying on the shores of Turkey’s Bosporus, or hopping from one S?o Paulo helipad to another. In addition to growth rates and stockmarket returns, he monitors billionaire lists, the size of second cities and the prices of hotel rooms. He worries when a country’s billionaires become too rich (India has far fewer billionaires than China, but more of them are worth over $10 billion); its second cities are too small (Bangkok’s dominance suggests an overconcentration of opportunity in Thailand); and its hotel rooms are too expensive. The price of a room in Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton ($924) and S?o Paulo’s Fasano hotel ($720) are telltale signs that the commodity wealth in Russia and Brazil is bidding up prices across the board, eroding the competitiveness of other industries.

沙尔曼以颇有意思的方式带领读者们进入这个新世界。他把总部设在纽约,每月花上一周去一两个新兴市场国,去俄罗斯就介绍介绍普京,去土耳其就在博斯普鲁斯海峡岸边聚会,或者在圣保罗乘着飞机来去。除了关注增长率和股市盈利,沙尔曼还跟踪记录着这些地区的财富榜、第二大城市规模以及酒店价格。他担忧:某国的亿万富翁过多(印度的亿万富翁综述比中国少得多,但身家十亿以上的却更多);第二城市规模太小(曼谷投资条件的确得天独厚,泰国的投资却过于集中于此);或者酒店房间价格过高。一间客房的价格,比如莫斯科丽思卡尔顿酒店(924美元)和圣保罗法萨诺酒店(720美元),就可以透露出俄罗斯和巴西商品市场正在全线哄抬物价,同时,这也削弱了其他产业的竞争力。

As it jumps from one country to the next, the book throws up some intriguing juxtapositions. Dissatisfied with the obvious parallels between India and China, Mr Sharma sees a cultural kinship between India and Brazil, countries united in their “late dining habits”, “colourful personalities” and “casual informality”. He hopes that the Philippines will escape Mexico’s fate as a “tycoon economy” dominated by fat cats in sheltered domestic markets. He likens Kemal Ataturk’s imposition of secularism on Turkey’s Muslim population to the imposition of communism on eastern Europe. Under the moderately Islamic leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he argues, Turkey is now free to be itself. Its pop culture is rolling across the Middle East like the “Korean wave” sweeping Asia.

从一个国家到另一个国家,书中还给出了一些有趣的国家组合。拿印度和中国对比已经不新鲜了,于是沙尔曼发现了印度和巴西的文化相似性,比如他们都“饭点很迟”、“个性十足”还很“随意不拘束”。他希望菲律宾能够避开墨西哥式的“大亨经济”——在国内市场庇护下,大企业家主宰却不利国家整体经济发展的经济模式。凯末尔曾强加给穆斯林教徒政教分离政策,作者将其与东欧那昙花一现的共产主义类比。他认为在温和派领导人埃尔多安的领导下,土耳其已成为了一个自由的国度,其流行文化横扫中东,可与风靡亚洲的“韩流”相媲美。

Mr Sharma tries to draw some general principles—“rules of the road”—from this clutch of insights, but even he does not take them too seriously (one of his rules is “Don’t get hung up on rules”). Unfortunately, his insights are also sprinkled with mistakes. He implies that South Korea’s hard landing after the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98 was a blessing in disguise—a salutary shake-up that propelled it into the OECD club of rich nations. But South Korea was already a member before that calamity. He thinks American policymakers followed Friedrich Hayek’s advice in the early years of the Depression, even though Hayek was virtually unknown in the English-speaking world until 1931. He also credits Hayekian ideas for America’s economic might in 1950, thereby ignoring the impact of both the New Deal and the second world war.

沙尔曼想从自己的智慧中总结出一些规则——和交通规则一样大众的——然而他自己都不认真(他还说“别太墨守成规”呢)。可惜他的智慧规则漏洞百出。他暗示,97至98年亚洲经济危机后,韩国的硬着陆实际上是因祸得福——经过重组反而使他们进入了世界经合组织。但事实是,在经济危机之前,韩国就已经是经合组织的成员之一了。他还说,经济大萧条前期,美国决策者们听从了哈耶克的建议,然而,在1931年之前,哈耶克这个名字在英语世界根本不为人知。他还无视罗斯福新政和二战的影响,将1950年美国强大的经济实力归功于哈耶克主义。

Mr Sharma falls for the hoary fallacy that economies compete with each other in the same way that companies do. “The growth game is all about beating expectations, and your peers,” he writes. But one country’s success does not put its peers out of business; on the contrary, it creates a bigger potential market for their goods. His view may be warped by his role as a fund manager, watching countries compete with each other for his funds. As an investor, he must also look for countries that might beat expectations. If a country’s success is widely recognised, the good news will already be priced into its assets. In the period since Brazil’s economy featured on the cover of this newspaper in 2009, Mr Sharma points out, its stockmarket has fallen in dollar terms.

沙尔曼还笃信一个老掉牙的谬论:国家间的竞争和企业间的比拼一模一样。他写到:“发展的游戏规则永远是打击对手、超越预期”。可是一国的成功并不会灭亡他国,反而会为他国提供更大的潜在商品市场。沙尔曼的看法也许受他的职业影响甚大,作为一名基金管理人,他必须发掘那些可能会超越预期、潜能无限的国家。如果一国的崛起众所周知,那么这项荣誉无形中已经成为了它的资产。2009年,巴西经济起飞的新闻登上了本杂志的封面,沙尔曼紧接着指出,用美元来计算,巴西的股市已经跌落。

Mr Sharma does not believe the shared success of emerging economies can continue. Some countries will break out from the pack, others will disappoint. The very concept of emerging markets may lose its appeal, he writes, as investors discover they need to distinguish between them: “These economies are now too big to be lumped into one marginal class, and are better understood as individual nations.” But if emerging markets stop making sense as an investment category, what will happen to the globe-trotting emerging-markets expert? “Breakout Nations” is something of a paradox: a broad, breezy book in praise of narrowness and depth.

新兴市场共享成功,但沙尔曼认为前景不太乐观,有些国家将会突出重围,而剩下的则暗自神伤。他在书中说,当投资者们发现急需发展地区特色的时候,新兴市场这个概念也许会失去吸引力:“事到如今,将这些新兴国家统一归为的边缘国,已经太大材小用了,独立发展将是更好的选择。”但如果新兴市场国们不再归为一种投资类别,那么,那些周游列新兴国的专家们又将何去何从?“经济突破型国家”一书有点自相矛盾:它视角广泛、轻松活泼,富有深度却又略显狭隘。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
coherent [kəu'hiərənt]

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adj. 合理的,一贯的,明了的,粘着的,相干的

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global ['gləubəl]

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adj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的

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competitiveness [kəm'petitivnis]

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n. 竞争能力

 
contrary ['kɔntrəri]

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adj. 相反的,截然不同的
adv. 相反(

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range [reindʒ]

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n. 范围,行列,射程,山脉,一系列
v. 排

 
depression [di'preʃən]

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n. 沮丧,萧条

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category ['kætigəri]

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n. 种类,类别

 
investor [in'vestə]

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n. 投资者

 
intriguing [in'tri:giŋ]

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adj. 吸引人的,有趣的 vbl. 密谋,私通

 
affinity [ə'finiti]

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n. 姻亲,密切关系,吸引力

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关键字: 市场 学人 经济

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