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经济学人:印度身陷困境 最后审判日

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Finance and economics

财经商业
India in trouble
印度身陷困境
The reckoning
最后审判日
Why India is particularly vulnerable to the turbulence rattling emerging markets
为什么印度新兴市场特别容易受到震荡
ON THE morning of August 17th most of India's economic policymakers gathered in the prime minister's house in Delhi.
8月17日上午,大多数印度经济政策制定者聚集在德里的总理府邸。
They were there to launch an official economic history of 1981-97, a period which included the balance-of-payments crisis of 1991.
他们聚集那里为了发布一项官方的1981年到1997年间的经济史,这个时期包括1991年的国际收支危机。
The mood was tense.
氛围十分紧张。

India, said Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, faced very difficult circumstances.

总理曼莫汉·辛格说,印度面临十分困难的状况。
Does history repeat itself? asked Duvvuri Subbarao, the outgoing head of the Reserve Bank of India.
历史重演了吗?即将退休的印度央行行长苏巴拉奥问道,
As if we learn nothing from one crisis to another?
好像我们没有从一次经济危机到另一次经济危机中什么都没有学到?
The day before Indian financial markets had had their rockiest session for many years.
之前,印度金融市场最困难的时期持续了很多年了。
The rupee sank and stockmarkets tumbled.
卢比贬值,股市坍塌。
Money-market rates rose.
货币市场汇率上升。
The shares of banks thought to be either full of bad debts or short of deposit funding fell sharply.
人们认为满是坏账或者缺少存款资金的银行股份迅速贬值。
The sell-off had been made worse by new capital controls introduced on August 14th in response to incipient signs of capital flight.
为应对早期资金外流现象,8月14日实施的资本控制使得证券抛售变得更糟糕。
They reduce the amount Indian residents and firms can take out of the country.
他们减少了印度居民和公司可以带出国家的资金量。
Foreign investors took fright, fearful that India might freeze their funds too, much as Malaysia did during its crisis in 1998.
外国投资者受到了惊吓,担心印度也会冻结他们的资金,就像马来西亚1998年经济危机的时候采取的措施一样。
India's authorities have since ruled that out.
印度当局后来排除了那种可能。
But markets keep sliding.
但是市场持续下滑。
On August 20th the RBI said it would intervene to try to calm bond yields.
8月20日,印度央行称会试着稳定债券收益率。
The rupee has dropped to over 64 to the dollar, an all-time low and 13% below its level three months ago.
卢比已贬值至一美元64卢比,价值空前的低,比三个月前水平低13%。
It is widely agreed the country is in its worst economic bind since 1991.
人们普遍认为,这个国家处在自从1991年以来最糟糕的经济窘境中。
India is not being singled out.
印度不是被单挑出来的。
Since May, when the Federal Reserve first said it might slow the pace of its asset purchases,investors have begun adjusting to a world without ultra-cheap money.
从五月份以来,当美联储首次表明会放慢其资产收购的进程时,投资者已经开始适应没有超低息政策的世界。
There has been a great withdrawal of funds from emerging markets, where most currencies have fallen by 5-15% against the dollar in the past three months.
大量资金从新兴市场撤出,这些市场过去的三个月卢比对美元汇率下降了5-15%。
Bond yields have risen from Brazil to Thailand.
债券收益从巴西上升到了泰国水平。
Some governments have intervened.
一些政府介入了。
On July 11th Indonesia raised its benchmark interest rate to bolster its currency.
7月11日,印度尼西亚提升了其基准利率来加强货币。
On August 21st its president said he would soon announce further measures to ensure stability.
8月21日,印尼总统表明不久就会宣布进一步的措施来确保经济稳定。
India, Asia's third-biggest economy, is more vulnerable than most, however.
印度,亚洲第三大经济,却比大多数国家更脆弱。
Economic news has disappointed for two years, with growth falling to 4-5%, half the rate seen during the 2003-08 boom.
经济新闻让人们失望了两年了,经济增长率降到4-5%,其中一半的经济增长率还是在2003-08年经济蓬勃时期发展起来的。
It may fall further.
经济增长率还会进一步下跌。
Consumer-price inflation remains stubborn at 10%.
消费物价上涨仍保持在10%。
A drive by Palaniappan Chidambaram, the finance minister, to push through a package of reforms and free big industrial projects from red tape has not worked.
由财务部长帕拉尼亚潘·奇丹巴南为从繁文缛节中通过一系列改革和免费的大型工业项目而发起的运动还没有效果。
An election is due by May 2014, adding to uncertainty.
选举在2014年5月,也增加了不确定性。
India's dependence on foreign capital is also high and has risen sharply.
印度对外资的依赖程度也很高并且上升很迅速。
The current-account deficit soared to almost 7% of GDP at the end of 2012, although it is expected to be 4-5% this year.
往来账户逆差2012年底急升至将近GDP的7%,虽然今年预期逆差是4-5%。
External borrowing has not risen by much relative to GDP—the ratio stands at 21% today—but debt has become more short-term, and therefore riskier.
外债相对于GDP没有上升很多—现在比例在21%—但是债务更多是短期的,因此更危险。
Total financing needs are $250 billion over the next year.
财政需求总额下一年是2.5亿美元。
India's reserves are $279 billion, giving a coverage ratio of 1.1 times.
印度的储备是2.79亿,是偿还能力系数的1.1倍。
That has fallen sharply from over three times in 2007-08 and leaves India looking weaker than many of its peers.
2007-08这个储备下降了3倍多,也使印度看起来比许多同样的国家看起来更弱。
It is therefore vital that foreign equity investors stay put.
因此,外资股权投资者留在原处很重要。
They own perhaps $200 billion of shares at current prices.
按现时价格计算,他们可能拥有2亿美元的股份。
They have sold only about $3 billion since May, but if they head for the exit India would have no defence.
自从五月份以来,他们只卖了大约3百万股份,但是如果他们撤出,印度将失去所有的防御。
This is not a repeat of 1991.
这不是1991年的一种重复。
When India last had a crisis Boris Yeltsin was about to stand on a tank in Moscow and Nirvana was hitting the big time.
当印度最后一次经济危机的时候,鲍里斯·叶利钦在莫斯科正要上台,涅槃乐队正出名。
Things have changed in financial terms, too.
融资条件也发生了变化。
Back then India had a fixed exchange rate, which the state almost bankrupted itself trying to defend—it had to fly gold to the Bank of England in return for a loan.
当时,印度有固定汇率,这是即将破产的国家努力维护的,为了还贷款,它必须空运黄金给英格兰银行。
Today India has a floating exchange rate and a government with almost no foreign-currency debt.
今天,印度有浮动汇率,还有一个几乎没有外币债务的政府。
A slump in the currency poses no immediate threat to the government's solvency.
货币的贬值对政府的偿付能力没有直接的威胁。
The pain will be felt in other ways.
痛苦会以其他方式感受到。
Private firms that owe most of India's foreign debt will be under intense strain, particularly if the rupee drops further.
欠了绝大多数印度外国债务的私人公司将会非常紧张,尤其是如果卢比进一步下跌。
Some will go bust.
有些公司会破产。
Market interest rates will stay high, causing a liquidity squeeze.
市场利率会居高不下,导致流动性短缺。
All this makes life even tougher for India's state-owned banks, which already have sour loans equivalent to 10-12% of their loan books.
这些情况使得印度国有银行的日子更难过,这已经恶化了等同于贷款账项的10-12%。
Inflation will rise.
通货膨胀会加剧。
And the government's finances will be under strain as the cost of its subsidies on imported fuel gets bigger.
政府财政会随着进口燃料补贴上升而承受巨大压力。
There is probably little the authorities can do to shore up the currency in the short term.
短期内,政府当局可能没有什么可以做支撑货币。
The rupee is one of the world's most actively traded currencies and at least half the turnover is abroad.
卢比是世界上最活跃的交易货币之一,至少有一半的营业额在国外。
Privately, officials reckon the rupee's fair value, taking into account India's higher inflation and productivity over the past few years, is a little less than 60 per dollar, so the market has yet to overshoot wildly.
私底下,考虑到近几年印度更严重的通货膨胀和生产率,官员认为卢比的公允价值低于1美元60卢比,所以市场还没有严重超过。
Raghuram Rajan, the incoming governor of the RBI, is likely to take a hands-off approach.
即将上任的印度央行管理人拉古拉姆·拉詹可能会采取不干涉的措施。
That doesn't mean the government will—or should.
这不意味着政府会或者必须这么做。
On August 19th it banned the import through airports of duty-free flat-screen TVs, which Indians can often be seen heaving through check-in at Dubai.
8月19日,印度禁止空运进口免税平板电视,经常可以看到印度人在迪拜办理登记手续处拖着这些东西。
It may seek to raise duties further on gold imports, which Indians are addicted to in part because it is seen as a hedge against inflation.
印度人在某种程度上沉迷于此因为这被看做是来抵消通过膨胀造成损失。
Gross gold imports were 3% of GDP last year, blowing a huge hole in the external finances.
去年黄金进口总值是GDP的3%,给外部融资带来了巨大的损失。
History suggests the higher taxes on gold imports are, the worse smuggling gets.
历史表明进口黄金税收越高,走私越严重。
But India imports 800-odd tonnes of bullion a year. That's a lot of gold to hide in suitcases.
但是印度每年进口大约800公吨金条,那会有很多金子要藏在箱子里。
The government will also try to persuade the Supreme Court to lift its ban on iron-ore exports, imposed after a series of corruption scams.
在一系列腐败骗局发生后,政府也会试着说服最高法院解除铁矿出口的禁令。
At its peak this industry generated exports worth about 0.4% of GDP, although experts doubt that mothballed mines can be ramped up fast.
在其全盛时期,这项工业出口价值约0.4%的GDP,虽然专家们怀疑封存矿山是否会增加很快。
The government may also cut fuel subsidies.
政府可能还会减少燃料补贴。
That would reduce demand for imported fuel and help it hit a fiscal-deficit target of about 7% of GDP.
这会减少对进口燃料的需求,并帮助达成GDP7%的财政赤字目标。
The longer-term solution to the balance-of-payments problem may be to ramp up India's manufacturing sector, and thus its industrial exports.
国际收支差额问题的长期解决措施可能是增加印度制造业以及其工业出口。
But that will take a big improvement in the business climate, not just a cheap currency.
但是那样会大幅改善商业环境,不仅仅是廉价的货币。
Despite the rupee's 27% tumble in the past three years there is scant sign of global manufacturers shifting production to India.
虽然卢比价值在过去三年下跌了27%,有迹象表明全球制造商正将生产向印度转移。
India's position could still get worse.
印度的处境可能仍然在恶化。
But assuming things stabilise, when the official histories come to be written about 2013, what might they say?
但是如果形势稳定下来了,当要记载2013年的官方历史时,他们会说什么呢?
Most likely that the rupee's slump caused a severe shock to the economy that made a recovery in growth rates even harder.
最有可能的是卢比下跌对经济产生严重冲击,使得经济增长率恢复更加困难。
But perhaps, also, that it prompted a more serious debate about the policies that India needs to become less vulnerable to the whims of an unforgiving world.
但是也有可能会激起更严肃的讨论,关于印度要变得更能应对变化多端难以应付世界。
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intervene [.intə'vi:n]

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vi. 干涉,干预,插入,介入,调停,阻挠

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productivity [.prɔdʌk'tiviti]

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n. 生产率,生产能力

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turbulence ['tə:bjuləns]

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动荡 n. 喧嚣,狂暴,骚乱,湍流

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import [im'pɔ:t]

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n. 进口,进口商品,意义
v. 进口,输入

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solution [sə'lu:ʃən]

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n. 解答,解决办法,溶解,溶液

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strain [strein]

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n. 紧张,拉紧,血统
v. 劳累,拉紧,过份

 
shifting [ʃiftiŋ]

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n. 转移 adj. 不断改换的 动词shift的现在分

 
election [i'lekʃən]

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loan [ləun]

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n. 贷款,借出,债权人
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