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经济学人:货币市场基金 伪造面值

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Money-market funds

货币市场基金
Faking the buck
伪造面值
America sets new rules for a common short-term investment
美国针对常见短期投资设定监管新规
IT IS a huge investment class: a 2.8 trillion one, to be exact. And it had long been thought of as a mundane one, just a notch more adventurous than a current account. Yet writing new rules for America's money-market funds, which invest in short-term commercial and government debt, has been “one of the most flawed and controversial” deliberations ever undertaken by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wall Street's main regulator, according to Luis Aguilar, the only one of the five commissioners in office throughout the process.
货币市场基金是一个巨大的投资产业:准确而言,其资产规模达2.8亿美元。它长期以来都被认为无甚特别,只是比活期账户稍具风险性罢了。然而,据美国证交会办公室五个委员之中唯一参与整个监管新规制定进程的路易斯阿吉拉尔称,美国证券交易委员会目前针对投资于短期商业和政府债务的货币市场基金出台了新规,这份规章是作为华尔街主要监管机构的证交会有史以来“最具缺陷的和争议”的商议之一。

By a 3-2 vote on July 23rd, the SEC at last approved two big changes. The first allowed funds to impose fees on redemptions or suspend them for up to ten days to prevent runs. The second requires that the most volatile funds, which cater to institutions and invest in corporate debt, disclose the value of a share to a fraction of a penny.

7月23日,美国证券交易委员会的五名委员以3比2的投票结果批准了两项监管规定的大变革。其一是允许基金在赎回时征收流动性费用或将赎回期暂缓十天,以防止挤兑;其二是要求投资公司债券、面向机构投资者的优质市场基金不再维持每单位1美元的固定股价。
The second change is more important than it sounds. By convention, money-market funds are priced at a steady dollar a share; changes in value are reflected only in the interest they pay. Variations in the value of the underlying assets are small because they mature in a matter of days, but they do occur. In the past, that has been hidden by tiny amounts of rounding. Though this ruse will now be banned for some funds, those that cater to individual investors will still be allowed to use it.
第二个变革比听起来更加重要。按照惯例,货币市场基金的价格固定为每单位1美元,价值的变动仅仅反映在支付的利息上。因为数日后即已到期,其资产价值变动很小,然确实有变化。在过去,资产价值的变动一直被微量的四舍五入所隐藏。虽然现在一些资金已禁止进行此类处理,那些面向个人投资者的基金仍被允许继续使用这种手段。
That matters, since the fixed value contributed to the impression that money-market funds offered the safety of bank deposits with higher returns. In September 2008 that notion was punctured when the Reserve Fund, which had a little over 1% of its assets invested in debt issued by Lehman Brothers, was forced by the investment bank's collapse to “break the buck”: reveal a decline in the value of its shares to slightly less than 1. That sparked panicked redemptions at it and other funds.
这很能说明问题,固定价值给人的印象便是货币市场基金拥有可比拟银行存款的安全性,且能提供更高收益。然而就在2008年9月,这一概念被撤下神坛。主要储备基金将其略高于1%的资产投资于雷曼兄弟发行的债券,其后,雷曼投行破产,储备基金的单位资产净值“跌破面值”:每单位价格下降至略低于1美元,引发储备基金和其他基金大规模恐慌性赎回。
The panic, in turn, crunched credit for firms that relied on short-term debt and fanned fears of a systemic meltdown. In response, the Treasury provided temporary guarantees for money-market funds, now lapsed. In 2010 and again in 2012 the SEC tightened restrictions on the kinds of securities funds could buy. But it rejected a plan to require funds to hold buffers of capital like banks, for fear it would further dent a battered business.
这股恐慌情绪反过来影响到依靠短期债务的企业信贷,激起人们对系统性崩溃的担忧。对此,美国财政部不得不对货币市场基金提供临时担保。在2010年与2012年,美国证券交易委员会加强了对各类证券资金的购买限制。但它否决了一项要求基金如银行般持有缓冲资本方案,以免其进一步削弱遭受重创的业务。
Mary Jo White, the SEC's chairwoman, says the new rules will “protect investors and the financial system in a crisis.” But the two dissenting commissioners fear they may do more harm than good. Allowing funds to suspend redemptions may actually spark runs, as investors rush to pre-empt any curbs, argues one of them. The other worries that the changes will divert the gullible to even more misleading investments, notably “stable value” funds. These cater to much the same niche as money-market funds and, despite their name, offer no guarantees. Rather than trying to protect investors from risk, the SEC might do better to ensure that the risks they are running are clearly disclosed.
美国证券交易委员会的女主席玛丽?乔?怀特说,新规则将“于危机中保护投资者和金融体系。”但是存有异议的两个委员担心此举可能弊大于利。其中一人认为,由于投资者遇到困境时总会匆匆先发制人,基金的暂缓赎回实际上可能激发挤兑风潮。另一人则担心这些变革将轻信的人转至更为误导性投资,尤其是“稳定价值”基金上。略去它们的名称,这类基金与货币市场基金面向大致相同的市场,且未提供担保。比起试图保护投资者使他们免于面临风险,美国证券交易委员会最好还是确保对运作中的风险进行明确披露。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
suspend [səs'pend]

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v. 推迟,悬挂,暂停,勒令停职

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mundane ['mʌndein]

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adj. 平凡的,世俗的,宇宙的

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flawed [flɔ:d]

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adj. 有缺陷的;有瑕疵的;有裂纹的

 
reveal [ri'vi:l]

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vt. 显示,透露
n. (外墙与门或窗之间的

 
underlying [.ʌndə'laiiŋ]

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adj. 在下面的,基本的,隐含的

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adventurous [əd'ventʃərəs]

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adj. 爱冒险的,大胆的,惊险的

 
dent [dent]

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n. 凹痕,心理阴影,挫伤 vt. 弄凹 vi. 形成凹

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notch [nɔtʃ]

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n. 刻痕,等级,峡谷 vt. 刻凹痕,用刻痕计算,计分

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gullible ['gʌləbl]

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adj. 易受骗的,轻信的

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credit ['kredit]

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n. 信用,荣誉,贷款,学分,赞扬,赊欠,贷方

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