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经济学人:银行监管 死刑

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Bank regulation

银行监管
Capital punishment
死刑
The latest global capital rules to make banks safer are sensible. Much else that regulators are doing is not
为了银行更加安全而最新设立的全球资金规则是合理的。监管机构做得许多其他事却并不合理。
GIVEN how many things went wrong at banks during the financial crisis, it is not surprising that regulators have come up with several new rules to set them to rights. On November 10th the Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international body charged with avoiding future crises, unveiled yet another test banks will have to pass—the fifth so far. At the same time Mark Carney, the head of the FSB and governor of the Bank of England, declared that these measures, if taken together and implemented properly, would “substantially complete the job” of “fixing the faultlines” that led to the crash.
考虑到金融危机时期有多少银行出现问题,监管者们提出几个新的规则让银行归位也不足为奇。11月10日,金融稳定委员会,一个防止未来危机发生的国际组织,推出了另一项银行必须通过的测试—迄今为止第五项测试。同时,金融稳定委员会会长兼英格兰银行总裁马克·坎尼宣布,这些措施如果同时采取并且合理执行将会“基本完成”修复导致崩溃的错误这一职能。

Broadly speaking, he is right. The alphabet soup of rules devised in recent years makes it much harder for banks to be run in the risky manner that was all too common before 2007. New liquidity requirements prevent them from borrowing money on fickle overnight markets while lending it on for 30 years, the practice that felled Northern Rock, the first British bank to fail during the crisis. New rules on capital, including the one unveiled by Mr Carney this week, will force banks to have a decent safety buffer so that tiny changes in the value of their assets do not cast them automatically into the arms of the state.

广泛意义来讲,他是正确的。近年来,逐条修改的规则使得银行更难以危险的方式运行,这些方式在2007年以前是非常常见的。新的现金储备防止银行向瞬息万变的隔夜市场借款,再向外贷出为期的30年贷款。 那个做法使得英国首家银行北岩银行在危机中倒闭了。现金方面的新规则包括坎尼本周推出的迫使银行拥有可靠的安全缓冲,这样其资产的微小变化将不会自动使他们处于备战状态。
Better yet, the latest measure ensures that if a bank's shareholders are wiped out there will in future be an additional tier of investors standing between failure and a taxpayer-funded bail-out. “Total loss-absorbing capacity”, in the regulatory argot, will soon include not just the money invested by shareholders, but also that lent by bondholders, most of whom avoided any losses during the crisis thanks to government bail-outs. It is the centrepiece of the FSB's efforts to make sure that no bank is “too big to fail” (see article).
更好的是,最新的措施确保如果银行的股东在那儿倒下,从今以后会成为站在失败和纳税人资助的紧急财政援助之间的投资者的一个额外联系。“总的吸收损失能力”,监管体系的行话,不就将不仅仅包括股东投资的钱,还将包括债券持有人借出的部分,多亏了政府的紧急财政援助,大多数在危机时避免了损失。这是金融稳定委会努力确保没有银行“大而不倒”的重点。(另见文章)
This extra capital is all-important. Before 2007, some banks had such a thin loss-absorbing cushion that a 2% fall in the value of their assets put them out of business. Imposing losses on their creditors involved long and uncertain lawsuits, and so was seldom attempted during moments of crisis. Instead, to stop the panic spreading, governments resorted to bail-outs. Under the new dispensation, however, “systemically important” banks should be able to endure a 20% fall in the value of their assets before placing panicky calls to the central bank.
这笔额外的资金是非常重要的。2007年以前,一些银行只有极小的吸收亏损的缓冲,这样他们资产只要下降2%,他们就要歇业了。将损失强加在债权人身上涉及冗长而又不确定的诉讼,所以在危机时候很少实施。相反,为了阻止恐慌扩散,政府采取紧急援助。但是在新的法律下,“系统性重要”银行在向中央银行发出恐慌警报前,应该可以承受20%的资产减少。
The need to hold more capital makes banks less profitable—but that is no bad thing: the mammoth profits they made in the boom years were predicated on the subsidy they were receiving in the form of implicit government backing. It may also make them shrink, since one way to raise capital relative to assets is to hold fewer assets. That, too, is for the best, as long as people and businesses can find other ways to borrow. Relying more on stock- and bond-issuance would enable the economy to be financed at much less risk to the taxpayer.
需要持有更多的资本使得银行获益更难——但那不是件坏事:他们在蓬勃年代获得的巨大收益基于他们以秘密的政府支持形式所收到的津贴。它也会导致他们缩水,因为一个增加资产资本的方法是持有更少的资产。那也是好的,只要人们和公司能够找到其他方式借钱。更多地依赖股票和债券会使经济对纳税人来讲风险更小。
If they want to stay in business, banks will also have to ask shareholders and the bond markets for more money. Attracting the capital that will make banking safer will be hard, with profit forecasts so anaemic. However it will also be made unnecessarily difficult by capricious behaviour from the very watchdogs who are ordering banks to raise the funds.
如果他们想要继续做生意,银行还要问股东和债券市场要更多钱。吸引使得银行更加安全的资本将会更困难,因为利润预见很贫乏。但是,命令银行增加资金的监察机构多变的行为也未必会使银行更困难。
One problem is the endless tinkering with the rules. For all Mr Carney's talk of finishing the job, global regulators have yet to set the minimum level for several of their new capital requirements. National regulators are just as bad. No bank can be certain how much capital it will need in a few years' time. Pension funds and insurance companies rightly fret that even a tiny tweak in any of the new regulatory tests is enough to send a bank's share price plummeting (or, less often, rocketing).
一个问题是无止境的修补规则。对于坎尼关于结束这项工作的讲话,全球监管机构还没有设置几项最低资本需求。国家监管机构情况也一样糟糕。没有银行能确定几年后需要多少资本。养老基金和保险公司有理由烦恼,新的管理测试里一个极小的变化就足以使得银行的股价骤降(或者极少情况下剧增)。
The dark side of banker-bashing
银行家谴责的阴暗面
The other problem is the multi-billion-dollar fines levied by regulators in America and Europe, seemingly calibrated not to the scale of the alleged wrongdoing but to banks' ability to pay. This week six big international banks agreed to hand over billions for manipulating foreign-exchange markets, with little explanation of how the penalties were calculated. New edicts unrelated to capital, such as America's assaults on money-laundering and tax-dodging, add yet more obligations.
另一个问题是美国和欧洲监管机构征收的好几十亿的罚款,似乎不是以据称的不法行为为衡量标准,而是以银行支付能力为准的。本周,6家大型国际银行同意上交几十亿,理由是操纵外汇市场,没有解释惩罚是怎么计算的。新的与资本不相关的法令,如美国打击洗钱和逃税的法令,增加了更多的义务。
Banks can hardly be surprised that regulators have rewritten the rule-book and then thrown it at them. But, for the health of the system, the rules need to be predictable, transparent and consistent. Incredibly, the regulations emanating from America's Dodd-Frank financial reforms are still being written, more than four years after the law was passed. Europe is scarcely better. Impose demanding capital rules, but stop adding more red tape: that should be the mantra of bank regulators just about everywhere.
银行毫不怀疑,监管机构已经重写了规则,然后扔向他们。但是,为了这个体系的健康,这些规则必须可预测、透明并且一致。难以置信的,源自美国多德弗兰克金融改革的监管机构还在写,而该项法案通过已经有4年了。欧洲情况也没有更好。强加的资本规则,但是不再增加更多的繁文缛节:那是世界各地银行监管者的咒语。译者:王丹培
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