《经济学人》:国际货币基金变革时机
日期:2011-06-01 10:51

(单词翻译:单击)

The IMF
国际货币基金组织

Time for a change
变革时机

Why a euro-zone finance minister, even a talented one, should not lead the IMF
为什么欧元区财政部长,即使才能卓越,也不应该担任IMF总裁

OFFICIALLY the search for a new head of the IMF, to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who awaits trial on charges of sexual assault, has barely begun. The fund’s member governments have until June 10th to propose candidates, after which a shortlist will be drawn up. But in practice the race seems all but over. That is because European countries, which hold over a third of the votes on the IMF’s board, have rallied around a single contender: France’s finance minister, Christine Lagarde.

为取代因性侵犯指控而等待审判的多米尼克??斯特劳斯??卡恩,官方物色卡恩继任者的程序已然启动。基金组织成员国必须在6月10日前提交其候选人,最终形成一份总候选人名单。但实际上,这场竞争似乎已经结束。由于在IMF董事会有三分之一投票权的欧洲国家已经联合起来支持他们的单一候选人:法国财长,克里斯蒂娜·拉加德(Christine Lagarde)。

In contrast, emerging economies, which have long argued that the fund should have a non-European boss, have so far conspicuously failed to fix on an alternative candidate. The Americans, kingmakers in this contest, have said little in public but in private seem happy with Ms Lagarde, not least because they hope to keep both the deputy’s job at the fund and the presidency of the World Bank. Barring embarrassments, one French politician is likely to succeed another.

相比之下,新兴经济体国家一直认为基金组织总裁应该由欧洲以外的人担任,但至今他们也没确定一位适合的候选人。在这场竞争中有决定权的美国人,在公开场合虽未说什么,但私下却似乎愿意拉加德当选。重要的是,他们希望将IMF副手和世界银行的总裁职位都由美国人担任。除了局面尴尬,竞争结局很可能是两名法国政客间的接替。

Ms Lagarde has many strengths. She has been a steady and successful finance minister, no mean feat with a boss as mercurial as Nicolas Sarkozy. A lawyer by profession, she lacks the technical background that the IMF’s best bosses have had, but she is a superb communicator, a good negotiator and, by all accounts, an excellent manager. Given the circumstances of Mr Strauss-Kahn’s departure, the fact that she is a woman is a bonus. It is not hard to see why even Western finance ministers with a low opinion of Mr Sarkozy have rushed to anoint her.

拉加德女士(Lagarde)有许多优势。她行事风格稳健,是位成功的财长,并且与善变的萨科齐相处融洽。出身律师的她虽然缺乏IMF顶级总裁应该具备技术背景,但是她是口才精湛的交际官,出色的谈判家,据说还是优秀的经理人。鉴于卡恩离职的背景原因,女性的身份也让拉加德有所加分。不难看出为什么西方国家的财长们尽管都对萨科齐颇有微辞,但却都愿意指定她担任IMF总裁。

But it is still wrong. To begin with, the stitch-up, whereby the head of the IMF is a European and the head of the World Bank is an American, is a disgrace. International posts should be filled according to merit. And the growth of emerging economies makes it even less defensible.

但事情还是有点不对劲。首先,欧洲人和美国人分别担任IMF和世界银行的总裁的内部操纵,本身就不光彩。其次, 国际职位本应按才录用。同时, 新兴经济国家的发展也让这样的操纵安排毫无立足之地。

Not exactly Europe’s moment
时刻未必属于欧洲

Moreover, the case against appointing a euro-zone finance minister as head of the IMF now is overwhelming. The main issue facing the fund is the euro zone. The fund is supposed to be an impartial arbiter of good economic policy. It is the only organisation likely to force a rethink of the euro zone’s failed strategy towards Greece, Ireland and Portugal. There were already fears that Mr Strauss-Kahn’s presidential ambitions led the fund to be too soft on Europe. Ms Lagarde has played a central role in forming the euro zone’s response to its debt crisis, and whatever her private views, she has a public record of defending the indefensible. Staggeringly, some Europeans have tried to argue that only one of their own can understand their continent’s complex politics; imagine the laughter if somebody had made the same argument for Argentina’s finance minister in the 1980s or Thailand’s in 1997.

而且,现在反对欧洲财长担任IMF总裁的呼声已喧嚣尘上。基金组织面临的最主要问题就是欧元区。该组织应该是良好经济政策的公正仲裁者。只有这个组织可能促使人们重新审视欧元区对希腊,爱尔兰和葡萄牙的失败策略。之前已有人担心总裁卡恩的总统野心会造成基金组织在欧洲政策上的软弱无为。拉加德在应对欧元区的债务危机过程中扮演了重要的角色,无论她的个人观点如何,她还是对占不住脚的事情进行了辩护。让人惊奇的是,一些欧洲人认为只有欧洲人能够理解欧洲大陆复杂的政治环境,想下阿根廷财长在20世纪80年代或泰国财长在1997年做出的言论,要是现在还有人与他们的言论同出一辙,那该是件多么可笑的事。

Besides, there are people who could do the job well who do not happen to be euro-zone finance ministers. Stanley Fischer, the governor of Israel’s central bank and former number two at the IMF, has vast experience of international economics and financial crises. Agustín Carstens, head of Mexico’s central bank and also a former official at the fund, is another safe pair of hands. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s finance minister and head of the IMF’s policy advisory committee, is widely admired for his technical and political skills. Among central banker types, Mark Carney (currently at the Bank of Canada) and Arminio Fraga (formerly president of Brazil’s outfit) have stood out. Admittedly, none of these men is perfect: Mr Fischer, for instance, is too old under existing rules and had a patchy record as deputy head of the fund. But none of them is as compromised as Ms Lagarde.

而且,欧元区财长之外,能够胜任此职位的人物也大有人在。斯坦利·费舍尔(Stanley Fischer),以色列央行行长,IMF前二号人物,有应对国际经济与金融危机的丰富经验。奥古斯汀·卡斯腾斯(Agustín Carstens),墨西哥央行行长,IMF前高官,也是另一个合适的人选。尚达曼(Tharman Shanmugaratnam),新加坡财长兼IMF政策咨询委员会主任,因其技术及政治技巧而备受推崇。央行行长中,现任职加拿大银行的马克·卡尼(Mark Carney),巴西金融机构前总裁费拉加(Arminio Fraga)也都是出类拔萃的人选。不可否认,这些人都不完美:比如费舍尔,按现行的任职条件,他的年龄太大,而且在基金组织担任副手期间工作也不是一向良好。比较而言,他们都不如拉加德那样各方面都折中。

It is still not too late for emerging economies to unite around a different candidate, and for America to support their choice. Europe’s monopoly of the IMF’s leadership has long been an anomaly. It is time that it ended.

新兴国家联合起来推选出一个其它候选人还为时不晚,美国人也来得及给予他们支持。IMF由欧洲人垄断一直是件不正常的事,是时机让它结束了。

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重点单词
  • contestn. 竞赛,比赛 vt. 竞赛,争取 vi. 奋斗
  • overwhelmingadj. 势不可挡的,压倒的
  • departuren. 离开,出发,分歧
  • emergingvi. 浮现,(由某种状态)脱出,(事实)显现出来
  • responsen. 回答,响应,反应,答复 n. [宗]答复语,
  • assaultn. 攻击,突袭 vt. 袭击,突袭
  • strategyn. 战略,策略
  • impartialadj. 公平的,不偏不倚的
  • alternativeadj. 两者择一的; 供选择的; 非主流的 n. 替换
  • bonusn. 奖金,红利