《经济学人》:欧洲债务危机
日期:2011-06-07 11:17

(单词翻译:单击)

Europe's debt crisis
欧洲债务危机

World's worst menu
世上最烂账单

Greece has no good options left
希腊没有好牌可打

May 26th 2011 | Berlin | from the print edition

VIENNA’S glories are largely faded but its name is being mentioned with increasing frequency by the euro area’s policymakers. The “Vienna initiative” was a plan, drawn up in 2009, that halted the rot of financial contagion spreading through central and eastern Europe. Foreign banks pledged not to cut their exposures to the region and run. It is now being discussed as a possible model for resolving Greece’s sovereign-debt crisis.

维也纳的荣耀已经基本上消磨殆尽,但是它的名字却在近期被欧元区的决策者们屡次提起。“维也纳倡议”是一项于2009年制定的计划,这个计划的目的在于阻止金融危机向欧洲中部及东部蔓延。外资银行承诺不会减少在该地区的风险敞口并就此撤离该地区。现在,这一计划可能成为解决希腊主权债务危机的方法。

The need to come up with a new plan for Greece is mounting. On May 20th Fitch, a ratings agency, cut the country’s debt rating by another three notches. Yields on Greek ten-year bonds this week reached 16.8%, more than twice what they were a year ago. With the markets shying away, the country will not be able to borrow afresh next year, as had originally been hoped when the country was first bailed out in May 2010. The IMF’s latest review is due out in June; it is likely to praise Greece for its progress so far but also to fret about how next year’s numbers add up.

对于希腊来说,一个全新的计划亟待上马。5月20日,惠誉国际信用评级有限公司(Fitch)将希腊的债务评级再次降低三级。本周希腊十年期国债的收益率达到16.8%,比起一年前提高了两倍有余。随着市场回避,希腊在下一年也不能重新借款,这使得2010年5月希腊首次被金融保释时的最初的希望灰飞烟灭。国际货币金融组织(IMF)最新的报告于六月新鲜出炉,这份报告很可能称赞希腊目前的进展情况,同时也会对明年数字的累加表示忧虑。

The Greek government is playing what few cards it still has. On May 23rd it announced plans to speed up the sale of state-owned assets, including its telephone company, post office and ports. Under pressure from its neighbours and the fund it hopes to raise ?50 billion ($70.8 billion) from privatisations. Asset sales are an attractive way of cleaning up the public balance-sheet without doing anything that further chokes demand. There are, however, doubts that Greece can realise its ambitions, partly because the absence of a land registry means that the government may not have clear legal title to all of the things it wants to sell, partly because it is not clear what price they could fetch, and partly because privatisation arouses political opposition at home.

希腊政府能打的牌已经所剩无几。5月23日,希腊政府宣布计划加速包括电话公司、邮局和港口在内的国有资产的出售。处于邻国和本国资金的双重压力下,希腊政府希望通过私有化募集500亿欧元(约合708亿美元)。对于清理公共的资产负债表来说,国有资产出售是一个极具魅力的方式,因为它不会在远期阻碍需求的增长。然而,仍然有人质疑希腊能不能达成目标,一部分原因是由于希腊没有地政局,这就意味着政府对于自己所想卖的一些资产不具备清晰的法律权利;另一部分原因是由于希腊并没有对出售的资产明码标价;还有一部分原因是由于私有化引起了国内政治反对派的反对。

In any case, sell-offs will not happen quickly enough to bridge the financing gap in 2012. That leaves Europe facing a range of unpalatable options (see table). No European policymaker seems willing to countenance a serious haircut on Greek debt yet, for fear that it undermines confidence elsewhere. And no European politician wants to be seen giving more taxpayers’ money to the Greeks without getting something back.

无论如何,再快的开始抛售也不能填满2012年的财政缺口。这让欧洲面临一系列令人不快的选择(见表)。欧洲政策制定者们目前似乎都不鼓励大量削减希腊的债务,他们害怕这回造成其他地方的信心逐渐丧失。同样的,欧洲政治家们也不想在没有得到回报的情况下付出更多纳税人的金钱给希腊。

Another option is a “reprofiling”, whereby creditors agree to a voluntary extension of the maturity of their bonds. That would not sort out Greece’s finances—it might reduce the net present value of Greek debt by up to 20-25%—but it would keep the country away from the markets for a while. But the ratings agencies have said that such a “soft restructuring”, or even the buyback and cancellation of outstanding bonds (which Moody’s calls a “restructuring by stealth”), would count as a default and lead to further cuts in Greece’s rating. That makes it unacceptable to the European Central Bank (ECB), whose opposition to any form of debt restructuring borders on the pathological.

另一个方法就是“重新评级”,债权人以此自愿同意延长债券的到期日。这一方法不会理清希腊的财政状况,这可能减少希腊债务净现值的20%到25%,但是它会使得希腊原理市场一段时间。然而,评级机构已经指出:“软重组”或者说重新购回或者取消未偿还债券(穆迪评级(Moody)称之为“隐性重组”),会被算作不履行义务的表现,并且会造成希腊评级的进一步下降。这使得该方案很难被欧洲中央银行接受,因为ECB反对任何形式的近乎不理智的债务重组。

Hence the interest in a second Vienna initiative, whereby Greece’s existing creditors would band together and agree to roll over their exposures to Greek debt when they fall due. That would give Greece more time to fix its finances, might keep the ratings agencies at bay, and perhaps even satisfy the ECB. But it would do nothing to reduce Greece’s debt burden and would be hugely difficult to co-ordinate. Bondholders are harder to marshal than bank lenders. And Europe seems unable to get any message straight. “At every meeting we say that we have to get communication right,” says a euro-area minister. “And then someone talks after the meeting.”

因此人们对“维也纳倡议”再次燃起了兴趣,希腊现有债权人会以此结合起来并同意在希腊债券到期时延缓付款。这会给希腊在恢复财政状况上以喘息之机,并且可能使评级机构进退两难,甚至可能让欧洲中央银行(ECB)满意这一结果。但是这不会减少希腊的债务负担,同时这一计划非常难以协调。比起银行领导来,债券持有人更难汇聚一堂。并且欧洲似乎不能直接得到任何信息。某欧元区部长表示:“每次会议我们都说要真诚交流,然后总有人都在会后发言。”

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重点单词
  • frequencyn. 频繁,频率
  • outstandingadj. 突出的,显著的,未支付的
  • bandn. 带,箍,波段 n. 队,一群,乐队 v. 绑扎 v
  • unpalatableadj. 不适口的,不好吃的,让人不快的
  • pressuren. 压力,压强,压迫 v. 施压
  • rangen. 范围,行列,射程,山脉,一系列 v. 排列,归类于
  • extensionn. 伸展,延长,扩充,电话分机
  • initiativeadj. 创始的,初步的,自发的 n. 第一步,首创精神
  • stealthn. 秘密行动,鬼祟
  • confidenceadj. 骗得信任的 n. 信任,信心,把握