《经济学人》:人民币的崛起
日期:2011-08-22 10:23

(单词翻译:单击)

China's currency
中国的货币

the rise of the redback
人民币的崛起

China will have to open its financial market if it wants the yuan to rival the dollar
如果想让人民币击败美元,中国必须开放其金融市场

Jan 20th 2011 | from PRINT EDITION

IN 1965 Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, then France’s finance minister, complained that America, as the issuer of the world’s reserve currency, enjoyed “an exorbitant privilege”. China’s president, Hu Jintao, does not have quite the same way with words. But on the eve of his visit to America this week he told two of the country’s newspapers that the international currency system was a “product of the past”. Something can be a product of the past without being a thing of the past. But his implication was clear: the dollar’s role reflects America’s historical clout, not its present stature.

在1965年时,瓦勒里·季斯卡·德斯坦还是法国财政部部长,当时他抱怨到作为世界储备货币发行国的美国,享有者一种“嚣张的特权”。不过中国国家主席胡锦涛用另外的说法表达了这个意思在本周出访美国前夕,他告诉两家国内的报纸说国际货币体系是“旧时代的产物”。有些东西在没有成为陈迹之前,就已经成为过去的产物。但是他的意思很清楚:美元反映的是美国在过去的影响力,但是不现在的情况。

Mr Hu is right that America’s currency punches above its economy’s diminished weight in the world. America’s share of global output (20%), trade (only 11%) and even financial assets (about 30%) is shrinking, as emerging economies flourish. But many of those economies, such as South Korea, still sell their exports for dollars; many, including China, still peg their currencies to the greenback, however loosely; and about 60% of the world’s foreign-exchange reserves remain in dollars.

胡先生是对的,美元地位与其在世界经济中不断下降的份额不相称。在世界产出中美国所占的份额(20%),在世界贸易中美国拥有的份额(11%)以及在金融资产上的美国的份额(30%)都在萎缩,而新兴市场经济体却不断繁荣。可是这其中的大部分国家,比如韩国,还在用美元结算出口商品;很多国家,包括中国,仍然将其货币与美元挂钩,只不过现在跟随步伐不那么紧了;而且,世界外汇储备中大约有60%仍然使用美元。

This allows America to borrow cheaply from the rest of the world. Its government has been able to overspend, secure in the knowledge that its IOUs will be bought by foreign central banks, which are not too fussy about price. America would show more self-discipline, many Chinese believe, if the dollar had a little bit more competition.

这种情况的存在使美国可以很便宜地从世界其它地方购买商品。由于知道自己发行的票据会被国外央行购买,所以美国政府能够过度花费而不对价格过分担心。很多中国人认为如果美元还能保证一点竞争力的话,它应该更自律一些。

Could the yuan become a rival? China’s economy will probably surpass America’s in outright size within 20 years. It is already a bigger exporter. It is prodding firms to settle trade and even acquire foreign companies in its own currency. That is adding to a pool of “redbacks” outside its borders. These offshore yuan are, in turn, being tapped by borrowers, issuing “dim sum” bonds in Hong Kong (see article).

人民币能成为美元的竞争对手吗?中国的经济规模会在未来二十年超过美国。它已经是世界上最大的出口国。并且还在鼓励本国企业用人民币收购国外企业以降低贸易额。这些人民币不断进入离岸市场。于是,这些离岸存在的人民币被借方挖掘出来并在香港发行了“点心债券”。

But as the dollar’s history shows, economic clout is not enough without financial sophistication (see article). If foreigners are to store their wealth in yuan, they will need financial instruments that are safe, stable and easily sold. Dim sum makes for a tasty appetiser. But the main feast of China’s financial assets is onshore and off-limits, thanks to its strict capital controls. The government remains deeply reluctant to let foreigners hold, buy and sell these assets, except under tight limits. Indeed, it is barely ready to give its own people financial freedom: interest on bank deposits is capped; shares are largely owned by state entities; and bonds are chiefly held by the banks—which are, in turn, mostly owned by the state.

但是,美元的发展历史指出没有金融体系的深度复杂,经济地位无法支撑一国货币的国际化。如果外国人用人民币来储存其财富,他就需要安全,稳定且易于卖出的金融工具。从这个角度讲,点心债券只是一个开始。由于严格的资本管制,中国绝大部分金融资产处于国内而且还是政策禁区。除非十分严格的条件下,政府在很大程度上尚不愿意让外国人持有、购买和卖出这些资产。事实上,它也没有给予其居民在金融上的自由:银行存款利率是国家规定的;股票市场中的很大份额属于国家所有;债券主要由银行持有——而这些银行主要也是国有银行。

Over time China will relax its financial grip. But even if it could usurp the dollar’s role as the world’s currency, it will not replicate the American set-up. The United States takes advantage of the dollar’s position to borrow cheaply from the rest of the world, selling its assets in return for goods. China is a mirror image of this. It runs a trade surplus, selling goods in return for financial claims on foreigners. Its firms, households and government save more than they can invest at home.

随着时间的推移,中国会放松其对金融的掌控。但即使可以替代美元成为世界货币,它也无法重现美国对该地位的运用。美国利用其美元地位从世界其它地方低价借款并卖出资产以获得商品。中国则正好相反。它拥有大量贸易盈余,卖出商品以获得金融资产的所有权。它的企业、家庭和政府积累的储蓄远远高于其国内投资。

A different kind of perk
不同的收益

Rather than seeking to borrow in its own currency, China may harbour the opposite ambition: to lend in its own currency. The exorbitant privilege it may covet is a lower foreign-exchange risk on its savings. On top of the trillions China has lent to America’s treasury, it also holds stakes in Australian mines, African farms and Swedish car companies. But because none of these assets is in yuan, China suffers a capital loss whenever its currency strengthens. It would no doubt like to share some of this risk with the rest of the world. The model is not America, but Germany, an international creditor which holds 70% of its foreign assets in euros.

除了希望用人民币借钱外,中国可能还有更大的抱负:用人民币给别人借钱。这样做带来的好处是降低本国储蓄的汇率风险。在中国的外汇储备中,中国借出钱最多的是给美国财政部,同时它还持有很多澳大利亚矿业、非洲农场以及瑞典汽车公司的股份。但是由于这些资产都不是用人民币计算的,所以如果人民币走强,将面临较大的资本损失。当然,毫无疑问的是这种风险是由全世界承担的。德国作为世界性的债权国,其70%的国外资金都用欧元计价。

There is a catch, though. No one will want to borrow in a currency that is only ever going to strengthen, increasing the value of their debts. So if China wants to “yuanify” some of its claims on the rest of the world, it will need a currency that can go down as well as up. To make people believe the yuan can fall tomorrow, China will have to loosen its currency’s peg and let it rise faster today. China is different from America: it is a rising economic power and a thrifty one. But one rule still holds: China will have to open its financial system to the world if the yuan is to be the dominant currency.

这里面还是有一些困难的。没人喜欢借入会一直走强的货币,这样会增加相应的负债。因此如果中国想人民币化它在世界其它地方的资产,就需要一种可能升值也可能贬值的货币。为了让别人相信人民币会在未来贬值,中国应该加强其盯住美元的策略,让人民币在今天快速升值。中国和美国的不同之处在于:它是一股不断上升的经济力量,而且还很节俭。但是有一个规律还是成立的:如果想要人民币成为主导货币,中国必须向世界开放他的金融体系。

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重点单词
  • stableadj. 稳定的,安定的,可靠的 n. 马厩,马棚,一批
  • dimadj. 暗淡的,模糊的,笨的 v. 使暗淡,使失去光泽
  • loosenvt. 放松,松开,解除(便秘等),放宽 vi. 变松,
  • advantagen. 优势,有利条件 vt. 有利于
  • treasuryn. 国库,宝库 (大写)财政部,国债
  • dominantadj. 占优势的,主导的,显性的 n. 主宰者
  • reserven. 预备品,贮存,候补 n. 克制,含蓄 vt. 保留
  • acquirevt. 获得,取得,学到
  • privilegen. 特权,特别恩典,基本人权,荣幸 vt. 给特权,免
  • ambitionn. 雄心,野心,抱负,精力 vt. 有 ... 野心,