经济学人:酒醉以酒解 A Hair of The Dog
日期:2012-02-15 18:00

(单词翻译:单击)

AFTER three years of stagnant loan growth, The Peoples Bank in Coldwater, Ohio, has noticed a change. Clients who two years ago would not have qualified for a loan now find that they can. One customer who was working for only 35 hours a week two years ago is now working 45 to 50 hours. That was his reason for coming in: he had steadier income, says Jack Hartings, president of the seven-branch bank. Since the bank’s main alternative to lending money is buying Treasury bonds that yield only 1%-2%, Mr Hartings is eager to make new loans.
借债增长停滞三年以后,在俄亥俄州的冷水的人民银行已经公告了一个变化。两年前没有贷款资格的顾客现在获得了贷款资格。两年前每周只需工作35小时的顾客现在每周可以工作45-50小时。这就是顾客来到银行的原因:他们拥有了更稳定的收入第七分支银行的行长杰克•黑斯廷斯如是说。由于银行贷款被购买收益仅仅1%-2%的国库债券所替代,所以黑斯廷斯先生热切渴望新的放贷。
Across the country, bank lending, which shrank almost steadily from early 2009, is growing again (see chart), thanks to modest employment growth, stabilising home prices in many regions, and the Federal Reserve’s Herculean efforts to hold down interest rates.
从2009年初几乎有规律缩水的遍布各地的银行放贷再次增长(如图),这得益于适度的就业增长、一些区域的稳定的家庭消费和美联储压低利率的大力努力。
This is helping. In the fourth quarter, America’s economy grew by 2.8% at an annual rate, the fastest in an otherwise dreary year. Much of that was from inventory restocking which will not be repeated. Still, consumer spending rose at a 2% annual rate and house building expanded by 11%, the most since 2004.
这是有所帮助的。在第四季度,美国经济以年利率2.8%的速率增长,比起其他萧条的年份是最快的一年。这很大程度上得益于后无来者的库存补充存货。此外,消费性开支以2%的年率增长,住房建筑以11%的年率扩张,是自2004年以来最可观的一次。
Both of these sectors were helped by easier credit. Moderate job growth, skimpy pay rises and higher petrol prices held growth in income after taxes and inflation to just 0.9% last year. Consumption grew faster because households borrowed more and saved less. Saving, which had topped 5% as a share of disposable income in the wake of the recession, had fallen to 3.5% in November.
两个这样的部分都是得益于更简单的信用。稳健的就业增长,微薄的工资增加和更高的汽油价格在税后的收入和通货膨胀的影响下仅是去年的九成。消费更快的增长是由于家庭承担了更多的借款而存款变少。作为超过可支配收入一份额5%的存款随着不景气的到来已经在十一月落到了3.5%。
This was not sustainable, and indeed the saving rate jumped back to 4% in December. Are further increases in store? If so, that would hold back consumption, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of GDP. And indeed that is the main reason recoveries after financial crises are usually sluggish: households and businesses have to hack back the debt they accumulated during the boom years, a process called deleveraging. Households have as expected reduced their debts relative to their incomes; much of that has come by defaulting on their loans. More such defaults are probably in store. The question is, will consumers also divert more of their income from consumption? That would cause the saving rate to rise further.
存款利率在十二月降到了4%已是不争的事实,并且让人无法忍受。那么物价会进一步增长吗?如果增长,那么大致占GDP2/3比例的消费将回落。实际上,主要原因在于金融危机之后的复苏通常是迟缓的:家庭和企业必须归还他们在经济高度增长年份所积累的债务,这过程被称作资金杠杆。家庭希望债务相对于收入来说能够得到缩减;到头来他们大多数都拒还贷款。或许还有更多的这样的拒绝偿付贷款的行为将要发生。问题是,消费者投入到消费性开支的收入会不会变得更少。如果会,那将会导致储蓄率进一步提升。
Nathan Sheets, an economist at Citigroup, reckons that household debt, now running at 120% of disposable income, should be 100% to 110% given the current configuration of interest rates, unemployment and asset values. This, he reckons, can be achieved with a saving rate of just 4.5%, not much higher than it is now. But the Bank Credit Analyst, a financial forecasting service, thinks households’ current net worth is more consistent with a saving rate of 6%.
一位花旗集团的经济学者南森•史特斯估计到目前家庭负债已经达到了可支配收入的120%,其中100%-110%应该是由当前利率、失业率和资产价值的结构所造成的。他估计这可能会伴随着仅仅4.5%的储蓄率发生,而绝不会比现在的储蓄率更高。但是一项金融预报服务银行信贷分析表认为家庭当前的资产净值绝对能够和6%的储蓄率想匹配。
A higher saving rate would be much less painful for the economy if it were achieved through increased income rather than lower spending. That could happen. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in its economic outlook released on January 31st, reckoned that real disposable incomes would grow by 3% this year thanks both to faster wage growth and a big drop in inflation. That, it reckons, should support growth in consumption and overall GDP of 2%.
一个更高的储蓄率如果是通过增加收入而非降低花销所成就那么经济所承受的创伤会更小。那将会发生。无党派国会预算局,在其1月31号发布的经济前景报告中预计真正的可支配性收入将会在今年增长3%,这得益于更快的工资增速和通货膨胀的大跌落。这项报告同样预测那将会促进消费的增长,同时也会促进GDP总体上升2个百分点。
Plenty could go wrong with this scenario. Oil prices could spike again; banks, worried about Europe, could tighten their lending standards, as they already have done for some business loans. And at the end of 2012 an even bigger threat looms: taxes will automatically rise and spending shrink unless Congress votes to override existing legislation. The CBO reckons that would slice the deficit in half, but at the cost of pummeling the economy. For private deleveraging to proceed, public deleveraging may have to wait.
在这种情况下,大量的事物将不会按照正常的轨道运行。油价可能再次飙升;银行尤其在欧洲可能会收紧贷款标准,就像他们曾经对待一些商业贷款时做的那样。到2012年末一个更大的威胁甚至会出现:除非国会推翻现存的立法,否则税金将会自动的增长并且消费将会缩水。国会预算局认为那将会使赤字减半,但要以刺激经济为代价。为了个人的资金杠杆得以运行,公共的资金杠杆必须的拖后。

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重点单词
  • disposableadj. 用完即可丢弃的,可任意处理的 n. 用完即可丢
  • threatn. 威胁,凶兆 vt. 威胁, 恐吓
  • configurationn. 结构,布局,形态,格式塔心理完形 [计算机] 配置
  • drearyadj. 沉闷的,令人沮丧的,情绪低落的
  • loann. 贷款,借出,债权人 v. 借,供应货款,借给
  • proceedvi. 继续进行,开始,着手
  • alternativeadj. 两者择一的; 供选择的; 非主流的 n. 替换
  • legislationn. 立法,法律
  • stagnantadj. 不流动的,不景气的
  • moderateadj. 适度的,稳健的,温和的,中等的 v. 节制,使