Business this week
Aug 31st 2013 |From the print edition
Microsoft began hunting for a new chief executive, after Steve Ballmer’s unexpected decision to step down within 12 months. He took over the job from Bill Gates in 2000. Under his leadership Microsoft has remained a software behemoth, but some investors have criticised it for being too cautious. It was late entering the mobile-device market, and Windows will power few of the200m tablets expected to be sold this year. One question is whether the committee searching for Mr Ballmer’s successor will tap an outsider to shake things up.
微软宣布CEO史蒂夫·鲍尔默决定在未来12个月内离职，为此，它已经开始物色新任首席执行官 。鲍尔默于2000年从比尔·盖茨那里接过重担 。在他的带领下，微软成功保住了软件业老大的地位，但是一些投资者指责微软过于谨慎 。微软很晚才进入移动设备市场，而Windows操作系统在今年预期销售的2亿台平板电脑中占据的份额并不大 。当前的问题是微软公司委员会是否会启用外部人士接任鲍尔默的职务，从而重塑企业文化 。
In the latest mega-deal in the drugs industry Amgen, the world’s biggest biotechnology company, agreed to buy Onyx, which specialises in cancer treatments, for $10.5 billion. In a separate deal AstraZeneca said it would acquire Amplimmune, which produces therapies to boost the human immune system against cancer, for $500m.
在最近的一笔制药行业巨额收购中，全球最大的生物技术公司安进（Amgen）同意以105亿美元的高价收购主攻抗癌药物的制造公司奥尼克斯（Onyx） 。在另一笔交易中，阿斯利康制药公司（Astrazeneca）表示将以5亿美元的价格收购美国Amplimmune公司，它专注于开发那些能帮助增强人们增强免疫系统以对抗癌症的药物 。
Steering towards a date
Nissan set 2020 as the year it intends to roll out its first driverless car for the mass market. A number of carmakers are working on prototypes with driverless technology, as is Google, but Nissan is the first to promise a production date. Next year it will open an experimental “town” inJapan to road-test autonomous cars. But even if the vehicles are ready by 2020, it is unlikely that the laws and infrastructure to support them will be.
日产尼桑汽车公司将研发首辆无人驾驶汽车并拟定于2020年推向市场 。众多汽车制造商（包括谷歌）都正在研发无人驾驶技术，但是尼桑是首个承诺生产日期的公司 。明年，它将在日本设立一个试验“城镇”以便于自动驾驶汽车进行道路试验 。但是，尽管到2020年自动驾驶汽车能够问世，但是与其配套的基础设施和相关法律却无法如期落实到位 。
Vodafone confirmed it was in discussions with Verizon about the “possible disposal” of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. Vodafone took its holding in 1999, but has been trying to either sell it or spin it off for years. The stake is worth around $130 billion.
英国电信公司沃达丰确认与美国移动电话公司威瑞森进行了谈判，前者可能出售其持有的威瑞森无线45%的股份 。沃达丰于1999年收购了这笔股权，但此后一直对抛售还是转股举棋不定 。 这部分股票价值约1300亿美元 。
Emerging-market currencies continued to take a battering. The Indian rupee fell below 68 to the dollar for the first time, in its worst one-day decline since 1995. This was despite the government unveiling a ten-point plan to reduce India’s current-account deficit. And the Turkish lira fell to a new record low, after the governor of Turkey’s central bank alarmed investors by saying he was “not worried at all” about exchange rates.
新兴市场的货币继续遭受重创 。印度卢比兑美元汇率首次跌破68，创1995年以来最大单日跌幅 。尽管印度政府出台了十点计划以减少该国的经常账目赤字，但仍不凑效 。土耳其央行行长称其对汇率“一点也不担心”，以此来提醒投资者的行为；此后，土耳其货币里拉也跌至历史新低点 。
South Africa’s economy grew by 3% at an annualised rate in the second quarter, well below the 7% needed to reduce unemployment significantly. One bright spot is manufacturing, which is benefiting from the depreciating rand.
南非共和国第二季度经济年增长率达到3%，但仍与为了大幅降低失业率而拟定的7%的目标相差甚远 。令人欣慰的是制造业由于货币兰特贬值而出现了复苏迹象 。
The prospect of a Western military strike on Syriaweighed heavily on markets. Gold prices were at three-month highs. Brent oil hita six-month peak, andWest Texas intermediate was at its highest for two years.
西方国家可能对叙利亚发动军事打击，这给市场造成了沉重压力 。国际黄金价格达到了近三个月来的最高点 。布伦特原油价格也飙升至近6个月来的高峰，而西德克萨斯中间基原油价格也涨至两年来的最高值 。
BATS Global Markets and Direct Edge Holdings, America’s third- and fourth-biggest stockmarket operators by volume, announced a merger. BATS (which stands for “better alternative trading system”) was founded by a high-frequency trader. Its merger with Direct Edge will make it the second-biggest equity stockmarket, ahead of NASDAQ.
美国第三大股票交易所运营商巴兹全球市场公司和第四大交易所运营商Direct Edge宣告合并 。巴兹（意为“交易系统更好的替代方案”）由一名高频交易员创建，通过此次与Direct Edge合并，它将超过纳斯达克，成为全美第二大股票交易所运营商 。
NASDAQ, meanwhile, launched an inquiry into the electronic glitch that caused it to cease trading for three hours on August 22nd.
与此同时，纳斯达克交易所对8月22日发生的技术故障发起调查 。该故障曾使该交易所股票交易暂停长达三小时 。
Josef Ackermann resigned as chairman of Zurich Insurance, following the suspected suicide of its chief financial officer. Mr Ackermann, a former boss of Deutsche Bank, said he was stepping down because he believed that it is what the dead man’s family wanted.
瑞士苏黎世保险集团首席财务官（CFO）疑似自杀身亡之后，主席约瑟夫·阿克曼辞职 。阿尔曼曾任德意志银行首席执行官 。他说，此次辞职是遵从死者家属的意愿 。
Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, toughened his pledge to keep interest rates at 0.5% until the unemployment rate falls to 7%. He said 7% was not a “trigger” and rates would be kept low until there is a broad recovery. Markets have factored in a rate increase for 2015, a year sooner than when the central bank expects to raise them.
英国央行行长马克·卡尼重申，在失业率降到7%之前，将继续维持当前0.5%的利率不变 。他表示，7%并不是一个“门槛”，利率将继续走低，直到经济全面复苏 。市场目前预计英国将在2015年加息，会比英国央行的预计提早一年 。
Brazil raised its main interest rate for the fourth time since April, to 9%, to tackle doggedly high inflation.
Sweden’s government proposed tougher capital requirements for the country’s banks and gave new powers to implement the rules to the Financial Supervisory Authority, rather than the central bank. Sweden’s banks account for a large chunk of the economy; the level of household debt is among the highest in Europe.
瑞典政府拟对本国银行出台更加强硬的资本规定，并将执行这些规定的权力赋予金融监管局，而非央行 。瑞典银行业是该国经济的重要组成部分 。目前，瑞典家庭负债率为欧洲最高 。
Here we go again
America’s Treasury Department warned that the government’s borrowing limit would be reached by mid-October, which is earlier than many had expected. The last big fight over increasing the debt ceiling was in 2011.
美国财政部警告称，美国将早于预期时间、于十月中旬达到债务上限 。而上一次提高债务上限的大战发生在2011年 。
Walmart, America’s biggest private-sector employer, extended health care and other benefits to the partners of its unmarried staff, including its gay employees, in all 50 states. To qualify, a couple need only confirm that they have been in a relationship for at least a year and have an indefinite commitment to live together.
沃尔玛作为美国最大的私营雇主，将为全美50个州的员工的非婚同居伴侣（包括同性恋伴侣）提供医疗卫生保险以及其他福利 。情侣们只需声明他们已维持恋爱关系至少一年，且承诺永久同居，即可获得这项福利 。