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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 德国经济改革对欧元影响

2018年02月02日13:29 来源:互联网
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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 德国经济改革对欧元影响图1

German macroprudential reforms——Beware Teutonic caution

德国的宏观审慎改革:谨防日耳曼式谨小慎微

The Bundesbank should not exert its new clout toozealously

德国央行新令牌在握,切莫肆意呼风唤雨

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THE European Central Bank (ECB) decided a year ago to hold this week’s monetary-policymeeting in Barcelona, but the timing turned out to be perfect. Spain is in the crosshairs of themarkets, not least because of budgetary overruns by regional governments such as Catalonia’s.And the contrasting economic fortunes of beaten-up Spain, where the jobless rate has reached24%, and resilient Germany, where it is below 6%, exemplify the difficulty of finding the rightmonetary policy in a currency union of 17 members.

欧洲中央银行(ECB)早在一年前就决定了将于本周在巴塞罗那召开货币政策会议,现今看来,会议召开的恰是时候。现在的西班牙正处在市场的风口浪尖,特别是因为加泰罗尼亚等自治区政府的预算超支才导致了西班牙到了这般田地。同德国相比,西班牙经济死气沉沉,失业率飙升至24%;德国经济稳步反弹,失业率则低于6%。如此鲜明的对比恰也印证了,在这个由17名成员组成的货币区内制定出一项正确的货币政策确实不易。

The ECB’s meeting on May 3rd (after The Economist went to press) was not expected tochange its monetary stance. Behind the scenes, however, there are acute tensions within its23-strong governing council, made up of six board members and the heads of the 17 nationalcentral banks. In particular Jens Weidmann, the president of the powerful GermanBundesbank, opposed the decision to cut interest rates to 1% in December, and frets aboutthe adequacy of the collateral against which the ECB has lent so much money to banks inrecent months.

货币政策会议在本期《经济学人》付梓之际尚未召开。预计欧洲央行不会在5月3日召开的会议上改变其货币政策。然而在幕后,各委员的意见却是针锋相对;欧洲央行管理委员会共由6名欧洲中央银行执行委员会成员和17名欧元区成员国央行行长组成,在这23人的委员会中,唯独德国联邦银行行长权利较大,而最为不满的人也正是他。早在去年12月,他就曾反对欧洲央行将利率下调至1%的决议,近几个月来,银行频频以抵押物换取欧洲央行贷款,更是引起了魏德曼对欧洲央行所持巨额资金抵押品的堪忧。

Among other things Germany’s top central banker wants to avoid a home replay of the creditand property boom whose excesses have been so harmful in Spain. Loose monetary policymakes him nervous about the possibility of a property bubble in Germany. After a long periodwhen house prices fell and then stagnated, they have picked up in the past couple of years(see chart). Homebuilding orders are up by a fifth on a year ago.

超额的信贷和过度繁荣房地产已经令西班牙元气大伤,德国央行行长也是极力避免在这两个领域步入其后尘。宽松的货币政策令魏德曼惴惴不安,唯恐低息环境滋生德国房地产泡沫。德国房价曾一度下跌,经过了漫长的萧条期后,终于在过去的几年里开始攀升。房地产开发订单在一年前更是提升了五分之一。

【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 德国经济改革对欧元影响图2

Such anxiety looks premature: house-price rises represent a thawing in the propertypermafrost rather than a market on fire. But if Mr Weidmann is minded to take pre-emptiveaction, he will soon have the means to do so. At present the Bundesbank can preach aboutrisks to financial stability but it cannot impose counter-measures such as setting highercapital requirements for banks or putting constraints on specific types of lending such asmortgages. The authority for implementing these steps lies with BaFin, Germany’s banksupervisor (which is assisted on the ground by Bundesbank staff).

魏德曼的焦躁之态未免有点操之过急:房价攀升仅表示冰冻的房地产市场正逐步回暖,而非过热。但是,若魏德曼先生有先发制人之意,他不久就会拿到行事之器。联邦银行目前尚可大肆鼓吹金融稳定性的危险,但却不能将对抗措施强加于人——如调高银行的资本要求,或限制抵押贷款等特定贷款项目。上述措施能否顺利实施,取决于德国联邦金融监管局(BaFin)。而在实际操作中,这个德国的银行监管机构却是由联邦银行员工协助运转。

This will change under new proposals to set up a joint committee, which will haverepresentatives from the finance ministry and BaFin, but which will give the Bundesbank theleading role and enable it to push through binding directives. The legislation won’t come intoforce until next year, but since it is designed to strengthen his hand, Mr Weidmann wouldprobably be able to get his own way before then.

然而,建议成立联合委员会的新提案一经提出,形势又将大有不同。要成立联合委员会,须有财政部和监管局(BaFin)的代表参与;监管局(BaFin)代表加入委员会后必定会将大权递交至联邦银行手中,让提案突破约束指令顺利通过。可立法明年才会生效,但鉴于立法旨在坚固魏德曼的权力,魏先生也有可能在立法生效前为所欲为。

The reform is part of a general move to add “macroprudential” instruments to the toolkit ofcentral banks, allowing them to choke off credit excesses while monetary policy is set for theeconomy as a whole. If anything, Germany is treading less far down this path than some othercountries—in Britain, for example, the Bank of England will call the shots through a powerfulnew Financial Policy Committee, which has already started work. Such powers should beparticularly useful in the euro area, providing countries with a national lever to pull if their banksare getting too festive (though Spain’s pre-crisis policy of “dynamic provisioning”, designed toget local banks to set aside more provisions in the good times, cautions against investing toomuch hope in macroprudential tools).

欧元区各大央行银行欲将“宏观审慎”工具纳入自己的政策工具包,上述改革不过是银行扩充工具包大行动的一部分而已。这样一来,一旦欧洲央行制定的货币政策适合于整个欧元区,各成员国央行银行便可用它来抑制信贷超额。德国的改革远不如其他国家进行的彻底,举英国为例,英国央行就已借助强大的新金融政策委员会开始宏观审慎监管。西班牙对过多寄希望于宏观审慎手段持谨慎态度,特意制定了一项“动态准备金”预防制度,该制度要求地方银行在经济形势大好时大量计提准备金。尽管如此,在欧元区使用“宏观审慎”还是尤为有效,欧元区国家可在信贷过热时,利用这一操纵杠杆对银行进行控制。

But in the current climate there is also the danger that such regulations may be used in biggereconomies to grab back power from the ECB. By reducing credit availability national centralbanks can contravene the euro zone’s wider monetary stance. Speaking in New York in lateApril Mr Weidmann said that if monetary policy becomes too expansionary for his homecountry, “Germany has to deal with this using other, national instruments.” If Mr Weidmanndoes use his new powers overzealously that could dash one of the few remaining hopes for thehard-hit peripheral economies: a strong recovery in the euro area, led by Germany.

然而就目前形势而言,更大的经济体为了从欧洲央行手中夺回更多权力,可能会采用“动态准备金”政策。而削减各成员国央行的信贷可获量又有违欧元区的整体货币政策。魏德曼先生上个月在纽约表示,如果欧洲央行的货币政策对德国而言过于宽松,“德国将不得不运用其他国家政策工具来抵消影响。” 欧元区边缘经济体饱受摧残,寄希冀于德国,期待德国能领导欧元区强势反弹。如果魏德曼真用新权力呼风唤雨,则会将这些经济体推向绝望深渊。

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