全球金融危机的5个阶段

来源Global financial crisis: five key stages 2007-2011 | Business | The Guardian
译者fish3655

9 August 2007. 15 September 2008. 2 April 2009. 9 May 2010. 5 August 2011. From sub-prime to downgrade, the five stages of the most serious crisis to hit the global economy since the Great Depression can be found in those dates.

这5个阶段分别开始于:2007年8月9日;2008年9月15日;2009年4月2日;2010年5月9日;2011年8月5日。从美国次贷危机到主权债务被降级,上面这5个起始时间段是自大萧条以来对全球经济造成了最严重冲击的5个阶段。

Phase one on 9 August 2007 began with the seizure in the banking system precipitated by BNP Paribas announcing that it was ceasing activity in three hedge funds that specialised in US mortgage debt. This was the moment it became clear that there were tens of trillions of dollars worth of dodgy derivatives swilling round which were worth a lot less than the bankers had previously imagined.

第一阶段开始于2007年8月9日。由于巴黎银行宣布停止其旗下专门投资于美国抵押贷款业务的三只对冲基金的业务活动,整个银行体系随后开始发难。在这个时候,我们可以清晰的看到,价值数十万亿美元的金融衍生品一夜之间就蒸发掉了一大部分,最后所剩的价值比那些银行家早前想象的更少。

Nobody knew how big the losses were or how great the exposure of individual banks actually was, so trust evaporated overnight and banks stopped doing business with each other.

当时没有人知道损失到底有多大,或者也不知道单个银行到底面临着多大的风险,所以彼此的信任在一夜之间就被蒸发掉了,而且银行之间相互也终止了各项业务的往来。

It took a year for the financial crisis to come to a head but it did so on 15 September 2008 when the US government allowed the investment bank Lehman Brothers to go bankrupt. Up to that point, it had been assumed that governments would always step in to bail out any bank that got into serious trouble: the US had done so by finding a buyer for Bear Stearns while the UK had nationalised Northern Rock.

这场金融危机整整在一年后才达到顶点,但是在美国政府在2008年9月15日允许华尔街投行雷曼兄弟破产后,危机再次袭来。在那之前,人们普遍都认为政府会对任何深陷困境中的银行施以援手:因为华盛顿为贝尔斯登(美国投资银行)找到了买家,而唐宁街则把深陷危机的北岩银行国有化了。

When Lehman Brothers went down, the notion that all banks were “too big to fail” no longer held true, with the result that every bank was deemed to be risky. Within a month, the threat of a domino effect through the global financial system forced western governments to inject vast sums of capital into their banks to prevent them collapsing. The banks were rescued in the nick of time, but it was too late to prevent the global economy from going into freefall. Credit flows to the private sector were choked off at the same time as consumer and business confidence collapsed. All this came after a period when high oil prices had persuaded central banks that the priority was to keep interest rates high as a bulwark against inflation rather than to cut them in anticipation of the financial crisis spreading to the real economy.

当 雷曼兄弟倒下后,这种在那些银行看来“太大而不能倒”的说法已不复存在,因为在众人看来银行都是面临风险的。没出一个月,由于担心通过全球金融体系引发的 多米诺骨牌效应会威胁到各国经济,迫使西方各国政府为避免其金融体系崩溃而注入了大量的资金。银行业在关键时刻得到了政府的救助,但是要阻止全球经济急剧 下滑的态势为时已晚。信贷资金虽然流向了私营部门,但与此同时,由于消费者和企业信心的彻底崩溃,私营部门一时间连喘息的机会都没有。所有的这一切,都源 于高油价使各国央行的首要任务是保持高利率以抗击通胀,而不是即使预期到了金融危机会蔓延到实体经济而削减利率。

The winter of 2008-09 saw co-ordinated action by the newly formed G20 group of developed and developing nations in an attempt to prevent recession turning into a slump. Interest rates were cut to the bone, fiscal stimulus packages of varying sizes announced, and electronic money created through quantitative easing. At the London G20 summit on 2 April 2009, world leaders committed themselves to a $5tn (£3tn) fiscal expansion, an extra $1.1tn of resources to help the International Monetary Fund and other global institutions boost jobs and growth, and to reform of the banks. From this point, when the global economy was on the turn, international co-operation started to disintegrate as individual countries pursued their own agendas.

在2008年至2009年的冬天,由发达国家和发展中国家组成的20国集团开始采取联合行动,旨在防止各国经济衰退的形势转为经济萧条。随后,利率被降到了最低点,各国政府也公布了不同规模的经济刺激计划,量化宽松政策的推行创造了电子货币。2009年4月2日在伦敦举行了20国集团峰会上,与会国家领导人同意采取规模为5万亿美元的财政刺激计划,另外向国际货币基金组织和其他全球性组织注资1.1万亿美元用来增加就业,促进经济增长,并且对各国银行进行改革。从那时起,也就是全球经济开始走向复苏时,由于个别国家只顾实行本国的计划,国际合作开始慢慢解体。

9 May 2010 marked the point at which the focus of concern switched from the private sector to the public sector. By the time the IMF and the European Union announced they would provide financial help to Greece, the issue was no longer the solvency of banks but the solvency of governments. Budget deficits had ballooned during the recession, mainly as a result of lower tax receipts and higher non-discretionary welfare spending, but also because of the fiscal packages announced in the winter of 2008-09. Greece had unique problems as it covered up the dire state of its public finances and had difficulties in collecting taxes, but other countries started to become nervous about the size of their budget deficits. Austerity became the new watchword, affecting policy decisions in the UK, the eurozone and, most recently in the US, the country that stuck with expansionary fiscal policy the longest.

2009年5月9日 标志着各国关注的焦点开始从私营部门转向公共部门。因为国际货币基金组织和欧盟宣布,他们将会对希腊提供金融援助,从那时候起,问题的关键不再是银行的偿 付能力而是政府的偿债能力了。在经济衰退时期预算赤字开始急剧膨胀,主要是因为政府降低税收,以及必要的福利支出的攀高,但同时也可能是08-09年 冬季公布的财政刺激计划造成的。希腊问题的特别之处在于其掩盖了令人生畏的公共财政的状况,并且收税也是一个问题,但是其他国家开始担忧其规模庞大的预算 赤字。于是,经济紧缩开始成为新的口号,这就影响了英国,欧元区和包括近来问题重重的美国等国家和地区的经济政策。美国一直是实行扩张性财政政策时间最长 的国家。

Last Friday, the morphing of a private debt crisis into a sovereign debt crisis was complete when the rating agency, S&P, waited for Wall Street to shut up shop for the weekend before announcing that America’s debt would no longer be classed as top-notch triple A. This could hardly have come at a worse time, and not just because last week saw the biggest sell-off in stock markets since late 2008. Policymakers are confronted with a slowing global economy and a systemic crisis in one of its component parts, Europe. To the extent that they are united, they are united in stupidity, wedded to blanket austerity that will make matters worse not better. And they have yet to tackle the issue that lay behind the 2007 crisis in the first place, the imbalances between the big creditor nations such as China and Germany, and big debtors like the US.

上周5,由于评级机构标准普尔等待着华尔街在周末关门歇业并随后宣布美国的主权债务不再是最高级别的3A级了,至此,私人债务危机完成了向主权债务危机的转变。没有比这更糟糕的时候了,这不仅仅是因为上周见证了自2008年 以来股票市场最大规模的抛售。决策者们目前面临着持续放缓的全球经济形势,而且还可能面对全球经济的重要一环欧盟的金融系统危机的爆发。尽管从某种程度上 来说欧盟是团结在一起的,但是他们确实愚蠢的团结在一起,实行大范围的紧缩开支的计划,这样做只会让局面变得更加糟糕,而不是更好。

In the circumstances, it is hard to be wildly optimistic about how events will play out. Markets are bound to remain highly jittery, although it seems unlikely that American bond yields will rocket as a result of the S&P downgrade. Japan lost its triple A rating long ago and has national debt well in excess of 200% of GDP but its bond yields remain extremely low. The reason for that is simple: Japan’s growth prospects are poor.

在这种情况下,很难对事情的走向表现出极度的乐观。尽管由于标普对美国主权债务下调了评级不太可能引发美国国债率利率的飙升,但目前市场还是保持着高度的恐慌心理。日本在很久以前就丧失了其主权债务的3A评级,而且背负的国债竟然超过了国内生产总值的200%,但是日本国债的利率仍然维持在低水平上。原因很简单:日本的经济增长预期很疲软。

So are America’s, which is why bond yields will remain low in what is still, for the time being, the world’s biggest economy. The dressing down given to Washington by Beijing following the S&P announcement was, however, telling. Growth rates of close to 10% mean that the moment China overtakes the US is getting closer all the time, and the communists in the east now feel bold enough to tell the capitalists in the west how to run their economies. Whatever it means for financial markets this week, 5 August 2011 will be remembered as the day when US hegemony was lost.

美国也是如此,这就是为何尽管他还是世界上最大的经济体,其国债利率仍旧在低位运行。在标普宣布对美债降级后,北京给华盛顿的信号则是强有力的批评。中国的年均经济增长率接近10%,这就意味着中国超过美国已经为时不远了,而且这个由共产党领导的东方国家,现在已有足够的胆量来告诉这个西方的资本主义国家如何来发展他们的经济了。本周,无论对金融市场来说意味着什么,2011年8月5日这一天将会因为美国的霸权地位在这天丧失而被世人记住。

All this is terrible news for Barack Obama. He has not delivered economic recovery. The US is drowning in negative equity and foreclosed homes. No president since Roosevelt has won an election with unemployment as high as it is today. Fiscal policy will be tightened over the coming months as tax breaks expire and public spending is cut. The Federal Reserve only has the blunt instrument of QE with which to stimulate the economy, and will only be able to deploy it after a softening up process for the markets that will take several months. On top of that, Obama will now be branded as the president who presided over the national humiliation of a debt downgrade. He looks more like Jimmy Carter than FDR.

对 总统奥巴马来说,这一切可都是坏消息。他未能领导美国走向经济复苏。美国正深陷股市低迷和私人房子被收回的泥潭。从罗斯福以来的历任美国总统中,没有一位 因为失业率水平达到现在如此之高的程度而赢得了选举的。由于减免税收的政策期限将至,以及公共支出的大幅度削减,美国在接下来的几个月都将实行紧缩的财政 政策。美联储目前也只剩量化宽松政策这一个政策工具来刺激美国经济了,而且这一政策工具也只能在接下来的几个月市场恐慌情绪逐渐缓和之后才能将其付诸实 施。更重要的是,奥巴马则会被冠以他在总统任期内美国因为主权债务降级而蒙受了国耻的罪名。他现在的处境与卡特(美国第39届总统)而不是罗斯福(美国第三十二任总统)任职时的情况更相似。

Not that the Europeans should get too smug about this, because what we are witnessing is not just the decline of the US but the decline of the west. One response to last week’s meltdown was the announcement of talks between the G7 – the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Canada and Japan – but while this would have been appropriate 20 years ago it is not going to calm markets today. Holding a G7 meeting without China today is like expecting the League of Nations without the US to tackle totalitarianism in the 1930s.

但是,欧洲国家的民众对美国发生的一切不能太自鸣得意了,毕竟现在纵观整个世界的局势,不仅仅是美国的逐渐衰落,而是整个西方的衰落。对上周发生在股市崩盘的回应之一,就是7国集团宣布将召开内部会谈,即美国,英国,德国,意大利,法国,加拿大和日本这7个国家。尽管在20年由前7国集团召开会议来平息市场是合乎时宜的,但是现在它可就没有那种影响力了。如今,7国集团召开一次没有中国参加的会议,就好像在1930年代妄想通过没有美国参与的国际联盟来解决极权问题一样。

There is no happy ending to this story. At best there will be a long period of weak growth and high unemployment as individuals and banks pay down the excessive levels of debt accumulated in the bubble years. At worst, the global economy will be plunged back into recession next year as the US goes backwards and the euro comes apart at the seams. The second, gloomier scenario, looks a lot more likely now than it did a week ago.

这 件事不会有一个美好的结局。由于消费者个人和银行需要偿还在经济泡沫丛生的年代里累积下来的巨额债务,最好的情况也就是经济陷入长期的低增长,失业率居高 不下。如果最差的情况出现,那么全球经济将会因为美国经济的倒退和欧元由于分歧不断而面临解体,在明年再度陷入衰退。这第二种更加暗淡的前景在现在看来好 像比一周前更有可能发生。

Why? Because there is no international co-operation. There are plans for austerity but no plans for growth. Even countries that could borrow money for fiscal stimulus packages reluctant to do so. Europe lacks the political will to force the pace of integration necessary to avoid disintegration of the single currency.

为什么会是这样?因为不再有国际合作了。现在不乏紧缩计划,但是却没有促进经济增长的计划出台,即使是那些有能力借到钱来实行经济刺激计划的国家也不愿意这么做。欧洲目前还缺少能迫使欧盟各国采取统一行动以避免单一货币体制解体的政治意愿。

Commodity prices are coming down, but that is the only good news. We are less than halfway through the crisis that began on 9 August 2007. That crisis has just entered a dangerous new phase.

但是大宗商品的价格一直在回落,这可能是唯一的好消息了。在这条发端于2007年8月9日的那场全球性金融危机蔓延的道路上,我们一半都还没有走过去。这场危机才刚刚进入了一个全新的,危险的阶段。

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