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经济放缓化

Slowbalisation

经济放缓化


(Slowbalisation绝对是个经济学新名词,百度、google都没搜到对这个词的官方翻译和解释。它是Globalization的反义词。如果前十年世界经济形式是Globalization,那么现在及以后的经济趋势就可能是Slowbalisation。我翻译成经济放缓化,凑合看吧。

但通篇文章我可是下了功夫翻了。作者先是用一个大家对经济趋势的表面理解做了个引子。然后给出自己观点:才不是你们想得那样呐(见第二段第一句)。经济放缓化有更客观的原因,然后第4-9段给了自己对于经济放缓化原因的见解,其中有说明,有举例。第10-11段给出经济放缓化的劣势。最后一段最后一句可以看出作者对经济放缓化持消极态度。)


When America took a protectionist turn two years ago, it provoked dark warnings about the miseries of the 1930s. Today those ominous predictionslook misplaced. Yes, China is slowing. And, yes, Western firms exposed to China, such as Apple, have been clobbered. But global growth in 2018 wasdecent, unemployment fell and profits rose. In November President Donald Trumpsigned a trade pact with Mexico and Canada. If talks over the next month leadto a deal with Xi Jinping, markets will conclude that the trade war ispolitical theatre designed to squeeze a few concessions from China, not blow upcommerce.

两年前,美国实施了贸易保护主义,这唤起了(人们)对上世纪30年代艰难岁月的警觉。现在看来这种不详的预感似乎是升错了地方。是的,是中国经济变缓了。是的,涉足中国市场的西方企业输了(如苹果等)。但2018年全球经济整体向好: 失业率下降了,利润率提高了。去年11月,特朗普与墨西哥和加拿大签订了北美自贸协定。如果再算上下个月习近平被迫要签的协议(这句翻地不确定),那么市场将给出这样的答案:贸易战(其实)是为击垮中国跨国公司整出的政治戏码,而不是(全球)经济的崩盘。


Such complacency is mistaken.  Today’s trade tensions are compounding a shiftthat has been under way since the financial crisis of 2008-09.  Cross-border investment, trade, bank loansand supply chains have all been shrinking or stagnating relative to world GDP(see Briefing). Globalisation has given way to a new era of sluggishness. Adapting a term coined by a Dutch writer, we call it “slowbalisation”.

这种自鸣得意的心态是错误的。今日的贸易危机是笼罩着2008-09年经济危机阴影的。跨境投资、跨境贸易、银行贷款和供应链如果不是在缩水,就是与世界GDP同步,即停滞不前。全球一体化迎来了萧条的新纪元。用荷兰经济学家创造的新词,我们可以称这种趋势为全球化放缓”.

 

The golden age of globalisation, in 1990-2010, was something to behold.Commerce soared as the cost of shifting goods in ships and planes fell, phonecalls got cheaper, tariffs were cut and finance liberalised. Business wentgangbusters, as firms set up around the world, investors roamed and consumersshopped in supermarkets with enough choice to impress Phileas Fogg.

回首往昔,1990-2010年是全球一体化的黄金时段。当时由于船运空运成本降低,通讯费用下降,关税降零以及经济自由化等因素,贸易额飞增。那时,企业在全球范围扎根,投资热爆棚,消费者在超市就足以游遍全球,可谓贸易花开能灼景(鲜花灼景:形容盛到不能再盛。花艳得能把景色燃着)。

 

Globalisation has slowed from light speed to a snail’s pacein the past decade for several reasons. The cost of moving goods has stoppedfalling. Multinational firms have found that global sprawl burns money and thatlocal rivals often eat them alive. Activity is shifting towards services, whichare harder to sell across borders: scissors can be exported in 20ft containers, but hair stylists cannot. And Chinese manufacturing has become moreself-reliant, so needs to import fewer parts.

眨眼十年,经济全球化进程从光速跌到龟速,其中原因有许多。(比如:)货运成本早已跌稳;跨国企业醒悟到全球扎营真烧钱,自己不够被本土对手活吞的(直译:本土竞争对手往往可以活吞了它们)。商业活动在向服务需求转移,而服务是卖(迈)不出国的。比如,你可以用20尺集装箱出口剪刀,但你无法(打包)出口发型。同时,中国制造企业更依赖自销,进口商品需求也少了。

 

This is the fragile backdrop to Mr Trump’s trade war.Tariffs tend to get the most attention. If America ratchets up duties on Chinain March, as threatened, the average tariff rate on American imports will riseto 3.4%, its highest for 40 years. (Most firms plan to pass the cost on tocustomers.) Less glaring, but just as pernicious, is that rules of commerce arebeing rewritten around the world. The principle that investors and firms shouldbe treated equally regardless of their nationality is being ditched.

这使特朗普贸易战的背后逻辑变得勉强脆弱。人们往往更关注关税。如果美国三月如它所威胁的那样真的对中国(进口)增加关税,那么美国平均进口税额将增至3.4%,是该国40年来的最高(税率)(大多数企业会把这一增加的成本转向消费者)。下一个值得关注的不利点是,全球商业规则将被改写。原本那些投资者和企业不分种族、国籍,享受公平竞争的商业规则正在被抛弃。

 

Evidence for this is everywhere. Geopolitical rivalry is gripping the tech industry, which accounts for about 20% of world stock markets. Rules on privacy, data and espionage are splintering. Tax systems are beingbent to patriotic ends—in America to prod firms to repatriate capital, inEurope to target Silicon Valley. America and the European Union have newregimes for vetting foreign investment, while China, despite its bluster, hasno intention of giving foreign firms a level playing-field. America has weaponised the power it gets from running the world’s dollar payments system,to punish foreigners such as Huawei (see Business section). Even humdrum areas-such as accounting and antitrust are fragmenting.

这类例子新手拈来。占全球股票市场20%的高科技产业正上演地缘大战。他们不保护隐私,不注重数据,间谍行为遍地。税务系统向爱国主义低头,(比如)美国鼓励企业召回资产,欧洲则瞄靶硅谷(我没明白这与欧洲爱国有什么关系)。美国和欧盟有新的外商投资审核体制,而中国却没有意愿给外企一点玩的余地,尽管它成天标榜自己给(外商自由竞争)。美国已经开始拿起了它全球美元支付体系的武器,来惩罚如华为等的外企。连会计,反垄断等其它领域也(斗得)一地鸡毛。

 

Trade is suffering as firms use up the inventories they had built up in anticipation of higher tariffs. Expect more of this in 2019. But what really matters is firms’ long-term investment plans, as they begin to lower their exposure to countries and industries that carry high geopolitical risk or faceunstable rules. There are signs that an adjustment is beginning. Chinese invest mentinto Europe and America fell by 73% in 2018. The global value of cross-border investment by multinational companies sankby about 20% in 2018.

一些去了库存要在高额关税下再建库的企业正苦苦挣扎。2019年,这类挣扎将更多。不过真正要做的是,企业在其长期投资计划里,要考虑减少对那些存在高地缘风险和商业规则不稳定的国家及行业的投入。


The new world will work differently. Slowbalisation willlead to deeper links within regional blocs. Supply chains in North America,Europe and Asia are sourcing more from closer to home. In Asia and Europe mosttrade is already intra-regional, and the share has risen since 2011. Asianfirms made more foreign sales within Asia than in America in 2017. As globalrules decay, a fluid patchwork of regional deals and spheres of influence isasserting control over trade and investment. The EU is stamping its authorityon banking, tech and foreign investment, for example. China hopes to agree on aregional trade deal this year, even as its tech firms expand across Asia.Companies have $30trn of cross-border investment in the ground, some of which mayneed to be shifted, sold or shut.

新经济的运作与以往将有很大不同。全球化放缓会深化区域间企业的链接。比如北美、欧洲和亚洲各自的供应链体系,这些地区正从离母国更近的地方采购(材料)。在亚洲和欧洲,许多贸易已经区域内化,这一趋势从2011年开始,一直不断上升。2017年亚洲企业的海外贸易与亚洲之间交易的多过与美洲的。随着全球商业规则消失,地区实体开始监管贸易和投资。比如,欧盟开始监管银行,高新产业及境外投资。即便中国高新产业布局已超越亚洲区,中国今年(仍)希望达成区域内贸易协定。全球范围,(所有)企业共有30万亿美元的境外投资,其中一些可能需要转移,出售或者关停。

 

Fortunately, this need not be a disaster for living standards. Continental-sized markets are large enough to prosper. Some 1.2bnpeople have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty since 1990, and there isno reason to think that the proportion of paupers will rise again. Western consumers will continue to reap large net benefits from trade. In some cases, deeper integration will take place at a regional level than could have happened at aglobal one.

值得庆幸的是,这些(趋势)不会严重影响(人们)生活质量。洲区域体量的市场足够大到可以让经济继续繁荣。自1990年以来,有12亿人从极度贫困中走出,现在也没有理由去想见出现穷富比上升的事情。西方消费者可以继续从商贸中攫到好处。在一些案例中,更深入的企业整合发生在区域范围内,而不是在全球范围里。

 

Yet slowbalisation has two big disadvantages. First, itcreates new difficulties. Between 1990 and 2010 most emerging countries were able to close some of the gap with developed ones. Now more will struggle to trade their way to riches. And there is a tension between a more regional trading pattern and a global financial system in which Wall Street and the Federal Reserve set the pulse for markets everywhere. Most countries’ interest rateswill still be affected by America’s even as their trade patterns become less linkedto it, leading to financial turbulence. The Fed is less likely to rescueforeigners by acting as a global lender of last resort, as it did a decade ago.

但是,全球性放缓有两个大劣势。首先,制造出新的困难。从19902010年,许多发展中国家(受经济全球化影响)可以缩短与发达国家的差距。现在他们发家致富要靠自己谋路子了。此外,区域化的区贸易模式与全球金融系统间存在紧张关系,这种紧张是华尔街和联邦储蓄在全球各市场放置的。即便许多国家有了自己的贸易模式,其利息率仍受美国影响,进而引发其金融动乱。联邦政府不会再像十年前那样,做最后贷出人,来拯救外商投资者。

 

Second, slowbalisation will not fix the problems that globalisationcreated. Automation means that there will be no renaissance of blue-collar jobsin the West. Firms will hire unskilled workers in the cheapest places in eachregion. Climate change, migration and tax-dodging will be even harder to solve without global co-operation. And far from moderating and containing China, slowbalisation will help it win regional hegemony faster.

第二,全球化放缓也无法弥补经济全球化产生的问题。人工智能意味着西方世界蓝领工人的辉煌不复现。企业主将在各区域选最便宜的地方雇佣技艺一般的工人。没有了全球化合作,气候变暖,移民还有偷税漏税等问题将变得更加棘手。同时,远远用不着整顿、控制中国经济,经济放缓化就可以协助更快地赢得区域霸权。

 

Globalisation made the world a better place for almost everyone. But too little was done to mitigate its costs. The integrated world’s neglectedproblems have now grown in the eyes of the public to the point where the benefits of the global order are easily forgotten. Yet the solution on offer is notreally a fix at all. Slowbalisation will be meaner and less stable than its predecessor. In the end it will only feed the discontent.

经济全球化普惠了地球所有角落。但减少为经济全球化而付出的代价,我们也做的太少了。错综复杂的世界问题在大众眼里滋生,经济全球化的好处就会容易被忽略遗忘。然而现有的方案(我觉得这里作者指的方案就是全球放缓化)不能完全修补经济全球化产生的问题。全球放缓化会比经济全球化更诡谲,更不稳定。最终只会滋生出不满。

 

 

~译于斯图加特市图书馆。