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2018年10月22日 00:22:37来源:飞度排名指定医院

Economics brief: Financial stability: Minskys moment经济概要:金融稳定:明斯基的时刻The second article in our series on seminal economic ideas looks at Hyman Minskys hypothesis that booms sow the seeds of busts.六大经济思想之二——明斯基的繁荣育泡沫破裂之种子的解说。From the start of his academic career in the 1950s until 1996, when he died, Hyman Minsky laboured in relative obscurity.从他学术生涯开始的上世纪50年代直到去世的1996年,海曼·明斯基一直在相对默默无闻中辛勤耕耘。His research about financial crises and their causes attracted a few devoted admirers but little mainstream attention: this newspaper cited him only once while he was alive, and it was but a brief mention.他关于金融危机及其成因的研究吸引了不少的忠实的崇拜者,但是几乎没有吸引主流的关注:本报在他在世时仅提到过他一次,但也只是稍微提了一下。So it remained until 2007, when the subprime-mortgage crisis erupted in America.这种情况一直持续到了次贷危机在美国爆发的2007年。Suddenly, it seemed that everyone was turning to his writings as they tried to make sense of the mayhem.一夜之间,好像每一个人在试图解释那场混乱时都在转向他的著作。Brokers wrote notes to clients about the “Minsky moment” engulfing financial markets.经纪人在发给客户的提示中提到了淹没金融市场的“明斯基时刻”。Central bankers referred to his theories in their speeches.央行家在演讲中引用了他的理论。And he became a posthumous media star, with just about every major outlet giving column space and airtime to his ideas.他成为了一名身后的媒体明星,几乎每一家主流媒体都给他的思想留出了专栏空间和直播时间。The Economist has mentioned him in at least 30 articles since 2007.本报自2007年以来已经至少在30篇文章中提到过他。If Minsky remained far from the limelight throughout his life, it is at least in part because his approach shunned academic conventions.如果明斯基终其一生保持远离焦点,这至少部分是因为他的途径有意回避了学术惯例。He started his university education in mathematics but made little use of calculations when he shifted to economics, despite the disciplines growing emphasis on quantitative methods.他开始读大学是学的是数学,但是,在转向经济学时却几乎不用计算,尽管这门学科当时正在日渐重视量化方法。Instead, he pieced his views together in his essays, lectures and books, including one about John Maynard Keynes, the economist who most influenced his thinking.相反,他把自己的观点都整合到了他的文章、演讲和书籍之中,这其中就包括一本论述论约翰·梅纳德·凯恩斯——这位对他的思考影响最大的经济学家的专著。He also gained hands-on experience, serving on the board of Mark Twain Bank in St Louis, Missouri, where he taught.他还利用在自己教书的密苏里州圣路易斯的马克·吐温董事会务的机会获得了第一手的经验。Having grown up during the Depression, Minsky was minded to dwell on disaster.在大萧条期间长大的明斯基一心扑在了思考和研究灾难上面。Over the years he came back to the same fundamental problem again and again.多年来,他一次又一次地回到这个同样的根本问题上面。He wanted to understand why financial crises occurred.他想要理解金融危机发生的原因。It was an unpopular focus.这在当时是一个不受欢迎的关注点。The dominant belief in the latter half of the 20th century was that markets were efficient.20世纪后半期的主流观点认为,市场是有效的。The prospect of a full-blown calamity in developed economies sounded far-fetched.发达经济体的一次全方位灾难的前景听起来是遥不可及的。There might be the occasional stockmarket bust or currency crash, but modern economies had, it seemed, vanquished their worst demons.可能会有偶尔的股市泡沫或者货币危机,但是,当代经济体似乎已经赶跑了最坏的恶魔。Against those certitudes, Minsky, an owlish man with a shock of grey hair, developed his “financial-instability hypothesis”.与这些确定性截然相反的是,一头白发,面孔严肃的明斯基提出了他的“金融不稳定假说”。It is an examination of how long stretches of prosperity sow the seeds of the next crisis, an important lens for understanding the tumult of the past decade.它是对长期繁荣如何育下一次危机的种子的一次考,是理解过去十年动荡的一面重要的镜子。But the history of the hypothesis itself is just as important.但是,这个假说本身的历史也同样重要。Its trajectory from the margins of academia to a subject of mainstream debate shows how the study of economics is adapting to a much-changed reality since the global financial crisis.它从学术边缘到主流讨论一大主题的轨迹表明,经济学研究正在如何让自己去适应一种自全球金融危机已经天翻地覆的现实。Minsky started with an explanation of investment.明斯基的切入点是解释投资。It is, in essence, an exchange of money today for money tomorrow.投资,实质上是一种今天的钱对明天的钱的交换。A firm pays now for the construction of a factory; profits from running the facility will, all going well, translate into money for it in coming years.今天,企业为建设一座工厂而掏钱;明天,一切顺利的话,出自运营这座设施的利润将转化为今天的钱。Put crudely, money today can come from one of two sources: the firms own cash or that of others (for example, if the firm borrows from a bank) .概括地说,今天的钱可以来自以下两个来源中的一个:企业自己的钱或是别人的钱(例如,企业从借钱)。The balance between the two is the key question for the financial system.两者的平衡是金融体系的关键问题。Minsky distinguished between three kinds of financing.明斯基对三种筹措资金的行为做了区分。The first, which he called “hedge financing”, is the safest: firms rely on their future cashflow to repay all their borrowings.他称之为“避险筹资”的第一种是最安全的:企业依靠自己的未来现金流偿还全部借款。For this to work, they need to have very limited borrowings and healthy profits.为了使之进行下去,企业需要有非常有限的借款和健康的盈利。The second, speculative financing, is a bit riskier: firms rely on their cashflow to repay the interest on their borrowings but must roll over their debt to repay the principal.第二种——投机性筹资,有点风险:企业依靠现金流来偿还借款利息,但是必须让债务延期才能付本金。This should be manageable as long as the economy functions smoothly, but a downturn could cause distress.只要经济体运转平稳,这中筹资应当是可控的,但是,衰退可能带来灾难。The third, Ponzi financing, is the most dangerous.第三种——庞氏筹资——最危险。Cashflow covers neither principal nor interest; firms are betting only that the underlying asset will appreciate by enough to cover their liabilities.现金流既不够还本也不够付利息;企业当前所赌的,仅仅是相关资产将升值到足以付负债。If that fails to happen, they will be left exposed.倘若这没能发生,他们将被完全暴露在风险之中。Economies dominated by hedge financing—that is, those with strong cashflows and low debt levels—are the most stable.由避险筹资行为主导的经济体——即有着强大现金流和低债务水平的经济体——是最稳定的。When speculative and, especially, Ponzi financing come to the fore, financial systems are more vulnerable.当投机性筹资行为,特别是庞氏筹资行为大行其道时,金融体系是更加脆弱的。If asset values start to fall, either because of monetary tightening or some external shock, the most overstretched firms will be forced to sell their positions.如果资产价格因为货币政策收紧或是某种外部冲击而开始下跌时,最过度扩张的企业将被迫卖出头寸。This further undermines asset values, causing pain for even more firms.这进一步摧毁了资产价格,给更多的企业带来痛苦。They could avoid this trouble by restricting themselves to hedge financing.企业能通过将自己局限于避险筹资而避免这种困境。But over time, particularly when the economy is in fine fettle, the temptation to take on debt is irresistible.但是,随着时间的推移,尤其是在经济体欣欣向荣之时,举债的诱惑是难以抵挡的。When growth looks assured, why not borrow more?当增长看上去确定无疑时,为什么不多借进点呢?Banks add to the dynamic, lowering their credit standards the longer booms last.推波助澜,不断降低信贷标准,繁荣持续的时间不断延长。If defaults are minimal, why not lend more?如果违约少得不能再少,为什么不多借出点呢?Minskys conclusion was unsettling. Economic stability breeds instability.明斯基的结论令人不安。经济稳定育不稳定。Periods of prosperity give way to financial fragility.繁荣期让位于金融脆弱。With overleveraged banks and no-money-down mortgages still fresh in the mind after the global financial crisis, Minskys insight might sound obvious.由于过度放债的和零首付抵押贷款在全球金融危机后仍旧记忆犹新,明斯基的这种真知灼见可能听起来很明显。Of course, debt and finance matter.当然了,债务和融资非常重要。But for decades the study of economics paid little heed to the former and relegated the latter to a sub-discipline, not an essential element in broader theories.但是,几十年来,经济学研究却很少去关注前者,而且还把后者降级为一门分学科,没有使之成为更广泛的理论的一个基本组成部分。Minsky was a maverick.明斯基特立独行,剑走偏锋。He challenged both the Keynesian backbone of macroeconomics and a prevailing belief in efficient markets.一方面,他挑战了宏观经济学的凯恩斯主义柱;另一方面,又挑战了对有效市场的盲目崇拜。It is perhaps odd to describe his ideas as a critique of Keynesian doctrine when Minsky himself idolised Keynes.在明斯基自己已将凯恩斯当成是偶像的情况下还把他的思想说成是对凯恩斯主义学说的一种批判似乎有点奇怪。But he believed that the doctrine had strayed too far from Keyness own ideas.但是,他相信这种学说已经远远地背离了凯恩斯自己的思想。Economists had created models to put Keyness words to work in explaining the economy.为了让凯恩斯的思想在解释经济时管用,经济学家打造出了一大批模型。None is better known than the IS-LM model, largely developed by John Hicks and Alvin Hansen, which shows the relationship between investment and money.其中最出名的是展示了投资与资金间的关系的IS—LM,这个主要是由约翰·希克斯和阿尔文·汉森提出的模型。It remains a potent tool for teaching and for policy analysis.目前,这个模型仍然是教学和政策分析的一个有力工具。But Messrs Hicks and Hansen largely left the financial sector out of the picture, even though Keynes was keenly aware of the importance of markets.但是,希克斯和汉森甚至在凯恩斯已经强烈地意识到了市场的重要性的情况下,仍将金融部门大都留在了画面之外。 /201612/485250。

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