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The hopeful continent
Africa rising
After decades of slow growth, Africa has a real chance to follow in the footsteps of Asia
THE shops are stacked six feet high with goods, the streets outside are jammed with customers and salespeople are sweating profusely under the onslaught. But this is not a high street during the Christmas-shopping season in the rich world. It is the Onitsha market in southern Nigeria, every day of the year. Many call it the world’s biggest. Up to 3m people go there daily to buy rice and soap, computers and construction equipment. It is a hub for traders from the Gulf of Guinea, a region blighted by corruption, piracy, poverty and disease but also home to millions of highly motivated entrepreneurs and increasingly prosperous consumers. decade十年; stack n.堆叠, v.堆满,堆积 be jammed with挤满 profusely丰富地; 繁茂地 hub 中心,轮轴 prosperous成功的, 顺利的, 繁盛的
It is a hub( for traders from the Gulf of Guinea), a region (blighted by corruption, piracy, poverty and disease but also) home (to millions of highly motivated entrepreneurs and increasingly prosperous consumers).
Hub, region, home是并列宾语,括号部分是各个宾语的补语成分。
Over the past decade six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries were African. In eight of the past ten years, Africa has grown faster than East Asia, including Japan. Even allowing for the knock-on effect of the northern hemisphere’s slowdown, the IMF expects Africa to grow by 6% this year and nearly 6% in 2012, about the same as Asia. slowdown减速,衰退 过去十年中,全球10个经济增长最快的国家中,非洲占了6席。其中有8年非洲比包含日本在内的东亚增长要快。即便考虑到北半球经济衰退的影响,国际货币基金组织预测今年非洲的增速为6%,2012年将接近6%,与亚洲大致相当。
The commodities boom is partly responsible. In 2000-08 around a quarter of Africa’s growth came from higher revenues from natural resources. Favourable demography is another cause. With fertility rates crashing in Asia and Latin America, half of the increase in population over the next 40 years will be in Africa. But the growth also has a lot to do with the manufacturing and service economies that African countries are beginning to develop. The big question is whether Africa can keep that up if demand for commodities drops. demography人口统计学 fertility 肥沃; 多产难句解析:
With fertility rates crashing in Asia and Latin America(伴随状语), half of the increase (in population over the next 40 years后置定语) will be in Africa. But the growth also has a lot to do with the manufacturing and service economies( that African countries are beginning to develop后置定语).随着亚洲和拉丁美洲的生育率下滑,在接下来的40年中,世界人口增长有一半将来自非洲。非洲国家正在发展的制造业和服务业促进了经济增长商品交易繁荣是部分原因。从2000年至2008年,非洲增长约有四分之一来自于自然资源中获取的更高利润。人口优势则是另一原因。随着亚洲和拉丁美洲的生育率下滑,在接下来的40年中,世界人口增长有一半将来自非洲。非洲国家正在发展的制造业和服务业促进了经济增长。关键问题在于,如果商品需求下跌,非洲还能否继续保持增长。
Copper, gold, oil—and a pinch of salt
Optimism about Africa needs to be taken in fairly small doses, for things are still exceedingly bleak in much of the continent. Most Africans live on less than two dollars a day. Food production per person has slumped since independence in the 1960s. The average lifespan in some countries is under 50. Drought and famine persist. The climate is worsening, with deforestation and desertification still on the march. exceedingly非常地; 极度地 lifespan寿命, 使用期限 famine 饥荒, 饥馑, 缺乏 persist. 坚持; 持续
Some countries praised for their breakneck economic growth, such as Angola and Equatorial Guinea, are oil-sodden kleptocracies. Some that have begun to get economic development right, such as Rwanda and Ethiopia, have become politically noxious. Congo, now undergoing a shoddy election, still looks barely governable and hideously corrupt. Zimbabwe is a scar on the conscience of the rest of southern Africa. South Africa, which used to be a model for the continent, is tainted with corruption; and within the ruling African National Congress there is talk of nationalising land and mines. breakneck非常危险的, 极快的 oil-sodden 浑身湿透的 kleptocracies盗贼统治(的国家) shoddy翻造的毛线; 伪造品; hideously可怕地; 非常讨厌地 be tainted with 污染,感染
Yet against that depressingly familiar backdrop, some fundamental numbers are moving in the right direction. Africa now has a fast-growing middle class: according to the World Bank, around 60m Africans have an income of $3,000 a year, and 100m will in 2015. The rate of foreign investment has soared around tenfold in the past decade. soared 翱翔, 高飞, 猛增 tenfold十倍的, 十重的
China’s arrival has improved Africa’s infrastructure and boosted its manufacturing sector. Other non-Western countries, from Brazil and Turkey to Malaysia and India, are following its lead. Africa could break into the global market for light manufacturing and services such as call centres. Cross-border commerce, long suppressed by political rivalry, is growing, as tariffs fall and barriers to trade are dismantled. rivalry敌对, 竞争, 对抗 tariffs关税, 价格表, 关税表 dismantled拆除...的设备, 去除覆盖物
Cross-border commerce, (long suppressed by political rivalry)(后置定语) , is growing, (as tariffs fall and barriers to trade are dismantled)(伴随状语).
Africa’s enthusiasm for technology is boosting growth. It has more than 600m mobile-phone users—more than America or Europe. Since roads are generally dreadful, advances in communications, with mobile banking and telephonic agro-info, have been a huge boon. Around a tenth of Africa’s land mass is covered by mobile-internet services—a higher proportion than in India. The health of many millions of Africans has also improved, thanks in part to the wider distribution of mosquito nets and the gradual easing of the ravages of HIV/AIDS. Skills are improving: productivity is growing by nearly 3% a year, compared with 2.3% in America. enthusiasm狂热; 积极性 boon 恩惠; 利益 gradual逐渐的, 徐徐的, 渐增的
(Since roads are generally dreadful)(原因状语), advances in communications, (with mobile banking and telephonic agro-info)(伴随状语), have been a huge boon. 由于道路总体上比较糟糕,通讯上的进步——如移动银行的流行和可从电话上获取农业信息,给生活带来了极大的便利
非洲对技术的热情促进了经济的增长。非洲共有6亿移动电话用户,这一数字要比美国或欧洲都多。由于道路总体上比较糟糕,通讯上的进步——如移动银行的流行和可从电话上获取农业信息,给生活带来了极大的便利。移动互联网设施覆盖了非洲大陆约十分之一的面——这一比例比印度要高。数以百万计的非洲人的身体健康同样得到改善,部分是由于蚊帐的广泛分发,以及艾滋造成的破坏慢慢减轻。技术也在进步:生产率每年以3% 的速率增长,与之相比,美国的这一速率为2.3%。
All this is happening partly because Africa is at last getting a taste of peace and decent government. For three decades after African countries threw off their colonial shackles, not a single one (bar the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius) peacefully ousted a government or president at the ballot box. But since Benin set the mainland trend in 1991, it has happened more than 30 times—far more often than in the Arab world. shackles n. 桎梏, 束缚物 v. 加桎梏, 束缚, 加枷锁 ousted逐出, 夺取, 取代 ballot投票 以上这些之所以得以正在发生, 部分原因是非洲终于能够初尝和平和较好政府的甜头了。非洲国家摆脱殖民镣铐之后的三十年, 从来没有一个国家(除了印度洋里的毛里求斯岛国)是通过投票箱和平地罢免一届政府或总统。不过自从贝宁在1991年和平罢免其政府, 从而开启了非洲大陆的先例后,和平罢免在非洲已经上演了30多次——远比阿拉伯世界要多。
Population trends could enhance these promising developments. A bulge of better-educated young people of working age is entering the job market and birth rates are beginning to decline. As the proportion of working-age people to dependents rises, growth should get a boost. Asia enjoyed such a “demographic dividend”, which began three decades ago and is now tailing off. In Africa it is just starting. bulge使膨胀, 使凸起; demographic人口统计学的 dividend股息, 红利, 被除数 tailing off拖尾
Having a lot of young adults is good for any country if its economy is thriving, but if jobs are in short supply it can lead to frustration and violence. Whether Africa’s demography brings a dividend or disaster is largely up to its governments. thriving 繁荣的, 旺盛的
More trade than aid
Africa still needs deep reform. Governments should make it easier to start businesses and cut some taxes and collect honestly the ones they impose. Land needs to be taken out of communal ownership and title handed over to individual farmers so that they can get credit and expand. And, most of all, politicians need to keep their noses out of the trough and to leave power when their voters tell them to. communal公有的, 公社的 trough水槽, 马槽, 低谷,
Western governments should open up to trade rather than just dish out aid. America’s African Growth and Opportunity Act, which lowered tariff barriers for many goods, is a good start, but it needs to be widened and copied by other nations. Foreign investors should sign the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which would let Africans see what foreign companies pay for licences to exploit natural resources. African governments should insist on total openness in the deals they strike with foreign companies and governments. dish out给予, 分发 strike with 打, 撞, 罢工
Autocracy, corruption and strife will not disappear overnight. But at a dark time for the world economy, Africa’s progress is a reminder of the transformative promise of growth.

Autocracy 独裁政治; 独裁政府 strife冲突, 倾轧, 争斗 transformative adj. 起改造作用的, 有改革能力的 chapter 1 section b [经济学人] An unpalatable solution不被认可的解决办法
Eurobonds could restore confidence, but at a cost
Aug 20th 2011 | from the print edition
WITH alarming speed, Europe’s debt crisis has spread this summer from small countries such as Greece on the rim of the single-currency area to large economies such as Italy at its heart. The European Central Bank (ECB) has restored calm in Italian and Spanish government-bond markets for the moment by making big purchases of their debt. But such bond-buying is a temporary palliative. Many are now calling for a more fundamental solution to the crisis: the issue of “Eurobonds” in order to provide a fiscal underpinning to the shaky monetary union. palliative缓和的; 掩饰的; 减轻的 shaky震动的, 动摇的, 摇晃的, 虚弱的
今年夏天,债务危机以惊人的速度从欧洲一些小国家漫延到其主要经济体,从单一货币区外围国家希腊到欧洲核心经济体——意大利。欧洲央行(European Central Bank)大量购买意大利和西班牙的国债,暂时缓解市场的焦虑。但是买入国债只是暂时的纾困手段。当下人们呼吁更加彻底的解决方案:发行“欧元债券”,融合欧元区财政以支持摇摇欲坠的货币联盟。
These Eurobonds are not to be confused with their namesakes invented in the early 1960s, when bankers severed the link between currency and country of issuance by helping international borrowers sell dollar-denominated bonds in London. What advocates of new-style Eurobonds have in mind for the euro area would be even more far-reaching: they wish to sever the link between the creditworthiness of a country and its cost of borrowing. The 17 member states of the single-currency area would be able to borrow in bonds issued by a European debt agency. These would be jointly guaranteed by all euro-area countries and thus underwritten in particular by the most creditworthy of them—above all, Germany, because of its economic clout and top-notch credit rating. creditworthy有信誉的 这次提出的欧元债券和上世纪60年代发行的欧洲债券不一样。当时银行家们为了帮助国际卖家能够在伦敦出售美元计值的债券,允许其发行非本国流通货币的票面币值债券。今天欧元债券的支持者对欧元区的设想则更进一步:他们希望融资成本不与国家的偿付能力挂钩。这样欧元区各成员国就能通过发行统一债券融资。这些债券由欧元区国家联合担保,尤其是信誉良好的国家——德国,因为它经济形势最好,信用评级最高。
An underlying rationale for Eurobonds is that the public finances of the euro area as a whole look quite respectable, at least compared with those of other big rich economies. The IMF envisages that general government debt will reach 88% of the single-currency zone’s GDP this year. This is lower than America’s 98% and not much higher than Britain’s 83%. The euro area’s projected budget deficit will be a bit above 4% of GDP, better than America’s 10% and Britain’s 8.5%. Neither America—despite the recent downgrade of its debt by a rating agency—nor Britain has been subject to adebilitating loss of confidence. This suggests that pooling debt could indeed put an end to the euro crisis. envisages想像, 设想; 正视, debilitating 使人衰弱的; 削弱力量的
The successive waves of market attacks on countries have exposed an inherent fragility of a monetary union of states in which each stands behind its own debt but with the usual escape routes of devaluation and inflation no longer available. If investors lose confidence in a country’s fiscal prospects, their fear can become self-fulfilling by pushing up bond yields to unsustainable levels. The ECB can soothe markets by buying bonds, but beyond a certain point such purchases threaten its independence. By pooling risk, Eurobonds could be a more durable counter to such destabilising liquidity crises, argues Paul De Grauwe, an economist at the Catholic University of Leuven, in Belgium. soothe使平静, 使缓和或减轻, 安慰
而现在欧元区各成员国独立应付自己的债务,面对货币贬值、通货膨胀束手无策,在市场不断施压的情况下,清晰地暴露出欧元区固有的脆弱。如果投资者对一个国家的财政预期失去信心,这种消极预期会推高其国债收益率,直至预期变成现实。尽管购买国债券可以暂时缓解市场压力,可一旦突破临界点,之前购买的国债券会严重影响欧洲央行(ECB)的独立性。因此通过风险聚合,欧元债券是应对流动性危机有力手段,比利时天主教鲁汶大学(Catholic University of Leuven) 的经济学家保罗•德•格劳威(Paul De Grauwe)说。
Another reason to introduce Eurobonds is that the existing defences drawn up to contain the crisis are starting to look too flimsy. The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the rescue fund set up last year, is due to have

Chapter 2 china’s economy
Five myths about china’s economy
作者:Arthur Kroeber 2010.04.11
中国是打击,现货现在:许多年轻人进入劳动力年龄(15 - 24)预计下降三分之一在接下来的12年。年轻的工人越来越少,工资只会涨不会跌。这已经发生了:上个月,广东省(中国的主要出口中心)上调最低工资标准上调20%。
Section b why do we fear a rising china

Chapter 2 section B时代周刊:为什么我们害怕一个崛起的中国

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It’s hard to argue that the rise of China, taken on the whole, is anything but good for the global economy. New wealth for China’s 1.3 billion people means 1.3 billion more people who can buy stuff from the rest of the world,creating jobsfrom American research labs to Japanese industrial zones to Brazilian mines. A global economy no longer solely dependent on the U.S. consumer for growth is potentially more stable and prosperous.
Yet few people see China that way. Many don’t acknowledge China’s positive role in the world economy at all. Instead, they focus on the competition China has created, especially for the developed world, or the jobs many believe China has “stolen.” However, even those who realize, or even directly benefit from, China’s advance still can’t but feel uneasy about that advance. But why is that? Why do we fear a rising China in a way we don’t a rising India? Or why is an economically powerful China less acceptable than, for example, a stronger Europe?
然而很少有人以这种方式看待中国。很多人根本不承认中国在世界经济中所起的积极作用。相反,他们更关注于中国给世界,尤其是给发达国家带来的竞争,很多人认为中国"偷走"了他们的就业机会。但是,即便是那些认识到这一点,甚至是直接从中国发展中受益的人也依旧对中国的进步感到很不安。这是为什么呢?为什么我们不是害怕一个日益崛起的印度,而是去害怕一个崛起的中国? 为什么我们可以接受一个经济上更加强大的欧洲,却不能接受一个经济较欧洲稍弱的中国呢?
The conflicting emotions many have about China’s rise are the subject of my latestTIME magazine story, focused on Australia’s relationship with the Middle Kingdom. What’s happening Down Under is a glimpse into the future for all of us. And for me, reporting there got me thinking about why so many of us – and not just in the West, but out here in Asia as well – are having so much trouble coming to terms with the idea of China as a superpower.
很多人对中国崛起都持着一种矛盾的情感,这正是我最新一期的时代杂志故事的主题,这本杂志侧重于描述澳大利亚与这个“中央王朝”的关系。在澳大利亚发生的事就是我们对未来的一种预见。对于我,在当地报道的那段时间里我一直在思考一个问题:为什么我们— — 不仅仅包括西方人,很多亚洲人也是如此— —就这么难对中国作为超级大国这一想法达成共识。
There are few countries in the world that have benefited more from China’s rapid economic growth than Australia. The boom in exports Australia has enjoyed due to surging Chinese demand, especially for raw materials, is a key reason –perhaps the determining factor– why the country avoided a recession after the 2008 financial crisis. Trade with China is also spurring investment and creating jobs. But simultaneously, Australians are becoming uncomfortable about their growing relationship with China. They fret that the economy is becoming too dependent on China for its growth. They worry China will use its economic leverage to put political pressure on the country, or employ its growing economic power to become a strategic threat. They don’t much care for Chinese companies buying Australian assets. Australians worry that what helps their wallets hurts their country politically and strategically, and the more powerful China gets, the bigger that potential danger. Hugh White, head of the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, explained the sentiment to me this way: “As China keeps growing strong enough to fulfill Australians’ economic aspirations, it grows more powerful and undermines U.S. primacy and our strategic aspirations. People are conscious that with the benefits we get from Chinese growth, there is a certain degree of vulnerability.”
这个世界上极少有国家能像澳大利亚那样从快速发展的中国获得如此多的利益。不断飙升的中国需求让澳大利亚的出口,特别是原材料出口,享受着长期的繁荣。这也是为什么这个国家在2008 年金融危机后的避免了经济衰退的关键原因,甚至说是决定性的原因。与中国的贸易也促进了投资,创造就业机会。但同时,澳大利亚人却对日益增进中澳关系感到不安。他们担心经济增长会过于依赖中国。他们也担心中国会利用其经济影响力对自己的国家施加政治压力或者把其日益增强的经济实力变成一种战略威胁。他们不太喜欢来澳大利亚购买资产的中国公司。澳大利亚人担心在经济上帮助了他们的中国会在政治上和战略上伤害到他们。中国越强大,潜在的危险也就越大。澳大利亚国立大学战略与防御研究中心主任休•怀特向我讲述了他的观点:发展的中国将强大到足以满足澳大利亚的经济愿望,他将变得更强大,强大到可以动摇美国的霸主地位和我们的战略愿望。人们意识当自己从中国经济增长中获益的同时,也得到了某种程度的脆弱性。
I think many of us around the world can sympathize with the Australians. As David Pilling ofThe Financial Timesrecently pointed out, China’s neighbors aren’t too fond of the way Beijing throws its new heft around in the Asia region as its economic influence grows. It’s no coincidence that political leaders in Seoul and Taipei strive to maintain strong ties to Washington even as their economies become driven more and more by China. Americans are queasy that the Chinese own so much U.S. debt. The Japanese own just about as much, but that doesn’t seem to bother anybody.
Of course, 30 years ago, it might have. The reaction many have to China today is very similar to the one that towards Japan in the 1980s, when the Land of the Rising Sun was the rising economic challenger to the West. In recent years, Americans got all jittery about a Chinese attempt to buy oil firm Unocal; more than 20 years ago, Americans got all jittery over Japan’s acquisition of Rockefeller Center. Why? After the overly emotional response in the U.S. to Sony’s acquisition of Hollywood’s Columbia Pictures, co-founder Akio Morita pointed out that Australian born Rupert Murdoch had previously bought 20thCentury Fox, without the drama. He was suggesting the reason was racism.
当然,30 年前,我们也许会感到日本是个麻烦。今天很多人对中国的反应恰似的我们上世纪 80 年代对日本的反应,当时这个日出之国正是挑战西方的崛起者。近年来,美国人总是对中国试图购买优尼科公司感到惴惴不安,20 多年前,在日本收购洛克菲勒中心时美国人也感到无比紧张。这是为什么呢?索尼创始人田昭夫指出:在索尼收购好莱坞哥伦比亚影业之前,澳大利亚出生鲁珀特 • 默多克已经买下了 20 世纪福克斯,但戏剧性的是,美国人对默多克的收购没什么动静,对索尼的收购却表现出了过激的反应。盛田昭夫认为这是种族主义偏见在作怪。
That may be part of the story today with China as well. But the issues are far more complex than that. In the West, Europeans and Americans have dominated the world scene for so many centuries that they’re uncomfortable with the notion of someone else claiming the throne of global hegemony. The concern Americans had with Japan back in the day was that the Japanese were competitors in the global economy, not partners. The fear was that Japan was trying to undermine American dominance, at least in the realm of business. Even beyond that, Japan was winning with an economic system that challenged American ideals of free markets and free enterprise. For many, the rise of Japan seemed to have something sinister behind it – a competing and unfamiliar economic, corporate and cultural system that was producing superior results to those of the West, and appeared to have only its own interests at heart. The challenge from Japan was not just economic, but ideological.
这可能是与当今中国相关的故事的一部分。但实际的问题比那复杂得多。在西方,欧洲人和美国人长时间主宰着世界,以至于他们对有人声称要夺取全球霸权的宝座的打算感到很不舒服。那时美国和日本的关系变冷淡的原因正是因为日本人已成为其在全球经济中的竞争对手,而不是伙伴。美国人害怕日本试图破坏他的统治地位,至少是害日本破坏其在商业领域的优势。但日本确实成功的用这个经济体系挑战了美国理想的自由市场和自由企业。对于许多人来说,日本的崛起的背后似乎有什么险恶的阴谋 — —一个极具竞争力却不为人熟悉的经济、企业和文化系统比之西方更能产生卓越的业绩,并且他们似乎只关心自己的利益。可以说来自日本的挑战并不只是在经济上,也包括了意识形态领域的。
The reasons many fear China today are very similar. China, too, uses a competing economic model – “state capitalism” – that challenges the economic ideology of the West. In many ways, China also behaves in a mercantilist fashion, which gives the impression it cares little about anyone else. It keeps its currency controlled so its exports can out-compete those from other countries, and it grabs natural resources for itself wherever and whenever it can. Often state-controlled companies are doing the grabbing, making China seem like a threatening monolithic juggernaut. Worst of all, the political ideology behind China’s economic ascent completely counters Western ideals about democracy and human rights. China is not just competing with the U.S. in world markets, but offering up an entirely different economic and political system, one that at times seems better at creating growth and jobs, even as it restricts much-cherished civil liberties. China is succeeding based on ideas that Americans despise.
这与今天许多人担心中国的原因是非常相似的。中国也使用同样的经济竞争模式— —"国家资本主义"— —挑战着西方的经济意识形态。在许多方面,中国同样给人以一种自私自利的重商主义的印象。他操控货币以保持出口优势,他贪婪的获取自然资源。他的国有控股的公司往往做一些吸引眼球的事,这使中国看起来像是一个极具威胁的庞大主宰。最糟糕的是,中国经济崛起背后的政治意识形态完全颠覆了西方关于民主和人权的理想。中国不只是与美国在全球市场竞争,而是给世界提供了一种完全不同的经济和政治体系,这种体系有时似乎更善于创造经济增长和就业,但它也极大限制了公民的自由权。中国所推销的理念正是美国人所蔑视的。
The concerns many in the world have with China go well beyond even that. No one ever expected Japan to become a military threat to the West, or even a contender for diplomatic influence around the world. Japan wanted to be No.1, but only when it came to its role in the world economy. Aside from that Japan was a part of the global establishment – a member of the G7 and a clear U.S. military ally. China is none of those things. More and more, China is using its economic clout to offer an alternative to the U.S.-led political and economic system. Beijing routinely complains about the primacy of the dollar and wantsits own currency to play a greater international role.Chinese diplomats have tried to extend their country’s political pull across Africa and Latin America while supporting countries clearly hostile to U.S. interests (such as North Korea.) And Beijing is becoming abigger military poweras well, something that makes its neighbors, many of which have a history of conflict with China (South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan) extremely nervous. Every extra 10% to China’s GDP translates into more money the government can spend on its navy and armed forces.
In other words, China appears to be challenging not just today’s economic orthodoxy and order, but the world’s political and military framework as well. China isn’t content just to sell more TV sets to the world, like Japan. The Chinese want to have more control over the world. And they want to use their economic clout to get it.
Or so we think. The fact is we’re only guessing at what China might do as a superpower. Since China is still a relatively poor nation today, it makes sense that at this stage in its development, its leadership tends to be focused on what’s good for China. Will China’s outlook broaden as it become richer? We don’t know.
When the U.S. took over global leadership from a waning British Empire, the world had a pretty good idea what to expect – that overall the U.S. would continue to hold to ideas of free enterprise and democracy. Now an equally important shift is taking place – the rise of the East – but it’s not so clear what it all means for the direction of global civilization. So maybe that’s what we fear most of all. The uncertainty of a fundamentally changing world.
当美国从日渐式微的英帝国接管了全球领导地位时,世界有了一个不错的预期 — —美国必将继续坚持自由企业和民主的思想。如今一个崛起的东方大国又一次主导了这种转变,但我们还不清楚的是这次转变对全球文明发展意味着什么。或许如今最让人害怕的情形就是,我们将面临一个从根本上转变,却饱含着不确定性的世界。 chapter 3 public finance and taxation section a--------- taxing times in development chaper 4 section A asia’s next revolution
Chapter 4 Asia’s next revolution
Countries across the continent are building welfare states—with a chance to learn from the West’s mistakes
ASIA’S economies have long wowed the world with their dynamism. Thanks to years of spectacular growth, more people have been pulled from abject poverty in modern Asia than at any other time in history. But as they become more affluent, the region’s citizens want more from their governments. Across the continent pressure is growing for public pensions, national health insurance, unemployment benefits and other hallmarks of social protection. As a result, the world’s most vibrant economies are shifting gear, away from simply building wealth towards building a welfare state.
The speed and scale of this shift are mind-boggling (see article). Last October Indonesia’s government promised to provide all its citizens with health insurance by 2014. It is building the biggest “single-payer” national health scheme—where one government outfit collects the contributions and foots the bills—in the world. In just two years China has extended pension coverage to an additional 240m rural folk, far more than the total number of people covered by Social Security, America’s public-pension system. A few years ago about 80% of people in rural China had no health insurance. Now virtually everyone does. In India some 40m households benefit from a government scheme to provide up to 100 days’ work a year at the minimum wage, and the state has extended health insurance to some 110m poor people, more than double the number of uninsured in America.
If you take Germany’s introduction of pensions in the 1880s as the beginning and Britain’s launch of its National Health Service in 1948 as the apogee, the creation of Europe’s welfare states took more than half a century. Some Asian countries will build theirs in a decade. If they get things wrong, especially through unaffordable promises, they could wreck the world’s most dynamic economies. But if they create affordable safety nets, they will not just improve life for their own citizens but also become role models themselves. At a time when governments in the rich world are failing to redesign states to cope with ageing populations and gaping budget deficits, this could be another area where Asia leapfrogs the West.
Beyond Bismarck and Beveridge
History offers many lessons for the Asians on what to avoid. Europe’s welfare states began as basic safety nets. But over time they turned into cushions. That was partly because, after wars and the Depression, European societies made redistribution their priority, but also because the recipients of welfare spending became powerful interest groups. The eventual result, all too often, was economic sclerosis with an ever-bigger state. America has kept its safety net less generous, but has made mistakes in creating its entitlements system—including making unaffordable pension and health-care promises, and tying people’s health insurance to their employment.
The record in other parts of the emerging world, especially Latin America, is even worse. Governments have tended to collect insufficient tax revenue to cover their spending promises. Social protection often aggravated inequalities, because pensions and health care flowed to affluent urban workers but not the really poor. Brazil famously has a first-world rate of government spending but third-world public services.
Asia’s governments are acutely conscious of all this. They have little desire to replace traditions of hard work and thrift with a flabby welfare dependency. The region’s giants can seek inspiration not from Greece but from tiny Singapore, where government spending is only a fifth of GDP but schools and hospitals are among the best in the world. So far, the safety nets in big Asian countries have generally been minimalist: basic health insurance and pensions which replace a small fraction of workers’ former income. Even now, the region’s social spending relative to the size of its economies is only about 30% of the rich-country average and lower than any part of the emerging world except sub-Saharan Africa.
亚洲各国政府敏锐地意识到了所有这些情况。它们并不太想去用对福利的软弱依赖来替代辛劳节俭的传统。亚洲大国不该借鉴希腊,而可以从小小的新加坡身上寻找灵感——新加坡的政府开支只占 GDP 的20%,但学校和医院却是世界一流的。迄今为止,亚洲大国的保障措施总体来说较为粗糙:用基础的健康保险和养老金代替劳动者从前收入的一小部分。即使在今天,相对该地区经济体的规模来说,社会开支也只有富裕国家平均水平的30%左右,在新兴世界中仅仅高于撒哈拉沙漠以南的非洲地区。
That leaves a fair amount of room for expansion. But Asia also faces a number of peculiarly tricky problems. One is demography. Although a few countries, notably India, are relatively youthful, the region includes some of the world’s most rapidly ageing populations. Today China has five workers for every old person. By 2035 the ratio will have fallen to two. In America, by contrast, the baby-boom generation meant that the Social Security system had five contributors per beneficiary in 1960, a quarter of a century after its introduction. It still has three workers for every retired person.
Another problem is size, which makes welfare especially hard. The three giants—China, India and Indonesia—are vast places with huge regional income disparities within their borders. Building a welfare state in any one of them is a bit like creating a single welfare state across the European Union. Lastly, many Asian workers (in India it is about 90%) are in the “informal” economy, making it harder to verify their incomes or reach them with transfers.
Cuddly tigers, not flabby cats
How should these challenges be overcome? There is no single solution that applies from India to South Korea. Different countries will, and should, experiment with different welfare models. But there are three broad principles that all Asian governments could usefully keep in mind.
The first is to pay even more attention to the affordability over time of any promises. The size of most Asian pensions may be modest, but people collect them at an early age. In China, for example, women retire at 55; in Thailand many employees are obliged to stop work at 60 and can withdraw their pension funds at 55. That is patently unsustainable. Across Asia, retirement ages need to rise, and should be indexed to life expectancy.
Second, Asian governments need to target their social spending more carefully. Crudely put, social provision should be about protecting the poor more than subsidising the rich. In fast-ageing societies, especially, handouts to the old must not squeeze out investment in the young. Too many Asian governments still waste oodles of public money on regressive universal subsidies. Indonesia, for instance, last year spent nine times as much on fuel subsidies as it did on health care, and the lion’s share of those subsidies flows to the country’s most affluent. As they promise a broader welfare state, Asia’s politicians have the political opportunity, and the economic responsibility, to get rid of this kind of wasteful spending.
Third, Asia’s reformers should concentrate on being both flexible and innovative. Don’t stifle labour markets with rigid severance rules or over-generous minimum wages. Make sure pensions are portable, between jobs and regions. Don’t equate a publicly funded safety net with government provision of services (a single public payer may be the cheapest way to provide basic health care, but that does not have to mean every nurse needs to be a government employee). And use technology to avoid the inefficiencies that hobble the rich world’s public sector. From making electronic health records ubiquitous to organising transfer payments through mobile phones, Asian countries can create new and efficient delivery systems with modern technology.
In the end, the success of Asia’s great leap towards welfare provision will be determined by politics as much as economics. The continent’s citizens will have to show a willingness to plan ahead, work longer and eschew handouts based on piling up debt for future generations: virtues that have so far eluded their rich-world counterparts. Achieving that political maturity will require the biggest leap of all.
Section B ---------life should be cheap
Chapter 4 section B Life should be cheap
How China and India can help cut Western medical bills
ACROSS the rich world, governments with ageing populations are worried about soaring health-care costs. In Britain this week David Cameron announced yet another reorganisation of the National Health Service. But the problem is most severe in America. Medical spending per head has nearly tripled since 1990, yet most indicators of health have barelybudged. And the rising cost of health care depresses wages—because many Americans receive health insurance from their employers, who therefore pay them less. budged让步; 改变意见; 推动, 移动
Help may be at hand. Frugal innovators in China and India are making medical devices that are cheaper—sometimes by an order of magnitude—than their Western equivalents. Companies such as China’s Mindray and India’s TRS serve home markets that include vast numbers of people for whom every yuan or rupee counts. So these companies focusrelentlessly on reducing costs. They create products that are stripped to their essentials: scanners that cost $10,000 rather than $100,000; portable electrocardiographs that cost $500 instead of $5,000. relentlessly无情地; 残酷地
These devices are not merely cheap knock-offs of Western designs. Often they are just as effective as the gold-plated kit used in the West, yet they are rarely found in rich-world hospitals. Their absence helps explain the massive disparityin costs between Western and emerging-world treatments. A night in an American hospital typically costs 25 times as much as a night in an Indian, Brazilian or Chinese one; a night in a European hospital typically costs four times as much. disparity不一致 这些仪器并非只是西方设计的廉价仿制品。一般来说,它们和西方的镀金设备一样好使,可在富裕世界的医院里却难得一见。它们的缺席有助于解释西方与新兴国家的医疗费用何以如此悬殊。在美国医院住一晚的费用比在印度、巴西或中国医院贵24倍;而欧洲医院一晚的费用一般是是后者的4倍。
Western medical-device firms are well aware of eastern innovation. Indeed, firms such as GE Healthcare, Philips and Medtronic are investing heavily in China and India: setting up research centres, hiring local talent and developing frugalinventions of their own, which they gleefully sell both locally and in other emerging markets. Alas, they are not rushing to market such thrifty ingenuity back in America or Europe. frugal节俭的; 朴素的 gleefully极快乐地, 欢欣地 ingenuity智巧, 精巧的设计, 创造力
Two main factors keep cheap devices out of Western markets. One is the muting of price signals. Health care is not an efficient market in the rich world because—be it in Europe, where the state typically pays the bills, or in America, where private insurance companies do—the customer does not have to shop around. Patients neither know nor care how much anything costs, so they demand the best of everything, which is wonderful for the makers of hugely expensive equipment.
A second factor—which applies more in America than in Europe—is red tape. America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is excessively risk-averse: it often takes twice as long to approve a new medical technology as European regulators do. America’s confusing approvals process deters upstart medical-technology firms, since they typically lack the deep pockets and army of experts required to navigate it. And for a device to succeed in America it must be blessed not just by the FDA but also by the bureaucrats who oversee Medicare and Medicaid, the two huge government health-care schemes. Obtaining that blessing can take years.
Frugally does it
Just as the appearance of cheap, well-engineered Japanese cars disrupted Western car markets, so the rise of frugal technology could transform the market for medical devices. Western politicians need to encourage this to happen. By turning their governments into better purchasers and by eliminating the barriers that discourage the sale of cheap technology in the rich world, they could bring down the cost of health care. That should earn them the gratitude of patients, taxpayers and workers—in other words, voters.
America and the yuan
The truth hurts
Will the Treasury call China a currency manipulator?
TO MOST people, to say that China holds down the value of its currency to boost its exports is to state the obvious. Not, though, to America’s Treasury Department. By law it must report twice a year on which countries fiddle their exchange rates at the world’s expense. China was last fingered in 1994. Ever since then, the Treasury has concluded that the designation would do more harm than good. Speculation is growing that it may decide differently in its next report, due on April 15th.
The mood in America resembles that in 2005, when the Senate voted to hit China with tariffs of 27.5% and the Treasuryratcheted up its rhetoric. China abruptly moved to a managed float for the yuan. It was allowed to appreciate by 20% over the next three years before a halt was called during the banking panic of 2008. ratcheted 使)渐进
现在美国的感受类似2005年。那时,参议院投票决定对中国征收27.5%的报复性关税,财政部言辞也咄咄逼人。压力之下,中国突然转而对人民币采用管理的浮动汇率,允许人民币在三年内升值20%。 2008年,这一汇率机制在金融危机的风暴中戛然而止。
China seems more determined to resist pressure this time, though, and can rightly point out that its fiscal stimulus has halved its current-account surplus since 2007. America’s trade deficit with China has edged a bit lower, though further declines seem unlikely, now that its own recovery is under way.
Nonetheless, the weight of opinion in America is running heavily against China. Unemployment has doubled since 2005 and Barack Obama wants exports to lead the recovery. That will be harder if China sticks to its export-centric yuan policy.
Businesses have also become less reliable defenders of China, rankled by measures such as an edict last autumn which, according to American technology companies, virtually shuts them out of Chinese government procurement. The hacking attacks on Google and the trial of Rio Tinto executives have hardly helped. “A whole slew of multinationals I’ve talked to are increasingly fed up with how they are being dealt with on micro, industry, product-specific stuff,” says Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a think-tank. procurement获得; 取得
Charles Schumer, a Democratic senator, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican, authors of the 2005 China tariff bill that probably pushed China to move, have introduced a variant that would force the Treasury to make the designation and then seek redress through the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, and unilateral duties. One manufacturing-union group has produced maps showing just how many jobs each congressional district and state has lost to China.
China tariff bill (that probably pushed China to moved定语从句), have introduced a variant (that would force the Treasury to make the designation and then seek redress through the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, and unilateral duties同位语从句). 划线部分为主句
One manufacturing-union group has produced maps (showing just how many jobs each congressional district and state has lost to China现在分词形式作状语).
A popular view in Washington is that the Treasury could call China a manipulator to wrest control of the issue from hotheads in Congress. The practical consequences are small: it requires the United States only to consult with the offending country, something the two already do frequently. It would also fulfil Mr Obama’s promise to use America’s trade enforcement tools more vigorously. But Nicholas Lardy, also of the Peterson Institute, thinks that—far from restraining others—a Treasury designation of China as a manipulator would be “like throwing red meat to the Congress and enhancing the possibility they pass a currency bill.”
The administration’s best hope is that China moves of its own accord before events in Congress or elsewhere force a confrontation. Tim Geithner, the treasury secretary, is surprisingly confident that China will act. Sander Levin, the usually interventionist-minded chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee which oversees trade matters, advocates multilateral rather than unilateral pressure. So perhaps the administration will give China one last chance and seek a multilateral remedy at the G20 in June. If China still fails to respond, the Treasury, by the time of its autumn report, will no longer be able to deny the obvious. unilateral单方面, 片面的, 单边的
Chaper 5 banking the golden rules of banking译文
Buttonwood The golden rules of banking They make the rules, and get the gold
THE crisis has taught people a lot about the banking industry and the thought processes of its leaders. These lessons can be distilled into four golden rules.
金融危机教会了人们许多关于银行业和其领导者思维决策方面的知识。这些知识可以总结为chapte5 4条黄金法则。
1. The laws of supply and demand do not apply.When food producers compete to supply a supermarket, the retailer has the luxury of selecting the lowest bidder. But when it comes to investment banking, wages are very high even though the number of applicants is vastly greater than the number of posts. If the same was true of, say, hospital cleaning, wages would be slashed.
An investment bank, like a supermarket, demands a certain quality standard: it will not hire just anybody. But whereas it may be easy to identify a rotten banana, it is harder to be sure which trainee will be the next Nick Leeson and which the potential George Soros. That gives executives an excuse when things go wrong.
2. Success is down to my genius; failure is caused by someone else.When banks do well, and profits soar, the bosses are responsible for it all with their strategic cunning and inspiring leadership. Huge bonuses are therefore due.
But, like Macavity the mystery cat, executives were never at the scene of the crime. They did not attend the crucial meeting, read the vital memo or open the incriminating e-mail. Together with this surprising inattentiveness, executives have a remarkably faulty memory which means that conversations are rarely recalled in any detail. It is a wonder, indeed, given their technical shortcomings and early-onset Alzheimer’s, that they make it to the top of their organisations at all.
But executives do tend to remember one vital fact. When scandal breaks, the blame should lie with a few rogue employees who have ignored the corporate culture. Managers cannot possibly be expected to keep track of the actions of junior staff. And that leads to the next rule.
3. What is lucky for an individual trader may be unlucky for the bank as a whole. There is a survivorship bias in both fund management and trading. If your career starts with some bad losses, it will quickly come to an end. So, by definition, veteran traders will have had initial success. But that could be down to luck, not skill.
Successful fund managers attract more clients and thus manage more money. This will keep happening until they have a bad year, when clients will desert them. Their worst result will thus occur when they have the most money to look after. They may end up losing more client money in cash terms than they ever made.
Similarly, successful traders will be given more responsibility, first heading their departments and then leading the bank itself. They will gain a reputation as the kind of person who can handle risk, and they will believe their own publicity. The likes of Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers and Jon Corzine at MF Global seemed to regard caution as a quality for wimps.
This is a variant of the Peter principle, which holds that managers get promoted to their level of incompetence. The trader-cum-executive will make the biggest mistake when he is in charge of the whole bank. By this stage, he will be personally rich and will remain so even if the entire bank fails, not least because:
4. Resigning can be a retirement plan. When ordinary folk resign, they are lucky to get paid to the end of the month. But when bankers leave in awkward circumstances, they make out like a lottery winner (Bob Diamond, formerly of Barclays, has done worse on this score than others). The bank may want to avoid a lawsuit, with all its unfavourable publicity. The more trouble the bank is in, the less publicity it will want and the better the negotiating position of the executive. This may not be the ideal incentive structure.
4.辞职就是为了养老。一般人辞职,能在月底前拿到钱就很幸运了。但是当银行家们丢下烂摊子离开的时候,他们就像是彩票得主(博达文,巴克莱前执行长,这方面是个例外). 这时候的银行可能希望避免诉讼和塑造不好的公众形象。银行越是泥足深陷,他们所希望拥有的社会公信力就越少,这时执行官们就处于一个更有利的谈判位置。这些不应该成为理想的刺激机制。
Moreover, if the bank is big enough, the government will not be willing to let it fail. Take the Royal Bank of Scotland. Had it gone bankrupt, then the pension scheme might have fallen into the hands of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), a collective-insurance plan. That would have been bad news for Fred Goodwin, the then chief executive, since individual pension payouts are capped under PPF rules. The limit at the time was £24,000 ($44,500) rather than the £703,000 he originally claimed.
Bankers get such generous payoffs because it is in their contracts and airtight contracts are needed to attract the best people. But is this right? The BBC just appointed a director-general on a salary that is one-third less than that of the previous incumbent. Even so, there was no shortage of qualified applicants for the post. Back to the first rule: in banking, the laws of supply and demand do not apply.
银行家们能有这么多的报酬是因为他们的合同都注明了,无懈可击的合同可以吸引最优秀的人。但是这样做对吗? BBC刚直接任命了一位总经理,他的工资比前任少了三分之一。即使是这样,合格的应聘者还是很多。回想第一条准则:在银行业,供给和需求法则是没用的。
Chaper 6 stocks and bonds
The secrets of buffett’s success
IF INVESTORS had access to a time machine and could take themselves back to 1976, which stock should they buy? For Americans, the answer is clear: the best risk-adjusted return came not from a technology stock, but from Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Warren Buffett. Berkshire also has a better record than all the mutual funds that have survived over that long period.

Some academics have discounted Mr Buffett as a statistical outlier. Others have simply stood in awe of his stock-picking skills, which they view as unrepeatable. But a new paper* from researchers at New York University and AQR Capital Management, an investment manager, seems to have identified the main factors that have driven the extraordinary record of the sage of Omaha.

Understanding the success of Mr Buffett requires a brief detour into investment theory. Academics view stocks in terms of their sensitivity to market movements, or “beta”. Stocks that move more violently than the market (rising 10%, for instance, when the index increases by 5%) are described as having “high beta”, whereas stocks that move less violently are considered “low beta”. The model suggests that investors demand a higher return for owning more volatile—and thus higher-risk—stocks.

The problem with the model is that, over the long run, reality has turned out to be different. Low-beta stocks have performed better, on a risk-adjusted basis, than their high-beta counterparts. As a related paper† illustrates, it should in theory be possible to exploit this anomaly by buying low-beta stocks and enhancing their return by borrowing money (leveraging the portfolio, in the jargon).
But this anomaly may exist only because most investors cannot, or will not, use such a strategy. Pension schemes and mutual funds are constrained from borrowing money. So they take the alternative approach to juicing up their portfolios: buying high-beta stocks. As a result, the average mutual-fund portfolio is more volatile than the market. And the effect of ignoring low-beta stocks is that they become underpriced.
Mr Buffett has been able to exploit this anomaly. He is well-known for buying shares in high-quality companies when they are temporarily down on their luck (Coca-Cola in the 1980s after the New Coke debacle and General Electric during the financial crisis in 2008). “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price,” he once said. He has also steered largely clear of more volatile sectors, such as technology, where he cannot be sure that a company has a sustainable advantage.
Without leverage, however, Mr Buffett’s returns would have been unspectacular. The researchers estimate that Berkshire, on average, leveraged its capital by 60%, significantly boosting the company’s return. Better still, the firm has been able to borrow at a low cost; its debt was AAA-rated from 1989 to 2009.
Yet the underappreciated element of Berkshire’s leverage are its insurance and reinsurance operations, which provide more than a third of its funding. An insurance company takes in premiums upfront and pays out claims later on; it is, in effect, borrowing from its policyholders. This would be an expensive strategy if the company undercharged for the risks it was taking. But thanks to the profitability of its insurance operations, Berkshire’s borrowing costs from this source have averaged 2.2%, more than three percentage points below the average short-term financing cost of the American government over the same period.
A further advantage has been the stability of Berkshire’s funding. As many property developers have discovered in the past, relying on borrowed money to enhance returns can be fatal when lenders lose confidence. But the long-term nature of the insurance funding has protected Mr Buffett during periods (such as the late 1990s) when Berkshire shares have underperformed the market.
These two factors—the low-beta nature of the portfolio and leverage—pretty much explain all of Mr Buffett’s superior returns, the authors find. Of course, that is quite a different thing from saying that such a long-term performance could be easily replicated. As the authors admit, Mr Buffett recognised these principles, and started applying them, half a century before they wrote their paper.

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Effects of Hair Die on Hair

...The Anatomy and Chemistry of Hair and Hair Dye Many different plant extracts were used for hair dye in Europe and Asia before the start of modern dyes. Indigo, known primarily as a fabric dye, could be combined with henna to make light brown to black shades of hair dye. An extract of the flowers of the chamomile plant was long used to lighten hair. The bark, leaves, or nutshells of many trees were used for hair dyes. Wood from the brazilwood tree yielded brown hair dyes. Another hair dye was derived from a tree similar to the Mulberry tree. Other dyes were produced from walnut leaves or nut husks. Some of these plant-derived dyes were mixed with metals, such as copper and iron, to produce more lasting or richer shades. Outside of the many colors that hair can be dyed, there are many different method used to color hair. Hair dye and the hair coloring process is a matter of chemistry. The first safe commercial hair color was created in 1909 by French chemist Eugene Schuller. He used the chemical Paraphenylenediamine. Hair coloring is the result of a series of chemical reactions between the molecules in hair, pigments, as well as peroxide and ammonia. The choice of which method to use will depend on the desired shade and longevity of the color. Temporary hair dye lasts for between one to three washes. This type of hair coloring involves no chemical reactions within the hair. Pigments are applied to the surface of the hair, without penetrating any further. These are easily......

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Hair 101

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