救欧元就是救德国

2012-12-13 13:08:08   Tag:

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救欧元就是救德国:It is one of the truisms of the eurozone crisis: the reluctance of Germany to foot the bill for saving the single currency.

It is one of the truisms of the eurozone crisis: the reluctance of Germany to foot the bill for saving the single currency. Few of us actually enjoy picking up the tab for others. In the case of Germany, however, the stance of “not one more cent for Europe” is short-sighted and runs counter to their actual interests. The truth is that if the euro fails, Germany’s middle class will pay the highest price.

  关于欧元区危机有一点不言自明:德国不愿意为拯救欧元买单。事实上,很少有人喜欢为别人买单。但对德国而言,“再也不给欧洲一个子”的立场是短视的,也有违该国的实际利益。其实,如果欧元解体,受影响最大的将是德国中产阶级。

  A good part of German middle- class prosperity derives from the dividends of labour market and structural reforms made in the first decade of this century. These helped counter the kind of hollowing out of the country’s industrial base that the US and Japan have experienced. Today manufacturing in Germany still accounts for more than 25 per cent of the economy. In the US it has fallen to a little more than 12 per cent; in Japan it stands at about 20 per cent, down from 35 per cent in the 1970s.

  德国中产阶级的富裕很大程度上得益于两点:劳动力市场红利以及本世纪头十年的结构性改革。这两点也有助于防止德国遭遇美国和日本经历过的那种产业基地空心化。如今,制造业在德国经济中所占比重仍然超过25%。这一比重在美国已降至12%多一点;在日本已从上世纪70年代的35%下降并稳定保持在如今的20%。

  What never seems to be debated in Germany is how the industrial foundation of the country’s prosperity would be threatened if the euro fails. If that happened, Germany would be forced to return to the Deutschmark – which would almost certainly soar in value, causing the competitiveness of manufacturing to plummet.

  如果欧元解体,德国经济繁荣所倚赖的工业基础将受到威胁,这一点似乎从来都毫无争议。如果这种情况真的发生了,德国将被迫重新启用德国马克,而德国马克几乎肯定将会大幅升值,从而导致德国制造业的竞争力急剧下降。

  In such circumstances, Germany’s multinational companies would be quick to develop survival strategies. Yes, there would be a short-term hit from the falling income of other Europeans who buy German goods. However, German manufacturers would waste little time shifting production abroad to take advantage of lower labour costs and capacity for quality production elsewhere. Design and research might remain at home, but the production and assembly associated with plentiful high-wage jobs will move away.

  在这种情形下,德国跨国公司可能会迅速制订出一些策略,以求生存。没错,德国产品的购买者——欧洲其他国家的消费者收入降低,这可能会在短期内对德国制造商造成冲击。但德国的制造商会迅速将生产转移至国外,利用其他地区更为低廉的劳动力及产能生产优质产品。设计与研究部门可能将留在德国国内,但与生产和组装相关的大量高薪职位将流向德国以外地区。

  Precisely because of its historically strong manufacturing economy Germany has become less orientated to financial markets than others. This has led in turn to a certain deafness by political elites to the effect of Germany’s policies on global bond markets. Today, however, the reality is that bond markets will dictate not only whether the euro will survive – but also the costs the German middle class will pay.

  正是由于德国制造业历来很强,德国受制于金融市场的程度才不像其他国家那样深。这反过来也导致德国的政界高层在某种程度上不在乎德国的政策对全球债市有何影响。然而,如今的现实是,债市不仅能决定欧元能否存续,还能决定德国中产阶级将付出多大代价。

  If Germany wants to remain a broadly prosperous and fair society in a globalised world, it can only do so within a stable eurozone and all that entails – starting with, a banking union, then fiscal union and ultimately a federal political union.

  在这个全球化的世界里,如果德国想维持本国社会普遍富裕以及公平的状态,稳定的欧元区以及由此带来的一切(首先是银行联盟,接着是财政联盟,最终是联邦制政治联盟)都是必要条件。

  If the euro fails, Germany’s financial sector would also take a hit and further damage the economy. The domino effect of default in the European periphery would ultimately end up hitting German banks and savers alike, since they are among the major creditors owning those troubled debts.

  如果欧元解体,对德国的金融业也是一个打击,并会进一步损害德国经济。欧元区外围国家债务违约造成的多米诺效应,最终会同时对德国的银行和储户造成打击,因为他们是这些问题债券的主要持有者。

  On top of these calamitous consequences, a failure of the eurozone due to the hesitations in Berlin would place the blame for the ruin of Europe on Germany. At a recent meeting hosted by the Berggruen Institute of Governance in Berlin, the financier George Soros warned that German insistence on austerity over growth is dividing Europe once again – this time fostering a permanent division between creditors and debtors.

  除了这些灾难性的后果之外,如果德国政府的犹豫导致欧元区解体,德国将成为毁掉欧洲的“罪人”。最近,在一次由柏林伯格鲁恩治理研究院(Berggruen Institute of Governance)主持的会议上,金融家乔治?索罗斯(George Soros)警告说,德国坚持奉行紧缩策略而不是促增长策略,这将导致欧洲再一次分裂——这一次将是债权国和债务国的决裂。

  If a financial curtain imposed by creditors descends on Europe, Germans will pay a high price of political and historical opprobrium.

  一旦债权国的财政壁垒在欧洲筑起,政治与历史的双重指责将令德国付出高昂代价。

  To sustain the euro, Germany has to help correct today’s destabilising imbalances by accepting a decline in its external surplus, which currently undermines the ability of others to generate the demand needed to sustain their economies. Indeed with a diminished surplus, the transfer union that so many Germans oppose would be unnecessary.

  要避免欧元解体,德国必须通过降低对外贸易顺差、扭转如今这种容易导致经济状况不稳定的贸易失衡,因为目前德国的对外贸易顺差削弱了其他国家创造需求的能力,而这种需求是这些国家经济的必要支撑。事实上,只要减少顺差,众多德国人反对的“资金转移联盟”(transfer union)将失去存在的必要。

  But if Germany continues to run big external surpluses, a transfer union will become indispensable. Only then can Germany ensure its customers can finance the purchase of its goods.

  然而,如果德国持续保持高额对外贸易顺差,资金转移联盟将必不可少。因为只有存在资金转移联盟,德国才能保证其顾客有钱购买德国商品。

  These manifold implications of a failed euro make it clear that the real issue for Germany today is not about bailing out the rest, but about saving itself before it is too late.

  欧元解体导致的这种种后果表明,德国现在真正面临的问题不在于是否为其他国家纾困,而在于能否及时自救。

  Recent policy moves suggest that Angela Merkel may realise this. Getting Germany’s middle class to do so is one of the biggest challenges facing the chancellor as she heads towards federal elections next September.

  最近的政策动向显示,安格拉 默克尔(Angela Merkel)也许已经意识到了这一点。德国将于明年9月举行联邦议会选举,值此,默克尔面临的最大挑战之一就是,如何让德国的中产阶级展开自救。
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