明星资讯腾讯娱乐2019年07月22日 01:58:07

Finance and Economics;Free exchange;Zero-sum debate;财经;自由兑换; 零和争论;Economists are rethinking the view that capital should not be taxed;经济学家正重新考虑是否要推翻不该对资本征税的观点。Executives thunder that Americas corporate-tax rates are to blame for economic weakness. Mitt Romneys campaign accuses Barack Obama of waging a “war on capital”. In fact, Americas taxation of capital is more murky than confiscatory. At 39.2% (including state and local tax) its top corporate rate is the rich worlds highest but loopholes mean most companies end up paying 27.6%, similar to Britains effective rate of 27.4% and below Germanys 31.6%. Americas tax rate on capital gains, at 15%, is lower than in many other countries. And if Mr Romney is the more ardent defender of capital, both men agree on the need for reforms. This is less a battle, more a skirmish.行政当局愤怒指出美国经济疲软应归咎于公司企业所得税率。米特·罗姆尼发起一场运动指责奥巴马掀起了“对资本的战争”。事实上,美国的资本税与其用于没收充公,不如说其使用含混不明。其最高企业所得税税率高达39.2%(包括州政府和当地政府所征税收),居发达国家之首,不过由于存在漏洞,大多数公司最终付的税率为27.6%,接近于英国的实际税率27.4%,低于德国的实际税率31.6%。美国的资本利得税税率为15%,比很多国家都要低。尽管罗姆尼更热衷于维护资本,他和奥巴马都认为有必要进行改革。这不像一场战争,反而只是一场小争论罢了。The more interesting fight is going on within economics. For a generation, the professions message on capital taxes has been simple: the lower the better. Most economists would prefer no tax on capital income at all. This seeming fanaticism is rooted in sensible models, developed in the 1970s and 1980s and built on a pleasing simplicity. Taxation inevitably involves trade-offs. Governments tax in order to fund public goods and limit inequality, but taxes are no free lunch. People and businesses respond—a tax on carrots, say, reduces carrot consumption—and these responses distort the economy and may reduce its potential growth rate.经济学内部发生了更有趣的争执。一代以来,经济学家对于资本税的看法十分简单:税率越低越好。大多数经济学家根本不持对资本收入征税。这种表面上的狂热植根于一些实用模型,它们于20世纪70年代到80年代发展起来,其基本特征是简洁,因此令人愉悦。税收不可避免地涉及了交换。政府征税是为了提供公共产品和限制收入不公,然而税收并非免费的午餐。个人和企业会提供反响,例如,对胡萝卜征税会减少胡萝卜的消费量,而这些反应使得经济扭曲,并有可能减少经济的潜在增长率。In these models, inequality was seen as a problem of pay differences, best addressed through taxes on labour incomes. Taxes on capital were reckoned to have large costs. Capital, or savings invested in new production, raises future growth and consumption. If a tax on capital income discourages investment, that impact compounds indefinitely into the future. As a result, zero tax on capital income should be preferred, even by individuals who dont earn any such income. Economists became vocal in calling for reduced tax rates, and policymakers responded. Top capital-income tax rates in America and Britain fell by more than half from the 1950s to the 1980s. There is pressure to go further.在这些模型中,人们认为收入的不一致导致出现了不公正,而解决这个问题的最好方法就是向劳力收入征税。资本税会产生巨额成本。资本,或者投入新生产的储蓄能够在未来带来经济增长和消费。若对资本收入征税会减少投资,其影响将有可能渗入到未来。这么一来,人们更乐于选择对资本收入征收零税收,即使对于那些并没有资本收入的人来说也是如此。经济学家强烈呼吁削减税率,并得到了政策制定者的回应。在20世纪50年代到80年代间,英美两国的最高资本收入税率下降了超过一半。若施加更多压力,还能降得更多。But some economists are questioning the prevailing view, not least because reductions in capital-tax rates appear to have delivered more inequality than growth. In a 2008 paper, Juan Carlos Conesa of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Sagiri Kitao of the University of Southern California and Dirk Krueger of the University of Pennsylvania argued that taxing capital was “not a bad idea after all”. Capital markets are imperfect, they observe, and households are unable to insure themselves against all of lifes ups and downs. Taxing away some of the return to capital to provide social insurance against risks is appropriate.不过一些经济学家正在质疑这种盛行的观点,其理由不仅仅是因为资本税率的减少似乎并未带来多少增长,反而扩大了不公正的发生。在一份2008年发布的论文上,巴塞罗那自治大学的Juan Carlos Conesa, 南加利福尼亚大学的Sagiri Kitao 以及宾夕法尼亚大学的Dirk Krueger争论说,对资本收入“绝不是一个坏主意”。在他们看来,资本市场是不完美的,单个家庭自身无力保能够有效应对生命中的大起大落。因此通过征税拿走一部分资本收益,用以提供社会保障和抵御风险是合情合理的。That is because the growth costs of capital taxes are overestimated. The old models contend that capital supply is highly sensitive to changes in tax policy, and that a zero tax rate is needed to prevent capital from drying up over the long run. This looks unrealistic, the authors reckon. Most capital-income taxes are paid by working-age adults saving for retirement, who will continue to save despite taxes. Stubborn savers make for a stable supply of investment capital, limiting the impact of taxes on growth. In the authors estimation, a 36% capital-income tax rate is justified.之所以发生这种情况,是因为资本税收的增长成本被高估了。旧模型坚持认为资本供给对税收政策的变化极其敏感,因此需要实行零税收以防止长期里资本陷入枯竭。作者们认为,这种说法是不切实际的。大多数资本收入税收是由在职成年人付,用以积蓄养老,即便收税他们仍然会维持这种储蓄。坚定不移的储蓄者保了投资性资本的稳定供给,这样就限制了税收对于经济增长带来的影响。在作者的预计中,36%的资本收入税率是公正的。In a new NBER working paper, Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley poke different holes in the conventional view. The old models, they point out, ignore inheritances. In the real world inheritances strongly influence income levels, particularly among the very rich. Mr Romney recently reinforced this very point by exhorting students to borrow from parents if necessary. Taxes on wages and salaries are inadequate to the task of limiting inequality because they punish those who owe high incomes to greater ability and effort, rather than to inheritances. Messrs Piketty and Saez also question the scale of the threat to growth. They point to ratios of capital to output, which are surprisingly stable over time despite tax swings. Their model finds that the optimal tax rate on inheritance could be 50-60% or more.在一份新的美国国家经济研究局(NBER)的工作报告中,巴黎经济学院的Thomas Piketty 和加利福尼亚大学伯克利分校的Emmanuel Saez 在传统的观点中找到了另外一些漏洞。他们指出,旧模型忽略了遗产的因素。在现实世界里,遗产强烈影响了收入水平,尤其是对于那些巨富来说更是如此。罗姆尼最近强调了这一点,他规劝学生们有必要的话可以向家长借钱。对工钱或薪水征税不足以限制收入不公,因为这些税收对因自身能力和努力工作而获得高收入的人造成了损害,反而放过了因遗产而暴富的人。Messrs Piketty 和Saez同样质疑了经济增长是否真的受到了那么大程度的威胁。他们显示了资本对产量的比率,发现就算税率变动,这一比率却能长期保持平稳,令人惊异。他们的模型发现对遗产征收的最佳税率能达到50%到60%,甚至更多。Inheritance taxes are a minor source of government money, accounting for less than one percentage point of the 8-9% of GDP in revenues that Messrs Piketty and Saez estimate is raised by capital taxes. But taxing capital gains or corporate income, which is responsible for much of the rest, is also justifiable, they say. The often-fuzzy line between income from capital and labour means a large gap in relative tax rates breeds tax avoidance. When wage taxes are high and capital taxes are low, firms simply shift compensation from salaries to stock options and dividends, cutting revenue without boosting growth. All told, capital-tax rates as high or higher than those on labour may make sense, they think.遗产税只是政府收入中极小的一个来源,在国内生产总值中占的比例不超过8%到9%,据Messrs Piketty 和Saez预计,征收资本税还可以提高这一收入。他们说,就连对资本增值或者企业所得征税,即资本税包含的另一部分,也是合理的。资本收入和劳力收入之间的界限经常模糊不清,这样在相对税率上产生了很大的差距,容易滋生漏税行为。若工资税高,资本税低,公司会将工资转为股权和红利,以此避免花费,这种行为减少了税收收入,无益于推动经济增长。他们认为,所有据表明,资本税率同劳力税率一样高或者比后者高一点或许是合理的。Pressure valve压力阀A recent paper by Emmanuel Farhi of Harvard University, Christopher Sleet and Sevin Yeltekin of Carnegie Mellon University, and Ivan Werning of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology makes another argument against abolition. The authors point out that rising inequality is a destabilising political force, which may encourage future governments to expropriate wealth through heavy taxation. That threat could discourage saving and investment now, something a weak economy cannot afford. Paradoxically, a progressive tax on capital in the present may lead to more investment by keeping inequality in check and by convincing firms that their wealth is (mostly) safe over the long term.由哈佛大学的Emmanuel Farhi,卡内基梅隆大学的Christopher Sleet 和Sevin Yeltekin 以及麻省理工学院的Ivan Werning发表的一篇论文中针对取消资本税提出了另一项反。这些作者指出,愈演愈烈的收入不公会造成政治不稳定,这样就会促使政府在未来通过征收重税来剥夺财富。这种威胁可能会对现在的储蓄和投资产生不利影响,而该影响是当前疲软的经济所无法承受的。矛盾的是,现在对资本渐进地征税或许会导致更多的投资,一方面,它能限制收入不公,另一方面,它可以使公司确信他们的财富在长期大部分都是安全的。Fretting over high capital-tax rates still makes sense, not least because capital is highly mobile. If countries differ in their approach, firms may simply invest more in those with more congenial rates. But from a global perspective, as inequality rises, having taxes on capital income will look increasingly attractive—and, by some reckonings, more sensible than previously thought.为了高资本税率烦恼不堪仍然是有道理的,尤其是因为资本具有高度的流动性。如若各国采取的政策不同,那么公司或许会仅仅凭借国家税率的友好程度选择投资方向。然而站在全球视角上来看,对资本收入征税看上去越来越吸引人了,并且在某些人看来,这比我们之前想的要合理多了。 /201305/238578

Business商业报道Cable television有线电视The 61 billion proposal耗资610亿的提案The latest plot twists in a continuing television drama电视连续剧中最新的情节突转SPURNED suitors usually nurse the wounds of rejection quietly.令人唾弃的起诉者通常悄然的治愈拒绝的伤口。Not in the cable-television industry. Having unsuccessfully approached Time Warner Cable twice last year, Charter Communications, a rival American cable operator, has gone public with a new proposal.这并不是在电缆电视行业。美国有线电视运营商的竞争对手Charter通讯,两次试图接近时代华纳有线公司都未能成功,现在又有一个新的提案已经上市。On January 14th Charter announced a bid valuing TWC at 61 billion including debt, offering 132.50 ashare compared with the 95 or so they were fetching early last June, when rumours of its approach emerged.1月14日charter宣布为时代华纳有限公司估价610亿,提供一个份额132.50美元相比于原来的95美元高出许多。早在去年六月这些做法就流传出来了。Charters boss, Tom Rutledge, wrote a public letter to Robert Marcus, the boss of TWC, beseeching him to consider the offer, and held a conference call to seek shareholders backing for the bid.Charter的老板汤姆?拉特里奇写了一封公开信给TWC的老板罗伯特马库斯,求他考虑该提案,并举行了电话会议,以寻求股东的持。TWCs executives are playing hard to get: they want a higher price, and vow not to let Charter steal the company.TWC的高管们欲擒故纵,他们希望得到更高的价格,并发誓决不让charter公司窃取。For those who have been following this cable drama, it has been a question of when, not if, the industry would consolidate.对于那些一直在遵循这种电缆剧的人来说,一直有个有关行业巩固的时间问题,而不是是否的问题。TWC isAmericas second-largest cable operator by subscribers, after Comcast, and Charter is the fourth-largest.TWC是继康卡斯特后的美国第二大有线电视运营商,而charter排名第四位。John Malone, one of the industrys pioneers, whose company, Liberty Media, is Charters biggest shareholder, is among many in the business calling for mergers.行业的先驱之一—约翰马龙,他的公司自有媒体是行业最大的股东,也是众多的业务中要求兼并的公司之一。This would help cable firms fend off competition from satellite operators, phone companies and streaming services like Netflix, which are poaching their customers for internet service and for films and TV shows.这将帮助有线电视公司抵御来自卫星运营商,电话公司和如Netflix的流媒体务等互联网务对他们客户的偷猎和对电视电影节目的竞争。Besides letting them cut costs—Charter reckons a merger with TWC could save at least 500ma year—scale would also give cable operators more clout when negotiating with content providers over the rates they have to pay to carry their channels.除了让他们削减成本,charter打算与TWC合并每年可以节省至少5亿,而且在于提供商洽谈必须付的渠道费率时也使有线运营商更有底气。Last year TWC got into a fight with CBS over its fees, which led to a blackout of CBS channels for a month until the two reached agreement.去年TWC与CBS战斗而花费了过多的费用,这导致CBS频道停摆了一个多月,直到两方协议达成。TWC lost more than 300,000 customers during the third quarter, many of them as a result of this spat.TWC在第三季度失去了超过30万客户,其中不乏是因为这种争吵而出现的结果。With its latest proposal judged still inadequate, Charter will have to decide whether to offer more.其最新的提案也有不足之处,charter将不得不决定是否要提供更多。Other cable firms, such as Comcast, may enter the fray, offering to buy all or part of TWC.其他的有线电视公司,如comcast公司,可能会加入战斗,提供购买TWC所需的全部或部分资金。Pay-television is not a growth business for cable operators, so they must become more creative to increase sales.付费电视并不是有线电视运营商增长业务的方式,所以他们想要增加销售必须变得更有创意。One area of experimentation is to offer broadband along with a light television package, as several cable providers are doing in certain markets, to appeal to wallet-wise youngsters.实验的一个方面是提供宽带伴随着光的电视包装,几个有线运营商正在做某些市场,以吸引钱包鼓鼓的青少年。Others are selling metered broadband, with the cost tied to usage.其他正在销售的计量宽带,花费和使用成本紧紧相连。Cable firms and other internet providers may soon be free to try even more radical experiments with pricing.有线电视公司和其他互联网务供应商们可能很快可以尝试更为激进的实验与定价。On January 14th an appeals court struck down federal rules that required them to treat all internet traffic equally—a policy called net neutrality.1月14日上诉法院推翻了一个名为网络中立的联邦规则,这个政策要求他们对待所有互联网流量相等。If the courts ruling prevails, this would let cable firms and other internet providers start demanding payment from bandwidth-hungry suppliers of , such as Netflix, for speedy delivery to viewers.如果以法院的判决为准,这将让有线电视公司和其他互联网务供应商开始要求高宽带视频用户,如Netflix快速传达给观众。Besides giving cable firms a juicy new source of income, this could curb the expansion of an increasingly powerful group of competitors for providing packages of content.除了给电缆公司提供收入的新来源,这可能遏制日益强大的集团竞争对手扩张提供视频内容。The cable firms could also favour sites in which they had an interest: for example, Comcast part-owns Hulu, a rival to Netflix.电缆公司也可能对视频网站感兴趣,例如,Netflix的竞争对手hulu—他们有用comcast的部分股权。As any fan knows, cable-TV dramas tend to be long-running and full of plot twists.由于任何人都知道,电缆电视剧往往是长时间运行而又情节曲折,This one will probably be no different. Stay tuned.这其中可能会没什么不同。敬请关注。 /201401/273718

  We dont have the pictures of the closet我们没有她衣柜的照片But the closet looks amazing,but theres no...theres like a sitting area that just out into the pool. thats so cool.但那衣柜真是高端大气上档次 这应该是休息区吧 恰好延伸到泳池 太酷了Thats one part of the closet,right? But theres... I dont know where we are.这是衣柜的一部分 对吗 但 我还没搞清楚这哪儿呢Thats the closet. Ive been looking at these pictures all day.这是衣柜 我整天都在看这些照片Oh,thats a small part of the closet,yeah. Thats a small parat because...哦 这是衣柜的一小部分 只是一小部分Dont you have like a dry cleaner rack that goes around with the clothes? Yeah.难道你没有干洗店那种 挂一圈衣的衣架吗 有啊And the reason is not that its the prettiest thing,但不是因为那样最好看but its like glass door that opens. And the reason why we use that dry cleaner thing is that它是那种打开的玻璃门 我们用哪种干洗店衣架是因为this is where it can hold the most clothes. Sure. And I have also like a...a beautiful for the shoes它能放最多的衣 当然 我还有个漂亮的柜子来装鞋because you know how crazy I am for shoes. How many shoes do you have,how many pairs?你知道我对鞋子有多狂热 你有多少鞋啊 多少双In there,maybe 3000. All right. Yeah. It opens up this way这里 大概3000双吧 好吧 它像这样子打开It doesnt come with my shoes. The house.买房可不送鞋Throwem in,for 71 million, throw your shoes in. Maybe .Hahaha...it opens up.都卖7100万了 送了得了 看我心情吧 哈哈 打开它Its electronic and it all rolls.它是电动的 还能滚动You can see all of them. The shoes roll like that?你能看见所有的鞋 鞋子们都像这样滚动吗Yeah. wow,thats amazing.是的 哇 太棒了You can jump in and roll with the shoes if you want to. yeah.你可以跳进去和鞋子们一起翻滚 如果愿意的话 好吧all around the world na yaya,I dont want to wear those,I dont know which , I dont know why.全世界呀 巴扎黑 我不想穿这双呀 我不知道穿哪双 不知道怎么办No,its okay.无视我吧注:EllenShow中英字幕来源于:艾伦秀字幕组 /201310/260620



  Don: Hey, Yaeuml;l, Have you heard? Weve discovered two new oceans? 嘿,Yaeuml;l,你听说了吗?我们已经发现了两块新大洋。Yaeuml;l: Where? 在哪啊?D: On Mars. Well, they arent there any longer, but they were there a few billion years ago. 在火星上。虽然现在不在那儿了,但几十亿年前一直都在。Y: I thought scientists werent sure if Mars had oceans or not. 我想科学家们还是不确定火星上到底有没有海洋。D: They werent. The Mars Opportunity Rover found sulfates and other salts in the soil that were left behind when standing water evaporated. It also discovered cross-bedding in the soil which was created by water ripples, and tiny mineral deposits called blueberries that only appear if water is present. The northern lowlands of Mars looked like there might have been an ocean there, but there wasnt definite proof. 恩,不确定。机遇号火星探测器在土壤中发现了水分长期挥发后所留下的硫酸盐和其它的盐类。同时还在土壤中发现了水波所形成的交错层,以及称之为蓝莓的小型矿床,而这种矿床只有在存在水的地方才产生。火星的北部低地看起来像是曾经有过一片海洋,但还没有发现确凿的据。Y: So, what has changed their minds? 那又是什么让科学家们改变了想法呢?D: Gamma Ray evidence. 是伽马射线。Y: That sounds exciting.听起来真令人兴奋啊。 D: It is. The Mars Odyssey spacecraft had a gamma-ray spectrometer onboard that could detect elements buried as much as a third of a meter, or thirteen inches, below the soil. Scientists used the spectrometer to measure the amount of potassium, thorium, and iron above and below what they thought to be the shoreline of ancient oceans. They expected to see low concentrations above the shoreline and larger concentrations below. That would indicate that the elements had been leached out of the soil by the water. 是啊。奥德赛号火星探测器有一个γ射线能谱仪主板,它可以检测到埋藏于地底三分之一或地下13英寸的元素。科学家们利用光谱仪在所推断的远古海洋海岸线附近测量钾、钍、铁的含量。科学家们预测海岸线上的元素浓度较低,而海岸线以下的浓度较高。这将明那些元素是通过水过滤到土壤中的。Y: So, what did they find? 那么他们究竟发现了什么呢?D: They found the shorelines of a younger ocean about ten times the size of the Mediterranean Sea, and an older ocean twice that size. 他们发现了一个较新,海岸线大约是地中海的10倍的海洋痕迹,和一个年代比较久远相当于地中海海岸线两倍的海洋痕迹。Y: Its too bad those oceans still arent there.这些海洋已经不在那儿真是太糟糕了。D: Yeah. It sure would be a great spot for a cruise.对啊,如果它们还在那儿,那将是个很适合巡航的地儿。201307/249043Russias aid convoy来自俄罗斯的援助Putins PR coup普京的“公关部队”Russia offers to send aid to eastern Ukraine俄罗斯表示愿意为乌克兰东部地区提供援助HELP is on the way. Or so Russian state television declared on August 12th, as nearly 300 lorries with food, medicine and generators set off from a base outside Moscow for the besieged city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.俄罗斯国家电视台8月12日宣布对乌的援助已经在路上了,接近300辆满载食物、药品以及发电设备的货运卡车已经从莫斯科外的基地出发,准备开往乌克兰东部去帮助卢甘斯克地区那些被围困的城市。Confusion reigns over what the lorries are carrying, and over how they will cross into Ukraine. As The Economist went to press, the convoy was heading to Rostov, a Russian city close to the border. It is a measure of Ukrainian distrust of Russian machinations that an aid convoy should be widely suspected of being a Trojan horse for invasion.但是人们一直对卡车上到底装载何物表示怀疑,同时也对他们如何穿过俄乌边境到达任务地区表示质疑。按经济学人的推测,护送车队的目的地将在靠近边境的俄罗斯城镇—罗斯托夫。因为乌克兰当局怀疑这是俄罗斯的诡计,并且这批援助车队极可能是为侵略做准备而送来的“特洛伊木马”。In March Vladimir Putin, Russias president, sent columns of troops without insignia into Crimea while claiming only local pro-Russian volunteers were at large. Yet the aid convoy is unlikely to be cover for an invasion. Had Mr Putin decided to invade, he would not have needed a stealth fleet of lorries—he has as many as 45,000 troops on the border. Russia does not have to hide arms in aid lorries to get them to its proxy forces.今年3月,当克里米亚地区公投声称亲俄选民占了大多数时,俄罗斯总统弗拉德·普京向该地区输送了一队没有官方标识的军队。不过,这一批的援助车队看上去不太可能是为了侵略打掩护。即使普京已经决定开始侵略行动,他也没必要将军队藏在货运卡车中——在俄乌边境上,他至少驻守了多达45,000人的军队。俄罗斯没必要使用这种偷偷摸摸的方式来运送它的武装力量。Most likely the offer of Russian aid to Luhansk, a city wracked by fighting and left without water or power, is a clever push by Mr Putin to be seen at home to be doing something to protect civilians in the east. Polling by the Levada Centre, a think-tank, shows public support for Russian military intervention in Ukraine dropping from 40% to 26% between June and July, but support for non-military aid remains high. Either the Russian supplies go through, making Mr Putin look the peacemaker, or they are blocked by Ukrainian forces, allowing Russia to appear the nobler party.在普京看来,俄罗斯向被战乱和激进左翼分子围困的卢甘斯克地区提供援助,是他能够在克林姆林宫为保护俄罗斯身在该地区公民做的明智之举。由智囊团——内华达中心进行的调查显示,6到7月之间,公众们对于俄罗斯军事干预乌克兰事务的持率从40%降低到了26%,但是对于提供非军事援助,人们一如既往地持。不管是最后俄方的援助车队能穿过边境到达目的地,还是说虽然被乌克兰军队阻挡无法进入,但是允许俄方在一些高层聚会中有所作为的行为。Mr Putin has taken advantage of a blind spot within the Ukrainian government and in the West: the mounting civilian death toll of the “anti-terrorist operation” in eastern Ukraine. On August 13th the UN reckoned that 2,086 people had been killed in the fighting, double the number from just two weeks ago. As Ukrainian forces recapture territory from pro-Russian rebels, their shelling often ends up striking civilian areas.现在,普京已经牢牢抓住了乌政府的一项污点:根据8月13日的统计,在乌克兰东部“反恐行动”中死亡的公民数已经达到2086人,相比两周前,这个人数已经翻番了。因为乌克兰军队在从那些亲俄的反政府主义者手中重新夺得一些地区的控制权时,通常以进攻平民居住区收尾。Yet the convoy carries the risk of escalating tensions rather than bringing relief. Any fight at the border over the passage of the lorries into Ukraine could erupt into a wider clash presaging Mr Putin calling in the troops. After months of Russias backing anti-government rebels, suspicions in Kiev are high.然而,援助车队不但不能让形势缓和,反而提高了冲突升级的危机。一旦这一路上发生任何战斗都可能带来更为巨大冲突,那时也预示着普京极有可能会呼唤军队的介入。并且,由于数月来俄罗斯对于反政府势力的暗中持持,基辅当局有理由高度怀疑俄罗斯的用心。More probably, a break in the fighting to let the lorries in is part of a plan to slow down the pace of the Ukrainian advance, helping to turn the war into a frozen conflict. That would suit Mr Putin fine. But, however deft he may be at controlling the pictures on television, the events on the ground are harder to dictate.更可能的是,这种暂停战事以让车队顺利到达卢甘斯克的行为只是拖缓乌克兰前进的计划的一部分,这将有助于将这场战争转入冻结状态。那样正和了普京的如意算盘。不过,无论如何,他可能也只能完全掌控电视画面所呈现的一切,战场上的一切都是未知数。 /201408/322590Like many midwesterners, it turns out that giant African landsnails really love Florida.体型巨大的非洲陆生蜗牛同许多生活在中西部地区的动物一样大爱美国弗罗里达州。Unfortunately, giant African Land Snails are some of the worlds most destructive snails.但不幸的是,他们的破坏性在世界上数一数二。They cangrow to be eight inches long-as big as rats-and to weigh more than one pound.他们有8英寸长,和老鼠一般大小,重达一磅还多。Theyre sohuge, in fact, that their shells have been known to blow out tires.他们是那样的大,事实上,他们的壳能扎破轮胎,这一点远近闻名。The real trouble is that these snails reproduce very quickly.真正的麻烦在于这种蜗牛繁衍速度极快。Under optimal conditions-such aswarm, tropical Florida-one snail can lay up to a thousand or so eggs a year.真正的麻烦在于这种蜗牛繁衍速度极快。And these snailstypical life span is three to five years, with some living as long as nine years.而一般这种蜗牛的寿命是3到5年,一些甚至可以存活9年之久。Unlike most snails, giant African land snails dont just eat decaying organic matter or leaf molds;they eat the plants themselves, so they pose a huge threat to agriculture, one of Floridas mainindustries.同大多数蜗牛不同,这种蜗牛不吃腐败的有机质食物,也不吃叶霉。他们吃植物本身,如此一来,对主要产业为农业的弗罗里达州来说,他们会构成巨大的威胁。Whats more, theyre not picky.此外,他们可一点也不挑食。They eat over five hundred species of plants, and somehave even been known to chew through stucco and plastic containers.他们的食物涵盖500多种植物,据说有些蜗牛甚至还啃食石灰泥和塑料袋。And for your health.蜗牛对人类的健康也有害。Some of these snails can carry diseases such as a parasitic rat lungworm thatcan cause meningitis in humans.一些蜗牛会携带具有寄生性的大鼠肺丝虫和其他疾病,导致人类患上脑膜炎。So if you see a giant African land snail in your yard, dont touch itor kill it yourself.因此,你要是在自家的庭院看到一个巨大的非洲蜗牛,珍爱生命,千万别碰。Instead, call your local authorities or department of agriculture so that they can dispose of the snail and its nesting materials safely.你要做的是打电话请地方当局或农业部门来安全地处理它们及它们筑巢的材料。 201406/304935

  Leaders社论Securitisation券化Its back重新启动Once a cause of the financial worlds problems, securitisation is now part of the solution券化曾经是导致金融危机的因素之一,如今却能帮助解决金融难题GIVEN their role in the 2008 meltdown, and their subsequent branding as toxic sludge, it is not surprising that securitised financial products have had a quiet few years.鉴于2008年经济危机时所扮演的角色,以及随后被贴上的有毒污泥的标签,券化金融产品这几年的表现并不出乎人的意料。Yet the transformation of mortgages, credit-card debt and other recurring cashflows into new marketable securities is enjoying something of a resurgence.然而抵押贷款、信用卡债务和其他一些循环的现金流向新的可交易券的转变目前正在振兴。Once apparently destined for the financial history books, the alphabet soup of ABSs, MBSs, CLOs and others had a bumper year in 2013. More growth is expected this year.尽管曾经有过惨痛的经历,但是资产担保券、抵押贷款券和贷款抵押债券以及其他许多以字母简称命名的券在2013年却大获丰收。据预测,今年还会继续增长。Not everybody is thrilled.并不是所有人都对此满心欢喜。Some observers argue that the risks securitisation poses are too grave.一些观察家称券化带来的风险会非常严重。But its revival should be welcomed, for it is probably essential to continued economic recovery, particularly in Europe.但是尽管如此,重新启动券化还是众望所归,因为这对于经济的进一步复苏很可能是必需的,尤其是对于欧洲国家而言。Use carefully谨慎实行In its simplest form, securitisation is straightforward and beneficial.单纯来看,券化比较直截了当并且有着诸多优势。For example, a carmaker expecting lots of monthly payments from customers who have taken out financing can get investors to fund its business more cheaply by selling them its claim to those payments.例如,那些每个月从办理了汽车贷款的消费者那里获得贷款付的汽车制造商可以通过变卖这些款项的债权而让投资者以更低的代价进行投资。A bank on the receiving end of mortgage repayments or credit-card receivables can do something similar: bundle the loans up and sell them, or use them as collateral to get funding, which it can then use to issue more loans.按揭还款或者信用卡应收账款的收款可以效仿此番做法:将贷款集中起来卖掉,或者把他们当作抵押款使用以获得投资资金,这样一来,他们就能继续放贷。This boosts both credit and growth.这样不仅能够提升信用还能够促进经济增长。Used recklessly, though, securitisation can be dangerous.然而一旦使用不慎,券化也会带来危险。It fuelled the catastrophic boom in American subprime mortgages.之前,它曾刺激了美国次级抵押贷款的繁荣增长,但其影响随后被明是灾难性的。Some banks, aware that home loans would be sliced, diced, repackaged and sold on, gave up even cursory checks on their borrowers creditworthiness.部分意识到住房贷款将会被分解、重组和转卖,因而对贷款者信誉哪怕是最粗略的核查都放弃了。Investors piled in blindly, snapping up supposedly safe tranches of bundled-up debt that proved to be anything but.投资者们纷纷盲目涌入投资,抢购那批所谓的安全捆绑资金,但事实上这些资金并不如想象中那么优良。The boom turned to bust and bail-outs.这股投资热潮进而转向诸多破产,市场急需解救措施。Yet structured finance cannot bear sole responsibility for the crisis.然而结构化的金融业并不是经济危机的唯一祸根。It was more the conduit for irrational financial exuberance than its cause.与其说它是经济危机的根源不如说是它助了金融业的非理性繁荣一臂之力。Lax lending standards in boom times predate the emergence of securitisation by several centuries at least.在金融业繁荣时期实施宽松的借贷政策使得券化的兴起提前了至少几个世纪。Most structured products performed well through the crisis, with the notable exception of those related to American residential mortgages.大多数结构化产品在经济危机期间仍然表现良好,除了那些与美国住房抵押贷款有关的一些例外。Defaults in Europe remained low despite the recession.欧洲国家的债务违约情况并没有受经济危机的影响而明显加深。And although there are still risks, securitisation should be safer in the future than in the past because of new, post-crisis regulations to reduce the danger of excesses.尽管风险仍然存在,但比起过去券化在将来应该会相对较安全,因为危机过后重新制定的金融管理政策有利于减小过度放贷的可能性。The principle that the party creating a new security needs to retain some exposure to the underlying credit should help ensure that underwriting standards do not get too slack.产生新的有价券的一方必须保留能明其潜在信用的相关文件这一条例应该能够确保保险业管理政策不至于太过松弛。That will hamper the desirable transferring of risk but, given recent history, it is probably prudent to put a little sand in the gears.这将会限制风险的直接转移,但是,鉴于之前的经验,防患于未然可能会比较明智。Some of the Kafkaesque structures spawned by securitisation—such as collateralised debt obligations that invested in other CDOs that themselves invested in MBSs—have been made prohibitively difficult to recreate.由券化引起的一些奇怪结构—例如将债务抵押债券投资到其他的债务抵押债券,而这些获得投资的债务抵押债券本身则又投资到抵押付债券—已经被限制形成。That is also sensible: whereas simple securitisation should be welcomed back, the over-engineered versions that rendered the financial system needlessly opaque should not.这一做法也是很理智的:尽管单纯的券化回归应该受到欢迎,而那些太过凸显投资者个人利益并会致使金融系统变得迟钝的投资方式则不该受到期许。Europe stands to benefit most from securitisations return. Lenders across Europe are under pressure to improve the ratio of capital they hold to loans made.从券化的回归之中受益最大的仍然是欧洲国家。整个欧洲的国家都面临巨大的压力,它们都急需提高资金持有量对贷款额的比例。One way of doing this is to stop extending credit, which is, unfortunately, what many banks have done.解决此问题的途径之一是停止放贷,但遗憾的是,很多已经开始这样做了。If they instead slimmed themselves through securitisation, by bundling and repackaging loans and selling them to outside investors such as insurance firms or asset managers, they could lend more money to credit-starved companies.如果它们是通过集中和重组贷款并转卖给外部投资者诸如保险公司或者资产管理公司这种券化方式来向外贷款的话,那么它们就可以向资金极度短缺的公司以更大幅度放贷。That would have the added benefit of sping risk away from wobbly banks.这样做的额外好处是可以将风险从经营状况不佳的转移到其他地方。Securitisation certainly has a black mark against it, but it is far too useful to be banished for good.券化的回归当然会面临诸多困难,但是它的自身优势使得其不可能被永久弃用。Almost all financial innovations, from the humble mortgage to the joint-stock company, have had to re-establish their reputations after a bust at some point in their history.几乎所有的金融改革,从不起眼的抵押贷款到合股企业都曾经经历破产然后重塑形象。Society benefited from their eventual rehabilitation—as it most probably will from the revival of securitisation.而等它们最终成功恢复名声,社会将能从中收益—正如很可能从券化的回归中受益一样。 201401/273295

  Just over 500 years ago, Europeans arrived in North America. And with these colonizers came an animal that hadn’t been seen here for thousands of years. The horse returned to the Americas, now tamed and carrying the Spanish conquistadors. This new form of transport was rapidly adopted by the native people, which was bad news for some native animals. 就在500多年前,欧洲人来到了北美大陆。随着这些殖民者的到来,北美大陆也迎来了一个新物种,这个物种在北美大陆过去的千年历史中从未出现。马儿来到了北美洲,并且载着他们的主人——西班牙殖民者。这种新型交通工具很快就被当地土著人所采用,这对于北美大陆的一些动物来说可不是条好消息。Bison had once lived alongside the wild horses of North America, and had prospered at the end of the Ice Age while the horses became extinct. But now the new tame horse became the bison’s enemy.北美犀牛曾和野马共同生活在北美洲,在冰河时代末期,野马灭亡,而犀牛却幸存并壮大。但是现在这些被驯的新种马儿却成了犀牛的敌人。The horse’s speed and stamina gave native people an advantage over their prey that they never had before. 马的速度快,耐力强,这使土著人在进行打猎时有了前所未有的优势。The horse was an even bigger ally to the increasing number of European settlers sping out across the continent. They killed millions of bison for their meat and hides.同样,马儿也更大程度地帮助了越来越多的欧洲殖民者扩大他们殖民的步伐。这些殖民者为了犀牛肉和犀牛皮残杀了数百万头犀牛。英文文本来自普特英语,译文属未经许可不得转载。201311/264648



  Business商业报道Golden parachutes金色降落伞Rip-cord economics打开经济降落伞Pay-offs for the boss need to be better designed企业老板薪酬结构须改善RICH rewards for departing bosses are not popular.离职的老板还领着厚饷总让人难以接受。After Sir Fred Goodwin led Royal Bank of Scotland into a ditch and dumped the bill on British taxpayers, he left with a pension of over £700,000 a year.弗雷德?古德温爵士把苏格兰皇家推进深坑,继而用英国纳税人的真金白银买单走人之后,居然每年还享有70万英镑的退休金。The Sun, a tabloid, said he had screwed the nation.英国小报太阳报直陈其把整个国家都搞砸了。Yet golden parachutes have their uses.不过金色降落伞条款也并非一无是处。 If well-designed, they align the bosss interests more closely with those of shareholders.如果妥善拟备该等条款,老板的利益会更紧密地和股东利益协调一致。Suppose, for example, a takeover is brewing.例如,在拟收购的项目中,该等条款的作用就可见一斑。Takeovers are usually lucrative for shareholders of the target firm:对于目标公司的股东而言,收购通常会带来丰厚回报:in America between 1990 and 2008, they have received a median premium of 35%. But the bosss interests are quite different.在美国1990年至2008年间的收购项目中,目标公司股东的收益溢价中值为35%。If the firm is acquired, he is likely to be fired.但老板的权益相去甚远;如果公司最终被收购,其可能官位难保。A golden parachute can persuade the boss not to obstruct a takeover.妥善的金色降落伞条款可促使老板不为收购设置障碍。But their notoriety dissuades firms from using them.但鉴于该条款通常不受欢迎,公司不太会动用。Dirk Jenter of Stanford University and Katharina Lewellen of Tuck Business School find that golden parachutes are rarer and stingier than they should be.斯坦福大学的德克?珍特和塔克商学院的卡特琳娜?卢埃林研究认为:金色降落伞条款不应该像现在这般罕见且苛刻。To test whether bosses block takeovers, they looked at what happens when they are nearing retirement, and therefore have no future career to sacrifice.为核查企业老板是否会因其自身原因选择阻碍收购,这两位学者研究了临近退休的老板会如何处理收购项目。Using data on American public firms from 1992 to 2008, they found that companies with a boss aged 65 or over were 50% more likely to be taken over.他们分析了1992年至2008年美国上市公司的数据,结果显示:老板年龄在65岁以上的公司被收购的可能性高出50%。Another paper, by Eliezer Fich and Ralph Walkling of Drexel University and Anh Tran of Cass Business School,德雷塞尔大学的埃利泽?芬奇、拉尔夫?沃克林与卡斯商学院的陈安在一篇共同发表的论文中指出:found that when golden parachutes are larger, proposed mergers are more likely to be completed,如果金色降落伞的力度增强,拟合并项目达成的可能性更大,but buyers pay less for the shares of the target firm.但买方就目标公司股份所付的对价则减少。The data from Mr Jenter and Ms Lewellen show that when the boss of the target firm is old, buyers pay an average premium of 26%.珍特与卢埃林的统计数据显示:如果目标公司的老板年届退休,买方付的平均溢价为26%;For younger bosses, the premium is 33%.而对于老板年龄较轻的公司,则为33%。This makes sense. If younger bosses are more reluctant to sell, it will cost more to overcome their objections.这就说明了问题所在:年轻的老板相对不太愿意售出其公司,所以买方须付更高溢价以平息其反对意见。So boards must strike a balance.所以,董事会必须寻求一种平衡。If the bosss golden parachute is too miserly, he may block a deal that would benefit shareholders.若金色降落伞条款对企业老板过于不利,其可能会干预对股东有利的交易;If it is too generous, he may fail to negotiate hard with potential buyers.反之,若金色降落伞条款对其过于优厚,其可能不愿尽心尽力与拟收购方谈判。As with real parachutes, poor design can have serious consequences.跟真正的降落伞一样,劣质的金色降落伞所带来的后果可能不堪设想。 /201305/239696

  Have you ever wondered why we humans dont have spots or stripes?你是否曾经好奇过为什么我们人类身上没有斑点或条纹?Let me think,Humans and animals get their skin color from melanin pigments, which can be either black or yellow.让我想想,人类和动物的皮肤颜色来自黑色素,它不是黑色就是黄色。Together, these two pigments account for just about every color you might see on the skin of mammals: white, red, yellow, brown, and black and every shade in between.二者混合可呈现你能见到的各种哺乳动物的皮肤颜色:白色、黄色、棕色、黑色和他们之间的过渡色。产生黑色素的皮The skin cells that produce melanin are known as melanocytes.肤细胞是黑素细胞,In the embryos of mammals, the melanocytes originate from the same group of cells that produces the spinal cord and the brain.哺乳动物的胚胎中,黑素细胞源自制造出脊髓和大脑的同组细胞。From there, these cells migrate through the developing skin towards the belly of the animal.这些细胞从那里出来通过皮肤的生长迁往动物的肚子。If the melanocytes that produce dark pigments and light pigments migrate in streaks, you end up with stripes.如果产生深浅色素的黑素细胞以条纹状迁移,那么你身上就有条纹。The same goes for spots, but in this case, only random patches of certain pigments survive.斑点也是这么来的。但在这种情况下,只有随机的某些色素斑点能够存活。In either case, the migration pattern is genetically determined.不论哪种情况,其迁移方式由基因决定。For certain species, like zebras, stripes provided an evolutionary advantage because they worked as camouflage.对于特定物种 ,比如斑马, 条纹因可作为伪装对进化有利。Those animals with stripes were more likely to survive, and to pass along the genes that produce stripes to their offspring.身上有条纹的动物更有可能生存下来,并把能产生条纹的基因传给后代。For humans, this apparently wasnt the case.对于人类来说,情况显然不同。However, its likely that our overall skin color probably is a result of adaptation as well.但是我们全身皮肤的颜色也可能是适应环境的结果。 /201312/270280

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