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2020年02月26日 15:09:38 | 作者:美丽健康 | 来源:新华社
On Thursday, Wal-Mart seemed to be playing the part of a losing sports team looking to turn things around by ousting the head coach. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant announced that it had hired a new chief executive to oversee its struggling U.S. stores.上周四的沃尔玛(Wal-Mart)看起来就像是一输了比赛的球队:希望通过解雇总教练来扭转局面。这家总部位于阿肯色州本顿维尔的零售巨头宣布,已聘请一位新高管来执掌陷于困境的美国零售业务。Greg Foran, the current CEO of Walmart China, will take over Walmart U.S. for Bill Simon, who has held the position since 2010 and will be leaving the company. The moves comes nearly six months after Doug McMillon took over for a retiring Mike Duke as CEO of all of Wal-Mart.沃尔玛现任中国业务CEO高福澜(Greg Foran)正是这位人选,他将接替比尔o西蒙掌管沃尔玛美国业务。自2010年以来一直担任沃尔玛美国CEO的西蒙将离开这家公司。就在近6个月前,董明伦(Doug McMillon)刚刚接替退休的麦道克(Mike Duke)出任沃尔玛全球CEO。In many ways, you can think of Simon’s departure as a natural reaction from someone who has been passed over for the company’s top job. “We had considered Simon as a potential candidate to replace Walmart’s former CEO, Mike Duke, but Doug McMillon was given the nod over Simon,” according to a note from investor research firm Morningstar. “We aren’t completely surprised by Simon’s departure.”从很多角度,你可以认为,西蒙的离开是一个未能问鼎公司最高职位者的自然反应。“我们曾经将西蒙列为接替沃尔玛前CEO麦道克的潜在人选,但最终董明伦胜出。”晨星(Morningstar)的一份研究报告称,“对于西蒙的离职,我们一点也不感到惊讶。”Financial services firm Cowen and Company in its own release said that it was “surprised that [Simon] stuck around for so long, as we thought he would want to start the clock on his 2-year non-compete as quickly as possible.”金融务公司Cowen and Company在新闻稿中表示,“[西蒙]呆了这么久令人意外,我们原本以为他会尽快离职,尽早启动2年内不得务于竞争对手的倒计时。”Walmart Vice President of Communications David Tovar confirmed as much to Fortune. “Doug and Bill were two internal candidates for the top job. Doug got the job and, in those situations, it’s not uncommon for the person who didn’t get it to ultimately leave the company and go somewhere else.”沃尔玛企业传播副总裁大卫o托瓦尔也向《财富》(Fortune)杂志实称,“董明伦和西蒙是两位来自公司内部的CEO候选人。最终董明伦得到了这个职位。在此类情形下,未成功问鼎者最终离职他就的情况并不少见。”Wal-Mart, in its statement announcing the management change, praised Simon for leading a “turnaround that reinvigorated the company’s focus on everyday low costs, everyday low prices and an increased product assortment,” in his time as U.S. CEO.沃尔玛在宣布管理层变更的声明中,称赞西蒙在担任美国业务CEO期间“为公司注入了新的活力,专注于每日低成本、每日低价和增加产品种类。”Simon introduced the retail giant’s prescriptions, increased its focus on healthier foods, and led a successful makeover of its apparel department by shifting to more athletically inspired gear, says Faye Landes of Cowen and Company.Cowen and Company的法耶o兰蒂斯表示,西蒙推出了沃尔玛的4美元处方药,加大了对健康食品的关注,并通过增加运动装备成功重塑了装部门。But Simon’s track record at Wal-Mart has also been marred by struggling U.S. sales. “We know that our U.S. business is critical to the success of our company and that it can be even stronger,” McMillon said in a letter to Wal-Mart employees on Thursday. “[Foran] will bring fresh eyes to an increasingly competitive market that is changing rapidly.”但西蒙在沃尔玛的业绩也受到美国零售业整体不景气的影响。“我们知道,美国业务对于公司的成功至关重要,它可以变得更强,”董明伦在上周四发给沃尔玛员工的信中表示。“[高福澜]将为瞬息万变、竞争日益激烈的市场带来新视角。”That’s a nice way of putting it.这样的陈述很是委婉。Foran faces a daunting challenge. The company’s latest quarterly earnings revealed the fifth straight decline in U.S. sales, which factored into the retailer’s 5% drop in profits for the quarter ending April 30.高福澜面临的其实是非常棘手的挑战。沃尔玛最近的季度报告显示,公司美国销售额连续第5个季度下滑,截至4月30日的季度利润下降了5%。Competition from online retailers like Amazon.com and evolving shopping patterns among Americans—who are now making more frequent trips to dollar and drug stores—are partly to blame for the slumping sales. Tovar, Wal-Mart’s spokesman, told Fortune on Thursday, that Foran will continue the store’s ongoing strategy to address those concerns: opening smaller, 10,000 to 40,000 square-foot stores like Walmart Express and Neighborhood Markets and further embracing e-commerce.来自亚马逊(Amazon.com)等网络零售商的竞争以及购物模式的转变(美国人正在更加频繁地光顾1元店和药店),都造成了零售额的下降。沃尔玛发言人托瓦尔上周四告诉《财富》杂志称,高福澜将继续实施现有策略来应对这些挑战:开设沃尔玛便利店(Walmart Express)和社区店(Neighborhood Markets)等规模较小的超市(面积1-4万平方英尺),进一步拥抱电子商务。Burt Flickinger, a retail consultant at Strategic Resource Group, for his part, attributed Wal-Mart’s poor U.S. performance in the past several quarters to “self-sabotage,” mainly its decision to cut worker hours and its well-publicized refusal to significantly raise workers wages—two big reasons why Flinckinger says Wal-Mart’s stores are increasingly sloppy and sparsely stocked. (Last year, Wal-Mart launched a program aimed at giving workers more access to open shifts.)Strategic Resource Group的零售业顾问波特o弗里金格,将沃尔玛美国业务过去几个季度的表现疲弱归咎于“自毁前程”,主要是指该公司决定缩减工作时间以及其广为人知的拒绝大幅上调员工工资——弗里金格认为,这是沃尔玛门店变得日益杂乱和存货不足的两个主要原因。(去年,沃尔玛推出了一项旨在提供开放调班的计划。)Underlying all of these factors is one that’s completely out of any CEO’s control: “A lot of [the declining U.S. sales] has to do, quite simply, with the fact that [Walmart#39;s] business is skewed to the lower-end consumer, and that consumer is still hurting,” says Landes.所有这些背后是一个完全不为CEO掌控的因素:“[美国销售额下降]很大程度上与[沃尔玛]业务偏于低端消费者有关,这些消费者仍未恢复元气,”兰德斯说。Indeed. According to a 2013 study from economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, the top 1% of Americans earned more than one-fifth of all the income earned by Americans in 2012. And for the first two years of the recovery, the mean net worth of households in the wealthiest 7% rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%, according to the Pew Research Center. These trends have made a dent into consumer confidence: the majority of Americans did not report feeling good about the amount of money they had to spend until their income reached the ,000-a-year mark, according to a Gallup poll conducted last year.的确如此。经济学家伊曼纽尔o塞斯和托马斯o皮凯蒂2013年的一项研究显示,美国最富有的1%人群收入,占2012年全体美国人收入的五分之一还多。根据皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)的数据,在经济复苏的前两年,最富有7%的家庭净资产均值预计增长了28%,而剩余93%的家庭净资产均值下降了4%。这些趋势已损伤到消费者信心:盖洛普(Gallup)去年进行的一项调查显示,大部分美国人在年收入达到6万美元之前,对于必要出都感觉肉痛。Low-earning customers are still “buying less discretionary items,” says Lande, and they’re resorting to cost-saving tactics when purchasing goods they must have, like “trading down from beef to poultry.”低收入消费者仍在“减少购买非必需品”,兰德斯说,即使在购买必需品时也会考虑节省出,比如“买牛肉改为买猪肉”。And don’t think Wal-Mart hasn’t noticed. “Fundamental dynamics haven’t changed, and household incomes are still flat,” Simon said during the retailer’s earnings call in May. “As we head toward the political season and rhetoric heats up, it will continue to challenge consumer confidence.”不要以为沃尔玛没注意到。“基本面因素没有改变,家庭收入依然平平,”西蒙5月份在沃尔玛的业绩电话会议上表示。“随着选举季临近,各种言论升温,它会继续挑战消费者信心。”Does that mean that Wal-Mart’s chances for a U.S. sales rebound are nil, save for a full economic recovery? Not necessarily, mainly because the company has a perpetual advantage: its 4,200 U.S. stores still move enough goods to offer customers competitive prices, says Ken Perkins of Morningstar.这意味着如果美国不出现全面的经济复苏,沃尔玛要实现销售额反弹的概率为零?不一定,主要是因为沃尔玛有一个常年的优势:晨星的肯o波金斯表示,其4,200家美国门店仍在运送足够的商品,为消费者提供有竞争力的价格。For that same reason, though, a turnaround won’t be easy. With that big an operation running on such small margins, it’s difficult to generate sales growth. Losing a sale or customer here or there can make a noticeable difference, Perkins says. “It’s hard to move a ship the size of Wal-Mart in the right direction,” he said.但要基于这个理由实现反弹并不容易。以这样低的利润率经营这样大规模的业务,要实现销售额增长很难。从这里或那里流失一笔销售或一个顾客,都可能产生显著的不同,波金斯表示,“要让沃尔玛这样规模的旗舰保持正确的方向航行很难。” /201407/316161On the 74th floor of the Time Warner Center, Condominium 74B was purchased in 2010 for .65 million by a secretive entity called 25CC ST74B L.L.C. It traces to the family of Vitaly Malkin, a former Russian senator and banker who was barred from entering Canada because of suspected connections to organized crime.2010年,位于时代华纳中心(Time Warner Center)74层编号为74B的共管公寓被以1565万美元(约合9800万元人民币)的价格售出,买主是一家名为25CC ST74B有限公司的秘密实体。该实体可以追溯到前俄罗斯参议员、家维塔利·马尔金(Vitaly Malkin)的家族。因为涉嫌与有组织犯罪有关联,马尔金曾被禁止进入加拿大。Last fall, another shell company bought a condo down the hall for .4 million from a Greek businessman named Dimitrios Contominas, who was arrested a year ago as part of a corruption sweep in Greece.去年秋天,另一家空壳公司出资2140万美元,从名为迪米特里奥斯·孔托米纳斯(Dimitrios Contominas)的希腊商人手里买下了同一楼层的另一套共管公寓。一年前,孔托米纳斯在希腊的一场反腐行动中被捕。A few floors down are three condos owned by another shell company, Columbus Skyline L.L.C., which belongs to the family of a Chinese businessman and contractor named Wang Wenliang. His construction company was found housing workers in New Jersey in hazardous, unsanitary conditions.往下几层,是另一家空壳公司“哥伦布天际线”(Columbus Skyline L.L.C.)拥有的三套共管公寓。该公司属于一个名为王文良的中国商人的家族。在新泽西州,这位承包商的建筑公司被发现让工人住在危险且不卫生的地方。Behind the dark glass towers of the Time Warner Center looming over Central Park, a majority of owners have taken steps to keep their identities hidden, registering condos in trusts, limited liability companies or other entities that shield their names. By piercing the secrecy of more than 200 shell companies, The New York Times documented a decade of ownership in this iconic Manhattan way station for global money transforming the city’s real estate market.时代华纳中心俯瞰着中央公园。在其装饰着暗色玻璃幕墙的大楼背后,大部分业主竭尽全力地不让自己的身份泄漏,将公寓登记在信托机构、有限责任公司或其他能隐藏他们姓名的实体名下。通过揭开200多家空壳公司的秘密,《纽约时报》记录了曼哈顿这栋标志性建筑十年里的所有权情况。全球资本改变着这座城市的房地产市场,而这里则是供这些资本驻足的一处驿站。Many of the owners represent a cross-section of American wealth: chief executives and celebrities, doctors and lawyers, technology entrepreneurs and Wall Street traders.许多业主代表了美国富人阶层的一个横截面:高管和名流,医生和律师,科技行业企业家和华尔街上的操盘手。But The Times also found a growing proportion of wealthy foreigners, at least 16 of whom have been the subject of government inquiries around the world, either personally or as heads of companies. The cases range from housing and environmental violations to financial fraud. Four owners have been arrested, and another four have been the subject of fines or penalties for illegal activities.但时报也发现,有钱的外国人所占比例越来越高,其中至少16人是政府调查的对象,不是以个人的身份,就是以公司老板的身份。已有四名业主被捕,另有四人因违法活动而被处以罚款或其他惩戒措施。The foreign owners have included government officials and close associates of officials from Russia, Colombia, Malaysia, China, Kazakhstan and Mexico.外国业主包括来自俄罗斯、哥伦比亚、马来西亚、中国、哈萨克斯坦和墨西哥的政府官员及其亲信。They have been able to make these multimillion-dollar purchases with few questions asked because of ed States laws that foster the movement of largely untraceable money through shell companies.他们得以豪掷数以百万计的美元购买房产却几乎未遭到质疑,是因为美国的法律促进了这些资金的流动。通过空壳公司,这些资金基本上无迹可寻。Vast sums are flowing unchecked around the world as never before — whether motivated by corruption, tax avoidance or investment strategy, and enabled by an ever-more-borderless economy and a proliferation of ways to move and hide assets.大量资金正前所未有地在全球不受约束地流动,其动机可能是腐败和避税,也可能是投资战略,而经济越来越不分国界,转移和隐藏资产的途径也在激增,使得这种流动成为可能。Alighting in places like London, Singapore and other financial centers, this flood of capital has created colonies of the foreign super-rich, with the attendant resentments and controversies about class inequality made tangible in the glass and steel towers reordering urban landscapes.这股资本洪流来到伦敦、新加坡和其他金融中心,催生了外国超级富人的专属地带,随之而来的是怨恨之情和有关阶级不平等的争议。在重塑城市面貌的玻璃和钢铁大楼里,阶级不平等变得有形起来。Where it made landfall in New York, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, was the Time Warner Center. More than a decade on, even as a row of sky-piercing palaces rises on the southern rim of Central Park, the Time Warner Center remains the New York archetype of the global phenomenon, reflecting intertwined trends — the increasing sums of foreign money in high-end real estate and the growing use of shell companies.在纽约,9·11袭击过后,这股资本洪流选择了时代华纳中心作为着陆地。即便十多年过去了,中央公园的南边也建起了一排天大楼,时代华纳中心一直是这种全球化现象在纽约的典型代表,反映了相互交织的趋势:流入高端房地产市场的外国资金日越来越多,使用空壳公司的做法愈演愈烈。About billion is spent each year for New York City residences that cost more than million each, more than triple the amount of a decade ago, according to the website PropertyShark. Just over half of those sales last year were to shell companies.根据PropertyShark网站的数据,纽约市售价超过500万美元的共管公寓每年的销售额为80亿美元左右,是10年前水平的三倍还多。去年售出的此类共管公寓中,超过一半被卖给了空壳公司。The Times examination reveals the workings of an opaque economy for this global wealth. Lacking incentive or legal obligation to identify the sources of money, an entire chain of people involved in high-end real estate sales — lawyers, accountants, title brokers, escrow agents, real estate agents, condo boards and building workers — often operate with blinders on. As Rudy Tauscher, a former manager of the condos at Time Warner, said: “The building doesn’t know where the money is coming from. We’re not interested.”时报的研究结果揭示了一个不透明的经济体获取海外财富的运作机制。由于缺乏相应的动机,也没有法律上的义务,参与高端房产销售的一系列人员——律师、会计、经纪商、代管代理、房地产中介、公管公寓董事会和建筑工人——通常对自己职责之外的情况一无所知。正如时代华纳中心前公管公寓管理者鲁迪·陶舍尔(Rudy Tauscher)所说:“大楼里的工作人员不知道钱是从哪来的,我们也不感兴趣。”As an indication of how well-cloaked shell company ownership is, it took The Times more than a year to unravel the ownership of shell companies with condos in the Time Warner Center, by searching business and court records from more than 20 countries, interviewing dozens of people with close knowledge of the complex, examining hundreds of property records and connecting the dots from lawyers or relatives named on deeds to the actual buyers.空壳公司的所有权结构被掩盖得密不透风:为了揭开在时代华纳中心拥有共管公寓的空壳公司的所有权结构,时报花了超过一年的时间,搜索了20多个国家的商业和法庭记录,采访了数十位了解该楼盘的人士,研究了数以百计的公开地产记录,将出现在房契上的律师或亲属姓名与真正的买主对应了起来。Yet in some cases it is nearly impossible to establish with certainty the source of money behind shell companies. Purchasers can register shell companies in the names of accountants, lawyers or relatives. Purchases are often made not just by individuals but on behalf of groups of investors or numerous family members, further obscuring the origin of the funds. What is more, ownership of shell companies can be shifted at any time, with no indication in property records.然而有些时候,要想确定空壳公司背后的资金来源几乎是不可能的。购房者可以使用会计、律师或亲属的名字来注册一家空壳公司。购买公寓的通常不光是个人,还有投资者团体和大量的购房者家庭成员,这让购房资金的来源变得更加模糊。此外,空壳公司的所有权可以随时转移,不会显示在房产记录上。The high-end real estate market has become less and less transparent — and more alluring for those abroad with assets they wish to keep anonymous — even as the ed States pushes other nations to help stanch the flow of American money leaving the country to avoid taxes. Yet for all the concerns of law enforcement officials that shell companies can hide illicit gains, regulatory efforts to require more openness from these companies have failed.高端房地产市场已经变得越来越不透明,对于想要隐瞒财富的海外人士也更加具有吸引力,虽然与此同时,美国正在敦促其他国家帮助自己止住以避税为目的的资金外流。尽管执法官员非常担心空壳公司为非法所得提供了掩护,要求更大公开性的努力都未获成功。“We like the money,” said Raymond Baker, the president of Global Financial Integrity, a Washington nonprofit that tracks the illicit flow of money. “It’s that simple. We like the money that comes into our accounts, and we are not nearly as judgmental about it as we should be.”“他们就是想赚钱,”华盛顿的非营利机构全球金融诚信组织(Global Financial Integrity)的负责人雷蒙德·贝克(Raymond Baker)说。该机构会对非法资金的流动进行追踪。“就这么简单。他们喜欢别人把钱打进自己的账户里,因此就不会像平常一样严格。”In some ways, officials are clamoring for the foreign wealthy. In New York, tax breaks for condominium developments benefit owners looking for a second, or third, residence in one of Manhattan’s premier buildings. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on his weekly radio program in 2013, shortly before leaving office: “If we could get every billionaire around the world to move here, it would be a godsend.”在一些方面,政府正在竭尽全力地吸引外国的富人。在纽约,从共管公寓开发项目的税收优惠中受益的,是那些想要在曼哈顿的高档建筑内寻找第二套或第三套住宅的人。2013年,在即将卸任之际,纽约市长迈克尔·R·布隆伯格(Michael R. Bloomberg)在自己每周的广播节目中说:“如果我们能让全世界的亿万富翁都搬到这座城市来,那可真是天大的好事。”Among the Time Warner Center owners identified by The Times are at least 17 billionaires on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the world’s richest people. Five of the world’s leading art collectors own units, as do eight people who have been chief executives of major companies. And it has been home to numerous celebrities, including the singers Jimmy Buffett and Ricky Martin, the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the talk show host Kelly Ripa.在时报查明身份的时代华纳中心公寓的业主中,有至少17位曾登上《福布斯》(Forbes)杂志的年度富豪榜。五位世界顶尖的艺术收藏家,以及八位大型公司的首席高管拥有时代华纳中心的单位。这里还居住过大量名人,包括歌手吉米·巴菲特(Jimmy Buffett)和瑞奇·马丁(Ricky Martin),新英格兰爱国者队的四分卫汤姆·布雷迪(Tome Brady),以及脱口秀节目主持人凯莉·里帕(Kelly Ripa)。A look behind some doors revealed more complicated tales.有些公寓的主人还有着更为复杂的背景。s 72B and 51E are owned by the Amantea Corporation, which The Times traced to a mining magnate named Anil Agarwal. His company was fined for polluting a major river near a copper mine in Zambia, which sickened nearby residents. And judicial committees in his native India determined that his company had violated the land rights of an indigenous tribe near a proposed mine.公寓72B和51E的所有者是Amantea Corporation,时报发现,这家公司的所有者是来自印度的矿业巨头安尼尔·阿加瓦尔(Anil Agarwal)。阿加瓦尔的公司污染了赞比亚一处铜矿附近的主要河流,导致周围的居民患病,因此遭到罚款。此外,印度本国的一个司法委员会认定,他的公司侵犯了一个土著部落的土地权利,只因为该部落妨碍了采矿活动。When Anna Ai Fang purchased Condominium 58E in 2004 for .1 million, the forwarding address on the deed was a decidedly more modest location: her dorm, Ruggles Hall, at Columbia University. At the time, her father, Fang Fenglei, had ended a long career running state-affiliated banks in China and would soon begin working for Goldman Sachs.当方爱之(Anna Ai Fang)2004年以210万美元的价格购买了公寓58E时,她在房契上填写的转收地址绝对是相当低调,那是她在哥伦比亚大学(Columbia University)拉格尔斯厅(Ruggles Hall)的宿舍。当时,她的父亲方风雷已经结束了在多家中国国有的漫长职业生涯,很快将入职高盛(Goldman Sachs)。 62CE belongs to Prime International Management Group, which in turn is controlled by Alexander Varshavsky, who runs auto dealerships in Russia.公寓62CE的所有方是Prime International Management Group,该集团由亚历山大·瓦尔沙夫斯基(Alexander Varshavsky)所掌控。此人在俄罗斯经营着多家汽车销售公司。Few, if any, questions were raised by those involved in the deal when Mr. Varshavsky paid cash for the 4,300-square-foot apartment. But his condo shopping did not go unnoticed.当瓦尔沙夫斯基用现金全款购买了这套面积4300平方英尺的公寓时,参与这笔交易的人员几乎没有提出任何疑问。不过,他购买共管公寓的举动并非没有引起注意。“Agents observed defendant Varshavsky enter several buildings in the Central Park area with a real estate agent, including 25 Columbus Circle, New York, New York,” according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Newark, recounting surveillance by federal agents at the Time Warner Center. “In June 2011 defendant Varshavsky purchased an apartment located at that address for approximately .5 million in cash.”“一些特工发现,被告瓦尔沙夫斯基与一名房地产中介进入了中央公园区域的几栋大楼里,包括纽约州纽约市哥伦布环岛(Columbus Circle)的25号楼,”纽瓦克联邦法院收到的一份刑事诉状上说。这份诉状记录了联邦特工在时代华纳中心的监视活动。“2011年6月,被告瓦尔沙夫斯基以大约2050万美元的价格,现金全款购买了那里的一套公寓。”In December 2013, Mr. Varshavsky, who is now a ed States citizen, was charged with failing to report the existence of a foreign bank account. A lawyer for Mr. Varshavsky disputed the allegations and said he expected the complaint to be dropped.瓦尔沙夫斯基现在是美国公民。2013年12月,他被指控隐瞒了自己的一个海外账户。瓦尔沙夫斯基的一名律师否认了这些指控,并表示预计这项控诉将会被撤销。Meanwhile the case is pending, and Mr. Varshavsky posted bail — his Time Warner condo.在案子等待判决期间,瓦尔沙夫斯基为获得保释抵押了他在时代华纳中心的公寓。Ownership Becomes Opaque神秘的所有权It was not all that long ago that Columbus Circle was the makeshift residence of dozens of homeless people squatting at the site of the abandoned New York Coliseum, the Robert Moses-era convention center.就在不久之前,哥伦布环岛还曾是几十名流浪者的临时住所,他们占据了纽约会议中心(New York Coliseum)的遗址,那里是罗伯特·斯(Robert Moses)时代举行会议的地方。The demolition of the coliseum and the creation of the Time Warner Center — two residential towers with a retail atrium, corporate offices and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel — transformed the area into a vibrant shopping and dining destination in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. The condos also sparked development of a billionaires row of residential towers overlooking Central Park.在9·11袭击之后,这座会议中心的拆除和时代华纳中心的落成把该地区变成了一个繁忙的购物餐饮中心。时代华纳中心包括两栋高层公寓建筑,中庭是一些零售商店,楼内还有企业办公室以及文华东方酒店(Mandarin Oriental Hotel)。这些共管公寓引领了一系列俯瞰中央公园的豪华住宅楼的开发。By marketing the condos to wealthy foreigners, Time Warner’s developer was at the forefront of luring cash from overseas to New York real estate. Twenty-six percent of the original sales were to people from other countries, a proportion that has grown to more than half among recent buyers. The complex’s dark glass exterior offers a sheen of both exclusivity and secrecy.通过把这些共管公寓推销给富有的国际买家,时代华纳的开发商站在了为纽约地产行业吸引海外资金的前沿。新公寓首次出售时,26%被卖给了海外买家,这个比例目前已经增长到了超过一半 。建筑外的深色玻璃幕墙为公寓的专属性和私密性提供了保障。 /201502/359211

You can’t take the Warner out of Time Warner TWX -2.94% , but apparently you can kick Time to the curb. And get paid in the process.你不能将“华纳”从“时代华纳”(Time Warner, TWX-2.94%)中剔除,但显然可以将“时代”扫地出门,而且还能从中赚一笔。Time Inc., the venerable magazine publisher whose titles include Fortune, this morning was spun out into an independent company by Time Warner and has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol TIME -0.77% . Not only do shareholders in the former parent get new Time Inc. stock, but Time Warner also received 0 million via a one-time dividend paid out of Time Inc.’s .3 billion in recently-issued debt.周一上午,时代公司(Time Inc.,旗下杂志包括《财富》)这家备受尊崇的杂志发行商从时代华纳分拆出来,开始在纽交所上市,交易代码为TIME(TIME-0.77%)。不仅原先母公司的股东获得了这家新公司的股票,而且时代华纳也到手6亿美元的一次性分红,资金从时代公司近期通过债务融资募集的13亿美元中付。Here’s the bull case for Time Inc: For years, the company had basically served as a piggy-bank for Time Warner, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in profit that it rarely got to reinvest in its own business. Why rock the boat with new digital initiatives when the paper mags provided steady, if declining, treasure? Now Time Inc. gets to chart its own course with new management, and aly has begun bulking up its Web properties (including this site, which launched just last week with more than a dozen new staffers). In short, innovation will no longer be stifled. Time Inc. aly has plenty of brand equity, and now it actually gets to evolve the brands to meet the current market.看涨时代公司的观点是:多年来,这家公司基本上就是在充当时代华纳的摇钱树,催生数亿美元的利润,而又极少得以再投资于自身业务——印刷版杂志带来的财源虽然日益萎缩,但好歹也算稳定。既然如此,何苦大兴数字改革撼动现状?而如今,依靠新的管理层,时代得以规划自己的道路,而且已经开始壮大自己的网络财产(包括上周刚刚上线、聘请了十几名新员工的全新Fortune网站)。简言之,创新将不再受到遏制。时代业已拥有足够庞大的品牌资产,如今又得以发展品牌以满足当前的市场需求。Here’s the bear case: Time Inc. may not actually know how to innovate, or at least not how to do it at scale. After all, it’s pretty tough to flip the switch when those mental muscles have been atrophied after more than a decade of being told “No, don’t spend money on that.” The up-and-coming digital talent wants pre-IPO stock at places like Buzzfeed, not options in a maxed-out Time Inc. Plus, there is all that new debt. It’s not completely unwieldy, but certainly makes Time Inc. less nimble than a rival like News Corp., which received billion in cash and zero debt when it was spun off NWSA -0.17% last year.看跌时代公司的观点是:时代也许并不知道该如何创新,或者至少不知道如何大规模创新。毕竟,听了十多年“别在这上面花钱”的忠告,这方面的思维肌肉都已经萎缩,再要扳上开关就颇为困难。那些崭露头角的数字人才要的是像Buzzfeed等公司首次公开募股前的股份,而不是几近被榨干油水的时代公司的一笔期权。况且还有那笔新债务。虽算不上负债累累,但时代的确已在灵活性上不及新闻集团(News Corp., NWSA -0.17%)这样的对手,后者在去年分拆时不但没有债务,而且还到手20亿美元现金。Here’s the pragmatic case: There have been concerns that Time Inc. shares would sink like a stone in the early days. After all, Time Warner shareholders have been told for years that Time Inc. is a drag on earnings, so wouldn’t they want to dump fast when given the new shares? Short-seller paradise. But Time Inc. stock actually climbed in pre-market trading, suggesting two factors in play: (1) Shorts may be holding off, out of fear that they’d get squeezed if Time Inc. manages to sell off a crown jewel or two. (2) Time Inc. still does have much better financials than its reputation indicates, and even skeptics may be a bit curious to see a quarter or two of independent performance.比较务实的观点是:一些人担忧时代股价会在上市初期一落千丈。毕竟多年以来,时代华纳股东都被告知,时代拖了集团盈利的后腿。一旦新股票到手,他们难道不会立刻抛售?这样,它就成了做空者的天堂。但时代股票在盘前交易中不跌反涨,意味着有两个因素在起作用:(1)空方暂且按兵不动,害怕假如时代成功抛售掉旗下一两个最有价值资产,他们就会惨遭轧空。(2)时代公司的财务状况仍然比传说中好得多,就连抱着怀疑态度的人也想先观察它独立后前一两个季度的业绩,然后再说。This is where it’s worth emphasizing that I don’t come to this as an unbiased reporter. Instead, I’m on the inside looking out. My colleagues and I seem to share a sense of time-constrained optimism. It’s a sprint for the privilege of running the longer race. Consider Time Inc. a startup of sorts, or at least a leveraged reboot with an extraordinary amount of brand equity. Like most startups, there is a high probability of failure. But it is hardly predetermined.写到这里有必要强调一下,在这个话题上,笔者的视角不能算客观。这些都是内部观察的结果。我和我的同事们似乎都只在一定时间内持乐观态度。这是一场为争夺长跑竞赛资格而展开的短跑冲刺。不妨将时代视为某种类型的初创企业,或至少是一场携巨额品牌资产进行的杠杆重启。跟大多数初创企业一样,失败的几率很高,但并非一定如此。 /201406/305475

Thirty years ago it took eight hours to drive the 150km from Beijing to Tianjin, China’s fourth city. A decade or so ago, motorway investment had cut the time to two hours. Today, by bullet train, the journey is barely 30 minutes.北京到天津的距离是150公里,30年前,如果驱车的话需要8个小时。大约十年前,高速公路的投资让这一时间缩短至两个小时。如今,如果乘坐高铁的话,时间仅为30分钟。When infrastructure investment is made in developing economies, the gains are dramatic and obvious. But Gerry Grimstone, the chairman of Standard Life, the UK insurer whose Chinese headquarters sits in Tianjin, is convinced that Britain and other developed nations can learn the lessons, too.在发展中经济体进行基础设施投资,将会取得巨大而明显的收益。但英国保险公司标准人寿(Standard Life)的董事长格里#8226;格里姆斯通(Gerry Grimstone)确信,英国和其他发达国家也可以从中学习经验。标准人寿在中国的总部位于天津。He is not alone. Legal amp; General has aly made a big push into the area. In January, it announced a commitment to put #163;1.5bn into a projected #163;15bn scheme to promote housing and infrastructure regeneration. Nigel Wilson, Lamp;G’s CEO, who has led a shift in investment allocation towards such assets, has been a vocal campaigner.有这种想法的并非他一人。英国法通保险集团(Legal amp; General)已经大举进军这一领域。今年1月,该公司承诺将为一个拟投资150亿英镑的住房和基础设施重建项目出资15亿英镑。法通保险首席执行官纳杰尔#8226;威尔逊(Nigel Wilson)一直大力呼吁投资于基础设施项目,他也率先将投资配置转向此类资产。Prudential and Aviva, the UK’s other leading insurers, have been lower key, but they, too, have been supportive.英国其他主要保险商保诚集团(Prudential)和英杰华(Aviva)较为低调,但他们也持这种投资。The dynamic is simple enough. Central banks have held interest rates at ultra-low levels, trimming the yields available from safe sovereign bonds close to zero in many cases. At the same time, insurers and pension funds need investments that promise reliable long-term returns.这种投资背后的动机非常简单。各国央行将利率保持在超低水平,让许多国家的安全主权债券的收益率降至零。与此同时,保险公司和养老基金需要有望带来长期可靠回报的投资。Infrastructure investment, whether in emerging markets or in the west, is an obvious match. Lengthy projects to build roads, railways, airports and energy installations often have the right kind of steady returns, with a duration that lines up well with commitments to pay out life assurance or pension policies 10, 20 or 30 years hence.无论是在新兴市场还是在西方,基础设施投资显然都符合这一条件。建设公路、铁路、机场和能源装置的长期项目通常拥有合适的稳定回报,时间周期也与人寿保险或养老保险金的10年、20年或30年的偿付承诺相匹配。At the same time, there is a financing gap. One legacy of the financial crisis has been banks’ retreat from project finance of this kind. Few lenders these days will take long-term investments on to their balance sheets. Even as counterparties who structure a deal and underpin it with short-term bridge finance, banks are in short supply. This is partly a result of a shrunken risk appetite across banking. It is also thanks to tougher capital charges on such assets, imposed by global regulators.与此同时,基础设施建设存在资金上的缺口。金融危机的一个后遗症是不再为此类项目提供融资。现在很少有愿意为长期投资融资。即便是作为安排交易并提供短期过桥资金持的对手方,也多有不愿。这在一定程度上是整个业风险偏好下降的结果,同时也缘于全球监管机构收紧了对此类资产的资本要求。The need is vast. In a report published just as the financial crisis hit, the OECD predicted a need for tn of global infrastructure funding by 2030. How to reconcile these record investment demands with the scant supply evident in the traditional financing landscape?需求是巨大的。经合组织(OECD)在金融危机爆发之际发布的一份报告中预测,到2030年全球基础设施融资需求将达到50万亿美元。如何协调这些创纪录的投资需求与传统金融领域明显的供应匮乏?The answer often has been to turn to parts of the world that have investment surpluses — the sovereign wealth funds of the Middle East and Asia, as well as the pension fund systems of Canada and Australia.往往是求助于投资资金过剩的某些国家——中东地区和亚洲的主权财富基金——以及加拿大和澳大利亚的养老金体系。For a while it worked well. Multibillion-dollar SWFs could deal direct with government to finance whole projects, reducing the need for complex structuring. Yet finding funds abroad has sometimes proved problematic. Investment in the #163;24.5bn Hinkley point nuclear expansion project in southwest England, run by France’s EDF, has been held up because of wrangling between the energy group and potential Chinese investors.这种做法一度很有效。拥有数十亿美元的主权财富基金可以直接与各国政府接触来为整个项目融资,从而不必进行复杂的结构性安排。然而事实明,寻找海外资金有时也会有麻烦。由于运营方法国电力集团(EDF)和潜在的中国投资者的角力,位于英格兰西南部的造价245亿英镑的欣克利角(Hinkley Point)核电站扩建项目的投资被搁置。Where is the UK money? To date, Lamp;G has done the most in this area, investing #163;5.7bn across a swath of property and infrastructure projects. But that is still barely 1 per cent of assets under management. Even its ambitious #163;15bn new scheme, which has yet to draw in the necessary partners, would not compete for the really large-scale national projects, focusing instead on #163;300-500m investments.英国的资金哪里去了?截至目前,法通保险在这个领域中的动作最大,它拿出57亿英镑投资于众多房地产和基础设施项目。但这只是其管理资产的1%。甚至其雄心勃勃、迄今仍在寻找必要合作者的150亿英镑新投资计划,也不会竞争真正大规模的国家项目,而是聚焦于3亿英镑至5亿英镑的投资。For the #163;1bn or #163;5bn-plus projects, single insurers or pension funds need to team up. Someone just needs to co-ordinate the effort. Bank investors used to do that, as did old-style merchant banks. There are few individuals pioneering the mission from the public sector side either. It is not a coincidence that the UK’s most ambitious project — London’s Crossrail west-to-east train link — has been shepherded by Boris Johnson who even critics would admit has been an unusually energetic force for change in the capital.对10亿英镑或50亿英镑以上的项目来说,单个的保险公司或养老基金需要合作。需要有人协调这种努力。投资者曾经充当过协调人,就像旧式的商业那样。如今在公共部门中也很少有人愿意成为承担这一使命的先锋。英国最为雄心勃勃的项目——伦敦横贯铁路(Crossrail)——一直由鲍里斯#8226;约翰逊(Boris Johnson)负责,这并非巧合,即便是批评者也承认,对于推动伦敦的改变,约翰逊是一股精力异常旺盛的力量。The plan for an Infrastructure Commission from the opposition Labour party sounds encouraging. It is pledging an aggressive agenda of investment in energy, flood defences and transport, and sounds more substantive than the Treasury’s largely administrative arm, Infrastructure UK.反对党工党提出的设立基础设施委员会(Infrastructure Commission)的计划听起来令人振奋。它承诺大举投资于能源、防洪和交通基础设施,听起来比英国财政部下属主要负责行政的Infrastructure UK更着眼实际。This week’s Budget from chancellor George Osborne will give the current government a last chance to inject some urgency into UK infrastructure investment. Done right, the spoils should be rich — both for investors and those who long for a country as joined up as modern China.英国财政大臣乔治#8226;奥斯本(George Osborne)将会在本周宣布预算案,这将是现任政府提高英国基础设施投资紧迫性的最后机会。运作得当的话,好处是巨大的,无论是对投资者,还是对那些渴望英国像现代化的中国那样交通发达的人来说,均是如此。 /201503/364989

You probably don’t pay much attention to vending machines, except when you’re thirsty or want a quick snack. Usually you can only choose from a small selection of fizzy drinks and packed, processed snacks. In other words: boring and not very healthy.你或许只有在口渴或想吃点儿零食时才会注意到自动售货机。通常,售货机只出售汽水和独立包装的加工食品,可选余地较小。换句话说就是:品种单一且不利健康。But vending machines are evolving and some now offer a variety of foods that are freshly prepared, just for you. Whether it’s a cold, sweet treat, a hot meal, or even fresh cooking ingredients, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s desires.但是自动贩卖机正在进化,如今一些自动售货机可以专门为你提供新鲜烹饪的各式食品。无论是冷饮、甜点、热餐、甚至是新鲜食材,总有一款能令你满意。Hairy selection大闸蟹自动售货机Where: China国家:中国What: hairy crabs出售商品:大闸蟹How much: 10-45 yuan价格:10—45元人民币In Nanjing, consumers can buy fresh, live crabs from a vending machine. To keep them alive, the machine has an internal temperature of 5 C, which keeps the crabs in a state of hibernation. Five different varieties of crabs are available and according to an Associated Press report the machine sells up to 200 of them a day. If anyone receives a dead crab, the company compensates consumers with three live ones.在南京,消费者可以从自动售货机上买到鲜活的螃蟹。为保螃蟹长时间存活,售货机内部温度设定为5摄氏度,从而保持螃蟹处于冬眠状态。在这里,你可以买到五种不同的螃蟹,据美联社报道,该售货机一天可售出200只螃蟹。如果有消费者买到死蟹,商家会赔偿三只活螃蟹。Automatic meal自动点餐机Where: The Netherlands国家:荷兰What: automat restaurant出售商品:自动贩卖式餐馆How much: 1.60-6.50 euros (15-55 yuan)价格:1.6—6.5欧元(合15—55元人民币)In the Netherlands there is a restaurant chain that serves food exclusively out of vending machines, or automats. Open 24 hours a day, FEBO is popular among tourists and locals out late. It offers a Dutch including croquettes, frikandels (a deep-fried sausage) and kaassouffles (a melted-cheese snack). But rather than being prepared in the vending machines, the food is prepared by humans in a kitchen behind the machines.在荷兰有一家只在自动售货机上出售食物的连锁餐厅。FEBO是一家自动贩卖式餐馆,提供24小时全天候务,深受游客和当地夜猫族的欢迎。它提供的荷兰菜品包括炸肉丸、frikandels(一种油炸香肠)和kaassouffles(一种奶酪卷)。但是,这些食物并非是在自动贩卖机里制作的,而是在机器后面的厨房里人工烹饪的。Creative treat创意冰激凌Where: US国家:美国What: ice cream出售商品:冰激凌How much: (18 yuan)价格:3美元(合18元人民币)An ice-cream machine may not sound like anything special, but the MooBella Ice Creamery Machine certainly is!尽管冰激凌自动售货机可能听上去并无特别之处,但是MooBella冰激凌自动贩卖机的确与众不同。Using a touchscreen panel, customers can design their own ice cream in three easy steps. A total of 12 flavors are available, but a choice of special mix-ins, including chocolate chips and cookies, means 96 different combinations are possible. Each portion is freshly mixed in just 40 seconds.通过触屏界面,顾客只需三步,便可轻松定制自己的冰激凌。该机器上共有12种口味供你选择,还包括巧克力片和曲奇饼在内的多种特别搭配,也就是说顾客可以自行配制出96款冰激凌。只需40秒,就可品尝到新鲜制作的冰激凌。Lazy indulgence懒人的福音Where: Singapore国家:新加坡What: mashed potato出售商品:土豆泥How much: S (5 yuan)价格:1新元(合5元人民币)Making mashed potato is a long, laborious process. But thanks to Maggi, a Swiss food and condiment company, it can be as simple as just adding hot water to a packet of mashed potato powder. In Singapore, however, not even that is necessary anymore. Many 7-Eleven stores there now have Maggi mashed potato machines. All hungry customers need to do is place a cup under the machine’s nozzle, push a button and mashed potato comes pouring out. You can even add chicken gravy sauce if you like.做土豆泥本是费时又费力的事。但得益于瑞士Maggie食品调料公司,你只需要把热水倒入一包土豆泥粉中,土豆泥就可轻松制作完成了。然而在新加坡,就连这个工序都可以省了。如今很多新加坡的7-Eleven便利店都配备了Maggie土豆泥自动售货机。饥肠辘辘的顾客只要把杯子放在机器喷嘴下面,按下一个按钮,土豆泥就出来了!你喜欢的话,甚至还可以在其中加上鸡汁酱。High-tech chef高科技大厨Where: Italy国家:意大利What: pizza出售商品:披萨How much: 3-4.5 euros (25-35 yuan)价格:3—4.5欧元(合25—35元人民币)Italians invented the pizza, so it was only a matter of time until they invented a pizza-making machine. Let’s Pizza prepares fresh pizza in less then three minutes and allows the customer to watch the whole process through a window. It kneads the dough, sps the sauce on it, adds a choice of four toppings and then bakes the pizza. The machine can make up to 100 26-centimeter pizzas before it needs to be refilled.意大利人创造了披萨,所以,他们发明出披萨机也只是时间早晚的问题。这款Let’s Pizza自动售货机可以在三分钟内制作出新鲜的披萨,顾客可以通过一个窗口观看到整个烹饪过程。该机器先是揉面团、喷洒酱料,再加入可供顾客四选一的配料,然后烘焙披萨。填满一次材料,最多可以制作出100个直径26厘米的披萨。 /201403/278216

Income inequality is a hot topic in Washington. President Barack Obama is expected to highlight inequality and economic mobility in his State of the Union address Tuesday.在华盛顿,收入失衡是个热点话题。总统奥巴马(Barack Obama)预计将在周二的国情咨文(State of the Union)演讲中强调失衡现象以及经济流动性。One factor he likely won#39;t discuss: Income inequality has gotten worse in past decades in part because college-educated, high-earning men and women are more likely to marry each other, rather than get hitched to partners with divergent education or wage levels.他可能不会提及的一大要点是,过去数十年来收入越发失衡的原因之一在于,受过高等教育、薪资不菲的男女结为夫妇的可能性更高,教育背景、薪资水平差距很大的两人则不太可能走到一起。A research paper -- by University of Pennsylvania economist Jeremy Greenwood; Nezih Guner, a research professor at Markets, Organizations and Votes in Economics (MOVE), a research institute based in Barcelona; University of Konstanz economist Georgi Kocharkov; and University of Mannheim economist Cezar Santos -- tracks trends from 1960 to 2005.宾夕法尼亚州立大学(University of Pennsylvania)经济学家Jeremy Greenwood、巴塞罗那研究机构Markets, Organizations and Votes in Economics (MOVE)研究教授Nezih Guner、德国康斯坦茨大学(University of Konstanz)经济学家Georgi Kocharkov以及曼海姆大学(University of Mannheim)经济学家Cezar Santos联合进行了一项研究,追踪1960年至2005年间人们的择偶趋势。The paper, #39;Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality, #39; finds that the rise of women in the workforce and a growing tendency to find a partner from a similar educational and professional background is exacerbating income trends.这篇名为;Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality;(《人以群分:选择性择偶与收入失衡》)的研究报告指出,随着越来越多的女性加入劳动力大军,人们更倾向于选择一个教育、专业背景与己接近的配偶,这加剧了收入差距的悬殊。The upshot: The rich are getting richer. In 1960, a household in the top 10% earned about three-and-a-half times the mean U.S. income. In 2005, that had jumped to more than four times the mean.关键在于,有钱的人越来越有钱。1960年,最富有的10%家庭的收入大约是平均值的3.5倍;2005年,这一比例扩大至4倍多。For the bottom 10%, the situation has deteriorated. In 1960, such a household earned 16% of mean income. By 2005, that was down to 8%.而对于最贫困的那10%而言,情况变得更加糟糕。1960年,这类家庭的收入等于平均值的0.16倍;到了2005年,其收入与平均值之比降到了8%。#39;Incomes are more polarized in 2005, #39; the paper says. #39;The change in wages across individuals is the primary driver of this increase in income inequality.#39;研究报告指出,2005年收入更趋两极化,个人工资的变动是收入差距扩大的主要推手。The authors don#39;t offer a solution. They do note that if marriages followed the same patterns as in 1960 there would be a significant reduction in income inequality.研究者没有给出一种解决方案。但他们指出,如果人们的择偶模式回到1960年,那么收入差距将被极大缩窄。#39;So, if people matched in 2005 according to the standardized mating pattern observed in 1960, which showed less positive assortative matching, then income inequality would drop because income is more diversified across husband and wife, #39; the paper says.报告称,假若2005年的人们也像1960年那样根据某一标准化的择偶模式来结合、而不是今天这种“门当户对”的精挑细选型婚配,那么收入失衡现象将减轻,因为夫妻俩的收入将更加多元。 /201402/275686

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