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      欧洲央行开始进行债券利差管理

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      Finance & economics

      财经板块

      The European Central Bank: Moment of truth

      欧洲央行:关键时刻

      The ECB gets into bond spread management.

      欧洲央行开始进行债券利差管理。

      Surging inflation and a weakening economy are not the only worries preoccupying the European Central Bank (the ECB).

      飙升的通胀和疲软的经济并不是困扰欧洲央行(ECB)的唯一问题。

      As inflation rose higher still, the bank promised on June 9th to raise interest rates over the coming months and to end its asset purchases.

      随着通货膨胀率进一步上升,欧洲央行在6月9日承诺,将在未来几个月内提高利率,并终止其资产购买。

      Then, in subsequent days, financial markets decided to remind the central bank that the new policy could mean Italy’s public debt, at 150% of the country’s GDP, might look wobbly as interest rates start to rise.

      之后,在随后的几天里,金融市场决定提醒欧洲央行,这一新政策可能意味着,随着利率开始上升,意大利相当于国内生产总值150%的公共债务可能会出现波动。

      Italian government-borrowing costs started to climb.

      意大利政府借贷成本开始攀升。

      As the yield on Italy’s ten-year sovereign bonds surpassed 4%, the central bank called an emergency meeting on June 15th.

      意大利十年期主权债券的收益率超过4%,欧洲央行于6月15日召开了紧急会议。

      Its governing council tasked the staff with coming up with an “anti-fragmentation” tool, a government-bond-buying scheme that would help prop up sovereigns in distress.

      其管理委员会要求工作人员设计出一个“反分裂”的工具,即一个政府债券购买计划,来帮助支撑陷入困境的主权国家。

      The announcement marks a fundamental change in how the ECB sees its role in bond markets.

      这一声明标志着,欧洲央行对其在债券市场中所扮演角色的看法发生了根本性变化。

      Being a central banker in a monetary union is hard.

      在货币联盟中担任央行行长并不容易。

      The euro’s members differ according to their growth prospects and debt levels, leading to gaps (or “spreads”) between their bond yields and the German bund yield, which is regarded as the risk-free rate.

      欧元区成员国的增长前景和债务水平各不相同,导致它们的债券收益率与被视为无风险利率的德国国债收益率之间存在差距(或“利差”)。

      Investors routinely debate the threat of a country defaulting, or exiting the euro.

      投资者经常就一个国家违约或退出欧元区的威胁展开辩论。

      By contrast, there is little doubt that the Bank of England stands behind gilts; no one worries that Britain might leave sterling.

      相比之下,英格兰银行会支持金边债券这件事是毋庸置疑的;没有人担心英国可能会脱离英镑。

      Differences in liquidity and the extent to which a government’s bonds are seen as benchmark assets matter, too.

      资产流动性的差异以及政府债券被视为基准资产的程度也很重要。

      In a recently published paper, Hanno Lustig of Stanford University and colleagues estimate that this “convenience yield”, the yield that investors are willing to forgo for safety and liquidity, explained more than half the variation in spreads between euro countries from 2008 to 2020.

      在最近发表的一篇论文中,斯坦福大学的汉诺·卢斯蒂格和他的同事估计,2008年至2020年欧元区国家之间的利差变化中,有一半以上都源于这种“便利收益率”,即投资者为了安全和资产流动性而愿意放弃的收益率。

      In times of stress—as when the pandemic struck in March 2020—investors seeking safety drive up the spread between, say, Italian and German bonds.

      在压力时期--像是2020年3月疫情爆发时--寻求避险的投资者会推高比如意大利和德国债券之间的利差。

      These spreads between government bonds then translate into differing borrowing costs for firms and households.

      这些政府债券之间的利差之后就会转化为企业和家庭的不同借贷成本。

      Despite sharing a currency (and the Alps), borrowers in Tyrol, Austria, and South Tyrol in Italy could face quite different interest rates, because their respective national governments are charged different rates by investors.

      尽管奥地利蒂罗尔和意大利南蒂罗尔共用一种货币(也共享阿尔卑斯山),但由于投资者向两地国家政府收取的利率不同,两地的借款人可能面临截然不同的利率。

      And too big a divergence can be a problem for the ECB, because it sets short-term interest rates for the euro area as a whole.

      对于欧洲央行来说,差距太大可能是个问题,因为它为整个欧元区设定了短期利率。

      The wider the spreads, the less likely it is that its desired interest rate is reflected in conditions on the ground.

      利差越大,其期望的利率在实际情况中出现的可能性就越小。

      But the precise point at which spreads become wider than economic differences warrant is controversial.

      但是,利差扩大到什么程度,会超过经济差异所能保证的范围,这一确切程度是有争议的。

      In a speech on June 14th Isabel Schnabel, a member of the ECB’s executive board, explained the bank’s thinking.

      在6月14日的一次演讲中,欧洲央行执委会委员伊莎贝尔·施纳贝尔解释了该行的想法。

      She argued that safe interest rates were rising around the world at a time when threats to growth were becoming more prominent.

      她说,在经济增长面临的威胁日益突出之际,世界各地的安全利率都正在上升。

      Widening spreads meant that financial conditions had tightened more in some parts of the euro zone than in others.

      利差不断扩大意味着,欧元区某些地区的金融状况比其他地区更为紧缩。

      The ECB would seek to avoid any “disorderly repricing of risk” that could impair the functioning of monetary policy, and so pose a threat to ensuring stable inflation.

      欧洲央行将力图避免任何可能会损害货币政策的功能,从而对确保通胀稳定构成威胁的“风险溢价的无序重新定价”。

      The question is what counts as “disorderly”.

      问题是,什么才算“无序”。

      Shortly before the emergency meeting, Italian ten-year spreads on bunds rose to 2.4 percentage points.

      在紧急会议前不久,意大利十年期国债利差升至2.4个百分点。

      Not everyone agrees that was a problem.

      并不是每个人都认为这是个问题。

      Volker Wieland, a former member of the German council of economic experts, agrees that Italy’s debt is not unsustainable and that spreads did not warrant action by the ECB.

      德国经济专家委员会前成员沃尔克·维兰德也认为,意大利的债务并非不可持续,利差并不值得欧洲央行采取行动。

      In addition, he points out, the ECB already has the means to contain panicky rises in spreads.

      此外,他指出,欧洲央行已经有办法遏制利差的恐慌性上升。

      Yet the existing tool, outright monetary transactions (or OMT)—announced in 2012 when Mario Draghi, the ECB’s former president, said he would do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro—has become politically toxic.

      然而,在2012年,欧洲央行前行长马里奥·德拉基称他将“不惜一切代价”保卫欧元时公布的现有工具,即直接货币交易(OMT),已具有政治破坏性。

      It comes with tough conditions—namely that the countries in need of ECB support subject themselves to an IMF-style reform programme.

      它附带着苛刻的条件--即需要欧洲央行支持的国家必须接受国际货币基金组织式的改革计划。

      Luis Garicano, a Spanish member of the European Parliament, argues that the ECB will seek to recreate OMT without the toxicity.

      欧洲议会西班牙议员路易斯·加里卡诺称,欧洲央行将力图在没有政治破坏性的情况下重建直接货币交易。

      The central bank itself has been at pains to emphasise that any new tool to contain spreads would “remain within its mandate”: in other words, that any bond purchases would be either limited, or tied to conditions.

      欧洲央行本身一直在努力强调,任何遏制利差的新工具都将“保持在其职权范围内”:换句话说,任何债券购买都将受到限制,或与条件挂钩。

      Unless the euro zone comes closer to being a federal entity, with a common finance ministry and shared taxes and benefits, spreads will be a fact of life.

      除非欧元区向成为联邦实体更进一步发展,拥有共同的财政部,共享税收和福利,否则利差将是无法改变的事实。

      Further banking or fiscal integration could help narrow them without central-bank action.

      在央行不采取行动的情况下,银行业或财政进一步一体化可能有助于缩小利差。

      But progress on those cannot be counted upon.

      但不能指望在这些方面取得进展。

      With its announcement, the ECB has made clear that it sees managing spreads as part of its job.

      欧洲央行在其声明中明确表示,管理利差是其工作的一部分。

      重点单词   查看全部解释    
      controversial [.kɔntrə'və:ʃəl]

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      adj. 引起争论的,有争议的

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      scheme [ski:m]

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      n. 方案,计划,阴谋
      v. 计画,设计,体系

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      addition [ə'diʃən]

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      n. 增加,附加物,加法

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      pandemic [pæn'demik]

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      adj. 全国流行的 n. (全国或全世界范围流行的)疾

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      integration [.inti'greiʃən]

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      n. 综合,集成,同化

       
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      n. 膨胀,通货膨胀

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      yield [ji:ld]

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      n. 生产量,投资收益
      v. 生产,屈服,投降

       
      prop [prɔp]

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      n. 道具

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