托福双语阅读材料:Who will be the next head of the Federal Reserve?

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美联储的下一任主席
利率竞赛
美联储下任主席花落谁家?
The Economist Global Business Review
The Fed’s next chair
Rate race
Who will be the next head of the Federal Reserve?
LOOK only at unemployment and inflation, says Peter Conti-Brown, a historian of the Federal Reserve, and Janet Yellen is the Fed’s most successful boss of all time. The second indicator may be below target, but that is a blip compared with the recessions most Fed chairmen have endured. So it is perhaps not surprising that President Donald Trump is openly considering retaining Ms Yellen, a Democrat installed by Barack Obama, after her term ends in February 2018. Nor by historical standards is it odd: the Fed’s past three leaders were all reappointed by presidents from the other party. Yet Ms Yellen, whom Mr Trump criticised on the campaign trail, is not the leading candidate. PredictIt, a betting site, gives her a 28% chance of staying put. In front of her, with a 36% chance of appointment, is someone else Mr Trump is publicly weighing up: Gary Cohn (pictured on the left).如果只看失业率和通货膨胀率,珍妮特·耶伦是美联储有史以来最成功的掌门人,研究美联储的历史学家彼得·康迪-布朗(Peter Conti-Brown)这样表示。第二个指标即通胀率可能低于美联储的目标,但这与大多数美联储主席经受过的经济萧条相比微不足道。因此特朗普总统公开表示正考虑留任由前总统奥巴马任命、身为民主党人的耶伦,也许就没什么好令人惊讶的了。耶伦的任期将于2018年2月结束。从历史惯例来看,耶伦留任也没什么不寻常:美联储前三任主席都是由来自另一党派的总统再次任命的。但是,曾被特朗普在竞选活动中指摘过的耶伦并非首选对象。博彩网站PredictIt预测耶伦留任的概率为28%。而以36%的任命概率位列她之前的是特朗普公开考量的另一个人——加里·科恩(Gary Cohn,图中最左者)。
Mr Cohn was until January the chief operating officer and president of Goldman Sachs. He left that role to become the president’s senior economic adviser. A domineering personality, he has amassed influence in the administration, outshining Peter Navarro, Mr Trump’s trade economist. Mr Cohn is often said to lead a “globalist” faction within the White House, against protectionists like Mr Navarro and Steve Bannon, another adviser.今年1月科恩辞去高盛集团总裁兼首席运营官的职务,转而担任总统的高级经济顾问。专横跋扈的科恩在政府中的影响力日益彰显,风头盖过特朗普的贸易经济学家彼得·纳瓦罗(Peter Navarro)。科恩常被视为在白宫内领导着一个“全球主义”的小派系,与纳瓦罗以及另一位经济顾问史蒂夫·班农(Steve Bannon)等贸易保护主义者针锋相对。
He would, however, make an unusual Fed chairman. He has no background in economics, even as a student. The previous chief to have been similarly unqualified was William Miller, who spent an unhappy year and a half in 1978 and 1979 presiding over low growth and soaring inflation. A happier comparison is to Marriner Eccles, chairman from 1934 to 1948. Like Mr Cohn—and unlike Miller—Eccles had been a successful financier. Also like Mr Cohn, he was close to the president who appointed him, Franklin Roosevelt. And his lack of economics training did not stop him from backing Keynesian stimulus after the Depression, even before Keynes himself had published “The General Theory”. Eccles made such a mark that the Fed’s headquarters are named after him.然而,如果科恩上台,他将是一名非同寻常的美联储主席。科恩没有经济学背景,甚至学生时代也未学过经济学。之前也有一名同样资历欠缺的美联储主席威廉·米勒(William Miller)。在他1978至1979年间一年半的糟糕任期里,美国经济低迷,通胀飙升。另一个更令人鼓舞的比较对象是1934至1948年担任美联储主席的马瑞纳·伊寇斯(Marriner Eccles)。有别于米勒,伊寇斯与科恩都曾是成功的金融家,此外两人都与任命他们的总统关系密切。伊寇斯由罗斯福总统任命,他也欠缺经济学背景,但这并不妨碍他在“大萧条”之后支持凯恩斯主义的经济刺激政策,那时凯恩斯本人甚至还未出版他的《通论》。伊寇斯留下了如此浓墨重彩的一笔,以至于美联储总部大楼都是以他的名字命名的。
Mr Cohn might find the Eccles building staid. It lacks the day-to-day energy of the White House or Treasury, let alone the buzz of the trading floor. Inside, staff quietly digest vast quantities of economic research to prepare for less-than-monthly monetary-policy decisions. Some wonder if Mr Cohn has an appetite for the minute analysis which, unlike the practice in most organisations, is carried out even by the Fed’s leaders. The chairman can, of course, lean on his staff. But one of Miller’s problems, says Mr Conti-Brown, was that he lost the respect of his better-trained colleagues.科恩可能会觉得伊寇斯大楼了无生气。它缺乏白宫或财政部的日常活力,更别说像交易大厅那样的喧闹了。在大楼内,员工们悄无声息地分析处理海量的经济研究,为不到一个月就要进行一次的货币政策决策做准备。有人怀疑科恩是否对这样细致入微的分析有兴趣。和大多数机构的做法不同,在美联储,就连领导层也要做这项工作。主席当然可以倚仗员工来出力。不过康迪-布朗指出,米勒的问题之一就是他失去了比自己更加训练有素的同事们的尊重。
The Fed’s chairman has to be confirmed by the Senate, and some doubt whether it would accept Mr Cohn. Despite the Republicans’ control of the chamber, Ms Yellen, given her record, may be a surer bet. Yet the praise for her record can be overdone. She has not been tested by many economic shocks. And the inflation shortfall—underlying inflation, currently 1.5%, has not hit the Fed’s 2% target during her tenure—was not entirely unforeseen. Larry Summers, the former treasury secretary whom she beat to the job, has been relentlessly advocating looser monetary policy to stoke more inflation. Ironically, Ms Yellen’s main charm for Mr Trump seems to be that she is “a low-interest-rate person”. In truth, she relies on the unemployment rate to guide her. While it was too high, she was doveish. Now it is just 4.3%, she seems comparatively hawkish.美联储主席的任命必须得到参议院批准,而一些人怀疑科恩得不到参议院的认可。尽管国会由共和党控制,但从耶伦的履历看,她似乎是更可靠的选择。不过对耶伦的履历或许有过誉之嫌。她没有经历过很多经济冲击的考验。她任期内的通胀率不足(目前的基础通胀率为1.5%,未达到美联储2%的目标)并不是完全无法预料的。曾在美联储主席角逐中输给耶伦的前财政部长拉里·萨默斯(Larry Summers)一直坚持不懈地倡导更加宽松的货币政策以提升通胀。讽刺的是,对特朗普来说,耶伦最大的魅力似乎在于她是“一个主张低利率的人”。而事实上,失业率才是耶伦的行动指南。当失业率过高时,她是温和的鸽派;目前失业率仅为4.3%,她的作风似乎又更偏鹰派。
The Cohn unknowns
科恩未知数
The interest-rate opinions of the favourite to succeed her are less clear. Mr Cohn thinks that monetary policy is a global endeavour, and that central banks may have been playing beggar-thy-neighbour. In March 2016 he told a conference that if every central bank suddenly raised interest rates by three percentage points, “the world would be a better place”. Yet he also said he was not sure Ms Yellen had been right to raise rates three months earlier. And he criticised the Fed’s recent forward guidance as confusing for the markets. He said it should worry more about what it does than what it says.作为接替耶伦的最热门人选,科恩对于利率的观点就不那么清晰。他认为货币政策需要全球共同的努力,而各国央行可能一直都在玩着损人利己的把戏。2016年3月,他在一次会议上表示,如果每个国家的央行都将利率骤然提高三个百分点,“世界将变得更美好”。但他同时也表示,自己不能确定耶伦三个月前加息的做法是否正确。他还批评美联储最近一次的“前瞻性指引”令市场困惑。他说,比起“所说”,美联储更应该担心自己的“所做”。
The Fed is not only responsible for monetary policy. It is also the biggest regulator of banks. Here Mr Cohn is more in sync with Mr Trump’s deregulatory agenda. However, that may not matter much. The president recently nominated Randal Quarles, another critic of recent regulation, to be vice-chairman for supervision, a post left empty since it was created in 2010 (though in practice the job was done by Daniel Tarullo, who left the Fed in April). Whoever heads the Fed, Mr Quarles will probably take the lead on regulation.除了主管货币政策,美联储还是各家银行最大的监管机构。就此职能而言,科恩与计划放松金融监管的特朗普更能协同一致。然而,这可能也不大重要。总统最近提名了另一位对近年监管政策持批评态度的兰德尔·夸尔斯(Randal Quarles)为美联储负责金融监管的副主席——该职位自2010年设立以来一直处于空缺状态,不过这项工作实际上是由今年4月从美联储辞职的丹尼尔·塔鲁洛(Daniel Tarullo)承担了。无论谁就任美联储主席,夸尔斯都有可能负责金融监管。
Other candidates are in the frame. Kevin Warsh (pictured on the right), a former banker who was a Fed policymaker from 2006 to 2011, appears to be manoeuvring for the job. Republicans in Congress may favour John Taylor (in glasses), a Stanford academic who devised a mathematical rule that describes central banks’ actions and, like many Republicans, wants the Fed to follow such an algorithm.图片中还有另两名候选人。前银行家、2006至2011年担任美联储理事的凯文·沃什(Kevin Warsh,图中最右者)似乎也有意角逐主席之位。国会中的共和党人则可能更支持斯坦福大学学者约翰·泰勒(John Taylor,图中戴眼镜者),他发明了一条数学规则来描述各国央行的货币政策行为。和很多共和党人一样,他希望美联储采用这样一个规则。
The two outsiders have contrasting skills. Mr Warsh is a smooth-talking politician who may lack the intellectual firepower of past Fed chairs. Nobody can doubt Mr Taylor’s braininess. But he did not leave much of a mark on Washington during previous stints there, most recently at the Treasury during George W. Bush’s first presidential term. So he may lack the political nous the job demands. In any case, Mr Warsh and Mr Taylor may well both be too hawkish for Mr Trump. After the financial crisis, both opposed the Fed’s quantitative easing (QE)—ie, purchases of securities using newly created money—warning of a surge in inflation. In fact, inflation has mostly been too low since then.获胜希望渺茫的沃什和泰勒各有所长。沃什是一个能言善道的政客,但可能缺乏历任美联储主席的深厚学养。没人能质疑泰勒的学识,但他之前在华盛顿任职期间鲜有建树(最近一次是在小布什第一任期内任职财政部),因此他可能缺乏该职位所需的政治智慧。无论如何,对特朗普来说,沃什和泰勒两人很可能都过于鹰派。金融危机之后,他俩都反对美联储的量化宽松货币政策,即用新增货币购买证券。他们警告此举会引发急剧的通货膨胀。而实际上,从那时起,通胀率大多都过低。
No names spring to mind, but Mr Trump still has time to find a trained economist who is a Republican and yet tends towards Ms Yellen’s views on interest rates. Even such a conservative dove might shake up the Fed. Republicans have long complained about its $1.8trn portfolio of mortgage-backed securities, a result of QE. The central bank hopes to start unwinding QE soon, but its current plans would leave some mortgage-backed securities on its balance-sheet for more than a decade. A Republican chairman might make his mark by offloading these securities faster. But given the stability of Ms Yellen’s tenure, markets could be forgiven for wanting as few changes as possible.尽管目前还没有名字跳将出来,但特朗普仍有时间去找到这样一个人:一位训练有素的经济学家,是共和党人,但在利率上倾向于耶伦的观点。而即使这样一个保守的鸽派人士仍有可能撼动美联储。长时间来,共和党人对美联储量化宽松的产物——1.8万亿美元的抵押贷款证券投资组合——颇为不满。美联储希望不久之后开始解除量化宽松,但它目前的计划会让一些抵押贷款证券在其资产负债表上留存十年以上。如果一位共和党籍主席能够更快速地清理掉这些证券,那他将一举成名。但是考虑到耶伦任内的稳定性,市场希望尽可能少的变动也情有可原。
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