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再会,蒂莫西•盖特纳

 


Farewell, Tim Geithner
再会,蒂莫西•盖特纳

Lessons learnt
经历经验

The outgoing treasury secretary sits down with The Economist one last time
行将去职的财务部长最初一次受访《经济学人》杂志

Jan 19th 2013 | WASHINGTON, DC |From the print edition 
2013年1月19日 |  华盛顿 |  打印版
 
Almost free 快自在了。


IF THE Republicans do not raise the ceiling on America’s government debt, Barack Obama said on January 14th, the markets will go “haywire” and the country will plunge back into crisis. Tim Geithner, his treasury secretary, noted on the same day that this could happen in as little as a month from now.

1月14日,奥巴马总统表现,若是共和党不进步美国债权下限,那末美国市场将失控,全数国度将再次深陷危急。奥巴马当局的财务部长蒂莫西•盖特纳也在同日表现,如许的环境也许在最快不到一月以内就会发生。

But if all goes according to plan, Mr Geithner will not be around by then; he will have handed the reins to Jack Lew, currently the White House chief of staff. That could be a pity. Thousands of people have studied financial crises, but it would be hard to name anyone who has actually grappled with as many as Mr Geithner (see chart). While working in the 1990s for Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, Bill Clinton’s treasury secretaries, he dealt with currency and banking crises throughout the emerging world. When the global financial crisis erupted in 2007, he was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; this gave him a key role in the Fed’s response, including the bail-outs of Bear Stearns and AIG, an insurance company, and the decision to let Lehman Brothers fail. As Mr Obama’s treasury secretary, he designed and carried out the stress tests and capital injections that stabilised the banking system, as well as multiple mortgage schemes that ultimately did little to curb an avalanche of foreclosures.

可是根据原打算,现财务部长盖特纳在当时已离任,现任白宫幕僚长杰克•卢将接过财务部长一职。惋惜的是,不计其数的人都在研讨财经危急,但若是论真正与最多的危急直面搏击的话,除盖特纳还真是百里挑一了。在90年月,盖特纳办事于比尔•克林顿总统期间财长罗伯特•鲁宾和拉里•萨默斯时,他在这个新兴天下中处置过货泉和银行危急。在2007年环球金融危急迸发的时辰,他身为纽约联邦储备银行行长,这也就给了他在美联储的讲话权,包含对贝尔斯登投资银行和保险公司美国国际团体供给告急融资停止救济,并且做出让雷曼兄弟投行停业的决议。作为奥巴马总统的财务部长,他设想实行了压力测试,注资来不变银行体系,同时,他的多种典质存款打算终究并不过量的按捺打消典质品赎回权的倒塌。

Mr Geithner’s life in the trenches has produced its own vocabulary. Serious decisions are “consequential”, good ideas are “cool”, better ideas are “compelling” and the best ideas are at “the optimal frontier”. During a crisis “plan beats no plan”, jury-rigged measures in the face of unavoidable disaster are “foam on the runway”, and bad outcomes are “dark”. Managing public perceptions is called “theatre”. “Fuck” also holds a prominent place in the Geithner lexicon, usually as an adjective, not a verb, as in “I have no fucking idea.”

盖特纳在财经火线作战的糊口付与了他专属的辞汇。主要的决议用他的话便是“逻辑上一定而又主要的”;好的设法是“酷的”;更好的主张便是“诱人的”;而最好的设法是“最好而具开辟性的”;在危急傍边对打算,“聊胜于无”;不可防止的灾害眼前,姑且的战略便是“飞机跑道上的泡沫——有助有害(1)”;不好的成果便是“暗中的”;转变公家观点被称作“用一场好戏”;在盖特纳的辞汇中“他妈的”也是个主要用词,常作为描述词而不是动词来操纵,比方:“我他妈的不晓得。”





More seriously, Mr Geithner has also developed rules of engagement for a crisis. The choices that face a policymaker are almost always bad. Don’t intervene, and you risk collapse; intervene, and you reward bad behaviour and outrage the public. “You are going to make mistakes, so you have to force yourself to decide which mistakes are easier to correct,” he told The Economist in a recent interview. “In a crisis, you get to a point where you have to decide that you’re going to risk doing too much, because it’s easier to clean that up.” Success also requires certain character traits: an ability to make decisions quickly in the fog of war without dwelling on what outsiders are going to say. Indeed, Mr Geithner is terrible at the “theatre” of being treasury secretary: he delivers speeches badly, hates lobbying, and has trouble behaving deferentially to Congress.

从更大的方面来讲,盖特纳在面对危急时,自有一套套路原则。决议打算者面对的挑选几近永久都是不好的。不干与带来的危急便是四分五裂,可是干与,给决议打算者带来的便是不好的名声,乃至激愤公家。盖特纳在近期对话《经济学人》的一次采访中说到:“毛病是必定会犯的,以是你必须审时度势来看哪些毛病是轻易更正的。在一次危急傍边,在某些时辰,你不得不决议在接上去去冒更大的危险,因为如许的摊子更轻易整理。“胜利一样须要某些性情特质:不纠结在局外人将作出的评判,而能在战斗的迷雾中很快的作出决议。现实上,盖特纳作为财务部长在转变公家言论上并不善于:他不是报告的妙手,他恶感游说,面对国会,他一直不能表现的恭敬有礼。

That alone would make Mr Geithner a polarising figure. But liberal and conservative critics alike consider him excessively generous to big banks at the expense of the public. Evidence gathered by the crisis commission of Congress paints an unflattering picture of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s role before the crisis, when Mr Geithner was in charge, in overseeing banks, Citigroup in particular. Critics fault him for not imposing haircuts on AIG’s counterparties (mostly big banks) as part of the insurance company’s bail-out, and for not nationalising or breaking up big banks such as Citi. His actions and the subsequent financial-reform law, they say, enshrine the bad principle that some banks are “too big to fail”. 

仅由这点就使得盖特纳成为一个极度化的抽象。可是自在派和民主派的批评家都以为盖特纳对大银行及其风雅,虽然是以公家作为价钱。危急眼前,纽约联邦储备银行在盖特纳掌舵期间,国会危急查询拜访委员会合聚的现实将其在银行监理背面描画成一个正直坦白的抽象,特别是花旗银行。批评家求全谴责盖特纳不对美国国际团体的营业敌手(多为大银行)强加扣头作为对这个大的保险公司的支援,同时也求全谴责他不将花旗如许的大银行国有化或是使其瓦解。盖特纳的做法和他接上去的财经鼎新法在批评者眼中,只能是使得某些银行“树大而不倒”如许不好的原则成为铭记。

Mr Geithner says the banks supervised by the Fed withstood the crisis better than most institutions. The interventions have also been a pretty good deal for the public. The Fed and the Treasury have made a profit on the money committed to the big banks and AIG. Indeed, some AIG shareholders are suing the federal government over the bail-out’s onerous terms. Thanks to the stress tests and recapitalisation Mr Geithner forced on the banks in 2009, they are almost all back in private hands, well capitalised and lending again. The recovery remains sluggish, but compares well with those of other economies.

盖特纳表现,美联储羁系下的银行比大大都机构可以或许更好的招架危急。干涉干与行动同样成为公家的一个很好的监控手腕。美联储和财务部在投入到大型银行和美国国际团体的资金上也大有赢利。现实上,一些美国国际团体的股东在因为救济案中的沉重条目告状联邦当局。多亏了2009年盖特纳针对银行推出的压力测试和本钱重整,这些银行都重返公营,更好的本钱化并起头放贷。苏醒仿照照旧缓慢,可是比拟起其余经济财产的苏醒来讲已很不错了。

Mr Geithner readily admits that his interventions have bred moral hazard, but says holding off for that reason worsens a crisis and requires even bigger interventions later. “You will end up having to socialise much more risk and [create] much more future moral hazard,” he says. “You have to design the crisis response to mitigate moral hazard to the extent you can, and then change the rules of the game going forward to undo some of the damage you’ve caused.” Hence the Dodd-Frank banking reforms. The law became maddeningly long and complex in its passage through Congress. But it retains the features Mr Geithner considers crucial. It creates a mechanism for seizing and winding down big failing firms while limiting the government’s discretion to keep them as going concerns. By reinforcing capital and liquidity buffers throughout the financial system, the law allows policymakers to be almost “indifferent about contagion caused by one institution”.

盖特纳无保留认可他的干涉干与政策确切孕育了品德危险,可是若是说就因为这个原是以迟延不前,能够会危急加重,到时辰会须要更大的干涉干与。他说:“如许你最初会晤临更多的危险亟待处理,在将来也很能够会发生更大的品德危险。你必须去设想一些危急应答战略来最大水平减缓品德危险,而后转变一些法则,持续向前,去处理那些本身引发的题目。”是以,有了多德弗兰克银行业鼎新法案。法案在国会的停顿使人恼火的长,又相称庞杂。可是它仍是保留了盖特纳以为极主要的特色。它缔造了拯救那些走下坡路的公司同时限定当局谨慎来让它们坚持为经营企业的机制。经由过程增强资金和活动性,来再全数财经体系内停止缓冲,这项法案许可了决议打算者对“由一个机构引发的沾抱病视而不见”。

Dodd-Frank guarantees that Mr Geithner has left his mark on America’s financial system. America’s finances are another matter. The budget deficit has exceeded $1 trillion in each year of his tenure. Given the slack that persists in the economy, temporary big deficits are not that troubling. Mr Geithner says it would take spending cuts and tax increases of only about 0.75% of GDP to stabilise the debt relative to GDP over the next decade.

多德弗兰克法案保障了盖特纳在美国财经体系的印记。美国的财经又是另外一个题目。在他任期的每年,财务估算赤字都跨越1万亿美圆。鉴于当今的经济疲软,以后的巨额赤字不那末使人搅扰了。盖特纳标明这仅须要占额GDP的0.75%收入增添和税收增加来不变接上去十年内债权占GDP的比值。

Much more troubling is the lack of a plan to produce that path to stability. The reasons are many: it has not been a priority for Mr Obama, and negotiations with Republicans have foundered on the gaping difference in their respective visions. The result has been a series of deals hammered out at the last minute and, in the summer of 2011, a near-crisis as the government came within days of running out of cash before the debt ceiling was raised.

更扰民气的是贫乏缔造不变的打算。缘由有良多:这并不是奥巴马总统的优先使命,同共和党的和谈也因他们各自的志愿的大区分而以失利了结。成果便是一系列在最初时辰落锤定音的和谈,和在2011年夏,在进步债权下限前当局的现金欠缺而到临的准危急。

In 2011, Mr Geithner recalls, he “reminded people over and again, in the case of an existential Europe collapse or of a complete congressional impasse where they had forced us to default, we had no meaningful ability to protect the economy from the consequences. The way the US system is set up, Congress has all the firepower, the executive branch has almost no standing firepower.”

2011年,盖特纳回想,他“一次又一次提示人们,在此刻的欧洲瓦解场合排场下或是面对一次相对的国会僵局并且他们让咱们拖欠债权的环境下,咱们不任何成心义的才能来掩护咱们的经济不受这些成果的影响。这便是美国体系体例的布局体例,国会把握全数火力,而行政机构几近不任何本色火力。”

This is not about to change. This year will be dominated by continuous warfare between Mr Obama and Congress. The outcome will depend less on the merits of competing proposals than on who has the advantage in public opinion. If things go wrong, the country could again need a crisis manager. But with luck, Mr Geithner’s skills will not be needed again.

这个场合排场不会转变。本年也将是奥巴马总统和国会胶葛不时的景象。输赢的成果更多的取决于谁在公家定见中占优,而不只仅取决于合作提案的长处。若是成长不顺遂,那末这个国度会再次须要一名危急处理师,可是若是荣幸的话,盖特纳的危急处理手艺将不再被须要。


正文(1):对于飞机跑道上的泡沫,与所说的泡沫跑道。
   
       大师晓得,飞机着陆时端赖升降架上面的橡胶轮子,在坚固的水泥跑道上滑跑着陆。一旦飞机的升降架支配失灵,飞机就只能“蒲伏”着陆了。如许,因为机身与不滑腻的水泥跑道之间磨擦力很大,会使飞灵活怒--翻斤头--终究机毁人亡。以是,当升降架发生毛病时,飞机只能挑选水面或平展的郊野着陆。       为了防止不测的飞机出事,法国迷信家试制胜利一种很是宁静靠得住的泡沫飞机跑道,并在法国图卢兹市的一个机场上,胜利地实现了一次泡沫飞机跑道的软着陆实验。这类泡沫跑道长1500米,宽10米,厚度只要几厘米。在飞机软着陆之前,一辆特地的汽车在10分钟内用一种能发生泡沫的水溶液在飞机行将着陆的水泥跑道上姑且铺造一条泡沫跑道,从而使一架大型客机在不操纵升降架的环境下宁静着陆。此次操纵泡沫停止飞机软着陆的实验证实,大型客机停止这类灵活性着陆具备高度靠得住性。



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