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          美國債務問題: 痛苦的宿醉

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          掃描二維碼進行跟讀打分訓練

          Finance & economics

          財經版塊

          Nasty hangover

          痛苦的宿醉

          After debt-ceiling negotiations, America faces a debt deluge.

          債務上限談判結束后,美國面臨債務泛濫。

          Having flirted with madness, Congress decided to avert a sovereign default and allow the government to resume borrowing.

          在瘋狂的邊緣反復試探后,國會決定避免主權債務違約,并允許政府重新借款。

          But although the debt-ceiling negotiations are over, their aftershocks will ripple through financial markets for months to come.

          但是,盡管債務上限談判已經結束,但這一事件的余震將在未來幾個月波及整個金融市場。

          In order to stave off disaster, the Treasury spent much of the past six months running down its cash holdings, eventually reaching the point where it had almost nothing left.

          為了避免災難,財政部在過去6個月的大部分時間里都在減少現金持有量,最終達到了現金幾乎所剩無幾的地步。

          Now it must scramble to replenish its cash, creating a potential hazard for the economy.

          現在,財政部必須搶著補充現金,這給經濟帶來了潛在的危險。

          The Treasury general account—the government’s main account at the Federal Reserve, used for official payments—fell to just $23bn at the start of June, far less than the amount of net spending on a typical day.

          6月初,美國財政部的一般賬戶--政府在美聯儲的主要賬戶,用于官方支付--余額降至僅230億美元,遠低于平常一天的凈支出金額。

          Normally the Treasury tries to maintain a balance of at least $500bn, enough to cover about a week of cash outflows.

          正常情況下,財政部將余額保持在至少5000億美元,足以覆蓋大約一周的現金流出。

          Thus its task is to rebuild buffers by selling bills and bonds (it will mostly rely on bills, because it is easier to raise cash quickly via short-term debt sales).

          因此,財政部的任務是通過出售票據和債券來重建緩沖資金(財政部將主要依靠票據,因為通過短期債務出售更容易快速籌集現金)。

          At the same time, it will have to sell even more paper to finance the government’s deficit.

          與此同時,財政部將不得不出售更多的票據來彌補政府的赤字。

          The result will be a surge in issuance.

          其結果將是票據發行量激增。

          Mark Cabana of Bank of America forecasts that the Treasury will issue more than $1trn in bills over the next three months, roughly five times its total in an average summer.

          美國銀行的馬克·卡巴納預測,未來三個月,財政部將發行逾1萬億美元的票據,大約是平常夏季發行總額的5倍。

          The concern is where the money will come from and, in particular, if debt sales will drain liquidity from other asset markets.

          人們擔心的是資金將從哪里來,尤其是出售債務是否會耗盡其他資產市場的流動性。

          There are two main possible sources of cash, and each poses risks.

          主要有兩種可能的現金來源,每一種都會帶來風險。

          The first is money-market funds, which are flush at the moment, with more than $5trn invested in them.

          第一種是貨幣市場基金,目前資金充裕,投資其中的金額超過5萬億美元。

          In principle, these funds could hoover up the bulk of the new bills by simply paring the cash they place at the Federal Reserve via its reverse-repurchase (repo) facility.

          原則上,這些基金只需通過逆回購機制削減存放在美聯儲的現金,就可以吸收掉大部分新發的票據。

          For that to happen, though, the Treasury may have to offer higher coupon rates than the 5.05% yield on reverse repos.

          不過,要做到這一點,財政部可能必須提供高于5.05%的逆回購票面利率。

          Higher yields, in turn, could translate into higher funding costs for already strained regional banks—an unattractive prospect.

          更高的收益率繼而可能為本已捉襟見肘的地區性銀行帶來更高的融資成本,這個前景并不理想。

          The second option is less attractive still.

          第二種選擇還要更加不理想。

          Firms, pension funds and other investors may wind up being the biggest buyers of bills, which would mean moving money out of deposits into Treasuries, reducing the level of bank reserves in the financial system.

          公司、養老基金和其他投資者最終可能成為票據的最大買家,這意味著將資金從儲蓄賬戶轉移到政府債券,從而會降低金融系統中銀行準備金的水平。

          Banks are sitting on excess reserves of about $3trn; it would not take much for these to fall to $2.5trn, a level seen by many as indicating reserve scarcity (going by the rule of thumb that banks should maintain reserves at about 10% of GDP).

          銀行目前坐擁約3萬億美元的超額準備金,用不了多久,這一數額就會降至2.5萬億美元,許多人認為達到這一水平意味著準備金稀缺(根據經驗法則,銀行應將準備金維持在GDP的10%左右)。

          Such a development would raise uncomfortable questions about banking stability and could force lenders to offer higher deposit rates to recover reserves.

          這樣的事態發展將引發對銀行業穩定性的令人不安的質疑,并可能迫使銀行提供更高的存款利率來恢復準備金的水平。

          A brief encounter with reserve scarcity would not necessarily spell disaster.

          暫時的準備金稀缺不一定會帶來災難。

          The Fed could provide liquidity support if required.

          如果需要,美聯儲可以提供流動性支持。

          And to the extent that money-market funds buy up more bills, pressure on bank reserves would be reduced.

          而且貨幣市場基金購買更多的票據,銀行準備金的壓力就會減輕。

          Either way, however, the flood of Treasury issuance will almost certainly add to market anxiety and volatility, increasing the risk that something, somewhere breaks.

          然而,無論是哪種情況,財政部大量發行票據都幾乎肯定會加劇市場的焦慮和波動,從而增加某處的某事物崩潰的風險。

          It is one more thing to dislike about America’s perennial debt-ceiling convulsions.

          對于反復出現的美國債務上限震蕩,這讓它招人討厭的地方又多了一處。

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          eventually [i'ventjuəli]

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