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明星资讯腾讯娱乐2018年04月21日 23:21:44
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Higher education更烧钱的教育Why textbooks cost so much课本这么贵为啥哩Its Economics 101经济学主要章节STUDENTS can learn a lot about economics when they buy Greg Mankiws “Principles of Economics”—even if they dont it. Like many popular textbooks, it is horribly expensive: 292.17 on Amazon. Indeed, the nominal price of textbooks has risen more than fifteenfold since 1970, three times the rate of inflation.当学生们购买Greg Mankiw写的《经济学原理》,他们可以学习很多经济学知识—即使他们只买不读。如同众多流行教材,它贵的离谱:在亚马逊上要花费292.17美元。确实,课本的虚价从1970年开始疯涨了15倍,是通货膨胀率的三倍。Like doctors prescribing drugs, professors assigning textbooks do not pay for the products themselves, so they have little incentive to pick cheap ones. Some assign books they have written themselves. The 20m post-secondary students inAmericaoften have little choice in the matter. Small wonder textbooks generate megabucks.正像医生们开的药物那样,教授们布置的这些教材并不用他们自己付钱,因此他们对于挑选廉价教材没有太多动力。一些人吩咐学生买他们自己写的书籍。美国两千万的高年级学生经常在这件事上没多少选择。课本产生巨大效益也就不足为奇。But hope is not lost for poor scholars. Foreign editions are easy to find online and often cheaper—sometimes by over 90%. Publishers can be litigious about this, but in 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that Americans have the right to buy and resell copyrighted material obtained legally. Many university bookstores now let students rent books and return them. Publishers have begun to offer digital textbooks, which are cheaper but cant be resold. And if all else fails, there is always the library.但是贫穷的学者们不会丧失希望。网上很容易找到国外版本,而且往往更便宜,有时候价格能低到将近一折。出版商们对此怨念不已,但是2013年最高法院裁决美国人有权购买或重卖合法占有的合法出版物。许多大学书店现在准许学生租借书籍并到时返还。出版商们开始提供电子版教科书,这种更便宜但是不可出售。而且如果所有方法都失败了,图书馆永远对你开放。 /201408/321640Beate Gordon贝雅特·戈登Beate Sirota Gordon, interpreter of Japan to Americans, died on December 30th, aged 89贝雅特·希洛塔·戈登,美国的日本翻译官,于2012年12月30日逝世,享年89岁。DRAFTING a constitution isnt something one does every day. It took Washington, Franklin and Co several months to achieve, that steamy summer in Philadelphia in 1787. When Beate Sirota was roped in to do it, in chilly, ruined Tokyo in the spring of 1946, she was amazed. She was no lawyer. She was 22, and only just an American citizen. Her idea of fun was going out every night. She had tagged on to General MacArthurs occupation army mostly to find her parents, whom she had left in Japan before the war. Her job, which she did very well, was to translate Japanese. But suddenly there she was, called in with two dozen men, to write—in deepest secrecy—the basic law for post-war Japan. In a week. “Beate, youre a woman,” said her colleagues. “Why dont you do the bit about womens rights?” “Wonderful, Id love to!” she cried—and then realised she had no idea how.起草宪法并不是一个人每天都要做的事。在1787年那个潮湿的夏日里,身处美国费城的华盛顿、富兰克林和其他一些人耗费了数个月才完成了美国宪法的起草工作。1946年春的东京,满目疮痍,春寒料峭,当得知被安排加入到战后日本国宪法的起草工作时,贝雅特感到十分吃惊。因为当时贝雅特只有22岁,也不是一名律师,仅仅是一个普通的美国公民而已。她脑海中有关乐趣的唯一概念就是每天晚上出门逛街。在日本,她一直与麦克阿瑟将军率领的驻日占领军生活,绝大部分时间是用在寻找二战发生前就已经与之失散的双亲。贝雅特最擅长的工作就是将日语翻译成英语。突然有一天,她和其他24个人被秘密地集中到一个地方,起草战后日本国宪法。时间是一周。与她一起起草宪法的一名同事对她说:“贝雅特,作为一个女人,你为什么不去为争取妇女的权益做点贡献呢?”贝雅特大声回答到,“太好了,我非常愿意去做”。可之后贝雅特才意识到她根本不知道从何做起。She saw all too clearly, though, how women were treated in Japan. From the age of five to 15 she had lived there while her father Leo Sirota, a concert pianist from Ukraine, taught at the Imperial Academy. The land seemed enchanted to her, all exquisite gardens and cherry blossom and black-eyed, straight-haired children with whom, unusually for a Westerner, she was allowed to play. Over puppet shows and shuttlecock games she picked up the language, she claimed, in just three-and-a-half months. And she learned other things. Japanese women, for example, never came to her mothers parties. Only the men came. Japanese women would serve their husbands friends dinner, then eat alone in the kitchen. In the street they always walked three or four paces behind the men. They were usually married to men they did not know, could inherit nothing, and could even be bought and sold, like chattels.贝雅特是十分清楚在日本国内妇女是如何被对待的。从五岁算起,贝雅特一共在日本生活了十年。他的父亲,利奥·希洛塔,是一位来自乌克兰的音乐会钢琴演奏家,在日本帝国学院任教。贝雅特被这片土地深深地吸引,对于她这样一位来自西方世界的人而言,精致的花园,美丽的樱花,能够与之一起玩耍的黑眼睛,直发的孩童,这里的一切都是不同寻常的。贝雅特声称,通过木偶戏和踢毽子,自己在三个半月的时间里就完全掌握了日语。除此之外,贝雅特也了解到了其他事情。比如,日本妇女从不参加自己母亲的聚会。母亲的聚会只有男人参加。日本的妇女在帮助自己丈夫和丈夫的朋友们享用完晚餐之后,才能一个人在厨房独自用餐。在街上,日本妇女通常只能跟在丈夫后面三步或四步远的地方。结婚之前,日本妇女根本不知道自己的丈夫是谁,父母死后也继承不到任何东西,她们甚至还会像牛羊一样被买卖。Fired with her task, she raced in a requisitioned Jeep round Tokyo, borrowing other countries constitutions from war-battered libraries. Rattling through them, she produced what became Article 24:被接受的任务所激励,贝雅特开着申请到的吉普车穿梭于东京各个饱受战争损害的图书馆,借阅其中其他国家的宪法。正是由于贝雅特辛勤忙碌的工作,才有了后来日本国宪法的第二十四条:Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual co-operation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis. With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.婚姻仅以两性的自愿结合为基础而成立,以夫妇平等权力为根本,必须在相互协力之下予以维持。 关于选择配偶、财产权、继承、选择居所、离婚以及婚姻和家庭等其他有关事项的法律,必须以个人尊严与两性平等为基础制订之。There was plenty more, as she warmed to her mission: womens right to paid work, to custody of children, to equal education. Much of it was stripped out, because it made the mens eyes water on the American side as much as the Japanese. A kindly colonel pointed out that she had put in far more rights than were in Americas constitution. She fired back that that wasnt hard. He told her that matters like divorce did not belong there. She informed him, from long experience of trying to sort out her parents papers with Japanese bureaucrats, that if rights were not aly mentioned in a constitution they would never be written into the civil code. Then, to her huge vexation, she burst into tears.正如她从她的使命中所感受到的温暖那样,日本国宪法第二十四条的内容,远不仅仅如此:妇女享有报酬权、孩子监护权、平等接受教育权。但是,这些内容绝大部分被最终排除掉了,因为这些内容不仅会让美国男人也会让日本男人十分感动。一位友好的陆军上校向贝雅特指出,她在日本国宪法中起草的有关妇女权益的内容远远多过了美国宪法中的有关内容。贝雅特愤怒地回答到:“这并不难做到”。上校告诉她诸如离婚此类事情不应写进宪法中。贝雅特也义正言辞地告诉上校,基于她在日本有关官员的协助下长期收集整理父母有关材料的经历来看,如果此类权利不被写入宪法,那么它们就根本不可能写入民法中。话音落下,心中的苦恼使得贝雅特眼中的热泪夺眶而出。The Japanese negotiators hated Article 24. But because they liked her, and because they were told that “Miss Sirotas heart is set on this” (with no word of the fact that this mere girl had also written it), they acquiesced. And so, to her astonished satisfaction, history was made. Whenever she visited Japan in later years women would cluster round to take her photograph, press her hand and thank her for her gift to them.来自日本的谈判代表十分憎恶宪法第二十四条。但因为大家都喜欢贝雅特,也因为大家都知道“希洛塔女士的心执着与此(对这仅有的女士把条款已经撰写成的事实都不置一词)”,他们退却了。如此,历史已经明贝雅特从中得到了令人吃惊的满足。在之后几年中,不管贝雅特何时重回故地,日本的妇女都会簇拥向前争相与之合影留念,握手,以表达她们对贝雅特所赠予她们的礼物的感谢。Noh in Ohio俄亥俄州的能剧Looking back, she put it down mostly to luck. Luck that her fathers work had taken her to Tokyo in 1929; luck that she had been allowed to absorb Japan and Japanese, but had been taught largely in American schools; luck that she had been able to get to Japan after the war, the first civilian woman to go there, and find her parents emaciated but safe; luck that MacArthur had picked her for his secret team.回首过往,贝雅特将其中绝大部分归因于运气。在她看来,幸运地是,父亲的工作使得父亲能够在1929年把她带到东京;幸运地是,尽管她接受的大部分是美国教育,但她依然能够深入到日本以及日语之中;幸运地是,在二战后她还能回到日本,成为战后第一批到达日本的民间妇女,并成功寻找到身心憔悴但依然健在的双亲;幸运地是,她被麦克阿瑟将军挑选进他的秘密团队之中。Yet skill was involved, too. She knew she had always understood Japanese better than most people: picking up as a student in California, for example, the threats and nuances that others missed in Japans wartime propaganda broadcasts. In peacetime, she felt bound to do whatever she could to rebuild and improve understanding of the country. From 1954, on the staff of the Japan Society, she worked tirelessly to bring Japanese masters to America, so that people in Florida or Ohio could watch the bows and sips of the tea ceremony, or the gentle koto-playing that had delighted her as a child, or the masked solemnity of Noh plays. Moving on in the 1970s to the Asia Society, she travelled the continent—braving jungles, monsoons, the breathless peaks of Tibet and seven-hour banquets in Tashkent—to bring back Javanese dancers, water puppets from Hanoi, pansori-singers from Korea.当然,个人才能也包括在其中。贝雅特深知一直以来她比大多数普通人更了解日本:例如,作为一个在加利福尼亚州成长起来的学童,贝雅特清楚的知道在日本战时广播宣传节目中存在的被其他加州人所忽略的言语之间的细微差别和威胁。在和平年代,贝雅特觉得自己有必要竭尽所能去重塑美国人对日本这个国家的认知。从1954年起,作为日本协会的工作人员,贝雅特不知疲倦地将众多日本艺术大师介绍到美国,从而使得在佛罗里达州和俄亥俄州的人们能够欣赏到诸如茶艺中的鞠躬和啜饮,或是在小时候让贝雅特兴奋不已的文雅的古筝表演,或是通过面具能传达庄严的能剧表演。20世纪70年代贝雅特所在的日本协会演变成亚洲协会—贝雅特游历亚洲大陆,勇敢地面对过丛林,季风,令人窒息的世界屋脊以及塔什干的七小时宴会,她为美国人民请回了爪哇的舞者,河内的水上木偶戏以及来自韩国的清唱歌手。Immersed in all this, and aware that her post-war work had been secret, she never mentioned her constitution-drafting until 1995, when she wrote a memoir. After that, she was full of it. Yet, when all was said and done, she did not think Article 24 was the most important clause in Japans post-war constitution. That honour, she said, belonged to Article 9, under which Japan renounced war and embraced peace. And hers was second.贝雅特沉浸在这些工作之中的同时,对于她在战后所从事的工作有很高的保密意识。直到1995年,贝雅特才在自己的回忆录中提及她曾参与过日本国宪法的起草工作。在此之后,贝雅特对此感到很满意。可无论如何,贝雅特并不认为宪法第二十四条是战后日本国宪法中最重要的条款。在贝雅特看来,日本国宪法中最重要的条款是宪法第九条,因为在这项条款之下,日本国从此宣布放弃战争,拥抱和平,而她所撰写的宪法第二十四条的重要性不能与之相比。 /201406/305944

Business this week一周经济要闻Oct 12th 2013 |From the print editionBarack Obama nominated Janet Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve in February. Ms Yellen is Mr Bernanke’s deputy and became the outright favourite for the top job when Larry Summers withdrew his name from consideration. She has been instrumental in creating the Fed’s policy of monetary stimulus and the “forward guidance” on interest rates that many central banks now give. However, she could get a rough ride from Republicans at her confirmation hearing in the Senate.奥巴马总统提名珍妮特·耶伦担任下一届联储主席,以接替将在2014年1月任期结束后离职的伯南克。珍妮特-耶伦为现任联储副主席,在劳伦斯·萨默斯主动退出这场竞争之后,她便成为这一宝座的首要人选。她曾对制定美联储的货币刺激政策提出建设性意见,并且对现行央行利率有前瞻性指引。但她可能在参议院的听会上遭到共和党人的挑战。Slaying George’s dragons杀掉乔治的龙The IMF’s latest GDP forecasts shaved 0.3 of a percentage point off the world’s economic growth rate for this year, to 2.9%. The fund warned that the Fed should not taper its stimulus programme too quickly, or the subsequent rise in borrowing costs would hinder growth. But it gave George Osborne, Britain’s chancellor, something to crow about by lifting Britain’s growth forecast by half of a percentage point; in the spring the IMF had raised concerns that Mr Osborne’s austerity measures could choke growth.IMF最近将今年国际经济增长率预期下调三个百分点至2.9%。IMF警告说,美联储不应过快减少其经济刺激计划,否则随后的借款成本上升会阻碍经济增长。因此,英国财政大臣乔治·奥斯本将英国经济增速预期上调了0.5%,这一政策足以让他得意一番。而早在今年春天,IMF就担忧过奥斯本的紧缩政策可能造成经济增长速度放缓。The IMF also cut its growth outlook for emerging markets. Brazil raised its main interest rate for the fifth time since April, by half of a percentage point to 9.5%, as it battles stubbornly high inflation.IMF同时也下调了发展中国家的经济增速预期。巴西苦苦挣扎于居高不下通货膨胀,将其基准利率上调至预期的一半至9.5%,这是该国自四月以来的第五次上调。Serbia proposed severe spending cuts. The government said it was also getting a loan “on favourable terms” that was almost a “gift” from the ed Arab Emirates.塞尔维亚提议大幅削减开。该国政府称其正在以“优惠的条件”申请贷款,这大抵算是从阿联酋得到的一份“礼物”。After 40 years without much success, Airbus at last broke into the Japanese aviation market in a big way when Japan Airlines ordered 31 A350 widebody jets with a total list price of .8 billion, and placed an option for 25 more aircraft. It is a blow to Boeing, which had a virtual monopoly in Japan. Analysts wonder if JAL’s decision to buy from Airbus is related to the technical problems that have beset Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner; two JAL Dreamliner flights had to be diverted this week because of glitches.日本航空公司(日航,JAL )以约为95亿美元的目录价格订购31架A350宽体飞机,并且保留追加购买25架A350飞机的选择权。这意味着在入驻日本民航市场40年未果之后,空客终于打入日本市场。这对于在日本保持垄断地位的波音公司来说无疑是一个打击。分析学家认为日航选择购买空客飞机可能跟波音787“梦幻客机”出现的技术问题有关。本周,两架“梦幻客机”由于小故障而不得不返航。Demand for shares in Royal Mail was said to be heavily oversubscribed ahead of its flotation, the biggest sale of a state asset in Britain for two decades. As with past privatisations, the government has been criticised by some for undervaluing what the market will pay for a public-sector company.还未上市,英国皇家邮政股票就获得超额认购。皇家邮政上市是英国政府20年以来最大规模的私有化行动。针对先前的私有化,有人批评英国政府低估了国有企业股票在市场中的价值。Twitter provided much-sought-after details of its finances ahead of its IPO. Revenue at the microblogging site was 3m in the first half of the year, double that from the same period last year, and it had 218m monthly active users, up by 44% from last year (around 5% of that is spam).还未进行首次公开募股,Twitter就披露了其引人瞩目的财政细节。上半年,其微网站收入为2.53亿美元,是去年同期的两倍。月活跃用户为2.18亿人,同比上升44%(其中约5%为垃圾邮件)。HTC reported a worse-than-expected quarterly loss, its first in 11 years. The Taiwanese smartphone-maker has fallen further behind its cheaper Chinese rivals, and now accounts for 3% of global market share, down from 9% in 2011.HTC称其季度亏损比预期的还要糟糕,是11年来的首次亏损。这家台湾智能手机制造商被中国内地价格更为便宜的竞争对手远远抛下。其所占有的全球份额由2011年的9%下降到现在的3%。The Apple of its eye对苹果情有独钟The Obama administration decided not to overturn a ban imposed by America’s trade commission on some of Samsung’s older phones for infringing patents held by Apple. It is unlikely to hurt the South Korean company’s sales much, though some have questioned the White House’s motives. In August it did quash a ban imposed by the commission on Apple’s older iPads and iPhones that were found to infringe Samsung’s patents.奥巴马政府未否决美国贸易委员会对侵权苹果的一些旧款三星产品颁布的禁令。尽管有人质疑白宫的动机,但这不会对这家韩国公司的销量有太大影响。而与之截然不同的是,今年八月,奥巴马政府解除了美国贸易委员会对侵权三星产品的苹果旧款iPads 和 iPhones发布的禁令。Alcatel-Lucent said it would cut 10,000 jobs, or around 15% of its worldwide labour force. Since France’s Alcatel and America’s Lucent merged in 2006, the combined telecoms-equipment maker has made a profit in just one year. Others in the industry, such as Cisco, are also retrenching. Although most of the cuts are outside France, the French government said it wanted “social dialogue” with the company about scaling them back.阿尔卡特朗讯公司称将裁员10000人,这相当于其全球范围内约15%的员工。自2006年法国阿尔卡特公司与美国朗讯公司合并以来,这家电讯设备制造企业仅获一年盈利。其他同类型企业,如思科公司,也在缩减开。虽然法国裁员人数并不多,法国政府称将针对裁员与该公司进行“社会性对话”。Walmart brought the shutters down on its troubled joint venture in India with Bharti. Foreign supermarket retailers have yet to set up shop fully in India after last year’s regulatory change that allows them to own up to 51% of their operations. Most are put off by the requirement that 30% of their produce must come from small local businesses.沃尔玛决定关闭与印度巴帝公司合作并不顺利的合资企业。根据去年印度修改的外商投资条例,印度允许外国企业拥有其在当地经营的超市51%股份,但是仍没有任何一家海外超市零售商进入印度开设零售店。印度规定海外零售商30%的商品必须在当地小型企业采购,这一规定使得他们望而却步。Electronic-cigarette companies were relieved when the European Parliament decided not to reclassify their products as medicinal, thereby avoiding tougher regulations. European governments, however, still want strict restrictions until more is known about the health effects of e-cigarettes.欧洲议会决定不将电子香烟产品归类为药品,这使得各大电子香烟公司如释重负,因为他们因此得以避免更为苛刻的管理条例。然而,在更多了解电子香烟对健康的影响之前,欧洲政府依然希望对其采取严格限制。Suited and booted你情我不愿 Men’s Wearhouse, a clothing chain that has most of its stores in America’s eastern states, rejected a .3 billion takeover bid from Jos A. Bank, a rival. Last month the boss of Men’s Wearhouse provided a novel explanation for a big quarterly drop in profit, saying that the13 in 2013 was causing suspicious brides (not grooms) to postpone their wedding plans until next year.大部分专营店开设在美国东部各州的装连锁Men’s Wearhouse拒绝其同行Jos A. Bank时装店以23亿美元的价格收购。上月,Men’s Wearhouse 老板对该企业季度大幅亏损做出了新奇的解释,称2013年中的13 这个不吉利的数字可能是造成新娘(不是新郎)将婚礼推迟到明年的原因。201310/261603

Asset-management companies in China中国的资产管理公司Lipstick on a pig看上去很美China is still dealing with the mess left by previous bank bail-outs中国仍在收拾金援留下的烂摊子Aug 24th 2013 | SHANGHAI |From the print editionNEWS surfaced this week that Cinda, an asset-management company (AMC) created during China’s last round of banking bail-outs, is talking to bankers about a stockmarket flotation. That raises an intriguing question: how would the Chinese government handle its next banking crisis? If experience is a guide, it will be through a combination of enormous injections of public money, the creation of complicated structures and the obfuscation of data.本周新闻,创建于中国上轮金援期间的资产管理公司信达正在对话家,讨论发行股票。这引起了一个有趣的问题:中国政府如何处理下一次危机呢?如果以经验为指导,中国政府会通过注入大量的公共资金,创造复杂体系,模糊处理数据等一系列措施。In the 1990s the government shut down many inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs). That forced banks to acknowledge loans to those entities as duds. Non-performing loan (NPL) ratios soared, so officials engineered an elaborate bail-out. Central Huijin, an SOE capitalised by the central bank and finance ministry, put money into the banks. On one estimate, these equity infusions topped 0 billion.上世纪90年代,中国政府关闭许多低效率的国企。这使得被迫接受贷给关闭国企的贷款作废。不良贷款率陡升,于是官方启动了复杂的金援。由央行和财政部注资成立的中央汇金向注入资金。据估计,这些企业注资高达1500亿美元。NPLs were hived off into four new AMCs: Huarong, China Orient, China Great Wall and Cinda. From 1999 to 2004 loans worth over 2 trillion yuan (2 billion) were transferred. Though mostly bad, the loans were usually sold at full face value. They were paid for with ten-year bonds, backed by the finance ministry, that the AMCs issued to the big state-owned banks. But since most NPLs failed to recover in that time, these bonds were extended another decade. In short, the bail-out is still going on.不良贷款被分离成了四个新的资产管理公司,分别是华融,中国东方,中国长城和信达。从1999年到2004年,超过两万亿元人民币(2420亿美元)的贷款被转让。尽管大部分是不良贷款,然而这些贷款通常是以全额票面价值卖掉。它们在财政部的持下以十年期债券的形式卖掉,这些资产管理公司将其发行给大型国有。但是因为当时大多数的不良贷款无法偿还,这些债券又延期十年。总之,金援还在继续。What the AMCs have done with their assets is unclear, as they have not released proper accounts. Some NPLs have been sold but reportedly at only 20% of face value. To deal with the resulting cash crunch, Cinda sold bonds to the finance ministry. Anne Stevenson-Yang of J Capital, a research firm, observes that these bonds have since been wiped clean from its balance-sheet without any explanation for where they went: “The AMCs seem to be virtual holding-tanks where the debt doesn’t stay and doesn’t depart either.” Some think they may be insolvent.这些资产管理公司用他们的资产做了什么不得而知,因为他们没有公布资产账户。一些不良贷款被出售,但是据报只有面值的20%。为了解决资金短缺,信达将债券卖给了财政部。调查公司J Capital的Anne Stevenson-Yang说,这些债券已经在没有对去向做出任何解释的情况下从资产负债表中抹去了。这些资产管理公司实质上似乎是掩盖债务的幌子,债务既不在这些公司也没有分发。一些人认为这些公司资不抵债了。That hasn’t stopped the AMCs expanding into other areas. They have gobbled up small banks and expanded into fund management, broking, commodities trading and insurance. Cynics speculate that all this has been done to give an illusion of rounded prosperity, perhaps as a prelude to a wave of public offerings.这没有让这些资产管理公司停下扩张的脚步。他们吞并了小型,,将业务扩展到基金管理,经纪业,商品交易和保险业。怀疑者推测所有这些都是都是全面繁荣的假想,或许是一波公开发行股票行动的前奏。In preparation for Cinda’s flotation on the Hong Kong exchange, the government poured 15 billion yuan into the firm in 2010 as it became a joint-stock company. Another 10 billion yuan was invested in it last year by strategic investors (including Standard Chartered, UBS and Citic Capital, a private-equity firm). Huarong is also rumoured to be seeking strategic investors, ahead of a possible listing next year.为了准备信达在香港股市上市,政府在2010年向该公司注资150亿元人民币成立合资公司。去年包括渣打,瑞银集团和私募股权公司中国中信在内的战略投资者去年向信达投资了100亿元人民币。也有谣言称华融也正在寻找战略投资者,争取明年上市。Why now? With loans soaring and bad debts likely to follow suit (see chart), Chinese officials realise that the next banking crisis may be near. They may well be hoping to lure in fresh investors, to draw a line under previous bail-outs and raise capital for new ones. Huarong and Cinda now claim to make profits, but given their murky accounts, that is hard to verify. A headline in the South China Morning Post sounded this warning: “China’s insolvent toxic-waste dump Cinda for sale”.为什么是现在呢?随着贷款的增加,坏账可能随之而来(见表),中国政府意识到下一次危机可能不远了。他们可能希望吸引新的投资者,与上次的金援划清界限,为新的金援募集资金。华融和信达现在宣称在盈利,但是鉴于他们含糊的账户,这一说法难以实。南华早报的头条发出警告:无力偿还债务的坏账回收站信达待售。 /201308/254012

  

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  Diarmuid:Dear, oh dear.戴拉蒙德:哦,我的天啊。Feifei:Hi Diarmuid. What are you laughing at?飞飞:嗨,戴拉蒙德。你在笑什么呢?Diarmuid:Im just looking at these. My mum found them in the attic.戴拉蒙德:我只是在看这些。我妈妈在阁楼上找到的。Feifei:What are they?飞飞:是什么?Diarmuid:Theyre my old class reports from my school days. Theyve been stored away for all these years.戴拉蒙德:是我上学时候的成绩报告。这些东西多年来一直保存着。Feifei:What do the reports say?飞飞:上面写些什么?Diarmuid:Have a look for yourself.戴拉蒙德:你一看便知。Feifei:Let me see.飞飞:让我看看。Lets choose a subject… here we are, History:Diarmuid has failed to learn anything this year because he spends all his time chatting at the back of the classroom.让我们随便看一个课程的…历史老师这样写道:戴拉蒙德今年什么都没学会,因为他将自己所有的时间都浪费在教室后面的聊天上。Lets look at another… Maths:Diarmuid must learn that it is not enough just to sit at his desk.让我们看看另一个…数学老师的评语:戴拉蒙德必须清楚,仅仅在学校用功是远远不够的。He must pay attention to the lesson, and study hard out of class and do his homework.他上课必须集中注意力,课外也努力学习并完成他的家庭作业。Diarmuid:I wasnt very good at maths.戴拉蒙德:我不太擅长数学。Feifei:So I see.飞飞:所以我明白了。Lets have another… Science:This lazy boy is a disgrace to the school uniform!还有另一个来自科学:这个懒惰的男孩有辱学校的这身制!Diarmuid:That teacher never liked me.戴拉蒙德:那个老师从来都不喜欢我。 201309/257511

  

  

  Science and technology科学技术The psychology of morality道德心理学Time to be honest诚实是需要时间的A simple experiment suggests a way to encourage truthfulness一个简单的实验却为我们提供了一种鼓励诚实的途径IS SIN original?人性本恶?That is the question addressed by Shaul Shalvi, a psychologist at the University of Amsterdam, in a paper just published in Psychological Science.这是由阿姆斯特丹大学的一位心理学家-Shaul Shalvi,在《心理科学》杂志上发表的一篇论文中所提出的问题。Dr Shalvi and his colleagues, Ori Eldar and Yoella Bereby-Meyer of Ben-Gurion University in Israel, wanted to know if the impulse to cheat is something that grows or diminishes when the potential cheater has time for reflection on his actions.Shalvi士和他的两位同事-以色列Ben-Gurion大学的Ori Eldar 和 Yoella Bereby-Meyer,希望知道如果那些潜在的骗子有时间对他们的行为作出充分考虑,他们撒谎的冲动会否因此增强或减弱呢?Is cheating, in other words, instinctive or calculating?换句话说,撒谎究竟是人的一种本能行为,还是经过仔细分析后所作出的选择呢?Appropriately, the researchers apparatus for their experiment was that icon of sinful activity, the gambling die.研究人员为他们的实验选择了一样合适的工具—骰子—罪恶活动的标志。They wanted to find out whether people were more likely to lie about the result of a die roll when asked that result immediately, or when given time to think.他们想查明的是:人们是在摇骰后立即被询问其结果时容易撒谎呢,还是在他们获得一定的思考余地的时候呢?To carry out their experiment, Dr Shalvi, Dr Eldar and Dr Bereby-Meyer gave each of 76 volunteers a six-sided die and a cup.实验前,Shalvi士,Eldar士和Bereby-Meyer士给作为实验对象的76位志愿者每人发了一个摇盅和一粒骰子。Participants were told that a number of them, chosen at random, would earn ten shekels for each pip of the numeral they rolled on the die.参加者被告知他们中的一部分被随机抽选出来的,会依据其掷出的骰子点数而得到相应数目的奖励,每点10谢克尔。They were then instructed to shake their cups, check the outcome of the rolled die and remember this roll.接着他们便按照指示摇盅,开盅查看结果,记住点数。Next, they were asked to roll the die two more times, to satisfy themselves that it was not loaded, and, that done, to enter the result of the first roll on a computer terminal.然后他们被要求多摇两次,以让自己确信骰子中没有被灌铅。最后,让他们自己在电脑终端里输入第一次所掷出的点数。Half of the participants were told to complete this procedure within 20 seconds while the others were given no time limit.有一半参加者被要求在20秒内完成整个实验流程,而另一半则没有时间限制。The researchers had no way of knowing what numbers participants actually rolled, of course.研究人员当然无法知晓每个参加者实际掷出点数。But they knew, statistically, that the average roll, if people reported honestly, should have been 3.5.但他们知道,依照统计学规律,如果所有人都能做到如实上报点数,那么这次实验的平均掷出点数应为3.5。This gave them a baseline from which to calculate participants honesty.这就为研究人员提供了一个测量参加者诚实程度的依据。Those forced to enter their results within 20 seconds, the researchers found, reported a mean roll of 4.6.他们发现,那组被要求于20秒内输入结果的的参加者所上报的掷出点数平均值为4.6,Those who were not under any time pressure reported a mean roll of 3.9.而另外没有时间压力的参加者的为3.9。Both groups lied, then.显然这两组人都撒谎了,But those who had had more time for reflection lied less.不过在那些有充分时间进行考虑的参加者中撒谎的较少。A second experiment confirmed this result.第二次实验则验了这一结果。A different bunch of volunteers were asked to roll the die just once.这次是另一群不同的志愿者被要求掷骰子,不过只掷一次。Again, half were put under time pressure and, since there were no additional rolls to make, the restriction was changed from 20 seconds to eight.同上次一样,他们中一半人被限制了时间,并且由于此次只需掷一次骰子,时间限制也从20s缩短为8s。The others were allowed to consider the matter for as long as they wished.其余一般则想考虑多久都行。In this case the first half reported an average roll of 4.4.在这次实验中,前面有时间限制的一半人所上报点数的平均值为4.4,Those given no time limit reported an average of 3.4.而没有时间限制的所上报的平均值为3.4。The second lot, in other words, actually told the truth.换言之,后者如实上报了数据。The conclusion, therefore, at least in the matter of cheating at dice, is that sin is indeed original.因此,得出的结论是-至少在此次摇骰作弊的案例中如此—人性本恶。Without time for reflection, people will default to the mode labelled cheat.在缺少时间进行考虑的情况下,人们会进入默认的撒谎模式。Given such time, however, they will often do the right thing.然而,如果他们获得了那样的考虑时间,一般会作出道德上正确的选择。If you want someone to be honest, then, do not press him too hard for an immediate decision.所以,如果你希望某人对你诚实,那么千万别逼迫他立即做出出决定啊。 /201308/251426。

  Daum and KakaoTalk mergeDaum与KakaoTalk合并Getting the message获取消息The latest tie-up between messaging apps and broader online firms通信应用程序与大型互联网公司的最新联合。IN THEORY Daum, an internet portal in South Korea, is acquiring Kakao, a startup whose messaging app, KakaoTalk, is on most of the countrys smartphones. In practice, it is the other way around: the merger unveiled on May 26th gives Kakaos shareholders the lions share of the new company, although Daum has more revenue, profits and staff, plus a stockmarket listing. The deal, valuing Kakao at billion-odd, shows that messaging apps are still hot property.Daum作为韩国的互联网门户网站,合并新兴公司—kakao,存在于大多数国家的智能手机中的消息应用程序。事实上是这样的情况:合并的消息于五月二十六日公布,给予kakao的新公司股东以最大份额,虽然Daum拥有更多的收入,利润和员工,再加上,上市时kakao价值30多亿美元,这也标志着通信程序仍然是朝阳产业。Hottest of all is WhatsApp, a Silicon Valley startup with 500m users, which Facebook bought in February for a staggering billion in cash and shares.The same month Rakuten, a Japanese internet firm, paid 0m for Viber, founded by Israelis but based in Cyprus. Alibaba, a Chinese online giant, paid 5m for a slice of Tango, another Silicon Valley firm, in March. Tencent, Alibabas rival, owns WeChat, which has almost 400m users. It also runs QQ, an older messaging service, and has a stake in Kakao.最热的是WhatsApp,这个拥有5亿用户的硅谷创业公司。二月份,facebook惊人地用190亿美元的现金和股票将其收购。当月,日本互联网公司乐天,付9亿美元收购由以色列人建立,以塞浦路斯为基地的Viber。3月,中国网络巨头阿里巴巴,为另一个硅谷公司Tango付215亿美元。阿里巴巴的竞争对手腾讯公司,旗下的微信拥有近4亿用户,老通讯务QQ也在运营,并拥有kakao的股份。The South Korean deal means yet another pairing of a broader internet company and a messaging startup. The youngsters seek extra heft—for instance, like Kakao, in marketing. The oldies get a trendy mobile product. Daum doubtless hopes that KakaoTalk, which is installed and registered on 145m devices, will help it combat Naver, South Koreas leading portal. South Koreans do not just use the app to chat: it is also a popular platform for mobile games, from which Kakao makes most of its money, and for sending both digital and physical gifts. Naver, too, owns a messaging app, Line, with 400m users, but it is based in Japan.韩国的这次交易意味着迄今为止又一个一个大型互联网公司和一个新兴通信公司的配对。年轻者寻求额外有分量的依托,就像市场上的kakao。老者将得到一个时髦的手机产品。Daum无疑希望kakaotalk可以在145亿的设备上安装注册,这将有助于打击韩国领先的门户网站—NAVER网。韩国人并非只将应用程序用来聊天,它同样是一个流行的手机游戏平台,kakao大部分的钱也是由此而来,用来发送数字礼物。韩国NAVER网同样拥有一个消息应用程序—LINE,拥有4亿用户,只是它建立在日本。The market is highly regionalised: most friendships are local, after all. Kakao has been trying to break out of South Korea, where it is running out of room. It is concentrating on Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, but it faces stiff competition from Line and WeChat. Which app if any will conquer the globe is an open question—though WhatsApp, with most users and Facebooks billions, looks the most powerful. Perhaps none will. People may end up using several—as they did with desktop messaging services in the internets first wave.市场是高度区域化的:毕竟大多数的友谊是带有地域性的。kakao一直试图打破韩国这个运营空间。它将目光集中在印度尼西亚,马来西亚和菲律宾,但它面临着LINE和微信的激烈竞争。虽然WhatsApp拥有最多的用户和facebook数十亿美元的资金,看起来似乎是最强大的一个,但该应用程序是否能够占领世界市场还是一个开放性的问题——也许不会。互联网的第一次浪潮可能会以人们使用几个不同的桌面通信务程序而告终。 /201406/306098

  

  Business商业报道Love, Korean-style韩式之恋Twos company两个人的专属网络The worlds most exclusive social network世界上最专一的社交网络SOUTH KOREANS take romance seriously.韩国人向来注重浪漫。Lovers are expected to swap sweet nothings many times a day and woe betide the clod who forgets a 100-day anniversary.一天之内,恋人总是交换甜言蜜语数遍不厌倦。Some pairs dress in couple style, in the same garish red sweater and blue jeans combo, for instance.若是谁忘了100天纪念日,那他可就要倒霉了。一些情侣穿着情侣装,诸如艳丽的红色羊毛套衫搭配蓝色牛仔裤。Small wonder that a Korean firm has created a social network for couples.由此,一家韩国公司开创了一个专属于情侣的社交网络,这也没什么好大惊小怪的。VCNCs app is called Between.韩国公司VCNC开发了一款叫Between的社交应用。It creates a private space for two people,这款社交应用给情侣们提供了两个人的专属空间。in which they can share photographs and special memories, chat in real time and exchange any number of cute emoticons:情侣们可以分享相片,珍贵的时刻,可以即时聊天,以及交换一些可爱的表情符号。smiley faces, winks, hearts and so on.如笑脸,眨眼,爱心等等。Though revolting to singles, Between is a hit.不得不说,Between让单身人士感到恶心,但它却引领起一股风潮。Since its launch in November, more than 560,000 Koreans have fallen for it.自去年十一月推出以来,超过56万的韩国人爱上了它。This comes despite VCNC spending virtually nothing on marketing.实际上,VCNC公司并没有在营销上做出太多动作。Park Jae-uk, the firms boss, claims another 200,000 users abroad, divided between China, Japan and North America.公司老板朴在旭宣称Between在海外拥有20万用户,并分布在中国,日本以及北美。Between is part of a trend towards intimacy in social networking.如今社交网络趋向私密化,Between也紧跟这种潮流。Some Facebook users are fed up with the torrent of friend requests from people they barely know.一些Facebook用户已经对源源不断的好友申请感到厌倦。这些好友申请通常来自于他们几乎不认识的人。Others resent being tagged in embarrassing photographs their boss can see.而一些用户则讨厌被标记在一些尴尬的照片上,因为这些照片连他们的老板也看得到。Hence the rise of services such as Path, an American network that limits members to 150 friends.因此,一些社交网络务的崛起,诸如Path,就严格限制了好友的封顶数为150人,Other networks, such as FamilyLeaf and Storytree, target families.而其它的一些社交网络,如FamilyLeaf和Storytree的目标受众则是家族成员。VCNC is betting that couples particularly value their privacy.VCNC认定情侣之间特别重视个人隐私。A message on ones Facebook Wall from an old flame can incinerate a new relationship.在Facebook上一条旧情人的信息足以破坏一段新恋情。Cutting the ex out removes the risk.屏蔽掉前度或者其他人则可以移除风险。Cynics may ask how a social network for two differs from simply sending text messages back and forth.有些愤世嫉俗者可能会问,Between和简单的来回发短信有什么不同。Betweens users presumably think the cynics lack romance in their souls.Between的用户可能会认为,这些批判者是骨子里缺乏浪漫基因。Revenue will come from advertising.未来,Between的收入将来自于广告。The firm hopes that nice restaurants and sellers of romantic holidays will pay to pitch to loved-up couples.VCNC公司希望一些高品质的餐馆,以及一些以浪漫假期为主打商品的商家可以来它的网站做宣传,VCNC由此收取广告费。It also plans to offer premium services, such as the printing of photobooks documenting the progress of a relationship.VCNC同时计划推出一项付费务,例如将相片集结成书,以此来记录情侣之间的感情历程。Swingers may be miffed to learn that Between allows only one partner per user.得知Between只允许每位用户拥有一位伴侣,一些滥交人士可能会有些许恼怒。But some cheaters have beaten the system by using multiple identities, laughs Mr Park.朴先生笑着说,然而有一些骗子却骗过系统的法眼,使用了多重身份。He is unlikely to join them.他自己不可能加入这些人的阵营中。Running VCNC keeps him too busy even for one girlfriend, he laments.他感叹道,经营VCNC已经让他够忙了,一个女朋友足矣。 点击此处下载本期经济学人讲解PDF与音频字幕 /201306/245487

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