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达沃斯2013:掩耳盗铃的乐观主义


来源:WSJ    作者:WSJ   时间:2013-02-01 17:22   点击: 次  


 
达沃斯2013:掩耳盗铃的乐观主义
Davos 2013: We Need Optimism of a Different Kind


过去五年, 在达沃斯参加世界经济论坛的与会者被各种各样的危机所困扰:房地产次贷危机、信贷紧缩、银行业危机、希腊和欧洲债务危机等等。由此也引发了对全球政治和经济现状的反思和检讨。今年的达沃斯则有些不同。由于中美两国的政府成功换届,欧元区不再面临立刻崩溃的危险,中国经济去年增长了7.8%,达沃斯似乎恢复了正常,甚至有人感到乐观。
For the past five years, the participants to the Annual Meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) gathered in Davos to discuss urgent global crises the world was facing: subprime, credit crunch, banking, Greece, Euro-zone and so on. Soul-searching about the political and economic status quo ensued. This year, with leadership transitions in the two largest economies completed, Euro-zone no longer facing imminent break-up, and China growing at 7.8%, Davos resumed some normalcy. Some even claimed optimism.

这种乐观主义部分基于亚洲和中国的经济增长前景。过去五年, 欧洲经济停步不前,而中国经济增长了60%。今年的达沃斯至少有五场关于中国的讨论会,论题涉及中国经济的快速增长、增长模式的转换和中国的软实力等等。对亚洲的兴趣也很高。上周四,我在达沃斯主持了一场关于亚太经济一体化的讨论会。来自亚太地区的五位演讲人就亚洲国家经济的相互依赖性、地缘政治冲突和经济一体化展开了讨论。讨论会最后大家谈到了"亚洲人的身份认同"(“Asian identity”)这个话题。非洲大陆有超强的文化认同感,亚洲也不示弱。比如,亚洲人喜欢彼此的烹饪文化,鸟叔PSY的江南style在亚洲广受认同,儒家文化在东亚根深蒂固等等。因此,除了经济联系和制度安排外,文化上的共识也是一种凝聚力。
Some of the optimism is based on the growth prospect in Asia and China. For the past five years, while Europe has not grown at all, Chinese GDP has grown 60%. In this year's Davos, there are no fewer than five public sessions on China, with topics ranging from its rapid growth, transformation of its growth model and emergence of its soft power. Interests in Asia are high. On Thursday, I moderated a discussion on Asia integration. Five panelists from Asia-Pacific countries shared their views on the dynamics within the region surrounding economic interdependence, geopolitical tension and integration. The session ended with an agreement, surprisingly, on the 'Asian identity'. While Asia may not have a collective identity as strong as that of the African continent, it was pointed out that we all enjoy each other's food, that PSY can gather a huge crowd with his Gangnam Style everywhere he travels in Asia, and that the Confucius mindset is widely shared in many aspects of life in East Asia. As a result, in addition to economic connections and institutional arrangement, the region's integration could also benefit from the shared cultural identity.

亚洲和新兴市场的经济发展很大程度上是被持续的城市化进程所推进的。随着城市化的进展,人们的生活水平不断提高,基础设施建设不断加强。在今年的达沃斯,我参加了几个关于基础建设投资和城市化的讨论会,许多政策制定者、投资者、建筑商和国际组织参与了讨论。对于刚刚从经济政治危机或自然灾害中走出来的"脆弱国家"(fragile states) 来说,基础设施的重建和发展尤为重要。
The economic growth in Asia and emerging markets is likely to be driven by continued urbanization, as emerging economies upgrade their living standards and particularly infrastructure. At this year's Davos, I attended a number of industry sessions WEF organized on infrastructure finance and urbanization, which were very well attended by policy makers, investors, construction companies and international organizations. Infrastructure development and reconstruction are most urgently needed in fragile states which newly emerged from political, economic and/or natural disaster crisis.

但资本主义制度所面临的危机在今年的达沃斯好像烟消云散了。随着占领华尔街运动的销声匿迹, 今年的达沃斯对自由市场资本主义制度性缺陷的讨论,远远失去了过去两年的紧迫感,这在我上周五参加的一场题为"资本主义还能进化吗"的晚餐讨论会上尤为明显。《金融时报》的马丁•沃尔夫主持了这场讨论。我在开场的演讲中问了听众四个问题:自由市场资本主义能否真正有长期的视野?市场是不是唯一能取得价格信号和信息反馈的渠道?一个国家对经济采取更多干预的体系是不是一定不如自由资本主义有适应性?在一个全球化的世界里,自由市场体系和国家干预的体系究竟哪个更具竞争力?大家进行了两个小时的激烈辩论。一位演讲人的结束语是现行资本主义最大的问题是缺乏长期视野,从而对气侯变化这类长期问题视而不见。另一位演讲人则声称资本主义制度作为一种人类社会组织方式还很有生命力,太阳会照样升起。
The crisis of capitalism, on the other hand, seems to have abated this year. With the Occupy Movement all but disappeared, there does not seem to be any urgency in this Davos in contemplating alternatives to the prevailing free-market capitalist systems. This mood was apparent in a Friday evening session I joined as a panelist titled 'Can Capitalism Evolve?', moderated by Financial Times' Martin Wolf. In my opening remarks, I asked the audience four questions: Can free-market capitalism and the real-time marking-to-market of everything truly adopt a long-term perspective? Are there other means beyond markets that create price signals and feedback loops? Is a state-directed economic system necessarily less adaptable than free-market capitalism? What will happen in a globalized world when you pitch a state-directed system against a free market system? The two-hour heated discussion ended with one speaker pointing out that policy makers are not paying attention to the biggest challenge we face on climate change, due to lack of long-termism, and another speaker claiming that all is well with capitalism as a way to organize the society and that the sun will rise again.

难怪今年达沃斯充满了乐观主义,但是这总让我觉得西方国家是在掩耳盗铃。发达经济体在经历了几年的危机后,终于成功地将问题推到以后再解决,我很难认同这种乐观主义。
If all is well with capitalism, no wonder optimism abounds in Davos this year. Much of the optimism in Davos this year reminds me of the ancient Chinese story where a thief who wanted to steal a bell covered his own ears so he could not hear the sound of the bell, under the assumption that if he himself could not hear the bell others would not hear it either so he could steal it without any fuss. He was quickly caught and sent to jail. Similarly, the crisis-fatigued developed economies might have breathed a sigh of relief in Davos this year for successfully kicking many cans down the road so we could not hear them. It is hard for me to subscribe to this type of optimism.

在达沃斯的各种辩论中,人们对很多话题难以达成共识,世界似乎充满了不确定性。但如果我们真正用一个长期的心态来分析问题,想想未来二三十年的大趋势,世界是完全可以预测的。
In Davos, debates don't seem to yield agreements on many topics, and uncertainty seems to prevail. However, when one applies a truly long-term perspective over the next two or three decades, the world is surprisingly predictable.

我们几乎可以肯定地说,发展中国家在全球化和城市化这两辆火车的驱动下经济会进一步持续发展。我们也可以肯定地说,随着货物、人口、技术和资本的进一步流动以及国家之间经济的相互依存性的不断增加,国际体系会衍生出强大的推动力,促使各个国家尽量和谐共处、共享繁荣,而不是走向孤立。我们可以肯定地说,经济实力向新兴市场国家的转移迟早会给国际体系的构架带来相应的变化,以纠正目前的不对等局面。这些长期大趋势确实值得我们对世界抱有乐观的态度,但这不是上周在达沃斯弥漫的那种掩耳盗铃式的乐观主义。
We know for sure that the emerging economies will continue to grow robustly over the next decades, driven by many factors chief among them urbanization and globalization. We know for sure that economic linkages that are growing into economic interdependence, strengthened by the increased flows of goods, technology, labor and capital, will only create powerful incentives for countries to work together for shared prosperity, rather than to drift apart towards isolation and despair. We know for sure that fundamental changes in global economy, mainly the shift of the economic weight towards emerging markets, will sooner or later bring about changes in the institutional arrangement of the international system and that a misaligned system today will eventually have to be aligned. These longer-term certainties do call for optimism, but of a very different kind from that of the bell-stealing thief, which we saw in Davos last week.

 


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