2009年9月高级口译阅读真题(Section5 第三篇)

来源:网络   发布时间:2014-09-03   作者:上外口译培训

  英语高级口译阅读部分要求考生具备熟练阅读英语报刊文章的能力,了解英语国家有关政治、经济、社会、文化、教育等状况。上外口译为广大考生整理了2009年9月英语高级口译阅读真题,含有原文和参考答案,供大家备考练习使用,希望能帮助到大家备考。

  Section5  第三篇

  原文

  Questions 8-10

  “Isn’t it funny/How they never make any money/When everyone in the racket/Cleans up such a packet.” That Basil Boothroyd poem was originally written about the movies, but it could just as well apply to banking. In its last three years, Bear Stearns paid $11.3 billion in employee compensation and benefits. According to its 2007 annual report, Lehman Brothers shelled out $21.6 billion in the three years before, while Merrill Lynch paid staff over $45 billion during the three years to 2007.

  And what have shareholders got from all this? Lehman’s got nothing (the company went bust). Investors in Bear Stearns received around $1.4 billion of JPMorgan Chase Stock, now worth just half that after the fall in the acquirer’s share price. Merrill Lynch’s shareholders got shares in Bank of America (BofA) which are now worth just $9.6 billion, less than a fifth of the original offer value. Meanwhile, Citigroup paid $34.4 billion to its employees in 2007 and is now valued by the stock market at just $18.1 billion.

  All this has reinforced the idea that banking is simply a gravy train for employees. The row over the early payment of bonuses at Merrill Lynch shows yet again that insiders’ interests come first (those to BofA staff, however, are likely to shrivel).

  The case against banks goes something like this. Over the past 25 years, the cost of finance has been low and asset prices have generally been rising. That has encouraged banks to use more leverage in order to earn high returns on equity. The process of lending money against the security of assets, or trading assets with the banks’ capital, helped to push asset prices even higher. A sizeable proportion of the profits that resulted from all this activity was then handed out to employees in the form of wages and bonuses.

  But when asset prices started to fall, the whole system unraveled. Banks were forced to cut the amounts that they had borrowed, putting further downward pressure on prices. The “shadow banking system”, which relied on bank finance, started to default. The result was losses that outweighed the profits built up in the good years; Merrill Lynch lost $15.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, compared with the $12.6 billion of post tax profits it earned in 2005 and 2006 combined.

  In effect, executives and employees were given a call option on the markets by the banking system. They took most of the profits when the market was booming and shareholders bore the bulk of the losses during the bust. What about the efforts made to align the incentives of employees, executives and shareholders’? Employees were often paid in restricted stock and thus suffered heavily whentheir firms collapsed; Dick Fuld, the boss of Lehman Brothers, was a prominent example. Why then were bankers not more cautious, given the risks to their own wealth?

  There were two main reasons. First, their base packages (pay and cash bonuses) were sufficiently large to make them feel financially secure. That gave bankers a licence to gamble in the hope of earning the humungous payouts that would take them into the ranks of the Űber-wealthy. The second reason was that the bankers simply did not recognize the risks they were taking. Like most commentators (including central bankers), they thought that the economic outlook was stable and that the financial system was doing a good job of spreading risk.

  Henceforth two things need to be done. The first is that the trigger for incentives (as well as the payments themselves) need to be longer-term in nature. Bonuses could still be paid annually but based on the average performance over several years; if bankers are rewarded for increasing the size of the loan book, their pay off should be delayed until the borrower has established a sound payment record. The effect would be to claw back profits earned by excessive risk-taking. The second is that the banks’ capital has to be properly allocated. If traders are given licence to use leverage to buy into rising asset markets, then the trading division should be charged a cost of capital high, enough to reflect the risks involved.

  Impossible, the banks might say: our star employees will never tolerate such restrictions. But if there is ever going to be a time to reorganize the incentive structure now must be it. A threat to quit will be pretty hollow, given the state of investment banking. And few traders will have the clout to set up their own hedge funds in today’s market conditions. In any case, the greediest employees may be the ones most likely to usher in the next banking crisis. Better to wave them goodbye and wish good luck to their next employer.

  8. What does the author mean by saying that “that banking is simply a gravy train for employees” (para. 3) ?

  9. What does the author suggest to solve the major problem of current banking system?

  10. Comment on the statement “In any case, the greediest employees may be the ones most likely to usher in the next banking crisis” (para. 9)?

  【参考答案】

  8. A gravy train literally means something that requires little effort while yielding considerable profit, and here it refers to the fact that banking employees could always get bonuses first without taking the risks of losing money. The row over the early payment of bonuses at Merrill Lynch shows yet again that insiders’ interests come first.

  9. The author offered two suggestions to solve the major problem of current banking system. The first is that the trigger for incentives (as well as the payments themselves) need to be longer-term in nature. Bonuses could still be paid annually but based on the average performance over several years; if bankers are rewarded for increasing the size of the loan book, their pay-off should be delayed until the borrower has established a sound payment record. The effect would be to claw back profits earned by excessive risk-taking. The second is that the banks’ capital has to be properly allocated. If traders are given license to use leverage to buy into rising asset markets, then the trading division should be charged a cost of capital high enough to reflect the risks involved.

  10. The expression “In any case, the greediest employees may be the ones most likely to usher in the next banking crisis” is used to support the proposal that the banks’ capital be properly allocated and traders be restricted in their transactions and risk-taking, because the greediest employees may bring in banking crisis again, so the banks are suggested to let them go. A threat to quit will be pretty hollow, given the state of investment banking. And few traders will have the clout to set up their own hedge funds in today’s market conditions.

  【关键词】银行高管薪酬激励体系与金融危机

  【大意】由于现有的银行高管薪酬激励体系不合理,导致过多高风险投资与经营行为,股东遭受严重损失,应对薪酬体系进行改革

  【文章出处】经济学家,2009年1月29日

  【词汇积累】

  racket 喧闹

  employee compensation and benefits 员工薪酬福利

  annual report 年报

  Bear Stearns 贝尔斯登,金融服务巨头,受金融危机冲击而垮台,出售予JP Morgan Chase摩根大通

  Lehman Brothers 雷曼兄弟,国际性投资银行机构,金融危机中破产

  shell out 支付

  Merrill Lynch 美林证券

  JP Morgan Chase 摩根大通

  Citigroup 花旗集团

  reinforce 加强

  gravy train 肥缺,干活少但收入高的职业

  row 这里表示争执

  shrivel 枯萎

  leverage 杠杆

  returns on equity 股本回报率 ROE

  sizeable proportion 相当一部分

  unravel 解开,暴露

  default 这里表示无法履行还贷义务

  call option 看涨期权,买入期权,相对于put option看跌期权

  bulk 大部分

  bust 破产

  align 排列,使…相联系

  incentive 激励

  restricted stock 限制性股票

  humungous 极大的

  payout 支出

  uber-wealthy 极其富有的

  henceforth 从此以后

  claw back 夺回

  star employee 明星员工

  hollow 空洞的,虚伪的

  clout 影响力

  hedge fund 对冲基金

  usher in 开创,带来

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