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2018年左右美国市场的三大趋势
Three trends to move markets in 2018

来源:FT中文网    2018-01-09 07:05



        January columns are full of predictions. Yet as any good journalist (or market participant) knows, making them is a risky business. So rather than tell you in this first column of the new year exactly when the market will crash or what the midterm elections will bring, I am going to say which are the most important topics to watch in business and economics in 2018. Regardless of which way they turn, the following three issues will move markets.        一月份的专栏充斥着各种预测文章。然而,任何一个好记者(或者市场参与者)都知道,预测是有风险的。所以,在新年的第一篇专栏里,我不打算告诉你市场会在什么时候崩盘,或者中期选举会有什么结果,而是谈一谈2018年经济和商业领域有哪些最重要的问题值得关注。无论走势如何,以下3个问题将左右市场动向。
        First and foremost, wages. Will they finally grow robustly and broadly or not? Over the past decade, the US has seen a jobless recovery followed by a wageless recovery. There are plenty of jobs now — just 4 per cent of Americans are unemployed — and, over the past 12 months, wages started to grow as well.        首先,也是最重要的一点是薪资。薪资是否终于要实现普遍而强劲的增长了?过去10年,美国先是经历了就业不增长的复苏,随后则是薪资不增长的复苏。现在有充裕的工作岗位——美国的失业率仅为4%——而且过去12个月,薪资也开始增长。
        But it has been too little too late and, for the most part, too concentrated at the extreme ends of the spectrum. Lower-level workers (in home healthcare, hospitality and retail) and superstars in high wage fields (such as the financial services industry) have seen gains, but most of the rest of us have not.        但薪资增长幅度太小,来得太迟,而且在很大程度上集中于薪资水平的两端。较底层的从业人员(家庭护理业、招待性行业和零售业)以及高薪行业(如金融服务业)中顶层人员的薪资已经上涨,但我们大多数人的薪资没有增长。
        Why is that? There are plenty of data-driven reasons that one could give, but I persist in thinking that a key reason for sluggish wage growth is psychological. In the US, baby-boomers and millennials are now the single largest cohorts in the workplace. I cannot quite imagine the 50-plus crowd, worried about ageism and being replaced by technology they do not understand, being quick to ask for a raise, even in a tightening job market. Most of them just want to hang on to their current position until retirement.        为何如此呢?人们可以给出大量有数据支撑的理由,但我坚持认为,薪资增长缓慢的一个关键原因在于心理。在美国,“婴儿潮一代”和“千禧一代”是职场上最大的两个群体。50多岁的人会担心年龄大了受到歧视,担心自己的工作被不了解的技术所替代,我想象不出他们会挺身而出要求加薪,即使在就业形势好的时候。绝大多数50多岁的人只想保住目前的岗位干到退休。
        Meanwhile, millennials are living and working in very different ways than their predecessors. They crave freedom and flexibility as much as higher wages. We will see if the trend holds once these 20-somethings start having kids and buying homes, but last week’s US Federal Reserve minutes noted that many employers are giving out additional benefits or non-traditional working arrangements rather than raises, even with 3 per cent growth and the tailwind of the largest tax cut in 30 years about to kick in. This would seem to support the idea that our conventional ideas about labour markets, like so many things in the economy today, need to be rethought.        与此同时,千禧一代的生活与工作方式与之前的几代人大不相同。他们不仅看重高薪,还同样看重自由与弹性。等到这些20多岁的年轻人将来开始买房生子,我们就能知道这种趋势能否持续下去。但是,上周美联储(Fed)的备忘录指出,即使在3%的经济增长率和30年来最大规模减税即将实施的利好背景下,很多雇主提供的是额外福利或者非常规工作安排,而非加薪。这似乎可以印证一种看法——就像对待当下经济中的许多其它事物一样——对劳务市场的传统观念需要重新审视。
        The other thing to watch, of course, is corporate spending. With the public sector, hamstrung by partisanship, holding the majority of new debt created since the financial crisis, and more significant consumer demand constrained by the lack of serious wage hikes, it is up to corporations to buoy the economy.        另一个需要注意的问题自然是企业支出。金融危机以来产生的新增债务大部分来自因党派政治而濒临瘫痪的公共部门,加上薪资增长幅度不大限制了更旺盛的消费者需求,因此拉动经济增长的任务落到了企业的肩上。
        According to Republicans, that was the whole point of the tax cut — to encourage companies to bring back their overseas cash hoard and invest it in productive capital expenditure. While we have seen a few post-tax cut announcements about bonuses and more hiring on the part of companies such as AT&T, CVS and FedEx, it is very likely that the majority of companies will spend the bulk of their tax savings on mergers and acquisitions, share buybacks and dividend payments, just as they did last year (indeed, the Fed minutes hint at just that).        共和党认为,这便是减税的意义所在——即鼓励企业把海外现金储备带回美国,用于生产性资本支出。虽然我们看到AT&T、CVS和FedEx等部分企业在税改法案通过后公布了一些关于奖金和增加招聘的计划,但绝大多数企业很可能会把减税节省下来的钱用于并购和收购、股票回购以及派发股息,就像他们去年所做的那样(美联储会议纪要也暗示了这一点)。
        Why would they do otherwise, when there are no quid pro quos in the tax bill to force them to, and more than half of corporate compensation is linked to share prices that are driven up by this sort of financial engineering?        他们有什么理由不这样做呢?税收法案中又没有列出交换条件来强迫他们怎样做,而且企业薪酬有一半以上与股价挂钩,而股价会被此类金融工程所推高。
        Pouring more money into the market (which is already three and a half times the size of the real economy, just like in 2007) may keep animal spirits high for a few more quarters. But this should be juxtaposed against the effect of the Fed’s balance sheet deleveraging (which will really be felt by mid 2018) and likely rate hikes. These two factors could start to puncture the record corporate debt bubble, flush out weaker players and trigger a correction.        向市场投入更多资金(市场规模已经是实体经济规模的3.5倍,就像在2007年时一样)可能会使“动物精神”继续高涨几个季度。但是这要与美联储资产负债表去杠杆(2018年中期将真正感受到其影响)以及可能加息的效应放在一起考虑。这两个因素可能开始刺破创纪录的企业债务泡沫、淘汰较弱的参与者并引发市场调整。
        “I’m quite worried about corporate debt,” says Bricklin Dwyer, senior US economist at BNP Paribas. “I think you’ll see very different corporate and market behaviour when borrowing costs are, say, 5-7 per cent rather than 3-5 per cent.”        “我相当担心企业债务,”法国巴黎银行(BNP Paribas)高级美国经济学家布里克林•德怀尔(Bricklin Dwyer)表示,“当借贷成本上升时,比如上升至5%-7%,而不是3%-5%的水平,我认为你会看到企业和市场行为变得截然不同。”
        Finally, if a correction comes by the end of the year, where does it come from? On that score, and many others, I will be watching the tech sector. It has been the main driver of global equities over the past year, yet its business model is based on light touch regulation, something that looks likely to change.        最后一点,如果今年内出现调整,会首先发生在哪个领域?在这一点上,以及其他许多方面,我会关注科技行业。过去一年,科技板块是全球股市上涨的主要驱动力,但这个行业的业务模式是基于“轻监管”——这一点可能会改变。
        Some of the trigger points in the next few quarters could be the EU’s reaction to Google’s efforts to comply with its rulings around anti-competitive behaviour (which competitors say do not go far enough), a restriction of bitcoin trading, state-by-state antitrust cases involving the FANGs — Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google — or new revelations about Russian election meddling involving social media.        未来几个季度可能触发改变的事情包括:欧盟对谷歌(Google)履行其裁决情况的反应(欧盟针对谷歌反竞争行为做出的裁决被竞争对手认为还远远不够),对比特币交易的限制,各州涉及Facebook、苹果(Apple)、Netflix和谷歌四大科技企业的反垄断案件,或者社交媒体关于俄罗斯干涉大选的新爆料。
        In the past week, we have seen the US government taking a firmer regulatory hand, with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US vetoing China’s Ant Financial bid for Money Gram, the US money transfer company, on the grounds that it would compromise the data safety of US citizens.        过去一周,我们看到美国政府正在采取更加严厉的监管立场——美国外国投资委员会(CFIUS)否决了中国的蚂蚁金服(Ant Financial)收购美国汇款公司速汇金(MoneyGram)的交易,理由是该交易会危及美国公民的数据安全。
        Data are, after all, the new oil — the most valuable commodity of the digital age. Watch closely who gets to control it — they will be the winners, this year and for many more ahead.        毕竟数据就好比是当今的石油,是数字时代最具价值的商品。我们需要密切关注谁将掌控数据——他们将成为今年、乃至未来很多年的赢家。
        rana.foroohar@ft.com        译者/何黎
                
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