2020年4月30日 星期四

Why the Global Recession Could Last a Long Time 因冠狀病毒大流行 全球經濟衰退恐將持續很久


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紐時周報精選 Why the Global Recession Could Last a Long Time 因冠狀病毒大流行 全球經濟衰退恐將持續很久
A Plot Twist Confounds Publishers 延後出書時間 新冠肺炎讓出版商措手不及
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Why the Global Recession Could Last a Long Time 因冠狀病毒大流行 全球經濟衰退恐將持續很久
文/Peter S. Goodman
譯/陳韋廷 核稿/樂慧生

全球經濟衰退恐將持續很久

The world is almost certainly ensnared in a devastating recession delivered by the coronavirus pandemic.

這個世界幾乎可以確定,已經因冠狀病毒大流行而陷入毀滅性經濟衰退。

Now, fears are growing that the downturn could be far more punishing and long lasting than initially feared — potentially enduring into next year, and even beyond — as governments intensify restrictions on business to halt the spread of the pandemic, and as fear of the virus reconfigures the very concept of public space, impeding consumer-led economic growth.

人們現在日益擔心,由於各國加強限制商業活動以阻止疫病蔓延,加上對此病毒的恐懼重新界定了公共空間的概念,導致消費導向型經濟成長受阻,經濟衰退期只怕會比當初擔心的更為艱難與持久,可能持續到明年,甚至更久。

So long as human interaction remains dangerous, business cannot responsibly return to normal. And what was normal before may not be anymore. People may be less inclined to jam into crowded restaurants and concert halls even after the virus is contained.

只要人際互動依然危險,商業就無法可靠地恢復正常。以前視為平常的事恐將永遠不再如常了。即便在病毒受到控制後,人們也不再那麼願意擠進擁擠的餐廳和音樂廳了。

The abrupt halt of commercial activity threatens to impose economic pain so profound and enduring in every region of the world at once that recovery could take years. The losses to companies, many already saturated with debt, risk triggering a financial crisis of cataclysmic proportions.

商業活動突然停止,可能立即給世界各地帶來深刻而持久的經濟痛苦,以致可能需要數年才能復甦。許多公司已經負債累累,這些損失有可能引發一場規模巨大的金融危機。

"This is already shaping up as the deepest dive on record for the global economy for over 100 years," said Kenneth S. Rogoff, a Harvard University economist. "Everything depends on how long it lasts, but if this goes on for a long time, it's certainly going to be the mother of all financial crises."

哈佛大學經濟學家羅格夫說:「這是一百多年來,全球經濟紀錄上最嚴重的衰退。一切都取決於它會持續多久,但若這種情況持續很長,它肯定會成為所有金融危機的根源。」

The situation looks uniquely dire in developing countries, which have seen investment rush for the exits this year, sending currencies plummeting, forcing people to pay more for imported food and fuel, and threatening governments with insolvency — while the pandemic threatens to overwhelm inadequate medical systems.

開發中國家的情況看來尤其嚴峻,這些國家今年出現投資退潮情形,導致幣值暴跌,人們被迫為進口食品與燃料支付更多費用,並且使政府面對無力償債的危機,而這個全球大流行疾病有可能壓垮不健全的醫療體系。

Among investors, a hopeful scenario holds currency: Once the virus is contained, enabling people to return to offices and shopping malls, life will snap back to normal.

在投資人看來,一種充滿希望的前景仍然存在,即一旦病毒受到控制,人們能夠重新回到辦公室與購物中心,生活將迅速恢復正常。

But the world that emerges is likely to be choked with trouble, challenging the recovery. Mass joblessness exacts societal costs. Widespread bankruptcy could leave industry in a weakened state, depleted of investment and innovation.

然而,新出現的世界很可能會陷入困境,使經濟復甦受到挑戰。大規模失業使社會付出代價。普遍的破產恐使得產業處於虛弱狀態,致使投資與創新能力枯竭。

If anxiety endures and people are reluctant to spend, expansion will be limited — especially as continued vigilance against the coronavirus may be required for years.

若焦慮持續且人們不願花錢,經濟擴張將會相當有限,尤其是在可能必須對冠狀病毒持續保持警戒許多年的情況下。

"The psychology won't just bounce back," said Charles Dumas, chief economist at TS Lombard, an investment research firm in London. "People have had a real shock. The recovery will be slow, and certain behavior patterns are going to change, if not forever at least for a long while."

倫敦投資研究公司TS Lombard首席經濟學家查理.杜馬斯說:「人們的心理不會輕易就恢復。人們受到了很大的震撼。恢復過程將是緩慢的,某些行為模式將會改變,就算不是永久性的,至少也會持續很長一段時間。」

※說文解字看新聞 陳韋廷

新冠病毒正讓全球經濟走向衰退(recession),衰退常指一國經濟連兩季萎縮,嚴重經濟衰退則是蕭條(depression),1929-1933年的大蕭條(Great Depression)即為一例。因此,recession與depression基本差別在於影響時間與程度,第二段的downturn一字意同recession,與之相反的則是recovery(復甦)。

文中提到的消費者主導的經濟成長,是眾多成長方式之一,常見的還有Income-led(所得主導的)與investment-led(投資主導的)等,investment rush指的則是投資熱潮,又單字cataclysmic意指「劇變的、毀滅的、洪水的」,由意指「向下」的字首cata跟代表「洗、結束」意思字根clys組成,類似組成的單字還有catastrophe。

末段動詞片語bounce back,跟文中另一片語snap back均有「復甦、反彈」之意,另be saturated with則跟文中另一片語be depleted of意思相反,前者指「充滿」,後者則是「耗盡」。

 
A Plot Twist Confounds Publishers 延後出書時間 新冠肺炎讓出版商措手不及
文/Alexandra Alter
譯/李京倫 核稿/樂慧生

新冠肺炎讓出版商措手不及

Months ago, in what now feels like another era, publishers planning their 2020 schedules hoped to avoid releasing books in the fall, typically the industry's biggest season. Editors and writers worried that new releases would be lost in the deluge of political news leading up to the presidential election, so publishers jammed some of their biggest titles into the spring.

幾個月前(現在覺得當時就像另一個時代),規劃2020年時程的出版商希望避免在秋天出書,而秋天通常是出版業的大旺季。編輯和作者擔心,新書訊息會被美國總統大選投票前大量的政治新聞淹沒,所以出版商讓一些重磅新書通通擠在今年春天出版。

Now, a reverse exodus of sorts is taking place. Publishers are pushing back the release of dozens of books to summer and fall, in hopes that by then the coronavirus outbreak will be waning, bookstores will reopen, and authors will be able to tour and promote their work.

而此際,出版商可謂正大舉往反方向行動。出版商把數十本書的出版時間推遲到夏天和秋天,寄望屆時新冠肺炎疫情已見緩和,書店重新開門,作者得以巡迴宣傳新書。

Some of the most anticipated titles of the spring have been delayed by weeks or months.

今年春天最受矚目的一些新書,已延後數周或數月問世。

"Bookstores are shuttered, everyone right now is worried about their health and their livelihoods, there's so much anxiety," said writer Laila Lalami, whose new nonfiction book, "Conditional Citizens," was scheduled to come out from Pantheon in April, but has been moved to the fall. "It makes sense to postpone it until there's a bit more clarity, until we know what's going to happen."

作家萊拉.拉拉米的非小說新書「有條件的公民」,原定4月由美國萬神殿圖書出版,但已延到秋季。拉拉米說:「書店都關了,眼下人人都在擔心自己的健康和生計,非常焦慮,把出書時間延到情勢明朗些、我們知道接下來會怎麼樣的時候,合情合理。」

Some publishers are even moving books to next year.

有些出版商甚至把出書時間延到明年。

Such moves are a gamble, given the uncertainty surrounding the course of the epidemic and the economic crisis. Some publishers worry that the situation could be even worse in a few months, if more warehouses and distribution centers close, and if publishers have to confront reduced capacity at printing presses.

這是在冒險,因為疫情和經濟危機會如何發展,誰都說不準。有些出版商擔心,如果有更多倉庫和配送中心關閉,而出版商又必須應付印刷廠產能降低,情況會在幾個月之後變得更糟。

Paper shortages could also become an issue, as more paper stock gets consumed making cardboard for deliveries of essential products.

紙張短缺可能也會成為一個問題,因為會有更多庫存紙做成硬紙板,用來運送必需品。

"For authors, it's really tough," said Daniel Halpern, the publisher of Ecco. "You work on a book for two or three years, and suddenly you find it coming out in a plague. There's so much unknown, and there's so much changing every hour."

艾科出版社創辦人哈爾朋說:「對作者來說,情況很不堪。你寫了兩、三年,突然發現要在瘟疫期間出書。很多事難以明瞭,很多事每小時都在改變。」

Publishers who are delaying books now, in hopes that they can sell more copies in the future, are facing revenue shortfalls in the meantime.

出版社現在推遲出書是希望未來賣掉更多書,但已同時面臨營收不足。

Artists in every field, from musicians, dancers and opera singers to actors and television writers, have seen their livelihoods and income disrupted, or in some cases evaporated, as theaters, comedy clubs and studios have closed in the face of the epidemic. In some ways, the publishing industry is better positioned than many other businesses to weather the impact of the coronavirus. Books are in a way an ideal medium for this moment: Reading is a solitary act, and people who are sheltering in place may turn to books for escape, solace and connection.

各個領域的藝術家,從音樂家、舞蹈家、歌劇演唱家到演員和電視編劇,生計和收入都受到衝擊,甚至斷絕,因為電影院、喜劇俱樂部和製片廠都在疫情中關閉。在某些方面,出版業比許多其他行業更有條件挺過疫情衝擊。書本堪稱度過此刻的理想工具:閱讀是獨自從事的行為,而且居家避疫者可藉閱讀尋求逃避、慰藉和連結。

But the longer the economic and public health crisis lasts, the harder it will be for publishers and book retailers to keep their companies afloat.

不過,這場經濟和公共衛生危機持續愈久,出版商和書店就愈難撐下去。

There's a growing fear that the temporary closure of bookstores around the country may in many cases become permanent.

人們日益擔心,全美各地書店暫時關門,其中許多只怕再也開不了門了。

 
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