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时间:2019年09月17日 05:21:12

This week some British charities have an unexpected reason to smile. On Wednesday, European and American regulators imposed fines of .3bn on six large banks for rigging foreign exchange markets. In the past, the British government has directed some of the money raised from so-called “misdemeanour fines” to worthy causes such as a physical rehabilitation programme for soldiers; it will probably do the same this time. As George Osborne, the UK chancellor, put it: “We’re using the money raised from fines on those who demonstrated the very worst of values in our society to support those who demonstrate the very best.”一些英国慈善机构有了一个惊喜的理由。上周三,欧洲和美国监管当局以操纵外汇市场为由,向6家大开出43亿美元的罚单。在过去,英国政府曾把这类来自所谓“不端行为罚款”的收入部分投入到高尚的事业中,比如士兵身体康复计划。这次英国政府很可能也将这么做。正如英国财相乔治#8226;奥斯本(George Osborne)所说:“我们把对于那些在我们的社会里展示出最糟糕价值观的人的罚款所得,用来资助那些展示出最美好价值观的人。”Yet this type of initiative is the exception, not the rule. The fines now being imposed by western regulators are dramatically higher than anything seen before, but much of the money is not being used in a transparent way. That flies in the face of politicians’ demands for finance to become more open. It also risks undermining the search for a sense of justice – and closure.不过,这种做法属于例外,而不是通行规则。西方监管机构如今开出的罚款金额比以往高很多,但部分罚款的使用并不透明。这与政治家们关于提高财政透明度的要求背道而驰,也可能破坏社会对正义感——以及有始有终的感觉——的追求。“It’s very hard to see what is really going on,” observes Roger McCormick, a London-based economist who has been tracking the recent bank penalties. Charles Calomiris, a finance professor at Columbia Business School agrees: “The situation is strange – its incredibly hard to get much data at all.”“很难看清罚款到底怎么使用的,”伦敦的经济学家罗杰#8226;麦考密克(Roger McCormick)说。他一直在关注近来受处罚的事情。哥伦比亚商学院(Columbia Business School)的金融学教授查尔斯#8226;卡洛米里什(Charles Calomiris)表示认同:“眼下的情形很奇怪——想要获得数据真是太难了。”What public numbers do exist are thought-provoking. According to Professor McCormick’s research, between 2009 and 2013 the 12 global banks paid out #163;105.4bn worth of fines to European and US regulators, for crimes ranging from the mis-selling of mortgages to rigging the Libor index of interbank lending rates. They also made #163;61.23bn provisions for future fines.能找到的公开数字发人深思。麦考密克教授的研究显示,2009年至2013年,12家全球性共向欧美监管机构缴纳了1054亿英镑的罚款,因为它们犯下了从不当销售抵押贷款到操纵伦敦间同业拆借利率(Libor)等各种罪名。它们还为未来罚款做了612.3亿英镑的拨备。Data from the Financial Conduct Authority, the British regulator, suggests that it has collected about #163;2.5bn since 2012, including this week’s fines. Traditionally, regulators used to keep the money they collected in penalties. But since 2012, the FCA has handed this money to the Treasury (after deducting #163;40m of annual staff costs) and Mr Osborne has said that he will hand over about #163;300m of this to charity.英国金融市场行为监管局(FCA)的数据表明,包括上周的罚款,自2012年以来其收到了约25亿英镑的罚款。传统上,监管机构通常会保留它们所收的罚款。但自2012年以来,FCA已把这笔收入上缴至英国财政部(事先已扣除了每年4000万英镑的人员费用),奥斯本表示,他将把其中约3亿英镑资金投入到慈善事业中。What will happen to the rest is unclear; it is currently placed in a general government pot. But the situation in the US is lamentably more opaque, since fines are being imposed by numerous different entities.但其余罚款如何处置,目前不得而知;这笔钱存放在一个一般政府资金池中。但美国的情况更为不透明,因为罚单是由形形色色的机构开出的。The large federal agencies, such as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (both of which fined the banks for forex abuses) hand money from penalties over to the Treasury. There it vanishes into a general budget pot. When state regulators and other bodies collect fines they tend to shower the money on plaintiffs, community groups and lawyers, as well as state attorneys-general, usually in private settlements that entail minimal public disclosure.大型联邦机构会把罚款上交美国财政部,比如美国货币监理署(OCC)和商品期货交易委员会(CFTC),这两家机构都曾以操纵外汇市场为由对开过罚单。于是罚款会进入一个一般预算资金池。当州监管当局和其他机构收到罚款时,它们往往把罚款用于原告、社区团体和律师,也会用于州总检察长——在公开披露程度极低的私下和解时通常如此。Take the .7bn “comprehensive settlement” that Bank of America unveiled in August with the Department of Justice, a collection of federal agencies and six state attorneys-general. When BofA announced this, it said it would pay out .95bn for “civil monetary penalties” and so-called “compensatory remediation payments”, but it did not reveal who would receive those sums.以美国(BoA)为例,该行8月公布,跟美国司法部(DoJ)、多家联邦机构和6位州总检察长达成了167亿美元的“全面和解”。在宣布这一消息时,美银表示将缴纳99.5亿美元“民事罚款”和所谓“赔偿补救款”,但没有透露罚款接受方是谁。And though local academics, such as Prof Calomiris, have been trying to research the issue, they have found it hard to get any information, since once the money flows into the budget of state officials the local attorneys-general have huge discretion about how they use these large windfalls. “It is a real subversion of the fiscal process,” Prof Calomiris observes.此外,尽管卡洛米里什教授等本国学者一直在研究此问题,但他们发现很难获取任何信息,因为罚款进入州官员的预算之后,州总检察长对这笔巨大的意外收入有着很大的自由处置权。“这实际上破坏了财政流程,”卡洛米里什教授表示。This opacity is undesirable. There is good reason to impose hefty fines on the banks, given the scale of the scandals of recent years; unless they are punished it will be hard for the public to ever feel that justice has been done. But at the very least, there needs to be more public debate about how this punishment pot will actually be used; after all, one lesson from the financial crisis is that opacity has a nasty habit of breeding abuse.这种不透明状况非常不可取。鉴于近些年来的丑闻范围波及之广,监管当局有充足的理由对处以高额罚款;若不处罚这些,将很难让公众产生正义得到伸张的感觉。但最起码,需要对罚款资金池的未来用途进行更公开的讨论;毕竟,金融危机的教训之一,就是不透明很可能滋生不端行为。Or to put it another way, the British government deserves one cheer for trying to find a way of using the misdemeanour fines for greater public good; indeed, it is a move that politicians in America should consider copying.换个角度来说,英国政府设法将不端行为罚款用于增进公共利益,是值得称赞之举;事实上,美国的政治家们应当考虑效仿这一做法。The UK Treasury would deserve a second cheer if it published audited accounts of how this money is used (a move it is now considering). But what is really needed is a public database of what is happening in the whole of Europe – and, above all, in the US.如果英国财政部能够公布关于罚款使用情况的审计账目(其正在考虑这一举措),将是另一值得称赞之举。但是,当前真正需要做的是针对整个欧洲——更重要的还有美国——的罚款使用情况,建立一个公共数据库。Particularly since that eye-popping #163;167bn tally is unlikely to be the final hit.何况目前已高得令人瞠目的1670亿英镑罚款不太可能是最终的罚款总额。 /201411/343560

The fortnight it took for UN climate talks to finally stagger to an end in Lima yesterday morning has shaken many assumptions about what it will take to achieve the historic global climate deal due to be sealed in Paris next December.持续两周的联合国气候谈判利马会议昨日上午蹒跚撑到终点。对于需要付出怎样的努力才能在明年12月的巴黎会议上达成历史性的全球气候协定,这两周的经历动摇了人们的许多设想。“If so much blood flows negotiating the prenuptial, what does that mean for the marriage?” asked Yvo de Boer, a former UN climate chief who heads the Global Green Growth Institute that helps developing nations.“如果谈判婚前协议要流这么多血,那么这对婚姻意味着什么?”曾是联合国气候变化机构负责人、如今执掌全球绿色增长研究所(Global Green Growth Institute)的伊沃#8226;德波尔(Yvo de Boer)表示。全球绿色增长研究所为发展中国家提供帮助。The Lima meeting did eventually manage to fulfil its main aim of approving guidelines for how countries will set out their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the lead-up to the Paris agreement.利马会议最终确实设法达到了主要目标,即批准了各国在巴黎会议之前应当如何制定减排计划的指引。The agreement, if it is approved, would be the first to commit all countries to make such reductions.有望在巴黎达成的协定如果获得批准,将是首份要求所有国家削减温室气体排放的全球气候协定。But this only happened after a fraught round of negotiations that ran more than 30 hours overtime and sometimes appeared to be in danger of collapsing.但上述指引是在经过一轮艰辛的谈判之后才达成的。利马谈判超时30多个小时,而且有时似乎面临谈崩的危险。This is not that unusual. Few of the mammoth annual climate negotiations the UN has conducted over the past 20 years have ended on time, forcing negotiators to sleep where they can in their offices as meetings drag on through the night.这种局面并非那么不同寻常。过去20年里,联合国主持的庞大年度气候谈判很少按时结束,各国谈判代表不得不在办公室里随便找个地方小睡片刻,因为会议会彻夜举行。What made this year’s round of pyjama diplomacy especially sobering, however, was the nature of the disputes and the expectations that had preceded it.然而,今年这轮“睡衣外交”特别发人深省的地方在于纠纷的性质和会前的期望。The delegates who arrived in the temporary white tent venue that was erected for the conference in Peru’s army headquarters had been buoyed by events that had raised hopes this meeting would be far less contentious than its predecessors.当谈判代表们抵达秘鲁陆军总部为本次会议搭建的临时白色帐篷场地时,他们得到近期一些事态的鼓舞;这些事态加大了各方对今年的会议将比往年更加顺利的期待。The most important were a landmark US-China emissions pact in November and a package of hefty pledges from wealthy countries to help poorer nations deal with climate change that topped the bn mark during the Lima conference.最重要的是美国和中国在11月达成的具有里程碑意义的减排协议,以及富国为帮助穷国应对气候变化而作出的一系列慷慨承诺,这些承诺在利马会议期间突破了100亿美元大关。These commitments were carefully orchestrated to overcome a long-held suspicion among poor countries that they would never get enough help to create a low-carbon economy and adapt to the impacts of climate change.这些承诺经过精心策划,目的是化解贫穷国家长期以来的怀疑,即它们将永远得不到足够帮助来创建低碳经济和适应气候变化的影响。As a result, the UK’s energy secretary, Ed Davey, voiced the views of many when he declared on arrival in Lima: “I am more confident we can achieve a global climate change deal than I have ever been before.”其结果是,英国能源大臣埃德#8226;戴维(Ed Davey)在抵达利马时说出了很多人的心里话:“我比以往任何时候都更加相信,我们能够达成一份全球气候变化协定。”It soon became evident that this conference was going to be dogged by the same rifts between rich and poor countries that have long blocked progress in climate talks.但人们很快就看清本次会议将再次受到富国和穷国之间分歧的困扰。这些分歧曾长期阻碍气候变化谈判取得进展。Eleven days into the talks, delegates had managed to agree only one 28-word paragraph for the final text of the conference outcome. It said countries should “intensify their high-level engagement” to accelerate action on climate change.谈判进入第11天之际,各国代表只就会议成果最终文本中一个28个单词长的段落达成共识。该段称,各国应当“加强高层接触”,以加速对气候变化采取行动。Developing countries have long railed against calls for them to help fix a pollution problem caused by nations that prospered from it.长期以来,发展中国家一直强烈反对呼吁它们帮助解决由已靠化石燃料实现繁荣的国家造成的污染问题。Rich countries say that is increasingly unworkable when China is the world’s largest emitter and India is catching up fast.富国表示,在中国已成为全球最大排放国、印度正迅速赶上的情况下,光靠富国减排已经越来越行不通。The EU and the US had hoped the talks would be limited to making sure the pledges countries were to volunteer for the Paris deal would focus on emissions reduction.欧盟和美国此前希望,利马谈判的范围将局限于确保各国为巴黎协定自愿提交的承诺会侧重于减排。Instead, it rapidly became clear that developing countries wanted to make sure the pledges also included a recognition of the need for financial aid, as well as a firmer acknowledgment of the differences between developed and developing nations.但很快就变得明朗的是,发展中国家希望确保这些承诺还包括承认有必要提供财务援助,以及对于发达国家和发展中国家之间分歧的更确切承认。Amendments in the meeting’s draft outcome, including the insertion of a reference to the loss and damage vulnerable countries faced from climate change, eventually ensured the talks succeeded.对会议成果草案的修订,包括插入关于脆弱国家面对气候变化所造成损失和损害的内容,终于确保利马谈判取得了成功。But the effort it took to achieve this foreshadows the challenges that lie ahead before Paris.但是,为此付出的努力预示着巴黎会议面临的挑战。“I think everybody expected this would be easier,” said Jake Schmidt, a veteran climate talks expert from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a US environmental charity. “What we’ve seen in Lima shows Paris is not going to be an easy undertaking.”“我想此前大家都预期本次会议会更容易些,”美国环境慈善组织——自然资源保护委员会(Natural Resources Defense Council)的资深气候谈判专家杰克#8226;施密特(Jake Schmidt)表示,“我们在利马看到的情况表明,巴黎谈判不会容易。” /201412/348820


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