The Economist 词汇解析(12)The Economist 词汇解析(23)

本期原文选自The Economist 2016-9-17之Leaders板块A
giant problem,释义来自牛津高阶七版、元照英美拟词典、Lexisnexis英汉法例词典等资源。如果您吗在就学The
Economist,欢迎订阅我之文集The
Economist,一起学交流。

本期原文选自The Economist 2017-01-28的章In
retreat,释义来自牛津高阶七版、灵格斯词典、有道词典、元照英美拟词典、维科英汉词典等资源。词汇雅失误烧见文末小结。如果您为于念书The
Economist,欢迎订阅我的文集The
Economist,一起学习交流。

A giant problem

Disruption may be the buzzword【1】 in boardrooms, but the most
striking feature of business today is not the overturning of the
established order. It is the entrenchment【2】 of a group of
superstar companies at the heart of the global economy. Some of these
are old firms, like GE, that have reinvented themselves. Some are
emerging-market champions, like Samsung, which have seized the
opportunities provided by globalisation. The elite of the elite are
high-tech wizards—Google, Apple, Facebook and the rest—that have
conjured up【3】 corporate empires from bits and
bytes
【4】.

betway必威 1

【1】buzzword 流行词语

In retreat 

Global companies are heading home. And it’s not only because of the
threat of protectionism

AMONG the many things that Donald Trump dislikes are big global firms.
Faceless and rootless, they stand accused of unleashing “carnage” on
ordinary Americans by shipping jobs and factories abroad. His answer
is to domesticate【1】 these marauding【2】
multinationals. Lower taxes will draw their cash home, border charges
will hobble【3】 their cross-border supply chains and the trade
deals that help them do business will be rewritten. To avoid punitive
treatment, “all you have to do is stay,” he told American bosses this
week.

【2】entrenchment 确立;trench 战壕

【1】domesticate 使喜爱家具,使精于家务,驯养,驯化;domesticated( adj.);
domestication

【3】conjure sth from sth 令人惊呆地开创出;conjure变魔术,变戏法

betway必威 2

【4】bits and
bytes本意是各和字节,这里代表计算机技术,采用了头韵alliteration修辞手法

【2】marauding劫掠,打劫,猎食;marauder (n.)

As our special report this week makes clear, the superstars are
admirable in many ways. They *churn out**【5】 products that
improve consumers’ lives, from smarter smartphones to sharper
televisions. They provide Americans and Europeans with an estimated
$280 billion-worth of “free” services—such as search or directions—a
year. But they have two big faults. They are squashing competition,
and they are using the darker arts of management to stay ahead.
Neither is easy to solve. But failing to do so risks a
backlash【6】*** which will be bad for everyone.

betway必威 3

【5】churn out 大量生

【3】hobble阻止,妨碍,跛行

【6】backlash 强烈反对,反冲

betway必威 4

More concentration, less focus

Bulking up【7】 is a global trend. The annual number of mergers
and acquisitions is more than twice what it was in the 1990s. But
concentration is at its most worrying in America. The share of GDP
generated by America’s 100 biggest companies rose from about 33% in
1994 to 46% in 2013. The five largest banks account for 45% of banking
assets, up from 25% in 2000. In the home of the entrepreneur, the
number of startups is lower than it has been at any time since the
1970s. More firms are dying than being born. Founders dream of selling
their firms to one of the giants rather than of building their own
titans.

Mr Trump is unusual in his aggressively protectionist tone. But in
many ways he is behind the times. Multinational companies, the agents
behind global integration, were already in retreat well before the
populist revolts of 2016. Their financial performance has slipped so
that they are no longer outstripping【4】 local firms. Many seem
to have exhausted their ability to cut costs and taxes and to
out-think【5】 their local competitors. Mr Trump’s
broadsides【6】 are aimed at companies that are surprisingly
vulnerable and, in many cases, are already heading home. The impact on
global commerce will be profound.

【7】Bulk up 增大

【4】outstrip超过,胜过

For many laissez-faire【8】 types this is only a temporary
problem. Modern technology is lowering barriers to entry; flaccid
incumbents will be destroyed by smaller, leaner ones. But the idea
that market concentration is self-correcting is more questionable than
it once was. Slower growth encourages companies to buy their rivals
and squeeze out costs. High-tech companies grow more useful to
customers when they attract more users and when they gather ever more
data about those users.

betway必威 5

【8】laissez-faire自由放任,放任主义;该词源于法语,17世纪末年,法国财政部长科尔贝〔Colbert〕询问同各项企业家:政府可吧合作社举行什么,企业家对:Laissez
nous
faire(不要干涉我们;让咱们温馨处理)。这个词即转化成政府以经济工作及不干预,在有关法律被无加以限定的代名词。这同理论的过分运用,导致了大无界定的竞争。作为法律用语,该词强调与法律限制相对的契约自由,使用及处分财产的妄动(参照元照英美拟词典)。

【5】out-think以智取胜,比…更擅长思考,思考得比…正确(或厚、迅速等)

The heft of the superstars also reflects their excellence at less
productive activities. About 30% of global foreign direct investment
(FDI) flows through tax havens【9】; big companies routinely use
transfer pricing【10】” to pretend that profits generated in
one part of the world are in fact made in another. The giants also
deploy huge armies of lobbyists, bringing the same techniques to
Brussels, where 30,000 lobbyists now walk the corridors, that they
perfected in Washington, DC. Laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley and
Dodd-Frank, to say nothing of【11】 America’s tax code, penalise
small firms more than large ones.

betway必威 6

【9】tax havens 避税地

【6】broadside猛烈抨击

【10】transfer pricing
转让定价,是据涉公司中间在销售商品、提供劳务、转让无形资产等常常制定的价钱。在跨国经济活动被,利用关乎企业内的让定价进行避税已化作平等种植常见的税收逃避方法,其相似做法是:高税国企业为那低税国关联公司销售货物、提供劳动、转让无形资产时制定低价;低税国企业向那个高税国关联公司销售货物、提供劳动、转让无形资产时制定高价。这样,利润就由高税国转移至低位税国,从而达成至极充分限度减轻其税负之目的。(该释义来自百度百科)

betway必威 7

【11】to say nothing of 更不用说

The end of the arbitrage【7】

Multinational firms (those that do a large chunk of their business
outside their home region) employ only one in 50 of the world’s
workers. But they matter. A few thousand firms influence what billions
of people watch, wear and eat. The likes of IBM, McDonald’s, Ford,
H&M, Infosys, Lenovo and Honda have been the benchmark【8】 for
managers. They co-ordinate the supply chains that account for over 50%
of all trade. They account for a third of the value of the world’s
stockmarkets and they own the lion’s share【9】 of its
intellectual property—from lingerie【10】 designs to
virtual-reality software and diabetes drugs.

None of this helps the image of big business. Paying tax seems to be
unavoidable for individuals but optional for firms. Rules are
unbending for citizens, and up for negotiation when it comes to
companies. Nor do profits translate into jobs as once they did. In
1990 the top three carmakers in Detroit had a market
capitalisation【12】
of $36 billion and 1.2m employees. In 2014 the
top three firms in Silicon Valley, with a market capitalisation of
over $1 trillion, had only 137,000 employees.

【7】arbitrage套利,套汇,套购

【12】market capitalisation 市值,市场资本化

betway必威 8

Anger at all this is understandable, but an inchoate desire to bash
business leaves everyone worse off. Disenchantment【13】 with
pro-business policies, particularly liberal immigration rules, helped
the “outs” to win the Brexit referendum in Britain and Donald Trump to
seize the Republican nomination. Protectionism and
nativism【14】 will only lower living standards. Reining
in【15】
the giants requires the scalpel, not the
soapbox【16】
.

【8】benchmark基准

【13】disenchantment;disenchanted with sb/sth 不再获得幻想,失望

betway必威 9

【14】nativism 本土主义,排外主义

【9】the lion’s share (of sth) 最要命还是极好之同一客

【15】Rein in 严格控制,用缰绳勒马;rein缰绳

betway必威 10

【16】scalpe和soapbox又是头韵的修辞手法

【10】lingerie女士内衣

That means a tough-but-considered approach to issues such as tax
avoidance【17】
. The OECD countries have already made progress in
drawing up common rules to prevent companies from parking money in tax
havens, for example. They have more to do, not least【18】 to
address the convenient fiction that different units of multinationals
are really separate companies. But better the grind of multilateral
negotiation than moves such as the European Commission’s recent
attempt to impose retrospective taxes on Apple in Ireland.

betway必威 11

【17】tax avoidance 避税(合法);tax evasion逃税,偷税骗税(非法)

They boomed in the early 1990s, as China and the former Soviet bloc
opened and Europe integrated. Investors liked global firms’ economies
of scale and efficiency. Rather than running themselves as national
fiefs【11】, firms unbundled【12】 their functions. A
Chinese factory might use tools from Germany, have owners in the
United States, pay taxes in Luxembourg and sell to Japan. Governments
in the rich world dreamed of their national champions becoming
world-beaters. Governments in the emerging world welcomed the jobs,
exports and technology that global firms brought. It was a golden age.

【18】not least 尤其

【11】fief封地,势力范围

Concentration is an even harder problem. America in particular has got
into the habit of giving the benefit of the doubt to【19】 big
business. This made some sense in the 1980s and 1990s when giant
companies such as General Motors and IBM were being threatened by
foreign rivals or domestic upstarts. It is less defensible now that
superstar firms are gaining control of entire markets and finding new
ways to entrench themselves.

betway必威 12

【19】give the benefit of the doubt to sb / give sb the benefit of the
doubt
当你无允要反对对方视角的下,如果理据并无充分,则要对方是正确的要无辜的

【12】unbundle 分门别类,分类

Prudent policymakers must reinvent antitrust for the digital age. That
means being more alert to the long-term consequences of large firms
acquiring promising startups. It means making it easier for consumers
to move their data from one company to another, and preventing tech
firms from unfairly privileging their own services on platforms they
control (an area where the commission, in its pursuit of Google,
deserves credit【20】). And it means making sure that people
have a choice of ways of authenticating their identity online.

Central to the rise of the global firm was its claim to be a superior
moneymaking machine. That claim lies in tatters【13】 (see
Briefing). In the past five years the profits of multinationals have
dropped by 25%. Returns on capital have slipped to their lowest in two
decades. A strong dollar and a low oil price explain part of the
decline. Technology superstars and consumer firms with strong brands
are still thriving. But the pain is too widespread and prolonged to be
dismissed as a blip【14】. About 40% of all multinationals make
a return on equity【15】 of less than 10%, a
yardstick【16】 for underperformance. In a majority of
industries they are growing more slowly and are less profitable than
local firms that stayed in their backyard. The share of global profits
accounted for by multinationals has fallen from 35% a decade ago to
30% now. For many industrial, manufacturing, financial,
natural-resources, media and telecoms companies, global reach has
become a burden, not an advantage.

【20】deserve credit 值得赞颂

【13】in tatters破烂不堪,破败的,坍塌的

1917 and all that

The rise of the giants is a reversal of recent history. In the 1980s
big companies were on the retreat, as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald
Reagan took a wrecking ball【21】 to state-protected
behemoths【22】 such as AT&T and British Leyland. But there are
some worrying similarities to a much earlier era. In 1860-1917 the
global economy was reshaped by the rise of giant new industries (steel
and oil) and revolutionary new technologies (electricity and the
combustion engine). These disruptions led to brief bursts of
competition followed by prolonged periods of oligopoly【23】.
The business titans of that age reinforced their positions by driving
their competitors out of business and cultivating close relations with
politicians. The backlash that followed helped to destroy the liberal
order in much of Europe.

betway必威 13

【21】wrecking ball 落锤破碎机,破碎球,这里是负拆分巨型企业

【14】blip暂时性的问题,变故,(仪表屏幕上的)光点

【22】behemoth 超级公司还是单位

betway必威 14

【23】oligopoly 卖方寡头垄断;近义词monopoly

【15】return on equity股权收益率,股本盈利

So, by all means celebrate the astonishing achievements of today’s
superstar companies. But also watch them. The world needs a healthy
dose of competition to keep today’s giants on their toes【24】
and to give those in their shadow a chance to grow.

betway必威 15

【24】keep sb on their toes 使某人保持警醒

betway必威 16

【小结】

【16】yardstick码尺,准绳,衡量标准

Disruption是董事会会议室(boardroom)的兴词语(buzzword),但今天生意最鲜明之特色未是既定秩序(established
order)的毁,而是处于全球经济中心位置的影星企业的建(entrenchment)。高科技公司是才子中之人才,在微机领域(from
bits and bytes)建立了店铺帝国(corporate
empires)。这些店大量生育(churn
out)能够改善人类生活之出品,但在个别只谬误:压制竞争;采用隐瞒的军事管制方保障其领先地位。虽然就点儿单问题都难以解决,但若是非这么做而产生反冲(backlash)的风险。企业扩大(bulking
up)是天下趋势,但集中化(concentration)却是美国无与伦比担忧的题材。垂死挣扎之铺多于新生公司。企业创建者希望把店出售于大柜,而非是创建和谐的大型公司(titan)。对于众多听便自由(laissez-faire)的公司的话,这才是小的题材。高科技企业引发更多用户,收集更多用户数据,从而也客户提供更全面的劳动。明星企业还经过避税天堂(tax
haven)、转让定价(transfer
pricing)、游说者(lobbyist)等方法牟取更多盈利。一些法(更毫不说(to
say nothing
of)美国税法)对袖珍企业之惩罚比大型公司再严苛。法规对一般国民来说是冰冷无情的,但于商家吧倒可商量。市值(market
capitalisation)增加也未克带动重新多工作岗位。人们对利商政策不再抱有幻想(disenchantment)。保护主义(protectionism)和本土主义(nativism)只见面减低生活标准。严格管控(rein
in)大型企业,需要使用强硬措施应针对避税(tax
avoidance)等问题。为了防范有些公司将钱留给于避税地,经合组织国家还得采取行动,尤其(not
least)要吃跨国公司的差分支真正变成分立公司。但征收追溯税(retrospective
tax)等艺术不如多方协商。集中化是双重重的题目。美国早就习惯假定大店是无辜的(give
the benefit of doubt to big
business),但现在明星企业决定总体市场并寻求新措施建立自己身份,这种假设则发失偏颇。决策者需要警惕大商家收购发生前景的微型初创企业只要致使的永后果,防止技术公司利用自身控制的平台对自服务与特权。欧盟处理此类题材的章程值得赞美(deserve
credit)。撒切尔同里到底曾针对国企推行大刀阔斧的私有化改革,使巨型企业(behemoth)进行拆分(took
a wrecking ball to state-protected
behemoths)。当今世界也存在类似之题目。新的特大型商厦崛起,新的革命性技术出现,使得全球经济好重塑。短暂的竞争今后倒是由来已久的大王垄断(oligopoly)。当今明星企业取得的惊人成就值得庆幸,但尚有待观望。世界需要正常的竞争,以使大型公司保持警惕,同时小型企业也能够获取在时机。

betway必威 17

* 注:本文就供就学交流的故,不意味着作者观点。

That is because a 30-year window of arbitrage is closing. Firms’ tax
bills have been massaged down as low as they can go; in China factory
workers’ wages are rising. Local firms have become more sophisticated.
They can steal, copy or displace global firms’ innovations without
building costly offices and factories abroad. From America’s shale
industry to Brazilian banking, from Chinese e-commerce to Indian
telecoms, the companies at the cutting edge【17】 are local, not
global.

【17】cutting edge尖端,最前沿,优势

betway必威 18

The changing political landscape is making things even harder for the
giants. Mr Trump is the latest and most strident【18】
manifestation of a worldwide shift to grab more of the value that
multinationals capture. China wants global firms to place not just
their supply chains there, but also their brainiest activities such as
research and development. Last year Europe and America battled over
who gets the $13bn of tax that Apple and Pfizer pay annually. From
Germany to Indonesia rules on takeovers, antitrust and data are
tightening.

【18】strident强硬的,咄咄逼人的,刺耳的

betway必威 19

Mr Trump’s arrival will only accelerate a gory【19】 process of
restructuring. Many firms are simply too big: they will have to shrink
their empires. Others are putting down deeper roots in the markets
where they operate. General Electric and Siemens are “localising”
supply chains, production, jobs and tax into regional or national
units. Another strategy is to become “intangible”. Silicon Valley’s
stars, from Uber to Google, are still expanding abroad. Fast-food
firms and hotel chains are shifting from flipping burgers and making
beds to selling branding rights. But such virtual multinationals are
also vulnerable to populism because they create few direct jobs, pay
little tax and are not protected by trade rules designed for physical
goods.

【19】gory血腥的,残暴的

betway必威 20

Taking back control

The retreat of global firms will give politicians a feeling of greater
control as companies promise to do their bidding【20】. But not
every country can get a bigger share of the same firms’ production,
jobs and tax. And a rapid unwinding of the dominant form of business
of the past 20 years could be chaotic. Many countries with trade
deficits (including “global Britain”) rely on the flow of capital that
multinationals bring. If firms’ profits drop further, the value of
stockmarkets will probably fall.

【20】to do sb’s bidding服从某人;bidding命令,吩咐,请求

betway必威 21

What of consumers and voters? They touch screens, wear clothes and are
kept healthy by the products of firms that they dislike as immoral,
exploitative and

aloof【21】

. The golden age of global firms has also been a golden age for consumer
choice and efficiency. Its

demise【22】

may make the world seem fairer. But the retreat of the multinational
cannot bring back all the jobs that the likes of Mr Trump promise. And
it will mean rising prices, diminishing competition and slowing
innovation. In time, millions of small firms trading across borders
could replace big firms as transmitters of ideas and capital. But their
weight is tiny. People may yet look back on the era when global firms
ruled the business world, and regret its passing.

【21】aloof冷漠,冷淡;keep/hold oneself aloof, remain/stand
aloof不参与,漠不关注,无动于衷

betway必威 22

【22】demise终止,倒闭,死亡

betway必威 23

【小结】

跨国公司在重返本国(heading
home),原因不仅是保护主义的胁。特朗普讨厌很多工作,大型跨国公司就是其中有。人们谴责跨国公司以就业机会输出到国外、将工厂建在他国而针对美国民众进行了一样集市“大屠杀(carnage)”。对是,特朗普的回是降(domesticate)这些四处掳掠(marauding)的跨国公司。较逊色的税率会把现金引入国内,边境收费会对跨境供应链整合阻碍(hobble)。特朗普的保护主义论调大有力,但从多角度来拘禁他的思量已落伍(behind
the times)。跨国公司在2016年民粹主义反抗之前便已经急剧败退(in
retreat),其财务状况下滑而一筹莫展胜了(outstripping)本土企业,为了消减成本及智胜(out-think)本土竞争者也早就精疲力尽。特朗普猛烈抨击(broadsides)的目标正是那些可怜脆弱(vulnerable)、已经于重返本国的店堂。跨国公司所雇用员工就占据全球之1/50,但这些企业很重要。几千单店影响在几十亿人口之生存。像IBM、麦当劳、福特汽车、H&M、Infosys、联想、本田这样的商家,对于经主管来说都是行业的标杆(benchmark)。这些铺面备绝大部分(the
lion’s
share)知识产权,从女士内衣(lingerie)设计到虚拟现实软件以及糖尿病药物,不一而足。跨国公司在90年份初期蓬勃发展(boomed)。它们没有固守本国“封地(fiefs)”,而是本着职能部门进行分拣细化(unbundled
their
functions)。富裕国家之朝想自己国家的头等企业成为举世无比的强手(becoming
world-beaters)。新兴市场国家的当局欢迎跨国公司带来就业机会、出口以及技艺。那是单金一代。跨国公司的崛起,关键在于自诩为赚取机器,然而这种说法已被击碎(lies
in
tatters)。在过去五年里,跨国公司的赢利下降了25%,资本回报率跌至20年来之最低水平(slipped
to their lowest in two
decades)。这种痛苦,范围广阔,影响深远,绝不会算得暂时性问题(blip)而轻视。约40%的跨国公司的股权收益率(return
on
equity)不足10%,这个数字正是股票弱势(underperformance)的衡量标准(yardstick)。这是盖30年的套利窗口期(window
of
arbitrage)走向终结。公司税单已经休可知还小。中国工厂的工人工资正在上涨。本土企业变得愈加精明干练(sophisticated)。各行各业最前方的(at
the cutting
edge)企业就休是跨国公司,而是本土公司。风云突变的政治前景让大型企业再也难在。世界各个开始充分利用跨国公司的价,特朗普的强硬(strident)手段体现了这种变化。中国不仅要跨国公司以供应链设于中国,还愿意其在中原进行研发等智力活动。特朗普执政只会加紧血腥的(gory)重组过程。很多庄规模极死了,需要以那个壮美帝国缩小。还发头公司当独家市场扎根越来越大。另一个方针是“无形化”。但这种虚拟跨国公司以民粹主义面前还是特别软。跨国公司对政客的一声令下言听计从(promise
to do their
bidding),其撤退会被政客来平等栽更明了的控制感。但连无是每个国家都能以同一企业之产、就业及收税环节占有更多之份额。过去20年来主导的商贸形式快速撤退,会带来混乱的层面。那么消费者和选民又见面遭受怎样影响为?他们看跨国公司道德不够失、唯利是图、冷漠无情(aloof),而她们运用的电子产品、衣物和保健用品正是来自其憎恨的这些店铺。跨国公司的消灭(demise)可能于世界还公正。但其撤退并无克将特朗普之辈许诺的就业机会全部带动回本国。其结果是,物价上涨,竞争减弱,创新减慢。人们回想从跨国公司统治世界之年份,只能扼腕叹息。

\流动:本文就供上交流之用,不代表作者观点。*

相关文章

发表评论

电子邮件地址不会被公开。 必填项已用*标注