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Finance and Economics;Man and machine;财经;投资人与经济机器;The economic ideas of the worlds most successful hedge-fund boss;世界最成功的对冲基金经理的经济思想;“The most beautiful deleveraging yet seen” is how Ray Dalio describes what is now going on in Americas economy. As America has gone through the necessary process of reducing its debt-to-income ratio since the financial crash of 2008, he reckons its policymakers have done well in mixing painful stuff like debt restructuring with injections of cash to keep demand growing. Europes deleveraging, by contrast, is “ugly”.“这是我所见过的最美丽的去杠杆化”Ray Daio如此描述美国的经济现状。2008年经济危机以来,美国经历了为降低负债收入比而必须的的过程,他认为美国的政策制定者们在均衡棘手事务如债务重调和资金注入从而保持需求的持续上升方面做得可圈可点。相比之下,欧洲的去杠杆化显得“丑陋不堪”。Mr Dalios views are taken seriously. He made a fortune betting before the crash that the world had taken on too much debt and would need to slash it. Last year alone, his Bridgewater Pure Alpha fund earned its investors 13.8 billion Dollor, taking its total gains since it opened in 1975 to 35.8 billion Dollor, more than any other hedge fund ever, including the previous record-holder, George Soross Quantum Endowment Fund.Dalio的观点备受界内关注。在经济危机产生之前,他曾对经济局势做了一个断言,即世界经济需要大幅度地削减过重的负债。只去年一年,他的Bridgewater Pure Alpha基金就给投资者带来了138亿美元的回报,这也使得该基金达到自开创以来的358亿美元,并超过了包括以前的纪录保持者George Soros的 Quantum Endownment基金在内的任何一项对冲基金。Mr Dalio, an intense 62-year-old, is following in the footsteps of Mr Soros in other ways, too. Mr Soros has published several books on his theories, and is funding an institute to get mainstream economists to take alternative ideas seriously. Mr Dalio, too, is now trying to improve the public understanding of how the economy works. His economic model “is not very orthodox but gives him a pretty good sense of where the economy is,” says Paul Volcker, a former chairman of Americas Federal Reserve and one of Mr Dalios growing number of influential fans.在其他方面,现如今富有的已62岁的Dalio也在紧跟Soros的步伐。Soros至今已经出版了多本有关其理论的书籍,并正在资助一个机构,以便促使主流经济学家对另类思想加以重视。Dalio也在努力促进公众对经济运作过程的理解。美联储前主席Paul Volcker,作为Dalio日益增多且颇具影响力的粉丝之一,称其经济模式“并非绝对正统,但带给了他相当敏感的经济趋势把握能力”。Whereas Mr Soros credits the influence of Karl Popper, a philosopher who taught him as a student, Mr Dalio says his ideas are entirely the product of his own reflections on his life as a trader and his study of economic history. He has little academic economics (though his work has echoes of Hyman Minsky, an American economist, and of best-selling recent work on downturns by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff) but has conducted in-depth analysis of past periods of economic upheaval, such as the Depression in America, post-war Britain and the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic. He has even simulated being an investor in markets in those periods by ing daily papers from these eras, receiving data and “trading” as if in real time.不同的是,Soros把他的成功归于其学生时代的哲学家老师Karl Popper的影响。Dalio则说他的思想完全是自己作为一个交易商的生活感悟和对经济学历史研究的产物。他几乎没有读过正统的学术经济学(虽然他的著作得到了美国经济学家Hyman Minsky以及Carmen Reinhart和Kenneth Rogoff最近有关经济低迷的畅销书的回应),但是他对过去的经济剧变时期的情况作了深入分析,其中包括美国的经济大萧条,战后的英国和魏玛共和国的恶性通货膨胀。他甚至曾假装自己是当时的投资者,通过阅读当时的日报来获得数据信息,并进行现实般的“交易”。In the early 1980s Mr Dalio started writing down rules that would guide his investing. He would later amend these rules depending on how well they predicted what actually happened. The process is now computerised, so that combinations of scores of decision-rules are applied to the 100 or so liquid-asset classes in which Bridgewater invests. These rules led him to hold both government bonds and gold last year, for example, because the deleveraging process was at a point where, unusually, those two assets would rise at the same time. He was right.在20世纪80年代早期,Dalio就开始积累决策规律以备引导他日后的投资。以后的日子里,他会根据这些规律预测事实的准确度来修改它们。现在这项工作已由计算机来处理,从而得出大量决策规律的组合并将其应用于Bridgewater投资的约100项流动资产中。比如在去年,因为不同寻常的是,在去杠杆化进程中政府债券和黄金会同时涨价,这些决策规律指导他同时握有二者。果不其然,他是正确的。What Mr Dalio calls the “timeless and universal” core of his economic ideas is set out in a 20-page “Template for Understanding” that he wrote shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and recently updated. The document begins: “The economy is like a machine.” This machine may look complex but is, he insists, relatively simple even if it is “not well understood”. Mr Dalio models the macroeconomy from the bottom up, by focusing on the individual transactions that are the machines moving parts. Conventional economics does not pay enough attention to the individual components of supply and, above all, demand, he says. To understand demand properly, you must know whether it is funded by the buyers own money or by credit from others.Dalio所谓的“不受时间限制,放之四海而皆准”的经济思想核心陈述于20页的《用于理解的模板》中。他写于2008年雷曼兄弟(Lehman Brothers)破产后不久并于近日更新。该文件以“经济就像一台机器”开始,他坚信,这台机器可能看起来复杂,但实际上它是相对简单的,即使是在它“不被很好地理解”的情况下。Dalio通过对经济机器的移动组成部分——个体交易,来自下而上地模拟宏观经济。他说,传统经济学对个体组成的供应尤其是他们的需求关注不够。要恰当地了解需求,你就必须知道为它提供资金的钱是来自购买者自己还是从他人的借贷。A huge amount of Bridgewaters efforts goes into gathering data on credit and equity, and understanding how that affects demand from individual market participants, such as a bank, or from a group of participants (such as subprime-mortgage borrowers). Bridgewater predicted the euro-zone debt crisis by totting up how much debt would need to be refinanced and when; and by examining all the potential buyers of that debt and their ability to buy it. Mr Volcker describes the degree of detail in Mr Dalios work as “mind-blowing” and admits to feeling sometimes that “he has a bigger staff, and produces more relevant statistics and analyses, than the Federal Reserve.”Bridgewater公司花了大力气来收集有关信贷和普通股的数据,并分析其是如何影响单个市场参与者比如一家和一群参与者(比如次级抵押贷款者)的需求的。该公司通过对需要再贷款的债务总值的合计,以及对欧元区债务潜在购买者的数量和他们的购买能力的研究,成功预测了欧元区的债务危机和其发生的时间。Volcker如此描述Dalio工作的细节详细程度——“叹为观止”,他也承认,在有些时候“他(Dalio)有更强大的团队,并能给出比美联储更中肯的统计数据和分析”。Two sorts of credit cycle are at the heart of Mr Dalios economic model: the business cycle, which typically lasts five to eight years, and a long-term (“long wave”) debt cycle, which can last 50-70 years. A business cycle usually ends in a recession, because the central bank raises the interest rate, reducing borrowing and demand. The debt cycle ends in deleveraging because there is a “shortage of capable providers of capital and/or a shortage of capable recipients of capital( borrowers and sellers of equity) that cannot be rectified by the central bank changing the cost of money.” Business cycles happen often, they are well understood and policymakers are fairly adept at managing them. A debt cycle tends to come along in a country once in a lifetime, tends to be poorly understood and is often mishandled by policymakers.Dalio的经济模式中有两种核心的信贷周期:通常持续5-8年的商业周期和长期的(“长波”)债务周期,后者长达50-70年。一次商业周期一般在经济衰退中结束,因为在经济衰退期,中央会提高利率,以降低贷款和需求。债务周期结束于去杠杆化过程中,此时“缺乏有能力的资金提供者或资金接收者(股权的贷方和卖方),而中央却无法通过改变资金成本来加以调节。”。商业周期时常产生,它们易于理解,也是政策制定者们善于控制的;然而,对某个国家而言,债务周期往往在人一生中只发生一次,所以他们对此不甚了解且往往处理不当。An ordinary recession can be ended by the central bank lowering the interest rate again. A deleveraging is much harder to end. According to Mr Dalio, it usually requires some combination of debt restructurings and write-offs, austerity, wealth transfers from rich to poor and money-printing. A “beautiful deleveraging” is one in which all these elements combine to keep the economy growing at a nominal rate that is higher than the nominal interest rate. (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: Mr Dalio expects Americas GDP growth to average only 2% over a 15-year period.)中央通过降低利率来解决一般情况下的经济衰退。而去杠杆化远非如此简单,据Dalio称,它通常需要均衡债务重调与销账、财政紧缩、财富由富有阶层到贫困阶层的转移以及钞票印刷之间的关系。所谓“美丽的去杠杆化”是指能综合所有提及的因素从而保持经济的名义增长率高于名义利率。(所说的美丽是在旁观者眼中的:Dalio预期在为期15年的时间里,美国的GDP平均增长率仅为2%)Print too little money and the result is an ugly, deflationary deleveraging (see Greece); print too much and the deleveraging may become inflationary, as in Weimar Germany. Although Mr Dalio says he fears being misunderstood as saying “print a lot of money and everything will be OK, which I dont believe, all deleveragings have ended with the printing of significant amounts of money. But it has to be in balance with other policies.”印制过少货币的结果是“丑陋”的、通货紧缩的去杠杆化(比如希腊);印制过多则会导致类似德国魏玛的通货膨胀的去杠杆化。Dalio说“我并不同意所有去杠杆化都要大量地印制货币,那么只要印制钞票就会万事大吉的观点。但是这(货币的印制)确实需要和其他政策均衡作用”。即使他说自己担心被人误解。Mr Dalio admits to being wrong roughly a third of the time; indeed, he attributes a big part of his success to managing the risk of bad calls. And the years ahead are likely to provide a serious test of whether the economic machine is as simple as he says. For now, he is in a more optimistic mood thanks to the European Central Banks recent moves, in effect, to print money. Although he still expects debt restructuring in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland, on top of that in Greece, he says that the “risk of chaos has been reduced and we are now calming ourselves down.”Heres hoping he is right again.Dalio承认他可能在犯第三次错误,而事实上,他把自己成功的大部分归功于对错误预测的风险的把握上。而且,过去的几年似乎是对他严峻的考验——验经济机器是否同他说的一样简单。就现在来说,因为今日欧洲中央正实行的货币印刷举措,他处于较乐观的心态。即使他仍希望西班牙、葡萄牙、意大利和爱尔兰尤其是希腊的债务重组。他说“混乱的风险已被降低,我们正在逐步安定下来”。这一次,我们希望它仍然是对的。 /201302/226337

Asimo is probably the worlds most famous humanoid right now.在模拟真人上,阿西莫算得上是当今世界上最著名的。My creators have been at this for over 20 years. At first, we look like TV sets with legs; later, we look more like humans.为了让我面世,我的设计者们已经费尽心机20多年。开始,我们就像是一个有脚的电视机,后来才慢慢有了人样。”It makes sense that if you are going to build a general-purpose robot that can perform any task that a human can do, youd like to make it anthropomorphic, have a human shape.“打造一个全面模仿人类的机器人,去帮人类做各种事情,这听起来还是可行的。你要赋予它人性以及人形。”Asimo walks gracefully. His creators study motion capture of both humans and animals. Designed to detect the ground beneath him, his body responds appropriately, so Asimo keeps his balance.阿西莫行走优雅。它的设计者们仔细研究了人类和动物的行动,并捕捉录像,使它具备探测脚下地况的能力。它的身体可以针对路面情况作出适当的反应,因而能够保持平衡。His appearance was also a careful choice.他的外型也是经过精心设计的。I am just under 4 feet tall, the size of an eight-year-old boy.我只有4英尺高,跟一个8岁儿童身高一样。;So he is a small stature humanoid and in that way hes very non-threatening and people have an affinity for Asimo.所以他是一个身材矮小的小人,这样也就不构成威胁,并让人们感受到它的亲和力。Especially, considering all that Asimo can do for us.尤其是从Asimo能为我们做任何事这方面来考虑。;Theyll be able to assist us much in the same way as our computers have, but now suddenly this powerful computer is mobile and can actually act upon your commands. Theyll be connected to the internet so that if you need some information you dont have to go to a terminal and type a search term, you can just ask your robot.;他们能像电脑一样协助我们,只是这种强大的电脑能够活动,并能听从你的指令行动。他们会跟电脑连接,这样如果你需要某些信息的话,就不用跑到电脑跟前,打出要搜索的关键字,而是直接问机器人。原文译文属!201207/190307

Business商业Selling clothes online in Russia俄罗斯装行业的电子商务Fabric of society装世界Two Germans have a mission: to clothe the Russian middle classes两个德国人的使命:令俄罗斯中产阶层人士穿上他们卖的衣ONLINE as well as offline, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Vente-Privee, a firm founded on the strange notion that French women might like fashionable clothes at deep discounts, has been paid this compliment more than most. Companies cut from similar cloth have appeared in one country after another. In 2008 two German men, Damian Doberstein and Oskar Hartmann, spotted that Russian women were missing out. ;No one was telling Russian women, ‘You could look good for 70% less,; Mr Hartmann says.无论在线上或是线下,模仿是最真诚的恭维方式。 Vente-Privee,(法国装折扣店)一间以法国女人可能喜欢深度打折的潮流饰,这一奇特的理念而起家的公司,已经被众多公司模仿。许多公司会把已经出现在多个国家的同类衣下架。2008年,两个德国人Damian-Doberstein (达米安.多倍斯坦因)和Oskar Hartmann(奥斯卡.哈曼特),发现俄罗斯女性被这些装网购公司所忽略了。哈特曼说,;没有人告诉过俄罗斯女人,少花70%的钱也能穿得光鲜亮丽。;They expect that their company, KupiVIP, will have sales of around 0m this year. Mr Hartmann says it breaks even. Given the fast growth of Russias internet population and of a middle class eager for nice clothes but mostly a long way from nice shops, the two men think they could turn over billion within five years.他们预计他们的公司,KupiVIP,今年的营业额能够达到约2亿美元。哈特曼认为甚至会超过。随着俄罗斯快速增加的网民数量以及中层人士对来自非名店的优质衣需求的增加,这两个人认为营业额能够在五年内达到十亿。The pair want to fill more than just the smarter end of the female wardrobe. Besides their original business, which is still the biggest part of the group, they have an online full-price shop, ShopTime, aimed at both sexes and all shapes and sizes. They also run online shops on behalf of well-known brands, of which they expect to be servicing 23 by the end of the year.他们不单单只想抢占高档的女性装市场。除了他们最早的商务,现在仍是公司最大的商业版块,他们还有一个线上原价店,ShopTime,主要出售男女饰以及各种款色和码数的装。他们也运营线上名牌的特许旗舰店,他们期望能在今年年底代理23个名牌饰。When he was in an e-commerce business in Germany, Mr Hartmann says, he outsourced ;everything;. In Russia, ;we have to do everything ourselves;, from the call centre to the photographing of models. To make sure that fashion-conscious Russians get the clothes they ordered, KupiVIP owns a fleet of 100 vans and leases a lot of others. It uses the post office to send clothes by air to the farthest-flung corners of the vast, icy, sparsely populated country.哈特曼说,当他在德国做电子商务的时候,他把一切都给外包了。但在俄罗斯,;我们不得不自己做一切事情;,包括从电话务中心到模特的拍摄工作。为了确保关注时尚的俄罗斯人能得到他们订购的衣,KupiVIP拥有一100辆货车的车队以及租借了许多其他公司的货车。公司用邮局把衣空运到最远角落的,巨大,寒冷且人烟稀少的国家。Online retailers in Russia have to put up with other local traits. Most customers prefer to pay in cash on delivery, and about a quarter of goods are rejected at the door. That, says Mr Hartmann, who is as talkative as Mr Doberstein is taciturn, is just something companies have to deal with. ;Never complain about the customer,; says Mr Hartmann. Once a quarter, he makes sure he meets some of them, by making deliveries himself.在俄罗斯做线上零售需要依据其他当地的特点进行调整。许多顾客偏爱货到付款,而大约四分之一的货物会被退回来。平时像Doberstein一样健谈的哈特曼谈及此时也沉默了,他说道,这只是公司必须处理的事情之一。;永远不要抱怨你的客户;,哈特曼说。三个月一次,他总会通过自己的直接配送货物,去见其中一部分客户。 /201210/202504

Business商业Microsoft and privacy微软与隐私Change of track转轨Data on peoples online behaviour are worth both paying for and arguing over广告商愿意花钱购买记录人们在线行为的数据,但跟踪用户行为是否合理则是一个值得探讨的问题AN OLD saw has it that half of all advertising budgets are wasted—the trouble is, no one knows which half.人们常说:花在广告上的钱有一半都浪费掉了——问题在于没人知道是哪一半。In the internet age, at least in theory, this fraction can be much reduced.在互联网时代,至少在理论上,被浪费的那一部分资金中,有很多都可以节省下来。By watching what people search for, click on and say online, companies can aim ;behavioural; ads at those most likely to buy.根据人们搜索的关键词、点击的链接及他们在网上所说的内容,企业可以针对那些最有可能购买它们产品的用户投放;行为;广告。In the past couple of weeks three deals and a quarrel have illustrated the value to advertisers (and their suppliers of software) of such fine-grained information.在过去几个星期中发生的三起交易及一场争论显示了这些精细信息对于广告商(及他们的软件提供者)的价值。The first deal came on May 23rd, when Oracle said it was buying Vitrue, which helps firms run their marketing on social media, for a reported 0m.第一起交易是在5月23日,当时甲骨文公司(Oracle)表示它们将收购Vitrue,这是一家协助企业开展社交网络营销业务的公司。据报道,收购金额为3亿美元。On June 5th it added Collective Intellect, which analyses what people say about companies on Facebook, Twitter and so forth, for an undisclosed sum.6月5日,甲骨文公司称它们还将收购Collective Intellect,但并未透露收购价格。Collective Intellect是一家对网民在Facebook、Twitter之类的网站上对企业的评价进行分析的公司。A day earlier Salesforce.com, a cloud-computing company mustard-keen on social media, had said it would pay 9m for Buddy Media, a competitor of Vitrues.就在这一消息传出的前一天(6月4日),极想进军社交网络的云计算公司Salesforce称将斥资6.89亿美元收购Buddy Media(Vitrue的竞争者之一)。Buddy should fit in with Radian 6, which, like Collective Intellect, monitors social media—and for which Salesforce paid 6m last year.Buddy与Radian 6应该是可以兼容的。后者在去年被Salesforce以3.26亿美元买下,与Collective Intellect一样,这也是一家对社交网站的数据进行分析的公司。The quarrel is the latest round in a long-running argument.前面提到的争论则是已经持续了相当长时间的一场论战的最新一轮。Should advertisers assume that people are happy to be tracked and sent behavioural ads? Or should they have explicit permission?广告商们做出如下假设是否合理:用户愿意广告商记录他们的在线行为并且愿意接受广告商投放的行为广告?广告商是否应该得到用户明确的许可?Many people give scarcely a thought to being electronically snooped on as they browse, but some object furiously.许多人对于自己的在线行为被监控的做法毫不在乎,但有些人则强烈反对。In December 2010 Americas Federal Trade Commission proposed adding a ;do not track; (DNT) option to internet browsers, so that users could tell advertisers that they did not want to be followed.2010年12月,美国联邦商务委员会建议在浏览器中加入;不允许跟踪(DNT);的选项,通过启用这一功能,用户可以告诉广告商他们不希望自己的在线行为被跟踪。Mozillas Firefox, Microsofts Internet Explorer and Apples Safari all offer DNT; Googles Chrome is due to do so this year.斯拉(Mozilla)的火狐(Firefox)、微软(Microsoft)的IE(Internet Explorer)及苹果的浏览器Safari都有;不允许跟踪;选项;今年,谷歌也将在Chrome中加入这一功能。In February the FTC and the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), a consortium of trade bodies, agreed that the industry would get cracking on responding to DNT requests.2月份,联邦商务委员会(FTC:Federal Trade Commission)和数字广告联盟(DAA:Digital Advertising Alliance,一个商贸团体联盟)已经达成一致意见:广告行业应该着手处理用户提出的;不允许跟踪;请求。In the European Union a new rule requires websites to ask before using ;cookies; to gather data about users behaviour.欧盟出台的一项新规定要求网站在利用;cookies;收集用户在线行为的信息之前需要征得用户的同意。On May 31st Microsoft set off the row. It said that Internet Explorer 10, the version due to appear with Windows 8, a new incarnation of the software firms operating system, would have DNT as a default.5月31日,微软率先挑起了争论。微软称即将与Windows8(该公司的新版操作系统)一起推出的IE10中,;不允许跟踪;是默认设置。Advertisers are horrified. Human nature being what it is, most people stick with default settings.这个消息令广告商们惶恐不已。大多数用户都不会去修改浏览器的默认设置,这是人的本性使然。Few switch DNT on now, but if tracking is off it will stay off.现在很少有人会开启;不允许跟踪;功能,但如果默认就是;不允许跟踪;,那么;跟踪;功能就会一直处于关闭状态。Bob Liodice, the chief executive of the Association of National Advertisers, one of the groups in the DAA, says consumers will be worse off if the industry cannot collect information about their preferences.美国广告主协会(the Association of National Advertisers)是数字广告联盟下属的一个组织,该协会会长Bob Liodice称,如果广告商不能收集有关用户偏好的信息,那么这对于消费者来说将更为不利。People will not get fewer ads, he says. ;Theyll get less meaningful, less targeted ads.;这并不意味着用户会看到的广告会变少。;他们看到的将是那些更没有意义、更没有针对性的广告;,他说道。It is not yet clear how advertisers will respond.广告商们会对此作何反应仍不清楚。Getting a DNT signal does not oblige anyone to stop tracking, although some companies (including Twitter) have promised to do so.即使用户选择;不允许跟踪;,这也无法迫使任何一家广告商停止跟踪用户在线行为,尽管有些企业(包括Twitter)已经承诺会根据用户的要求决定是否跟踪。Unable to tell whether someone really objects to behavioural ads or whether they are sticking with Microsofts default, some may ignore a DNT signal and press on anyway.由于无法分辨用户是真的反对行为广告还是因为他们只是没有修改微软浏览器的默认设置,一些公司可能忽略;不允许跟踪;信号,继续记录用户的在线行为。Also unclear is why Microsoft has gone it alone.为什么单单微软会采取这样的措施?After all, it has an ad business too, which it says will comply with DNT requests, though it is still working out how.个中原因仍不清楚。要知道,微软自身也有广告业务。微软称它们将根据用户的;不允许跟踪;来决定是否记录用户在线行为,不过具体实施方案仍在研究当中。If it is trying to rile Google, which relies almost wholly on advertising, it has chosen an indirect method: there is no guarantee that DNT by default will become the norm.如果微软想要激怒Google(几乎所有收入都来自广告业务)的话,那么此举则是一个间接的方法:没人能保将;不允许跟踪;作为浏览器的默认设置会成为行业规范。DNT does not seem an obviously huge selling point for Windows 8—though the firm has compared some of its other products favourably with Googles on that count before.这似乎并不是Windows8很明显的一大卖点——在此之前,微软将其他产品与Google对应的产品进行了对比,认为自己的产品更胜一筹。Brendon Lynch, Microsofts chief privacy officer, blogged: ;We believe consumers should have more control.;微软的首席隐私官布伦丹?林奇(Brendon Lynch)在客中写道:;我们认为用户应该有更大的话语权。;Could it really be that simple?真的是这么简单吗? /201211/208316


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