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读懂天下财经新闻:懂经济的索马里海盗

2015-12-08    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

读懂天下财经新闻:懂经济的索马里海盗

As Somali pirates become ever more audacious, they are regularly portrayed in the press as vicious aggressors, taking innocent people hostage, only to auction them off at vast ransoms. There is much truth in that: on Thursday one pirate band hijacked a U.S.-bound oil tanker even as it emerged that another had killed two Filipino crewmen in late January after a botched rescue mission. But there is another way to assess these buccaneers as businessmen, who have smartly figured out the way trade is flowing, and how to get their share.
由于索马里海盗越来越猖獗,他们在媒体上经常被描绘成狠毒歹徒:把无辜的 人抓为人质,勒索巨额赎金后才肯放人。很大程度上事实确实如此:上周,一伙海盗 劫持了一艘去往美国的油轮;1月下旬,在救援行动出现失误而失败后,另一伙海盗 杀害了两名菲律宾船员。但还有另一种方式来评估这些海盗:作为商人,他们聪明 地搞清楚国际贸易如何流动,并研究出自己怎样从中分到一杯羹。

The booming piracy industry is a neat metaphor for our globalized economy. Just about everything you need to know about how money is made and lost is encapsulated in the daily battles between cargo captains and the pirate skiffs in the Somali basin.
“海盗业”的繁荣是对全球化经济的一个生动隐喻。在索马里海盆,货轮船长和 海盗的小艇每天上演的战斗,浓缩了所有关于如何赚到金钱,又如何损失金钱的事 情。

For starters, know your customer. One of the keys to understanding the modern multinational is to realize it hates embarrassment. Bear in mind that when faced with any challenge, whether from a lobby group, government or nerdy teenager on Twitter, its instinctive response is to crumple. Then imagine what it will do when confronted with poor people with guns: give in without a fight. Sure enough, most shipping companies don’t even allow their guards to bear weapons. It is not the kind of thing Human Resources wants to get involved in. All the pirates have to do is take a ship, steer it to harbor, then ask for a few million dollars for its return. So long as they don’t hurt anyone and usually they have understood that a modern multinational will always pay up, to make the problem go away.
首先,要了解客户。了解现代跨国公司的关键点是要明白他们不喜欢难堪。要 记住,当面临任何挑战时,无论是面对游说团体、政府还是Twitter上的某个小宅男, 他们的本能反应都是屈服o再设想一下他们面对端着枪的穷人时会怎么做:不战而 降。当然,多数航运公司甚至不允许他们的保安携带武器,那可不是人力资源部门 愿意涉足的事。海盗们需要做的只是劫一艘船,开回港口,放出话来说收到数百万 美元的赎金后才放行。只要不伤害任何人,他们通常不会伤害人,他们明白一家现 代跨国公司总是愿意为了息事宁人而掏钱的。

Second, as the economy changes, stay flexible and be ready to reinvent yourself. Somalia was not always a hotbed of piracy. Its main industry in the Punt land region where the pirates have their hub,was fishing. After the government collapsed, however, its territorial waters could not be enforced, and other fleets came and stole the stock. But, as the saying has it, there are always other fish in the sea. At the same time, the mighty Chinese export machine was cranking into action, sending quantities of material to Europe. The most economical route was up through the Suez Canal, which meant that Punctuates ex-fishermen had billions of dollars of stuff sailing right past them. All they needed to do was ask for a fraction of that what bond traders would call a quarter of a basis point. And, hey presto, they’d become toll collectors rather than fishermen.
其次,随着经济的变化,保持灵活,随时准备转型。索马里并非一直是海盗的温 床,在海盗集中的邦特兰地区,渔业曾是支柱产业。然而政府垮台后,由于无法保护 其领海,别国船只进人其领海,盗捕渔业资源。但是,正如一句老话所说,海里总有 别的鱼。同一时期,中国强大的出口机器开始运转,将大量物资运往欧洲。最经济的航路是通过苏伊士运河,这就意味着巨额货物在 邦特兰的前渔民们面前经过。他们需要做的只是 从中索取极小的一部分,也就是债券交易者所说 的四分之一个基点。于是这些渔民摇身一变,当 上了收费员。

Three, equip yourself with the right kit. You never want to let your IT department get behind the curve. Piracy is, just like everything, fundamentally an information business. You are not going to get much of a ransom for a ship full of wheat or cement. What you want is a boatload of snazzy Samsung 3D TVs, or, even better, Shoshones. Fortunately, ships are now fitted with the Automatic Identification System, a computer system that logs details of every ship, its crew and cargo. It is great for customs, and ship management: unfortunately, the pirates are smart enough to hack into it. They know precisely which vessels are worth targeting. When that fails, they use spotters in Dubai and Oman to make note of valuable boats. As anyone in the City of London will tell you, the only trades worth doing are the inside ones. The pirates have learned that lesson.
第三,用精良的工具装备自己。千万不要让 IT部门落后于潮流。海盗像其他行业一样,从根 本上说是一种信息业务。要是挟持了一船小麦或 水泥,恐怕敲诈不到多少赎金。最好挟持的是一 船时髦的三星3D电视,要是一船iPhone就更好 了。幸运的是,如今船舶上都装配了船舶自动识别系统,这种电脑系统记录下每艘船以及船上船员和货物的详细数据。这对海关和 船舶管理者无疑很有帮助,但不幸的是,精明的海盗也能侵入其中。他们清楚地知 道哪些船值得下手。如果黑客入侵失败,他们还能让守候在迪拜和阿曼的“侦察员” 摸清哪些船舶值得下手。伦敦金融城的任何内行都会告诉你,只有内幕交易才值得 做。海盗们早已领悟了这一点。

Four, pay the staff right. The economics of a hit are as precisely tabulated as a McKinley time-and-motion study. Each attack costs about $6,000. An investor puts up the capital in return for a third of the takings: London’s private equity houses would probably drive a harder bargain,but would recognize the structure of the deal. The money is used for the information, the skiff, the guns, and the hat, a powerful narcotic the pirates chew constantly. Remaining profits are split equally between the men. The youngest member of the attack force, usually about 14, will scale the ship first a dangerous job, with the highest probability of getting killed but will get 30 per cent extra. Get some youngsters, and allow them to take huge if potentially lethal risks, with the promise of a vast bonus if by some miracle they get out alive? There probably isn’t a director of an investment bank who wouldn’t recognize the business model.
第四,合理支付员工。一次海盗袭击的经济学数据,就好比麦肯锡的一项动作 和时间研究,有条有理。每次海盗袭击的成本大约为6000美元。投资者提供资本,以 换取三分之一的赎金。伦敦的私募股权基金大概会要求更高的回报,但对这种交易 结构也能认可。这笔钱用于支付信息、快艇、枪支,以及海盗们经常在嚼的强力麻醉 品——阿拉伯茶。剩下的利润由所有海盗平分,“突击队”里最年轻的队员往往只有 14岁,他们会首先魏。这針危险的任务,被杀死的概率最大,但能多拿30%的分 成。找一些敢于冲锋陷阵的年轻人,让他们承担可能致命的巨大风险,承诺如果他 们奇迹般地活着回来就能得到巨额分红。投资银行的老总们恐怕都很熟悉这种商 业模式。

Finally, if nothing else, the pirates,success shows that trickle-down economics does work eventually. Parts of Somalia are growing rich on the “tolls” their seafarers collect from cargo ships steaming between Asia and Europe. It’s just that sometimes you need a few AK -47s to make sure some of the wealth trickles down to you.
最后,至少可以说,海盗的成功显示了向下滴流经济学最终的确是有效的。索 马里的一些地区靠海盗们从来往于亚洲和欧洲之间的货轮上敲诈的“通行费”得以 脱贫致富。只是有时候要有几支AK~47突击步枪,才能保证这些财富能“滴”到你兜 里。



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