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社説:米債務上限交渉 世界を道連れにするな

(Mainichi Japan) July 27, 2011
U.S. gov't must make debt deal to prevent another 'Made in USA' global finance catastrophe
社説:米債務上限交渉 世界を道連れにするな

With each passing day, the unthinkable grows closer: default by the government of the United States on the U.S. national debt.
 「ありえない」と思われてきた事態が、日一日と現実に近づいている。世界で最も信用力が高い米国債の債務不履行(デフォルト)だ。

The deadline for the U.S. Congress to approve raising the country's debt ceiling from the current 14.3 trillion dollars is Aug. 2.
 期限は8月2日。

If the deadlock between President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress, and Republican members of Congress behind House Speaker John Boehner is not broken by that date, the U.S. government will run out of cash, civil servants will stop getting paid, social security checks won't be issued, and government services will grind to a halt.
それまでに米議会が現行14・3兆ドル(約1130兆円)の連邦債務の法定上限を引き上げられなければ、政府の現金は底をつき、公務員への給料支払いや社会保障の給付が止まり、行政サービスが深刻な停滞を余儀なくされる。

However, the greatest fear surrounding a default is that it would cast the global financial markets into chaos and deal a massive blow to the world economy.
 だが最も心配なのはデフォルトによる金融市場の混乱や世界経済への打撃だ。

The market still apparently believes that a U.S. default is impossible, and that a last-minute deal will be made to raise the debt ceiling.
市場はまだ「ありえない」と土壇場での決着を信じようとしているが、

However, with the U.S. dollar drifting down to just 77 yen, the strain even in market circles is beginning to show.
円相場が一時、1ドル=77円台に突入するなど、次第に緊迫の度合いが高まってきた。

Debt-rating giant Moody's Investors Service first slapped its premiere AAA rating on U.S. debt in 1917, and it hasn't budged since.
 米格付け会社、ムーディーズ・インベスターズ・サービスが初めてトリプルAという最高位の格付けを与えた1917年以来、1世紀近く最もデフォルトから遠い位置にあった米国債である。

The very fact that it has been considered the most trustworthy sovereign debt in the world for so long makes predicting what effects the current crisis will have all the more difficult.
想定外の事態に陥った時の影響は極めて予測しがたい。

However, even as the world sweats over the looming financial catastrophe, Washington gazes only inward, fixated on its political game of chicken.
 ところが市場や世界の不安をよそに、ワシントンでは今なお、内向きの政治ゲームが続く。

Far from narrowing the gap between the Republican and Democratic positions, it appears the parties are digging in, making a compromise even more difficult to reach.
与野党の溝は狭まるどころか、むしろ修復し難いほど開きつつあるようだ。

The Republicans are set on raising the debt ceiling in two stages -- the first this year and the second in 2012 -- and starting negotiations on serious cuts to the budget deficit in tandem with the second step.
 債務の上限引き上げを今年、来年の2段階で行い、本格的な財政赤字削減策の協議を2段階目の引き上げと絡めたい共和党。

Their aim is to time the second stage -- and the accompanying budget cuts -- to land in the midst of the 2012 presidential election campaign, hoping to destabilize their Democratic opponents at the vital moment.
来年秋の選挙前に相手を揺さぶる狙いがある。

The Democrats, however, are pushing to have the debt ceiling raised this year by an amount that would also cover 2012, thereby getting the party through the autumn election without need of a pitched battle over budget cuts.
これに対し民主党は今回1回で来年末までの必要分を引き上げたい考えだ。

Of course, it's natural for politicians in democratic countries to worry about the next election.
 政治家が次の選挙を意識するのはどこの国でも同じだろう。

Particularly members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who must face voters every two years, tend to play constantly to their district constituents to better their chances of retaining their seats.
特に全議席が2年ごとに改選となる米下院では、議員が常に選挙区受けを狙った言動を取りがちだ。

For the Republicans, who swept to a majority in the lower chamber in the last midterm election, this means taking a lot of pressure from the Tea Party grassroots conservative movement -- dead-set against raising the debt limit -- that helped propel the Republican Party to victory.
その下院で過半数を握るのが昨年の中間選挙で躍進した共和党だが、勝利を支えた保守系草の根運動「ティーパーティー」から、上限引き上げに断固反対するよう強い圧力がかかっている。

However, this should not be an issue subject to Washington's usual electoral anxiety.
U.S. congressmen and women must act to protect international trust in the dollar, to uphold what is so obviously a major U.S. interest.
 しかし、ここはドルの信用を守るという、はるかに大きな国益を優先させるべきだ。

That they and the president should get a deal done on the debt ceiling soon is a given, as is the necessity of drastic deficit-cutting measures.
債務の上限引き上げで早急に合意することはもちろん、実効性のある抜本的な財政赤字削減策も不可欠である。

Half measures would invite a U.S. debt downgrade, possibly triggering at least a short-term crash in the value of the dollar, long-term interest rate hikes, and sinking stock prices worldwide.
中途半端な妥結では、結局、格下げを招き、短期的にせよ、ドルの急落(円の急騰)や長期金利の急上昇、世界的株安など負の連鎖が起きる恐れがある。

"We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare," Obama said during a national television address on July 25, aimed at rallying the American people around a call for compromise.
 「ワシントンの政争が米国民を巻き添えにするようなことは許されない」--。事態打開の道が見えない中、オバマ大統領は国民向けに演説し妥協を呼びかけた。

The potential chaos stemming from a failure to break the debt ceiling impasse, however, would not just suck in the American people.
しかし巻き添えになりそうなのは米国民だけではない。

It has not yet been three years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers sparked a global financial crisis that nearly tipped the world into another Great Depression.
リーマン・ショックからまだ3年もたたないのに、

No matter the causes or the background, it would be very difficult for us outside the United States to accept another "Made in the USA" financial catastrophe.
世界が再度、米国発の金融危機に巻き込まれることなど、到底、受け入れがたい。

毎日新聞 2011年7月27日 東京朝刊
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by kiyoshimat | 2011-07-29 03:34 | 英字新聞

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