米国債格下げ―世界危機への連鎖防げ

2011/08/10
--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 9
EDITORIAL: Countries need to work together to avert another global financial crisis
米国債格下げ―世界危機への連鎖防げ

Standard & Poor's, the credit rating agency, has stripped the U.S. government debt of its top-notch rating for the first time in history.
 初の米国債格下げ。

Europe's sovereign debt crisis is showing no signs of waning.
収まらない欧州の債務問題。

And the yen is trading at historically high levels against the greenback.
そして歴史的な円高ドル安――。

Concerns about government debt in the industrialized world are threatening to create a full-blown financial crisis that will deliver a massive blow to the global economy.
財政赤字をめぐる不安が世界経済を揺るがす危機に発展しかねない。

The urgency of the situation prodded the Group of Seven leading economies into action.
 そんな切迫感から主要7カ国(G7)が動いた。

At an emergency conference Aug.7, their finance ministers and central bankers issued a joint statement pledging to work in tandem to regain fiscal health and restore stability in foreign exchange markets.
電話による緊急の財務相・中央銀行総裁会議を開き、財政再建や為替安定などで結束するとの声明を発した。

We welcome their quick response to the situation.
機敏な反応を歓迎する。

For many years, U.S. government bonds have been regarded as the safest financial assets in the world.
 米国債は長く世界で最も安全な金融資産とされてきた。

But Standard & Poor's, one of the three major credit-rating agencies, has--for the first time ever--lowered its rating of long-term federal debt one notch from the top grade of AAA.
その最上位の格付けを、大手格付け会社スタンダード・アンド・プアーズ(S&P)が初めて引き下げた。

The investment services company said the downgrade was based mainly on a bleaker outlook for the U.S. public finances in the wake of political confusion in the Congress over the issue of increasing the government's borrowing limit.
債務上限の引き上げなどをめぐる米議会の政治的混乱から、本格的な財政再建への展望が暗い点を重く見た。

As former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker once said, the key question concerning the problem of government debt is not whether the country can pay back its debt but whether it has the will to do so.
 政府債務問題は「その国が返済できるかどうかではなく、返済する気があるかどうかの問題だ」(ボルカー元米連邦準備制度理事会議長)といわれる。

The recent partisan squabbling over the debt ceiling issue has called into question Washington's will to tackle its fiscal woes.
まさにこの点への疑義が募った。

The U.S. government and Congress should work together to come up with stronger, more convincing measures to reduce the federal debt.
米政府と議会に財政再建策の拡充を改めて求めたい。

The two other major rating agencies, Moody's Investor Service and Fitch Ratings, have decided to maintain their top credit ratings for the U.S. government.
 ムーディーズ、フィッチという他の大手は最上位の格付けを維持した。

There are clearly no other financial assets that are as safe, liquid and actively traded as U.S. government bonds.
相対的に信用が高く、発行量も多く、市場取引も活発な金融資産として、米国債に代わるものは他に見当たらない。

Analysts say the downgrade is unlikely to prompt investors to dump Treasuries.
投げ売りが広がる恐れは少ないとみられている。

But even the indirect effects of the downgrade are serious enough to warrant much attention.
 ただし、格下げの間接的な影響だけでも無視できない。

As the risk of investing in Treasuries has increased, investors are likely to try to reduce their exposure to riskier investments, with serious consequences for stocks and bonds with lower ratings.
投資家は米国債のリスクが高まった分、もっと危ない投資対象を減らして対応する可能性が高い。

The immediate worry is that the rolling sovereign debt crisis in Europe may become even worse.
株式や格付けの低い債券への影響が心配だ。まず懸念されるのが、すでに欧州で燃え上がっている政府債務危機の火に油が注がれることだ。

The G-7 joint statement called on the member states of the European Union to swiftly ratify and implement their recent agreements on measures to enhance the European Financial Stability Facility, a bailout fund to rescue debt-ridden European countries.
 G7の緊急声明は、欧州が先に決めた欧州金融安定化基金の強化策を加盟国が早く承認して実行するよう催促している。

Europe needs to act with haste to expand the fund so as to ease concerns about Italy's debt crisis.
イタリアの不安を抑え込むため、安定化基金の拡大にも急ぎ取りかかってほしい。

The joint G-7 statement also suggested that the world's richest countries are ready to make concerted intervention in currency markets to stop the dollar from weakening further and to curb wild fluctuations in exchange rates.
 緊急声明はドル安と為替相場の混乱を防ぐため、協調介入もにおわせた。

Japan wants to prevent the yen, which is already close to the all-time high against the dollar, from rising further. 日本は戦後最高値に迫る円高の進行を押しとどめたい。

But the dollar's weakness is not a problem for Japan alone.
だが、ドル安は日本だけの問題ではない。

A repeat of the devaluation race that occurred last autumn must be avoided.
昨秋のような通貨安競争の再燃は避けなければならない。

The current crisis resulted from a confluence of deep-rooted problems.
 進行中の危機は根が深い。

Countries need to take steps to fix their public finances while preventing their economies from sinking into recession in the face of relentless pressure from markets.
市場の圧迫に耐え、景気悪化を防ぎ、しかも財政再建を進める。

The question is whether the major industrial nations will be able to commit themselves firmly to cooperation for achieving these goals.
そんな3正面作戦に向けて主要国が腰を据えて協力できるかどうか。

Also important is expanding this international cooperation to include key emerging countries like China.
中国など新興国にも連携の輪を広げられるか。

Another big challenge facing rich countries is how to deal with the consequences of the trend toward a multipolar currency system, which will be accelerated by the downgrade of U.S. government bonds.
そして米国債の格下げで進むであろう国際通貨秩序の多極化にどう対応するか。

The multitude of challenges facing the world economy demands strenuous and coordinated international efforts based on a broad perspective.
山積する課題に、広い視野で当たってほしい。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-08-12 07:55 | 英字新聞

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