:::「 蔡英文, Fuck You! 」

這一期 出版的 Foreign Policy(國外政策)有一篇文章標題為「中國如何做假帳」(How China Cooks Its Books),我覺得非常有價值,於是花了兩個小時來將它翻譯成中文。

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How China Cooks Its Books

自毛澤東的時代開始,中國篡改經濟和金融的統計數字就是一個公開的秘密。但是現在會更惡化嗎?

It’s an open secret that China has doctored its economic and financial statistics since the time of Mao. But could it all go south now?

BY JORDAN CALINOFF | SEPTEMBER 3, 2009

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今年二月,中國當地的勞動部官員來到中國廣東省的一個電子工廠「幫忙」進行大規模的裁員。工廠的老闆因為有政府官員前來而感到緊張,但他保持緘默。他說他算那根蔥,怎敢來抱怨政府官員違法干擾工廠的解僱。他們就是法律!他們命令他提供工人的,似乎是一個不錯的待遇:接受裁員,並得到法律的離職金,或者是「辭職」,並獲得更多的付款。

In February, local Chinese Labor Ministry officials came to “help" with massive layoffs at an electronics factory in Guangdong province, China. The owner of the factory felt nervous having government officials there, but kept his mouth shut. Who was he to complain that the officials were breaking the law by interfering with the firings, he added. They were the law! And they ordered him to offer his workers what seemed like a pretty good deal: Accept the layoff and receive the legal severance package, or “resign" and get an even larger upfront payment.

「我估計大約百分之七十的工人選擇辭職的交易。這是全廣東都發生的。」工廠的老闆說 : 「我現在幫助勞工部,他們將來也會幫助我。」

“I would estimate around 70 percent of workers took the resignation deal. This is happening all over Guangdong," the factory owner said. “I help the Department of Labor, and they’ll help me later on down the line."

像這種公開機密的作法,規模龐大,幫助中國的操弄失業率。因為工人「辭職」,不計入這個數字。政府估計,自從不景氣以來,大約兩千萬農民工廠工人失去了工作。但是,據花旗集團首席亞洲經濟學家黃益平 ( 音譯)估計,假如連「辭職」也包括在內,人數應該是接近四五千萬。這數字相當於德國的全部工作人員。同樣地,中國也歪曲一切統計數字,從國內生產總值、零售銷售總值、再到生產活動。類似這樣來填充數字,不只是不道德的,也是危險的:推行求得樂觀經濟數據的作法,反而會將中國的經濟推向懸崖。

Such open-secret programs, writ large, help China manipulate its unemployment rate, because workers who “resign" don’t count toward that number. The government estimates that roughly 20 million migrant factory workers have lost their jobs since the downturn started. But, with “resignations" included, the number is likely closer to 40 million or 50 million, according to estimates made by Yiping Huang, chief Asia economist for Citigroup. That is the same size as Germany’s entire work force. China similarly distorts everything from its GDP to retail sales figures to production activity. This sort of number-padding isn’t just unethical, it’s also dangerous: The push to develop rosy economic data could actually lead China’s economy over the cliff.

西方媒體常常將中國如何做假帳當做是一元領導中央政府和萬能北京官員的一部份。但是,這個問題是多面的,它是一個中央集權政府和分散官員一起完成的產物。

Western media outlets often portray Chinese book-cooking as part and parcel of a monolithic central government and omnipotent Beijing bureaucrats. But the problem is manifold, a product of centralized government as well as decentralized officials.

歪曲或捏造數據的壓力極可能來自高層,而且這個壓力非常大。「中國每年都會宣布國內生產總值增長速度的年度目標。在中國文化下,政府一定要達到的目標,否則,他們會『丟臉』。」中歐國際工商學院陸家嘴國際金融研究中心副主任劉加里(音譯)說。 「例如說,政府宣布說,它希望確保 2009 年的國內生產總值增長率在百分之八,實現這一目標已成為政府官員的優先考慮。」

Pressure to distort or fudge statistics likely comes from up high — and it’s intense. “China announces its annual objective of GDP growth rate each year. In Chinese culture, the government has to reach the objective; otherwise, they will ‘lose face,'" said Gary Liu, deputy director of the China Europe International Business School’s Lujiazui International Financial Research Center. “For instance, the government announced that it wanted to ensure a GDP growth rate of 8 percent in 2009, and it has become the priority for government officials to meet that objective."

但是,操弄數字的是地方和省級政府官員。他們保留相當大的自主權和權力,為了自己的利益而操弄經濟統計。當他們達到或超過中央的經濟目標,他們會得到更好的工作或更多的錢來當回報。劉解釋說「[ 他們的 ] 國內生產總值 [ 數字 ] 越高,地方官員晉升的機會也越高。」。

But local and provincial governmental officials are the ones who actually fiddle with the numbers. They retain considerable autonomy and power, and have a self-interested reason to manipulate economic statistics. When they reach or exceed the central government’s economic goals, they get rewarded with better jobs or more money. “The higher [their] GDP [figures], the higher the chance will be for local officials to get promoted," explained Liu.

這樣創造統計數字,在中國並不新鮮。 在 1958 年,毛主席宣稱中國的鋼鐵生產將在 15 年內將超過英國。他動員全中國農村在後院設立煉鋼爐,妄圖達到離譜的生產目標。村民融化鍋子盆子,甚至焚燒自己的家具當火爐燃料。這個努力一方面生產出毫無價值的生鐵,一方面挪用大量的農業勞動力,多到成為在大躍進中發生嚴重大飢荒的主要推動力。

Such statistical creativity is nothing new in China. In 1958, Chairman Mao proclaimed that China would surpass Britain in steel production within 15 years. He mobilized villages throughout China to establish backyard steel furnaces, where in a futile attempt to reach outrageous production goals, villagers could melt down pots and pans and even burn their own furniture for furnace fuel. This effort produced worthless pig iron and diverted enough labor away from agriculture to be a main driver in the devastating famine of the Great Leap Forward.

去年十月,國務院副總理李克強在視察中國的統計局之後,於演講中提到 : 「中國在統計數字上的基礎還很薄弱,統計數據的質量也需要改善」—— 這是來自國家最高官員一個殘酷的評估。

Last October, Vice Premier Li Keqiang said in a speech after inspecting China’s Statistics Bureau, “China’s foundation for statistics is still very weak, and the quality of statistics is to be further improved" — a brutally harsh assessment coming from a top state official.

事實上,中國已預知它宣稱自己是世界上最健康經濟體的統計數字上是有問題的。不過,政府仍然堅持認為,儘管中國最重要的出口部門損失嚴重 —— 在過去的一年緊縮了百分之二十五左右 —— 大規模上揚的國內消費使工廠的生產和成長繼續不斷。但是,認真研究一下零售業和國內生產總值的增長,卻說了不一樣的故事。中國國內零售銷售額比去年同期上升了百分之十五左右,但並沒有真正轉化為中國的消費者購買百分之十五以上的電視和 T 恤。該國銷售額是以工廠出廠到單位零售商來計算,這意味著中國並沒有包括未使用的或倉庫存貨在其消費數據中。有充分證據証明,國有企業互相購買貨物,這只是來回轉移貨物,但是,這些交易都算在國家統計的零售銷售中。

Indeed, China has predicated its very claim of being the healthiest large economy in the world on faulty statistics. The government insists that even though China’s all-important export sector has been devastated — contracting about 25 percent in the past year — a massive uptick in domestic consumption has kept factories producing and growth churning along. A close examination of retail sales and GDP growth, however, tells a different story. China’s domestic retail sales have risen about 15 percent year on year, but that does not really translate into Chinese consumers purchasing 15 percent more televisions and T-shirts. The country tabulates sales when a factory ships units to a retailer, meaning China includes unused or warehoused inventory in its consumption data. There is ample evidence that state-owned enterprises buy goods from one another, simply shifting products back and forth, and that those transactions count as retail sales in national statistics.

中國的零售數據似乎難以置信的原因不只如此。這些數字意味中國人民工資的增加,讓他們增加百分之十五額外的購買。可以肯定的是,統計局公佈的工資在2009年上半年,增加了百分之十二點九。但是,中國網民人數抱怨這樣的數字令人很難相信 —— 局中的主管也是如此看法。

China’s retail statistics seem implausible for other reasons, too. They would imply an increase in salaries among Chinese people, allowing them to purchase that extra 15 percent. To be sure, the Statistics Bureau reported salaries had increased 12.9 percent in the first half of 2009. But Chinese netizens complained such numbers were hard to believe — as did the bureau’s chief.

檢視 GDP 的增長也使人嚴重懷疑。中國的經濟年成長率在第一季為百分之六點一,在第二季則為百分之七點九。然而,電力使用為一個工業成長的關鍵指標以及更難偽造的指標,卻是在這一年的前6個月下降2.2個百分點。一個很大程度上依賴於生產的經濟體,如何能在工業部門收縮時成長呢?

A look at GDP growth also raises serious questions. China’s economy grew at an annualized 6.1 percent rate in the first quarter, and 7.9 percent in the second. Yet electricity usage, a key indicator in industrial growth and a harder metric to manipulate, declined 2.2 percent in the first six months of the year. How could an economy largely dependent on manufacturing grow while its industrial sector shrank?

事實上這是不可能的,這些數字是無法配合的。去年秋天,中國宣佈的六千億美元刺激方案(相當於國內生產總值的百分之十四)。在那時,地方政府開始點算這些剌激資金在國內生產總值中的統計數字 —— 是在找到計劃使用這些基金之前,也就是遠早於萬億元開始進入經濟之前。一名經濟學家解釋,熱衷於提高他們的成長和生產數字的地方政府說,他們已經花了刺激方案的資金,同時他們也還在決定要如何使用這筆錢。因此,中國各省的國內生產總值表格加起來遠遠超過全國的估計。

It couldn’t; the numbers don’t add up. China announced a $600 billion stimulus package (equal to about 14 percent of GDP) last fall. At that point, local governments started counting the dedicated stimulus funds in GDP statistics — before finding projects to use the funds, and therefore far before the trillions of yuan started trickling into the economy. Local governments keen to raise their growth and production numbers said they spent stimulus money while still deciding on what to spend it, one economist explained. Thus, China’s provincial GDP tabulations add up to far more than the countrywide estimate.

替代的總體經濟指標,如測量生產值的採購經理人指數(PMI),並沒有提供了一個更準確的反映。一個私人經紀公司,里昂證券,整理出自己的採購經理人指數 (PMI) 顯示2008年12月至2009年3月將的工業總產值急劇收縮。另一方面,北京的PMI數據表示工業生產在此期間是擴張的。

Alternative macroeconomic metrics, such as the purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which measures output, offer a no more accurate reflection. One private brokerage house, CLSA, compiles its own PMI, suggesting a sharp contraction in industrial output between December 2008 and March 2009. Beijing’s PMI data, on the other hand, indicated that industrial output was expanding during that period.

不幸的是,這種混淆手段使得中國的實際經濟狀況難以評估。大多數可以有助於有勇氣的經濟學家改正政府數字的指標都是不公開的,這包括了基礎建設項目的進展情況、最終使用者的購買、「辭職」工人的數字等。

Unfortunately, such obfuscation means China’s real economic health is difficult to assess. Most indicators that would help an intrepid economist correct the government numbers — progress on infrastructure projects, end-user purchases, and the number of “resigned" workers — are not public.

雖然是如此,我們仍然可以從仔細地檢視貨幣政策中,推論出經濟上的現實狀況與印在紙上的中國有多麼嚴重的差距。中國的國有銀行在 2009 年上半年大幅增加貸款,比去年同期增加 34.5%,到達了一兆美元。此舉似乎是要人為地保持高成長,直到出口反彈回來。多數分析師認為,它將導致股票、房地產和期貨市場的大泡沫。而中國政府最近宣布,它計劃增加籌集資金的要求,這明顯的顯示它認為有必要控制經濟的擴張。

Still, it is possible to infer the severity of the gap between economic reality and China-on-paper by looking closely at monetary policy. China’s state-owned banks dramatically increased lending in the first half of 2009 — by 34.5 percent year on year, to more than $1 trillion. This move seems intended to keep growth artificially high until exports bounce back. Most analysts agree that it is leading to large bubbles in the stock, real estate, and commodity markets. And the Chinese government recently announced plans to raise capital requirements — an apparent sign it sees the need to reign in the expansion.

就長期而言,中國的銀行是賭在其主要出口市場,包括美國、歐洲和日本,會開始復甦並再度消費。它們的希望是,在這一段期間,美好的經濟數據將安撫群眾、停止動亂。但是,如果其他國家的經濟不反彈,中國將會有風險,這些風險包括了房地產和股票的資產泡沫化、國內消費的下降,以及失業率的上升。

For the long term, China is banking on its main export markets — in the United States, Europe, and Japan — recovering and starting to consume again. The hope is that in the meantime, rosy economic figures will placate the masses and stop unrest. But, if the rest of the world does not rebound, China risks the bursting of asset bubbles in property and stocks, declining domestic consumption, and rising unemployment.

在這種時候,Wile E. Coyote (註 : 卡通影片的一個角色)的時刻可能發生。一旦中國公民不再認為經濟表現良好,已經擴展和惡化的社會動亂和廣泛工人暴動是有可能的。在那個時候,這些將是中國難以掩藏的。然後,我們就會知道中國的操控統計數字究竟是一個明智之舉,或者一個災難性的錯誤。

That’s when the Wile E. Coyote moment could happen. Once Chinese citizens no longer believe that the economy is doing well, social unrest and more widespread worker riots — already increasing in scope and severity — are likely. That’s something that China will have a harder time hiding. And then we’ll know whether China’s statistical manipulation was a smart move or a disastrous mistake.

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Wile E. Coyote 的卡通


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Comments on: "中國如何造假帳 (How China Cooks Its Books)" (16)

  1. 昆蟲大,我因為被老闆強迫去美化數據的解釋,(換句話說,就是想辦法去欺騙他的老闆,不過還沒有改數據喔!)結果就已經心力憔悴了。全中國人的政府一起改數據,告訴我,他們為什麼沒有得到集體焦慮症?我不服氣!

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    • 你需要多讀厚黑學和君王論。當你視道德如大便時,你就大功告成。
      然後,再多引用論語孟子,你就天下無敵了!

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      • 濁世公子 said:

        昆蟲大,你說的厚黑學和君王論我明白,但論語孟子怎麼引用呢?

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      • 胡說八道
        君王論的意涵更深,何僅於此???
        只不過昆蟲您常聽我在您這部落格裡說君王論君王論
        您就胡自論斷君王論的意涵
        那摸
        我可以百分之百確定!!昆蟲您連君王論根本連從頭看到尾一變都沒有
        就亂下論斷
        甚至誤導這ㄦ的網友
        表示您讀書如隙中窺月尚屬少年階段
        很多自以為是的人,早已先入為主且自以為聰明的妄加評斷君王論
        我甚至可以明白告訴您,論語孟子甚至更高深的佛學與君王論都有相融與共通之處,您居然將君王論與厚黑學聯想且放在一起,這….真是讓人傻眼

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      • 趙大小姐,你錯了。我讀過君王論 (The Prince),英文版的(大概會比中文版的接近原意吧)。

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  2. thanks for the info.

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  3. 昆蟲大
    我對中國經濟沒啥研究
    就我以前在米國工作時的經驗
    中國人很會膨風吹噓
    所以我看到中國經濟火熱的消息都不屑一顧
    所以也沒有答應去中國發展的機會
    也幸好沒去
    不然搞不好連全屍都沒有哩
    愛台灣果然有好報
    哈哈

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  4. Oh, my god. said:

    中國政府會說這是美帝的抹黑!!

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  5. Jia-Yuh Chen said:

    補一下Wile E. Coyote的典故

    Wile E. Coyote追Road Runner,跑到一個懸崖,他不知道已經身在半空中,還在一直跑,一直要到後來發現後,才垂直掉下去。

    在這裡是說中國人一直還相信政府,還在一直跑,但只要他們發現他們身在半空中,很快就會垂直掉下去。

    和大家分享。

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  6. 蟲大

    感謝你翻譯的好文章,我也是曾經有老同事問我要不要去中國工作, 薪資任我開口, 但我拒絕了。
    前一陣子, 在火車上碰到同一家公司的老同事,他們說自己公司在中國的工廠已經賣掉了,果然是跑得快

    哈哈,卡通很有趣

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  7. 昆蟲大

    Jia-Yuh Chen是常在蘋果上投稿的經濟學家

    這是他的部落格
    http://chenjiayuh.blogspot.com/

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  8. 要改這麼多數字 也不是這麼簡單的!

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    • It is, in fact, pretty easy.

      We can use a buzz word to describe this — “cloud computing". A collection of people at all different locations/departments/levels collaborate to make this happen.

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  9. 喔!很多人每天都帶著面具在做假更何況是帳??
    不僅作假帳中國有
    台灣中信金辜家有
    美國華爾街的騙局牽動全球金融作假更甚更劇

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  10. オメガ ランキング

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