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2008年7月 7日 (月)

欧州利上げ

2008/7/7 --The Asahi Shimbun, July 5(IHT/Asahi: July 7,2008)

EDITORIAL: Europe's rate hike

欧州利上げ―次は米金融の立て直しを

The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 4.25 percent.

Inflation in the euro zone spiked to 4 percent in June, far above the ECB's target of below 2 percent. The rate hike was a widely expected move that indicated the ECB's current policy priority is on preventing soaring raw materials prices from triggering a serious bout of inflation.

欧州中央銀行(ECB)が政策金利を年4.25%に引き上げた。ユーロ圏のインフレ率は4%まで上昇し、目標とする「2%未満」をかなり上回っている。

ECBとしては、資源高騰によるインフレの抑制を優先させた予定通りの行動だった。 

Market players around the world, however, had feared that monetary tightening by the ECB could send the dollar plunging by further widening the interest rate gap between the United States and Europe. Their concerns reflected the serious erosion of confidence in the dollar caused by continued turmoil in capital and currency markets across the world since the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market last summer.

だが世界の市場関係者は、米欧の金利差が開いてドル相場の急落につながらないか懸念していた。昨夏に米国でサブプライム問題が発生してから世界の金融・為替市場で動揺が続いているが、それが「ドル不安」の問題に発展してきたからだ。 

Fortunately, the dollar rose slightly after the ECB's action. Stock markets also took the move in stride. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet helped sooth markets by not suggesting any additional rate increase.

幸いドルはやや上昇し、株式市場も冷静に受け止めている。トリシェECB総裁が追加利上げに言及しなかったのが安心材料となった。 

Yet inflationary pressures are clearly building up. If this modest raise of the cost of borrowing fails to rein in inflation, the ECB will be forced to tighten credit further.

とはいえ、インフレ圧力は強まっている。今回の小幅利上げで十分に効果がでなければ、ECBは次の利上げへ動かざるをえないだろう。 

rein=手綱でさばく、支配する、制御する)

To stem the downward slide of the greenback, it is essential for the United States, the epicenter of the subprime credit crisis, to demonstrate a strong commitment to solving the underlying problems.

ドルの動揺を防ぐには、やはり震源である米国が自ら強い意志を示し、問題の解決にあたるほかない。 

That is not to say the United States has done nothing to tackle the situation.

Immediately before the ECB's rate hike, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson traveled from Russia to Europe and held talks with Trichet.

Their meeting was choreographed to highlight solid policy coordination between the United States and Europe.

U.S. President George W. Bush is also trying to dampen expectations of a weaker U.S. currency. In a recent speech, he stressed Europe, too, is supporting a strong dollar.

These efforts of top U.S. officials clearly suggest that allaying the current anxiety about the health of the dollar has emerged as a major policy challenge for the Bush administration.

米国も動いてはいる。ポールソン財務長官が直前にロシアから欧州に回り、トリシェ総裁とも会談して協調態勢を演出した。ブッシュ大統領も「強いドルは欧州も支持している」と演説し、ドルの先安感を消すのに必死だ。こうした姿は、ドル不安を抑えることが米国の重い課題になってきたことを象徴している。 

(choreograph=振り付けをする、構成する)

But all these efforts can achieve is to buy some time. With only several months left for the Bush presidency, the U.S. government is unable to take bold measures to tackle the problem. This political situation is making things harder.

ただし、これらは時間かせぎの策にすぎない。ブッシュ政権の任期が残り数カ月となり、思い切った手をとれないことが事態を困難にしている。 

The priority for the United States should be to deal with the financial turmoil stemming from the subprime crisis, which is the root cause of the waning confidence in the dollar.

米国が最優先で取り組むべきなのは、サブプライム問題に起因する金融不安である。これが今回のドル動揺の出発点になっているからだ。 

For a while, it seemed the financial storm had died down. But it is now resurfacing. Instead of bottoming out, the U.S. real estate market has kept declining at an accelerating pace. Exacerbating the anxiety are growing signs of an economic downturn due to soaring costs of natural resources.

一時は金融不安が落ち着いたかに見えたが、またぶり返してきた。米国の不動産価格が下げ止まるどころか、下げ足を速めてきたからだ。資源インフレによる景気悪化が表面化してきたことも、不安を加速させている。 

(exacerbate=悪化させる)

When Bear Stearns came to the brink of collapse this spring, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York pledged to provide $29 billion in financing to rescue the investment bank. It was effectively an injection of taxpayer money to save the Wall Street firm. In a speech during his recent Europe tour, Paulson called for a new regulatory system that would temporarily give the Federal Reserve Board stronger power to intervene in the workings of Wall Street firms to prevent a chain of bankruptcies and protect the financial system.

春先に破綻(はたん)した大手証券ベアー・スターンズの処理では、ニューヨーク連銀が290億ドルを供給する約束をしたが、これは事実上、公的資金の注入である。ポールソン財務長官も訪欧時の講演で、金融不安が生じたら連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)に一時的に強力な権限を与え、破綻の連鎖を防ぐ仕組みの導入を表明した。 

(brink=崖っぷち、瀬戸際)

The Bush administration should act swiftly to turn this idea into realty. In addition to emergency steps to deal with the collapse of a major financial institution, the United States should also put together and implement a package of measures to fix the financial problems fundamentally, including the creation of a framework for injecting taxpayer money into the system.

これを早く具体化させる。同時に破綻への応急策だけでなく、公的資金注入の枠組みをつくるなど金融を立て直す根本的な対策も練り、実行に移していかなければいけない。 

After allaying the financial anxiety, the U.S. government should then take effective steps to absorb the dollars that flooded world markets during the years of the housing bubble. Without such efforts by the United States, the dollar will remain under downward pressures.

金融不安を抑えたら、次はバブルで世界の市場にあふれ出たドル資金を吸収していく。こうした米国自身の努力なしにドル不安は解消しないだろう。 

(allay=静める、沈静化させる)

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 5(IHT/Asahi: July 7,2008)

朝日新聞 7月05日号(英語版 2008年7月07日発行)

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