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考研英语时文阅读:Burnished

2006-07-15 17:13张鑫友外语研究网

  Up goes gold, down goes the dollar

  Most economists hate gold. Not, you understand, that they would turn up their noses at a bar or two. But they find the reverence in which many hold the metal almost irrational. That it was used as money for millennia is irrelevant: it isn't any more. Modern money takes the form of paper or, more often, electronic data. To economists, gold is now just another commodity.

  So why is its price soaring? Over the past week, this has topped $450 a troy ounce, up by 9% since the beginning of the year and 77% since April 2001. Ah, comes the reply, gold transactions are denominated in dollars, and the rise in the price simply reflects the dollar's fall in terms of other currencies, especially the euro, against which it hit a new low this week. Expressed in euros, the gold price has moved much less. However, there is no iron link, as it were, between the value of the dollar and the value of gold. A rising price of gold, like that of anything else, can reflect an increase in demand as well as a depreciation of its unit of account.

  This is where gold bulls come in. The fall in the dollar is important, but mainly because as a store of value the dollar stinks. With a few longish rallies, the greenback has been on a downward trend since it came off the gold standard in 1971. Now it is suffering one of its sharper declines. At the margin, extra demand has come from those who think dollars——indeed any money backed by nothing more than promises to keep inflation low——a decidedly risky investment, mainly because America, with the world's reserve currency, has been able to create and borrow so many of them. The least painful way of repaying those dollars is to make them worth less.

  The striking exception to this extra demand comes from central banks, which would like to sell some of the gold they already have. As a legacy of the days when their currencies were backed by the metal, central banks still hold one-fifth of the world's gold. Last month the Bank of France said it would sell 500 tonnes in coming years. But big sales by central banks can cause the price to plunge——as when the Bank of England sold 395 tonnes between 1999 and 2002. The result was an agreement between central banks to co-ordinate and limit future sales.

  If the price of gold marches higher, this agreement will presumably be ripped up, although a dollar crisis might make central banks think twice about switching into paper money. Will the overhang of central-bank gold drag the price down again? Not necessarily. As James Grant, gold bug and publisher of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, a newsletter, points out, in recent years the huge glut of government debt has not stopped a sharp rise in its price.

  注(1):本文选自Economist;12/4/2004, p76-76, 1/3p;

  注(2):本文习题命题模仿2000年真题text 4第3题(1),2001年真题text 4第2题(2),text 1第2题(3),2002年真题text 2第2题(4)和text 5第3题(5);

  1.In economists‘ eyes, gold is something__________.

  [A] they look down upon

  [B] that can be exchanged in the market

  [C] worth people‘s reverence

  [D] that should be replaced by other forms of money

  2.According to the author, one of the reasons for the rising of gold price is___________.

  [A] the increasing demand for gold

  [B] the depreciation of the euro

  [C] the link between the dollar and gold

  [D] the increment of the value of the dollar

  3.We can infer from the third paragraph that_________.

  [A] the decline of the dollar is inevitable

  [B] America benefits from the depreciation of the dollar

  [C] the depreciation of the dollar is good news to other currencies

  [D] investment in the dollar yields more returns than that in gold

  4. The phrase “ripped up” (Line 1, Paragraph 5) most probably means__________.

  [A] strengthened

  [B] broadened

  [C] renegotiated

  [D] torn up

  5.According to the passage, the rise of gold price__________.

  [A] will not last long

  [B] will attract some central banks to sell gold

  [C] will impel central banks to switch into paper money

  [D] will lead to a dollar crisis

  答案:B A B D B

  篇章剖析

  本篇文章采用了提出问题-分析问题的模式,分析了金价上涨,美元下跌的经济态势。第一段说明黄金是一种商品;第二段分析了金价上涨的原因:金价的上涨反映了需求的增加以及计价单位的贬值;第三段美元下跌的原因;第四段分析了各国央行的反应;最后一段对金价继续上扬可能带来的影响进行了分析。

  词汇注释

  reverence: [5revErEns] n. 崇敬,尊敬

  millennia: [mI`lenIE] n. millennium的复数

  soaring: [5sC:riN] adj. 剧增的;上升到明显高于正常水平的

  troy ounce: n. 金衡制盎司, 金衡

  denominate: [di5nCmineit] v. 以…面值发行以某种给定的货币单位发行或表达

  euro: [`jJErEJ] n. 欧元

  depreciation: [dIpri:FI5eIF(E)n] n. 跌价;贬值

  bull: [bul] n. 买空;(做)多头

  stink: [stiNk] v. 发出臭味

  longish: [5lRNIF] adj. 相当长的

  rally: [5rAli] n. (行情、价格等)跌后复升

  greenback: [`^ri:nbAk] n. 美钞

  tonne: [tQn] n. 公吨(=1,000公斤或称 metric ton)

  rip up: 斯毁;取消

  overhang: [5EuvE5hAN] n. 突出量

  难句突破

  At the margin, extra demand has come from those who think dollars——indeed any money backed by nothing more than promises to keep inflation low——a decidedly risky investment, mainly because America, with the world's reserve currency, has been able to create and borrow so many of them.

  主体句式:extra demand has come

  结构分析:本句是一个复杂句,from这个介词所引导的状语中包含一个who 引导的定语从句,一个插入语,主句之后是一个because引导的原因状语从句。nothing more than的意思是“只不过,仅仅”。

  句子译文:在此下跌情况下,导致金价上扬的额外需求来自于那些认为美元——或者任何一种依靠抑制通胀的许诺来支撑的货币—无疑是一种高风险投资的人,主要因为美国拥有美元这一世界储备货币,而且一直能够制造和借来很多美元。

  题目分析

  1. 答案为B,属事实细节题。文章第一段提到经济学家不喜欢黄金的原因是人们对黄金缺乏理性的崇拜。在他们看来,黄金只不过是一种商品,也就是可以在市场交换的东西。

  2. 答案为A,属事实细节题。文章第二段分析了金价上涨的两个主要原因:金价用美元表示,而美元相对于其他货币贬值了;市场对黄金需求的增加。

  3. 答案为B,属推理判断题。根据文章第三段,美国因为拥有世界储备货币,而且一直能够制造和借来很多美元。要偿还这些美元,最不费力的方式就是让美元贬值。可见,美元贬值对美国是有益无害的事情。

  4. 答案为D,属猜词题。根据文章第四段,为了防止出现一国央行大量抛售黄金导致金价下跌的情况,各国央行达成协议,协调和限制今后的黄金销售。如果金价持续上涨,很可能一些央行会再次抛售黄金(文中提到法国央行出售黄金的决定),那样各国央行之间的协议就会被破坏。因此,根据上下文,“ripped up”最有可能的意思就是“torn up”(撕毁)。

  5. 答案为B,属推理判断题。根据文章第四段,在许多买家大量买入黄金的同时,许多央行却打算将他们囤积的黄金出售。文章第五段说,如果金价继续上扬,各国央行之间的“限制和协调未来黄金销售”的协议将会被打破,也就是说金价的上涨会吸引各国央行出售黄金。

  参考译文

  大多数经济学家都讨厌黄金。要知道,这可不是因为他们瞧不起一两块金条,而是因为他们发现许多人对这种金属的崇敬几乎到了毫无理性的地步。这与它被用作千禧年的货币并无关系:那已经是昨日黄花了。现代货币采用的是纸币的形式,或者,更多时候,采用的是电子数据的形式。对经济学家来说,黄金现在只是另外一种商品。

  那么为什么金价会大幅上涨呢?在过去一周里,每金衡(1金衡约31.1025克)的价格达到了450美元,比年初上涨了9%,而比2001年4月则上涨了77%.啊,答案来了,黄金交易是以美元来计数的,价格的上涨只是反映了美元对其他货币的比价,尤其是对欧元比价的下跌,而本周美元对欧元的比价又创新低。用欧元计数的话,金价的波动要小得多。然而,美元价值和黄金价值之间似乎并没有固定联系。像其他任何东西一样,金价的上涨反映了需求的增加以及计价单位的贬值。

  因此就出现了黄金买空。美元的下跌之所以重要主要是因为作为一种价值储存手段美钞可谓臭名昭著。自从1971年美元脱离金本位,就一直处于跌势,其间只有为数不多的几次跌后复升。这一次下跌的跌幅更大。在此下跌情况下,导致金价上扬的额外需求来自于那些认为美元——或者任何一种依靠抑制通胀的许诺来支撑的货币—无疑是一种高风险投资的人,主要因为美国拥有美元这一世界储备货币,而且一直能够制造和借来很多美元。要偿还这些美元,最不费力的方式就是让美元贬值。

  各国中央银行的反应跟这种额外需求正好形成鲜明对照。这些银行都想把手里的黄金卖掉一些。以前各国货币都依靠这种金属,历史继承的结果就是各国中央银行的黄金储量是世界黄金总量的五分之一。上个月,法国中央银行宣布即将在未来几年出售500吨黄金。不过中央银行大量出售黄金会导致金价猛跌—— 1999年至2002年之间英格兰银行出售395吨黄金时就发生过这种情况。其结果是各国央行达成协议,协调限制今后的销售。

  如果金价继续上扬,这个协议就会被破坏,虽然一场美元危机会让各国央行在转向纸币经营问题上慎之又慎。那么央行所储备的大量黄金是否会将金价再次拉下来呢?那倒不一定。正如黄金迷,时事通讯《格兰特利率观察家》的出版人詹姆斯。格兰特所指出的,最近几年政府的巨额债务并未阻止金价的大幅上涨。

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