含有〈监管〉标签的文章(8)

[译文]美国需要一部新大宪章

The Rule of Law in the Regulatory State
监管型国家的法治

作者:John Cochrane @ 2015-6
译者:Ether(@大小眼不能飞)
校对:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy),陈小乖(@lion_kittyyyyy)
来源:John Cochrane’s blog,http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/john.cochrane/research/papers/rule%20of%20law%20and%20regulation%20essay.pdf

1.Introduction
1.引言

The United States’ regulatory bureaucracy has vast power. Regulators can ruin your life, and your business, very quickly, and you have very little recourse. That this power is damaging the economy is a commonplace complaint. Less recognized, but perhaps even more important, the burgeoning regulatory state poses a new threat to our political freedom.

美国的监管机构拥有极其广泛的权力。监管部门可以迅速毁掉你的生活和生意,而你几乎没有什么可以求助的资源。人们普遍抱怨这一权力正在损害经济,但很少有人认识到,日益扩张的政府管制给我们的政治自由带来了新的威胁,而这一点恐怕更加重要。

What banker dares to speak out against the Fed, or trader against the SEC? What hospital or health insurer dares to speak out against HHS or Obamacare? What business needing environmental approval for a project dares to speak out against the EPA? What drug company dares to challenge the FDA? Our problems are not just national. What real estate developer needing zoning approval dares to speak out against the local zoning board?

银行敢对美联储叫板吗?券商对证券交易委员会(SEC)又敢怎样?医院、医疗保险公司敢对卫生与公共服务部(HHS)或者“奥巴马医改”说三道四吗?一个其项目需要环境审批的公司对环境保护署呢?医药公司敢挑战联邦食品药品监督局吗?我们的问题还不止在于联邦层面。一个需要规划审批的房地产开发商敢对当地土地规划委员会说什么吗?

The agencies demand political support for themselves first of all. They are like barons in monarchies, and the King’s problems are secondary. But they can now demand broader support for their political agendas. And the larger partisan political system is discovering how the newly enhanced power of the regulatory state is ideal for enforcing its own political support.

这些机构首先得为自己争得政治支持。他们就好比君主制下的男爵,国王之忧还在其次。但是,现在他们可以为自己的政治议程要求更广泛的支持。在更为庞大的政党政治体制下,各党派都发现监管型国家的权力扩张十分有利于巩固其自身的政治支持。

The big story of the last 800 years of United States and British history, is the slow and painful emergence of our political institutions, broadly summarized as “rule of law,” which constrain government power and guarantee our political liberty. The U.S. had rule of law for two centuries before we had democracy, and our democracy sprang from it not the other way around.

过去800年,美国和英国历史的主线是我们这套被笼统称为“法治”的政治体制缓慢而痛苦地浮现成形的历程。法治限制政府权力,保障我们的政治自由。美国在民主诞生前两个世纪就有了法治,我们的民主脱胎于法治,而非相反。

This rule of law always has been in danger. But today, the danger is not the tyranny of kings, which motivated the Magna Carta. It is not the tyranny of the majority, which motivated the bill of rights. The threat to freedom and rule of law today comes from the regulatory state. The power of the regulatory state has grown tremendously, and without many of the checks and balances of actual law. We can await ever greater expansion of its political misuse, or we recognize the danger ahead of time and build those checks and balances now.

法治自始至今一直处于危险之中。但是当今,其面临的危险并非来自国王的暴政——它曾促动了大宪章的出现;也非来自多数人的暴政——它曾促动了权利法案的出现。今天,对自由和法治的威胁来自监管型国家。监管型国家的权力急剧扩张,且没有多少真正法律的制约和制衡。我们可以等待其行政权力滥用的不断扩大,或者我们也可以提早认识到其危险,并从现在开始建立制约和制衡。

Yes, part of our current problem is law itself, big vague laws, and politicized and arbitrary prosecutions. But most of “law” is now written and administered by regulatory agencies, not by Congress.

没错,我们当前问题的一部分就是法律本身:宽泛模糊的法律,政治化的、专断的控告。但是目前大多数“法律”都是由监管机构——而不是国会——起草和执行的。

Use of law and regulation to reward supporters and punish enemies is nothing new, of course.

当然,利用法律和规章奖励支持者,惩罚敌人也不是什么新鲜事。

Franklin Roosevelt understood that New Deal jobs and contracts were a great way to demand political support. His “war on capital” hounded political opponents. The New Deal may not have been an economic success, and likely prolonged the Great Depression. But it was above all a dramatic political success, enshrining Democratic power for a generation. Richard Nixon tried to get the IRS to audit his “enemies list.” But the tool is now so much stronger.

富兰克林·罗斯福知道“新政”带来的工作机会和商业合同是获取政治支持的绝佳方法。他的“反资本战争”以追猎政敌为务。新政在经济上也许不算成功,甚至可能延长了大萧条,但在政治上则取得了极大的成功,民主党的权力被整整一代人奉若神明。理查德·尼克松也曾想通过联邦税务局对其“政敌名单”上的人进行审计。政治工具如今已变得更加强大。

A label?
用什么标签好?

I haven’t yet found a really good word to describe this emerging threat of large discretionary regulation, used as tool of political control.

我尚未找到一个很好的词来形容拥有极大自由裁量权的管制作为政治控制的工具所带来的新威胁。

Many people call it “socialism.” But socialism means government ownership of the means of production. In our brave new world private businesses exist, but they are tightly controlled. Obamacare is a vast bureaucracy controlling a large cartelized private business, which does the governments political and economic bidding. Obamacare is not the Veteran’s Administration, or the British National Health Service. Socialism doesn’t produce nearly as much money.

很多人称之为“社会主义”,但社会主义是指生产资料的政府所有制。在我们的美丽新世界里,私有企业是存在的,但它们受到严格控制。“奥巴马医改”就是一个大规模的官僚组织,控制着一个卡特尔化的私人产业,它在政治和经济上都听命于政府。“奥巴马医改”既不是退伍军人健康管理局,也不是英国国民保健署。社会主义远不会产生这么多钱。

It’s not “capture.” George Stigler described the process by which regulated businesses “capture” their regulators, using regulations to keep competition out. Stigler’s regulated businesses certainly support (more...)

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The Rule of Law in the Regulatory State 监管型国家的法治 作者:John Cochrane @ 2015-6 译者:Ether(@大小眼不能飞) 校对:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy),陈小乖(@lion_kittyyyyy) 来源:John Cochrane's blog,http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/john.cochrane/research/papers/rule%20of%20law%20and%20regulation%20essay.pdf 1.Introduction 1.引言 The United States’ regulatory bureaucracy has vast power. Regulators can ruin your life, and your business, very quickly, and you have very little recourse. That this power is damaging the economy is a commonplace complaint. Less recognized, but perhaps even more important, the burgeoning regulatory state poses a new threat to our political freedom. 美国的监管机构拥有极其广泛的权力。监管部门可以迅速毁掉你的生活和生意,而你几乎没有什么可以求助的资源。人们普遍抱怨这一权力正在损害经济,但很少有人认识到,日益扩张的政府管制给我们的政治自由带来了新的威胁,而这一点恐怕更加重要。 What banker dares to speak out against the Fed, or trader against the SEC? What hospital or health insurer dares to speak out against HHS or Obamacare? What business needing environmental approval for a project dares to speak out against the EPA? What drug company dares to challenge the FDA? Our problems are not just national. What real estate developer needing zoning approval dares to speak out against the local zoning board? 银行敢对美联储叫板吗?券商对证券交易委员会(SEC)又敢怎样?医院、医疗保险公司敢对卫生与公共服务部(HHS)或者“奥巴马医改”说三道四吗?一个其项目需要环境审批的公司对环境保护署呢?医药公司敢挑战联邦食品药品监督局吗?我们的问题还不止在于联邦层面。一个需要规划审批的房地产开发商敢对当地土地规划委员会说什么吗? The agencies demand political support for themselves first of all. They are like barons in monarchies, and the King’s problems are secondary. But they can now demand broader support for their political agendas. And the larger partisan political system is discovering how the newly enhanced power of the regulatory state is ideal for enforcing its own political support. 这些机构首先得为自己争得政治支持。他们就好比君主制下的男爵,国王之忧还在其次。但是,现在他们可以为自己的政治议程要求更广泛的支持。在更为庞大的政党政治体制下,各党派都发现监管型国家的权力扩张十分有利于巩固其自身的政治支持。 The big story of the last 800 years of United States and British history, is the slow and painful emergence of our political institutions, broadly summarized as “rule of law,” which constrain government power and guarantee our political liberty. The U.S. had rule of law for two centuries before we had democracy, and our democracy sprang from it not the other way around. 过去800年,美国和英国历史的主线是我们这套被笼统称为“法治”的政治体制缓慢而痛苦地浮现成形的历程。法治限制政府权力,保障我们的政治自由。美国在民主诞生前两个世纪就有了法治,我们的民主脱胎于法治,而非相反。 This rule of law always has been in danger. But today, the danger is not the tyranny of kings, which motivated the Magna Carta. It is not the tyranny of the majority, which motivated the bill of rights. The threat to freedom and rule of law today comes from the regulatory state. The power of the regulatory state has grown tremendously, and without many of the checks and balances of actual law. We can await ever greater expansion of its political misuse, or we recognize the danger ahead of time and build those checks and balances now. 法治自始至今一直处于危险之中。但是当今,其面临的危险并非来自国王的暴政——它曾促动了大宪章的出现;也非来自多数人的暴政——它曾促动了权利法案的出现。今天,对自由和法治的威胁来自监管型国家。监管型国家的权力急剧扩张,且没有多少真正法律的制约和制衡。我们可以等待其行政权力滥用的不断扩大,或者我们也可以提早认识到其危险,并从现在开始建立制约和制衡。 Yes, part of our current problem is law itself, big vague laws, and politicized and arbitrary prosecutions. But most of “law” is now written and administered by regulatory agencies, not by Congress. 没错,我们当前问题的一部分就是法律本身:宽泛模糊的法律,政治化的、专断的控告。但是目前大多数“法律”都是由监管机构——而不是国会——起草和执行的。 Use of law and regulation to reward supporters and punish enemies is nothing new, of course. 当然,利用法律和规章奖励支持者,惩罚敌人也不是什么新鲜事。 Franklin Roosevelt understood that New Deal jobs and contracts were a great way to demand political support. His “war on capital” hounded political opponents. The New Deal may not have been an economic success, and likely prolonged the Great Depression. But it was above all a dramatic political success, enshrining Democratic power for a generation. Richard Nixon tried to get the IRS to audit his “enemies list.” But the tool is now so much stronger. 富兰克林·罗斯福知道“新政”带来的工作机会和商业合同是获取政治支持的绝佳方法。他的“反资本战争”以追猎政敌为务。新政在经济上也许不算成功,甚至可能延长了大萧条,但在政治上则取得了极大的成功,民主党的权力被整整一代人奉若神明。理查德·尼克松也曾想通过联邦税务局对其“政敌名单”上的人进行审计。政治工具如今已变得更加强大。 A label? 用什么标签好? I haven’t yet found a really good word to describe this emerging threat of large discretionary regulation, used as tool of political control. 我尚未找到一个很好的词来形容拥有极大自由裁量权的管制作为政治控制的工具所带来的新威胁。 Many people call it “socialism.” But socialism means government ownership of the means of production. In our brave new world private businesses exist, but they are tightly controlled. Obamacare is a vast bureaucracy controlling a large cartelized private business, which does the governments political and economic bidding. Obamacare is not the Veteran’s Administration, or the British National Health Service. Socialism doesn’t produce nearly as much money. 很多人称之为“社会主义”,但社会主义是指生产资料的政府所有制。在我们的美丽新世界里,私有企业是存在的,但它们受到严格控制。“奥巴马医改”就是一个大规模的官僚组织,控制着一个卡特尔化的私人产业,它在政治和经济上都听命于政府。“奥巴马医改”既不是退伍军人健康管理局,也不是英国国民保健署。社会主义远不会产生这么多钱。 It’s not “capture.” George Stigler described the process by which regulated businesses “capture” their regulators, using regulations to keep competition out. Stigler’s regulated businesses certainly support their regulators politically. But Stigler’s regulators and business golf together and drink together, and the balance power is strongly in the hands of the businesses. “Capture” doesn't see billion-dollar criminal cases and settlements. And “capture” does not describe how national political forces use regulatory power to extract political support. 这也不是“捕获”。乔治·斯蒂格勒描述过受管制的企业“捕获”其监管者的过程,企业借监管之手排除竞争。斯蒂格勒所研究的受管制企业一定会在政治上支持其监管者。但是在斯蒂格勒的叙述中,监管者和商人一起打高尔夫一起喝酒,制衡的权力牢牢地掌握在企业手中。“捕获”中见不着上十亿美元的刑事案件及和解协议。“捕获”也不能描述国家政治力量如何利用监管权力攫取政治支持。 It’s not really “crony capitalism.” That term has a bit more of the needed political flavor than “capture.” Yes, there is a revolving door, connections by which businesses get regulators to do them favors. But what’s missing in both “capture” and “cronyism” is the opposite flow of power, the Devil’s bargain aspect of it from the point of view of the regulated business or individual, the silencing of political opposition by threat of regulation. 这也不是真正的“裙带资本主义”。这个词相比“捕获”多了一份应有的政治意味。的确,这里面有一扇旋转门,企业通过这种关系让监管者们施以援手。但无论“捕获”还是“裙带主义”都没能体现逆向的权力作用。对受管制的企业和个人来说,这是一笔与魔鬼的交易,是通过监管的威胁对政治反对的压制。 We’re headed for an economic system in which many industries have a handful of large, cartelized businesses— think 6 big banks, 5 big health insurance companies, 4 big energy companies, and so on. Sure, they are protected from competition. But the price of protection is that the businesses support the regulator and administration politically, and does their bidding. If the government wants them to hire, or build factory in unprofitable place, they do it. The benefit of cooperation is a good living and a quiet life. The cost of stepping out of line is personal and business ruin, meted out frequently. That’s neither capture nor cronyism. 我们正在迈入这样一种经济体制:很多行业只有少数几家大型的、卡特尔化的企业——比如6家银行、5家健康保险公司、4家能源公司等等。的确,他们受到保护,免于竞争,但保护的代价是企业政治上支持其监管者和行政机关,并听命于它们。如果政府想要他们雇工或者在无法盈利的地方建厂,他们就会照做。合作的好处是日子好过、生活太平。越界的成本就是个人和企业的毁灭,这种惩罚频繁出现。这既不是捕获也不是裙带主义。 “Bureaucratic tyranny,” a phrase that George Nash quotes Herbert Hoover as using is a contender. “官僚暴政”——这个乔治·纳什引自赫伯特·胡佛的短语倒是值得考虑。 Charles Murray, writing recently on the status of the regulatory state notes many of these issues. He totals 4,450 distinct federal crimes— just the law, not including regulations with criminal penalties, or the vastly greater number with civil penalties. He adds up the 175,000 pages of the Code of Federal Regulations, and the vagueness of the enabling legislation — Congress only decrees that rules are “generally fair and equitable,” “just and reasonable,” prohibits “unfair methods of competition” or “excessive profits.” He notes the absence of judicial rights in administrative courts. He notes the wide scope of regulation and the comparatively tiny — but ruinous to those charged — enforcement: 最近,查尔斯·墨里在论述监管型国家的现状时关注了诸多类似议题。他一共数出了4,450条联邦刑事罪名。这还仅仅是法律规定,不包括附有刑事惩罚的行政规章或者数量更大的附有民事惩罚的规章。他核查了一共175,000页的《美国联邦法规汇编》,以及含糊不清的授权立法条款。国会仅要求规章条款“原则上公平、公正”、“公正、合理”,禁止“不公平竞争”或者“过分利得”。他指出,行政法庭上司法权利缺失。他还指出,规章管辖范围广泛,执法却相对不足,但执法的结果对被控诉者却是毁灭性的: the “Occupational Safety and Health Administration has authority over more than eight million workplaces. But it can call upon only one inspector for about every 3,700 of those workplaces. The Environmental Protection Agency has authority ... over every piece of property in the nation. It conducted about 18,000 inspections in 2013—a tiny number in proportion to its mandate. “职业安全与健康管理局有权管辖超过八百万个工作场所,但是每3,700个工作场所只能均摊到一个巡视员。环境保护署有权管辖美国每一处资产。2013年,它一共进行了18,000次检查,仅是其管辖范围中极小的一部分。” Murray advocates civil disobedience with insurance for the few zebras who get caught by the regulators. 墨里提倡每个公民都购买保险以弥补万一被监管者抓到所带来的损失,同时对管制采取不予合作的态度。 But by and large Murray deplores merely the silliness of and economic inefficiency of the regulatory state. This misses, I think, the greatest danger, that to our political freedom. Just who gets that visit from the EPA can have a powerful silencing effect. 但总体而言,墨里憎恶的只是监管型国家的愚蠢和经济不效率。我认为这漏掉了最大的危险,那就是对政治自由的危害。仅仅是想到有可能被环保署拜访这一点,就有显著的噤声效果。 And it also misses, I think, an explanation for how we got here. Regulators and politicians aren’t nitwits. The libertarian argument that regulation is so dumb — which it surely is — misses the point that it is enacted by really smart people. The fact that the regulatory state is an ideal tool for the entrenchment of political power was surely not missed by its architects. 我认为他还漏掉了一点:我们是怎么走到这一步的。监管者和政客都不是傻子。自由意志主义者关于监管很愚蠢的观点,尽管正确,但没有看到一点:这些法律法规也是非常聪明的人制定的。监管型国家的建造者肯定对其是保有政治权力的最佳工具这一点心知肚明。 Likewise, Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen make a good casethat most of the economic rationale for regulation has disappeared along with information. Uber stars are far more effective than the Taxi Commission. But the demand for protection and the desire to trade economic protection for political support will remain unchanged. “Protect the consumer” is as much a distracting argument in the Uber vs. Taxi debate as it was when the medieval guilds advanced it. 同样,亚历克斯·塔巴洛克和泰勒·考恩很好地证明了,大多数赞成监管的经济学原理已经随着充分的信息而消失。优步的星级评定远比出租车委员会有效,但是对监管保护的需求以及用经济上的保护来换取政治上的支持仍然不会改变。在优步和出租车之争中,“保护消费者”不过是个掩人耳目的论点,和中世纪行会利用它时一样。 Rule of Law: the Devil in the Details 法治:细节里的魔鬼 “Rule of law” and “regulation” are dangerous Big Vague Words. The rule of law is so morally powerful that the worst tyrants go through the motions. Stalin bothered with show trials. Putin put Pussy Riot on trial, and then they were “legally” convicted of and jailed for the crime of ”hooliganism.” Even Henry the Eighth had trials before chopping heads. Is this not rule of law? “法治”和“监管”是危险的模糊大词。法治在道德上如此有力,以至于最坏的暴君也要应付一下。斯大林费力搞出走秀似的审判。普京审判暴动小猫【译注:俄罗斯女性主义朋克乐队,经常在各大景点举办有关俄罗斯政治生活的行为艺术表演,都未经政府批准】,然后“依法”宣判“流氓罪”罪名成立并判入狱。甚至亨利八世把那么多人头砍下了之前也经过了审判。这难道不是法治吗? No, of course, but it’s worth reminding ourselves why not as we think about bureaucracies. 当然不是,但在我们思考官僚体系的时候,值得提醒一下自己,为什么它们不是。 “Rule of law” ultimately is a set of restrictions to keep the state from using its awesome power of coercion to force your political support. If you oppose Castro, you go to prison. If you opposed Herbert Hoover, could you still run a business? Sure. If you oppose President Obama, or the future President Hilary Clinton can you do so? If you oppose the polices of one of their regulatory agencies, now powers unto themselves, or speak out against the leaders of those agencies, can you do so? If you support candidates with unpopular positions, can you still get the regulatory approvals you need? It’s not so clear. That is our danger. “法治”说到底是一系列对国家的限制,防止国家动用可怕的强制权力强迫你的政治支持。如果你反对卡斯特罗,你会被关进监狱。如果你反对赫伯特·胡佛,你还可以经营一家公司吗?当然可以。如果你反对奥巴马总统或者未来的希拉里·克林顿总统呢?如果你反对他们手下某个现已有权有势的监管机构的政策,或是公开反对他们的领导呢,你还可以继续经营公司吗?如果你支持立场不受欢迎的候选人,你还能获得经营公司所需的行政审批吗?答案并不清楚。这就是我们所面临的危险。 “Rule of law” is not just about the existence of written laws, and the superficial mechanics of trials, judges, lawyers, ad sentences. Rule of law lies deep in the details of how those institutions work. Do you have the right to counsel, the right to question witnesses, the right to discovery, the right to appeal, and so forth. Like laws, what matters about regulation, both in its economic efficiency and in its insulation from politics, is not its presence but its character and operation. “法治”不仅仅是成文法和形式上的审判、法官、律师和判决等机制。法治根植于这些制度如何运作的细节中。你是否有权利获得律师辩护、质证、证据开示、上诉,等等。和法律一样,不管是从经济效率还是政治独立性上来说,监管的要害不在于它的存在,而在于它的特点和操作。 Regulators write rules too. They fine you, close down your business, send you to jail, or merely harass you with endless requests, based on apparently written rules. We need criteria to think about whether “rule of law” applies to this regulatory process. Here are some suggestions. 监管者也制定规则。他们依据成文法开罚单、关闭你的公司、送你入监,或者就不停地提要求骚扰你。我们需要一些标准来思考“法治”一词是否适用于这套监管程序。以下是一些建议:
Rule vs. Discretion? 规则vs自由裁量? Simple/precise or vague/complex? 简单/准确,还是模糊/复杂? Knowable rules vs. ex-post prosecutions? 可知的规则vs溯及既往? Permission or rule book? 批准,还是规则手册 Plain text or fixers? 直白文本,还是掮客? Enforced commonly or arbitrarily? 普通执法还是专断执法? Right to discovery and challenge decisions. 证据开示权和对判决提出异议的权利。 Right to appeal. 上诉权。 Insulation from political process. 与政治活动隔离。 Speed vs. delay? 快捷还是拖延? Consultation, consent of the governed. 被治理人的意见和合意。  
  • Rule vs. Discretion?
  • 规则vs自由裁量?
This is really a central distinction. Does the regulation, in operation, function as a clear rule? Or is it simply an excuse for the regulator to impose his or her will on the regulated firm or person? Sometimes discretion is explicit. Sometimes discretion comes in the application of a rule book thousands of pages long with multiple contradictory and vague rules. 这是一个核心区别。在操作中规章是不是作为明确的规则发挥作用?还是规章仅是监管者对被监管公司和个人施加自身意志的借口?有时候自由裁量是很明确的,有时候自由裁量则来自对上千页且存在大量冲突、模糊规则的规章手册的运用。
  • Simple/precise or vague/complex?
  • 简单/准确还是模糊/复杂?
Regulations can be simple and precise — even if silly. “Any structure must be set back six feet from the property line” is simple and precise. Or the regulation can be long, vague and complex. “The firm shall not engage in abusive practices.” 规章可以简单、准确,即使其很愚蠢。例如“所有建筑必须在界址线后6英尺”,这就很简单、准确。规章也可以很长、模糊且复杂,比如“公司不允许从事违规行为”。 Many regulations go on for hundreds of pages. Long, vague, and complex is a central ingredient which gives the appearance of rules but amounts to discretion. 很多规章长达数百页。冗长、模糊、复杂是让规则成为自由裁量,只具有规则的表象的核心因素。
  • Knowable rules vs. ex-post prosecutions?
  • 可知的规则vs溯及既往?
Is the rule book knowable ex ante? Or is it, in application, simply a device for ex-post prosecutions. Insider trading rules are, at present, a good example of the latter. The definition of “insider” varies over time, and there is really little hope for a firm to read a coherent rule book to know what is and is not allowed. Much better to stay on good terms with the regulator. 规则事先可知吗?还是其实只是一种溯及既往的工具。内幕交易规则就是后一种情况的很好例子。“内幕”的定义随时间而变,公司几乎不可能从一本融贯的规则手册中知道什么是允许的,什么不被允许。与其如此,还远不如和监管者搞好关系。
  • Permission or rule book?
  • 批准还是规则手册?
In one kind of regulation, there is a rule book. If you follow the rule book, you’re ok. You go ahead and do what you want to do. In much regulation, however, you have to ask for permission from the regulator, and that permission includes a lot of discretion. Environmental review is a good example. 有一种监管,依据就是一本规则手册。只要你遵循上面的规则就没事,你可以做其他任何你想做的。但是有很多监管,你需要征得监管者的批准,而批准则包括了很多自由裁量。环境审评就是一个好例证。
  • Plain text or fixers?
  • 通俗文本还是掮客?
Can a normal person read the plain text of the rule, and understand what action is allowed or not? Or is the rule so complex that specialists are required to understand the rule, and the regulatory agency’s current interpretation of the rule? In particular, are specialists with internal agency contacts necessary, or specialists who used to work at the agency? 一个普通人是否能够阅读规则的文本并理解何种行为被允许,何种不被允许?还是规则太复杂,想要理解规则需要专家,需要依靠监管机构对规则的最新阐释?特别是,是不是需要一个拥有监管机构内部关系的专家或者是前工作人员? As a private pilot, I often bristle at the FAA’s mindless bureaucracy and the plain silliness of much of their regulation. But to their credit, there is a strong culture that the plain text of the rule counts, and each pilot should read the rules and know what they mean. That is a system much harder to misuse. Financial, banking, environmental, health care, and housing regulation stand on the opposite end of the spectrum. 作为一个私人飞行员,我经常恼怒于联邦航空管理局的无脑官僚做派和很多愚蠢的规章。但是有一点不得不承认,他们那里盛行一种文化,就是保持规则文本的通俗易懂,每一位飞行员都应该能读懂规则。在这种体制下,监管者滥用规则的难度就会加大。但金融、银行、环境、医疗保健、住房的规章却完全处于光谱的相反一端。
  • Enforced commonly or arbitrarily?
  • 普通执法还是专断执法?
Regulations that are seldom enforced, but then used occasionally to impose enormous penalties are clearly more open to political abuse. If Americans commit three felonies a dayin “conspiracy,” internet use, endangered species, wetlands, or employment and immigration regulations (just to start), but one in a hundred thousand is ever prosecuted, just who gets prosecuted is obviously ripe for abuse. 很少执行但偶尔用来施加重罚的规章显然更易被滥用。如果美国人每天都在有关“合谋”、互联网使用、濒危物种、湿地或雇佣和移民等等规章(远远还没数完)下犯下三项重罪,但是只有十万分之一的机率被起诉,那么挑谁来起诉这件事显然就成了滥权的温床。
  • Right to discovery, see evidence, and challenge decisions.
  • 证据开示权和对判决提出异议的权利。
Do you have the right to know how a regulatory agency decided your case? Step by step, what assumptions, calculations, or interpretations did it use? Often not, and even in high profile cases. 你是否有权知道监管机构是如何裁决你的案子的?每一步,他们用了什么假设、如何计算或者解释?通常你无权知道,即使是要案。 For example, the Wall Street Journal’s coverageof Met Life’s “systemic” designation reports 比如,《华尔街日报》关于大都会人寿保险公司被划定为具有“系统性风险”的报道写道: The feds ...still refuse to say exactly which [threats] make MetLife a systemic risk or what specific changes the company could make to avoid presenting such a risk. “联邦政府……依然拒绝说明是什么(威胁)使得大都会保险公司具有系统性风险或者公司可以通过何种具体的改变来避免出现这种风险。” and continues ...MetLife says that…the government’s decision is based on mere speculation and “undisclosed evidentiary material.” 接着又提到: “大都会保险公司表示……政府的裁决是基于纯粹臆测以及‘未公开的证明材料’。” Since the case is still being decided, the point here is not the correctness or not of these charges. But the charges are a clear example of the kind of regulation that can go wrong (In fact, the miracle of the MetLife case is that the company had the chutzpah to sue. They are taking a big bet that FSOC doesn’t believe in revenge.) 因为案件尚无定论,这里的重点并非这些指控正确与否,而是这些指控作为一个清楚的例证,表明监管可以变味。(事实上,大都会保险公司一案的奇迹在于公司竟然敢起诉监管机构。他们在金融稳定监督委员不会报复上面押了好大一注。)
  • Right to appeal.
  • 上诉权。
And not just to the same agency that makes the decision! In law, the right to appeal is central. In regulation, the right to appeal is often only to appeal to the same agency that made the decision. The Chevron doctrine severely limits your ability to appeal regulatory decisions (and the regulations themselves) to any outside entity. As an example, continuing the above MetLife coverage, 这里说的不仅仅是向作出裁决的机构提出上诉!法律上,上诉权是核心。在监管中,上诉权通常只是向作出行政裁决的同一机构提出上诉。“雪佛龙原则”严重地限制了你向机构外其他实体对监管裁决(和监管本身)提起上诉的能力。作为例子,我们接着看关于大都会保险公司一案的报道。 The ... stability council “lacks any separation in its legislative, investigative, prosecutorial, and adjudicative functions.” That combined with MetLife’s inability to see the full record on which the decision was based made it “impossible” to get a fair hearing. 金融稳定监督委员会“缺乏立法、调查、起诉和司法各职能的分立”。加上大都会无法看到裁决依据的完整记录,这使得他们“不可能”得到一个公平的听证。 As in law, secret evidence, secret decisions, secret testimony; and legislature, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner all rolled in to one are classic ingredients for subverting rule of law. And, eventually, for using the machinery of law to silence political opposition. 和在法律领域一样,秘密证据、秘密裁决、秘密证词以及立法、起诉、判决、陪审和执行不加区分都是破坏法治的典型元素。最终,它们都是为了利用法律机器来压制政治反对。
  • Insulation from political process.
  • 与政治活动隔离。
There are many structures in place to try to ensure the “independence” of independent agencies. There is also a tension that we live in a democracy, so independent agencies can’t be too independent if they have great discretionary power. 目前有很多架构想要确保独立机构的“独立”。但在民主国家,这也带来一个内在的压力。独立机构如果有很大的裁量权,那就不可能太独立。 These important structures try to limit explicit party politics’ use of the regulatory state. They are less successful at limiting the bureaucracy’s use of its regulatory power to prop up its own separate fiefdom. They are also less successful at limiting unwitting political cooperation. When vast majorities of the bureaucracy belong to one political party, when government employee unions funnel unwitting contributions to candidates of that party, and when strong ideological currents link decisions across agencies, explicit cooperation is less necessary. 这些重要的架构都是为了限制政党政治对监管型国家的公开利用,但它们在限制官僚机构利用监管权力强化自己的独立王国上则不那么成功。在限制无意的政治合作上也不成功。当机构的绝大部分人属于一个政党时,当政府雇员工会无意中资助那个政党的候选人时,当强烈的意识形态动向将各部门的裁决关联起来时,公开的合作就没那么必要了。 And, though it was ever thus, the enormous expansion of the size, power, and discretion of the regulatory state makes the insulation structures more important, just as they are falling apart. 即使这样,监管型国家的规模、权力和自由裁量权的扩张也使得隔离架构更加重要,而这些架构却正在分崩离析。
  • Speed vs. delay.
  • 快捷还是拖延。
The regulatory process can take years, and a canny regulator need not explicitly rule against a political foe. Delay is enough. Lois Lerner herself didn’t deny applications. She just endlessly delayed them. The FDA similarly sits on applications, sometimes for decades. 监管流程可以耗费数年。一个狡猾的监管者并不需要作出明显不利于政治对手的裁决,拖延就够了。洛伊丝·勒纳【编注:勒纳是美国国税局处理税务豁免申请的部门负责人,从2010年起,该部门被发现对涉及保守派特别是茶党人士及捐赠对象的豁免申请施加额外苛刻的审查,2013年的国会调查确认了这些滥权行为的存在,国税局官方也予以承认,并导致勒纳先被停职,后来辞职。】本人并不拒绝任何申请,她只是无限地拖延。类似地,食品药品监督局也拖延审核申请,有时一拖就是几十年。 A central element of a new Magna Carta for regulatory agencies should be a right to speedy decision. If a decision is not rendered in say, 6 months, it is approved. 一部针对监管机构的新大宪章的核心元素,就应该是速决的权利。如果一项裁决,比如说6个月内未作出,就相当于得到批准。
  • Consultation, consent of the governed.
  • 被治理人的意见及合意。
The process by which rules are written needs to be reformed. Congress writes empowering legislation, usually vague and expansive. The agencies undertake their own process for rule writing. They usually invite comment from interested parties, but are typically free to ignore it when they wish. We are as supplicants before the King, asking for his benevolent treatment. 规则制定的流程需要改革。国会制定的授权法律通常模糊、宽泛。机构根据各自的流程制定规则。它们常常会邀请利益相关方提出意见,但当他们不愿意接受这些意见时,通常可以直接无视它们。我们就像国王面前的恳请者,乞求他的仁慈。 And that was before the current transformation. As exemplified by the EPA’s decision to brand carbon dioxide a pollutant (coverage here), to extend the definition of “navigable waters” to pretty much every puddle, HHS’ many reinterpretations of the ACA, and the Education Department’s “Dear Colleague” letters, even the barely-constrained rule-making process now proceeds beyond its previous mild legal and consultative constraints. 这还是发生在如今的转变之前的事。从环境保护局宣布二氧化碳为污染物(见报道),将“可通行水域”的范围延伸到几乎所有的池塘,到卫生与公共服务部数次重新解释患者保护与平价医疗法案,以及教育部的“致同僚的一封信”,都是例证。现在,即使原本就不怎么受约束的规则制定过程也突破了本已有限的法律和征求意见方面的约束。 A structure with more formal representation, and more formal rights to draft the rules that govern us, is more in keeping with the parliamentary lessons of the Rule of Law tradition. 在起草治理我们的规则方面,一个有着更为正式的代议机制和更为正式的权利的制度结构,将更加符合法治传统下的议会经验。 2.A Tour 2.浏览 Do we really have reason to be afraid? Let’s take a tour. 我们真的有理由害怕吗?我们来浏览一下。 These cases are drawn mostly from media coverage, which allows me a quick and current high- level tour. Each case, and many more that are unreported, and a serious investigation to the structure of our massive regulatory state, could easily be drawn out to book length. 以下案例大多来自媒体报道,让我得以对当前情况做一次鸟瞰式的快速浏览。每一起案件和更多没有报道的案件以及对大型监管型国家架构的严肃检视,都可以轻而易举地写成一本书。 My point is not so much a current scandal. My case is that the structure that has emerged is ripe for the Faustian political bargain to emerge, that the trend of using regulation to quash political freedom is in place and will only increase. 我的意图不是要讲一件当下的丑闻。我是认为,现已出现的架构很容易导致浮士德式政治交易的出现,使用监管来压制政治自由的趋势已经形成而且只会不断加强。 As we tour our current regulatory state of affairs, then, think of how well the current regime represents “rule of law,” how well it respects your freedom to speak, your freedom to object, your freedom to oppose the regulator and regulatory regime. Think how insulated it is against the strong temptations of our increasingly polarized, winner-take-all, partisan political system to use regulatory power as a means of enshrining political power. 当我们检视当前监管型国家的事务时,想一想现有体制体现了多少“法治”,它在多大程度上尊重了你的言论自由、反对自由和反对监管者及监管型政权的自由,想一想它与两极分化日益严重、赢家通吃、政党体系动用监管权力来固化政治权力的强烈冲动隔离得怎么样。 Banks 银行 Start with finance. Finance is, of course, where the money is. 从金融业开始。金融,顾名思义,是钱之所在。 The Dodd-Frank act is 2,300 pages of legislation, in which “systemic” is never defined, making a “systemic” designation nearly impossible to fight. The act has given rise to tens of thousands of pages of subsidiary regulation, much still to be written. The Volker rule alone — do not fund proprietary trading with insured deposits — runs now to nearly 1,000 pages. To call this Talmudic is to insult the clarity and concision of the Talmud. 《多德-弗兰克法案》有2,300页长,但里面并未定义何为“系统性的”。这就使得监管者对企业具有“系统性风险”的划定几乎无法反驳。法案也带来了上万页的附加规章,需要接着撰写的还有很多。单是沃尔克规则——禁止用参加存款保险的存款进行自营交易­­——现在就已经快1,000页了。以“塔木德式”来称呼它,是对塔木德之清晰、简洁的亵渎。【编注:塔木德是犹太教的一套口传律法,由拉比传承,记录该教的传统习俗和行为规范。】 The result is immense discretion, both by accident and by design. There is no way one can just read the regulations and know which activities are allowed. Each big bank now has dozens to hundreds of regulators permanently embedded at that bank. The regulators must give their ok on every major decision of the banks. 结果就是巨大的自由裁量权,既有意外也有蓄意。仅仅阅读这些规章绝无可能知道什么活动是被允许的。每家大银行现在都被永久性地安插了几十至几百个监管者。银行的每一项重大决定都必须得到监管者的批准。 The “stress tests” are a good case in point. Seeing, I suspect, the futility of much Dodd-Frank regulation, and with the apparent success of the Spring 2009 stress tests in the rear view mirror, such tests have become a cornerstone of the Federal Reserve’s regulatory efforts. But what worked once does not necessarily work again if carved in stone. “压力测试”是一个好例子。我怀疑是看到了众多多德-弗兰克规章的无效,同时,回顾过去又有2009年春天压力测试的成功,这些使得压力测试成了美联储加强监管的柱基。但是成功一次不代表常规化后次次都能成功。 In “stress tests,” Federal Reserve staff make up various scenarios, and apply their own computer models and the banks’ computer models to see how the banks fare. However, the Fed does not announce a set scenario ahead of time. They Fed staffers make up new scenarios each time. They understand that if banks know ahead of time what the scenario is and the standards are, then the clever MBAs at the banks will make sure the banks all pass. And billions of dollars hang on the results of this game. “压力测试”中,美联储职员制造不同的情境,然后应用联储自己的电脑模型和银行的模型来看银行如何反应。但是联储不会提前公布一组情境都有什么,美联储职员每次都制造一组新的情境。他们知道如果银行事先知道情境及标准,银行里那些聪明的MBA们就有办法保证银行通过测试。而数十亿美元系于这场游戏的结果。 Now, the Fed staffers playing this game, at least those that I have talked to, are honest and a- political. For now. But how long can that last? How long can the Fed resist the temptation to punish banks who have stepped out of line with a stress test designed to exploit their weakness? Is it any wonder that few big banks are speaking out against the whole regime? They understand that being an “enemy” is not the way to win approvals. 现在,参与这个游戏的联储职员,至少那些和我说过话的,都是诚实且无涉政治的。目前是这样,但这能维持多久呢?联储能够抵御诱惑多久,而不去惩罚那些在专门设计来利用银行弱点的压力测试中行为出格的银行?鲜有大银行敢于直言反对整个体系,这很奇怪吗?他们明白,成为“敌人”并不是获得审批的办法。 And the stress-test staff are getting handsome offers already to come work for the banks, to help the banks to pass the Fed’s stress tests. Ben Bernanke himself is now working for Citadel. 参与设计压力测试的联储职员现已从银行获得了待遇不菲的工作邀请,来帮助银行通过测试。本·伯南克自己现在就为城堡投资集团工作。 If this sounds like the cozy world of “capture,” however, remember the litany of criminal prosecutions and multibillion-dollar settlements. These are instigated by the Attorney General and Department of Justice, with much closer ties to the Administration, but they revolve around violations of securities regulations. Is it a coincidence that S&P, who embarrassed the Administration by downgrading U.S. debt, faced a $1.4 billion dollar settlement for ratings shenanigans, while Moody’s, which gave the same ratings, did not? Pay up, shut up, and stay out of trouble is the order of the day. 如果这听起来像是一个“捕获”的温馨世界,那请记住刑事诉讼和数十亿美元的和解下的哀鸣。这些都是由与行政分支关系更紧密的司法部长和司法部发起的,涉及的则是违反证券法规的行为。降低美国债务评级而让行政分支蒙羞的标准普尔因评级欺诈而面临14亿美元的和解,但给出同样评级的穆迪却没有受罚。这难道是巧合?破财消灾、闭上嘴、远离是非,是当今市场的生存之道。 The Wall Street Journal nicely characterized today’s Wall Street, quotingJohn J. Mack, Morgan Stanley's ex-chairman “Your No.1 client is the government,” which embeds “About 50 full-time government regulators.” 《华尔街日报》引述摩根士丹利前主席约翰·马克的话,漂亮地描述了今天华尔街的特点,他说:“你的头号客户是政府”,它安插了“大约50个全职监管者。” CFPB 消费者金融保护局 Another example: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Department of Justice charged Ally Bank with discrimination in auto lending, and extracted a nearly $100 million settlement. Ally provides money to auto lenders. Lenders negotiate interest rates. Nobody is allowed to collect data on borrowers’ race. So Justice ran statistical analysis on last names and zip codes — Bayesian Improved Surname Geocoding — to decide that minorities are being charge more than they should, essentially encoding ethnic jokes into law. 另一个例子:美国消费者金融保护局和司法部指控Ally银行在汽车贷款中歧视,并获取了一份价值约一亿美元的和解。Ally向汽车贷款放贷人提供资金。放贷人协商利率。不允许任何人收集借贷人的种族信息。所以司法部就通过贝叶斯改良姓氏坐标法统计分析借贷人的姓和邮编作出裁决,认为少数族裔被收取了过高的费用——这等于是将种族笑话秘密地写入了法律。 Why did Ally pay? Sure, they might survive in court. But nobody wants to be branded a racist. And DOJ and CFPB have many more cards up their sleeves. CFPB now can disapprove any retail financial arrangement it deems “abusive,” and put Ally out of business. Ally为什么答应和解呢?当然,他们可能在法庭上获胜。但没人愿意被称作种族主义者。此外,司法部和消费者金融保护局袖子里还藏着很多牌。消费者金融保护局现在可以否决一切它们认为“滥用”的零售金融合约,它们可以让Ally破产。 Note in this case, there was no charge or evidence of discriminatory practice or intent. The case was purely that DOJ and CFPB didn’t like the statistics of the outcome. 注意,此案中并无歧视行为或意图的指控或证据。一切只因为司法部和消费者金融保护局不喜欢最后的数据统计分布。 More importantly, was this a knowable regulation, or a bill of attainder? Did CFPB and Justice make available the Bayesian Improved Surname Geocoding program on their website, and tell financial institutions “please download the BISG program, make sure you run loans through it, and that they come out with the right statistics?” Obviously not. This was an unknowable regulation. Ally had no way to make sure it was lending to the right last names. 更重要的是,这究竟是一条可知的规章,还是褫夺公民权的法案?消费者金融保护局和司法部有没有在网站公布贝叶斯改良姓氏坐标法,并告诉金融机构“请下载该程序,根据它发放贷款并确保最终数据统计分布正确”?显然没有。这是一个不可知的法规。Ally无法保证它们把钱贷给了正确的姓氏。 Ominously, in Wall Street Journal coverage, 《华尔街日报》的报道带来了不详的预兆: Larger settlements may be on the horizon. J.P. Morgan...warned in a recent filing that it is discussing the issue of possible “statistical disparities” in auto lending with Justice. With more than $50 billion in auto loans on Morgan’s balance sheet at the end of last year, real or imaginary disparities wouldn’t have to be that large to generate a fat settlement. “更大的和解可能就在眼前。JP摩根……在最近提交的一份公告中警示投资者,它正在与司法部讨论汽车贷款中可能存在的‘统计偏差’问题。根据公司去年底资产负债表上超过500亿美元的汽车贷款,真实或者想象的偏差不必过大,也会产生巨额和解。” While the Obamacare (King v. Burwell) and gay marriage decisions soaked up the airtime in the summer of 2015, the Court’s upholdingof statistical discrimination and disparate impact stands as the greatest affront to liberty. Without even alleging discriminatory intent, without following any established procedure, the Justice Department can chew numbers as it feels, and based on statistical analysis brand you a racist and drag you to court. 尽管奥巴马医改案(金诉布维尔案)和同性恋婚姻判决占据了2015年整个夏天的聚光灯,但联邦最高法院对数据统计分布所体现的歧视和差别影响的认可才是对自由最严重的侵犯。甚至无需指称歧视意图,无需遵循任何现有程序,司法部就可以随意咀嚼数字,根据统计分析为你打上种族歧视者的标签,把你拖上法庭。 SEC 美国证券交易委员会 The SEC’s regulation of insider trading is a fine example of discretion run amok. There is no legal definition of insider trading. Other than corporate insiders (who have legal fiduciary responsibilities not to trade on information) there is little economic rationale for this witch hunt. The game is characterized by big suits with big settlements and novel theories. 证券交易委员会对内幕交易的监管是自由裁量权失控的一个很好例证。法律上没有内幕交易的定义。除去企业内部人(他们有法律上的受托人责任,不利用信息进行交易)之外,这种猎巫式的监管没有多少经济依据。这场游戏的特点是大案件、高额和解和新颖的理论。 And thus, big discretion. The SEC can ruin anyone it wants to. If you’re running a hedge fund and the SEC accuses you of insider trading, it grabs your computers and shuts down your business. Sure, 5 years from now you might win in court, but your customers left and the fund shut down the day they took the computers away. And appeal is only to the SEC itself. 于是,这带来了广泛的自由裁量权。证券交易委员会可以摧毁想要摧毁的任何人。如果你经营一家对冲基金,而证券交易委员会指控你内幕交易,它会带走公司的电脑,关闭你的公司。当然,5年后你可能赢下官司,但是客户全都离开了,基金公司也在取走电脑的那天关了。而且你就算上诉也只能上诉到证券交易委员会。 Robosigning 自动签名 During the financial crisis, many banks didn’t fill out all the forms correctly when foreclosing on houses. The charge was entirely about process — there was no charge that anyone was evicted who was paying his or her mortgages. From the Federal Reserve’s own press releaseswe learn that the Fed found them guilty of “unsafe and unsound processes and practices.” 金融危机期间,许多银行取消房屋抵押赎回权时没有正确填写所有表格。这项指控纯粹只和流程有关,没有任何关于仍在还按揭的房主被驱逐的指控。从美联储自己的官方新闻通报中我们知道,美联储认为银行因“不安全、不合理的程序和操作”而犯有过错。 The Fed was acting in conjunction with a comprehensive settlement agreed in principle between the five banking organizations, the state Attorneys General, and the Department of Justice ... The Settlement Agreement requires these organizations to provide $25 billion in payments and other designated types of monetary assistance and remediation to residential mortgage borrowers. 在一项五家银行机构、各州检察长和司法部……之间达成的、内容广泛的原则性和解中,美联储也参与了联合行动。和解协议要求银行赔付给民宅按揭借贷者总额为250亿美元的款项和其他指定的资金支持和救助。 The Fed, a supposedly non-political independent agency devoted to bank safety and monetary policy, acted with the Administration, to transfer $25 billion dollars from bank shareholders to mortgage borrowers (not the victims of robosigning, other borrowers) and “nonprofit housing counseling organizations.” 美联储——一家理应政治中性、独立,致力于银行安全和实施货币政策的机构——和行政分支一起将250亿美元从银行股东那里转移给按揭借贷者(他们还不是自动签名的受害者)和“非营利性住房咨询机构”。 It’s a small example, but a concrete one. 这是一个小例子,但很实在。 Regulation in general is transitioning from widespread application of rules to sporadic but very large enforcement actions, frequently involving threat of criminal prosecution and ending in large settlements. Documenting this trend, the Wall Street Journalnoted the spread of Department of Justice Attorneys to regulatory agencies. For example, the EPA “described a strategy of pursuing larger, more complicated enforcement cases, albeit fewer in number.” 总体上看,监管正由规则的广泛适用转向不定期的大型执法活动,还经常伴随着刑事诉讼的威胁,并以大额和解而终结。在记录这一趋势时,《华尔街日报》注意到很多司法部律师转到了其他监管机构。比如,环境保护署“描绘了一个策略,就是追求更大、更复杂的执法案件,哪怕案件数量更少”。 Similarly,Larry Parkinson, another former federal prosecutor who runs FERC’s [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] investigations, described it as an outgrowth of shifting resources to more serious matters—like market manipulation—and away from more traditional violations. In 2008, for example, a majority of the agency’s penalties were against firms that violated requirements that natural-gas shippers maintain title to the gas. 类似地,拉里·帕金森,另一位前联邦检察官,现负责联邦能源监管委员会的调查,将此说成是资源从传统违法行为转移到更严重问题的结果,如市场操控。比如,2008年,该委员会的大部分处罚是针对那些违反天然气航运商必须保有天然气所有权这一规定的公司。 “Market Manipulation” is of course a lot more nebulous and discretionary than natural-gas title checks. “市场操控”当然比天然气所有权检查更加模糊、有更多自由裁量权。 The ACA, AKA Obamacare 患者保护与平价医疗法案,即奥巴马医改法案 The ACA is 2,700 pages, and the subsidiary regulation is so convoluted that there is an active debate on the page count of its actual regulations. Justice Scalia invoked the eighth amendment against cruel and unusual punishment as protection against actually reading it. 奥巴马医改法案长达2,700页,配套法规也相当复杂,以至于其到底有多少页还存在争议。斯卡利亚大法官援引第八修正案——不得施加残酷和非常惩罚——来保护自己不去读它。 The Heritage foundation counted 1,327 waivers. Clearly, someone needing a discretionary waiver shouldn’t be a big critic of HHS or the law. 美国传统基金会统计到了1,327份弃权声明。显然,有人需要自主弃权,这不应算是对卫生与公共服务部或者这项法案的严厉批评。 The cartelization of health insurance and health care under the ACA is almost a textbook case of corporatism. The big hospitals doctors, and insurers get a protected small cartel. In return for political support for the ACA, HHS, state exchanges, and so on. And, the ACA itself being an intensely partisan question, that support already leaks into major party politics. 奥巴马医改法案下健康保险和医疗卫生服务的卡特尔化是社团主义的教科书式案例。大医院、医生和保险公司获得了一个受保护的小卡特尔。作为回报,他们从政治上支持医改法案、卫生与公共服务部及州立医疗保险交易所等等。由于医改法案本身已经成为了一个很严重的党派问题,对法案的支持也卷入到了政党政治中。 Writing on the consolidation of health insurance into two or three big companies, the Wall Street Journal quotesAetna CEO Mark Bertolini that the federal regulators “happen to be, for most of us now, our largest customer,” adding 《华尔街日报》在关于健康保险公司整合为两到三家大公司的报道中,引用了安泰保险首席执行官马克·伯特利尼的话说,联邦监管机构“对我们大多数人而言,现在恰好是我们最大的客户”。他又补充道: “So there is a relationship you need to figure out there if you’re going to have a sustained positive relationship with your biggest customer. And we can all take our own political point of view of whether it’s right or wrong, but in the end-analysis, they’re paying us a lot of money and they have a right to give us some insight into how they think we should run our business.” “所以如果你想要和最大的客户有一个长久积极的关系,就需要认清这个关系。关于对错,我们都可以有自己的政治观点,但是最终来看,他们支付我们很大一笔钱,他们有权利给我们一些见解,告诉我们该如何经营。” The Journal opined that “such domestication is part of ObamaCare’s goal of political control,” echoing my fear. 《华尔街日报》评论道,“这种驯服是奥巴马医改法案政治控制意图的一部分”,这呼应了我的忧惧。 United Healthwanted to join the California exchange Covered California. Many areas of California have only one or two insurers now, so competition and choice are clearly needed. But participation in the exchange needs prior regulatory approval, and United Health was denied. Why? The LA Times wrote 联合健康保险想要加入加州健康保险交易所——医保加州。加州很多地方现在只有一两家保险公司,所以显然是很需要竞争和更多选择余地的。但是参加交易所需要事先得到审批,联合健康保险被否决了。为什么?《洛杉矶时报》写到: Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said established insurers shouldn't be free to come in right away. Those insurers, he said, should not be allowed to undercut rivals who stepped up at the start and made significant investments to sign up 1.2 million Californians during the first open enrollment. “彼得·李,医保加州的执行董事,表示老牌保险公司不应该立刻自由进入市场。他说那些保险公司不应该被允许以更低地成本与那些在第一次公开登记时就进场,并为签下120万加州人作出巨大投资的对手竞争。” and quoting Lee further, 李还说, We think the health plans that helped make California a national model should not be in essence undercut by plans that sat on the sidelines. “我们认为帮助加州成为全国模范的保险计划不应该被那些坐在一边看热闹的计划比下去。” You can’t ask for a clearer example of a regulator, using discretionary power to cartelize his industry, protect incumbent profits, and punish a business for failure to support political objectives. He said nothing about United Health’s ability to serve California customers, or to abide by any regulation. 没有什么是比这个更明显的监管者的例子了,利用自由裁量权将他管辖的行业卡特尔化,保护既得利益,惩罚没能支持其政治目标的公司。李一点没提联合健康保险服务加州消费者的能力或者其遵守了所有的法规。 Again in California, reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Daughters of Charity Health system wanted to sell six insolvent hospitals to Prime, which agreed to take on their debt and a $300 million pension liabilities. Under state law, Attorney General Kamala Harris must approve nonprofit hospital sales or acquisitions, with only a vague guideline that such transactions must be “in the public interest.” But only four of Prime’s 15 California hospitals are unionized, so the Service Employees International Union was against the merger. Ms. Harris torpedoed the merger, despite a positive report form her own staff. 还是在加州,据《华尔街日报》报道,仁爱女儿连锁医院想要将六所破产的医院卖给基本医疗。后者同意接受破产医院的债务和3亿美元的养老金负债。根据州法律,非营利医院的收购或出售须得到州检察长卡马拉·哈里斯批准,而指导其审批的只有一条模糊原则,就是这一交易必须“符合公共利益”。但是基本医疗在加州的15家医院只有4家参加了工会,所以服务业员工国际工会就起来反对这一并购。哈里斯女士阻止了这次并购,尽管她自己的手下出具了对并购持正面评价的报告。 Was the event a political cave to unions, as represented by the Journal? Perhaps; perhaps not. What matters here is that it certainly could be, as the Attorney General has enormous discretionary power to approve or disapprove hospital mergers. Hospitals are well advised to stay on her good side. 这一事件是不是如《华尔街日报》报道的那样,是对工会的政治屈服呢?也许是,也许不是。这里真正重要的是,完全有可能如此,因为检察长有很大的自由裁量权批准或否决医院并购。医院得到的建议是乖乖站在检察长一边。 FDA 食品药品监督管理局 Henry Miller at Hoover tells the sad tale of the Aquadvantage salmon, submitted for review in 1996 and still under review20: 胡佛研究所的亨利·米勒说了关于AquAdvantage转基因鲑鱼的悲伤故事,这一品种1996年提交评审,到现在还在评审: ...Consider what they [FDA] have inflicted on a genetically engineered Atlantic salmon, which differs from its wild cohorts only by reaching maturity about 40 percent faster, as the result of the addition to its genome of a growth hormone gene from the Chinook salmon... “……想一想食品药品监督管理局(FDA)对这一转基因大西洋鲑鱼都做了什么。这种鲑鱼与其它野生同类唯一不同的是比它们快40%达到成熟期,因为它的基因组中添加了帝王鲑的生长荷尔蒙基因……” It took FDA more than a decade just to decide how they would regulate the AquAdvantage salmon. Characteristically, they decided on the most onerous pathway, regulating the new construct in genetically engineered animals as though it were a veterinary drug, similar to a flea medicine or pain reliever. After several years of deliberation, regulators concluded as early as 2012 that the AquAdvantage Atlantic salmon has no detectable differences and that it “is as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon.” ... FDA用了超过十年时间来决定要怎样监管这种鲑鱼。跟往常一样,他们决定通过最繁复的路径来监管转基因动物体内的新构造,就像把它当作兽药,类似跳蚤药或者镇痛药那样对待。经过数年的研究,监管者早在2012年就得出结论认为这种鲑鱼没有可探知的差异,它“和大西洋传统鲑鱼一样安全”。 When the FDA completed its Environmental Assessment in April 2012 and was ready to publish it—the last necessary hurdle before approving the salmon for marketing—the White House mysteriously intervened. The review process vanished from sight until December of that year, when the FDA was finally permitted to publish the EA (the unsurprising verdict: “no significant impact”), which should then have gone out for a brief period of public comment prior to approval. 就在2012年4月FDA完成环境评价准备公布结果时——这也是最后一道挡在鲑鱼上市前的障碍——白宫却神秘地干涉了进来。审批过程从公众视野中消失了。直到那年12月,FDA才最终被批准公布环境评价,结果并不出人意料——“没有显著影响”。这之后理应是短暂的公开征求意见阶段,然后就是正式批准。 The reason for the delay in the FDA’s publishing the needed Environmental Assessment was exposed by science writer Jon Entine. He related that the White House interference “came after discussions [in the spring of 2012] between Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ office and officials linked to Valerie Jarrett at the Executive Office [of the President], who were debating the political implications of approving the [genetically modified] salmon. Genetically modified plants and animals are controversial among the president’s political base, which was thought critical to his reelection efforts during a low point in the president’s popularity.” 科学作家乔恩•昂蒂纳揭露了FDA推迟公布环境评价的原因。他谈到,白宫的干涉“发生于2012年春天卫生与公共服务部部长凯瑟琳·西贝利厄斯的部长办公室和总统办公室瓦莱丽·贾勒相关的官员进行的一场讨论之后。这些官员的辩论围绕着批准转基因鲑鱼的政治影响。在总统的政治大本营,转基因植物和动物是有争议的话题。这一话题被认为在总统的支持率处于低点的时候对总统的再次当选至关重要。” Needless to say, 20 years of delay makes a project pretty unprofitable. 不用说,20年的拖延让转基因鲑鱼项目变得几乎无利可图。 This is a good example, because the FDA regulations prescribe a precise science-based process for evaluating a food. There are time limits for rendering decisions, which the FDA ignores. But strong political forces don’t like GM foods, science be damned. 这是一个绝佳的例子,因为FDA的法规规定了评价食品的一套基于科学的精确程序。作出裁决是有时限的,但被FDA忽略了。当强大的政治力量不喜欢转基因食品时,科学就屁也不是了。 EPA 环境保护署 A clean environment is important. Pollution is a clear externality. We can also regard it as a Nash equilibrium. Each competitor in an industry is happy to pay the extra money to produce cleanly if all his or her competitors do so. 清洁环境很重要。污染显然是一个外部性。我们也可以把它看作一个纳什均衡。如果竞争对手也这么做,行业里的每一个竞争对手都愿意花额外的钱清洁地生产。 But the modern EPA violates just about every one of my suggested bullet points for preserving rule of law in the regulatory bureaucracy, and is ripe for political misuse. Discretion vs. rules, the potential for endless delay, the need for ex-ante permission, and a politicized and partisan bureaucracy are just the beginning. 但是现代的环境保护署违背了我为在监管型官僚机构下维护法治所提出的几乎每一条建议,政治滥用就在眼前。自由裁量权而非规则、无限拖延的可能、事前批准的要求、政治化和党派化的官僚机构,这些都还只是开始。 In the Pebble Mine controversy, EPA issued a preemptive veto of a project before a request for review was submitted, and was found colluding with mining opponents. Note, I’m not opining on whether the mine was a good or bad idea. Merely that the process in view is clearly one that could be misused for political purposes, and that mine owners already must know not to speak ill of the EPA or administration with such sway over the EPA. 在佩柏金矿争议中,环境保护署在项目审批申请递交前就发出了事先否决,并且被发现和开采的反对方相勾结。请注意,我并不是在就开矿是好是坏发表意见。我要说的仅仅是,这个程序明显可以因政治目的而遭到利用,而矿主一定已经知道不要说环境保护署以及可以对其施加影响的其他机构的坏话。 The Keystone pipeline stands as the example par excellence of regulatory delay and politicization. Perhaps next to the EPA’s decision to take on carbon as a pollutant. Keystone石油管线是监管拖延和政治化的绝佳例证。可能仅次于环境保护署决定将二氧化碳列为污染物。 Already, anyone opposed to a project for other reasons — like, it will block my view — can use environmental review to stop it. Delay is as good as denial in any commercial project. 如今,任何因其他理由——比如遮住了视野——而反对一个项目的人,都可以利用环境评估来加以阻止。在任何商业项目中,拖延跟否决一样有效。 The small story of Al Armendariz, head of EPA region 6 who proposed “crucifying” some oil companies as an example to the others is instructive. He was caught on tape saying: 环境保护署第六区主管阿尔·阿曼达里兹的小故事很有启发性。他建议把一些大的石油公司“钉死在十字架上”,以儆效尤。录音显示,他说: The Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. “罗马人曾经征服地中海地区的小村庄。他们进入某个土耳其小镇,将最先看到的五个人钉死在十字架上。然后整个镇子在接下来的几年都会很好管理。 ...we do have some pretty effective enforcement tools. Compliance can get very high, very, very quickly. ……我们确实有一些很有效的执法工具。如此,顺服便唾手可得,而且程度很高,来得很快,非常快。 According to the story, Armendariz shut down Range Resources, one of the first fracking companies. Range fought back and eventually a Federal Judge found in its favor. But an agency that operates by “crucifying” a few exemplars, explicitly to impose compliance costs, is ripe to choose just which exemplars will be crucified on political bases. 故事里,阿曼达里兹关闭了Range Resources,首批水力压裂公司之一。Range予以了回击,最终一位联邦法官作出了有利于Range的判决。但是一个通过杀鸡儆猴、明显增加企业合规成本来运作的机构,当然易于根据政治考量而选择 “钉死”哪些儆猴之鸡。 Internet 网络 The Internet is the central disruptive technology of our time. So far it has been “permissionless” — unlike just about every other activity in the contemporary United States, you do not need prior approval of a regulator to put up a website. 网络是这个时代核心的颠覆性科技。截至目前,它还是“无需审批”的。不像当代美国的其他任何活动,你不需要事前审批就能上线一个网站。 Pressure grew under the reasonable-sounding banner of “net neutrality,” though what was at stake was the right of some businesses to pay extra for faster delivery. “Net neutrality” meant outlawing business class. The FCC, a supposedly independent agency, studied the issue and found no reason to regulate the internet. 但是,在听似合理的“网络中立性”旗帜下,压力与日俱增,虽然这里受到危及的是一些公司通过额外付费来获得更快传输的权利。“网络中立性”意味着宣布通过额外付费取得一定特权不合法。联邦通信委员会(FCC)——一个本该中立的机构,研究了这个议题,然后发现没有理由监管网络。 One fine day in November 2014, FCC commissioner Tom Wheeler must have found horse head in bed. Well, more specifically a surprise public announcement from President Obama that “blindsided officials at the FCC” per WSJ coverage. 2014年11月某个美好的日子,FCC主席汤姆·惠勒一定在床上发现了一个血淋淋的马头【译注:电影《教父》梗】,更准确地说是奥巴马总统惊人的公开言论。据《华尔街日报》报道,奥巴马提到了“FCC那些钻进死胡同的官员”。 The result is not just “net neutrality” but to apply full telecommunications regulation circa 1935. In particular, this includes Title II rate regulation, in which the FCC has full power to determine what rates are “reasonable.” 奥巴马的言论带来的结果不仅仅是“网络中立性”,而是FCC将动用其约于1935年获得的全面电信监管权力。尤其是,这其中包括有关费用管制的第二条款。据此,FCC可以全权决定什么样的费用是“合理”的。 The FCC announces it will “forbear” to use that power. Along with its right, under the regulation, to impose content restrictions — yes, to tell you what to put on your website — and the “fairness doctrine.” But forebearance is discretionary. So, a company thinking of investing money in fiber-optic lines had better invest in good relations with the FCC and the Administration that apparently drives its decisions. FCC宣布他们会“克制”使用该权力,以及在该监管下实施内容限制(是的,就是告诉你网站放什么内容)和“公平原则”的权力。但是克制也是有裁量的。所以,一家打算投资光纤电缆的公司最好多多投资于它和FCC以及能够影响其裁决的行政分支的关系。 The “independence” of regulatory agencies is one of the key structures impeding widespread use of regulatory power to induce political support. The WSJ coverage of the politics behind the decision describes well how specific businesses’ access to the White House drove the result. On the commission, the 3-2 vote with 2 republicans issuing withering dissents speaks of the partisan nature of this regulation. 监管机构的“独立”是阻止广泛使用监管权力争取政治支持的关键架构之一。《华尔街日报》关于裁决背后的政治勾当的报道,很好地描述了特定公司通往白宫的门道是如何推动结果的。通信委员会3:2的投票结果,以及2名共和党挖苦式地发表少数意见,正说明了这一监管的党派政治本质。 Alas, the internet is all moving to Washington. Uber hired, straight from the Administration, well known tech wizard, David Pflouffe. Given Uber’s troubles with labor law — a California court recently ruling that its contractors are employees — and taxi regulation throughout the U.S., investing in politics is good business for Uber. 可叹的是,网络公司都向华盛顿涌来。优步直接从政府雇佣了著名的科技巫师大卫·普罗夫。鉴于优步面临的劳动法方面的麻烦(一家加州法庭最近裁定它旗下的合约司机是正式雇员)和在全美出租车法规面前遭遇的麻烦,投资于政治对它来说是一笔好生意。 Campaign finance 竞选筹款 Campaign finance law and regulation is all about restricting freedom of speech and altering who wins elections. So one should not be surprised about its political use to restrict freedom of speech and alter who wins elections. 竞选筹款的法律法规就是关于限制言论自由和改变胜选人的。所以对于它被政治性的用来限制言论自由和改变胜选人也不应感到意外。 Still, the recent trend is more troubling than usual. 但尽管如此,最近的趋势仍比往常更加令人不安。 Lois Lerner, director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Unit, famously derailed applications for nonprofit status from conservative groups, ahead of the 2012 Presidential election. Her main tactic was endless delay. All you need is for the election to pass. 洛伊丝·勒纳,联邦税务局免税机构部主管,在2012年总统大选前阻挠保守派团体获得非盈利性资格的申请【编注:被认定为非盈利性机构意味着其所获得的捐赠可以让捐赠者享受相应的税务豁免,按机构性质不同,豁免的可能是应税收入,也可能是应缴税额。】,并因此出名。她的主要战术就是无限期拖延。她需要的只是等到大选过去。 Scott Walker’s troubles are similarly renown. Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisolm filed “John Doe” probes against conservative issue advocacy groups, “blanketed conservatives with subpoenas, raided their homes and put the targets under a gag order” that they could not even reveal the fact of the investigation. It came to light, and is now in the courts, but not until well after the election. Walker won anyway, but might not have. 斯科特·沃克的麻烦也差不多出名。密尔沃基地区检察官约翰·奇瑟姆发起了一项针对保守议题倡导组织的“无名氏”调查。“给保守派人士发法庭传票来妨碍他们,突然查抄他们的家,为目标人士申请禁口令”,使得他们甚至无法揭露这些调查存在的事实。整件事直到选举之后很久才曝光,目前正在庭审阶段。不管怎样,沃克最后还是赢了,但完全可能因此而输掉。 The Administration has been pushing since 2010 to force nonprofits to disclose all donors, as campaigns must disclose contributors. It sounds innocuous: “Disclosures?” Who can be against that? Shouldn’t “big money” contributing to politics be public information? 政府自2010年以来一直在推动强令非营利组织公开捐款人,就像竞选必须公开捐助人一样。这听起来很无害。“公开”?谁敢反对?难道捐助政治的“大钱”不应该成为公开信息吗? Not when the vast power of the regulatory state can come down on whomever it wants to. Tyrannies always start by making lists. Nixon at least had to compile his own enemies list. 当监管型国家的权力触角可以伸到它希望的任何人时,就不应该了。暴政都是从列名单开始的。尼克松至少还需要自己动手编列一份政敌名单。 Snowden 斯诺登 The Snowden affair taught us some important lessons about our government. The NSA collected phone call “metadata.” Well, it’s just who called who and not the content of phone calls (unless you call abroad), you may say. 斯诺登事件教给我们一些关于我们政府的重要教训。国家安全局收集电话“元数据”。你也许会说,只是谁打给谁,又不是电话的内容(除非打到国外)。 But even metadata is revealing. Suppose you called three cancer doctors, alcoholics anonymous, and two divorce lawyers. And you want to run for the senate. That kind of information is political dynamite. 但即使是元数据信息量也很大。假设你打给了三个癌症医生,匿名戒酒会和两个离婚律师。你还想要竞选参议员。这些信息在政治上就是爆炸性的。 The NSA has the content, not just metadata, of any emails that go abroad. The NSA likely has many Hilary Clinton’s missing emails. And Jeb Bushes’. Unless neither has ever written an email that rises to the embarrassment level of Mitt Romney’s 47% remark, the information to sink either campaign is likely sitting on NSA computers. 国安局掌握着发往国外的任何邮件的内容,不仅仅是元数据。国安局里很可能有很多希拉里·克林顿的失踪邮件。以及杰布·布什的。除非两人写过的邮件没有一封能达到罗姆尼47%言论【译注:罗姆尼2012年曾经在私下场合表示,有47%的选民无论如何都会选奥巴马,他们相信政府对他们有责任、有义务。罗姆尼表示自己不需要去担心这些人】的尴尬程度,否则击沉任意一个候选人的信息就在国安局的电脑里。 That information would never leak out, you say? Snowden proves the opposite. Any piece of information on a government computer is one Snowden, one Lois Lerner, or one Chinese hacker away from a twitter feed. 你说什么?信息永远不会泄露?斯诺登证明了信息会泄露。政府电脑里的任何信息离推特信息都只有一个斯诺登、一个洛伊丝·勒纳或者一个中国黑客的距离。 John Oliver’s Snowden interview contained an interesting revelation. The internet is an amazing thing. What do Americans do with it? They send around pictures of their private parts. And NSA employees regularly pass the pictures around to great hilarity. 约翰·奥利弗对斯诺登的采访披露了一个有意思的情节。网络是个奇妙的东西。美国人用它来干什么呢?他们到处发送自己私处的照片。而国安局职员经常传阅这些照片来取乐。 E-Verify 电子查证 As part of most immigration deals we are likely to see strong enforcement of the right of employees to work via e-verify. Every single human being who wishes to work in the United States must ask for the ex-ante permission the Federal Government. 作为绝大多数移民政策的一部分,我们可能会看到,借助电子查证,有关雇员工作权的法规得到了强有力实施。每个想在美国工作的人都必须征得联邦政府的事先准许。 Leave aside here the obvious question how the same government that runs the Obamacare website, and, as I write, has had all visa applications to the U.S. shut down for two weeks due to hardware failures, will manage this. Let’s focus on the political implications. 一个运营着奥巴马医改网站的政府,一个因为硬件故障关闭所有签证申请达两周的政府,如何能够管理电子查证?这里先别管这个明显的问题,我们把焦点集中到政治影响上吧。 This power will naturally expand. First, people without proper immigration documents. But once in place, why only enforce immigration laws? Already there are a long list of laws governing who can work and when and where. People must have the right licenses, the right background checks, union memberships and so on. Are you guilty in the latest SEC which hunt? E-verify can really make sure you never work in finance again, not so much as a bank teller. Or that a conviction for violating the endangered species act keeps you out of the work force. 这一权力会自然延伸。首先是没有正当移民文件的人。但是电子查证一旦到位,为什么只用来执行移民法呢?已经有一长串的法律管理着谁可以工作以及什么时候在哪儿工作。人们必须要有正确的执照、正确的背景审查、工会会员身份等等。在证券交易委员会最近的一次政治迫害中你有罪吗?电子查证可以确保你再也不能从事金融业,即使是银行柜员也不行。或者一项威胁濒危物种的行为的定罪,也可以把你隔离在劳动力市场之外。 Every tyranny controls its citizens by controlling their right to work. Do we really want every American who wants employment to have to ask for the ex-ante permission of the Federal Government of Edward Snowden and Lois Lerner? 任何暴政都通过控制公民的工作权来控制公民。我们真的希望每个想要工作的人都必需事先征得一个由爱德华·斯诺登和洛伊丝·勒纳组成的联邦政府的许可吗? Transactions 交易 We have lost the right to transact privately in the terror and drug wars. The right to political dissent requires the ability to speak freely and privately; the right to earn a living despite political opposition; and the right to transact in private. All three are vanishing. 我们已经在反恐和禁毒战争中失去了私下交易的权利。政治异见的权利要求人们能够自由和私密地表达的可能性,政治反对者仍能谋生的权利,以及私下交易的权利。这三种权利都在消失。 You may have reveled in the ending of Stephen King’s Shawshank Redemption, in which the hero takes cash out of banks and heads to Mexico. Under today’s banking laws, that could no longer happen. 你也许很喜欢史蒂夫·金的《肖申克的救赎》的结尾,男主角从银行取出钱,前往墨西哥。在今天的银行法律下,这一幕再也不会发生了。 As a recent political example, Dennis Hastert was recently indictedf or violating the spirit of the $10,000 limit on bank withdrawals, by withdrawing amounts just shy of the limit. Hastert wanted the money, apparently, to pay blackmail to someone with an embarrassing personal secret. 最近的一个政治例子是,丹尼斯·哈斯特尔特最近因违背银行取款不超过10,000美元的宗旨而受到起诉。他取出的额度恰好略低于限额。原来,哈斯特尔特需要钱去支付某人利用其尴尬的私人秘密所进行的勒索。 Hastert is retired. But should aspiring politicians really have no privacy in their personal transactions? 哈斯特尔特退休了。但是有抱负的政客在私人交易中就真的没有任何隐私吗? Education 教育 As Daniel Henninger put it: 正如丹尼尔·海宁格所说: ...historians of the new system will cite the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights’ 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter on sexual harassment as the watershed event. “新系统下的历史学家会将教育部民权办公室2011年关于性骚扰的致同僚信作为分水岭事件。” This letter—not even a formal regulation—forced creation of quasi-judicial systems of sexual-abuse surveillance on every campus in America. The universities complied for fear of lawsuits from enforcers at the Departments of Education and Justice. 这封信,甚至都不是一个正式的法规,但其强制建立了一个准司法体系,监视美国每一个校园的性侵害。大学都遵守这一要求,因为怕惹上教育部和司法部的官司。 The Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section and Housing and Civil Enforcement Section have forced numerous settlements from police departments, school districts, jails and housing agencies. Whatever the merits, the locals know the price of resisting Justice is too high. 司法部的特殊诉讼处及住房和民事执法处已经强制和解了好几起来自警察局、学区、监狱和住房机构的案件。不管是不是在法律上站得住脚,当地人知道抵抗司法部的成本太高。 National Review’s coverageof Laura Kipinis’ travails is a good example of the political use of this regulation. Professor Kipinis “wrote a column in the Chronicle of Higher Education arguing that college campuses are in a state of ‘sexual paranoia.’” She quickly became the subject of a “Title IX inquisition,” documented in her essayby that name. Though eventually cleared, the point is the use of regulatory power to silence speech. 《国家评论》对劳拉·吉普尼斯的痛苦经历的报道是这项监管被政治利用的一个好例子。吉普尼斯教授“在《高等教育纪事报》上写了一篇专栏,表示大学校园正处于一种‘性受迫害妄想狂’的状态”。她很快成为了“第九条调查”的对象,她在一篇文章里用的就是这个词。尽管最终洗清了嫌疑,重点是利用监管权力压制了言论。 3.A Magna Carta for the Regulatory State 3.为监管型国家寻求一部大宪章 The power of the regulatory state has increased steadily. And it lacks many of the checks and balances that give us some “rule of law” in the legal system. (A system which has its own troubles.) The clear danger we face is the use of regulation for political control. Each industry gets carved up into a few compliant oligopolies. And the threat of severe penalties, with little of the standard rule-of-law recourse, keeps people and businesses in line and supporting the political organization or party that controls the agencies. 监管型国家的权力已持续增长。它缺少了很多在法律体系(该体系也面临着自己的麻烦)里给我们带来一些“法治”的制衡。我们面对的最明显的危险,就是利用监管实现政治控制。每个行业都若干顺服的寡头所瓜分。严厉处罚的威胁,以及法治援助标准的缺失,让个人和公司对控制着监管机构的政治组织或政党既保持服从,又提供支持。 We’re not there yet. The Koch Brothers are not on the EPA “crucifixion” list, an investigation of every plant they own, or probes by the DOJ, NLRB, EEOC, OSHA, and so on and so on. They could be. The Hoover institution retains its tax-exempt status despite writings such as this one. A free media still exists, and I can read all my horror stories in the morning Wall Street Journal, and the free (for now) internet. 我们还没到那一步。科赫兄弟公司还不在环境保护署的“钉死”名单上,他们旗下的工厂没有被逐一调查,也没有被司法部、国家劳动关系委员会、公平就业机会委员会、职业安全与健康管理局等等调查。但他们可能成为调查对象。胡佛研究所仍保有免税资格,尽管发表了类似于这篇文章的东西。自由媒体依然存在,每天早上我仍可在《华尔街日报》上读到各种恐怖故事。互联网(目前)也还是自由的。 But we are getting there. What stops it from happening? A tree ripe for picking will be picked. 但是我们正滑向那里。什么能够阻止它发生呢?一颗易于采摘的树最终会被采摘的。 The easy answers are too easy. “Get rid of regulations” is true, but simplistic like “get rid of laws.” What we learned in the 800 years since Magna Carta is that the character of law, and the detailed structures of its operation that matter. Law is good, as it protects citizens from arbitrary power. 简单的回答过于简单了。“取消监管”是真的,但和“取消法律”一样太过简化。大宪章以来的800年,我们学到的一样东西就是法律的特征以及它运作的详细架构很重要。法律是好的,因为它保护公民免于专断的权力。 It is time for a Magna Carta for the regulatory state. Regulations need to be made in a way that obeys my earlier bullet list. People need the rights to challenge regulators — to see the evidence against them, to challenge decisions, to appeal decisions. Yes, this means in court. Everyone hates lawyers, except when they need one. 是时候为监管型国家起草一部大宪章了。规章需要按照我之前列的几点来制定。人们需要有挑战监管者的权利:证据开示权、对判决提出异议的权利、上诉权。是的,这就意味着制衡的场所在法庭。人人都恨律师,除了自己需要一个的时候。 People need a right to speedy decision. A “habeas corpus” for regulation would work — if any decision has not been rendered in 6 months, it is automatically in your favor. 人们需要速决的权利。一个针对规章的“人身保护令”会起作用:如果任何裁决未在6个月内作出,则自动视为有利于你。 A return to economic growth depends on reforming the regulatory state. But the deeper and perhaps more important preservation of our political freedom depends on it even more. 经济的重新增长依赖于改革监管型国家,但从更深层或许也更重要的意义上说,我们政治自由的存续甚至更加依赖于这一改革。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

如何评估食品监管的效果?

对于通过强化监管来改进食品安全是否可取,恩哼提出了不同看法

南方周末有篇文章题目三本书改写美国食品安全史。从上面看我感觉行政手段并不一定没用,贵国现在和当年的美国在民众呼声和加强立法上很像,但行政手段无效(率字真舍不得加),我觉着可能因此食品安全问题才得不到解决。我不同意无谓的高标准,不反对通过行之有效的行政手段解决食品安全问题。我也相信看不见的手,但等不及它向我们招手。

读到过类似的资料,但我认为那不足以支持监管,因为监管剥夺了自我标准低于管制标准的人的福利,因而其主张者负有单方面的举证责任,证明这些措施是保障他们重大利益所必需的,并要让人信服,被保障的这些利益,远比它所损害的更重大,但现在他们拿出的证据是不够的。

我并未坚持,任何剥夺部分人福利的事情都是不正当的,比如,在某个晚会上,有人丢失了价值数亿美元的钻石,这时,不分青红皂白的把全部客人暂时软禁在房间里,(more...)

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1798
对于通过强化监管来改进食品安全是否可取,恩哼提出了不同看法

南方周末有篇文章题目三本书改写美国食品安全史。从上面看我感觉行政手段并不一定没用,贵国现在和当年的美国在民众呼声和加强立法上很像,但行政手段无效(率字真舍不得加),我觉着可能因此食品安全问题才得不到解决。我不同意无谓的高标准,不反对通过行之有效的行政手段解决食品安全问题。我也相信看不见的手,但等不及它向我们招手。

读到过类似的资料,但我认为那不足以支持监管,因为监管剥夺了自我标准低于管制标准的人的福利,因而其主张者负有单方面的举证责任,证明这些措施是保障他们重大利益所必需的,并要让人信服,被保障的这些利益,远比它所损害的更重大,但现在他们拿出的证据是不够的。 我并未坚持,任何剥夺部分人福利的事情都是不正当的,比如,在某个晚会上,有人丢失了价值数亿美元的钻石,这时,不分青红皂白的把全部客人暂时软禁在房间里,可能是必要且正当的,但假如丢失的只是个价值几百美元的手袋,这么做就是不正当的;在这种问题上,罗尔斯([[John Rawls]])的无知之幕([[veil of ignorance]])概念就用得上了。 我认为主张监管者证据不足,是因为,美国食品监管强度增长的历史,尽管同步伴随着美国食品安全的改善,但并不能由此认为前者导致了后者,同样可能的解释是:食品丑闻一方面推动了监管强化,同时也提高了消费者对安全性的需求和支付意愿,和食品厂商对安全性的供给与投入意愿。 实际上,同步发生的不止这三个事件链,还有收入的提高,食品工业的技术和工艺变化,工业制成品对传统工艺和厨房原料的替代,读者/观众对食品丑闻的兴趣增长,传播环境的改变,等等。 而同时,由于监管强化,本来可能发生的事件链却没有出现,比如食品工业自律标准的进步,以及这些标准在诉讼和判决中被反复援引,围绕食品安全风险的法庭作证,等等。 假如没有FDA,会不会出现一个职能相当的私人组织?任何不贴上它的认证标签的大公司都难以在市场立足?假如今天把FDA私有化,会有多少大公司宣布不再遵循其标准?这些都需要严格控制无关变量的对照分析才能回答,不是观察食品安全进步就能得出结论的。 简单的说,你需要证明,从上述事件链中仅仅剔除监管,加上因为无监管而发生的事情链,食品安全会恶化多少?将给多少人的健康造成伤害?而同时监管所剥夺的福利与之相比是多么微不足道?
饭文#Q7: 博傻游戏伤不到市场

博傻游戏伤不到市场
辉格
2011年3月28日

最近,天津文化艺术品交易所的炒家们,又给我们上演了一出精彩的博傻(greater fool)游戏,首批上市的份额化艺术品中的两件画作,价格在50天内被推高了17倍,其中《黄河咆哮》市值一度达到令人乍舌的1.03亿元,随后,在经过9天停牌之后,前天复牌首日又双双跌停。

大概极少有人会相信一位二三流画家的作品的市场价格会长期维持在上亿的水平,每个在此价位买入的炒家,只是相信他能以更高的价格卖给另一个炒家,换句话说,我犯傻没关系,只要我不是最后那个傻瓜就行;这样的博傻游戏在市场上屡见不鲜,特别是那些新开辟的市场,商品期货市场、收藏品市场、权证和A股创业板,都上演过类似的疯狂。

每每这样的情景出现,我们总会听到“市场变赌场”的惊呼和“强化管理”和“规范市场”的呼吁,许多人认为,任由这样的非理性行为存在,会恶化市场环境,降低市场的投资价值,最终使市场丧失创造流动性和优化资源配置的功能。

然而,这些担忧是多余的,确实有许多因素会破坏市场的功能和价值,比如信息的不透明和产品的非标(more...)

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1702
博傻游戏伤不到市场 辉格 2011年3月28日 最近,天津文化艺术品交易所的炒家们,又给我们上演了一出精彩的博傻([[greater fool]])游戏,首批上市的份额化艺术品中的两件画作,价格在50天内被推高了17倍,其中《黄河咆哮》市值一度达到令人乍舌的1.03亿元,随后,在经过9天停牌之后,前天复牌首日又双双跌停。 大概极少有人会相信一位二三流画家的作品的市场价格会长期维持在上亿的水平,每个在此价位买入的炒家,只是相信他能以更高的价格卖给另一个炒家,换句话说,我犯傻没关系,只要我不是最后那个傻瓜就行;这样的博傻游戏在市场上屡见不鲜,特别是那些新开辟的市场,商品期货市场、收藏品市场、权证和A股创业板,都上演过类似的疯狂。 每每这样的情景出现,我们总会听到“市场变赌场”的惊呼和“强化管理”和“规范市场”的呼吁,许多人认为,任由这样的非理性行为存在,会恶化市场环境,降低市场的投资价值,最终使市场丧失创造流动性和优化资源配置的功能。 然而,这些担忧是多余的,确实有许多因素会破坏市场的功能和价值,比如信息的不透明和产品的非标准化,但博傻游戏不在其列,这是因为,博傻是不可持续的游戏,博傻策略的取利对象,并不是价值投资者,而是他们的同道——其他博傻者,因而从长期看,它会自动将自己从市场的策略分布中驱逐出去,而即便它能继续存在或卷土重来,也伤害不到理性的价值投资者,因而也伤害不到市场的健康发展。 每一个回合的博傻游戏最终都会崩溃,而崩溃点是高度不确定的,所以该游戏的效果实际上相当于俄罗斯轮盘赌([[Russian roulette]]):每次从博傻者中随机挑出一批倒霉蛋,他们的尸体被搬走,剩下的博傻者瓜分他们的遗产;在充满风险的市场上,无论如何每天总会有若干具尸体被搬走,那么,希望市场健康发展的人们,难道不希望被抬出去的,是那些主动采用非理性策略的参与者? 显然,对于奉行价值策略的投资者来说,一个存在众多博傻者的市场,(用格雷汉姆([[Benjamin Graham]])的话说)是更友善的“市场先生”([[Mr. Market]]),因为它会时不时以远远出乎你意料的高价格,送给你一个个超额实现投资价值的机会;有人或许会问,假如博傻者总是将价格推高在离谱的水平,价值投资者就没有机会进入,市场怎么健康发展? 但这不是博傻游戏的特点,泡沫总是短命的,一旦有风吹草动,博傻者比的就是谁跑得快,由此造成的恐慌常常将价格拉到低的离谱的水平,而这时,市场先生又从另一个方向对价值投资者表现出其慷慨和友善:送给他们做梦也想不到的低价买入的机会;对此,我们实在没有什么可抱怨的。 所以,呼吁对博傻行为进行管制的,不会是价值投资者,他们没有理由为此担忧,面对价格泡沫,假如他们手里有货,理应大喜过望,假如没货,也乐得看个热闹;有理由大声疾呼的,只能是俄罗斯轮盘里那些不幸躺下的倒霉蛋,他们既要享受豪赌的快感,又不愿面对输个精光的后果,这就好比那些毫无道理的疯狂抢购食盐的家伙,事后却要求超市接受原价退货,天下岂有此等好事。 任何交易制度和监管政策,当然不应满足这样的无理要求,那些一心只想着丰厚的回报,却将最起码的风险原则抛诸脑后,指望交易所和监管当局替他们挡开所有危险,最好在输掉后还能讨回本钱的所谓“投资者”,理应被横着抬出市场,幸好,博傻者们会自己干这份累活儿,他们是市场的义务清道夫,这也是每出博傻游戏的美妙结局所在。
饭文#K8: 金融对赌不是无价值交易

金融对赌不是无价值交易
辉格
2010年4月29日

高盛疑案众说纷纭,参院听证鸡同鸭讲,监管改革鸣枪开锣;尽管理论、事实、意见、利益如乱麻般纠缠,政治和立法进程却如往常那样,注定要在混乱中向前推进;值此关键时刻,克林顿先生也出来说话了,“我不能肯定高盛触犯了法律,但我确实认为,这项交易不具备潜在价值……无论谁胜出,对美国经济都没有更大的用途,只有赢得这场赌博的人是真正的受益者。”他认为,此类纯粹对赌应与那些“为合法经济用途而服务的衍生品”区别对待。

克林顿的言论,清晰而准确的代表了许多人对金融问题的看法,其表述也相当理性和公允,然而很不幸,它是错误的;并且,他对高盛案所表现的公允态度,正好揭示了当前政治进程的明确倾向:即便高盛无罪,也不能再容忍衍生品市场如此继续下去了,而这恰是引发令我为未来经济心生担忧的地方。

基于衍生品的金融对赌交易是一种零和博弈,它不能直接创造价值,但它能为实体经济中的企业提供对冲风险的机会,从而吸引更多的人参与投资和生产,因而能间接的创造价值;在克林顿看来,那些为企业提供对冲机会的衍生品交易,是有“合法经济用途&rdq(more...)

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746
金融对赌不是无价值交易
辉格
2010年4月29日

高盛疑案众说纷纭,参院听证鸡同鸭讲,监管改革鸣枪开锣;尽管理论、事实、意见、利益如乱麻般纠缠,政治和立法进程却如往常那样,注定要在混乱中向前推进;值此关键时刻,克林顿先生也出来说话了,“我不能肯定高盛触犯了法律,但我确实认为,这项交易不具备潜在价值……无论谁胜出,对美国经济都没有更大的用途,只有赢得这场赌博的人是真正的受益者。”他认为,此类纯粹对赌应与那些“为合法经济用途而服务的衍生品”区别对待。 克林顿的言论,清晰而准确的代表了许多人对金融问题的看法,其表述也相当理性和公允,然而很不幸,它是错误的;并且,他对高盛案所表现的公允态度,正好揭示了当前政治进程的明确倾向:即便高盛无罪,也不能再容忍衍生品市场如此继续下去了,而这恰是引发令我为未来经济心生担忧的地方。 基于衍生品的金融对赌交易是一种零和博弈,它不能直接创造价值,但它能为实体经济中的企业提供对冲风险的机会,从而吸引更多的人参与投资和生产,因而能间接的创造价值;在克林顿看来,那些为企业提供对冲机会的衍生品交易,是有“合法经济用途”的,而那些纯粹对赌——比如为自己并不持有的债券购买CDS——则是没有合法用途的。 但实际上,这两种交易是不可分的,因为任何衍生品在形成足够的交易规模、因而获得起码的流动性之前,也即在完成价格发现过程之前,是无法为企业提供对冲服务的,而早期的价格发现和流动性生成过程,便是由造市商与纯粹对赌者共同完成的;即便在此之后,一笔对冲交易的对手,多半也是一个纯赌客而不是另一个对冲者。 如果把纯赌客清除出市场,那么每笔对冲需求便只能由另一个恰好相反的对冲需求来满足;比如,某养猪户需要为六个月后出栏的生猪提前找到买家,他只能找一个恰好在六个月后需要若干生猪的肉联厂,才能完成交易,成交概率和价格透明度无疑会大大降低;这样一来,市场其实就退化成了基于远期合约的集中式订货会,而后者为企业提供的风险管理服务,在规模、灵活性和效率上,皆与衍生品市场不可同日而语。 公众对纯对赌交易的反感,很可能来自其与真正赌博的类比;诚然,{*quote(衍生品.与赌博的区别)就未知事件作零和博弈这一点而言,金融对赌和赌博是一样的,但人们没有注意到的是,两者有一个根本性的差别:在赌场赌博中,不确定性是人为制造的,若没有人动手去摇掷骰子、推动轮盘、洗牌发牌,这些事件便不会发生;相反,在金融对赌中,参照事件是外在的,无论你是否去赌它,其不确定性都会存在,换句话说:骰子是上帝掷的。 所以,金融对赌并非制造风险,而是通过交易重新分配风险;投行创建衍生品时并不是在掷骰子,而是通过拟制一套形式化的客观指标来描述外部事件,最大程度的消除歧义从而适合于对赌/quote*},就像在一块正在掉落的陨石上人为的划出六个面并分别指定点数;正因如此,衍生品才能为企业提供配置风险的手段,而这种手段的存在是许多投资和生产得以发生的前提。 若不能提前卖掉生猪,受够了年复一年蛛网式波动的养猪户就会放弃规模化养殖,退回低风险的家庭养殖;若没有CDS,许多企业债压根就卖不出去,企业融资条件便会恶化,有些会转向高利贷和基于家族联保的温州钱庄,负担不起的只好关门;同样,若不能通过再保险市场将某些风险转移出去,许多保险产品便不会存在,而缺了这些保险,许多生意就不会有人去做,比如开幼儿园、旅行社、甚至开车外出;因此,无论你是否厌恶赌博和赌场,都不应将对待赌博的道德标准,移置于衍生品交易之上。 当然,衍生品的高度繁荣并非没有负面后果,主要的麻烦是,由于它所提供的风险配置能力使得许多原本会吓退企业家的生意得以展开,因而在总体上使得经济中高风险活动的比例提高了;同时,衍生品带来了高流动性,而流动性意味着信贷能力——与一群生猪相比,一份标准生猪合约显然是更好的抵押物——使得更多的企业有机会运用信贷杠杆,这最终推高了金融系统的整体风险水平。 然而,迄今关于金融监管的立法提议,大多没有切中这些问题而提出针对性的改进方案,甚至缺乏对问题的常识性理解;适当的监管改革,无论其他方面是否合理,至少应以不大幅缩减衍生品市场为条件,人们需要意识到,衍生品所带来的高风险水平,是全球经济能维持它目前所拥有的复杂度和繁荣水平而不得不承受的代价,人们需要找出应付这种风险水平的更好办法,但简单的抑制衍生品交易,势必让整个经济一起被打压。
饭文#K7: 大刀向衍生品头上砍去

大刀向衍生品头上砍去
辉格
2010年4月26日

近日,奥巴马政府着力推动的金融监管改革进程跨出了重要一步,据报道,在法案起草中处于核心地位的两位民主党参议员,已就对银行衍生品交易设限的条款达成一致;本月中旬,SEC对高盛提起民事欺诈诉讼,许多评论将此诉讼视为SEC配合监管改革立法进程的行动;现任SEC向来主张强化监管,而该案焦点也是广受争议的衍生品CDS和CDO,因此,诸如SEC在拿高盛为监管改革祭旗的巷议,并非空穴来风。

市场反应也印证了这一点,高盛案宣布当天,不仅高盛股价暴跌,金融板块乃至整个美股随之重挫,外汇、石油、黄金和大宗商品市场也一度陷入恐慌;显然,如此剧烈而广泛的反应,并非针对此案将给高盛带来的损失,它是对SEC的政策取向和即将展开的监管改革的反应。

这一反应是正确的,各种迹象表明,当前推动监管改革的政治力量,正在迎合和利用金融危机以来弥漫于公众和舆论之中的反银行情绪,这股情绪里混杂着对危机后果的忿恨、对金融企业罪责的含糊认定、对新型金融产品的误解和恐惧、对银行家贪婪吸血的古老仇恨,以及传统的仇富心态。

在庭审尚未开始、指控证据尚未披露之时,高盛早已被当作罪犯和公敌,英国金融服务管理局吊销了当事交易员的执照,多名国会议员退回了高盛的竞选捐款,并质问奥巴马为何不退回,多家德国国营机构也已宣称断绝与高盛业务往来;这股公众情绪若不受节制的发展为一场政治运动,将在很大程度上削弱银行业创造流动性的能力,最终伤害实体经济。

流动性是一个市场化经济体的核心元素,是交易和生产得以进行的基础;所谓流动性,是指一件商品的价值客观化的程度,即,人们能在多大程度上撇开自己特定的价值偏好来看待该商品的价值;你把一本新书和一包复印纸丢在路上,路人多半会先捡复印纸,即便两者标价相同,即便两者对他自己用处都不大,但他很容易将复印(more...)

标签: | |
747
大刀向衍生品头上砍去
辉格
2010年4月26日

近日,奥巴马政府着力推动的金融监管改革进程跨出了重要一步,据报道,在法案起草中处于核心地位的两位民主党参议员,已就对银行衍生品交易设限的条款达成一致;本月中旬,SEC对高盛提起民事欺诈诉讼,许多评论将此诉讼视为SEC配合监管改革立法进程的行动;现任SEC向来主张强化监管,而该案焦点也是广受争议的衍生品CDS和CDO,因此,诸如SEC在拿高盛为监管改革祭旗的巷议,并非空穴来风。 市场反应也印证了这一点,高盛案宣布当天,不仅高盛股价暴跌,金融板块乃至整个美股随之重挫,外汇、石油、黄金和大宗商品市场也一度陷入恐慌;显然,如此剧烈而广泛的反应,并非针对此案将给高盛带来的损失,它是对SEC的政策取向和即将展开的监管改革的反应。 这一反应是正确的,各种迹象表明,当前推动监管改革的政治力量,正在迎合和利用金融危机以来弥漫于公众和舆论之中的反银行情绪,这股情绪里混杂着对危机后果的忿恨、对金融企业罪责的含糊认定、对新型金融产品的误解和恐惧、对银行家贪婪吸血的古老仇恨,以及传统的仇富心态。 在庭审尚未开始、指控证据尚未披露之时,高盛早已被当作罪犯和公敌,英国金融服务管理局吊销了当事交易员的执照,多名国会议员退回了高盛的竞选捐款,并质问奥巴马为何不退回,多家德国国营机构也已宣称断绝与高盛业务往来;这股公众情绪若不受节制的发展为一场政治运动,将在很大程度上削弱银行业创造流动性的能力,最终伤害实体经济。 流动性是一个市场化经济体的核心元素,是交易和生产得以进行的基础;所谓{*quote(流动性.定义)流动性,是指一件商品的价值客观化的程度,即,人们能在多大程度上撇开自己特定的价值偏好来看待该商品的价值/quote*};你把一本新书和一包复印纸丢在路上,路人多半会先捡复印纸,即便两者标价相同,即便两者对他自己用处都不大,但他很容易将复印纸折价卖掉,却很难为一本书找到买主,这里的差别便在于流动性。 {*quote(流动性.意义)高流动性意味着,即便我不喜欢一件商品本身,也不妨碍我认可其市场价值,并接受别人用它和我做交换,因为我相信很容易找到同样认可其价值的人,从而用它再换回我真正喜欢的东西,而最能满足这一条件的,便是货币;除了极少数的巧合,任何交易得以发生,被交换的两件东西中至少有一件必须是高流动性的。 在宏观上,一个经济体中高流动性物品越多,交易便越容易发生;许多时候,在其他条件不变时,仅仅提高流动性便可极大的提高福利水平,因为流动性可以让物品到达最需要它的人手里,也让资源配置到能创造最大价值的地方/quote*};所以,每当官方货币崩溃之后,人们总是挖空心思的找出一切可能的货币代用品。 早期的金属货币是在交易互动中自发形成的,然而近代以来,尽管贵金属和法定货币还起着基础性作用,但实际上,货币乃至整个经济体中的绝大部分流动性,是由银行创造的;银行家通过一个被称作价格发现的过程来创造流动性,假如你知道镇上有个书市,买书的人都会去那儿找,一本书即便暂时没人要也会有中介先买下来,你就很可能弯腰捡起那本书,这样,一件垃圾就可能变成另一个人的精神食粮。 投行工作就是创建这样的市场,通过撮合买卖双方,他们确保许多商品可随时在某个地点以众所周知的价格买入或卖出,这种造市商的角色,意味着必要时他们自己必须充当买家或卖家;不过,除了大宗商品外,投行致力于提高其流动性的,主要是无形商品,比如对世界的看法;{*quote(风险分工)在中世纪,当一个佛兰德商人决定为东方消费者生产一批呢绒时,在他的资源组合中,实际上包括了大量看法:他相信五个月后大马士革呢绒行情会不错,相信四个月后热那亚关税不会翻倍,相信三个月后英吉利海峡仍然安全,相信他选择的船长是可靠的。 若非有意无意持有所有这些看法,他便不会生产,即便通过契约可将部分风险转移给中间商,但这些看法和对应的风险必定存在于该产业链上;多亏了几百年来银行家们的努力,借助商业票据、保险、期货、期权等风险管理工具,今天的企业家可以把大部分看法从他们的资源组合中剔除出去,现在,他们只须对自己控制下的生产过程和成本结构具有信心即可;显然,这会让大批原本不会进入生产的人投身于企业家行列,让许多原本被割舍的生产和交易得以发生。/quote*} 衍生品就是汇集各种不同看法的平台,作为造市商,投行确保你随时可以就特定问题找到一个看法与你相反的人来做交易(即对赌),对于原本被迫持有某种看法的人,他提供了一个通过买入相反看法来实现中立的手段(即对冲);原则上,靠佣金吃饭的投行不会主动参赌,但造市责任经常会迫使他充当交易对手,就像麻将馆老板在三缺一时被迫上桌一样,此时他会迫切寻求在反面下注的机会,比如在承销某只债券的同时买入它的CDS,这种做法经常被外行指责为不诚实。 通过提高各种商品和要素的流动性,衍生品大大降低了企业家在空间和时间上大跨度配置资源的门槛,从而使基于复杂交易和深度分工的产业链成为可能,将其仅仅理解为投机工具,是不得要领的;眼下正在推动的监管改革进程,看来并非基于对投行和衍生品经济职能的正确把握;一旦投资者发现不再能像过去那样方便的配置风险,他们就会避开许多投资产品,比如企业债,而这样的退缩终将伤害实体经济。
饭文#J5: 索罗斯的谬误

索罗斯的谬误
辉格
2010年3月5日

最新一期的《中国改革》以“超级泡沫的终结”为题,刊登了中信出版社即将推出的索罗斯新书《超越金融》的长篇摘要;如同以往一样,索罗斯宣称全球金融体系已全面崩溃,需要通过大幅度强化监管加以彻底重建。

尽管像索罗斯这样的极端反市场主张,在学界和业界都不占主流,但其主张所基于的认知和理念,却广泛流行于公众之中;好在,不同以往,这次索罗斯清晰的表述了其理念背后的哲学和经济学基础,给了我们一窥究竟和条分理析的机会。

索罗斯开宗明义,首推卡尔·波普在《开放社会及其敌人》中(more...)

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763

索罗斯的谬误
辉格
2010年3月5日

最新一期的《中国改革》以“超级泡沫的终结”为题,刊登了中信出版社即将推出的索罗斯新书《超越金融》的长篇摘要;如同以往一样,索罗斯宣称全球金融体系已全面崩溃,需要通过大幅度强化监管加以彻底重建。

尽管像索罗斯这样的极端反市场主张,在学界和业界都不占主流,但其主张所基于的认知和理念,却广泛流行于公众之中;好在,不同以往,这次索罗斯清晰的表述了其理念背后的哲学和经济学基础,给了我们一窥究竟和条分理析的机会。

索罗斯开宗明义,首推卡尔·波普在《开放社会及其敌人》中所表达的思想为其哲学基础;波普的这本书,是对新旧柏拉图主义的一次全面梳理和批判;在柏拉图主义看来,宇宙万物是完美而纯粹的观念在尘世的不完美投影,这份拷贝须时时维护否则便趋于陈旧、腐朽和溃散,而这一维护责任,当然的属于那些比凡夫能更好把握纯粹观念的智者;该哲学运用于社会,便是由哲人王所统治的理想国。

而在波普看来,恰好相反,观念是第一世界在个体意识中的投影,而这种投影是不完美的,因而对于同一事物人们会有千差万别的观念;更重要的是,对于宏大而复杂的事物,比如人类社会,个体难以形成整体性的观念;若社会是依某个理想模型而建造的,其边界和可能性便被既有模型所限定,波普称之为封闭世界,而现实世界是开放的,任何个体意识中,都不可能存在足以与之对应的模型。

索罗斯得到的启发是,人类认知是不完美的,因而所谓完全竞争、一般均衡和有效市场,是不存在的,既然市场不能有效自我调节,就需要政府来监管和干预;这一理解是蹩脚的,由此而生的对市场的质疑,更是倒退回了哈耶克前的水平;正是在波普思想的基础上,哈耶克提出了自发秩序理论:社会是一种自我维持的有秩序结构,尽管参与其中的每个人都未认识到这一结构,但每个人基于其有限认知和不完备信息作出的反应,却自动维持着该结构的运行。

市场正是这样一种自发秩序,如哈耶克所指出,市场的有效性并不以个人完全理性和信息完备为前提,相反,市场的妙处恰恰是将分散在个体之间的局部、片面、不完备的信息,汇聚为价格信号,对极其复杂的分工、迂回生产和资源配置作出协调,从而使现代流动性大社会成为可能,而它的运行机制,可以在任何参与者都没有认识和理解的情况下自动持续。

以个人的认知不完备来质疑市场,乃稻草人攻击,市场不是在看不见的手被斯密找出、瓦尔拉斯均衡被描述之后才出现的;在市场默默存在的数千年里,没有统计局、没有年报、甚至没有簿记,度量衡杂乱不堪,交易者之间经常语言不通,多数人对百里以外的世界一无所知,但这些,都没有挡住世界范围的分工、交易和资源流动。

以市场的不完美和均衡的不稳定来质疑市场,则是一种“圣人攻击”,即先以圣人的标准要求对方,然后以其达不到标准而加以攻击;索罗斯正确描述了金融市场的反射性和正反馈机制,所谓反射性是指金融行情不仅反映经济基本面,也会反过来改变基本面,而正反馈是指各种景气因素之间会相互强化而非相互牵制,这两点导致了经济系统的内在不稳定,表现为伴随着泡沫和恐慌的周期性震荡。

对经济系统的这些特征和机制,自熊彼特、凯恩斯和哈耶克那一代经济学家以来,早已有了无数的描述和研究,索罗斯并未提出新的创见;和均衡理论一样,周期理论也只是以事后之明,管窥了市场的一个侧面;喜欢均衡和稳定的人或许厌恶市场无法预料的波动和伴随而来的混乱,然而这并不能构成在制度上反对市场的理由,因为市场并不以稳定自证其价值。

对市场制度真正有效的质疑,并且这种质疑能支持索罗斯所主张的政府强力监管,只有三个选择:要么,提出一种排除了市场的可行制度,能在与当今相称的繁荣程度上维持数十亿人口,但如我们所见,历史上一次次寻找和建立乌托邦的努力,只带来了奴役、暴政和灾难,波普阐释开放社会的动机,正是呼吁人们放弃此类念头。

或者,在保留市场的前提下,须说明政府拥有何种可信的理论来预见经济震荡,并拥有可行的工具来平抑它而同时不扼杀市场;这在理论上是可能的,但与索罗斯主张的出发点却恰好相反:因为人类认知能力不足而要求监管,但监管的有效性却依赖于一种高不可攀的认知能力。

或者须说明,政府一旦获得监管能力,即便它不清楚经济运行机制、不能预见周期、甚至不知道自己在做什么,但因其特殊的禀赋和行为方式,便自动为系统引入了某种稳定机制;理论上,这同样是可能的,正如打字员并不了解自己的比较优势,却同样可以实现人力资源的有效配置;然而,从未有任何理论和经验曾说明,政府在经济系统中实际上曾发挥起过这样的作用。

饭文#68: 存款保险的责任之辨

存款保险的责任之辨
辉格
2008年11月28日

酝酿多年的存款保险制度终于走出了漫长的研究和方案设计阶段,即将提交审批。与美国FDIC的建立过程相反,我国存款保险的施行,并非为原本裸露的储户风险引入新的担保机制,而是将事实上已经存在的隐含国家担保加以显性化,并逐渐把无限的主权责任变成一种内容与边界明确的、由独立机构承担的有限民事责任。这一改变,与金融市场化的改革大方向是一致的,但在具体的实行方式和推出时机上,还存在不少争议。

国家对储户的担保责任,源自三个方(more...)

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存款保险的责任之辨 辉格 2008年11月28日 酝酿多年的存款保险制度终于走出了漫长的研究和方案设计阶段,即将提交审批。与美国FDIC的建立过程相反,我国存款保险的施行,并非为原本裸露的储户风险引入新的担保机制,而是将事实上已经存在的隐含国家担保加以显性化,并逐渐把无限的主权责任变成一种内容与边界明确的、由独立机构承担的有限民事责任。这一改变,与金融市场化的改革大方向是一致的,但在具体的实行方式和推出时机上,还存在不少争议。 国家对储户的担保责任,源自三个方面:银行的国有性质、国家的监管政策和货币的国家化。自从完成社会主义改造之后,银行都已国有化,即使在银行业市场化改革已推行多年之后,国家仍然控制着主要银行的70%以上股份,而且这一控股地位是由法律所规定的。今天储户对于银行的信任,很大程度上仍基于对国家担保的信任,这一责任是不可轻易放弃的。因而在法理上,将存款担保责任从国家移向独立保险机构的过程,应与银行股权多元化的过程并行推进,以体现权责对称的原则。传闻中的方案是先在央行内部设立保险基金,而不是立即建立独立保险机构,这是正确的做法。 国家的任何监管制度,一方面确立了监管机构对被监管者的权力,监管者据此可强行要求被监管者达到某种质量或安全标准;但同时,它也意味着对消费者承担了相应的质量和安全担保责任,它们的存在本身就是在告诉消费者:为你们提供服务的企业处于我的监管之下,因而他们获得我的许可得以继续营业这一事实本身证明了他们是符合了我所要求的质量和安全标准。这同样是一种权责对称,虽然常常被忽视。国家已经建立了严格的银行监管制度,来确保银行在资本充足率、贷款质量和风险配置等方面是足够安全的,因而国家对于储户存款的担保责任便难以免除,这一责任对于在国内开业并接受银监会监管的外资和民营银行,同样成立。 问题是,既然监管已经暗含了担保责任,另行建立存款保险制度有何意义?如果建立了,谁的责任在先?比例如何分割?这的确是个困难的问题,一种办法是把目前打算在央行内部设立的保险基金移交给银监会,以体现权责对称,但也偏离了将保险责任独立化的改革意图。另一种做法是:应区分微观风险和系统性风险,分别由监管机构和保险机构分别监控,并承担由此带来的担保责任。这意味着,在推行存款保险制度的同时,银监会应从目前的全面监管职能中收缩,将微观风险交给保险机构处理。 微观和系统性风险的差别在于:个别银行或基金的产品设计和风险配置所包含的风险,当造成损失或破产时,是否会引发广泛的连锁反应。相应的,当损失局限在个别银行时,担保责任应由保险机构承担,当蔓延为系统性危机,那些状况良好的银行因恐慌造成全面流动性紧缩而造成损失时,担保责任便由监管者(国家)承担。但事实上,这种差异很难辨别,对于新产品更难预知,次贷危机最终引发全面金融危机的过程便是很好的说明。因此,实施存款保险制度的同时,如何调整和分配监管责任,还需仔细斟酌。 自从现代主权货币代替基于金银本位的自由货币之后,根本上说,无论银行是否国有,监管制度是松是紧,国家都已对货币的币值和充足性承担了无可推卸的责任。中央银行通过执行货币政策,确保币值稳定和货币供应充足,来履行这一责任。显然,这种担保针对的是系统性风险,当危机来临,流动性风险普遍提高、货币乘数下降而导致信用冻结时,央行便有责任增加流动性,以避免银行被大面积挤兑破产而给储户造成损失。经验表明,在这种情况下,独立机构的存款保险实际上是无能为力的,全面危机一旦暴发,只能由央行这一主权货币的创造者来兜底。因此,存款保险制度的设计和推行,不必以系统性危机为着眼点,而因专注于微观风险。
饭文#56: 格林斯潘说了什么?

格林斯潘说了什么?
辉格
2008年10月27日

上周四,格林斯潘在美国国会听证会上,承认自己没能预见到金融危机以今天如此剧烈的程度暴发,并承认他曾给以最大信任的参与者自我约束机制没能预防危机的酝酿和暴发。格老的这一表态被许多人解读成他对自己过去所信奉的理论和所执行政策的“悔悟”,或者说他“认错了”。从类似的报道和评论中,人们似乎可以读出这样几层意思:作为金融系统的首席监管者,格老当初应该认识到却没有认识到或忽视了某些危险信号,他在若干可行的决定中选择了错误的(more...)

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格林斯潘说了什么? 辉格 2008年10月27日 上周四,格林斯潘在美国国会听证会上,承认自己没能预见到金融危机以今天如此剧烈的程度暴发,并承认他曾给以最大信任的参与者自我约束机制没能预防危机的酝酿和暴发。格老的这一表态被许多人解读成他对自己过去所信奉的理论和所执行政策的“悔悟”,或者说他“认错了”。从类似的报道和评论中,人们似乎可以读出这样几层意思:作为金融系统的首席监管者,格老当初应该认识到却没有认识到或忽视了某些危险信号,他在若干可行的决定中选择了错误的一种,并因而未能避免危机的发展和暴发,所以格老及其所领导的美联储对危机的暴发负有责任,如果他们当初更明智和谨慎一些,危机或许可以避免,进而,如果由持另一套宏观经济理论的人来领导美联储,并执行更严格的监管政策,危机本可以避免。 是不是这样呢?格老的国会证言是否暗示了上述意思?我的答案是否定的。今年3月,格老曾在《金融时报》撰文详细说明了他对本次危机的看法,如果我们对照阅读该文与他的听证会发言稿,就会发现他的观点根本没变,两篇文章的核心内容基本一致,许多段落甚至原文照搬,因此,将他的国会证言解读为“幡然悔悟”或“终于认错”是不得要领的。格老的确承认了他做出了错误的预见和判断,也承认了他没能采取恰当措施避免危机,但他并不认为存在另一套更好的理论和模型,能让他或其他监管者做出正确预见,也不认为存在可行的措施来避免危机,换言之,格老承认他不是上帝,如果不是上帝也是错误,那他的确错了。(讽刺的是,不久之前的确有很多人将格老奉为上帝)。 是的,人不是上帝,人的理性十分有限,美联储委员个个博学多智,但他们的政策和措施也只能依赖于现有的知识系统,特别是宏观经济理论,然而经济理论总是滞后于经济实践,这是市场经济的根本特点。是市场先发展出了金融衍生品,才有了经济学家关于衍生品的理论,和以此为基础的风险评估模型和监管模式,同样,是市场先经历了波动和周期,发生了危机,才有了关于周期和危机的理论,以及相应的货币政策。此次危机之后,人们自然会对先前的理论和模型做出修正,如格老所言,监管政策也须做出调整。但这些都是事后之明,事前,任何理论都无法预见在一个全新的、充斥着衍生品并持续了数十年繁荣的市场中,危机会以何种方式酝酿和蔓延。 监管政策必须调整,但如果将之理解为必须向强化监管的方向调整,则是错误的,如格老所言,随着危机深入,银行和投资者已变得极其谨慎,远比任何可能的监管政策所希望的更加谨慎,此时任何强化监管的措施都没有意义,同时,银行和投资者对于旧理论和模型的反思和怀疑将比经济学家和监管者更加激烈,无须监管者提醒便会远离曾给他们带来灾难的那些金融产品。因此,强化监管,对于已被危机所揭示的风险是多余的,而对于未来可能出现的新型风险,则是无知和无效的,只要继续容许金融创新,那么下一次以全新方式发生的危机仍将无法避免。监管当然能避免危机,但代价只能是扼杀一切创新。次贷危机绝不可能发生在朝鲜,但没人希望把美国变成另一个朝鲜。 和生物系统一样,经济系统是在连续的创新和淘汰浪潮中得以进化和发展的,进化赖以继续的前提是,未来对于创新是开放的。许多生物创新曾在短期造就了物种繁荣,随后当生态系统和环境条件改变时便不再适应而遭遇灭绝。今天,当我们赞叹自然之神奇和生物之丰富多彩时,或许已经忘了数十亿年的生物进化史上,曾经历过的无数次物种灭绝,99%以上的物种早已不复存在。同样的,当我们反思金融危机甚至痛批那些创造了衍生品的投行时,可曾记得它们创造了数十年的繁荣?假如上帝当初把那些变异生物个体视为怪物而加以清除,他可以避免生物大灭绝,但他将永远见不到脊椎动物、灵长类,当然,还有我们人类。