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黄金泡沫已经有4000年的历史了,现在还不会结束

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2020年08月01日

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The Gold Bubble Is 4,000 Years Old, And It Won't End Now

黄金泡沫已经有4000年的历史了,现在还不会结束

After rising for years, the price of gold is now falling sharply. Lots of people are saying the gold bubble is over. It isn't.

黄金价格在上涨了几年之后,现在正急剧下跌。很多人说黄金泡沫已经结束了。并没有。

I have no idea whether the price of gold will rise or fall. But even if gold loses half its value tomorrow, the gold bubble won't be over.

我不知道黄金价格是涨是跌。但是,即使黄金明天贬值一半,黄金泡沫也不会结束。

黄金泡沫已经有4000年的历史了,现在还不会结束

Defining a bubble can be surprisingly tricky, but here's a working definition: when the price of an asset rises to a point that can't rationally be justified by fundamentals. (In that sentence, "asset" basically means anything people buy and sell as an investment. "Fundamentals" basically means the stream of payments the investment generates.)

给泡沫下定义可能非常棘手,但这里有一个有效的定义:当一种资产的价格上升到一个无法用基本面合理证明的水平时。(在这句话中,“资产”基本上是指人们作为投资买卖的任何东西。“基本面”基本上是指投资产生的付款流。)

In real estate, for example, you can compare the price of a house to how much you could get if you rented the house out. This ratio has been pretty steady over the long run. But during the housing bubble, the ratio of home prices to rents shot way, way up. During the bust, it fall back toward its historic norm.

例如,在房地产领域,你可以把房子的价格和你把房子租出去后能得到多少钱相比较。长期来看,这一比率相当稳定。但在房地产泡沫期间,房价与租金的比率大幅上升。在萧条时期,它又回到了历史的常态。

In the stock market, you can compare stock prices to corporate profits (also known as earnings). During the dot com bubble, the price-to-earnings ratio of the stock market rose sharply, then fell back to normal levels during the bust.

在股票市场上,你可以比较股票价格和公司利润(也称为收益)。在互联网泡沫期间,股市的市盈率急剧上升,然后在泡沫破灭时回落到正常水平。

黄金泡沫已经有4000年的历史了,现在还不会结束

Gold is different. Unlike real estate or stocks or other traditional investments, gold doesn't produce a stream of income — no dividends, no interest payments, no rent. There are some industrial uses for gold. But, unlike other other commodities such as copper, gold's price isn't driven by its industrial uses.

黄金是不同的。与房地产、股票或其他传统投资不同,黄金不产生收入流——没有股息、没有利息支付、没有租金。黄金有一些工业用途。但与铜等其他大宗商品不同,黄金价格并不受其工业用途的驱动。

For a very long time, gold has been a safe haven in times of political and economic crisis. It is still widely seen as something to buy for the worst of times, and as a hedge against high inflation. To some extent, the recent fall in the price of gold may reflect a decline in fears of imminent crisis and inflation.

很长一段时间以来,黄金一直是政治和经济危机时期的安全避风港。人们仍普遍认为,在最坏的情况下买入黄金,并将其作为对冲高通胀的工具。在某种程度上,最近黄金价格的下跌可能反映出人们对即将到来的危机和通货膨胀的担忧有所减轻。

As the economist Tim Harford told us a few years back:

正如经济学家蒂姆•哈福德几年前告诉我们的那样:

... it's just not clear what the fundamental value of gold is. It's worth something because people have always thought it's worth something. And that's really weird, because what it tells you is gold is in a 4,000-year-old bubble. And if it's lasted 4,000 years, maybe it will last another 4,000 years. Who am I to say?

…黄金的基本价值是什么并不清楚。它有价值是因为人们总是认为它有价值。这很奇怪,因为它告诉你黄金处于一个4000年前的泡沫中。如果它持续了4000年,可能还会再持续4000年。我该对谁说呢?


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