招生专业：英语同声传译 科目名称： 英汉互译
The elections in France and Greece tell us that austerity fatigue has set in. This is not surprising. For many countries no plausible exit exists from depression, deflation and despair. If the currency union were a normal fixed exchange rate arrangement, it would collapse, as did the gold standard in the 1930s and the Bretton Woods system in the 1970s. The question is whether the fact that it is a monetary union will do more than delay that outcome. Mr.Hollande says his mission is to give Europe “a dimension of growth and prosperity”. So can he achieve this laudable aim?
Fiscal tightening does not improve outcomes in shrinking economies. Thus, austerity is merely begetting more austerity. According to IMF, the ratio of gross public debt to gross domestic product will rise, not fall, in every year from 2008 to 2013 in Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal. It will briefly fall in Greece, but only because of its debt restructuring. The IMF forecasts that the economy will shrink this year, in real terms, and growth is forecast, optimistically, at close to zero in these countries in 2013. This is politically perilous. The emergence of still more extremist parties and a rising sense of betrayal seems inevitable. （206）
The massive new U.S. oil and gas output has brought talk of American energy independence back into vogue. Just five years ago, the experts were bracing for the United States to become dependent on imported liquefied natural gas, with uncertain geopolitical consequences, such as dependence on vulnerable Middle Eastern suppliers and entanglement in a global gas market in which Moscow plays a troubling role. That now seems like ancient history, as record gas production has spared the United States the need for large-scale imports.
The math is shakier when it comes to oil. The most bullish projections foresee around 15 million barrels a day of U.S. liquid fuels production by 2020, while the consultancy Wood MacKenzie claims that U.S. production could rise to about 10 million barrels a day by the close of this decade and 15 million before the end of the next. In any case, U.S. consumption is vastly greater. As of 2009, Americans burned through nearly 19 million barrels of oil-based liquid fuels each day to power their cars, trucks, and factories, and although that figure has edged down over the past couple of years, domestic supply is still a long way from matching U.S. Demand.
That said, U.S. demand for oil appears to have peaked. While part of the recent fall can be chalked up to slow economic growth, sustained high oil prices and improving automobile technology are also at work. New fuel- economy standards, if they stick, could drive U.S. consumption down much further. Ultimately, though, it’s a massive stretch to think the United States will eliminate the gap between oil supply and demand anytime soon.
In any case, energy independence requires more than impressive arithmetic. As long as the United States is fully integrated into the world oil market, U.S. fuel prices will rise and fall along with events on the other side of the globe — say, a war with Iran. (316)