voa慢速英语:Similarities, but Also Big Differences, Between ...

发表时间:2008-11-29内容来源:VOA英语学习网

Similarities, but Also Big Differences, Between Today's CRIsis and 1930s

What began more than a year ago is often desCRIbed as "the worst economic CRIsis since the Great Depression." The downturn is bad, but it would have to get much worse to compare to the nineteen thirties.


Next October will mark the eightieth anniversary of what is generally considered the beginnings of the Depression.

In just two days the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost almost twenty-five percent of its value. The stock market continued to drop until July of nineteen thirty-two. By then, the Dow was about ninety percent below its high reached in September of nineteen twenty-nine.

The Dow hit its all-time high in October of last year. Since last year the Dow has lost about forty percent of its value -- even more for the Standard & Poor's index of five hundred stocks.

Like the Depression, the current crisis also involves falling property values. American housing prices fell by almost seventeen percent in the twelve months that ended in September.

Housing economist Robert Shiller at Yale University has found that home prices fell by about thirty percent during the Depression. Then, as now, many people lost their homes because they could not pay their mortgage loans.

Today people borrow much more of the value of their homes than they used to. In fact, Professor Shiller estimates that ten million Americans owe more than their home is worth.

An estimated nine thousand banks failed during the Depression. Agencies that guarantee savings and supervise the financial system did not exist at the start. When banks failed, people lost everything. Fear of bank failures led people to withdraw their money, leading to more failures.

In nineteen thirty-three, Congress established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It currently guarantees bank deposits up to two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

Just twenty-two banks have failed this year. But among them was Washington Mutual, the biggest bank collapse in American history.

Possibly the best measure of an economic crisis is unemployment. The rate in October was reported at a fourteen-year high of six and one-half percent. Some think it could reach eight percent or higher. During the Depression, however, one of every four workers was unemployed.


President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress established agencies to employ people in public works. Yet employment did not completely recover until World War Two.

Policy mistakes increased the effects of the Depression. For example, the Federal Reserve let the money supply shrink. This meant there was less money available for lending to people and businesses.

In the current crisis, the government has been willing to spend freely; too freely for some critics. On Tuesday the Federal Reserve and the Treasury announced a new plan to provide eight hundred billion dollars to increase credit availability.

Before the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, the Dow and the S&P rose four days in a row for the first time in months.

And that's In the News in VOA special english, written by Mario Ritter. I'm Steve Ember.

参考中文翻译:

这场一年多以前就开始的危机被称为“自从大萧条以来最严重的经济危机”。经济下滑非常严重,但是与1930年代危机相比,形势更加严重。

明年十月是普遍认可的萧条开始的第八十个纪念日。

在仅仅两天的时间里,道琼斯指数下降了接近25%。股市持续下跌,知道1932年7月。到那时为止,道琼斯指数相比1929年9月的最高值已经下跌了90%。

道琼斯指数去年10月到达有史以来的最高值。自从去年开始,道琼斯指数下降了大约40%——甚至比标准普尔指数下降的还多。

像大萧条一样,目前的危机包含了财产价值下跌。到9月份为止,美国房价在12个月之内下降了接近17%。

耶鲁大学的房产经济学家Robert Shiller发现,大萧条期间,房价下跌了大约30%。现在,很多人失去了房子,因为他们无力支付抵押贷款。

现在人们购买房产比以前借款大大增加。事实上,Shiller教授估计,大概1千万美国人欠债比他们房产的价值还高。

大萧条期间,估计9万家银行倒闭。刚开始,并没有保障储蓄和监管金融系统的机构出现。银行一旦倒闭,人们就失去了一切。对银行倒闭的恐惧促使人们挤兑,导致了更多银行倒闭。

1933年,国会建立了联邦储蓄保险公司,保证银行存款高达25万美元。

今年仅有22家银行倒闭。但是其中包括华盛顿共同银行,美国历史上倒闭的字打的银行。

可能衡量经济危机最好的就是失业率。10月份的失业率为14年来最高,达到6.5%,相关人士估计会达到8%或更多。而在大萧条期间,有四分之一的人失业。

罗斯福总统和国会建立一些机构,使人们可以从事公共服务工作。然而直到二战时期,就业问题才完全解决。

政策的食物加剧了大萧条的影响。比如,联邦储蓄允许货币供应紧缩。这意味着可以借贷给人民和企业的钱减少。

在当前的危机中,政府允许自由支付,以至于遭受一些批评。周二联邦储蓄和财务部宣布一项新的方案,拿出8千亿美元增加信贷。

周四感恩节之前,道琼斯和标准普尔指数连续四天上涨,数月以来尚数首次。

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