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2019年11月19日 19:36:19 | 作者:泡泡分享 | 来源:新华社
It has only been a week since the stunning revelation that the Volkswagen group equipped millions of diesel-powered cars with software designed to fool anybody testing their emissions, and just days since the company’s chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, resigned.大众汽车(Volkswagen)在数百万辆柴油动力车上安装软件、以骗过车辆尾气排放检测系统的事情曝光(并震惊世界)才一周,而该公司首席执行官文德恩(Martin Winterkorn)辞职还不到一周。And yet there are reasons to believe that the fallout from this scandal will be as big as Enron, or even bigger. Most corporate scandals stem from negligence or the failure to come clean about corporate wrongdoing. Far fewer involve deliberate fraud and criminal intent.然而,我们已经有理由相信,这桩丑闻的后果将和安然(Enron)丑闻相同,或更大。大多数企业丑闻源于失职或者未能坦白企业的不当行为。涉及故意欺诈或者犯罪意图的丑闻要少得多。Enron’s accounting manipulation is often held up as a prime example of the latter and cases featuring the US energy company’s massive financial fraud are therefore taught in business schools around the world.安然的会计作假案常被作为后一种情况的主要案例,因此,全世界各地的商学院都在讲授有关这家美国能源企业大规模财务欺诈的案例。Here are seven reasons why the Volkswagen scandal is worse and could have far greater consequences.以下是大众丑闻为何比安然丑闻更为恶劣、影响可能远大于后者的七个原因。First, whereas Enron’s fraud wiped out the life savings of thousands, Volkswagen’s has endangered the health of millions. The high levels of nitrogen oxides and fine particulates that the cars’ on-board software hid from regulators are hazardous and detrimental to health, particularly of children and those suffering from respiratory disease.第一,尽管安然欺诈案让许多人的毕生积蓄化为乌有,大众的造假则危及更多人的健康。这些汽车上安装了一种能够不让监管机构发现汽车排放高浓度氮氧化物和细颗粒物的软件,这些有害物质会危害人的健康,尤其是儿童和呼吸道疾病患者。Second, led by Volkswagen, Europe’s car manufacturers lobbied hard for governments to promote the adoption of diesel engines as a way to reduce carbon emissions. Whereas diesel engines power fewer than 5 per cent of passenger cars in the US, where regulators uncovered the fraud, they constitute more than 50 per cent of the market in Europe thanks in large part to generous government incentives.第二,以大众为首的欧洲汽车制造商曾努力向许多政府游说,希望政府推进柴油发动机的采用,作为减少碳排放的手段。尽管在监管机构发现了大众尾气造假行为的美国,只有不到5%的乘用车采用柴油发动机,但在欧洲市场,这个比例超过了50%,主要原因是政府慷慨的激励措施。It was bad enough that Enron’s chief executive urged employees to buy the company’s stock. This, however, is the equivalent of the US government offering tax breaks at Enron’s behest to get half of US households to buy stock propped up by fraudulent accounting.当年安然首席执行官敦促其员工购买安然股票的事情已经够恶劣了。然而,欧洲的柴油车激励措施相当于美国政府应安然要求提供税收优惠,让半数美国家庭购买了靠假账撑起来的股票。Third, the fines and lawsuits facing Volkswagen are likely to surpass Enron in both scale and scope. Volkswagen’s potential liability to Environmental Protection Agency fines is bn. Add to this fines in most or all of the 50 US states and class action lawsuits by buyers and car dealers who have seen the value of their cars and franchises diminish overnight and you have a massive legal bill.第三,大众面临的罚款和官司在规模和范围上都可能超过安然。大众可能面临美国国家环境保护局(Environmental Protection Agency) 180亿美元的罚款。再加上美国50个州中大多数或全部州的罚款,以及因大众汽车及其特许经营权的价值一夜间缩水而吃亏的汽车购买者和经销商发起的集体诉讼,大众将面临一笔庞大的法律费用。No jury in the US will be lenient with a foreign car company that touted its “clean diesel” technology when the technology on board instead served to hide the fact that particulate emissions were up to 40 times greater. And that is before expert testimony about the effects on children with asthma. Yet crucially, fewer than 5 per cent of the cars in question were sold in the US and regulators in Europe, South Korea and elsewhere have aly launched investigations. This is a truly global fraud and global scandal.当一家外国汽车公司鼓吹其“清洁柴油”技术,而车辆实际装载的技术其实是隐瞒了车辆颗粒物排放量最多可比法定上限高出40倍的时候,没有哪个美国陪审团会心慈手软。这还是在专家们就这对哮喘病患儿的影响作之前。更关键的是,在美国卖出的涉事车辆占这些车辆总数的比例还不到5%,欧洲、韩国和其他地方的监管机构已经着手调查。这是一场货真价实的全球性欺诈和全球性丑闻。Fourth, Enron was wiped out when the revelation of its accounting fraud showed the company had been suffering massive losses. Volkswagen could get wiped out even though the company is financially healthy. The stock collapse is only the beginning. Potentially irreparable reputational damage, a crisis of confidence and massive legal liabilities could do the company in.第四,当安然的会计造假曝光,该公司此前一直巨亏的事实暴露后,安然就倒掉了。大众也可能倒掉,就算其财务状况是健康的。股价暴跌仅仅是开始。可能无法挽回的名誉损失、信任危机和巨大的法律责任可能让这家公司走到寿命终点。And whereas Enron was a young, though admittedly admired company, Volkswagen is the 78-year-old centrepiece of Germany’s most important industry.尽管安然可以说曾经是一家受到尊敬的企业,但其历史并不长,而大众却拥有78年历史,并且是德国最重要的汽车行业的标志。Fifth, because of Volkswagen’s central role in Germany’s automobile industry, the scandal is a devastating blow to the country’s global image. For years, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen have used German slogans and tag lines in their English-speaking advertising to link their products to the country’s engineering prowess. Expect to see “Das Auto” and “Vorsprung durch Technik” to be wiped off billboards as fast as value has been wiped off German car manufacturers’ market caps.第五,由于大众在德国汽车业中的核心地位,大众丑闻是对德国国际形象的毁灭性打击。多年来,梅赛德斯(Mercedes)、宝马(BMW)、奥迪(Audi)、大众都在英语广告中使用过德语口号和标语,将它们的产品和德国的制造业实力联系起来。可以预见,随着德国汽车制造商的市值迅速蒸发,“Das Auto”(大众的品牌口号,“车之道,唯大众”)和“Vorsprung durch Technik”(奥迪的品牌口号,“突破科技,启迪未来”)这样的标语也将同样迅速地从广告牌上消失。It was fairly easy for most US companies to distance themselves from Enron’s fraud. It will be much harder for the rest of German industry.对多数美国企业来说,与安然欺诈案划清界线相当容易。而对德国制造业其他企业来说,与大众造假案划清界线将要困难得多。Sixth, even if it turns out that other European and Asian car manufacturers who have invested heavily in diesel technology did not commit such brazen fraud, the scandal will probably reestablish the perception of diesel engines as dirty after two decades of concerted effort to change that view.第六,即便事后明,在柴油技术上投入重金的其他欧亚汽车制造商并未实施这种无耻欺诈,该丑闻仍可能令人们重新建立起柴油发动机污染环境的印象,而这种看法是此前二十年业内曾一致努力改变的。This will not only put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk, but also deprive policymakers of a tool they counted on to reduce carbon emissions. In the long run, the impetus to develop even cleaner alternatives may be good but in the short run it is a massive problem for Europe in particular.这种状况不仅会令数十万工作岗位面临裁撤风险,还令决策者手中少了一个能用以降低碳排放的工具。从长期来说,由此激励人们开发更清洁的替代手段,可能是件好事;但从短期来说,这是个大问题,尤其是对欧洲。Seventh, and perhaps most importantly, whereas Enron tainted the accounting profession’s mantra of trustworthy financial reporting, Volkswagen’s fraud will for a long time confront anybody advocating technology and engineering as a means to achieving greater environmental sustainability.第七点——或许也是最重要的一点是,安然玷污了会计专业人士常说的一句话,即财务报告可以信赖,而大众欺诈案则会在很长一段时期内,成为任何提倡以技术和工程为手段,提高环境可持续性的人们不得不正视的问题。“Clean diesel”, it turns out, is as much a lie as “clean coal”. Volkswagen’s abhorrent behaviour therefore threatens to delegitimise the countless and essential efforts by companies around the world to develop scalable environmental solutions.该事件明“清洁柴油”是个和“清洁煤炭”差不多的谎言。出于这个原因,大众令人反感的行为,可能会令世界各地企业开发可伸缩环境解决方案的无数必要努力丧失合法性。Herein lies perhaps the biggest tragedy in this whole affair: Volkswagen has emboldened the cynics at a time when we need business efforts to save the planet more than ever.这里也许还蕴含着整个事件中的最大悲剧:在我们前所未有地需要企业界付出努力拯救地球之际,大众却让那些不相信企业界可以为拯救地球作出贡献的人更加坚信自己的观点。 /201510/401932

Russia gets on board the Hyperloop: Government invests in Elon Musk#39;s high speed transport system俄罗斯登上超级高铁:政府投资马斯克的高速运输系统A Kremlin-backed Russian investment fund has invested in the team building Elon Musk#39;s Hyperloop, it has been revealed.据披露,一家克里姆林宫持的俄罗斯投资基金已经对马斯克的建造超级高铁的团队进行了投资。The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which was launched with support of the Kremlin in 2011 with the goal of attracting investment to Russia, made the undisclosed investment during an April fundraiser along with General Electric and the French railway company SNCF.俄罗斯直接投资基金在四月份的一次资金筹集活动上同通用电气以及法国国营铁路公司一起进行了这项秘密的投资。俄罗斯直接投资基金2011年在克里姆林宫的持下成立,其目标是吸引对俄投资。The amount in question was #39;very modest,#39; the fund#39;s chief Kirill Dmitriyev said in televised remarks, but the goal was to implement the project in Russia.该基金负责人在电视上说其中所涉及金额并不庞大,但目标是在俄罗斯实施该项目。 /201606/451074

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