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中国“房地产教父”建议抵押住房养老,应者寥寥

更新时间:2016-12-27 18:53:54 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

China’s ‘Godfather of Real Estate’ Pitches Reverse Mortgages to Skeptical Elders
中国“房地产教父”建议抵押住房养老,应者寥寥

BEIJING — He is known in China as the “godfather of real estate,” helping lay the groundwork for private homeownership in China, a move that enriched millions and laid the foundations for a vibrant and thriving Chinese middle class.

北京——在中国,他被称为“房地产教父”。他帮助奠定了中国私人房屋所有权的基础,此举让数以百万计的人变得富裕起来,为中国形成充满活力的、繁荣的中产阶级铺平了道路。

Now, Meng Xiaosu wants a lot of Chinese — the older ones, specifically — to cash out.

现在,孟晓苏想要大批中国人抵押房产——特别是老年人。

Older people need to mortgage their homes to address China’s looming demographic bust, Mr. Meng argues. Because of China’s now-defunct one-child policy and other social trends, the country has a rapidly graying population that someday soon may become too expensive.

孟晓苏认为,老年人需要抵押住房,以应对中国即将到来的人口老龄化状况。由于中国的独生子女政策和其他一些社会趋势的终结,中国老龄人口迅速增长使得养老很快就可能变得太过昂贵。

Mr. Meng's proposed solution is to bring reverse mortgages to China. Called a house-for-pension plan in China, a reverse mortgage allows homeowners to tap the equity in their homes by taking out loans against it.

孟晓苏提出的解决方案是提供反向抵押贷款,这在中国被称为以房养老计划,指的是房主抵押自己的房子,获得贷款。

His argument faces deep business and cultural opposition — mortgaging homes is a tough sell in a country where parents traditionally passed them on to their children — and only a few dozen people in all the country have signed up so far. But he argues that China may have little choice.

他的主张在商业上和文化上都面临着重大阻碍——中国的传统是父母把住房传给子女,抵押住房的做法难以推广——迄今为止,全国只有几十人签署了抵押住房协议。但他认为,中国可能没有其他选择。

“China’s elderly do not have much money,” said Mr. Meng, who drew much of his inspiration about the Chinese property market from a stint studying in America, “but they have valuable homes.”

“所以中国老人要钱没多少,要房有就很值钱。”孟晓苏说。他对中国房地产市场很多想法,都是在美国短暂学习期间获得的启发。

China is increasingly pondering tough questions as it looks to a graying future. Right now, China’s 215 million elderly people account for 15 percent of the total population. By 2050, that number is expected to rise to 350 million — nearly one-quarter of the population.

中国正在越来越多地考虑老龄化社会将会带来的一些棘手难题。目前中国有2.15亿老年人,占总人口的15%。到2050年,这一数字预计将增加到3.5亿,几乎是人口总数的四分之一。

That has China scrambling to find a more sustainable pension system for its people. In the 1990s, the government dismantled the cradle-to-grave welfare system and borrowed money from younger workers to pay older ones. The country’s pension fund will be $116 trillion in the red by 2050, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a top government think tank.

中国正在努力寻找一种更具持续性的养老金制度。在1990年代,政府取消了“从摇篮到坟墓”的福利制度,从年轻工人那里借钱来给老人养老。政府顶级智库中国社会科学院的资料显示,中国的养老基金的赤字在2050年将达到116万亿美元。

Enter Mr. Meng.

孟晓苏登场。

The apparatchik turned businessman, who now runs a Chinese private equity firm, argues that it is not practical for retirees to live on slow-growing pension benefits while home prices have soared over the past two decades.

他本是共产党官员,后来成为商人,现在经营一家中国私募股权公司。他认为,房价在过去20年里出现了飙升,在这种情况下退休人员靠缓慢增长的退休金生活是不现实的。

“Under these circumstances, participating in the house-for-pension plan can be regarded as an important option for China’s elderly to improve their living conditions and live better in their later years,” he said.

“那这种情况下以房养老,可以认为是所有中国老人想改善自己的生活条件,想在晚年生活得更美好的一个重要选择。”

“If the elderly in China had a lot of insurance or a high savings rate like in Japan, then they don’t have to participate in the house-for-pension plan,” Mr. Meng added. “But they don’t have either.”

“如果中国老人有很高的保险金,或者像日本老人那样有很高的储蓄,那么搞不搞以房养老也都没关系了。”他说,“但是他前面两项都没有。”

Reverse mortgages invite skepticism in America, too. But in China they defy traditional attitudes about family.

反向抵押贷款在美国也有很多怀疑者。但在中国,这种做法与家庭传统观念背道而驰。

Yu Yue, a 61-year-old widow and former factory worker in Beijing, is considering the plan. She scrapes by on $434 a month in pension payments, and her son gives her the same amount monthly.

61岁的于月丧偶,现居北京,以前在工厂工作,她正在考虑这个计划。目前她每月的退休金有434美元(约合人民币3000元),儿子每月还会再给她这么多钱。

“I would like to give my apartment to my child,” Ms. Yu said. “But I’m helpless. I need some form of safety net.”

“我也是愿意把房子给孩子,”余月说。“但是我也是无奈,我要保命。”

Insurance companies say they were worried about the prospect of a real estate crash as well as longer life expectancy in China. China also lacks the fundamental legal framework to govern the program, said Hu Jiye, a professor who studies pension finance at the China University of Political Science and Law.

保险公司说,他们担心房地产可能崩盘,而且中国的预期寿命会增长。中国政法大学的退休金融研究教授胡继晔说,中国也缺乏管理这种计划的基本法律框架。

“Mr. Meng Xiaosu is the proponent of the house-for-pension plan, and as such, he’s willing to go ahead with it even if it’s a money-losing venture,” he said. “But the cultural environment doesn’t support it. Neither does the legal environment.”

“孟晓苏先生,他是以房养老的倡导者,所以的话,他是想我即使赔钱也要先做。”他说。“这个文化的环境,是不支持的,法律的环境也不支持。”

Mr. Meng dismissed concerns about legal issues. Regarding insurance industry worries about a housing slump, he said, “I told them: ‘Stop asking me this brainless question. It doesn’t exist. It has never fallen even in a year. How can it be a bubble?’”

孟晓苏觉得对法律问题的担心是多余的。对于保险业担心房价下跌,他表示:“我说‘你不要再问这种脑残的问题了,不存在。从整体上没有任何一年下降,全上升没有下降。那么这个怎么会是泡沫呢?’”

Mr. Meng helped create the program, which is offered in Beijing, Shanghai and two other Chinese cities. As of the end of October, only 89 people had participated, according to Happy Life Insurance, an insurer founded by Mr. Meng in part to offer the policy — and, currently, only one of two insurers offering it.

孟晓苏帮助创建了这个在北京、上海以及另外两个中国城市开展的计划。幸福人寿保险公司的资料说,截至10月底,只有89人参与了这个计划。孟晓苏创立该保险公司的目的之一就是为了提供这个险种,目前一共只有两家保险公司提供它。
 
But the Chinese government said in July that it would extend the pilot plan to dozens of cities — Mr. Meng estimated 60 — over the next two years, and the People’s Insurance Company (Group) of China, a major insurer, said it had started offering the plan in October.

但在7月,中国政府表示将在未来两年把这种试点计划扩展到几十个城市(孟晓苏估计为60个),大型保险企业——中国人民保险公司(集团)表示,将在明年10月提供这个险种。

Mr. Meng, 67, never graduated from high school, coming of age amid the Cultural Revolution, and became a Red Guard, writing up posters denouncing people who were deemed political enemies. “I never beat anyone,” he said.

孟晓苏现年67岁,高中没有毕业,在文化大革命期间成年。他当上了红卫兵,写大字报谴责所谓的“阶级敌人”。“没有打过人,”他说。

In 1978, he enrolled in the prestigious Peking University, among the first group of students who passed the first higher education entrance exams held after the Cultural Revolution. He was 28.

1978年,他入读著名的北京大学,成为第一批在文革后通过高考的学生。当时他已经28岁。

Mr. Meng eventually became the aide to Wan Li, the former vice premier of China and the pioneer of agricultural reforms.

孟晓苏日后成为了中国前副总理、农业改革先驱者万里的助手。

He went on to become president of the China National Real Estate Development Group Corporation, the country’s largest state-owned property developer, formulating many policies that earned him the title of “godfather of real estate.”

后来,他又成为中国最大的国有开发商中国房地产开发集团的总裁,制定了很多政策,它们为他赢得了“房地产教父”的称谓。

In Mr. Meng’s office are dozens of framed photographs of him with other senior Chinese politicians as well as Bill Clinton, whom he calls a “close friend.” (“At first, I thought about sending Hillary a note but didn’t,” he said the day after the presidential election. “In the end I thought, since a real estate magnate is president, we will have a bigger say. Will the U.S. real estate mogul turned president be willing to speak with China’s godfather of real estate?”)

孟晓苏的办公室里摆放着数十个相框,里面是他和中国其他高级政要以及比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)的合影。他称呼克林顿是“好朋友”。(“本来我是想给希拉里发一个贺信去的,结果也没发出去,后来想想也罢,房地产商当总统了,我们发言权会大一点。”)

In 1995, Mr. Meng traveled to the United States as a visiting scholar to study economics and real estate for six months at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California, Berkeley; and Indiana University. That experience had a profound impact on Mr. Meng — and ultimately, China’s middle class. It led him to believe that the Chinese people could have their version of the American dream — “one house, one car,” as he put it.

1995年,孟晓苏以访问学者的身份赴美,在麻省理工学院(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)、加州大学伯克利分校(University of California, Berkeley)和印第安纳大学(Indiana University)学习了六个月的经济学和房地产。这一经历对孟晓苏,最终也对中国的中产阶级产生了深远的影响。它使孟晓苏相信,中国民众可以有中国版的美国梦。用他的话说就是“一套住房一辆车”。

Once home, he persuaded skeptical banks that Chinese people would pay back their mortgages. That helped introduce a housing market in which prices are controlled by the market, not the government, leading to the price appreciation that has enriched millions of Chinese households.

一回国,他就说服持怀疑态度的银行相信,中国民众会偿还抵押贷款。这帮助引入了一个由市场而非政府控制价格的房地产市场,带来了让数以百万计的中国家庭富裕起来的价格上涨。

“All these products that I introduced were from abroad, especially from the United States,” he said.

“我所引进的产品都是从国外,特别是美国学来的,”他说。

As home prices in China soared, Mr. Meng began studying the reverse mortgage systems in countries such as the Netherlands and the United States. In 2003, he wrote a letter to his former colleague Wen Jiabao, who had just become premier of China, telling him that Chinese retirees “will be able to live comfortably” with the house-for-pension plan.

随着中国房价飙升,孟晓苏开始研究荷兰和美国等国家的反向抵押贷款制度。2003年,他给前同事、新任中国总理温家宝写了一封信,告诉他通过以房养老计划,中国退休人员“可以衣食无忧”。

That year, Beijing approved the pilot program, stoking widespread controversy. Under the plan, if the borrower’s children are not willing to buy the property, it will be sold in an auction. The insurance company would deduct the capital and interest payments, and any leftover money would be given to the borrower’s children.

那一年,北京批准该试点项目,引发了广泛的争议。根据该计划,如果借款人的子女不愿购买,房屋将用于拍卖。保险公司会扣除本金和利息,再将剩下的钱交给借款人的子女。

Mr. Meng said he would join the plan when he formally retired. His 31-year-old son approves of it, according to Mr. Meng. “I’m in no rush now,” he said. “When I enroll, I want to create an impact and make the elderly feel at ease.”

孟晓苏说自己正式退休后便会加入该计划。据他说,他31岁的儿子赞成这个做法。“但现在还不急,”他说。“我入保我要起个效应,让老人家放心。”

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