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全国英语等级考试教材第4级听力 unit 03

Unit 3 Economy (I)

Conversations

1. A journalist is collecting information for an article about Mr. Johnson, a businessman.

Johnson: OH. I usually get up at about five, and go for a jog before breakfast. We usually have breakfast at around 6: 30. Then I have time to read the papers.

Journalist: Which papers do you read?

Johnson: Welt, the Financial Times, the Times and the Independent. I don’t exactly read them from cover to cover. Journalist: I see.

Johnson: After reading, I leave for the office. I' m usually behind my desk by 7:30. The first job of the day is the post. My secretary sorts out those letters which need immediate attention. Then at about 9:00, I have a dally meeting with my deputy. We run through the agenda for the day.

Journalist: What’s a typical day like?

Johnson: Well, there’s no such thing as a typical day, but I have regular morning meetings with my Finance and Sales Directors. Of course, I travel a lot, then I keep up-to-date by telephone.

Journalist: What about lunch?

Johnson: I try to have lunch in the company canteen as often as possible. Of course, sometimes I have lunch out with some customers or the bank manager. People like that.

Journalist: What about the afternoons?

Johnson: If I’m in the country. I often go down to our plant and see how things are going. We have weekly management committee meetings on Friday afternoon. Then there are monthly board meetings, usually the first Monday of the month.

Journalist: When.do you finish work?

Johnson: At about seven. If there is nothing in the evening, I’ll go, home. More often than not, there’s a dinner engagement. My wife often comes with me.

Journalist: When do you go to bed?

Johnson: Rarely before midnight. I always read a book for half an hour before going to sleep.

Journalist: Right, thank you very much, Mr. Johnson.

Q

1. What does Mr. Johnson usually do before breakfast?

2. Which papers does Mr. Johnson read?

3. What’s Mr. Johnson’s first job of the day?

4. What does Mr. Johnson always do before going to sleep?

2. Wang goes into a bank to open an account.

Clerk: What can I do for you?

Wang: I’d like to open an account, please.

Clerk: What sort of account do you have in mind?

Wang: I’m not sure. Perhaps you can give me some suggestions.

Clerk: OK. First, how much money do you plan to keep in your account on a regular basis?

Wang: I don’t have much money. I receive $420 a month from our government and that has to cover all my expenses.

Clerk: Oh, what you really need is a, checking account so you can pay your bills.

Wang: That sounds good.

Clerk: But there' s a kind of joint checking savings account which is called “NOW” account that gives a little interest on-your money to help cover the cost of the account itself.

Wang: Can you tell me how it works? Clerk: Sure. It’s simple. You deposit your monthly check in your savings account, where it earns interest until you transfer it to your checking account to cover the checks you write to pay your bills. -Wang: Pretty good. How can I open a “NOW” account?

Clerk: Please fill out these forms, print and sign your name here and we’ll be all set. How much cash do you plan to deposit in your accounts today?

Wang: $30.

Clerk: Come in again in about a week and I'll give you your plastic “NOW” card that allows you to bank by computer during non-banking hours.

Wang: Wonderful. Thank you very much for your advice.

Clerk: Don't mention it. It's my duty.

Q

1. What does Wang want to go in the bank?

2. What kind of account does Wang finally open?

3. How much cash does Wang want to deposit today?

Passage

European Union: A Single Currency

The most clear-cut benefit of a single currency is that it will no longer be necessary to incur the costs of exchange from one currency to another. Travellers know that these costs are not negligible. First of all, there is a commission charge (usually a fixed amount); secondly, the price at which the traveller purchases foreign currency for domestic currency differs from the price of exchanging back surplus foreign currency. The removal of these transaction costs constitutes a gain from monetary union.

Another benefit is that the removal of exchange rate variations between the countries of the EU would provide much more assurance to corporate location decisions. At present, a company takes account of the risk of exchange rate variation in its location decision, and this may lead it to scatter its plants across the various economies to hedge against the risk of exchange rate variation. Removing this source of uncertainty allows investors to locate according to economies of scale and may lead to more plants of optimum size, a reduction in unit cost of production and increase in efficiency.

A single currency provides the framework for counter-inflationary policies. A single currency could Lead to a reduction in the market discrimination that currently exists in the EU ( for example. prices of motor cars of the same specification stand higher in the UK than they do in France) as the quotation of prices in common currency discourages arbitrage activity and reduces the market division on which such discrimination relies. Thus, firms in one country cannot continue to raise their prices higher than their European competitors and still remain competitive.

Similarly, the reduction of exchange rate fluctuations enables exporters and importers to engage in meaningful export planning and pricing. This is so because the reduced exchange rate fluctuation can be built into the firm’s export plans and prices. Some form of fixed exchange rate is a minimum requirement for a single European market. Finally, with a single currency, Europe will be represented as a single member with a strong voice in a world economy dominated by Japan, the United States, and Europe. Thus, Europe will have a stronger voice in such a milieu than in the present setup where the annual GT meetings, though including no less than four European powers -- France. Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom -- as well as Japan, the United States, and Canada, do so on the basis that each country represents itself and the Pan-European interest is not necessarily expressed.

Traditionally, governments use interest rates to regulate demand for their currencies. Entry into a single European currency will rob individual countries of the right and ability to use interest rates in the fight against inflation.

Furthermore, the point of having separate currencies with an exchange rate between them is to be able to let that exchange rate change. In classical economies, the purpose of allowing exchange rate changes is to have it act as a shock absorber for disturbances that impact on the partner economies in different ways -- in the jargon, to absorb “asymmetric” shocks. The question is how efficiently will the alternative -- single currency -- work?

Finally, a single European currency may lead to a loss of sovereignty. Monetary integration does require coordination between governments and Central Banks. Complete monetary union and a single currency would require a single monetary policy. This has led some governments, especially the UK government, to argue that moves towards monetary integration involve a loss of sovereignty with respect to macroeconomic policy.

Questions

1. What is the most obvious benefit of a single currency?

2. Where are the costs of currency exchange from?

3. Why do companies scatter their plants across various economics?

4. How do governments regulate demand for their currencies?

5. What does the UK government think of monetary integration?

Words and Expressions

journalist

typical

finance

leave for somewhere

up-to-date

sort out

canteen

immediate

committee

deputy

In board

agenda

open an account

on a regular basis

expense

checking account

joint checking savings account

Interest

deposit

savings

transfer

bill

fill out

currency

Incur

exchange

negligible

commission charge

fixed

domestic

differ from

surplus

removal

transaction

constitute

monetary

exchange rate

variation

assurance

corporate

take account of

scatter

plant

hedge

uncertainty

optimum

framework

inflationary

discrimination

specification

quotation

discourage

arbitrage

division

rely on

competitive

fluctuation

enable sb. to do sth.

engage in

minimum

represent sth.as

milieu

annual

basis

on the basis that

entry

rob sb. of...

inflation

impact on

Jargon

asymmetric

alternative

sovereignty

integration

coordination

with respect to

Exercise

Section I Listening Comprehension

Part A

For Questions I -5, you will hear a passage about the Division of labor. While you listen, fill out the table with the information you have heard. Some of the information have been given to you in the table. Write only 1 word in each numbered box.

Information about the Division of Labor

The division of labor means that the workers are (1 )

How many parts does a worker perform in the whole operation (2 )

What does the conveyor belt move to them? (3 )

How many cars may factories with assembly line produce on average a year per worker? (4 )

Workers get little job satisfaction because day after day they have to work on one small (5 ).

Part A

In all economic systems today, most businesses of any size rely on one system of organization: the division of labor. This means that the workers are specialized. Each worker has a particular duty to perform as one part of the whole operation.

A good example of the division of labor is an assembly line in an automobile factory. One worker may install a door while another is installing the hood. The others add lights, windshield wipers, and so on. Normally, workers stay in one place, and a conveyor belt moves the product to them. If one worker had the responsibility of producing an entire car, he or she might be able to complete one each year. By comparison, factories with assembly lines may produce an average of about thirty-five cars a year per worker.

The division of labor permits mass production, but it does have some advantages. For one thing, few people know or understand all aspects of an operation. In addition, mass production may be more efficient, but many workers complain that they get little job satisfaction from working on one small duty day after day. To them, there is much more satisfaction in doing a job from start to finish.

Part B

For Questions 6-10, you will hear a monologue about Private Company. While you listen, complete the sentences and answer the questions. Use not more than 3 words for each answer.

A private company is much better than a public one for (6 )

The first difference between a private company and a public one is the system of (7 )

In a private company, one’s salary can be as big as one’s (8 )

The second difference between the two is the possibility of (9 )

In a private company, training programs bring good professionals (10 )

Part B

I’m studying economics. Recently, I realized that, for a professional person, there are several differences that make working for a private company much better than working for a public one.

The first difference is the system of salaries and rewards. In a public company, after being hired, one's salary will be raised according to the number of years he or she has been in the company. I n contrast, in a private company, the most important thing is what one can give in terms of returns to the company. According to this system, one's salary can be as big as one's capacity and diligence. Also, specific rewards for achieving target goals can be distributed to the employees in a private company.

The second difference between the two systems is the possibility of professional growth. In a public company, everyone must follow a specific pattern of training, which is seldom changed. Also, management’s expectations of the employees are most often beneath the employee’s true capacity. In contrast to this, in a private company, the competitive market imposes fast improvements in training programs, which turn out good professionals. Management’s expectations of each employee’s performance is demanding. And good professionals are encouraged to look for new markets.

Part C

You will hear two passages or monologues and one dialogue. Before listening to each one, read the questions related to it. While listening answer each question by choosing A, B, C or D. You will hear each piece ONLY ONCE.

1. What forces is a market made up of?

[A] Manufacturers. [B] Supply and demand. [C] Customers. [D] Goods and services.

12. What does price result from?

[A] Production of goods. [B] Consumption of goods.

[C] Demand of goods and service. [D] The interaction of supply and demand.

13. What determines the use of resources and distribution of products?

[A] Price. [B] Demand. [C) Society. [D] Consumption.

14. Which of the following is true according to what you've heard?

[A] To make exchanges easier, prices should be fixed.

[B] To make exchanges easier, a common money unit is used.

[C] To make exchanges easier, the quality of goods must be good.

[D] To make exchanges easier, a certain place must be provided.

15. What can we conclude from the passage we have heard?

[A] Technology plays the main role in the market economy.

[B] Hard work plays the main role in the market economy.

[C] Price plays the main role in the market economy.

[D] The quality of goods plays the main role in the market economy.

A

A market can be seen as a set of economic forces called supply and demand. Supply forces tend to bring goods and services into production. Demand forces tend to result in consumption of those goods and services. Supply and demand forces interact to form a price. Since markets play a large role in our economy, we say we have a market economy. A market economy is an economic system in which prices determine how resources will be used and how products will be distributed.

Price is the quantity of money (or other products) paid in exchange for something else. The current price of something, then, influences how much of it is produced and how much of it is consumed. A producer of several different things is likely to produce more of those that bring relatively higher prices. So, if a consumer's buying power is limited, he or she is likely to compare prices of different things before buying.

In nearly all economies, money is used as a medium of exchange. That is, the prices of all things are expressed in terms of a common money unit, such as the US dollar. This makes exchanges and product choices easier.

In a market economy, it is prices that mainly determine what goods and services to produce, how much of each to produce, how to produce them, and who will get them. A market economy, therefore, can also be called a price system.

16. What is the percentage of the turnover increase? [A] 16%. [B] 20%. [C] 14%. [D] 40%.

17. In which market, the result is very disappointing?

[A] The American market. [B] The domestic market.

[C] The European market. [D] The market of the universities.

18. How many staff are there in the company now? [A] 72. [B] 20. [C] 27. [D] 52.

B

The monologue is an end-of-year presentation by a company chairman.

I’d like to spend a few minutes of your time looking back over the year. I' m going to divide my review into three areas: firstly, financial, secondly, personnel, and finally, technology.

On the financial front, the results have been very pleasing. Turnover has increased by 14%, costs have dropped by 3 % and profits are up by 16%. So the company as a whole has performed well. Some business areas have even done better than others. Export sales have also done very well, especially in America, our largest export market. The domestic consumer market has been very competitive and will continue to be so. Relatively our results in this market are not so pleasing-let me say, just 1% up compared with last year.

Right, let’s move on to personnel. Our policy of personnel development through training and promotion opportunities has continued to be a great success. We have actually recruited 72 new staff, while 20 have retired-so there's a net balance of 52. The training department has expanded considerably and moved into new areas such as quality assurances and sales training.

Finally, technology, I thought you would be interested to have an update since this is vital for our future growth. We have invested heavily in a European technology programme which links industry with the universities. Result so far have looked promising.

Right, those are the three main areas -- finance, personnel and technology. Are there any questions, before I go on?

19. What was Ms. Osteen’s company always interested in?

[A] Saving time. [B] Good service. [C] Quick delivery. [D] Saving money.

20. What did the man emphasize in his talk?

[A] Quick delivery. [B] Low price.

[C] Good service. [D] High price.

C

Mr. Green, the sales man and Ms. Osteen, the director have talked on the phone. Now Mr. Green is knocking at the door.

W: Come in and take a seat please. I am afraid I only have a few minutes.

M: I always come straight to the point. You've already placed several orders with us. Last week you purchased feeder paper for your word processors from us. Were you satisfied with the products and service?

W: Yes, we are.

M: Good. We pride ourselves on prompt delivery. I’d like to acquaint you with some of the other products we carry, some that I' m sure you use in considerable quantity. I'll leave this catalogue with you if it's Okay. Perhaps you could look it over at your leisure. I' m sure you can save money and time on anything you buy from us.

W: Naturally we're always interested in saving money.

M: We sell all kinds of stationary supplies: typing paper, stapler, pencil sharpeners, desk sets, file folders -- you name it. Our prices are lower than any of our competitors by five to ten percent compare the prices in our catalogue with the prices you are now paying and you' 11 see that. I' m all right. Also, I'd like to point out that our large warehouse enables us to stock many items that other companies would have to order for you. We have them right there on hand for immediate delivery.

W: If what you say is true, I’m sure that we'll do a lot of business, Mr. Green. I'll look your catalogue over and let you know.

M: I'd like to leave my card, as well. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to call. Thank you for seeing me.

W: It was a pleasure to meet you.

Supplementary Reading

Business Strategy of Corporation and Learning

Corporate Universities (CU) can be described as institutional mechanisms that tie together the strategic development of the organisation with the development of his human resources.

They should be regarded as a strategic· unity for all employees and the entire value chain, including suppliers and customers.

Large and small companies have been developing their own “corporate universities”. While some of these -- such as Motorola University -- have been operational for years, many of these efforts are new and consume vast amounts of resources related to the size of the companies undertaking them.

A true CU is not just a repackaging of the old training department of the company or the agglomeration of a bunch of disparate, unrelated courses into some framework that is packaged together.

This fools nobody and results in cynicism about developmental efforts, no matter how well intentioned. A real corporate university is where business strategy, organizational culture and human resource development meet, blend and synthesise - and performance takes off.

It usually involves a series of courses or programmes, usually custom-designed and delivered for a company but sometimes involving “outside” courses or those developed for consortia of companies or trade associations.

One qualifies for the corporate university through some combination of performance and developmental potential and graduation from it usually results in some form of accreditation, increases challenges and levels of responsibility.

These corporate universities are used to develop three organisational attributes that are central to the development of competitive advantage shared values, a common sense of mission along with Individual and team leadership and functional skills. Those who pass through the experience -- just like those who passed through all great universities-share some common language, some distinct ways of thinking about things, even though they remain distinct individual with their own ideas. They are influenced by the process but are not brainwashed by it.

CUs are often the most visible manifestation of a company’s willingness to invest in its people. Given the diversity of issues confronting companies, it is impossible to suggest a generic CU architecture that would suit all corporate circumstances.

What is important is that there should be an architecture -- an overall concept about what the CU is intended to do, what its key components should be, a vision of what it might look like once it is built, and at least some guiding estimates of time, resources required and costs.

Skills in today’s fast-paced environment need replacing much faster than ever before. Systems and techniques learnt become obsolete in months. CUs are particularly useful in developing very quickly a new set of skills.

Often, because the Infrastructure is already in place, and because managers are accustomed to seeking their skills development through the CU, it becomes a highly cost-effective delivery system for such skill components.

CUs employ a variety of leaning methodologies. This includes case-study discussions, simulations, lectures, “fireside chats” and “action learning”, in which the learning that participants get is integrated with “real” work, often project-based, that they have to do.

Increasingly, accreditation is important to corporations and they seek university and professional body partnerships that will provide cumulative credits, portability and seamless application.

Some or all of these methodologies are being adapted for delivery or support through the internet or internet-based learning support systems, to complement traditional bricks-and-mortar classroom learning.

As a whole, corporate universities have well-developed alliances with higher education institutions. So, rather than undermining universities per se, they attempt to emulate the university experience while branding it their own.
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