2018年8月23日 星期四

If an NBA Workout Isn’t on Instagram, Does it Even Count? 詹皇帶動熱潮 上網曬訓練影片

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2018/08/24 第229期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 If an NBA Workout Isn't on Instagram, Does it Even Count? 詹皇帶動熱潮 上網曬訓練影片
Europe Says Greece Is a Comeback Story. The IMF Isn't Convinced 希臘東山再起? IMF審慎以對
If an NBA Workout Isn't on Instagram, Does it Even Count? 詹皇帶動熱潮 上網曬訓練影片
文/Scott Cacciola

Marcus Derrickson was preparing for a stint with the Golden State Warriors at NBA Summer League when his friends urged him to show off his gains in the weight room. Derrickson, a 22-year-old forward who played at Georgetown, was — and remains — a social media neophyte. At the time, he had posted all of five photos on Instagram.


"I actually like to live my life," Derrickson said, "and not do it through social media."


But his friends wanted him to flex his muscles for the world to see. They told him he should be proud of his hard work. And then they made their closing argument.


"They were like, 'You might as well do what LeBron does,'" he recalled.


Derrickson followed through by logging onto Instagram and sharing a 5-second clip of himself doing chest flyes with weighted cables. He added a caption for good measure: "Focused."


LeBron James has used social media to promote his television projects, congratulate former teammates on their contracts and pine for pizza parties. He has used social media to announce that he is going dark on social media, at least for the playoffs. He has used social media to celebrate his wedding anniversary and share a clip of himself jumping off a cliff.


But James, who recently decided to take his social media talents to the Los Angeles Lakers, has also used platforms like Twitter and Instagram to give his tens of millions of followers peeks behind the curtain — with glimpses of his offseason workouts. At various junctures of his career, James has posted snippets of himself running full-court sprints, balancing on inflatable balls and rapping to himself in a weight room.


James' influence on the rest of the NBA is impossible to overstate — and it extends all the way to his penchant for grainy, self-styled videos and photos of himself working really hard, almost always without his shirt on, in the hot summer months.


"Everybody watches his clips," Derrickson said. "He's the best in the world."


The trend of posting these videos did not necessarily start with James — a representative for James said he was unavailable for comment, and the forensics of the practice are cloudy at best — but he certainly helped popularize it.


"The NBA is full of copycats," said Justin Zormelo, a trainer who has worked with dozens of high-profile clients like Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant. "So when LeBron posts something, you can bet that 99 percent of the league is going to do it, too — the young kids, especially."


Europe Says Greece Is a Comeback Story. The IMF Isn't Convinced 希臘東山再起? IMF審慎以對
文/Liz Alderman

As Greece prepares to end nearly a decade's worth of international financial bailouts in August, European policymakers have been eager to promote the country's economic comeback story and the symbolic end of the region's punishing debt crisis.


But the International Monetary Fund offered a dose of harsh reality Tuesday. In a sobering report, it warned that Greece will face an uphill battle to tame its staggering debt, sustain economic growth and support the rising number of citizens pushed toward poverty after years of austerity.


On Aug. 20, Greece will become the last country to exit financial bailouts extended by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. The rescues were intended to prevent the 19-country euro area from breaking apart when Europe's sovereign debt crisis started in 2010.


The country's economy is slowly growing again, and unemployment has fallen from record highs. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras recently laid out a plan for growth and is refusing the offer of a precautionary credit line, a financial safety net that would come with new austerity terms after years of belt-tightening.


The IMF praised Athens for racking up a number of economic "successes" since it was placed on the first of three international financial lifelines ultimately totaling 320 billion euros, or about $375 billion. Greece reduced an enormous budget deficit and eventually created a surplus, it said. Successive governments forged legal tool kits to deal with a mountain of bad loans at the nation's banks. They also moved to reduce the outsize public sector and curbed collective bargaining to make wages "more competitive."


Yet Greece is the problem that never quite goes away for Europe, and the risks to the country's post-bailout future read like a laundry list of adversities.


It still has weak banks and private sector balance sheets, the fund pointed out. Some capital controls remain in place, and the government has large arrears. A significant part of the population is considered "at risk" of poverty, weighing on prospects for a sustained recovery. And Greece still hasn't made enough progress on key fiscal and market reforms.



Most worrisome is the country's mountain of debt, which European creditors sought to make more manageable last month by easing repayment terms. It was the latest in a series of efforts over the years to bring Greece's arrears down from a staggering 180 percent of economic output — the largest in the eurozone.



歐元區(eurozone)19國財長6月22日在盧森堡達成歷史性協議,同意在今年8月20日終結對希臘紓困,與會代表都認同,希臘的主權債務危機(sovereign debt crisis)到此結束。

對希臘而言,這一步來之不易。2010年起,歐元區、國際貨幣基金、歐洲央行先後聯手推出三個紓困計畫(bailout program)和債務減免(debt relief)措施以幫助希臘。2015年夏天,希臘岌岌可危,國家財政瀕臨崩潰,險些退出歐元區,但終被阻止。希臘不得不實施大幅財政緊縮(austerity)和嚴厲改革。2017年以來,隨著歐元區經濟好轉,希臘經濟終於改善。


lifeline是指救生索或潛水員的升降索,引申為維持生命不可或缺的事物,例如華盛頓郵報近期有一篇文章在談,中國大陸好幾次向瀕臨崩潰的經濟體提供緊急貸款,擴展影響力:By throwing lifelines to otherwise drowning economies, Beijing can strengthen existing friendships and build new ones.


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