Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

“Austerity ODER Investieren?” Die falsch gestellte Frage!

Posted by hkarner - 21. Oktober 2014

Stellungnahme des Föhrenbergkreises 21/10/2014

Wir haben genug von der dümmlichen Vereinfachung der Frage – sowohl auf europäischer wie auf österreichischer Ebene:

  1. Austerity (“Deutschland/Merkel”) versus Investieren über neue Schulden (“Frankreich – Italien/Hollande-Renzi”). Alle Medien sind diese Woche wieder voll davon. Vom fortgesetzten Bruch der Maastricht und Fiscal Pact Kriterien durch Frankreich und Budgetsanierung  bzw. zuwenig Infrastrukturinvestitionen in Deutschland.
    Oder: Krugman und die Keynesianer gegen den Rest der Ökonomen
  2. In Österreich wird die Diskussion um die (notwendige) Steuerreform bzw. Budgetsanierung mindestens ebenso primitiv geführt:
    • der Finanzminister will “nur sparen
    • ÖGB, AK und somit die SPÖ wollen 6 Milliarden entlasten (ohne konkrete Vorschläge zur Gegenfinanzierung). Und Schuldenreduktion: Wozu? Zusätzliche Investitionen: Woher?
    • die Industriellenvereinigung ist da gleich aggressiver: 15 Milliarden Entlastung, schlampig zur Gegenfinanzierung (1% vom BIP für diese, 1% für jenes, …). Auf die Schuldenreduktion hat man halt ganz vergessen, ebenso auf das Freispielen für Investitionen.
  3. Und alle haben in der Hektik wieder darauf vergessen, dass ab 2017 lt. dem Fiscal Compact (=Staatsvertrag zwischen den Staten der Eurozone und der EU) jährlich 1/20 des Staats-Schuldenstandes, der über den 60% von Maastricht liegt, pro Budgetjahr abgebaut werden muss. Für Österreich wird das etwa 5 Mrd € jährliche zusätzliche Einsparungen im Budget bedeuten, das ist etwa “eine Steuerreform pro Jahr”. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The debt of some euro-zone economies looks unsustainable

Posted by hkarner - 24. Oktober 2014

Date: 23-10-2014
Source: The Economist
Subject: Back to reality

EARLIER this year it all looked so rosy. In April, just two years after Greece imposed the biggest sovereign-debt restructuring in history on its private creditors, it raised €3 billion ($4.2 billion at the time) in five-year bonds at a yield of less than 5%. In July its ten-year bonds were yielding less than 6% and their Spanish and Italian equivalents less than 3%, not far off Germany’s. The troubled economies of Europe’s “periphery” were beginning to turn around, it seemed, and the European Central Bank (ECB) would do whatever it took to keep the euro zone together.

That all went out the window in the global market sell-off of October 15th-16th. Yields on Greek government debt briefly exceeded 9%; the spread between yields on German government bonds and those of debt-addled euro-zone countries widened and lower-rated corporate-bond yields rose sharply too. Part of the rise might have been due to bond markets’ declining liquidity. At any rate, some ground has since been regained, with corporate bonds especially buoyed by the rumour (later denied) that the ECB was about to buy corporate debt as part of an asset-purchase scheme.

But worries that slow growth in the euro zone will be a serious drag on the world economy are increasing. Deflation, which makes debts harder to bear, has taken hold in the periphery, and threatens to afflict the euro zone as a whole. Faith that the ECB will be able to do much about either problem is declining. Against that background some euro-zone debt—both public and private—looks unsustainable. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Plutocrats Against Democracy

Posted by hkarner - 24. Oktober 2014

Date: 24-10-2014
Source: Paul KrugmanKrugman_BBF_2010_Shankbone cc

It’s always good when leaders tell the truth, especially if that wasn’t their intention. So we should be grateful to Leung Chun-ying, the Beijing-backed leader of Hong Kong, for blurting out the real reason pro-democracy demonstrators can’t get what they want: With open voting, “You would be talking to half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $1,800 a month. Then you would end up with that kind of politics and policies” — policies, presumably, that would make the rich less rich and provide more aid to those with lower incomes.

So Mr. Leung is worried about the 50 percent of Hong Kong’s population that, he believes, would vote for bad policies because they don’t make enough money. This may sound like the 47 percent of Americans who Mitt Romney said would vote against him because they don’t pay income taxes and, therefore, don’t take responsibility for themselves, or the 60 percent that Representative Paul Ryan argued pose a danger because they are “takers,” getting more from the government than they pay in. Indeed, these are all basically the same thing.

For the political right has always been uncomfortable with democracy. No matter how well conservatives do in elections, no matter how thoroughly free-market ideology dominates discourse, there is always an undercurrent of fear that the great unwashed will vote in left-wingers who will tax the rich, hand out largess to the poor, and destroy the economy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The ECB as lender of last resort?

Posted by hkarner - 24. Oktober 2014

Charles A.E. Goodhart, Dirk Schoenmaker 23 October 2014

Emeritus Professor in the Financial Markets Group, London School of Economics

Dean of the Duisenberg School of Finance and Professor of Finance, Banking and Insurance at the VU University Amsterdam



A guiding principle for decision-making in crisis management is “he who pays the piper calls the tune” (Goodhart and Schoenmaker 2009). So long as resolution is organised on a national basis, the national governments will normally want to oversee and undertake the function of supervision. That has been the current setup for financial supervision and crisis management, which have been nationally organised. Following this principle, the ECB clarified that the national central banks should remain the lender of last resort (LOLR) for individual banks with problems at the time when EMU started (Padoa-Schioppa 1999). This is the individual LOLR function. By contrast, the ECB had assumed the more general aggregate liquidity support function from the start of EMU, as this general role is intrinsically linked to monetary policy operations.

Lender of last resort in the banking union Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Great Divide

Posted by hkarner - 24. Oktober 2014

I like this “magic gorgeous triangle”. It clearly defines the issue – and the impossibility of resolution (hfk)

Authors: Roberto Tamborini (Professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Trento) & Francesco Farina ( Professor of Economics at the University of Siena) ·  October 20th, 2014  ·  RGE EconoMonitor

In our previous post (here), we described post-electoral Europe’s stalemate in a European version of the  “Impossible Triplet” sketched by Dani Rodrik to describe the dilemmas of globalization. We drew a triangle given by the three constitutive dimensions of the EU: “European integration”, “National sovereignty”, “Democratic consensus”. Each one is incompatible with the other two.  One out of three must be given up. In this triangle we also located the options of  the major European political families in the aftermath of the elections (see Figure 1). We argued that the elections did not solve the dilemma about which among the three goals will be waived.

Figure 1

 Table 1

Centre-Right/Right (CR/R) EPP, ALDE, ECR



Centre-Left/Left (CL/L) S&D, GREENS/EFA, GUE/NGL



No Euro (NoE) EFD









EEP = European People’s Party, ALDE = Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, ECR = European Conservatives and Reformists, S&D = Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, GREENS/EFA = The Greens-European Free Alliance, GUE/NGL = Guache Unitaire Européene / Nordic Green Left, EFD = Europe of Freedom and Democracy (UKIP, 5STARS) Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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In 100 Years: Leading Economists Predict the Future

Posted by hkarner - 24. Oktober 2014

Date: 23-10-2014

Source: Foreign Affairs

In 1930, John Maynard Keynes gave a famous lecture in which he took an uncharacteristic stab at forecasting the distant future, 100 years away. He predicted that by 2030, “progressive countries,” such as the United Kingdom and the United States, would have standards of living four to eight times as high as they did then.

Palacios-Huerta saw fit to repeat this thought experiment and invited ten prominent economists to participate, each one independently imagining economic life circa 2114.

The results make for stimulating reading. Some common predictions emerge: technology will continue to improve, poverty and population growth will both diminish, most relatively poor countries will continue to catch up with the rich world, the risks from climate change will grow more severe, and unforeseen epidemics may spread. 

Many of the contributors emphasize the vital role of good governance in producing positive economic outcomes — an unsurprising but important point given the serious decision-making problems that currently plague Washington and European capitals.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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U.K. Support For EU Membership Reaches 23-Year High

Posted by hkarner - 24. Oktober 2014

Date: 23-10-2014
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Cameron CCBritish Prime Minister David Cameron

Support for European Union membership in Britain is the strongest it has been for 23 years.

Yes, you did read that correctly. Even though Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan for a national referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017 has raised concerns Britain could eventually leave the 28-country bloc, and support is growing for the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party, a poll by Ipsos MORI indicates support for membership is at its highest level since 1991.

The survey of 1,002 adults by the market-research company between Oct. 11 and 14 showed 56% would vote for Britain to stay in the EU in a referendum, while 36% wanted out, and 8% didn’t know. Excluding the “don’t knows” that translates to 61% support for EU membership and 39% opposing, the strongest backing since December 1991 — before the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, which created the euro and the modern EU.

When looking at political parties, 51% of supporters of Mr. Cameron’s Conservatives, who are pushing for a membership referendum, are in favor of staying in the EU. Attachment to the EU is higher among Labour supporters, 73% of whom said they want to stay in the bloc, and the Liberal Democrats, where support for membership stood at 82%, Ipsos MORI said. Even among UKIP supporters, 11% want to stay in the EU, while 82% want out. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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EU Banking Stress Tests: ‘Far-Reaching Reforms Are Needed’

Posted by hkarner - 23. Oktober 2014

 Inspiring … (hfk)

Date: 23-10-2014

Interview Conducted by Martin Hesse

ECB HQ newGathering clouds over Frankfurt can be seen from the new ECB headquarters, still under construction.

On Sunday, Europe will release the results of its banking stress tests. In an
interview, former PIMCO head Mohamed El-Erian speaks with SPIEGEL about what to expect and how Europe’s core countries are failing to adequately confront a flagging economy.

El-Erian CCSPIEGEL: Mr. El-Erian, the results of the stress test on European banks will be published on Sunday. If you had a billion dollars to bet for or against European banks, what would you do?

El-Erian: Stock markets are altogether overvalued; people took risks in financial markets that were too high. Banking stocks often exaggerate the development: If stock markets rise, bank shares rise higher. If stock markets fall, they fall deeper. Therefore, I would buy neither stocks nor bank bonds prior to a correction. I would focus on highly secured banking bonds.

SPIEGEL: How poorly are Europe’s banks doing?

El-Erian: Soon, banks will no longer be the biggest risk to the financial system and the economy. And five years from now, many credit institutions will be smaller than they are today, having discontinued some types of business, and will better support the real economy.
SPIEGEL: Why only then? What has to happen first? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The euro zone: The world’s biggest economic problem

Posted by hkarner - 23. Oktober 2014

Date: 23-10-2014
Source: The Economist

Deflation in the euro zone is all too close and extremely dangerous

THE world economy is not in good shape. The news from America and Britain has been reasonably positive, but Japan’s economy is struggling and China’s growth is now slower than at any time since 2009. Unpredictable dangers abound, particularly from the Ebola epidemic, which has killed thousands in West Africa and jangled nerves far beyond. But the biggest economic threat, by far, comes from continental Europe.

Now that German growth has stumbled, the euro area is on the verge of tipping into its third recession in six years. Its leaders have squandered two years of respite, granted by the pledge of Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank’s president, to do “whatever it takes” to save the single currency. The French and the Italians have dodged structural reforms, while the Germans have insisted on too much austerity. Prices are falling in eight European countries. The zone’s overall inflation rate has slipped to 0.3% and may well go into outright decline next year. A region that makes up almost a fifth of world output is marching towards stagnation and deflation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Five Reasons Not to Fear Deflation: Which Ones Make Sense?

Posted by hkarner - 23. Oktober 2014

Smart insights: so deflation does not always have  to be bad! (hfk)

Author: Ed Dolan  ·  October 23rd, 2014  ·  RGE EconoMonitor

In a post earlier this week, I explained why a majority of economists fear deflation. They argue that deflation disrupts the operation of financial markets and labor markets in a way that risks touching off a downward spiral. At the same time, they say, deflation weakens the power of monetary policy to reverse the downward slide. Even radical measures like quantitative easing have limited power. For that reason, the standard advice is to prevent deflation before it gets started. In the conventional view, that can best be done by maintaining a moderate but positive rate of inflation of 2 percent or so—enough to provide a cushion against unexpected economic shocks.

Not all economists are aboard the anti-deflation bandwagon, however. Some argue that deflation is actually a good thing, while others make the more nuanced argument that deflation can be either benign or malign according to circumstances. Let’s take a look at some of their arguments to see which make sense and which do not.

Three weak arguments in support of deflation

Before turning to the serious reasons why deflation might not always bad, let’s begin with three pro-deflation arguments that seem to me to be weak. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Die EZB als Wirtschaftsregierung der Eurozone?

Posted by hkarner - 23. Oktober 2014

23.10.2014 | 11:27 | von Georg Erber (Ökonomenstimme) DIWErber

Ökonomenstimme. Zentralbank-Chef Mario Draghi scheint die Rolle einer Wirtschaftsministers übernommen zu haben. Kann das gut gehen? Ökonom Georg Erber zweifelt.

Die französische Regierung wollte schon immer, dass es eine Wirtschaftsregierung der Eurozone geben sollte. Auch die Kanzlerin konnte sich nach einigem Zögern dafür erwärmen. Allerdings sollte nach ihren Vorstellungen dies der Europäischen Rat und nicht die EU-Kommission noch selbstverständlich die EZB sein. Es ist anders gekommen. Weil sich die Politiker auf EU-Ebene nicht einigen können, ergreift Mario Draghi jetzt die Initiative und übernimmt als EZB-Präsident quasi die Rolle einer Europäischen Wirtschaftsregierung.

Draghi als Regierungschef einer Europäischen Wirtschaftsregierung?

Indem er sich mit der EZB jetzt zuständig fühlt, wie die Tarifpolitik beispielsweise in Deutschland zu laufen habe, oder, auch wie die Haushaltspolitik der Mitgliedsländer zu gestalten sei, um Wachstum und Beschäftigung sicherzustellen, indem die öffentlichen Investitionen insbesondere in Infrastruktur erhöht werden sollen, beansprucht er implizit die Rolle des Vorsitzenden einer Wirtschaftsregierung für die Eurozone. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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