Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

What the Price of Iberian Ham Tells Us About Spain’s Economy

Posted by hkarner - 20. Februar 2018

Date: 19-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Spaniards are shaking off one of the country’s worst downturns in decades and splurging on goods recently considered extravagant

RONDA, Spain—The latest sign of Spain’s bullish economic recovery?
A surge in ham prices that some are calling a bubble.

Cheered by strong economic growth, Spaniards are shaking off one of the country’s worst downturns in decades and splurging on goods recently considered extravagant. That includes the ultimate Spanish gastronomic luxury: free-range, acorn-fed Iberian ham.

On a recent morning, José Manuel Jiménez Laguna, a pig broker, fielded calls from farmers eager to buy Iberian piglets at prices that are 40% higher than a year ago. A 50-pound, purebred Iberian piglet, which produces high-quality jamón ibérico de bellota, sells on average for around €115 ($143) vs. around €83 at the same time last year.

Iberian pigs that graze on acorns produce meat that has a special marbling and taste, which fetches a higher price.

What the Price of Iberian Ham Tells Us About Spain’s Economy

“The prices are astronomical!” Mr. Jiménez Laguna told a rancher over the phone while driving between farms near Ronda in southern Spain. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Advertisements

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , | Leave a Comment »

Infrastructure Plan Falls Flat for Investors

Posted by hkarner - 20. Februar 2018

Date: 19-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan has left investors in infrastructure firms unimpressed

The nonfederal to federal funding ratio of President Donald Trump’s Incentives Program is far above the one typical of large projects such as the new Tappan Zee Bridge in New York.

Maybe it should be called “Infrastructure Weak.”

In the days following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, investors took President-elect Donald Trump at his word that he would open the floodgates of federal spending and deregulation to fix America’s creaking transport, energy and water systems. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Promise of Telemedicine

Posted by hkarner - 20. Februar 2018

Koku Awoonor-Williams

Koku Awoonor-Williams is Director of the Policy, Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Division of the Ghana Health Service.

Ann Aerts is Head of the Novartis Foundation.

In developing countries, insufficient access to quality medical care undermines health outcomes and disadvantages entire generations. But as the successful implementation of a national telemedicine program in Ghana shows, well-planned digital solutions can help bring health coverage to those on the medical margins.

ACCRA/BASEL – In low- and middle-income countries, insufficient access to medical care undermines health outcomes and disadvantages entire generations. But, in some of the world’s hardest-to-reach communities, technology is revolutionizing patients’ engagement with modern medicine. In a remote corner of Ghana, one “telemedicine” program illustrates just how effective digital care can be when coverage is extended to those on the medical margins.

In 2011, our organizations launched Ghana’s first telemedicine pilot program, with the goal of creating a model for national expansion. Starting in the country’s Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region, about 330 kilometers (200 miles) northwest of the capital, Accra, we sought to improve the quality of care in isolated areas, reduce transport times to hospitals, and lower patient costs. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Verantwortungslose EZB

Posted by hkarner - 20. Februar 2018

Jürgen Stark

Jürgen Stark is a former Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank and former Deputy Governor of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

FRANKFURT – Der jüngste Flash-Crash des Dow Jones Aktien-Index um fast 1.600 Punkte zeigt, wie stark die Finanzmärkte und Wirtschafts-Akteure von der Politik der Zentralbanken abhängig geworden sind. Durch die niedrigen Zinsen und die mengenmäßige Lockerung der Geldpolitik wurden Anreize gesetzt, immer höhere Risiken einzugehen, die nicht adäquat bepreist sind. Je länger diese Politiken fortgesetzt werden, umso größer wird die Bedrohung für die globale Finanzstabilität.

Tatsache ist, dass die ultra-lockere Geldpolitik schon seit langer Zeit nicht mehr angemessen ist. Die Weltwirtschaft, insbesondere die fortgeschrittenen Volkswirtschaften, erfahren eine zunehmend stärkere wirtschaftliche Erholung. Nach dem aktuellen Wirtschaftlichen Ausblick des Internationalen Währungsfonds wird sich das wirtschaftliche Wachstum in den nächsten Quartalen insbesondere in den USA und dem Euro-Raum fortsetzen.

Dennoch befürchten internationale Institutionen, einschließlich des IWF, abrupte Marktkorrekturen, die sich normalerweise vollziehen, wenn sich die Inflations- oder Zinserwartungen ändern. Sie plädieren daher für einen sehr langsamen Ausstieg aus der derzeitigen Geldpolitik. So verzögern die Zentralbanken die Normalisierung der Geldpolitik immer mehr mit der Folge, dass die Vermögenspreise weiter gestiegen und dramatische Marktverzerrungen entstanden sind, die Korrekturen unvermeidlich machen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Geldwaschmaschine Lettland: Was hinter den Affären steckt

Posted by hkarner - 19. Februar 2018

Ein Notenbankgouverneur unter Korruptionsverdacht, ein Geldhaus wegen Sanktionsbruch unter Quarantäne: Was ist da los in Riga?

Wien/Riga. Das hat es noch nie gegeben: Ein amtierender Gouverneur einer Notenbank der Eurozone wird festgenommen, weil man ihn der Korruption verdächtigt. So geschehen am Wochenende in Lettland. Am Montag meldeten die Ermittler: Ilmārs Rimšēvičs soll mindestens 100.000 Euro an Schmiergeld gefordert haben. Nach Zahlung einer Kaution in gleicher Höhe setzte man den dienstältesten Notenbankchef des Währungsraums vorerst wieder auf freien Fuß. Er beteuert seine Unschuld – und will nicht weichen. Dabei hatten der Premier und mehrere Minister den 52-Jährigen zum Rücktritt gedrängt, um den Imageschaden für den baltischen Kleinstaat zu begrenzen. Aber so ist das eben mit der Unabhängigkeit der Geldpolitik: Ihre Protagonisten wird man nicht so leicht los. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

(Not only American) banks pay depositors less than online accounts

Posted by hkarner - 19. Februar 2018

Date: 18-02-2018
Source: The Economist

They seem to be relying on the power of inertia to retain their customers—a risky strategy

EVERYONE knows that interest rates are rising—except, perhaps, one group: American savers who have put $12trn in bank accounts. They have seen the government’s deposit guarantee, purportedly designed to protect them, become a ticket for banks to receive free money. For evidence, look no further than the ubiquitous bank branches dotting America’s high streets.

Those seeking a home for their money find that, unlike petrol stations or grocers, banks are not required to post their most important price, the interest rate. Ask and you will be referred to a specialised member of staff. After a wait, numbers are typed into a computer, followed by pauses for thought, a bit of throat clearing and, often, comments that the current rates on offer may not exceed inflation. Then come hints, doubtless filtered through a compliance department, of the higher returns available on the bank’s investment offerings, which, of course, carry risks (and fees). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Germany’s Coffers Are Overflowing, But No One Is Talking About Tax Cuts

Posted by hkarner - 19. Februar 2018

Date: 18-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Despite huge government surpluses and comparatively low debt, lowering taxes is off the table

The German government never had so much money or so many ideas about how to spend it. The one thing that isn’t being discussed is giving it back to taxpayers.

Tax cuts—a fixture of the political debate in the U.S., where the government hasn’t balanced its books in decades—are barely on the agenda here, even though Germany’s next government is expected to post a consolidated budget surplus of roughly €50 billion ($62 billion) between now and 2021, according to finance ministry calculations.

“It is sort of a through-the-looking-glass world,” said John Kornblum, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany, of the two countries’ differing attitudes. “Traditionally Germans have been in favor of hoarding resources rather than lowering government expenditures.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

How IT Threatens Democracy

Posted by hkarner - 19. Februar 2018

Kofi A. Annan

Kofi A. Annan, a former secretary-general of the United Nations and Nobel Peace laureate, is Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, which mobilizes political will to overcome threats to peace, development, and human rights. He is also Chair of the Elders and of the Africa Progress Panel.

Social media could be just the start of a slippery slope leading to an Orwellian world controlled by Big Data Brother, accelerated by convergence with the sensors in our devices and rapid advances in artificial intelligence. Some authoritarian regimes are already marshaling these developments to exercise control on an unprecedented scale.

MUNICH – The Internet and social media were once hailed for creating new opportunities to spread democracy and freedom. And Twitter, Facebook, and other social media did indeed play a key role in popular uprisings in Iran in 2009, in the Arab world in 2011, and in Ukraine in 2013-2014. Back then, the tweet did at times seem mightier than the sword.

But authoritarian regimes soon began cracking down on Internet freedom. They feared the brave new digital world, because it was beyond the reach of their analogue security establishments. Their fears proved unfounded. In the event, most social media-enabled popular uprisings failed for want of effective leadership, and traditional political and military organizations retained the upper hand. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , | Leave a Comment »

In the future we won’t edit genomes—we’ll just print out new ones

Posted by hkarner - 18. Februar 2018

Date: 17-02-2018
Source: Technology Review

Why redesigning the humble yeast could kick off the next industrial revolution.

Cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, better known as baker’s yeast.

At least since thirsty Sumerians began brewing beer thousands of years ago, Homo sapiens has had a tight relationship with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the unicellular fungus better known as brewer’s yeast. Through fermentation, humans were able to harness a microscopic species for our own ends. These days yeast cells produce ethanol and insulin and are the workhorse of science labs.

That doesn’t mean S. cerevisiae can’t be further improved—at least not if Jef Boeke has his way. The director of the Institute for Systems Genetics at New York University’s Langone Health, Boeke is leading an international team of hundreds dedicated to synthesizing the 12.5 million genetic letters that make up a yeast’s cells genome.

In practice, that means gradually replacing each yeast chromosome—there are 16 of them—with DNA fabricated on stove-size chemical synthesizers. As they go, Boeke and collaborators at nearly a dozen institutions are streamlining the yeast genome and putting in back doors to let researchers shuffle its genes at will. In the end, the synthetic yeast—called Sc2.0—will be fully customizable.

“Over the next 10 years synthetic biology is going to be producing all kinds of compounds and materials with microorganisms,” says Boeke. “We hope that our yeast is going to play a big role in that.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , | Leave a Comment »

The Robots Are Coming for Garment Workers. That’s Good for the U.S., Bad for Poor Countries

Posted by hkarner - 18. Februar 2018

Date: 17-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Automation is reaching into trades that once seemed immune, transforming sweatshops in places like Bangladesh and bringing production back to America

The Mohammadi Group’s automated knitting machines leave little for humans to do.

DHAKA—At the Mohammadi Fashion Sweaters Ltd. factory in Bangladesh’s capital, a few dozen workers stand watching as 173 German-made machines knit black sweaters for overseas buyers. Occasionally the workers step in to program designs or clean the machines, but otherwise there is little for humans to do.

It’s a big change from a few years ago, when hundreds of employees could be found standing over manual knitting stations for up to 10 hours a day. Mohammadi’s owners began phasing out such work in 2012, and by last year, the knitting process was fully automated. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

Posted in Artikel | Verschlagwortet mit: , , , , | Leave a Comment »