Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

The Next Energy Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 24. Juli 2017

Date: 23-07-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs By David G. Victor and Kassia Yanosek

The Promise and Peril of High-Tech Innovation

The technology revolution has transformed one industry after another, from retail to manufacturing to transportation. Its most far-reaching effects, however, may be playing out in the unlikeliest of places: the traditional industries of oil, gas, and electricity.

Over the past decade, innovation has upended the energy industry. First came the shale revolution. Starting around 2005, companies began to unlock massive new supplies of natural gas, and then oil, from shale basins, thanks to two new technologies: horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or fracking). Engineers worked out how to drill shafts vertically and then turn their drills sideways to travel along a shale seam; they then blasted the shale with high-pressure water, sand, and chemicals to pry open the rock and allow the hydrocarbons to flow. These technologies have helped drive oil prices down from an all-time high of $145 per barrel in July 2008 to less than a third of that today, and supply has become much more responsive to market conditions, undercutting the ability of OPEC, a group of the world’s major oil-exporting nations, to influence global oil prices. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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British politics has become dangerously bad-tempered

Posted by hkarner - 24. Juli 2017

Date: 23-07-2017
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

And if you don’t agree you can get stuffed

THE end of the current parliamentary session, on July 20th, is a good time to reflect on the mood of British politics. Several things catch the attention: anxiety about the future, exasperation at the childish antics of senior politicians, confusion about Brexit. But the most striking thing is anger. Politicians are angry with each other. The public is angry with politicians. The internet throbs with vitriol. American historians have dubbed the period after the war of 1812 “the era of good feelings”. The current period in British politics could be dubbed the era of bad feelings.

This week the cabinet infighting became so vicious that Theresa May, the prime minister, was forced to tell her ministers to shut up or ship out. Even more disturbing is a surge in violent threats. A year after the murder of Jo Cox, a Labour MP, by a far-right extremist, politicians of all stripes say that they fear for their safety, such is the intensity of the insults they face. The threats extend to journalists. The BBC was reportedly obliged to provide its political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, with personal security. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Emmanuel Macron is revitalising the European Union—and dividing it

Posted by hkarner - 24. Juli 2017

Date: 23-07-2017
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

Eurocrats should temper their new optimism with a bit of caution

LIFE comes at you fast in the European Union. Barely a year ago, with the wounds from the refugee crisis still gaping, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, could be heard warning that a British vote to quit the EU threatened to bring about the collapse of western civilisation. In half the countries on the continent, snarling populists eager for European disintegration were terrifying the pro-EU establishment.

Yet over the past few months, gloom has turned to sunshine. In June Mr Tusk declared that he had never felt so optimistic about the EU. Much of the credit goes to Emmanuel Macron. France’s newly minted president has lifted pro-Europeans’ spirits not only by winning election wrapped in the EU flag but by doing so in revolutionary fashion, emerging from nowhere to humble France’s old parties (as well as Marine Le Pen, the nationalist who stalked Eurocrats’ nightmares for months). Rarely do members of the European establishment get to feel like insurgents. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Shame of Le Monde diplomatique

Posted by hkarner - 23. Juli 2017

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Why Tesla Is Worth More Than GM

Posted by hkarner - 23. Juli 2017

Great article! (hfk)

Date: 22-07-2017
Source: Technology Review

James Surowiecki is the author of The Wisdom of Crowds and a senior story producer at Vice News Tonight

A few companies that master digital technologies are capturing huge chunks of the economy. Does this explain the persistence of slow growth?

The digital economy has transformed the way we communicate with each other; the way we consume information, products, and services; the way we entertain ourselves. It’s revolutionized seemingly non-digital industries—think of how different financial services, for instance, are today from what they were two decades ago—and investors expect it to soon transform others, which is why Tesla Motors is worth more than General Motors despite making a tiny fraction as many cars as GM makes and earning a tiny fraction of the revenue.

This phenomenon explains why the so-called Big Five of the digital economy—Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook—have, at various points over the last year, been the five most valuable companies in the world.

So you might say that the digital economy has lived up to the expectations people had for it 20 years ago, in the early days of the Web. In other important ways, however, its consequences have been smaller than you might think. U.S. GDP growth has, by historical standards, been disappointingly slow since the arrival of the Internet. Productivity growth, which many assumed would be invigorated by the impact of digital technologies, has been dismal for much of this century. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What Truman Can Teach Trump

Posted by hkarner - 23. Juli 2017

Date: 22-07-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The politically astute Cold Warrior knew how to navigate the tides of populism at home while maintaining America’s leadership abroad

By Walter Russell Mead

The foreign policy of the United States hasn’t seen a strategic crisis this profound since 1947, when President Harry Truman summoned the American people to fight Soviet ambitions in Europe. The Cuban missile crisis was more dramatic and the agony of Vietnam more wrenching, but since Truman, American presidents have believed that a global, outward-looking, order-building foreign policy was the necessary foundation for U.S. strategy and a peaceful, prosperous world.

No longer. President Donald Trump, backed by a substantial segment of the American public, has distanced himself from some of the key foreign-policy assumptions and policies of the postwar era. Longstanding pillars of American strategy—free trade, alliances in Europe and Asia, defense of human rights, commitment to international institutions and the rule of law—have come into question as the new president denounces today’s global architecture as a bad deal for the U.S. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China Plans to Use Artificial Intelligence to Gain Global Economic Dominance by 2030

Posted by hkarner - 23. Juli 2017

Date: 22-07-2017
Source: Technology Review

The country’s government has announced a scheme to surpass Western nations and shape the future of AI.

Though it is not yet as advanced as AlphaGo, Chinese researchers have developed their own Go-playing AI champion, called FineArt.

Artificial intelligence may have been invented in the West, but China seems determined to own its future. Its rising AI community just got a tremendous shot in the arm, in the form of a massive new government investment plan.

The State Council of the People’s Republic of China has announced a bold scheme (link in Chinese) meant to build an AI industry worth $150 billion, and to make China the global leader in the field by 2030. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Krise der Währungsunion: Europas Bankenreform stirbt in Italien

Posted by hkarner - 22. Juli 2017

Mit der staatlichen Rettung italienischer Banken zeigen Beamte und Minister, dass sie ihre eigenen Gesetze nicht ernstnehmen. Ein Kommentar.

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Sie haben es wieder getan. Mehr als 26 Milliarden Euro gab die italienische Regierung in den vergangen zwei Wochen frei, um die Verluste von drei überschuldeten Banken auszugleichen – Milliarden, die gerade die italienische Staatskasse sich nicht leisten kann. Schließlich steht sie selbst mit 2,2 Billionen Euro in der Kreide und überschreitet damit die erlaubte Verschuldungsgrenze der Euroländer um ganze 65 Prozent.

Doch merkwürdig: Die teuren Deals zu Lasten der Steuerzahler gingen fast reibungslos über die Bühne. Erst gaben die Aufseher der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB) grünes Licht. Dann genehmigte die EU-Kommission die teuren Subventionen, und am Montag erteilten auch die Finanzminister der Eurogruppe ihren Segen.

Und so liefern die Lenker der Europäischen Währungsunion erneut ein Lehrstück in Sachen Versagen und Vertuschung ab, wie es sich die Anti-Europäer in Italien und anderswo gar nicht besser hätten wünschen können. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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As long as the government stays in denial about Brexit’s drawbacks, the country is on course for disaster

Posted by hkarner - 22. Juli 2017

Date: 20-07-2017
Source: The Economist
Subject: Britain faces up to Brexit

CRISIS? What crisis? So many have been triggered in Britain by the vote a year ago to leave the European Union that it is hard to keep track. Just last month Theresa May was reduced from unassailable iron lady to just-about-managing minority prime minister. Her cabinet is engaged in open warfare as rivals position themselves to replace her. The Labour Party, which has been taken over by a hard-left admirer of Hugo Chávez, is ahead in the polls. Meanwhile a neurotic pro-Brexit press shrieks that anyone who voices doubts about the country’s direction is an unpatriotic traitor. Britain is having a very public nervous breakdown.

The chaos at the heart of government hardly bodes well for the exit negotiations with the EU, which turned to detailed matters this week and need to conclude in autumn 2018. But the day-to-day disorder masks a bigger problem. Despite the frantic political activity in Westminster—the briefing, back-stabbing and plotting—the country has made remarkably little progress since the referendum in deciding what form Brexit should take. All versions, however “hard” or “soft”, have drawbacks. Yet Britain’s leaders have scarcely acknowledged that exit will involve compromises, let alone how damaging they are likely to be. The longer they fail to face up to Brexit’s painful trade-offs, the more brutal will be the eventual reckoning with reality. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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When elites appear ineffective, voters give radicals a chance

Posted by hkarner - 22. Juli 2017

Date: 20-07-2017
Source: The Economist: Free exchange
Subject: The power of populists

WITH the defeat of Marine Le Pen in her bid for the French presidency, establishment politicians in rich countries breathed a sigh of relief. The fortunes of extremist candidates have faltered since the populist surge that put Donald Trump into the White House. But it is hard to be confident that this was populism’s high-water mark without a better understanding of what caused the swell in the first place. The most convincing explanations suggest that populist upswings are not in the past.

It is tempting to dismiss the rise of radicalism as an inevitable after-effect of the global financial crisis. Studies show that the vote shares of extreme parties, particularly on the right, tend to increase in the years after a crisis. The Depression spawned some of the 20th century’s most dangerous and radical populist movements. But the facts do not fit that story precisely. In Europe, for example, populist parties have steadily won more voters since the 1980s. What is more, populist rage is rarely focused on finance. Trade and immigration are more prominent targets. The clearest recent manifestations of the populist surge—Mr Trump’s victory and Brexit—have only an indirect link to the financial crisis. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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