Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Why is Macron abolishing France’s school for the political class?

Posted by hkarner - 15. April 2021

Date: 14‑04‑2021

Source: The Guardian Philippe Marlière

With Marine Le Pen rising in the polls, the president has turned his attention to the ENA, a symbol of inequality

‘Emmanuel Macron does not want to dispense with the idea of an elite school altogether but to build something that allegedly works better.’

On Thursday 8 April, Emmanuel Macron announced the closure of the prestigious École Nationale d’Administration, France’s elite school for turning out senior civil servants and politicians. The president’s announcement sounded familiar – he had already pledged to reform the ENA, a school renowned for its conservatism and aversion to change, back in 2019 – but this time it’s final: Macron said that the time had come to abolish an institution that is widely regarded as a symbol of elitism and inequality. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China Still Needs Expansionary Economic Policy

Posted by hkarner - 15. April 2021

Date: 14‑04‑2021

Source: Project Syndicate by Yu Yongding

Yu Yongding, a former president of the China Society of World Economics and director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, served on the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China from 2004 to 2006. 

To consolidate its post‑pandemic growth momentum in 2021, China should not be in a rush to exit from expansionary fiscal and monetary policy. The government may have to issue more bonds than planned, and the People’s Bank of China may need to implement quantitative easing to facilitate this.

BEIJING – The Chinese economy grew by 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, providing a strong indication that it has recovered from the COVID‑19 shock. The market consensus is that, due to base effects, GDP growth shot up to more than 18% year on year in the first quarter of 2021, and will fall steadily in the remaining three quarters of the year before finally stabilizing.

Addressing this year’s meeting of the National People’s Congress last month, Prime Minister Li Keqiang announced that China’s growth target for 2021 is “above 6%.” While the economy’s growth momentum looks strong at the moment, there are signs that China may risk tightening fiscal and monetary policy too soon. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Dangers of Data‑Based Certainty

Posted by hkarner - 15. April 2021

Date: 14‑04‑2021

Source: Project Syndicate by Diane Coyle

Diane Coyle, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, is the author, most recently, of Markets, State, and People: Economics for Public Policy. 

Economists are rushing to embrace the use of big data in their research, while many policymakers think artificial intelligence offers scope for greater cost‑effectiveness and better policy outcomes. But before we entrust more decisions to data‑based machine‑learning and AI systems, we must be clear about the limitations of the data.

CAMBRIDGE – Friends of mine who work in the arts and humanities have started doing something unusual, at least for them: poring over data. This is due to the pandemic, of course. Every day, they check COVID‑19 case numbers, how slowly or quickly the R factor is declining, and how many people in our area got vaccinated the day before.

Meanwhile, social media are full of claims and counterclaims about all manner of other data. Is global poverty declining or increasing? What is the real level of US unemployment? The scrutiny, sometimes leading to tetchy arguments, results from people’s desire to cite – or challenge – the authority of data to support their position or worldview. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Valuing Resilience After the Pandemic

Posted by hkarner - 14. April 2021

   Date: 14‑04‑2021

Source: Project Syndicate by Carl Folke

Carl Folke, Director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, is Founder and Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University. 

The world’s failure to value resilience means that shocks this century will hit harder, be more disruptive, and have longer‑lasting impacts. Building resilience requires promoting greater income equality and technological and social innovations that support a sustainable future.

STOCKHOLM – If the COVID‑19 pandemic has taught the world one thing, it is the high price we pay – in lost lives, damaged economies, and wasted human potential – when we undervalue resilience. By applying this lesson, we can bolster our ability to weather future shocks.

Over the last few centuries, societies have found a simple formula for progress and prosperity: economic growth. A steady increase in output and productivity is seemingly the panacea for all troubles, including food insecurity, poverty, and disease. But have we now reached a point where the strategy of growth is becoming a trap, generating new problems on an ever‑larger scale? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China launches hotline to report ‘illegal’ comments about Communist party

Posted by hkarner - 13. April 2021

Date: 12‑04‑2021

Source: The Guardian

Public encouraged to report internet users who cast doubt on party’s version of history ahead of its 100th anniversary

hina’s internet is tightly censored and most foreign social media networks, search engines and news outlets are banned.

China’s cyber regulator has launched a hotline to report online criticism of the ruling Communist party and its history, vowing to crack down on “historical nihilists” ahead of the party’s 100th anniversary in July.

The tip line allows people to report fellow internet users who “distort” the party’s history, attack its leadership and policies, defame national heroes and “deny the excellence of advanced socialist culture” online, said a notice posted by an arm of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on Friday.

“Some with ulterior motives … have been spreading historical nihilistic misrepresentations online, maliciously distorting, denigrating and negating the history of the party,” said the notice.

“We hope that the majority of internet users will actively play their part in supervising society … and enthusiastically report harmful information,” it said.

“Historical nihilism” is a phrase used in China to describe public doubt and scepticism over the Chinese Communist party’s description of past events.

China’s internet is tightly censored and most foreign social media networks, search engines and news outlets are banned in the country.

Internet authorities often increase censorship and online supervision ahead of major events including historical anniversaries, political meetings and sports events.

The notice did not specify what punishments would be handed to those who are reported through the hotline, but netizens in China already face jail time and other legal punishments for posting content that is critical of the county’s leadership, policies and history. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The hidden costs of corporate social responsibility

Posted by hkarner - 12. April 2021

Guglielmo Briscese, Nick Feltovich, Robert Slonim 03 April 2021, vox.eu

Post-doctoral fellow, at the University of Chicago, Poverty Lab, Harris School of Public Policy

Professor of Economics, Monash University

Professor of Economics, University of Sydney

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A Pep Talk from Steven Pinker

Posted by hkarner - 12. April 2021

Date: 11‑04‑2021

Source: Scientific American By John Horgan

Despite what we see in the headlines, the data‑driven optimist thinks we should be grateful to live in the best era in humanity’s long, troubled history .

Steven Pinker irks many of his fellow intellectuals. I’ve knocked him myself for his views on postmodernism and the origins of war, and he’s knocked me back. I am nonetheless a longtime admirer of the psychology professor turned megapundit, who packages big ideas and voluminous research in lucid, lively prose. Moreover, although he can be combative on the page, in person he’s a nice guy, and that matters to me.

And so, on a gloomy day just before Christmas, when I was casting about for someone to give my school a pep talk, Pinker immediately came to mind. In the latest of his many bestsellers, Enlightenment Now, Pinker argues that, contrary to what we might infer from daily headlines, things are getting better and better; we should be grateful to live in our era, the best (aside from recent setbacks) in our long, troubled history. This, I thought, is just the upbeat message that my students and colleagues need to hear in this plague‑wracked season.

Some of my egghead friends groaned. They griped about Pinker’s overreliance on statistics, his fondness for capitalism, his tendency to trace everything good—and nothing bad—back to white, European males associated with the Enlightenment, whatever that is. Not only do they reject but they seem offended by his claim that humanity has advanced morally as well as materially over the past few centuries. They are what Pinker calls progressives who don’t believe in progress. Of course, few of my friends have actually read Pinker.

A philosopher whom I urged to check out Enlightenment Now said he would do so only if I put a gun to his head, and probably not even then. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The consequences of Boris Johnson’s careless Brexit are playing out in Belfast

Posted by hkarner - 11. April 2021

Date: 10‑04‑2021

Source: The Guardian Jonathan Freedland

This week’s violence is an ominous sign that leaving the EU took a wrecking ball to the Good Friday agreement

Police use water cannon during protests in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 8 April 2021.

The most powerful arguments against Brexit were never about trade and tariffs. They were about peace and war, about life and death. One was a general argument centred on the true, founding purpose of the European Union: to ensure that a continent mired in blood for centuries would not descend into conflict again. The other was more specific, peculiar to these islands: that shared membership of the EU had proved to be the key that unlocked peace in Northern Ireland after three decades of murderous pain.

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Tiny Housing Bubbles

Posted by hkarner - 10. April 2021

Recently I searched the Thoughts from the Frontline archives to see how often I used the word “bubble.” It was more than I thought, and I wasn’t quoting Don Ho. The bubbles I talked about were anything but tiny. Most of them subsequently popped, too.

For most people, buying a home is the biggest single purchase they ever make. It continues to represent the largest part of their net worth. It is also the most leverage most people ever take on. The risk of loss is very high if you have little equity in the home and need to sell it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The hydrogen revolution in the skies

Posted by hkarner - 9. April 2021

Date: 08‑04‑2021

Source: BBC By Caspar Henderson

In 2020, the first test flight of a commercial‑scale hydrogen‑powered plane was successful

A record‑breaking commercial‑scale hydrogen plane has taken off in the UK, with more set to join it soon. How far can such planes go in cutting the aviation industry’s emissions?

As the plane rose from the runway for what was to prove a smooth and uneventful flight, the team breathed a sigh of relief. The six‑seater Piper M‑Class had been fitted out at a research and development hub at Cranfield airport in the UK to run on hydrogen, and on this maiden flight in the late summer of 2020 everything worked perfectly. With that flight, ZeroAvia, the California‑based start‑up that had developed the aircraft with partners in Britain and elsewhere, was ready to move to the next stage in the journey towards zero carbon aviation.

A catchphrase for the transition to a low or zero carbon economy is „electrify everything“ – that is, create a world in which most human activities, from manufacturing and construction to transport and tourism, run on electricity generated from low or zero carbon sources such as wind, solar and perhaps nuclear power. But there is a problem: some sectors look to be hard if not impossible to electrify in the near and medium term, and aviation is, perhaps, foremost among them.

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