Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

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Archive for 7. April 2012

Help Wanted: The Future of Work in Advanced Economies

Posted by hkarner - 7. April 2012

 Date: 06-04-2012
Source: McKinsey Global Institute   +pdf

With 40 million workers unemployed in the world’s most developed economies, many look to revival in the labor market. The McKinsey Global Institute cautions that progress will not come immediately and points to five factors trends that are stumbling blocks to reducing unemployment: Technology is lowering the need for production and routine transaction workers. Employers cannot fill positions because workers are not trained in needed skills. Jobs are available in regions where workers are not plentiful and workers populate areas where jobs are scarce. Age, child care and lack of experience hamper some workers, including the young, those older than 55 and parents. Finally, declining income for low-income households and wage inequality influences living standards and social stability, all of which affect job creation. The report advises on steps that government, companies and job hunters can take on education, critical thinking and innovation. – YaleGlobal Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Not Enough Inflation

Posted by hkarner - 7. April 2012

Date: 06-04-2012

A few days ago, Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, spoke out in defense of his successor. Attacks on Ben Bernanke by Republicans, he told The Financial Times, are “wholly inappropriate and destructive.” He’s right about that — which makes this one of the very few things the ex-maestro has gotten right in the past few years.

But why are the attacks on Mr. Bernanke so destructive? After all, nobody in America is or should be immune from criticism, least of all those — like the chairman of the Fed — who, by the nature of their positions, have immense power to make our lives better or worse. And while there is an unmistakable thuggishness to the campaign against the Fed, most famously Rick Perry’s warning that the Fed chairman would be treated “pretty ugly” if he visited Texas, surely the bad manners of the critics aren’t the most important issue.

No, the real reason the attacks on Mr. Bernanke from the right are so destructive is that they’re an effort to bully the Fed into doing exactly the wrong thing. The attackers want the Fed to slam on the brakes when it should be stepping on the gas; they want the Fed to choke off recovery when it should be doing much more to accelerate recovery. Fundamentally, the right wants the Fed to obsess over inflation, when the truth is that we’d be better off if the Fed paid less attention to inflation and more attention to unemployment. Indeed, a bit more inflation would be a good thing, not a bad thing. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Spain’s Death Spiral and the Hypocrisy of the Euro

Posted by hkarner - 7. April 2012

Date: 06-04-2012

Anyone out there who thinks the euro zone debt crisis is over – and you know who you are – should take a good look at what’s going on in Spain. If Italy represented the biggest threat to the euro in 2011, then Spain will be the big story of 2012. Whatever numbers you look at, Spain is in a death spiral, a self-defeating circle of recession and austerity that is sending one of Europe’s most important members into an economic dark ages. Spain today represents all of the failings of the monetary union, from its misconceived inception to its misguided approach to the debt crisis.

Here’s just a brief summary of the ugly statistics: (1) The government in Madrid expects the economy to shrink by 1.7% in 2012 – its third contraction in four years. (2) Unemployment continues to rise. It is now more than 23%, and youth unemployment is above a staggering 50%. (3) Housing prices are down 22% from their peak, and are likely to continue to drop, perhaps by 20% or more. This puts extreme pressure on the balance sheets of an already shaky banking sector. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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