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Archive for 5. Oktober 2015

Greece Without Illusions

Posted by hkarner - 5. Oktober 2015

Again, although I am somewhat tired of this gentleman! (hfk)

Photo of Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis, a former finance minister of Greece, is a member of parliament for Syriza and Professor of Economics at the University of Athens.

OCT 5, 2015, Project Syndicate

ATHENS – “The costliest minor government reshuffle in Greece’s history.” That is at least one way to describe the result of the Greek general election on September 20. Indeed, with few exceptions, the same ministers have returned to the same offices as part of an administration backed by the same odd pair of parties (the left-wing Syriza and the smaller right-wing Independent Greeks), which received only a slightly lower share of the vote than the previous administration.

But the appearance of continuity is misleading. While the percentage of voters backing the government is relatively unchanged, 1.6 million of the 6.1 million Greeks who voted in the July 5 referendum on continued “extend-and-pretend” loans with stringent austerity strings attached did not turn out. The loss of so many voters in little more than two months reflects the electorate’s dramatic change in mood – from passionate to glum. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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TPP: USA einigt sich mit Pazifik-Staaten über Freihandel

Posted by hkarner - 5. Oktober 2015

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten  | 

Die USA und elf weitere Pazifik-Staaten haben sich auf das Freihandelsabkommen TPP geeinigt. Das Abkommen wird wegen der geheimen Verhandlungen scharf kritisiert. Es geht um ein Handelsvolumen, das 40 Prozent der Weltwirtschaft repräsentiert.

Vor allem Japan und die USA haben das Abkommen vorangetrieben. Die Verhandlungen dauerten fünf Jahre.

Zwölf Pazifik-Anrainer haben sich nach fünfjährigen Verhandlungen auf ein Freihandelsabkommen geeinigt. „Das ist ein großartiges Ergebnis“, sagte der japanische Ministerpräsident Shinzo Abe am Montag nach Abschluss der Trans-Pazifischen-Partnerschaft (TPP). „Und zwar nicht nur für Japan, sondern auch für die Zukunft des Asien-Pazifik-Raums.“ Allerdings ist das Abkommen zum Abbau von Handelshemmnissen und für gemeinsame Standards damit noch nicht ganz durchgebracht: Die Parlamente der jeweiligen Staaten müssen noch zustimmen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Enemies of the Sun

Posted by hkarner - 5. Oktober 2015

Date: 05-10-2015Krugman_BBF_2010_Shankbone cc

Source: Paul Krugman


Does anyone remember the Cheney energy task force? Early in the George W. Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney released a report that was widely derided as a document written by and for Big Energy — because it was. The administration fought tooth and nail to keep the process by which the report was produced secret, but the list of people the task force met was eventually leaked, and it was exactly what you’d expect: a who’s who of energy industry executives, with environmental groups getting a chance to make their case only after the work was essentially done.

But here’s the thing: by the standards of today’s Republican Party, the Cheney report was enlightened, even left-leaning. One whole chapter was devoted to conservation, another to renewable energy. By contrast, recent speeches by Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio — still the most likely Republican presidential nominees — barely address either topic. When it comes to energy policy, the G.O.P. has become fossilized. That is, it’s fossil fuels, and only fossil fuels, all the way.

And that’s a remarkable development, because while it’s true that fracking has led to a boom in U.S. gas and oil production, we’re also living in an era of spectacular progress in wind and solar energy. Why has the right become so hostile to technologies that look more and more like the wave of the future? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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New Emerging-Market Woes

Posted by hkarner - 5. Oktober 2015

Date: 05-10-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Companies’ U.S.-dollar debt could be hurt as commodities and currencies fall

One of the last havens in emerging markets is showing signs of strain.

Companies in emerging markets issued trillions of dollars of foreign-currency bonds during the decadelong commodity boom, and took advantage of low interest rates in the developed world following the 2008 financial crisis. Now, many investors fear the commodity bust will lead to a rise in defaults that could deepen economic slumps in many of these nations.

Until a few months ago, emerging-market corporate bonds were regarded as a haven amid the routs that had hit stocks and currencies in many developing countries because the bonds are typically issued in the U.S. dollar and by companies with robust growth and credit profiles.

But the sharp depreciations in emerging-market currencies and declines in commodity prices in recent weeks have triggered an exodus from emerging markets and fueled fears among investors over these companies’ ability to repay their dollar debt, especially when the Federal Reserve eventually begins to raise interest rates.
Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Is Putin Winning?

Posted by hkarner - 5. Oktober 2015

Date: 04-10-2015
Source: The New York Times

ONCE again, Vladimir Putin is on the move in ways the Obama White House did not anticipate. Once again, American foreign policy analysts can’t agree on whether he’s acting out of brilliance or desperation.

Is Putin’s bombing campaign in Syria a geopolitical masterstroke? Is he filling a regional vacuum, creating a new Baghdad-Tehran-Damascus-Moscow axis, demonstrating the impotence of American foreign policy? Is his strategy of provocation putting NATO on the ropes?

Or is Putin actually acting out of weakness, trying to save a deteriorating position? Is his Middle Eastern gambit, like his Ukrainian intervention, a flailing, foredoomed to regain ground that Russia has lost of late? Should we ignore his bluster and macho photo ops, take note of his slumping economy and sanctions-bitten inner circle, and assume that his Syria intervention will lead to quagmire and blowback? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Undeterred in Syria: How the West Lost Crimea—And Syria

Posted by hkarner - 5. Oktober 2015

Date: 04-10-2015
Source: Foreign Affairs

Russian President Vladimir Putin might have intervened in Syria promising to end the conflict there, but things on the ground are only going to get worse, and Putin’s drive to subvert Western interests will only increase.

Russia’s ominous military buildup in Syria represents the most significant projection of force beyond the territory of the former Soviet Union since the Cold War. In the past few days, Russia has initiated a series of airstrikes against Syrian regime opponents. It has begun operating advanced offensive hardware, including fixed wing Su-24, 25, and 27 fighter jets, attack helicopters, drone aircraft, main battle tanks, and SA-22 surface-to-air missile batteries from its new base in Latakia, which is in the backyard of Assad’s stronghold.

Although Russia uses the threat of the Islamic State (also called ISIS) as cover, the Russian campaign is in fact geared toward keeping the Bashar al-Assad regime in power in Syria, effectively closing the path toward negotiated resolution that had been opened by the Iran nuclear deal. Russia also intends to maintain a major forward operating base in the Middle East, which will allow it not only to play a role in determining the regime that follows, but also the ability to influence events in the region beyond the current conflict. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Bund will bei Volksbanken noch genießen

Posted by hkarner - 5. Oktober 2015

Renate Graber, 2. Oktober 2015, 07:00, derstandard.at

Der Restrukturierungsplan wurde nicht einstimmig angenommen. Die Republik will sich den Zugriff auf ihre 300 Millionen über ein Genussrecht an einer neuen Gesellschaft sichern

Wien – Der Umbau des Volksbankensektors im Sommer hat ziemlicher Kraftanstrengungen bedurft, größerer als bisher bekannt. Der Zustimmungsbeschluss im EZB-Aufsichtsgremium, dem Supervisory Board, fiel (anders als üblich) nicht einstimmig. Die im Gremium vertretenen nationalen Aufsichtschefs stimmten für den Restrukturierungsplan der Volksbanken, und damit gegen die EZB-Mitglieder.

Erst Ende Juni (die Abspaltung war für Anfang Juli geplant) waren die Streitpunkte mit EZB und EU-Kommission bereinigt. Die Deutsche Bank übernahm eine Garantie von rund 800 Millionen Euro für im Sektor gezeichnete ÖVAG-Anleihen. Und die Republik Österreich hatte einen Weg gefunden, ihr im Sektor steckendes Partizipationskapital von 300 Mio. Euro abzusichern. Per Einstieg in die Volksbank (VB) Wien-Baden plus Recht auf Ausschüttungen, das als Genussrecht konstruiert ist. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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