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Archive for 19. Oktober 2015

Uns droht die Japanisierung der Wirtschaft

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2015

19.10.2015 | 18:10 | Josef Urschitz (Die Presse)urschitz

Mit Gelddrucken allein ist die Konjunktur nicht in Schwung zu bringen.

In den Wirren um die Flüchtlingskrise ist es in den vergangenen Tagen ein wenig untergegangen: Die Inflation ist weiter gesunken. Und zwar so gut wie überall in der industrialisierten Welt. In den USA ist sie unterdessen bei null angelangt, in der Schweiz herrscht sogar echte Deflation.

Das ist eine sehr betrübliche Nachricht, denn stark sinkende Inflationsraten, während die Notenbanken gleichzeitig über QE-Programme Fantastilliarden in die Märkte schütten, deuten ja darauf hin, dass die Weltwirtschaft in einem sehr schlechten Zustand ist. In einem viel schlechteren jedenfalls, als man uns weiszumachen versucht.

Dass die sogenannte Kerninflation (ohne Öl und Nahrungsmittel) ein bisschen höher liegt, ist übrigens keine Beruhigung: Der Ölpreis ist ja nicht zuletzt deshalb so niedrig, weil die schwache Weltwirtschaft eben für zu wenig Nachfrage sorgt. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Der Bank Austria droht die totale Demontage

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2015

19.10.2015 | 20:24 |  (Die Presse)

Die italienische Konzernmutter UniCredit überlegt einen Verkauf des Privatkundengeschäfts an die Bawag. Das Osteuropageschäft könnte 2016 nach Italien abwandern.

Wien. Wenn sich die gerüchteweise kolportierten Umstrukturierungspläne der Konzernmutter UniCredit bewahrheiten, dann wird die derzeit noch größte österreichische Bank bald nur noch ein Fragment sein: Das Retailbanking (also das Geschäft mit Privat- und kleineren Firmenkunden) der Bank Austria könnte an die Bawag verkauft werden, das Osteuropageschäft soll 2016, nach Ablauf des so genannten Vertrags der Regionen, direkt zur Konzernmutter nach Italien wandern. Die Bank Austria würde dann nur noch aus dem Private Banking für vermögende Privatkunden und dem Corporate Investment Banking bestehen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Labour versus leisure preferences and employment in Europe

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2015

Simone Moriconi, Giovanni Peri 19 October 2015, voxeu

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The Trouble With Financial Bubbles

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2015

Photo of Howard Davies

Howard Davies

Howard Davies, the first chairman of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority (1997-2003), is Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland. He was Director of the London School of Economics (2003-11) and served as Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry.

OCT 19, 2015, Project Syndicate

LONDON – Very soon after the magnitude of the 2008 financial crisis became clear, a lively debate began about whether central banks and regulators could – and should – have done more to head it off. The traditional view, notably shared by former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, is that any attempt to prick financial bubbles in advance is doomed to failure. The most central banks can do is to clean up the mess.

Bubble-pricking may indeed choke off growth unnecessarily – and at high social cost. But there is a counter-argument. Economists at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) have maintained that the costs of the crisis were so large, and the cleanup so long, that we should surely now look for ways to act pre-emptively when we again see a dangerous build-up of liquidity and credit. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Disintegration of Europe

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2015

Photo of Philippe Legrain

Philippe Legrain

Philippe Legrain, a former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission, is a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics’ European Institute and the author of European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right.

OCT 19, 2015, Project Syndicate

LONDON – If a clear signal was needed that the European Union is falling apart at an alarming rate, Hungary’s construction of razor-wire fences along the border with its fellow EU member Croatia is it. The crisis in the eurozone has, of course, fragmented financial flows, caused economies to diverge, eroded political support for EU institutions, and set Europeans against one another. Now, as governments erect barriers and reinstate border controls, the refugee crisis is disrupting flows of people and gumming up trade. And, as the EU unravels, the risk of Britain voting to leave is rising.

It is often argued that the EU progresses through crises, because they focus minds on the overwhelming need for further integration. But such breakthroughs require at least four ingredients: a correct shared understanding of the problem, agreement on an effective way forward, willingness to pool more sovereignty, and political leaders able to drive change forward. All four are now lacking. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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We’re Under Water‘: Germany Shows Signs of Strain from Mass of Refugees

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2015

Date: 19-10-2015
Source: DER SPIEGEL

The German states have reported some 409,000 new arrivals between Sept. 5 and Oct. 15 — more than ever before in a comparable time period.

The unceasing influx of refugees is creating tremendous uncertainty in Germany. Many towns and cities are calling for help and the government appears to be rudderless. Pressure is mounting for Chancellor Angela Merkel to act.

The road to the reception camp in Hesepe has become something of a refugees‘ avenue. Small groups of young men wander along the sidewalk. A family from Syria schleps a clutch of shopping bags towards the gate. A Sudanese man snakes along the road on his bicycle. Most people don’t speak a word of German, just a little fragmentary English, but when they see locals, they offer a friendly wave and call out, „Hello!“

The main road „is like a pedestrian shopping zone,“ says one resident, „except without the stores.“ Red-brick houses with pretty gardens line both sides of the street, and Kathrin and Ralf Meyer are standing outside theirs. „It’s gotten a bit too much for us,“ says the 31-year-old mother of three. „Too much noise, too many refugees, too much garbage.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Something Not Rotten in Denmark

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2015

Date: 19-10-2015Krugman_BBF_2010_Shankbone cc

Source: The New York Times Paul Krugman

No doubt surprising many of the people watching the Democratic presidential debate, Bernie Sanders cited Denmark as a role model for how to help working people. Hillary Clinton demurred slightly, declaring that “we are not Denmark,” but agreed that Denmark is an inspiring example.

Such an exchange would have been inconceivable among Republicans, who don’t seem able to talk about European welfare states without adding the word “collapsing.” Basically, on Planet G.O.P. all of Europe is just a bigger version of Greece.

But how great are the Danes, really?

The answer is that the Danes get a lot of things right, and in so doing refute just about everything U.S. conservatives say about economics. And we can also learn a lot from the things Denmark has gotten wrong. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe Considers Giving a Harder Edge to Its Soft Power

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2015

Date: 18-10-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal By STEPHEN FIDLER

With migration tearing at the EU’s cohesion, politicians are linking foreign policy to strategic interests rather than democracy and human rights

Will 2015 be seen as the year that the European diplomacy got realpolitik?
With migration tearing at the cohesion of the European Union, more politicians have started to see the bloc’s foreign policy as a way to secure Europe’s strategic interests, shifting away from the EU’s traditional focus on democracy and human rights.

ANALYSIS

Mass migration has quickly acquired the characteristics of a major strategic challenge. Governments have taken fright at the fallout from the more than 700,000 people who have arrived in the EU so far this year from the Middle East and elsewhere. Across the continent, nationalist anti-immigration parties have been gaining ground and challenging political establishments.

As they cast around for solutions to the immigration crisis, politicians have found that negotiations over how to redistribute responsibilities inside the bloc—in particular, relocating migrants into other countries—have become toxic. They are likely to find it easier to agree on action outside the bloc to discourage refugees from coming to Europe. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Strange Bedfellows: Europe’s Innovations, China’s Capital

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2015

By and on October 16, 2015  RGE EconoMonitor

In March 2015, the China-led International University Innovation Alliance Start-up Competition UK held its inaugural session in London, with UK startups pitching innovations specifically to Chinese investors.[1] Sun Wansong, Deputy Director of China’s Investment Promotion Agency of Ministry of Commerce, explained in his opening speech that China is proactively turning itself from the “world’s factory” into a creator of innovation-driven ideas.[2] Even though China still accounts for making about 80% of the world’s air conditioners, 70% of mobile phones, and 60% of shoes, the country has been gradually shifting away from the role of manufacturing nation.[3] This is perhaps not surprising since labour cost has been rising continuously in China and companies are reallocating their production facilities to neighbouring Indonesia and Vietnam, whose labour wages are only about 31% and 24%, respectively, of that of China.[4] While other Asian countries are busy competing for China’s manufacturing businesses, China has set itself on the path to engage higher value activities that offer better profit margin, including deploying robotics to increase efficiency and reduce dependency on cheap labor.[5]

However, engaging higher value activities requires more than just lifting productivity; it also has to take on more innovations. While this shift in focus from manufacturing to innovation has been a goal of China’s for some time now, the outward pursuit of innovation through capital investment is a new strategy.[6] Previous efforts to invest capital in R&D and promote innovation internally have not translated into meaningful innovation. For example, although China has now surpassed the United States in patent applications, the value of these patents is questionable. For one, motivation to apply for patents increased after 2009 due to new application subsidies provided by China’s Ministry of Finance.[7] Even more telling, however, despite the growth in filings, is the fact that less than 5% of Chinese patent holders sought international patent protection.[8] Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Does foreign aid affect growth?

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2015

Axel Dreher, Vera Eichenauer, Kai Gehring, Sarah Langlotz, Steffen Lohmann 18 October 2015, voxeu

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