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Archive for 28. Juli 2016

Advice for the British and German leaders on navigating the Brexit mess

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2016

Date: 28-07-2016
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne
Subject: Correspondence club

May Merkel reading lettersDEAR THERESA,

At your first cabinet meeting you said that your government would not be “defined by Brexit”. Good luck with that. Britain’s tortured relationship with the European Union has felled most recent Conservative prime ministers, and none faced a task remotely as daunting as the one that confronts you. Disentangling Britain from the EU will be like extracting one glue-slathered octopus from a basket of 27 other ones. It could go horribly wrong.

To avoid that, Charlemagne offers some unsolicited advice. You begin with a reservoir of relief (not goodwill, mind) among your fellow European leaders. Disaster would now be looming had an outlandish Brexiteer such as Boris Johnson muscled his way into Downing Street. You earned respect in Brussels during your six years as home secretary. But that also means that while your EU counterparts may ignore the boosterish bluster emitted by some of your more excitable cabinet colleagues (such as Liam Fox, the new trade secretary), they will expect better from you. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Neuer Unicredit-Chef schielt auf Tafelsilber

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2016

28. Juli 2016, 10:34  derstandard.at

Konzernchef Mustier hält die Probleme des italienischen Bankensystems für lösbar

Mailand – Unicredit-Chef Jean Pierre Mustier schließt den Verkauf weiterer Beteiligungen zur Stärkung der Kapitaldecke nicht aus. „Wir werden jede Gelegenheit zur Wertschaffung prüfen. Mit dem Verkauf der Anteile an Pekao und Fineco, sowie mit der Umstrukturierung des Managements wollen wir wirklich die Dinge ändern“, sagte der CEO dem „Corriere della Sera“ vom Donnerstag. In Bezug auf die bis Jahresende geplante die Revision des strategischen Plans sagte Mustier: „Wir wollen rasch handeln, ohne jedoch hastig zu sein. Wir überprüfen die Lage tiefgründig. Wir wollen die Kapitaldecke stärken. Wir arbeiten daran und werden dann den Aktionären einen Vorschlag unterbreiten“, sagte der Franzose. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Wir erleben eine Krise der Politik, nicht eine der Banken

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2016

28.07.2016 | 18:28 | Josef Urschitz (Die Presse)urschitz

Der Bankenstresstest offenbart eine der größten Schwächen der europäischen Geldbranche: Die Konservierung schlechter Strukturen.

Der europäische Bankenstresstest, dessen Ergebnis heute, Freitag, am späten Abend veröffentlicht wird, hat im Vorfeld schon für beträchtliche Nervosität auf den Finanzmärkten gesorgt. Wohl zu Recht, denn wenn sich Großinstitute wie die Deutsche Bank, deren Bilanzsumme annähernd fünfmal so hoch wie das österreichische Bruttoinlandsprodukt ist, oder die französischen Großbanken BNP Paribas und Crédit Agricole am unteren Ende der Stressresistenz wiederfinden, dann hat ganz Europa ein Problem. Solche Kaliber lassen sich im Ernstfall nicht einfach auffangen – und sie haben dann durchaus das Zeug, ganze Volkswirtschaften mit sich zu reißen.

Man muss sich zwar nicht zu Tode fürchten: Es gibt in Europa zurzeit (außer in Italien) keine wirkliche Bankenkrise. Aber eine solche könnte im Fall einer Rezession, wie sie im Stresstest simuliert wird, sehr schnell ausbrechen. Dass dann gerade die ganz Großen als Erste zu Wackelkandidaten zu mutieren drohen, ist ein beunruhigendes Szenario. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Bei einer Rezession droht die nächste Bankenkrise

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2016

28.07.2016 | 17:42 |  (Die Presse)

Banken-Stresstest. Nicht nur italienische Geldinstitute, auch deutsche und französische Großbanken stecken in Problemen. Der Bankensektor ist noch nicht saniert, bei Rezession droht die nächste Krise.

Wien. Einige europäische Großbanken könnten in einer Rezession mangels ausreichendem Kapitals gefährlich zu schlingern beginnen. In Österreich ist zumindest die Erste Group relativ gut aufgestellt, den heimischen Banken drohen aber überproportionale Risken aus Osteuropa.
Das ist, kurz zusammengefasst, das Ergebnis des mit Spannung erwarteten jüngsten europäischen Banken-Stress-Tests. Die konkreten Ergebnisse werden zwar erst am Freitag, nach US-Börsenschluss veröffentlicht. Trends sind aber bereits durchgesickert. Zudem haben die Großbanken Barclays und Credit Suisse sowie die Ratingagentur Standard & Poor‘s Modellrechnungen auf Basis der Stress-Kriterien der Europäischen Bankenaufsichtsbehörde EBA angestellt, die allesamt zu ähnlichen Ergebnissen kommen.

Entwarnung für Österreich Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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EU bereitet Notfall-Plan für Banken-Krise in Italien vor

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2016

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten  | 

In der EU finden hinter den Kulissen offenbar hektische Verhandlungen über eine Stützung der italienischen Bank Monte dei Paschi statt. Noch vor der Veröffentlichung des Banken-Stresstests der EZB am Freitag soll eine Notfall-Vereinbarung stehen. Die Ergebnisse des Stresstests könnten zu Verwerfungen an den Finanzmärkten führen.

Monte Paschi CCDie Monte dei Paschi sorgt für Unruhe bei den europäischen Banken.

Die europäischen Behörden treffen einem Insider zufolge Notfallvorkehrungen für den Fall einer möglichen Abwicklung der italienischen Krisenbank Monte dei Paschi. Derzeit würden entsprechende Pläne erstellt, sagte ein mit den Vorbereitungen vertrauter EU-Vertreter am Dienstag der Nachrichtenagentur Reuters.

Man wolle gewappnet sein, sollte sich bei der am Freitag vorgesehenen Veröffentlichung des europäischen Bankenstresstests herausstellen, dass das Institut nicht ausreichend finanziell gegen eine Wirtschaftsflaute aufgestellt sei und sich keine öffentliche oder private Unterstützung für die Bank finden. Allerdings handle es sich hierbei um ein rein theoretisches Szenario. Die Bank äußerte sich zu den Angaben zunächst nicht. Ein hochrangiger italienischer Regierungsvertreter sagte, die Frage einer möglichen Abwicklung des Instituts stelle sich nicht.

Nach Angaben von Insidern bereitet Monte dei Paschi derzeit eine fünf Milliarden Euro schwere Kapitalerhöhung vor, um die zu erwartenden finanziellen Ausfälle durch zahlreiche faule Kredite im Portfolio abzufedern. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Growth in a Time of Disruption

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2016

Photo of Michael Spence

Michael Spence

Michael Spence, a Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Academic Board Chairman of the Asia Global Institute in Hong Kong, and Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on New Growth Models. He was the chairman of the independent Commission on Growth and Development, an international body that from 2006-2010 analyzed opportunities for global economic growth, and is the author of The Next Convergence – The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World.

JUL 27, 2016, Project Syndicate

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA – Developing countries are facing major obstacles – many of which they have little to no control over – to achieving sustained high growth. Beyond the headwinds generated by slow advanced-economy growth and abnormal post-crisis monetary and financial conditions, there are the disruptive impacts of digital technology, which are set to erode developing economies’ comparative advantage in labor-intensive manufacturing activities. With the reversal of these trends out of the question, adaptation is the only option.

Robotics has already made significant inroads in electronics assembly, with sewing trades, traditionally many countries’ first entry point to the global trading system, likely to come next. As this trend continues, the imperative to build supply chains based on the location of relatively immobile and cost-effective labor will wane, with production moving closer to the final market. Adidas, for example, is already building a factory in Germany, where robots will produce high-end athletic shoes, and is planning a second one in the United States. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Brief History of (In)equality

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2016

Photo of J. Bradford DeLong

J. Bradford DeLong

J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

JUL 27, 2016, Project Syndicate

BERKELEY – The Berkeley economist Barry Eichengreen recently gave a talk in Lisbon about inequality that demonstrated one of the virtues of being a scholar of economic history. Eichengreen, like me, glories in the complexities of every situation, avoiding oversimplification in the pursuit of conceptual clarity. This disposition stays the impulse to try to explain more about the world than we can possibly know with one simple model.

For his part, with respect to inequality, Eichengreen has identified six first-order processes at work over the past 250 years.

The first is the widening of Britain’s income distribution between 1750 and 1850, as the gains from the British Industrial Revolution went to the urban and rural middle class, but not to the urban and rural poor.

Second, between 1750 and 1975, income distribution also widened globally, as some parts of the world realized gains from industrial and post-industrial technologies, while others did not. For example, in 1800, American purchasing power parity was twice that of China; by 1975 it was 30 times that of China.

The third process is what is known as the First Age of Globalization, between 1850 and 1914, when living standards and labor productivity levels converged in the global north. During this time, 50 million people left an overcrowded agricultural Europe for resource-rich new settlements. They brought their institutions, technologies, and capital with them, and the wage differential between Europe and these new economies shrank from roughly 100% to 25%.

This mostly coincided with the Gilded Age between 1870 and 1914, when domestic inequality rose in the global north as entrepreneurship, industrialization, and financial manipulation channeled new gains mostly to the wealthiest families.

Gilded Age inequality was significantly reversed during the period of social democracy in the global north, between 1930 and 1980, when higher taxes on the wealthy helped pay for new government benefits and programs. But the subsequent and last stage brings us to the current moment, when economic policy choices have again resulted in a widening of the distribution of gains in the global north, ushering in a new Gilded Age.

Eichengreen’s six processes affecting inequality are a good starting point. But I would go further and add six more.

First, there is the stubborn persistence of absolute poverty in some places, despite the extraordinary overall reduction since 1980. As the UCLA scholar Ananya Roy points out, people in absolute poverty are deprived of both the opportunities and the means to change their status. They lack what the philosopher Isaiah Berlin called “positive liberty” – empowerment for self-actualization – as well as “negative liberty,” or freedom from obstacles in one’s path of action. Seen in this light, inequality is an uneven distribution not only of wealth, but also of liberty.

Second is the abolition of slavery in many parts of the world during the nineteenth century, followed by, third, the global loosening over time of other caste constraints – race, ethnicity, gender – which deprived even some people with wealth of the opportunities to use it.

The fourth process consists of two recent high-growth generations in China and one high-growth generation in India, which has been a significant factor underlying global wealth convergence since 1975.

Fifth is the dynamic of compound interest, which through favorable political arrangements allows the wealthy to profit from the economy without actually creating any new wealth. As the French economist Thomas Piketty has observed, this process may have played some role in our past, and will surely play an even bigger role in our future.

At this point, it should be clear why I began by noting the complexity of economic history. This complexity implies that any adjustments to our political economy should be based on sound social science and directed by elected leaders who are genuinely acting in the interest of the people.

Emphasizing complexity brings me to a final factor affecting inequality – perhaps the most important of all: populist mobilizations. Democracies are prone to populist uprisings, especially when inequality is on the rise. But the track record of such uprisings should give us pause.

In France, populist mobilizations installed an emperor – Napoleon III, who led a coup in 1851 – and overthrew democratically elected governments during the Third Republic. In the United States, they underpinned discrimination against immigrants and sustained the Jim Crow era of legal racial segregation.

In Central Europe, populist mobilizations have driven imperial conquests under the banner of proletarian internationalism. In the Soviet Union, they helped Vladimir Lenin consolidate power, with disastrous consequences that were surpassed only by the horrors of Nazism, which also came to power on a populist wave.

Constructive populist responses to inequality are fewer, but they should certainly be mentioned. In some cases, populism has helped in extending the franchise; enacting a progressive income tax and social insurance; building physical and human capital; opening economies; prioritizing full employment; and encouraging migration.

History teaches us that these latter responses to inequality have made the world a better place. Unfortunately – and at the risk of oversimplification – we usually fail to heed history’s lessons.

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Reversing Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2016

Photo of Anatole KaletskyOnce more, Anatole Kaletsky at his best! (hfk)

Anatole Kaletsky

Anatole Kaletsky is Chief Economist and Co-Chairman of Gavekal Dragonomics. A former columnist at the Times of London, the International New York Times and the Financial Times, he is the author of Capitalism 4.0, The Birth of a New Economy, which anticipated many of the post-crisis transformations of the global economy. His 1985 book, Costs of Default, became an influential primer for Latin American and Asian governments negotiating debt defaults and restructurings with banks and the IMF.
JUL 27, 2016, Project Syndicate

LONDON – How should the European Union respond to the narrow decision by voters in the United Kingdom to leave? European leaders are now focusing, rightly, on how to prevent other countries from leaving the EU or the euro. The most important country to be kept in the club is Italy, which faces a referendum in October that could pave the way for the anti-euro Five Star Movement to take power.

Europe’s fear of contagion is justified, because the Brexit referendum’s outcome has transformed the politics of EU fragmentation. Before, advocates of leaving the EU or euro could be ridiculed as fantasists or denounced as fascists (or ultra-leftists). This is no longer possible. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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