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Archive for 12. Oktober 2016

Sachverständigenrat: Risiken der Niedrigzinsen und Zinswende für Finanzmarktstabilität

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2016

Dank an R.K.

by Dirk Elsner on 12. Oktober 2016, Blicklog

Als ich am Wochenende den Beitrag über die mutmaßliche Kapitalerhöhung bei der Deutschen Bank schrieb, und zur Finanzstabilität recherchierte stieß ich auf ein paar Aussagen des Sachverständigenrates, die auch das Handelsblatt in der Wochenendausgabe zum Thema gemacht hatte: Gefährdung der Finanzmarktstabilität durch die anhaltende Niedrigzinsphase. Das Handelsblatt schrieb: “Acht Jahre Niedrigzinsen haben das Finanzsystem zerbrechlich werden lassen. Banken taumeln, das Vertrauen schwindet.”

Die Wírtschaftsweisen haben das bereits in ihrem Gutachten 2015/16 gesagt:

“Zudem bauen sich infolge der geldpolitischen Maßnahmen der EZB erhebliche Risiken für die Finanzstabilität auf. Diese könnten den Boden für eine neue Finanzkrise bereiten. So setzt die Niedrigzinsphase die Ertragslage von Banken und Lebensversicherungen zunehmend unter Druck. Hieraus entstehen Anreize zu einer erhöhten Risikoübernahme, die sich unter anderem in einem Anstieg der Vermögenspreise widerspiegelt. Zwar zeigt sich bislang keine übermäßige Kreditexpansion, allerdings erkennt man in einzelnen Segmenten, insbesondere im Immobilienmarkt, erste Hinweise auf Übertreibungen.” (TZ 12). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Leading the Middle East Into the Future

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2016

Photo of Klaus Schwab

Klaus Schwab

Klaus Schwab is Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

OCT 11, 2016 Project Syyndicate

SAN FRANCISCO – New technologies are emerging so rapidly that societies in the Middle East are now having trouble coping with their impact. By affecting everything from the nature of work to what it means to be human, technological changes could prove overwhelming if we do not collaborate to understand and manage them.

Around the globe, entire industries are being redefined and created from scratch, owing to groundbreaking developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing. We at the World Economic Forum have dubbed this wave of innovation the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” because it is fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and relate to one another. And these changes will be felt as much in Cairo, Dubai, and Riyadh as in New York, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Plan To Defend Against the War on Science

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2016

Date: 11-10-2016
Source: Scientific American

The challenge of creating a public able to parse evidence-free “facts” rests with the press, educators and other thought leaders

The vertical tension between experts and authoritarians helps explain what is going on in both the Republican Party and in the European Union with the Brexit vote and the rise of a new authoritarianism, and why it is so corrosive to science.

Four years ago in Scientific American, I warned readers of a growing problem in American democracy. The article, entitled “Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy,” charted how it had not only become acceptable, but often required, for politicians to embrace antiscience positions, and how those positions flew in the face of the core principles that the U.S. was founded on: That if anyone could discover the truth of something for him or herself using the tools of science, then no king, no pope and no wealthy lord was more entitled to govern the people than they were themselves. It was self-evident.

In the years since, the situation has gotten worse. We’ve seen the emergence of a “post-fact” politics, which has normalized the denial of scientific evidence that conflicts with the political, religious or economic agendas of authority. Much of this denial centers, now somewhat predictably, around climate change—but not all. If there is a single factor to consider as a barometer that evokes all others in this election, it is the candidates’ attitudes toward science. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Mayday in the UK

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2016

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 11, 2016 Project Syndicate

LONDON – Conservative Brexiteers – who campaigned for the United Kingdom to vote to leave the European Union – continue to blather about building an open, outward-looking, free-trading Britain. But the UK is in fact turning inward. Prime Minister Theresa May, who styles herself as the UK’s answer to Angela Merkel, is turning out to have more in common with Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front, than with Germany’s internationalist chancellor.

May set out her vision for Britain’s future at the Conservative Party conference this month. She pledged to trigger the UK’s formal exit process by the end of March 2017, and declared national control over immigration – not continued membership in the EU single market – to be her priority in the upcoming “Brexit” negotiations. That stance puts the UK on course for a “hard Brexit” by April 2019. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Russische Großbank VTB könnte Europasitz nach Wien verlegen

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2016

n11. Oktober 2016, 15:16 derstandardat

Die Staatsbank, zweitgrößtes Institut in Russland, will ihr Engagement in Großbritannien aufgrund des Brexit reduzieren

London – Russlands zweitgrößte Bank VTB könnte mit der Europazentrale ihrer Tochter für das Investmentgeschäft VTB Capital schon bald von London nach Wien übersiedeln. Laut dem stellvertretenden Vorstandsvorsitzenden Herbert Moos wird überlegt, aufs Festland zu wechseln. Neben Wien kommen demnach auch Frankfurt und Paris infrage. Eine Entscheidung soll noch heuer fallen. „Wir hatten größere Pläne für unser London-Büro, aber nach dem Brexit fahren wir sie zurück“, sagte Moos der „Financial Times“. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China’s SDR Distraction

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2016

Photo of Barry Eichengreen

Barry Eichengreen

Barry Eichengreen is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley; Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at the University of Cambridge; and a former senior policy adviser at the International Monetary Fund. His latest book is Hall of Mirrors:The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses – and Misuses – of History.

OCT 10, 2016, Project Syndicate

WASHINGTON, DC – At the start of October, China’s currency, the renminbi, was added to the basket of currencies that make up the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights, or SDR. Previously, the SDR had been defined as a weighted average of the dollar, euro, British pound, and Japanese yen. Now that the renminbi has been added, it can claim to be one of just five truly global currencies.

Should we care? The Chinese certainly do. In Beijing, where I was late last month, joining the rarefied SDR club was all people wanted to talk about. (Okay, truth be told, they also wanted to talk about Donald Trump.)

Seeing the renminbi added to the SDR basket was a matter of national pride. It symbolized China’s emergence as a global power. And it vindicated the government’s efforts to encourage use of the renminbi in cross-border transactions, freeing China and the rest of the world from over-dependence on the dollar.

But the fact of the matter is that adding the renminbi to the SDR basket has little practical significance. The SDR is not a currency; it is just the unit in which the IMF reports its financial accounts. Only a small handful of international bonds are denominated in SDRs, because banks and firms do not find this option particularly attractive. The main issuer of SDR bonds is the IMF’s sister organization, the World Bank (the Fund itself is not authorized to issue bonds).

The only practical implication of adding the renminbi to the SDR basket is that it now becomes a currency that countries can draw, along with the SDR’s other four constituent currencies, when they borrow from the IMF. Only time will tell how many wish to do so.

The Chinese argue that the renminbi’s addition to the SDR basket should be seen in a broader context. It is one of a series of steps to encourage use of the renminbi in international transactions.

This agenda includes negotiating currency swap agreements, now more than two dozen, between the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and foreign central banks. It also includes designating a Chinese financial institution to provide clearing and settlement services for transactions in renminbi in each leading financial center (in September, for example, the Bank of China was chosen as the official clearing bank for New York). And foreign entities are being authorized to issue renminbi-denominated bonds in China itself. Toward the end of August, Poland became the first European government to do so.

But the reality, again, is that these steps are more about symbolism than substance. The PBOC’s renminbi swaps are almost entirely unused. Designated clearing banks have not exactly been flooded with business. Offshore renminbi bank deposits are falling. The proportion of China’s merchandise trade settled in renminbi has been declining since mid-2015. And there is no sign that where the Polish government has so boldly ventured, other governments will soon follow.

The fault, to paraphrase Shakespeare, lies not in the stars but in China’s own financial markets. Since mid-2015, the country’s stock market has been on a rollercoaster. Every international organization worth its salt, from the IMF to the Bank for International Settlements, has been warning of problems in China’s corporate bond market. And if defaults on loans to corporations are widespread, as these organizations predict, the implications for the banks could be dire.

The problem is mistaken tactics by the Chinese government. The government and the PBOC believe that relaxing capital controls and allowing financial capital to flow more freely in and out of the country will force financial market participants to up their game. Companies will have to upgrade their accounting standards, and banks their risk-management practices, to cope with the faster pace of financial transactions. The result will be more liquid and stable financial markets, in turn making the renminbi more attractive as a unit of account, means of payment, and store of value for residents and foreigners alike.

Unfortunately, assuming a result doesn’t make it so. If Chinese banks and firms are slow to adjust, liberalizing international capital flows will lead only to more volatility, fewer offshore deposits, and less reliance on the renminbi for settling merchandise transactions – exactly as has been the case recently.

Chinese policymakers must now put the horse before the cart. The most important step they can take to foster renminbi internationalization is to strengthen domestic financial markets, modernize regulation, and streamline contract enforcement. If China wants to transform the renminbi into a first-class global currency, it should pay less attention to renminbi trading in New York and the currency’s weight in the SDR basket, and more to the development of deep, liquid, and stable financial markets at home.

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