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Archive for 27. Oktober 2016

Die versteckte Billionen-Staatsschuldenlast

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2016

27.10.2016 | 18:28 | Josef Urschitz (Die Presse)Urschitz CC

Kolumne Selbst wenn kein einziger Cent neue Schulden mehr gemacht wird, wird die Staatsverschuldung auf fast eine Billion Euro steigen. Schuld daran sind die impliziten Staatsschulden, die in der Diskussion gern ausgeklammert werden.

Der Staatsdampfer steuert mit Volldampf auf einen Eisberg zu, aber die Offiziere auf der Brücke beruhigen einander: „Wegen dieses Eisbergleins werden wir doch nicht den Kurs ändern.“ Dass der größere Teil des Hindernisses unsichtbar unter Wasser liegt, weiß der Kapitän zwar. Aber: Wird schon nichts passieren . . .

Das ist kurz zusammengefasst der Stand der Diskussion um die Staatsverschuldung. Wir liegen mit einer Staatsschuldenlast von rund 300 Mrd. Euro, also etwa 86 Prozent des BIPs, zwar weit über der Maastricht-Grenze für die Währungsunion, aber das tun viele andere Eurozonenmitglieder auch. Und: Eine Schuldenquote von rund 86 Prozent des BIPs gilt als noch beherrschbar. Zumal sie ja jetzt leicht zu sinken beginnt. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Top White House Economist: AI Isn’t Going to Steal Jobs

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2016

Date: 27-10-2016
Source: Technology Review

What really worries him is that we don’t have enough artificial intelligence yet.

President Obama’s top economic advisor, Jason Furman, is not worried that robots are going to take our jobs. When it comes to artificial intelligence, his biggest worry at the moment is that we don’t have enough of it.

Discussions about the future of AI tend to split economists into two camps. Some see a continuation of what we’ve seen before: new technologies emerge and change the way we do business, and ultimately the economy adapts. Others say AI is going to change the rules of economics, and that robots will create large-scale unemployment and inequality by replacing human jobs. “I’m firmly in that first camp,” Furman said today while addressing a technology conference in Washington, D.C.

Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, addressing reporters in 2013.

Productivity growth is lagging in the United States and other advanced economies, and participation in the labor force is shrinking among key groups, particularly men aged 25 to 54. Still, Furman does not think new technologies are destined to produce unprecedented unemployment and inequality. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Long-Awaited European Stock Rally May Be Here

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2016

Date: 26-10-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

European stocks haven’t lived up to expectations this year. That might make them more attractive.

against-the-flowFor European stocks, 2016 has been a testing year. The consensus was that Europe would do well; instead, it has been a consistent laggard. That may yet be an attraction.

European stocks started 2016 badly and have moved sideways since March. The Stoxx Europe 600, excluding U.K. shares, is still down 4.5% this year and some 15% off its 2015 highs, even as U.S. indexes have hit new records in 2016.

But the gloom may be lifting. On Monday, Germany’s DAX index closed in positive territory for the year for only the second time in 2016. Hopes of global growth are rising into the end of the year; in Europe sentiment data is suggesting a strong start to the fourth quarter. Tuesday brought a forecast-beating reading on the closely watched Ifo German business sentiment index.

The lag versus other indexes creates some allure. The Stoxx Europe 600 excluding the U.K trades on 14.7 times the next 12 months’ earnings, according to FactSet, versus 16.6 times for the S&P 500. But the more compelling case is versus bonds, which are particularly expensive in Europe, and where the prospects for future returns are poor indeed. The bond rally has stalled, and inflation looks to have bottomed out. A weaker euro and higher bond yields could increase the attraction of European stocks. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Making “Made in Africa” Last

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2016

Photo of Moono Mupotola

Moono Mupotola

Moono Mupotola is the director of the NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade Department at the African Development Bank.

OCT 26, 2016 Project Syndicate

ABIDJAN, CÔTE D’IVOIRE – If you’re ever shopping for a pair of jeans in an American mall, check the label. If it was made in, say, Lesotho – a tiny mountainous country surrounded by South Africa, with a population of around two million – you probably have the the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to thank for it.

The AGOA, which was implemented in 2000, allows more than 6,400 products from eligible sub-Saharan African countries to enter the United States market duty-free. According to Lesotho’s National AGOA Strategy, the country’s annual garment exports to the US increased from about $129 million in 2001 to $330 million in 2015, representing 80% of total external demand for the country’s textiles and garments. With 44,000 employees, Lesotho’s garment industry is now the country’s largest private-sector employer.

The AGOA has underpinned other “Made in Africa” success stories, too. Some may complain that the AGOA favors petroleum products, but the figures speak for themselves. According to the 2016 AGOA report, released by the Office of the US Trade Representative, non-oil exports to the US under AGOA nearly tripled, from $1.4 billion in 2001 to $4.1 billion in 2015. Automobiles from South Africa and apparel from Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, and Swaziland were the leading exports. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Secret Success of Abenomics

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2016

Photo of Koichi Hamada

Koichi Hamada

Koichi Hamada, Special Economic Adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Yale University and at the University of Tokyo. 

OCT 26, 2016 Project Syndicate

TOKYO – Tokyo is in the midst of a construction boom, with old high-rise office and apartment buildings being rebuilt in more modern and elegant forms, all while maintaining stringent environmental standards. So bright is Tokyo’s gleam – which is sure to impress visitors at the 2020 Olympic Games – that the city might seem like an anomaly, given gloomy reports that, after decades of stagnation, Japan’s GDP growth remains anemic.

In fact, even the small cities of Kushiro and Nemuro in Hokkaido, located near the disputed islands between Russia and Japan, are being rebuilt and modernized at a brisk pace, as is apparent to any tourist (as I was this summer). What explains this divergence between disappointing national economic data and visible progress in Japanese cities?

It may be a problem of calculation. According to official data, Japan’s economic growth slowed by one percentage point, in real terms, in the 2014 fiscal year. Yet, according to Bank of Japan researchers, tax data suggest that growth was more than three percentage points higher than the official figure, implying that GDP was some ¥30 trillion (about $300 billion dollars) larger than officially reported. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Decline of the West, and How to Stop It

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2016

Date: 26-10-2016solana
Source: The New York Times

Western democracy’s many achievements are in jeopardy as cooperation erodes at both the global and national levels, warn Javier Solana, former secretary general of NATO, and Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution. “A vital lesson of the modern era is that internationalism has stabilized the world, while lapses into bellicose nationalism have wreaked havoc,” the two write. Nations that were opponents during World War II united around economic platforms and open markets to deliver prosperity. The global debt crisis of 2007-2008 increased inequality while reducing employment and social safety nets – unleashing uncertainty for Europe and the Americas and instigating “widespread mistrust of elites and experts, and feverish enthusiasm for anti-establishment populists.” Solana and Talbott warn that “With this backlash comes the threat of protectionism in economics, isolationism in foreign policy, and a resurgent nativism and xenophobia in politics.” They urge streamlined decision-making as well as programs that educate, reduce alienation and inequality, encourage cooperation and expand globalization’s many opportunities. – YaleGlobal

Globalization contributed to the West’s many achievements – and special interests disrupt prosperity with populism, fear and misinformation
Javier Solana and Strobe Talbott Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2016

FURCHE-Kolumne 201 Wilfried StadlerStadler CC

Der Wettkampf um Meinungen wird in Zeiten der Social Media immer schneller und härter. Sobald ein neues Thema auftaucht, spalten sich Gegner und Befürworter eilends in Lager auf: Daumen rauf oder Daumen runter. Dazwischen bleibt kaum Platz für ausgewogene Meinungen. Mag das Thema noch so komplex sein – uninformierte Entscheidungsfreudigkeit ist gefordert, das Bauchgefühl feiert Triumphe über die Ratio.

Der Abstand zum politischen System ist so groß geworden, dass es vielfach nicht mehr als repräsentativ wahrgenommen, sondern nur mehr von außen gesehen und je nach Stimmungslage entweder „geliked“ wird oder eben nicht. Die von „früher“ gewohnte Übersichtlichkeit national getroffener Entscheidungen wurde längst abgelöst durch supranationale Vorgänge, die uns undurchschaubar, wenn nicht undurchsichtig erscheinen. Wir nehmen an ihnen nicht teil und niemand erwartet unsere Anteilnahme daran. Unser mit der Teilnahms-Losigkeit wachsendes Misstrauen durchbrechen wir nur dann, wenn es ein Thema schafft, uns aufzuregen. Dann kippt die politische Routine, dann ist Krisenmanagement angesagt.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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