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Archive for 15. Dezember 2016

Trump-Clan und High-Tech-Manager tasten sich ab

Posted by hkarner - 15. Dezember 2016

15.12.2016 | 07:15 |  (DiePresse.com)

Die heiklen Themen zwischen Trump und Vertretern der Silicon Valley-Konzerne wurden bei einem ersten Treffen offenbar nicht angesprochen.

Der künftige US-Präsident Donald Trump und führende Firmenvertreter aus dem Silicon Valley sind am Mittwoch zu einem Versöhnungsgipfel zusammengekommen. Bei dem Treffen im Trump Tower in New York sei es um wirtschaftliche Fragen wie die Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen, Steuersenkungen und das Verhältnis zu China gegangen, hieß es in einer Mitteilung von Trumps Übergangsteam. Größere Streitthemen wie Einwanderung oder Datenschutz seien vermieden worden. Trump habe vorgeschlagen, ein solches Spitzentreffen jedes Quartal zu wiederholen. Die Wahl von Trump hatte die Technologiekonzerne auf dem falschen Fuß erwischt. Viele hatten auf Trumps Rivalin Hillary Clinton von der Demokratischen Partei gesetzt, deren liberalem Programm die Firmen traditionell näherstehen.

An dem Gespräch nahmen etwa Apple-Chef Tim Cook, Facebook-Spitzenmanagerin Sheryl Sandberg oder Tesla-Lenker Elon Musk teil. Auch der Chef der Google-Mutter Alphabet, Larry Page, gehörte zu den Anwesenden. Ihm werden enge Verbindungen zur Regierung von Trumps scheidendem Vorgänger Barack Obama nachgesagt. Auf der Gästeliste standen zudem seine Kollegen von Amazon oder Microsoft. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Italy’s Day of Reckoning Is Coming

Posted by hkarner - 15. Dezember 2016

John Mauldin | Dec 14, 2016

Italy has a new government, and Matteo Renzi is not in charge of it. The former prime minister kept his word and resigned following his constitutional reform plan’s crushing defeat at the polls. Is all now well in that beautiful land?

Not exactly, though we did see a glimmer of hope this week. Unicredit, Italy’s largest bank, announced job cuts and asset sales that may buy it some time. This does not, however, mean the crisis is over. At best, it means the beginning of the crisis is over. We have a long way to go.

Our first OTB selection today begins, “Chronic inability to separate the probable from the desirable has been the tragedy of 2016.” Those fateful words come from Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Münchau, who is normally very calm but now sees wishful thinking about Italy as a major threat. As much as some might wish Italy to remain in the eurozone, Münchau thinks it’s increasingly improbable. Timing is the main question.

A brief sample of his analysis:

One day Italy will be led by a party in favour of withdrawal from the euro. When that happens, euro exit would turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. There would a run on Italy’s banks and its government’s bonds. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Promise of Digital Finance

Posted by hkarner - 15. Dezember 2016

 

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The Age of Hyper-Uncertainty

Posted by hkarner - 15. Dezember 2016

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The fundamentalists are winning all the way

Posted by hkarner - 15. Dezember 2016

Date: 13-12-2016
Source: The New York Times
Subject: Betsy DeVos and God’s Plan for Schools

BOSTON — At the rightmost edge of the Christian conservative movement, there are those who dream of turning the United States into a Christian republic subject to “biblical laws.” In the unlikely figure of Donald J. Trump, they hope to have found their greatest champion yet. He wasn’t “our preferred candidate,” the Christian nationalist David Barton said in June, but he could be “God’s candidate.”

Consider the president-elect’s first move on public education. Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, the largest Christian university in the nation, says that he was Mr. Trump’s first pick for secretary of education. Liberty University teaches creationism alongside evolution.

devos-ccWhen Mr. Falwell declined, President-elect Trump offered the cabinet position to Betsy DeVos. In most news coverage, Ms. DeVos is depicted as a member of the Republican donor class and a leading advocate of school vouchers programs.

That is true enough, but it doesn’t begin to describe the broader conservative agenda she’s been associated with.

Betsy DeVos stands at the intersection of two family fortunes that helped to build the Christian right. In 1983, her father, Edgar Prince, who made his money in the auto parts business, contributed to the creation of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as extremist because of its anti-L.G.B.T. language.

Her father-in-law, Richard DeVos Sr., the co-founder of Amway, a company built on “multilevel marketing” or what critics call pyramid selling, has been funding groups and causes on the economic and religious right since the 1970s.

Ms. DeVos is a chip off the old block. At a 2001 gathering of conservative Christian philanthropists, she singled out education reform as a way to “advance God’s kingdom.” In an interview, she and her husband, Richard DeVos Jr., said that school choice would lead to “greater kingdom gain.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Dow’s Rise Puts It Near 20000 Milestone

Posted by hkarner - 15. Dezember 2016

Date: 14-12-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The blue-chip index has hit records several times since the election, powered by financial and industrial companies

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came tantalizingly close to 20000 Tuesday, climbing within 50 points of tdow-12_16he milestone before paring gains in afternoon trading.

The blue-chip index, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed at records, the sixth such trifecta since the U.S. election.

The stock market has rallied as investors bet that President-elect Donald Trump’s proposals to cut corporate taxes and ramp up fiscal stimulus would accelerate growth.

The gains have particularly benefited shares of financial and industrial companies, helping the blue-chip index outperform its peers. The Dow industrials have risen 8.6% since Election Day, compared with 6.2% for the S&P 500 and 5.2% for the Nasdaq Composite.

On Tuesday, the Dow industrials rose as high as 19953.75 in intraday trading before the index finished at 19911.21, up 114.78 points, or 0.6%, in its seventh consecutive session of gains. The S&P 500 rose 14.76 points, or 0.7%, to 2271.72, boosted by a rally in energy and technology shares, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 51.29 points, or 0.9%, to 5463.83.

“There’s a wave of euphoria around the market right now,” said Tom Anderson, chief investment officer at Boston Private Wealth. “The consumer is in good shape, the economy is in sound shape and earnings are bouncing back.”

Recent gains in stocks have been accompanied by expectations of higher inflation and growth. Those factors have bolstered the view that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates Wednesday and possibly pick up the pace of increases in 2017 and 2018.

“Markets are assuming that growth will be higher than otherwise, inflation will be higher, the unemployment rate will be lower and interest rates will be higher,” said Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley.

Ms. Zentner expects the Fed to raise rates this week and twice more in 2017. “The new outlook is saying that for the first time, the Fed’s expectations [for rates next year] look plausible,” she said. “Faster growth and a higher-pressure economy means the Fed is going to have to react.”

Few expect a rate rise to ruffle financial markets in the short term, but some worry that the recent rally in stocks could be disrupted in 2017 if the Fed raises rates more than investors expect.

sp-500-12_16“The equity market is not looking at rising rates and a stronger dollar,” said François Savary, chief investment officer at Geneva’s Prime Partners. “It’s pricing in two rate increases next year, but it could be three.”

While stocks have rallied, bonds have been under pressure, as inflation erodes the returns of long-dated debt. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged higher to 2.479% Tuesday from 2.478% on Monday. Yields rise as prices fall.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.1%, with Italian banks among the region’s best performers.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average added 0.5% as the dollar continued to strengthen against the yen.

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Forecasting Russia in 2017

Posted by hkarner - 15. Dezember 2016

Dec 14, 2016, Mauldin Economics

By George Friedman and Jacob L. Shapiro

One of the biggest challenges in writing forecasts is clearly communicating our predications for the coming year. There is a certain level of background and analysis that goes into forecasting geopolitics, but often, that background and analysis can serve as either an intellectual crutch or a way of using a lot of words without actually making a call one way or another.

That’s why our annual forecasts go through multiple phases of editing. Our forecast for 2017 was published just this week. But our work on the forecast began in early October, with a massive 50-page document filled with questions, research, and findings. This master document was then scrutinized, debated, and whittled down, sharper and sharper… until what was left (hopefully) was a concise description of the world in 2017, as we see it.

We aim for accuracy, and as you can see from previous report cards on our work, we are pretty good at what we do. Our full report card for 2016 will be published next week, but in the meantime, subscribers can check out our mid-year evaluation here. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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