Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Archive for 11. März 2017

The Netherlands is more at risk than most from Brexit and protectionism

Posted by hkarner - 11. März 2017

Date: 10-03-2017
Source: The Economist
Subject: Who’s Nexit?

The retreat of globalisation threatens the Dutch economy
AS ANY football fan knows, little delights the Dutch more than beating the Germans. So, as the country prepares for an election on March 15th, it should be cheering an economy that, after lagging behind Germany’s for years, is at last outpacing it. GDP grew by 2.1% last year, which was the fastest rate since 2007 and a stronger performance than its neighbours, including Germany. Unemployment has fallen to 5.3% and more people are in work than before the crisis in 2007-08.

After years of belt-tightening, households are spending again, thanks to a strong housing-market recovery and rising wages. Government finances are sound. This year the budget may be in balance—perhaps even in surplus—and public debt may drop below 60% of GDP. Yet this sunny outlook has not brightened the mood of a tetchy election campaign.

That is not so surprising. Marieke Blom, the chief economist at ING, a bank, attributes the positive forecast mostly to tough government reforms over the past few years—particularly raising the retirement age to 67 (from 2021) and reforming the financing of the health-care system. Years of reform, austerity and recession have taken their toll. Pollsters predict strong votes for protest parties such as the Socialists and the PVV of Geert Wilders, an anti-immigration populist. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Economic Labyrinth

Posted by hkarner - 11. März 2017

US President Donald Trump is finally getting down to the hard work of trying to please his blue-collar supporters and his administration’s resident plutocrats. The results so far are as incoherent as the electoral coalition that brought him to power.

MAR 10, 2017 Project Syndicate <img src=“/default/library/7c46f782f13fbe2472dfd36f74469e15.onpoint.jpg“ alt=“Trump Supporter“ width=“813″ height=“387″>

Donald Trump’s economic-policy agenda during the 2016 US presidential election campaign was a political Rorschach test: where his supporters saw a bold new design for robust growth and greater prosperity, many others in the United States and around the world saw only a cynical blob of dodgy proposals and crossed lines.

Now that Trump must deliver to Congress an outline of his 2018 fiscal-year budget priorities, he and his advisers have no choice but to trade in the campaign inkblot for a governing blueprint. And yet, in his first address to Congress, Trump offered few policy details, even as he called on the assembled representatives and senators to help him “restart the engine of the American economy.”

Trump may finally be coming to grips with the headaches that await him as he tries to articulate and enact his economic-policy agenda. An early preview came when Republicans in the US House of Representatives released their plan to fulfill their longstanding vow to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health-care reform. No sooner had the House Republicans unveiled their hastily drafted bill than it came under withering attack from all sides – including from members of their own party. Repealing Obamacare, it is now clear, was less a plan than a rallying cry for an increasingly fractious Republican Party. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The coming revolution in insurance

Posted by hkarner - 11. März 2017

Date: 09-03-2017
Source: The Economist

Technological change and competition disrupt a complacent industry

IN THE stormy and ever-changing world of global finance, insurance has remained a relatively placid backwater. With the notable exception of AIG, an American insurer bailed out by the taxpayer in 2008, the industry rode out the financial crisis largely unscathed. Now, however, insurers face unprecedented competitive pressure owing to technological change. This pressure is demanding not just adaptation, but transformation.

The essential product of insurance—protection, usually in the form of money, when things go wrong—has few obvious substitutes. Insurers have built huge customer bases as a result. Investment revenue has provided a reliable boost to profits. This easy life led to a complacent refusal to modernise. The industry is still astonishingly reliant on human labour. Underwriters look at data but plenty still rely on human judgment to evaluate risks and set premiums. Claims are often reviewed manually. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Schools, Skills and Economic Growth

Posted by hkarner - 11. März 2017

Posted on by iMFdirect

By  iMFdirect

Eric Hanushek is an expert on the relationship between education and economics, and he says the only thing that matters for a country is the skills of its people.

“Countries that have lots of skills grow faster than countries that have low skills, and that’s an easy way to explain what’s going on in Africa and Latin America, where the skills are very low, and the countries are just not growing in the long run.”

Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. In this podcast, he says the methods used for testing skills have been around for decades.

“What we’ve had for the last 50 years is a set of international tests of skills in math and science.  So you take a math problem and walk it around the world and see how different countries do.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The end of “secular stagnation”?

Posted by hkarner - 11. März 2017

Date: 09-03-2017
Source: The Economist

Improving economic data do not necessarily indicate underlying health

IN PERIODS of economic stress all sorts of theories are entertained about the nature of the problem. When better times return, some theories fade from memory. Others linger, however. During the economic mess of the past decade, economists frightened themselves with tales of “secular stagnation”: a nasty condition that dooms its victims to chronically weak growth. Now that the economic outlook is brightening a bit—deflation has been dispatched, and for most advanced economies 2017 is forecast to bring a third consecutive year of economic growth—it is tempting to laugh off the idea of secular stagnation as a bit of crisis-induced hysteria. Tempting, but also premature. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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