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Archive for Juli 2017

Aus eins mach zwei: Bitcoin steht vor Aufspaltung

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2017

Alexander Hahn, 31. Juli 2017, 14:59 derstandard.at

Nach der Umstellung am 1. August wird es voraussichtlich zwei Versionen der Digitalwährung geben: Bitcoin und Bitcoin Cash

Wien – Für den einen kann ein Bitcoin auf 10.000 oder sogar 100.000 Dollar steigen, für den anderen handelt es sich dabei nicht einmal um eine Währung: Bei diesen zwei Personen handelt es sich um den Bitcoin-Optimisten Bill Gates, der seine Erwartung Ende des Vorjahrs in einem Bloomberg-Interview offenbarte, und den Bitcoin-Verweigerer Warren Buffett, also zwei der drei reichsten Menschen der Welt.

Das zeigt, wie sehr die Digitalwährung die Leute polarisiert – wobei sich nun auch eine Spaltung innerhalb der Bitcoin-Community abzeichnet. Auslöser ist eine technische Umstellung bei der Onlinewährung per 1. August. Notwendig geworden ist diese, da Transaktionen mit Bitcoin immer behäbiger umgesetzt wurden. „Am 1. August steht eine Entscheidung zur Zukunft von Bitcoin an“, kommentiert James Butterfill, Chefanalyst von ETF Securities, die Umstellung. „Die Währung kann derzeit nur sieben Transaktionen pro Sekunde verarbeiten im Vergleich zu Visa mit 2.000 Transaktionen pro Sekunde.

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Kommt das Ende der angelsächsischen Welt?

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2017

Kommentar der anderen Timothy Garton Ash, 28. Juli 2017, 17:04, derstandard.at

Donald Trump und Theresa May stehen für einen Irrsinn, der die Führungsrolle der Angelsachsen in der Welt untergräbt. Aber die Feinde der USA und Großbritanniens sollten sich nicht zu früh freuen

Sie müssen aus England sein“, sagt der Drogerieverkäufer in Menlo-Park, Kalifornien. Als ich Präsident Donald Trump erwähne, erwidert er: „Ich will gar nicht über die Angelegenheiten auf Ihrer Seite des Atlantiks reden. Ihre Frau May dort in der Downing Street wird von den Bürokraten in Brüssel (Schimpfwort gelöscht) …“ Dem kann ich nur zustimmen. Aus der Brexit-Bratpfanne ins Trump-Feuer gesprungen, finde ich mich selbst beim Vergleichen beider Umstände wieder – und wundere mich, was denn schlimmer sei.

Der transatlantische Unterschied ist, dass die Briten über eine Sache den Verstand verloren haben und die Amerikaner über einen Mann. Großbritannien wird noch immer von relativ geistesgesunden und seriösen Menschen regiert. Theresa May mag hölzern sein, rigide und überfordert, aber verglichen mit Trump erscheint sie wie Mutter Teresa. Die Sache an sich, der Brexit, ist ein Akt kollektiven Irrsinns und nationaler Selbstzerstörung. Jede weitere Woche bringt Beweise dafür ans Tageslicht, wie schädlich dieser in beinahe jedem Bereich des nationalen Lebens ist und vor allem wie sehr er den „vergessenen“ Brexit-Wähler aus der Arbeiterklasse schadet.

Vom Absinken der Realeinkommen werden sie am schlimmsten betroffen sein. Trump war einer der wenigen bekannten Ausländer, die den Brexit unterstützt haben. Heute allerdings hält er lieber Händchen mit dem französischen Präsidenten Emmanuel Macron statt mit der britischen Premierministerin. Und er ist ganz leise geworden, wenn es um die zu erwartende Glorie des Brexit geht.

Erratischer Schlägertyp

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It’s Your Money But You Can’t Have It: EU Proposes Account Freezes to Halt Bank Runs

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2017

 If there is a run on the bank, any bank in the EU, you better be among the first to get your money out.

Although it’s your money, the EU wants to Freeze Accounts to Prevent Runs at Failing Banks.

European Union states are considering measures which would allow them to temporarily stop people withdrawing money from their accounts to prevent bank runs, an EU document reviewed by Reuters revealed.

The move is aimed at helping rescue lenders that are deemed failing or likely to fail, but critics say it could hit confidence and might even hasten withdrawals at the first rumors of a bank being in trouble.

The proposal, which has been in the works since the beginning of this year, comes less than two months after a run on deposits at Banco Popular contributed to the collapse of the Spanish lender. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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There Is Only One Empire: Finance

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2017

Thanks to H.F.

There’s an entire sub-industry in journalism devoted to the idea that China is poised to replace the U.S. as the “global empire” / hegemon. This notion of global empire being something like a baton that gets passed from nation-state to nation-state is seriously misleading, in my view, for this reason:

There is only one global empire: finance. China and the U.S. both exist within the Empire of Finance. Virtually every mercantile nation with access to global markets lives, works and thrives/dies within the Empire of Finance. Every nation that allows capital to flow into its economy is subservient to the Empire of Finance. Every nation with capital and debt markets exposed to (or dependent on) global financial flows is just another fiefdom in the Empire of Finance.

China has thrived within the Empire of Finance by creating more debt and at a faster rate of expansion than any other fiefdom. China has brought 20 years of future growth and income forward, and eventually that vein of “wealth” runs out as time advances into the stripmined future. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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We Need a Social Economy, Not a Hyper-Financialized Economy

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2017

We all know what a hyper-financialized economy looks like–we live in one:central banks create credit/money out of thin air and distribute it to the already-wealthy, who use the nearly free money to buy back corporate shares, enriching themselves while creating zero jobs. Or they use the central-bank money to outbid mere savers to scoop up income-producing assets: farmland, rental properties, etc.

This asymmetric wealth accumulation and avoidance of risk creates a self-reinforcing feedback loop, as the super-wealthy financiers and corporations use a slice of their income to buy political protection of their income streams, creating cartels and quasi-monopolies that are impervious to competition and meaningful regulation.

The only possible output of a hyper-financialized economy is rapidly increasing wealth and income inequality–precisely what we see now.

What we need is a social economy, an economy that recognizes purposes and values beyond maximizing private gains by any means necessary, which is the sole goal of hyper-financialized economies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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‘Til debt do us part

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2017

Thanks to H.F.
July 23, 2017, from David Ruccio, Real World Economics Review Blog

fredgraph (1)

Sometimes you just have to sit back and admire capitalism’s ingenuity.

It’s able to make profits twice over. First, capitalists know that, when they keep workers’ wages down—even when there’s “full employment”—they can make spectacular profits. And, second, they can make additional profits by loaning money to those same workers, who are desperate to purchase goods and services and send their children to college, thereby financing the demand for the goods and services industrial capitalists need to sell to realize their profits.

Thus, as we can see in the chart at the top of the post, the amount of consumer credit is once again soaring to record highs. In relation to personal income, consumer credit fell after the Great Recession (to just under 20 percent in December 2012)—as households “deleveraged”—and then it began to rise once again, reaching 23.3 percent four years later.   Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Volksbanken-Chef: „Wir verdienen viel zu wenig“

Posted by hkarner - 30. Juli 2017

Kommentar H.F. Karner: Heisse Luft. Der Kosten-Ertragskoeffizient – CIR (das größte Problem des Sektors – sowohl zu niedrige Erträge als auch zu hohe  Kosten) von 80% hat sich seit 2014 nicht bewegt. 2014 war er 80,34%, 2015 und 2016 80%. Für Österreichs Banken lag er 2016 im Durchschnitt bei 67 %, der Europa Durchschnitt liegt bei 61%. Im Juni 2016 hat Fleischmann schon gesagt, dass er von 80% gesenkt werden muss auf 60 (!!! Traummännlein) bis 2020. Nun, in 2 Jahren seiner Regentschaft hat er sich nicht bewegt, und das trotz wahnwitziger Fusionen. 

Österreichs Volksbanken haben eine riesige Fusionswelle hinter sich.

, kurier.at

28.07.2017, 18:00

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The Great Health Care Coverup

Posted by hkarner - 30. Juli 2017

July 25, 2017 5:22 pm July 25, 2017 Paul Krugman, NYT

Like many people, I have a sick sense of anger over what just happened in the Senate, which just voted to proceed on a health care bill without any information on what will be in the bill. There’s still hope that in the next few hours, moderates who just caved in will balk at the horrible things they’re being asked to vote for. And I do mean hours: there will be no time for reflection or serious debate.

But nobody should have any confidence that they will. And I think we can almost take it for granted that John McCain will first vote for something terrible, then give a grandstanding speech about making our politics better.

The important thing to realize is WHY the Senate is doing this — rushing to pass legislation that will have a vast impact on American lives, the economy, and more without a single hearing, without time for a proper analysis of the bill, and with crucial votes taken on behalf of legislation yet to be determined. It’s not some arbitrary failure of procedure: it’s a coverup.

The fact is that Republicans have no good ideas on health; everything they want to do will make huge numbers of people worse off, to the benefit of a wealthy few. And they know this. They know that the campaign against Obamacare was based on lies from the beginning, that all their complaints about things like high deductibles were hypocritical. They know that what they’re about to do is terrible. But they’re trying to do it anyway — and the only way they have a chance is by breaking every rule of good governance, by making the process so rushed and secretive that nobody has a chance to say “Wait a minute– what are we doing?” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Happiness Is a Normal Yield Curve

Posted by hkarner - 30. Juli 2017

July 29, 2017

“I never liked quantitative easing. Flattening the yield curve is not stimulative; flattening the yield curve is anti-stimulative.”

– Ken Fisher

“There is a limit to how much the United States Treasury can borrow.”

– Alan Greenspan

“In other words, we have the models we have because of inertia and theology, but also because all we can do is all we can do.”

– Kit Webster

“[T]he specific manner by which prices collapsed is not the most important problem: A crash occurs because the market has entered an unstable phase, and any small disturbance or process may have triggered the instability. Think of a ruler held up vertically on your finger: This very unstable position will lead eventually to its collapse, as a result of a small (or an absence of adequate) motion of your hand or due to any tiny whiff of air. The collapse is fundamentally due to the unstable position; the instantaneous cause of the collapse is secondary.”

– Didier Sornette, French geophysicist Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Al Gore Returns with an Ever-More Inconvenient Truth

Posted by hkarner - 30. Juli 2017

Date: 29-07-2017
Source: Scientific American

The vice president-turned-environmental crusader takes viewers to climate change’s front lines in his documentary sequel

Former Vice President Al Gore.

Water trickles off blue-white glaciers in Greenland in the opening scenes of Al Gore’s new film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which opens to limited release on July 28 in New York City and Los Angeles, and widely on August 4. The rapidly melting Arctic is a fitting place to begin the documentary, which offers up exotic places, tough debates and a thorough update on climate change’s advancement since Gore’s original film. Nature has not waited for humans to act in the intervening decade.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, more polar ice has disappeared, and global temperature and carbon dioxide levels have climbed even higher. Hurricanes are growing stronger, droughts more intense and flooding more extensive. Despite all that depressing news, Gore has returned to the stage, still stubbornly pushing his message to the world: There is still hope—we still have time—but we need to act fast. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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