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Archive for 13. Juli 2017

Nobody is really in charge of Britain

Posted by hkarner - 13. Juli 2017

Date: 13-07-2017
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

The prime minister’s power has drained away, leaving the country adrift

THE basic question of politics is always the same: who’s in charge here? Theresa May has already muddied the answer to this question once. By calling an election two years before she needed to, she turned a majority government into a minority and shattered her authority. Now she is muddying it again. By using the anniversary of her appointment as prime minister to relaunch her premiership, she is reminding everyone how little power she has.

Mrs May introduced Matthew Taylor’s report on the future of work with some reflections about her first year in office. The issue at the heart of her agenda is the same as it always was, she said: recognising that the EU referendum result was not only a vote to leave the European Union but also a call to change the country. But last month’s close election means that tactics must change: if Britain is to get anything done, politicians will have to work across party lines. She challenged Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to “contribute” rather than merely criticising. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Currency account: the Big Mac index

Posted by hkarner - 13. Juli 2017

Date: 13-07-2017
Source: The Economist

Today The Economist releases its annual index based on purchasing-power parity, with the idea that currencies should converge such that the same amount of money, at market exchange rates, should buy the same amount of Big Mac anywhere.

Alas, not so. The Egyptian pound, which was floated in November, is by our meaty calculations the cheapest major currency, undervalued by 67% against the dollar (in cheeseburger terms). The Mexican peso turned soggy after the American election, on fears of a trade war, but in the past six months has crisped up again—from 56% to 48% undervalued against the dollar.

Similarly, the euro, once rattled by fears of a populist insurgency, is undervalued by 16% against the greenback, up from 20%. Some currencies, though, still appear dear: the Swiss franc, for example, is overvalued by 27%. American tourists interested in Alpine picnicking are advised to bring their own burgers.

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Poland After Trump

Posted by hkarner - 13. Juli 2017

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EU to Press U.K. Over Brexit Divorce Bill

Posted by hkarner - 13. Juli 2017

Date: 12-07-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson decries expectations as ‘extortionate’

U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the EU’s divorce bill expectations are ‘extortionate’ during a parliamentary debate on Tuesday.

BRUSSELS—European officials are set to press Britain to clarify its position in coming days on European Union demands that it settle a bill to leave the bloc, as U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson dismissed what he called the EU’s “extortionate” expectations.

EU officials have said the U.K. has legal commitments upward of €60 billion ($68 billion) of spending pledges. They have made the divorce bill one of several priorities that must be addressed upfront—along with citizens’ rights after Brexit and the situation in Ireland—before they are willing to begin discussions on a future EU-U.K. trade deal.

The clash over the financial settlement comes ahead of the start Monday of the second round of negotiations over the U.K.’s departure from the bloc. In recent days, European officials have voiced concerns that the U.K. is seeking to sidestep discussions on the divorce bill. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 13. Juli 2017

FURCHE-Kolumne 219 Wilfried Stadler

Kürzlich erst schockierte der große Physiker und Weltentstehungs-Erklärer Stephen Hawkings mit seiner Empfehlung an uns Erdbewohner, in spätestens 100 Jahren für die dann angeblich unaufschiebbare Auswanderung auf einen anderen Planeten gerüstet zu sein. Angesichts der Absurdität und vollkommenen Realitätsferne dieser interplanetaren Migrations-Phantasie kann man vermuten, dass es ihm weniger um die wissenschaftliche Wahrheit ging als vor allem darum, die Bewohner des Raumschiffs Erde zu einer Umkehr im Denken und Handeln zu bewegen.

Nun gibt es in der Tat dringenden Lern- und Handlungsbedarf in allen wesentlichen Pflichtfächern der Globalisierung, von der Friedenspolitik über die Klimapolitik bis zur Armutsbekämpfung. Der schrille Alarmismus jedoch, mit dem Hawkings meinungsbildend wirken will, scheint mir der falsche Weg zu sein. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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