Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Archive for 15. Juli 2017

The United States of debt

Posted by hkarner - 15. Juli 2017

Very witty! (hfk)

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

The hidden message in American companies’ balance-sheets

POLITICS in America may be an arena of mutual incomprehension with few settled facts, but the debate about the health of American firms’ balance-sheets is, if anything, even more bewildering. Ranged on one side are those who complain that America Inc is hoarding $2trn of idle cash and that this acts as a powerful drag on the economy. On the other are those, including the IMF, who yell that firms are bingeing on debt, with borrowing hitting an all-time high of $8.4trn last year. As a result firms are simultaneously accused of being timid wimps and reckless idiots.

In fact, the numbers show that they are by and large a sensible bunch (especially compared with the country’s bankers and politicians). What is more, the debate over debt, as framed, misses the most intriguing thing about their balance-sheets. These have been radically reshaped to adapt to three national economic sicknesses—a financial system that companies still mistrust after the crisis; a broken tax code; and monopoly profits. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany fears Donald Trump will divide Europe

Posted by hkarner - 15. Juli 2017

Date: 13-07-2017
Source: The Economist
Angela Merkel is troubled by the president’s chumminess with Putin and Poland

IN THE aftermath of the G20 summit on July 7th and 8th, German politicians traded blows over who was at fault for riots by anti-globalisation activists that smashed up parts of central Hamburg. But a big global event in the heart of a city with a strong anarchist tradition was always bound to prompt protests. Officials’ deeper reasons for anxiety were different: Donald Trump and his attitudes towards Russia and Poland.

To some in Berlin, the president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin was a “Yalta 2.0”, a 21st-century equivalent of the summit in 1945 at which Americans and Russians divided Europe. Angela Merkel saw Mr Trump’s “back-slapping and face-pulling” display before the Russian president (as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a daily, put it) as undermining her efforts to confront Russia over Ukraine. An internal memo by the German foreign ministry summarising the G20 noted: “The summit went very well for Russia…As long as the US breaks rank, Russia can swim in the mainstream.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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If the state got out of the redistribution business

Posted by hkarner - 15. Juli 2017

Date: 13-07-2017

Source: The Economist

Without governments, would countries have more inequality, or less?

Angus Deaton, a Nobel prize-winning economist, explores a question that intrigued him

IF WE were somehow to abolish its government, would America become less equal? Would Britain?

The obvious answer is yes; many see the reduction of market inequality as one of the main tasks of the state in a mixed economy. And indeed, across the mostly rich economies of the OECD, post-tax incomes are more equally distributed than pre-tax incomes.

But this simple understanding is seriously incomplete—both factually, and in its view on the way governments behave.

The standard case, which all economists learn, is that competitive markets are efficient, in the precise but limited sense that in a well-functioning free market it is impossible to make anyone better off without hurting at least one other person. Nothing in this guarantees an acceptable distribution of income; one person having everything can be perfectly efficient. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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If France’s reforms succeeded

Posted by hkarner - 15. Juli 2017

Date: 13-07-2017
Source: The Economist

What a Macron miracle could do for France and Europe

Suppose France’s president manages to transform his country and his continent

FOR as long as anybody could remember, the French president had given his annual Bastille Day address in front of the sweeping lawns of the Elysée Palace garden. But the July 14th speech of 2026 marked a revolution of a different sort. The president spoke from the modernist glass-and-steel presidency building, newly inaugurated in the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis. The moment was rich in symbolism. The move from the historic presidential palace, which is to be turned into a museum, marked not only the merger of the capital with its once-declining banlieues. It sent another message: nine years after his first election, Emmanuel Macron has turned France towards the future.

It was not always clear that things would work out this well. During his first years, Mr Macron made his share of beginner’s errors. He underestimated the idealism of his first-time deputies, freshly recruited to En Marche! (“On the Move!”) for the parliamentary elections in 2017, and narrowly avoided defeat on a bill to hand sweeping counter-terrorism powers to the police. He overestimated his ability to outwit Vladimir Putin, and got embroiled in an unfortunate overseas adventure against an Islamist incursion in Niger. “The ambition of young leaders is always humbled by foreign entanglements,” sniffed a veteran Republican, who had lost his seat to a 35-year-old En Marche! debutant. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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