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Archive for 1. Dezember 2017

Evidence-Based Policy Mistakes

Posted by hkarner - 1. Dezember 2017

Kaushik Basu, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, is Professor of Economics at Cornell University and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

People’s everyday experiences provide huge amounts of potentially useful information. While a common-sense approach based on individual experience is not the most “scientific,” it should not be dismissed out of hand.

TURIN – After years of stressing the importance of evidence-based policymaking, economists have clearly had some influence on politicians. What economists now need to do is to impress upon those same politicians that citing any evidence before adopting any policy is not evidence-based policymaking at all.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has thrown around numbers to defend his decision to flood the Turkish economy with state-guaranteed credit. But the truth is that the policy was a politically motivated effort to win public support by engineering short-term growth (at the cost of driving inflation to a nine-year high of 12%). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Will Tesla Die for Lack of Cobalt?

Posted by hkarner - 1. Dezember 2017

Date: 30-11-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Probably not. The dreaded cobalt shortage seems like a story we have heard before

Wedged between iron and nickel on the periodic table, cobalt has suddenly emerged as the electric car killer.

The once-obscure metal, a critical part of batteries, has nearly tripled in price since last summer as concerns grow about whether there will be enough cobalt to meet demand.

The ingredients are certainly there for a shortage. Output is concentrated in the politically unstable Democratic Republic of Congo and refining is dominated by China. Demand is set to soar as companies from Tesla Inc. to Volkswagen AG ramp up production of electric vehicles.

With the price of cobalt hitting $30 a pound, investors have poured into shares of companies that mine or own rights to the metal. Canada’s Cobalt27 Capital Corp., which believes there is already a deficit in supply which will worsen, is up 162% this year.

“I don’t think automobile manufacturers are as concerned about price as availability,” says George Heppel, a consultant at materials research firm CRU International who says the shortage could peak in 2021. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What Is Bitcoin? Not What You Think

Posted by hkarner - 1. Dezember 2017

Date: 30-11-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject:

While bitcoin is a wonderful academic creation, it doesn’t do most of the things that would be expected of a currency

The attention bitcoin is getting raises plenty of questions, mostly about whether the mania behind the cryptocurrency’s 10-fold gain this year will end in a crash.

It is plausible to believe that bitcoin’s had a faster rise in value than any asset in history. The $11,000 per bitcoin it passed on Wednesday compares with a value of less than half a cent when a Florida programmer paid 10,000 bitcoins for two pizzas in May 2010—a percentage gain of more than 250 million.

The attention the cryptocurrency is getting raises plenty of questions, mostly about whether the mania behind bitcoin’s 10-fold gain this year will end in a crash. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Bitcoin ‘Ought to Be Outlawed,’ Nobel Prize Winner Stiglitz Says

Posted by hkarner - 1. Dezember 2017

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-29/bitcoin-ought-to-be-outlawed-nobel-prize-winner-stiglitz-says-jal10hxd

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said “bitcoin is successful only because of its potential for circumvention, lack of oversight.”

“So it seems to me it ought to be outlawed,” Stiglitz said Wednesday in a Bloomberg Television interview with Francine Lacqua and Tom Keene. “It doesn’t serve any socially useful function.”

Bitcoin surpassed $11,000 in a matter of hours after hitting the $10,000 milestone, taking this year’s price surge to almost 12-fold as buyers shrugged off increased warnings that the largest digital currency is an asset bubble.

“It’s a bubble that’s going to give a lot of people a lot of exciting times as it rides up and then goes down,” Stiglitz added.

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