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Archive for 4. Januar 2018

Star-Investor Buffett: „Amerikanische Kinder brauchen nicht pessimistisch sein“

Posted by hkarner - 4. Januar 2018

In den nächsten 25 Jahren könne das BIP pro Kopf um 20.000 Dollar gesteigert werden. Auch könne die Lücke zwischen den Reichen und weniger Reichen geschlossen werden, zeigte sich Buffett zuversichtlich.

USA stehen noch viel bessere Zeiten bevor, glaubt Warren Buffett. 

Star-Investor Warren Buffett sieht in den kommenden Jahren rosige Zeiten für die Amerikaner. In einem Gastbeitrag für das Magazin „Time“ zeigte sich der 87-Jährige optimistisch, dass Innovationen und Produktionsverbesserungen nicht zu Jobverlusten führten.

Das „amerikanische Spiel der Wirtschaftswunder“ befinde sich in einem frühen Stadium. Amerikanische Kinder hätten keinen Grund, pessimistisch zu sein. Ein kräftiges Wirtschaftswachstum sei nicht notwendig, um im Wohlstand zu leben.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Giving Democracy the Finger

Posted by hkarner - 4. Januar 2018

Christopher R. Hill, former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, was US Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia, and Poland, a US special envoy for Kosovo, a negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords, and the chief US negotiator with North Korea from 2005-2009. He is currently Dean of the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, and the author of Outpost.

US President Donald Trump has used his first year in office to reverse America’s traditional role as a guarantor of security and democratic values around the world. And, in attacking those values at home, he either doesn’t realize or doesn’t care that America’s system of governance has been the main source of its global prestige.

DENVER – Some of the most iconic – and perhaps misleading – news images of the twenty-first century were of smiling Iraqis holding up their purple-ink-stained index fingers to show that they had voted in their country’s January 2005 election. For many, it was the first vote they had ever cast.

The purported story behind the images was that democracy had finally arrived in Iraq. A system without elections cannot claim to be a democracy. So, for many, seeing images of a well-run voting process (the ink stains prevented voters from casting more than one ballot) was proof enough that things had changed.

But democracy is an exceedingly complex system, and free elections are only one feature. An absence of elections certainly implies an absence of democracy. But it does not follow that the inverse is also true. Elections are a necessary but insufficient condition of democracy, which also requires durable institutions that embody democratic values. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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EU Competition Chief Tracks How Companies Use ‘Big Data’

Posted by hkarner - 4. Januar 2018

Date: 02-01-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Regulators say the information could allow big businesses to exclude rivals from markets

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is concerned about the amount of data companies store and its implications for rival businesses.

BRUSSELS—European Union antitrust regulators are eyeing an increasingly important corporate currency: data.

The European Union’s competition chief is zeroing in on how companies stockpile and use so-called big data, or enormous computer files of customer records, industry statistics and other information. The move diverges starkly from a hands-off approach in the U.S., where regulators emphasize the benefits big data brings to innovation.

“In some areas, these data are extremely valuable,” Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition, said in an interview. “They can foreclose the market—they can give the parties that have them immense business opportunities that are not available to others.”

At issue for European antitrust regulators is whether companies holding big data, from Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. to German car maker BMW AG , can exclude new competitors from markets if they control exclusive information needed to satisfy customers or cut costs.

The regulators say big data isn’t bad in itself, but when reviewing mergers or monopolies they want to ensure that rivals aren’t prevented from competing because they lack access to that information. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Return of the Newspaper

Posted by hkarner - 4. Januar 2018

Bajinder Pal Singh

Bajinder Pal Singh is Director of Media and Communications at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand.

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential election did not usher in a new era of social media, or spell the demise of the traditional press. In the past year, newspapers staged a remarkable recovery by doing what they do best: reporting thoroughly and accurately on the most important stories of the day.

BANGKOK – Social media are no longer the new kid on the block, but in 2016, platforms like Twitter and Facebook looked poised to nudge traditional newspapers into obsolescence. Following President Donald Trump’s victory in the United States, it seemed that the mainstream media had not only lost the plot, but had also lost their relevance.

Trump led the multi-pronged attack on traditional news media, and newspapers in particular. But many members of the press were also quick to declare that their own character limit had been reached. Accused of being elitist and out of sync with readers, newspapers’ reactions ranged from self-flagellation to repentance for the election result. Flummoxed by the clobbering from all sides, pundits who could not get the Trump election right prophesied that declining sales, falling readership, and flagging credibility heralded the demise of the newspaper, as we have known it.

But more than one year later, it is clear that Trump’s victory did not mean any such thing. On the contrary, his ascendancy has made the newspaper business more relevant than ever. The most remarkable media story of 2017 may have been how Trump inadvertently made newspapers great again. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund Makes Monster Bet on Bitcoin

Posted by hkarner - 4. Januar 2018

Date: 03-01-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Few mainstream investors have bought large sums of bitcoin, scared off by concerns about cybersecurity and liquidity

Peter Thiel

One of the biggest names in Silicon Valley is placing a moonshot bet on bitcoin.

Founders Fund, the venture-capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, has amassed hundreds of millions of dollars of the volatile cryptocurrency, people familiar with the matter said. The bet has been spread across several of the firm’s most recent funds, the people said, including one that began investing in mid-2017 and made bitcoin one of its first investments.

Founders and Mr. Thiel, 50 years old, are well-known for early investments in companies like Facebook Inc. that sometimes take years to come to fruition. The bitcoin bet is quickly showing promise. Founders bought around $15 million to $20 million in bitcoin, and it has told investors the firm’s haul is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars after the digital currency’s ripping rise in the past year.

It isn’t clear if Founders has sold any of its holdings yet. The bet hasn’t been previously reported. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Kann Bewegungspolitik die europäische Demokratie erneuern?

Posted by hkarner - 4. Januar 2018

Jan-Werner Mueller

Jan-Werner Mueller is a professor of politics at Princeton University. His latest book is What is Populism?

PRINCETON – Viele Menschen rechneten damit, dass ganz große politische Geschichte des Jahres 2017 der Triumph des Populismus in Europa sein würde. Aber es kam anders. Als größte Geschichte erwiesen sich vielmehr selbsternannte „Bewegungen“, die traditionelle politische Parteien völlig umdrehten oder an deren Stelle traten.  

Man denke an die Bewegung La République En Marche! des französischen Präsidenten Emmanuel Macron, die im vergangenen Frühjahr sowohl die Präsidenten- als auch die Parlamentswahlen in Frankreich beherrschte. Oder man denke daran, wie der 31-jährige Sebastian Kurz Ende des Jahres österreichischer Bundeskanzler wurde, nachdem er die konservative Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP) zu einer Bewegung namens „Liste Sebastian Kurz – die neue Volkspartei“ umgekrempelt hatte.

In ganz Europa erleben immer mehr Wähler die traditionellen politischen Parteien als eigennützig und machthungrig. Auch in den Entwicklungsländern werden etablierte Parteien wie der Afrikanische Nationalkongress (ANC) in Südafrika mittlerweile weithin als korrupt wahrgenommen. In vielen Fällen wandelten sich traditionelle Parteien zu Strukturen, die von Politikwissenschaftlern als „Kartelle“ bezeichnet werden: sie bedienen sich staatlicher Ressourcen, um an der Macht zu bleiben und, ungeachtet ihrer politischen Unterschiede, arbeiten sie zusammen, um Herausforderer fernzuhalten.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Nasdaq Crests 7000 as Tech Giants Roar Into 2018

Posted by hkarner - 4. Januar 2018

Date: 03-01-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tech-focused index jumped 28% in 2017, beating the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 25% gain and S&P 500’s 19% rise

Stretching
Companies in the Nasdaq are trading at the highest multiples of their last 12months of earnings since 2004.

The Nasdaq Composite closed above 7000 for the first time Tuesday after racing to a fresh 1,000-point milestone in just over eight months—a pace not seen since the heights of the technology boom.

Many global stock indexes have hit records or multiyear highs in recent months, lifted by signs of a pickup in economic expansion around the world.

The Nasdaq has risen faster than other major U.S. indexes over the past year as investors, frustrated with low interest rates and tepid global growth, bet on the prospects of large technology companies such as Apple Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Microsoft Corp., all of which are heavily weighted in the index.

Those three companies, along with fellow heavyweights Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc., collectively contributed more than two-thirds of the points that carried the Nasdaq from one 1000-point milestone to another, according to stock-market research firm Birinyi Associates.

Such bets helped the Nasdaq jump 28% in 2017, beating the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 25% gain and S&P 500’s 19% rise. The only two times the Nasdaq has passed 1,000-point milestones faster were the 38 trading sessions the index took to advance to 4000 in 1999 and the 49 sessions it needed to top 5000 in 2000—shortly before the dot-com bust. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Greeks Lean Heavily on Grandparents’ Pensions

Posted by hkarner - 4. Januar 2018

Date: 03-01-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Retirement funds, a benefit politicians bestowed with abandon for decades, are now the last hope for impoverished Greeks—even young ones

ATHENS—Two years ago, Lumbi Nychas, 33, moved back into his childhood bedroom after sales at his jewelry store shrank drastically. A few months later his sister followed, along with her husband and daughter. Today they all depend largely on the state pension of the siblings’ retired 67-year-old father.

Mr. Nychas and his sister use his bedroom as their workshop and sell their handmade jewelry online. “What I miss most is my serenity, the opportunity to just be alone and relax,” said Mr. Nychas, who would like to earn enough to move back out but doesn’t believe that day—let alone the wherewithal to start his own family—will come soon.

Greece’s pension system, a benefit pumped up over decades by profligate politicians, has become a de facto welfare net for the country’s most vulnerable citizens, with millions of grandparents using what was meant to be retirement money to provide critical support for their extended families.

That broad dependency compounds the pain Greeks feel as the government prepares to enact a new round of pension cuts in 2018 and 2019. Retirees are expected to see their pensions reduced by up to a fifth in what will be the 13th cut implemented since the start of the bailout regime in 2010. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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