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Archive for 12. Januar 2018

25 Jahre Fairtrade Österreich: Von Null auf 300 Millionen Euro

Posted by hkarner - 12. Januar 2018

Der Umsatz von Fairtrade könnte in Österreich im Jahr 2017 erstmals die 300-Millionen-Euro-Marke geknackt haben.

Vor 25 Jahren startete Fairtrade in Österreich mit dem Verkauf von Kaffee. In den folgenden Jahren nahm man unter anderem Kakao, Bananen, Rosen, Baumwolle und Zucker ins Programm. Der Umsatz mit Fairtrade-Produkten lag zuletzt bei 270 Mio. Euro und könnte im Jahr 2017 die 300-Mio.-Euro-Marke geknackt haben.

Dass sich Märkte durch Fairtrade und Nachhaltigkeitsthemen ändern können, sehe man bei Bananen und Kakao, sagte Fairtrade-Österreich-Chef Hartwig Kirner zur APA. Fairtrade sei eine „sehr politische Organisation“, weil man die Lieferkette ändern wolle, damit die Rohstoffproduzenten einen fairen Preis bekommen. Millionen von Kleinbauern würden großen Lebensmittelkonzernen gegenüberstehen, die ein Nachfrageoligopol bilden.

Die Kritik, dass der Fairtrade-Kaffeemindestpreis zu niedrig sei, kann Kirner nicht nachvollziehen. Der aktuelle Mindestpreis sei eben ein Kompromiss. Es gehe um einen fairen Preis für die Kaffeebauern und gleichzeitig um Absatzchancen. Der Mindestpreis werde in einem langwierigen Stakeholder-Prozess gebildet, wo die Mitglieder der Lieferkette ihre Kalkulationen offenlegen müssen, erklärte Kirner. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The strong performance of the global economy finally has an impact

Posted by hkarner - 12. Januar 2018

Date: 11-01-2018
Source: The Economist

THE strong performance of the world’s economy is finally filtering into commodity prices. Last year will probably turn out to have been the first year since 2010 in which growth accelerated in each of America, Europe, China and Japan. And Brent crude oil, copper and a Bloomberg composite index of spot prices for 22 raw materials are all at their highest levels since November 2014. But if global demand has been picking up for several quarters, why has it taken this long to become evident in commodity prices? And more importantly, how sustainable is the rally?

The delay in the price increases is the easiest part to explain. Years of strong production of oil, base metals and grains left the global economy with huge surpluses. Stockpiles of oil reached a record high in November 2015, according to the International Energy Agency. OPEC, the oil cartel, agreed to restrain production in order to drain the surpluses and eventually put prices under upward pressure. China also applied the same principle to certain sectors. In 2016 it cut the number of working days for coal miners from 330 to 276, and halved its steel output to 65m tonnes. These measures appeared to have little effect at first, but now that strong demand has eaten into those reserves, prices are rising. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Deutschland verdankt seinen Rekordüberschuss allein Mario Draghi

Posted by hkarner - 12. Januar 2018

Von Anja Ettel | |welt.de

Deutschland erzielt höchsten Überschuss seit Wiedervereinigung

Bund, Länder, Kommunen und Sozialversicherung nahmen zusammen 38,4 Milliarden Euro mehr ein, als sie ausgaben, wie das Statistische Bundesamt in Berlin mitteilte. Das ist der höchste Wert seit der Wiedervereinigung.

Die EZB-Geldpolitik hat Bund und Ländern über die Jahre Zinsen von 290 Milliarden Euro erspart. Doch der Preis ist hoch. Anleger wurden um ihre Erträge gebracht – und die Politik verteilt Geld, das sie eigentlich nicht hat.

In den Sondierungsgesprächen von Union und SPD zählt die Haushaltslage im Bund zu den angenehmeren Themen: immerhin ist der finanzielle Spielraum bereits während der Jamaika-Sondierungen auf bis zu 45 Milliarden Euro geschätzt worden. Aller Voraussicht nach könnte sogar noch die eine oder andere Milliarde mehr herausspringen: immerhin hat das Statistische Bundesamt soeben für 2017 einen Rekordüberschuss von 38 Milliarden Euro gemeldet, das entspricht 1,2 Prozent der Wirtschaftsleistung. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Good Times at Last?

Posted by hkarner - 12. Januar 2018

Jim O’Neill, a former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and former Commercial Secretary to the UK Treasury, is Honorary Professor of Economics at Manchester University and former Chairman of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Despite today’s unprecedented political risks and large-scale geopolitical realignments, key economic indicators from around the world are looking better than they have in years. But whether global economic growth exceeds 4% this year will depend on central bankers‘ ability to strike the right monetary-policy balance.

LONDON – In February 2017, I wrote an optimistic commentary called “The Global Economy’s Surprising Resilience.” The piece came as a surprise to those who saw only bleak prospects for Western countries, not least the United States, where US President Donald Trump had just been inaugurated.

Now, nearly a year later, my three decades of experience in global financial markets leads me to believe that the economic situation is not quite as straightforward.

On the positive side, the half-dozen cyclical indicators I listed last February remain strong, and some have even strengthened further. One key indicator is South Korea’s monthly trade data. The country’s exports grew by 15.8% in 2017, the largest increase since 1956, when it began reporting these data. Moreover, export growth occurred even as Trump threatened to withdraw from the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement and stoked tensions with North Korea – a powerful rebuke to those who have predicted retrenchment of global trade. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Diagnosing from a distance: What’s on the president’s mind

Posted by hkarner - 12. Januar 2018

Date: 11-01-2018
Source: The Economist

The trump presidency is nowhere near 25th-Amendment territory

ANY political system that puts great power in the hands of a single person must also reckon with the problem that creates. It is sensible to make provision to remove the king or president from office if he becomes incapacitated. Yet the existence of such a provision also risks inviting a coup. The framers of the constitution were acutely aware of this, and decided to fudge it. Meanwhile, in Britain, George III’s bouts of mania invited questions about who is really in charge when the monarch is on the throne but out of his mind. Speculation about President Donald Trump’s mental state, ever-present since before his election, increased when he tweeted that his nuclear button was “much bigger” than Kim Jong-Un’s. Being Mr Trump, he followed up with his own self-analysis, declaring that he is a “very stable genius”.

Most psychiatrists are wary about pronouncing on the mental state of people they have not examined, but that has not stopped a few from having a go at Mr Trump. Bandy Lee, a psychiatrist at Yale and editor of a book called “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”, briefed members of Congress before Christmas. More than 50 Democrats have signed up to a bill to compel the 45th president to submit to an examination of his fitness for office.

Speculation about what is on the president’s mind begins with assertions that he might be in the early stages of dementia. Those who argue this begin with the observation that the president’s father had Alzheimer’s disease. That is not, by itself, strong evidence. There is a version of Alzheimer’s that is almost guaranteed to be passed on from parent to child, but it tends to show up in people in their 40s and 50s. The other strains are less strongly heritable, meaning family history is a useful part of a diagnosis, but not more than that. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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