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Archive for Februar 2018

Die Rückkehr der Milliardengewinne

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2018

Nach Jahren der Krise vermelden Österreichs Banken allesamt wieder Ergebnisse auf Rekordniveau. Grund dafür ist die Erholung in Osteuropa. Nun bauen sich aber neue Risken auf.

Wien. Vor ziemlich genau neun Jahren hat der US-Wirtschaftsnobelpreisträger Paul Krugman von einem ,Argentinien an der Donau‘ gesprochen. Er hat nicht recht behalten.“ Mit diesem Verweis auf die damalige Aussage Krugmans, Österreich drohe aufgrund der starken Verflechtung seiner Banken in Osteuropa eine Staatspleite, begann Erste-Bank-Chef Andreas Treichl am Mittwoch seine Präsentation der Bilanz des Jahres 2017. Es sind Ergebnisse, die sich sehen lassen können: Mit einem Nettogewinn von 1,32 Mrd. Euro verdiente die Erste im Vorjahr nicht nur um 51 Mio. mehr als 2016, es war auch der höchste jemals erzielte Wert und das zweite Rekordergebnis in Folge.

Grund dafür ist die Erholung im noch vor wenigen Jahren stark gescholtenen Osteuropa, so Treichl weiter. Im Vorjahr ist beispielsweise kein einziges Land, in dem die Erste tätig ist, schwächer gewachsen als der Schnitt der Eurozone. Mit Tschechien, aber auch Ungarn und Rumänien, haben bereits drei Länder geringere Arbeitslosenraten als Österreich. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Bratislava und Prag sind reicher als Wien

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2018

Die Region „Inner London“ ist die reichste Region in der EU, auf Platz zwei folgt Luxemburg. Bratislava und Prag schneiden im EU-Ranking besser ab als Wien. Die reichste Region in Österreich ist Salzburg.

Wien/Brüssel. In der EU gibt es eine deutliche Schere zwischen den ärmsten und reichsten Regionen. Dies zeigen Daten der europäischen Statistikbehörde Eurostat, die am Mittwoch veröffentlicht wurden. Auf Platz eins beim regionalen Bruttoinlandsprodukt (BIP) pro Kopf liegt die Region „Inner London-West“ (611 Prozent des EU-Durchschnitts). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tech companies should stop pretending AI won’t destroy jobs

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2018

Date: 28-02-2018
Source: Technology Review

A View from Kai-Fu Lee. 

He is a Taiwanese venture capitalist, technology executive, writer, and computer scientist. He is currently based in Beijing, China. Lee developed the world’s first speaker-independent, continuous speech recognition system as his Ph.D. thesis at Carnegie Mellon. He later worked as an executive, first at Apple, then SGI, Microsoft, and then Google.

No matter what anyone tells you, we’re not ready for the massive societal upheavals on the way.

I took an Uber to an artificial-­intelligence conference at MIT one recent morning, and the driver asked me how long it would take for autonomous vehicles to take away his job. I told him it would happen in about 15 to 20 years. He breathed a sigh of relief. “Well, I’ll be retired by then,” he said.

Good thing we weren’t in China. If a driver there had asked, I would have had to tell him he’d lose his job in about 10 years—maybe 15 if he was lucky.

That might sound surprising, given that the US is, and has been, in the lead in AI research. But China is catching up—if it hasn’t already—and that rivalry, with one nation playing off the other, guarantees that AI is coming. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Working Toward the Next Economic Paradigm

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2018

Mohamed A. El-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz, the corporate parent of PIMCO where he served as CEO and co-Chief Investment Officer, was Chairman of US President Barack Obama’s Global Development Council. He previously served as CEO of the Harvard Management Company and Deputy Director at the International Monetary Fund. He was named one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. He is the author, most recently, of The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse.

Building support for a new unifying economic paradigm to replace the discredited Washington Consensus will be an analytically challenging, politically demanding, and time-consuming process. In the meantime, both economists and policymakers must ensure that the existing paradigm doesn’t cause more damage than it already has.

LAGUNA BEACH – For decades, the Western world put its faith in a well-defined and broadly accepted economic paradigm with applications at both the national and global levels. But, against a background of declining confidence in the ability of “experts” to explain, let alone predict, economic developments, that faith has deteriorated. With a new paradigm having yet to emerge, the world economy faces a heightened risk of fragmentation, with already-vulnerable countries being left even further behind.

The paradigm that, until recently, dominated much of economic thinking and policymaking is embodied in the so-called Washington Consensus – a set of ten broadly applicable policy prescriptions for individual countries – and, at the international level, in the pursuit of economic and financial globalization. The idea, simply put, was that countries would benefit from embracing market-based pricing and deregulation at home, while fostering free trade and relatively open cross-border capital flows. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Market Dogs That Didn’t Bark

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2018

Anatole Kaletsky is Chief Economist and Co-Chairman of Gavekal Dragonomics. A former columnist at the Times of London, the International New York Times and the Financial Times, he is the author of Capitalism 4.0, The Birth of a New Economy, which anticipated many of the post-crisis transformations of the global economy. His 1985 book, Costs of Default, became an influential primer for Latin American and Asian governments negotiating debt defaults and restructurings with banks and the IMF.

Did February’s equity-price reversal mark the end of the bull market, or was it just a temporary correction? In addressing this question, one must look not just at the stock market, but also at oil prices, long-term US interest rates, and currencies.

LONDON – Three months ago, I argued that rising stock markets around the world were a consequence of improving economic conditions, not a sign of “irrational exuberance.” Since that commentary was published, share prices accelerated upward, and some “irrational exuberance” did start to appear, leading to a sharp fall in early February. Although most stock markets are still well above their levels of last November, the question lingers: Did February’s reversal mark the end of the bull market, or was it just a temporary correction?

The strongest evidence, as Sherlock Holmes might have remarked, comes from the dog that didn’t bark. More precisely, it comes from three vehement guard dogs – oil prices, long-term US interest rates, and currencies – that slept peacefully through the commotion on Wall Street. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How Does the World’s Biggest Tech Investor Make Its Bets? Unpredictably

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2018

Date: 26-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son in Tokyo this month.

Tech magnate Masayoshi Son often befuddles people in his industry with the
large sums he is willing to pay for stakes in companies.

That includes his directors.

Shigenobu Nagamori says he objected when Mr. Son, chief executive of SoftBank Group Corp., told his board in 2016 he wanted to pay $32 billion for Arm Holdings PLC. The U.K. chip-design firm was worth a 10th of that, Mr. Nagamori, then a SoftBank outside director, says he told Mr. Son.

Mr. Son paid it anyway. And he continued a buying spree, picking up stakes in dozens more companies, many of them “unicorns”—startups that have grown to valuations over $1 billion—such as Uber Technologies Inc. and WeWork Cos. In some of those deals, too, he had to argue with directors and advisers who thought he was paying too much.

Investors want to understand just how Mr. Son goes about deciding on his billions of dollars of bets, among the largest in the tech industry, which he does through SoftBank and affiliated investment funds. Current and former SoftBank directors, executives, investing partners and others who know Mr. Son give a glimpse into how he works. It appears sometimes methodical, sometimes haphazard. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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ECB’s Weidmann Signals Openness to Succeeding Draghi as President

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2018

Date: 27-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Jens Weidmann has cautiously toned down his criticism of ECB policies in recent months as the economy has picked up

Jens Weidmann, president of the Bundesbank, said Tuesday that ending the ECB’s easy-money policies will “take quite some time.”

FRANKFURT—German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann gave the clearest sign yet that he hopes to succeed Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank next year, suggesting he won’t be held back from applying for the job by reservations over the bank’s bond-buying program.

A candidacy from Mr. Weidmann, a 49-year-old former adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel, would likely be supported by Berlin but opposed by some governments in Southern Europe, who have chafed at the German’s criticism of their spending habits and opposition to key ECB stimulus programs.

Mr. Weidmann’s predecessor as president of Germany’s central bank, Axel Weber, was the favorite to take over the ECB’s top job until he resigned unexpectedly in early 2011, clearing the way for Mr. Draghi to take the helm. Mr. Weber said at the time that he was worried about having to represent views he didn’t agree with on important ECB policies, including its government-bond purchases. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Megaprämien für Bawag-Chefs

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2018

27. Februar 2018, 19:12 derstandard.at

Die Geschäfte der Bawag laufen gut. Davon soll der Vorstand kräftig profitieren. Zum ohnehin hohen Gehalt gibt es eine saftige Prämie und Aktienoptionen

Wien – Das große Geld ist am Georg-Coch-Platz in Wien zu Hause. Dort befindet sich die Zentrale der Bawag PSK. Dem Vorstand und den Spitzenmanagern des Kreditinstituts dürfte über die kommenden Jahre ein Geldregen bevorstehen, von dem andere Unternehmenschefs in Österreich nur träumen können. Die Bawag hat am Dienstag ihre wichtigsten Kennzahlen für das Geschäftsjahr 2017 vorgelegt. Das Institut hat einen Rekordgewinn vor Steuern von 517 Millionen Euro im vergangenen Jahr erzielt, das entspricht einem kräftigen Plus von 12,3 Prozent. Für Schlagzeilen sorgte auch, dass die Bawag und die Post ihren gemeinsamen Vertrieb bis Ende 2019 und damit ein Jahr früher als bisher bekannt trennen werden. Die Bawag nutzt derzeit noch für ihr Kundengeschäft die Postfilialen in Österreich.

Satte Prämie für den Erfolg

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Closing the Global Economy’s New Digital Divide

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2018

Shamel Azmeh

Shamel Azmeh is an assistant professor of international development and international political economy at the University of Bath and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

As the global economy is transformed by new technologies, developing countries are at risk of losing out. While overcoming the resource constraints that limit developing countries’ investment in the digital economy will not be easy, failing to do so will carry a steeper price.

LONDON – From cloud computing to artificial intelligence, technology is beginning to revolutionize how the world economy functions. But while these shifts are enriching many in the advanced economies, the developing world is at risk of being left behind. To improve the global South’s economic prospects and avoid a deepening of inequality, developing-country policymakers must take seriously the implications of these shifts for their economies and their countries’ position in the global economy.

For years, the “digital divide” was narrowly defined in terms of Internet connectivity. But today, it manifests itself in the way businesses in rich countries use technology to strengthen their control of global value chains and extract a larger share of the value-added created in the developing world. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Making of Lehman Brothers II

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2018

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the IMF, is a professor at MIT Sloan, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and co-founder of a leading economics blog, The Baseline Scenario. He is the co-author, with James Kwak, of White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You.

A serious legislative effort, supported by the Trump administration, is underway to reduce the level of scrutiny applied to banks that are on the verge of becoming systemically important. If congressional Republicans have their way, financial stability will be at greater risk than at any time since the 2008 crisis.

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, with some fanfare, the US Treasury Department released a report on what to do about the Orderly Liquidation Authority. The OLA, created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010, was intended to prevent a recurrence of what happened in September 2008, when one failing firm, Lehman Brothers, was able to trigger a cascade effect that nearly destroyed the financial system.

The OLA allows the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), subject to reasonable safeguards, to take over a failing financial firm and wind it down in an orderly manner – very much in line with what happens, with some regularity, when a small bank becomes insolvent. Although the Treasury report reads more like a political document rather than a well-reasoned technical assessment, it still comes to a sensible conclusion: keep the OLA in place. Unfortunately, the report also masks a broader legislative and regulatory agenda that will add unnecessary risk – and a lot of it – to the financial system. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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