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Archive for 9. Februar 2018

SPD-Chef Martin Schulz Abgang ins Abseits

Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 2018

sueddeutsche.de politik 9. Februar 2018, 19:24 

SPD-Chef Martin Schulz hat sich ganz allein in eine aussichtslose Lage manövriert. Doch gehindert hat ihn daran in der Parteiführung auch niemand. Von einem, der auszog – und steckenblieb.

Von Christoph Hickmann

Im Nachhinein fragt man sich, ob er ernsthaft geglaubt hat, damit durchzukommen. Ob er nicht gesehen hat, was auf ihn zukommen, was losbrechen, welcher Druck sich aufbauen würde, und zwar binnen weniger Tage, ja Stunden. Aber offenbar hat Martin Schulz das nicht gesehen. Offenbar hat er tatsächlich geglaubt, er könne Außenminister werden, obwohl er am Tag nach der Bundestagswahl klipp und klar ausgeschlossen hatte, in ein Kabinett unter Angela Merkel einzutreten. Warum sonst hätte er sich diese finale Demütigung noch antun sollen?

Und was ist eigentlich mit den anderen, den Personen hinter ihm und um ihn herum, die den Plan mitgetragen haben, auf den Parteivorsitz zu verzichten und sich ins Auswärtige Amt zu retten? Was ist mit Andrea Nahles und mit Olaf Scholz, der designierten Parteivorsitzenden und dem als Vizekanzler vorgesehenen Hamburger Bürgermeister? Haben sie, politische Vollprofis, das alles ebenfalls nicht gesehen? Oder haben sie es gesehen, aber nichts gesagt, weil ihnen klar war, dass sich das Problem ohnehin erledigen würde? Man hält ja inzwischen viel für möglich in der SPD.

Am Ende war es der eigene Landesverband, der Martin Schulz signalisierte, dass es so nicht weitergehen könne Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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VOLKSBANK KÄNTEN. Bank deckt interne Spesenaffäre auf

Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 2018

Vorstand abberufen:

08.02.2018 15:39, krone.at

Dass ein Unternehmen von sich aus mit einem Spesenskandal an die Öffentlichkeit geht, ist eher ungewöhnlich. Die Volksbank Kärnten hat das, wie berichtet, getan: Der Vorstandschef wurde abberufen, da bei einer Revision Malversationen aufgetaucht waren.

 „Wir pflegen eine offene Kommunikationspolitik“, erklärt Volksbank-Aufsichtsrat Wilfried Aichinger, warum man die interne Affäre aufgedeckt habe. „Es fiel nicht leicht, aber der Betroffene war über unseren Schritt informiert. Man kann nicht bei Mitarbeitern strenge Maßstäbe anlegen und dann im Vorstand anders arbeiten.“ Der abgesetzte Chef soll private Ausgaben als Spesen verrechnet haben.

In welchem Ausmaß, muss eine genaue Prüfung erst festlegen. Auch ob die Entlassung noch strafrechtliche Folgen haben könnte, ist offen. Von sich aus wird die Staatsanwaltschaft nicht tätig, informiert Sprecherin Tina Frimmel-Hesse. „Dazu sind die Angaben noch zu vage.“ Bei der Volksbank will man erst intern alles klären. Aichinger: „Wichtig ist uns auch, dass niemand geschädigt wurde, da Geld zur Schadensgutmachung sichergestellt wurde.“

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Krisenbank Monte Paschi macht Milliarden-Verlust

Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 2018

9. Februar 2018, 21:19 derstandard.at

Kreditabschreibungen und sinkende Einnahmen bescheren der Bank noch schwächeres Ergebnis als im Vorjahr

Mailand – Die italienische Krisenbank Monte Paschi hat 2017 einen Verlust von 3,5 Milliarden Euro eingefahren. Wie das Institut am Freitag mitteilte, brachten unter anderem Kreditabschreibungen und sinkende Einnahmen dem Geldhaus aus der Toskana ein noch schwächeres Ergebnis ein als im Vorjahr. 2016 hatte die weltweit älteste Bank schon ein Minus von 3,2 Milliarden Euro verbucht. Im vergangenen Jahr gingen die Einnahmen nach Angaben der Bank um sechs Prozent zurück und der operative Verlust stieg um 40 Prozent.

Faule Kredite

Mit einem von der Europäischen Kommission abgesegneten Restrukturierungsplan will die vor einem Jahr auch mit staatlichen Milliardenbeträgen vor der Pleite gerettete Bank ab 2019 wieder Gewinne schreiben. Monte Paschi war unter anderem wegen einer hohen Zahl fauler Kredite in Schieflage geraten. Denn die langjährige Wirtschaftsflaute in Italien sorgte wie auch bei anderen Instituten dafür, dass viele Darlehen platzten. Auch Missmanagement und ein Derivate-Skandal machten der Bank zu schaffen. (Reuters, 9.2.2018) – derstandard.at/2000073982554/Krisenbank-Monte-Paschi-macht-Milliarden-Verlust

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Dow Industrials Plunge Into Correction

Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 2018

Date: 09-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Blue-chip index falls more than 1,000 points and is now down more than 10% from its January high

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 entered correction territory for the first time in two years on Thursday as worries about rising interest rates and newfound volatility continued to rattle the markets.

The Dow hadn’t been in a correction—a decline of at least 10% from a recent high—since February 2016. And traders were bracing for more upheaval.

“We opened around the highest levels of the day and closed at the lows, and that’s telling us the sellers aren’t quite done yet,” said Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner at broker-dealer Meridian Equity Partners.

Stocks spent much of the session Thursday deep in the red as a shaky day in the bond market appeared to spill over into equities. But stocks’ losses escalated near the end of the trading day, with the blue-chip index falling more than 400 points in the final 30 minutes of the session.

The Dow ended down 1,032.89 points, or 4.1%, to 23860.46. The plunge marks the second-steepest point decline on record, after Monday’s 1,175.21-point swoon. In percentage terms, however, neither drop ranks among the 100 biggest one-day plunges on record. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What will result from America’s strangely timed fiscal stimulus?

Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 2018

Date: 08-02-2018
Source: The Economist
Subject: The great experiment

The threat of inflation is less worrying than some investors think

GOOD economic news is not always good for everyone. On February 2nd it was revealed that average hourly wages grew by 2.9% in the year to January—the fastest growth since 2009, at the end of the recession. Stocks promptly tumbled around the world. Investors fretted that inflation might rise, forcing the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates further and faster than expected. Whether the jitters are justified, however, depends on how an extraordinary experiment in economic policy plays out. America is poised to stimulate an economy that is already growing strongly, at a time of historically low unemployment.

Most of the stimulus will come from tax cuts that President Donald Trump signed into law in December. These are worth 0.7% of projected GDP in 2018 and 1.5% of GDP in 2019. On February 18th Senate leaders sketched out a budget deal containing a further fiscal boost. If the proposal passes, defence spending will rise by $80bn this year, pleasing Republicans. Democrats have been offered $63bn in spending on other programmes. The total increase in outlays is worth another 0.7% of GDP. The White House also promises to unveil an infrastructure investment plan on February 12th. Higher spending will add to government borrowing that, after tax cuts, is already likely to reach almost $1trn, or 5% of GDP, by 2019 (see chart 1). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Pay-or-Play Capitalism

Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 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.

Too many corporate executives have forgotten the principle of enlightened self-interest. But rather than wait around for CEOs to see that healthy societies are essential to their firms‘ own long-term success, policymakers should start imposing costs on companies that free-ride on public and social goods.

LONDON – When I led the British government’s Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) from 2014 to 2016, we suggested various ways to fund a market-entry reward for drug makers that develop new antibiotics and vaccines. To that end, one of our most controversial proposals was what we called “pay or play”: a $12 billion pot would be financed by a surcharge levied on the overall sales of pharmaceutical companies that were not developing new drugs.

I came to embrace this idea when I learned that many leading pharmaceutical companies often manage their price-to-earnings performance by buying back their own shares, thereby reducing the number of outstanding shares in the market. And while many in the industry would say that there is little difference between this and issuing a dividend payment, I beg to differ.

A dividend payment benefits all shareholders directly, whereas share buybacks directly benefit only the firm’s senior executives. Yes, in theory, if buybacks help to boost the price-to-earnings ratio, that might help shareholders generally, all else being equal. But if pharmaceutical companies are using buybacks to boost executive compensation while avoiding investments that could lead to far-reaching societal benefits, then something is wrong. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The markets deliver a shock to complacent investors

Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 2018

Date: 08-02-2018
Source: The Economist

Out of a clear blue economic sky, volatility returns and may linger

EVERY good horror-film director knows the secret of the “jump scare”. Just when the hero or heroine feels safe, the monster appears from nowhere to startle them. The latest stockmarket shock could have been directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The sharp falls that took place on February 2nd and 5th followed a long period where the only direction for share prices appeared to be upwards.

In fact the American market had risen so far, so fast that the decline only took share prices back to where they were at the start of the year (see chart). And although a 1,175-point fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on February 5th was the biggest ever in absolute terms, it was still smallish beer in proportionate terms, at just 4.6%. The 508-point fall in the Dow in October 1987 knocked nearly 23% off the market.

Still, surprise rippled round the world. Between January 29th and early trading on February 7th, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped by 7.5%. The FTSE 100 index fell by 8.2% from its record high, set in January. A late recovery on February 6th, in which the Dow rebounded by 2.3% (or 567 points), restored some calm.

What explains the sudden turmoil? Perhaps investors had been used to good news for so long that they had become complacent. In a recent survey investors reported their highest exposure to equities in two years and their lowest holdings of cash in five. Another sign of potential complacency was the unwillingness of investors to pay for insurance against a market decline, something that showed up in the volatility, or Vix, index. Funds that bet on the continuation of low volatility lost heavily.

The wobble may also reflect a decision by investors to rethink the economic and financial outlook. Ever since 2009 central banks have been highly supportive of financial markets through low interest rates and quantitative easing (bond purchases with newly created money). There was much talk of an era of “secular stagnation”, in which growth, inflation and interest rates would stay permanently low.

But the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England are now pushing up interest rates, and the European Central Bank is cutting its bond purchases. Future central-bank policy seems much less certain. A pickup in global economic growth may naturally lead to fears of higher inflation. The World Bank warned last month that financial markets could be vulnerable on this front.

Bond yields have been moving higher since the autumn; the yield on the ten-year Treasury bond, 2.05% on September 8th, reached 2.84% on February 2nd. On that day American employment numbers were released, showing that the annual rate of wage growth had climbed to 2.9%. That suggested inflation may be about to move higher. Furthermore, the recent tax-cutting package means that the federal deficit may be over $1trn in the year ending September 2019, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan group. Making such a large amount of bonds attractive to buyers might require higher yields. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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US Foreign Policy and the Missing Left

Posted by hkarner - 9. Februar 2018

Michael Walzer

Michael Walzer is Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study. His most recent book is A Foreign Policy for the Left.

US foreign policy under Donald Trump has been a disaster, marked by pointless militarism, nuclear saber rattling, support for some of the world’s most brutal regimes, and now a presidential demand for a Soviet-style military parade. Yet the US left has remained all but silent on foreign-policy questions, embracing a tacit isolationism that consigns it to irrelevance.

PRINCETON – Consider the disaster of American foreign policy under President Donald Trump. While the president spent his first year in office trading insults with the dictator of North Korea, that country has moved steadily forward with its nuclear program, and the United States has moved steadily closer to a war that no one wants.

In Syria last April, US forces attacked government installations with a one-time bombing raid that, with no political or diplomatic follow-through, achieved nothing. Similarly, after arming Kurdish militias to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) on its behalf, the US has stood by and watched Turkey attack those same men and women.

As a result of the Trump administration’s abandonment of Obama-era restraints on the use of airpower, a US-led coalition “victory” in Mosul, Iraq, caused thousands of civilian casualties and left a pile of rubble. As in Vietnam, America had to destroy the city in order to save it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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