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Archive for 11. März 2018

EU-Reformen Merkel und Macron vertagen gemeinsamen Plan für Eurozone

Posted by hkarner - 11. März 2018

Es sollte ein großer Aufschlag beim nächsten EU-Gipfel werden, doch daraus wird nichts: Deutschland und Frankreich können sich nach SPIEGEL-Informationen nicht auf Schritte zur Vertiefung der Eurozone einigen.

 Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel
Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) und Frankreichs Präsident Emmanuel Macron verzichten darauf, schon beim EU-Gipfel in der übernächsten Woche gemeinsame Vorschläge für die Reform der Eurozone vorzustellen.
Auf allen Ebenen hätten die Deutschen dem EU-Rat zu verstehen gegeben, dass im März noch nichts zu erwarten sei. „Die Sache ist abgesagt“, zitiert der SPIEGEL in seiner aktuellen Ausgabe einen mit der Vorbereitung des Gipfels betrauten EU-Beamten. „Es gibt schlicht nichts zu verkünden.“

Als Grund für die Absage hätten die deutschen Vertreter angeführt, dass die Beamten der Bundesregierung während der Koalitionsverhandlungen keine Zeit gehabt hätten, sich Gedanken über die Zukunft der Eurozone zu machen.

Merkel und Macron hatten im Dezember in Aussicht gestellt, beim März-Gipfel gemeinsame Pläne zu präsentieren. Auf Anfrage des SPIEGEL sagte ein Sprecher der Bundesregierung, die Arbeit an den Reformplänen würde nach Bildung der neuen Regierung „in enger Partnerschaft mit Frankreich intensiviert“. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Inside Trump’s Trade War: How Tariff Backers Beat Free Traders

Posted by hkarner - 11. März 2018

What a thriller! (hfk)

Date: 10-03-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

From the administration’s early days, free-trade-advocate Gary Cohn battled tariff proponent Peter Navarro—while the president waited

WASHINGTON—From his earliest days in office, President Donald Trump instigated a pitched battle over trade that became so bitter the antagonists would hurl insults at each other. On one side was Gary Cohn, the top White House economic adviser and foremost free-trade proponent, and on the other, Peter Navarro, a former University of California, Irvine, professor and an advocate of aluminum and steel tariffs.

Peter Navarro

During their showdowns, Mr. Cohn at times accused Mr. Navarro of lying to the president about the effect of his proposals and often laced his accusations with a colorful round of expletives, said White House officials who witnessed their debates.

Mr. Navarro, who rarely swears, would often offer an understated response. “Now, now Gary,” he would tell Mr. Cohn after an interruption, these people said. “You’ve had your piece.”

At a meeting in the White House last week with a small group of steel and aluminum executives, Mr. Trump brought the debate to an abrupt end. “We’re going to be instituting tariffs,” he said to a mostly startled audience of executives and senior aides. “Perhaps some of you folks will be here” for the announcement, he added. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Automation Isn’t Killing Jobs, Study Says, But May Be Keeping Income in Check

Posted by hkarner - 11. März 2018

Date: 10-03-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

New research finds workers are getting a smaller slice of an expanding economy

Robotic arms weld car frames in a Japanese auto factory in December.
Employment in transportation equipment manufacturing was nearly unchanged between 1970 and 2007, but the sector became far more productive.

A new study rebuts the notion that automation is eliminating jobs broadly in the economy, but does find technological advancement doesn’t reward workers much with added income.

Over the previous five decades, automation hasn’t reduced the number of jobs available in 18 advanced economies, including the U.S.–in fact, it helped increase total employment, finds a new paper by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s David Autor and Utrecht University’s Anna Salomons and released Thursday by the Brookings Institution.

But the economists’ paper also found that automation, and the productivity enhancements that it drives, has resulted in laborers taking home a smaller slice of an expanding economic pie. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Active fund managers hold fewer and fewer stocks

Posted by hkarner - 11. März 2018

Date: 10-03-2018
Source: The Economist

They are hoping bigger bets let them beat the market, and passive funds

THE past decade has been tough for conventional “active” fund managers, who try to pick stocks that beat the market. They have been losing business to “passive” funds—those that try to replicate a benchmark, like the S&P500 index. Passive funds have much lower fees.

Figures from Inalytics, a company that analyses fund managers’ portfolios, suggest that active managers are changing strategy in response. The average number of stocks in global equity portfolios has halved, from 121 to 61 (see chart). In a sense, active managers have become more active, making bigger bets on individual stocks.

This makes their portfolios less like the index, meaning they can beat the market by a larger margin. But they can also do a lot worse. The portfolios examined by Inalytics have outperformed, but in the long term the average manager is unlikely to do so, since the index reflects average performance.

Moreover, managers incur costs and the index does not. The result of more active management will be a wider range of returns, dispersed around the same mean. For the typical client, that is a poor trade-off between risk and reward.

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Inside Warren Buffett’s deal machine

Posted by hkarner - 11. März 2018

Date: 10-03-2018
Source: The Economist: Schumpeter

Berkshire Hathaway has evolved into an acquisition engine. The returns look pedestrian

SOME things about Warren Buffett never change, including his non-stop jokes, famous annual letter and his reputation as the world’s best investor. What is less understood is that over the past decade Mr Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, has sharply altered its strategy. For its first 40 years Berkshire mainly invested in shares and ran insurance businesses, but since 2007 it has shifted to acquiring a succession of large industrial companies.

In some ways it is hard to criticise Berkshire. Its shares have kept up with the stockmarket and its standing is exalted. It is the world’s seventh-most-valuable publicly traded firm (the other six are tech concerns). But Mr Buffett’s behemoth is a puzzle. Its recent deals have had drab results, suggesting a pivot to mediocrity.

It has been quite a spree. Since 2007 Berkshire has spent $106bn on 158 firms. The share of its capital sunk into industry has risen from a third to over half. The largest deals include BNSF, a North American railway, Precision Castparts (PC), a manufacturer, various utilities, and Lubrizol, a chemicals business. Further transactions are likely. Berkshire has roughly $100bn of spare cash. In his latest letter, published on February 24th, Mr Buffett complains about high valuations but says there is a possibility of “very large purchases”. Berkshire thinks of itself as a friendly buyer to which families and entrepreneurs are happy to pass on their crown jewels. There is something comforting about its mission to be a home for old-school businesses run by all-American heroes. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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