Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Archive for April 2018

Worauf wartet Deutschland?

Posted by hkarner - 30. April 2018

Joschka Fischer was German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2005, a term marked by Germany’s strong support for NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999, followed by its opposition to the war in Iraq. Fischer entered electoral politics after participating in the anti-establishment protests of the 1960s and 1970s, and played a key role in founding Germany’s Green Party, which he led for almost two decades.

BERLIN – Mehr als zehn Jahre seit der Finanzkrise von 2008 befindet sich die EU in einer langen Stagnationsphase, in der sie kaum Fortschritte gemacht hat. Gerade in der Gegenwart, in der sich dramatische weltpolitische Veränderungen und ebenso herausfordernde Krisen in der europäischen Nachbarschaft oder gar im Innern der Union ereignen, wie der Aufstieg eines neuen Nationalismus und damit einhergehend der direkte Angriff auf die Grundwerte von Rechtsstaat und Demokratie, ist eine Stärkung der Europäischen Union im Interesse aller Mitgliedstaaten und unverzichtbar, wenn das europäische Einigungsprojekt nicht scheitern soll.

Doch nichts passiert, und das liegt im Wesentlichen an Deutschland. Jahrelang dominierten nach 2008 Wachstumsschwäche und Wirtschaftskrise die Union. Zudem hatte es in Berlin immer geheißen, Deutschland müsse auf Frankreich warten, allein könne Deutschland die EU nicht voranbringen (was zutreffend war). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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‘Edge of Chaos’ Review: A System in Need of an Overhaul

Posted by hkarner - 30. April 2018

Date: 29-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Democratic capitalism is a peerless engine of economic growth, but it threatens to break down if current trends continue. George Melloan reviews “Edge of Chaos” by Dambisa Moyo.

Economist Dambisa Moyo

Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian-born economist, made a name for herself in 2009 with “Dead Aid,” arguing persuasively that foreign aid has preserved poverty in Africa instead of relieving it. Now she is embarked on an even larger project, proposing reforms in democracy itself in the developed world.

Ms. Moyo is a dedicated democratic capitalist. After earning a master’s degree at Harvard in public administration and a Ph.D. in economics at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, she did a turn at Goldman Sachs before becoming a full-time author. She serves on several corporate boards.

She writes that economic “growth matters—powerfully—to ordinary people” and that democratic capitalism has “proven itself, historically, to be a peerless tool for growth. . . . Nevertheless, the system urgently needs an overhaul if we are to jump-start the global economy.” She is concerned about the world’s rising debt level and about threats to international trade: “Established measurements suggest that globalization is now slowing, or worse, receding.” The diminution of global trade, the collapse of cross-border capital flows and the mounting constraints on the movement of labor—separately or together, she believes, these developments will result in deteriorating living standards and geopolitical unrest. There is even the danger, she adds, of “a global economic death spiral.”

If you overlook the hyperbole, Ms. Moyo’s diagnosis is worth pondering. The anti-immigration backlash in Europe and the United States, not to mention Donald Trump’s trade sparring and protectionist leanings, are unsettling. But what she offers up as a solution—she calls it her Blueprint for a New Democracy—sounds a little dodgy as well. To her credit, she offers the arguments both for and against her 10 reform proposals. Most of the proposals focus on shoring up America’s democratic functions, but they could easily apply, in broad principle, elsewhere. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Is Realism Trumping Populism?

Posted by hkarner - 30. April 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.

With economic conditions returning more or less to normal around the world after a decade of financial crises, nationalist populism is now seen as the biggest threat to global recovery. But is it possible that this consensus has emerged just as the populist wave has crested?

NEW YORK – With economic conditions returning more or less to normal around the world after a decade of financial crises, nationalist populism is now seen as the biggest threat to global recovery. That was certainly true of the finance ministers who gathered in Washington, DC, this month for the IMF’s annual spring meeting. But is it possible that this consensus has emerged just as the populist wave has crested? Rather than populist politics undermining economic recovery, could economic recovery be undermining populist politics?

Looking around the world, populist economic policy appears to be in retreat, even though no clear alternative is visible. In the United States, President Donald Trump seems to be curbing his protectionist instincts, and economic relations with China are stabilizing. In Europe, despite the media focus on the success of xenophobic politicians in Hungary and Poland, the pendulum is swinging away from economic nationalism in the countries that really matter: France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, where the two populist parties that recently achieved electoral breakthroughs are now vying to show their devotion to the euro. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Economy with a Fever

Posted by hkarner - 30. April 2018

April 27, 2018

Economic indicators are similar. Lately I see a lot of talk about the flattening yield curve and speculation it might invert as the economy enters recession. If that happens, the inverted yield curve won’t be the culprit. It will point to another culprit, or combination of them.

This is something I watch carefully because a recession is long overdue, if history means anything. Some argue this time is different. Maybe so, but I’m not inclined to bet on it. Today we’ll explore some reasons why.

 

Now, on with our fever treatment, which of course, brings up a story.

In late 2006, when the yield curve was last in the process of inverting, I put in a call to then New York Fed’s Dr. Fred Mishkin, who co-authored a seminal report reviewing 20 different indicators as recession forecasting tools. They found only the inverted yield curve had any true significance, and then it was generally a year early. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Switzerland Wants to Be the World Capital of Cryptocurrency

Posted by hkarner - 30. April 2018

Date: 29-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Four of the 10 biggest initial coin offerings last year were in Switzerland, more than any other country

With its banking prowess, low taxes and elite universities, Switzerland hopes crypto-finance startups will make cities like Zug the heart of an emerging Crypto Valley in Europe.

ZUG, Switzerland—When 24-year-old Ian Worrall launched his crypto-investment startup MyBit last year, he chose this Swiss lakeside city.

It was an odd fit: the no-holds-barred corner of the financial markets meeting button-down Switzerland.

Yet this nation, as closely tied to its ultrasafe Swiss franc as it is to the Alps, is entranced by volatile digital currencies. Buildings in Zug and in Zurich, Switzerland’s financial center, are blossoming into crypto-finance hubs.

Four of the 10 biggest initial coin offerings last year were in Switzerland, according to PwC, more than any other country. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The myth of Franco-German friendship

Posted by hkarner - 29. April 2018

Visiting Professor in International Economic Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. Author of EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts

Ashoka Mody 25 April 2018

Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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At Google’s Parent Alphabet, Median Pay Nears $200,000

Posted by hkarner - 29. April 2018

Date: 28-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

It is the fourth-highest among S&P 500 companies that have disclosed figures, but 18% less than at Facebook

The relatively high pay at Google parent Alphabet and at Facebook is a sign of the talent war in Silicon Valley. Here, Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Google parent Alphabet Inc. said its workers earned a median pay package of more than $197,000 last year, the fourth-highest pay among the hundreds of companies in the S&P 500 index that have disclosed those figures.

Alphabet’s median pay was about 18% lower than at rival internet giant Facebook Inc.,  where employees earned a median salary of $240,000.

The relatively high pay at two of the world’s biggest tech firms is a sign of the talent war in Silicon Valley, where talented engineers are in limited supply. Their pay numbers far surpassed most of the 379 companies in the S&P 500 that had disclosed compensation figures through Friday afternoon. The median figure among that group was $69,205. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Merkel Must Act on Paris‘ Eurozone Reform Proposals

Posted by hkarner - 29. April 2018

Date: 28-04-2018
Source: DER SPIEGEL

Germany has been sitting on eurozone-reform proposals from French President Emmanuel Macron for months. If Berlin doesn’t act soon, a historical opportunity may go to waste. And that could spell doom for the common currency.

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron

It wasn’t that long ago that Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel looked like the new dream couple of European politics. The French president gushed of a „very close relationship.“ And the German chancellor said she was pleased about prospects for „extremely promising cooperation.“ Last summer, it looked like the two most important Europeans might breathe new life into the Continent.

Eight months later, however, what Merkel described as the „magic of the new beginning,“ is no longer particularly palpable. Their joint appearances come across as forced and tense and the German government has provided no response to Macron’s proposals for reforming the eurozone. Instead of countering with her own ideas, Merkel is buying time and, by doing so, creating the risk that a historic opportunity will be missed — that of a joint relaunch of the currency union together with the French president. One that matches solidarity with solidity, the very principles that are necessary for the common currency to exist in the first place.

The problems start with the fact that German politicians haven’t yet even deigned to take a close look at Macron’s ideas. On the one hand, it is undisputed that the currency union is in urgent need of repair. The budget and debt rules have become so watered down and obfuscated that no one understands them or adheres to them any longer. The eurozone lacks the instruments necessary for responding to economic crises early on. And when the European Union wants to create new investment programs, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is forced to go door-to-door, tediously begging national governments for the necessary funds. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Mixed Economic Fortunes Complicate Path for Stimulus

Posted by hkarner - 29. April 2018

Date: 28-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Sharp slowdowns in growth in France and the U.K. pose challenge to policy makers at ECB and BOE

PARIS—Europe’s economies displayed mixed fortunes in the first three months of the year, injecting a fresh source of uncertainty as central banks consider further steps to withdraw crisis-era stimulus.

Figures released Friday on gross domestic product—the broadest measure of the goods and services produced in an economy—recorded sharp slowdowns in France and the U.K. But Spain produced steadily strong growth, while Austria and Belgium slowed only slightly.

At the same time, a European Commission survey showed business confidence stabilized in April, suggesting the slowdown in the early part of the year was caused by temporary factors such as poor weather and strikes. Indeed, economic forecasters surveyed by the European Central Bank have raised their growth forecasts for the year as a whole.

The mixed bag complicates deliberations at the ECB and the Bank of England, where policy makers are seeking clearer signals as to the underlying trend before deciding to proceed with reducing stimulus. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Globalization Is Not in Retreat

Posted by hkarner - 28. April 2018

Quite essential! (hfk)

Date: 28-04-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Susan Lund and Laura Tyson
Digital Technology and the Future of Trade

By many standard measures, globalization is in retreat. The 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing recession brought an end to three decades of rapid growth in the trade of goods and services. Cross-border financial flows have fallen by two-thirds. In many countries that have traditionally championed globalization, including the United States and the United Kingdom, the political conversation about trade has shifted from a focus on economic benefits to concerns about job loss, dislocation, deindustrialization, and inequality. A once solid consensus that trade is a win-win proposition has given way to zero-sum thinking and calls for higher barriers. Since November 2008, according to the research group Global Trade Alert, the G-20 countries have implemented more than 6,600 protectionist measures.

But that’s only part of the story. Even as its detractors erect new impediments and walk away from free-trade agreements, globalization is in fact continuing its forward march—but along new paths. In its previous incarnation, it was trade-based and Western-led. Today, globalization is being driven by digital technology and is increasingly led by China and other emerging economies. While trade predicated on global supply chains that take advantage of cheap labor is slowing, new digital technologies mean that more actors can participate in cross-border transactions than ever before, from small businesses to multinational corporations. And economic leadership is shifting east and south, as the United States turns inward and the EU and the United Kingdom negotiate a divorce. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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