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Archive for 19. Juni 2018

Volksbanken sagen Kooperation mit der Post ab

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2018

Anscheinend gibt es bei der Intelligenz in Österreich ein West-Ost Gefälle! (hfk)

19. Juni 2018, 18:11

Projekt scheiterte an internem Widerstand

Wien – Die Volksbanken haben am Dienstag die angedachte Kooperation mit der Post abgesagt. Die Post sucht einen Kooperationspartner, da die Zusammenarbeit mit der Bawag Ende 2019 ausläuft. In der Aufsichtsratssitzung der Volksbanken am Dienstag fiel kein Beschluss für eine Kooperation. Das Thema wurde von der Tagesordnung der Sitzung genommen und wird nicht weiterverfolgt. Im Vorfeld der Aufsichtsratssitzung wurde das Thema intensiv und vor allem zwischen der Volksbank Wien und Volksbanken in westlichen Bundesländern kontroversiell diskutiert.

Schlussendlich kamen die Volksbanken gemeinsam zum Schluss, dass die Partnerschaft mit der Post nur funktionieren würde, wenn alle dahinterstünden. Und das ist nicht der Fall. Mitbegründet wird die negative Entscheidung laut Insidern auch damit, dass die Volksbanken nach ihren vielen Fusionen zuletzt noch Prozesse konsolidieren müssen. Auch deswegen sei es für eine Partnerschaft zu früh. Befürworter sahen Wachstums- und Synergiepotenziale.

Einspruch aus dem Westen

Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Merkels Strategie im Asylstreit

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2018

Date: 19-06-2018
Source: SPIEGEL

Erst mal Tempo raus

CDU-Chefin Angela Merkel will sich von der CSU und Innenminister Seehofer nicht unter Druck setzen lassen. Statt sich auf ein Hauruckverfahren einzulassen, setzt sie im Migrationsstreit auf Europa. Doch reicht das?

Kanzlerin Angela Merkel lässt sich nicht so leicht aus der Ruhe bringen. Wer sie stürzen will, das wird in diesen Tagen in Berlin klar, der muss viel aufbieten. Am Montag verschaffte sich die CDU-Vorsitzende im Asylstreit erst einmal eine Pause. In vierzehn Tagen, nach dem EU-Ratsgipfel Ende Juni zur Migration, werden die Gremien der CDU wieder zusammenkommen.

Tempo rausnehmen, das ist Merkels Strategie. Einmal mehr. Geht sie auch diesmal auf?

In der CDU-Parteizentrale, nach den Sitzungen von Präsidium und Vorstand, lässt Merkel am Montag am Ende der Pressekonferenz eine Bemerkung fallen, die wie ein kleiner Pfeil Richtung Süden fliegt, nach München, zur CSU. Sie habe sich die Aufgabe für die Gespräche mit europäischen Partnern und „diesen Zeitrahmen selbst gesetzt“, es sei daher „insoweit erfreulich“, dass Horst Seehofer und die CSU darauf eingingen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Erosion of Reality

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2018

Date: 18-06-2018
Source: Scientific American By Caleb A. Scharf

The most immediate AI threat may be the distortion of truth; something we, and other species, have been doing for a long time

Let me say this upfront: I’m not convinced that ’superintelligent‘ AI are the most pressing threat from coming generations of deep learning machines. Indeed, the entire notion of superintelligence may be nothing more than a philosophical ‚what if‘ hypothesis. We simply do not know whether such a thing can in fact be made, developed, or evolved into existence – here on Earth or elsewhere in the cosmos.

Right now we don’t even have a convincing quantitative theory of intelligence. One that both tells us what we really mean by intelligence (‚oh look, it can open a can of beans‘) and tells us how intelligence actually scales with complexity, and whether or not there is a theoretical maximum.

It could be that intelligence follows an S-like curve-of-growth (a logistic function), like so many natural (and unnatural) phenomena. A logistic function or curve can start out with exponential growth, but then flattens or plateaus out as things saturate. A simple example is idealized population growth, where a rapid increase in the number of organisms plays off against the availability of food or resources, ultimately leveling off. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Banken wollen 57 Milliarden Euro sparen

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2018

Das Geschäftsmodell der Banken wird durch das Eindringen branchenfremder Unternehmen auf die Probe gestellt. Die Finanzinstitute müssen sich daher etwas überlegen.

Banken und andere Finanzdienstleister zücken den Rotstift: Die Branche plant im deutschsprachigen Raum demnach Einsparungen von insgesamt 57 Milliarden Euro. Davon entfallen allein 47 Milliarden Euro auf die kommenden 18 Monate. Das geht aus einer Studie der Managementberatung Horváth & Partners hervor. Befragt wurden knapp 150 Unternehmen, wobei der größte Teil auf Privat-und Geschäftsbanken sowie Volks-und Raiffeisenbanken entfiel.

Die Finanzbranche steht laut Horváth & Partners unter anderem deshalb unter Druck, weil immer mehr branchenfremde Unternehmen klassische Bankdienste übernehmen würden. Banken müssen daher deutlich effizienter werden, wenn sie am Markt bestehen bleiben wollen, lautet das Urteil. Ein Beispiel für neue Marktteilnehmer dürfte die Solarisbank AG sein.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Twenty-First-Century History of Greed

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2018

Date: 15-06-2018
Source: TomDispatch By Tom Engelhardt

How the Last Superpower Was Unchained
American Wars and Self-Decline

Think of it as the all-American version of the human comedy: a great power that eternally knows what the world needs and offers copious advice with a tone deafness that would be humorous, if it weren’t so grim. If you look, you can find examples of this just about anywhere. Here, for instance, is a passage in the New York Times from a piece on the topsy-turvy Trumpian negotiations that preceded the Singapore summit. „The Americans and South Koreans,“ wrote reporter Motoko Rich, „want to persuade the North that continuing to funnel most of the country’s resources into its military and nuclear programs shortchanges its citizens‘ economic well-being. But the North does not see the two as mutually exclusive.“

Think about that for a moment. The U.S. has, of course, embarked on a trillion-dollar-plus upgrade of its already massive nuclear arsenal (and that’s before the cost overruns even begin). Its Congress and president have for years proven eager to sink at least a trillion dollars annually into the budget of the national security state (a figure that’s still rising and outpaces by far that of any other power on the planet), while its own infrastructure sags and crumbles. And yet it finds the impoverished North Koreans puzzling when they, too, follow such an extreme path.

Clueless is not a word Americans ordinarily apply to themselves as a country, a people, or a government. Yet how applicable it is.

And when it comes to cluelessness, there’s another, far stranger path the United States has been following since at least the George W. Bush moment that couldn’t be more consequential and yet somehow remains the least noticed of all. On this subject, Americans don’t have a clue. In fact, if you could put the United States on a psychiatrist’s couch, this might be the place to start. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Energy for the Common Good

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2018

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, and, most recently, Building the New American Economy.

Aristotle famously contrasted two types of knowledge: “techne” (technical know-how) and “phronesis” (practical wisdom). Scientists and engineers have offered the techne to move rapidly from fossil fuels to zero-carbon energy; now we need the phronesis to redirect our politics and economies accordingly.

NEW YORK – The climate crisis we now face is a reflection of a broader crisis: a global confusion of means and ends. We continue to use fossil fuels because we can (means), not because they are good for us (ends).

This confusion is why Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew are spurring us to think deeply about what is truly good for humanity, and how to attain it. Earlier this month, the pope and patriarch each convened business, scientific, and academic leaders, in Rome and Athens, respectively, to hasten the transition from fossil fuels to safe renewable energy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Pension Train Has No Seat Belts

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2018

June 15, 2018

Unlike actual trains, we as individuals don’t have the option of choosing a different economy. We’re stuck with the one we have, and it’s barreling forward in a decidedly unsafe manner, on tracks designed and built a century ago. Today, we’ll review yet another way this train will probably veer off the tracks as we discuss the numerous public pension defaults I think are coming.

Last week, I described the massive global debt problem. As you read on, remember promises are a kind of debt, too. Public worker pension plans are massive promises. They don’t always show up on the state and local balance sheets correctly (or directly!), but they have a similar effect. Governments worldwide promised to pay certain workers certain benefits at certain times. That is debt, for all practical purposes. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany’s Merkel Reaches Out to EU Members Over Immigration Dispute

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2018

Date: 18-06-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The German chancellor sounds out other countries’ willingness to readmit migrants

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been reaching out to her European neighbors this weekend ahead of a Monday deadline to defuse an immigration dispute.

BERLIN—German Chancellor Angela Merkel turned to her European neighbors this weekend for help with a fierce domestic dispute over immigration that is threatening to topple her three-party coalition.

Aides to the chancellor reached out to the governments of several European Union members on the front line of the Continent’s immigration crisis to sound out their willingness to readmit migrants that try to cross from their territory into Germany, European officials said on Sunday.

Among those approached were the governments of Austria, Greece, Italy and Bulgaria, the officials said. Berlin also liaised with the European Commission, the EU’s executive body.

Ms. Merkel’s move came after her own interior minister, Horst Seehofer, handed the chancellor an ultimatum last week, warning that he could close the country’s borders to certain categories of illegal migrants as early as Monday. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Avoiding the Sino-American Technology Trap

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juni 2018

Laura Tyson, a former chair of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers, is a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior adviser at the Rock Creek Group.

The Trump administration is right to push back against China’s violations of world trade rules, particularly with regard to advanced technologies. But US high-tech industries‘ ability to weather the challenge posed by China will depend less on curbing China’s progress, and more on supporting innovation at home.

BERKELEY – With its ambitious Made in China 2025 strategy, China has made clear its objective to secure global economic leadership in advanced technology industries. This places it in direct competition with the United States – which currently leads in those industries – in what is emerging as an undeclared but intensifying cold war over technologies with both commercial and military applications.

With its investments in such dual-use technologies, China is seeking more than to compete commercially with the US; it is also seeking greater military and geopolitical power. And it has deployed a variety of methods – including weak intellectual property (IP) protections, technology transfers as a condition for joint ventures with Chinese partners, evasion of export controls, and regulatory harassment – to acquire such technologies from the US and other trading partners. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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