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Archive for 10. Juli 2018

The Risks Lying Within Donald Trump’s One-on-One Meeting With Vladimir Putin

Posted by hkarner - 10. Juli 2018

Date: 09-07-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

GOP senator, who recently met with Russia’s leader, warns of ‘denial, hostility, blaming others’

President Donald Trump is slated to have a one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin next week.

Based on meetings he and other senators just held with Russian leaders in Moscow, Sen. Jerry Moran has a few words of caution for President Donald Trump as he prepares to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“If our experience is any indication of what the president will find, it will be denial, hostility, blaming others and long and tedious responses,” the Kansas Republican said in an interview as he was returning home.

Moreover, Sen. Moran suggests the president might want to think twice about his plan to meet privately with Mr. Putin, with no aides present. The senator and his colleagues are fuming at the way the Russian media portrayed (or, they say, baldly mis-portrayed) their own private meetings with Russian officials, suggesting the Americans only briefly and meekly raised the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 election campaign. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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An American Story

Posted by hkarner - 10. Juli 2018

July 6, 2018

I hope everyone had a happy Fourth of July, whether it was a holiday for you or not. The United States’ birth as an independent nation was, among other things, an economic event that changed history far beyond our borders. We hope and believe it was for the better.

This week will be a shorter-than-usual letter. Between the holiday and a few other surprises that we’re preparing for readers (more on that soon), the next and final installment of the Train Wreck series just wasn’t ready for prime time. Next week, we will look at each part of the series and add up the total global debt. I can tell you, it’s a lot more than you can possibly imagine.

This week, in the spirit of July 4 and Independence Day, I’m going to share the inspirational story of a friend who “Came to America.” But it’s also a teaching moment. I think the story is timely as we reflect on what this country means, to both its residents and the broader world. I hope you enjoy it.

Coming to America

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A “Reagan Moment” for International Trade?

Posted by hkarner - 10. Juli 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.

In the 1980s, US President Ronald Reagan initiated a military spending race with the Soviet Union that ended up altering the global balance of power in ways that affected many countries worldwide. Could Donald Trump’s tariff race with China lead to a similar outcome?

NEW YORK – The latest round of tit-for-tat tariffs by the United States and China has intensified the ongoing global debate about whether the world is facing a mere trade skirmish or heading rapidly toward a full-blown trade war. But what is really at stake may be even more fundamental. Either accidentally or by design, US President Donald Trump’s administration may have paved the way for a “Reagan moment” for the international trade regime.

In the 1980s, US President Ronald Reagan initiated a military spending race with the Soviet Union that ended up altering the global balance of power in ways that affected many countries worldwide. Today, Trump has launched a tariff race with China, an economic superpower, perhaps with similarly far-reaching potential consequences. Like under Reagan, the US is better placed to win the current competition with China – but the risks are sizable. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why bitcoin uses so much energy

Posted by hkarner - 10. Juli 2018

Date: 09-07-2018
Source: The Economist

Its consumption is roughly the same as Ireland’s

BITCOIN has been alarming people for years because of the amount of electricity needed to mint new virtual coinage. Alex de Vries, a bitcoin specialist at PwC, estimates that the current global power consumption for the servers that run bitcoin’s software is a minimum of 2.55 gigawatts (GW), which amounts to energy consumption of 22 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year—almost the same as Ireland. Google, by comparison, used 5.7 TWh worldwide in 2015. What’s more, the bitcoin “miners” consume about five times more power than they did last year, and orders of magnitude more than just a few years ago—and there are no signs of a slowdown. Why does bitcoin require so much energy to make something that exists only electronically?

Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies are founded on the notion of an immutable ledger, called the blockchain, which comprises transfers of value from one party to another. Cryptocurrency “miners” seek results to a kind of algorithmic puzzle that fits a very specific set of requirements. Every ten minutes on average, a server finds an acceptable solution, and the miner gets a reward from the bitcoin system. Currently they get 12.5 bitcoins (worth around $85,000) and about $1,000 in transaction fees. The miner’s combination of solution and transactions is also added to the blockchain. The new block does not become a de facto part of the ledger until a few more blocks are added, because valid solutions are sometimes found simultaneously, and it is not always clear straightaway which will become the longest, winning fork in the chain. To ensure that coins cannot be minted too quickly, as the overall network’s computational power increases, the bitcoin protocol continually makes it harder to find a putative solution. Every 2016 blocks (roughly every two weeks), the system is recalibrated. Miners are obliged therefore to keep upgrading in order to earn rewards as fast as competitors. And more computing power requires more electricity. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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