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Archive for 31. Juli 2018

DARPA has an ambitious $1.5 billion plan to reinvent electronics

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2018

Date: 30-07-2018

Source: Technology Review

The US military agency is worried the country could lose its edge in semiconductor chips with the end of Moore’s Law.

Last year, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which funds a range of blue-sky research efforts relevant to the US military, launched a $1.5 billion, five-year program known as the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) to support work on advances in chip technology. The agency has just unveiled the first set of research teams selected to explore unproven but potentially powerful approaches that could revolutionize US chip development and manufacturing.

Hardware innovation has taken something of a back seat to software advances in recent years, and that bothers the US military for several reasons.

End of an era Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Jack Ma’s Giant Financial Startup Is Shaking the Chinese Banking System

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2018

Date: 30-07-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Ant Financial is transforming how Chinese run their daily finances, drawing flak from big banks and warning shots from the government

It handled more payments last year than Mastercard , controls the world’s largest money-market fund and has made loans to tens of millions of people. Its online payments platform completed more than $8 trillion of transactions last year—the equivalent of more than twice Germany’s gross domestic product.

Ant Financial Services Group, founded by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, has become the world’s biggest financial-technology firm, driving innovations that let people use their phones for buying insurance as easily as groceries, enabling millions to go weeks at a time without using physical cash.

That success is also putting a target on the company’s back. China, even more than the U.S., is now under pressure to reckon with the disruptive power of a financial-technology giant.

China’s banks complain Ant siphons away their deposits, causing them to pay higher interest rates, and is a factor leading them to close branches and ATMs. One commentator at a state-owned television channel described Ant’s huge money-market fund as “a vampire sucking blood from banks.”

Ant Financial was founded by Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba.

Chinese authorities, clearly increasingly uncomfortable about Ant’s scale, have started to put limits on the activities it can pursue. Earlier this year, China’s central bank undermined a years-long effort by Ant to build a national credit-scoring system. The bank effectively prevented Ant’s system from being used by institutions making loans. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The US is at Risk of Losing a Trade War with China

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2018

Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, is University Professor at Columbia University and Chief Economist at the Roosevelt Institute. His most recent book is Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited: Anti-Globalization in the Era of Trump.

The “best” outcome of President Donald Trump’s narrow focus on the US trade deficit with China would be improvement in the bilateral balance, matched by an increase of an equal amount in the deficit with some other country (or countries). In fact, significantly reducing the bilateral trade deficit will prove difficult.

NEW YORK – What was at first a trade skirmish – with US President Donald Trump imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum – appears to be quickly morphing into a full-scale trade war with China. If the truce agreed by Europe and the US holds, the US will be doing battle mainly with China, rather than the world (of course, the trade conflict with Canada and Mexico will continue to simmer, given US demands that neither country can or should accept).

Beyond the true, but by now platitudinous, assertion that everyone will lose, what can we say about the possible outcomes of Trump’s trade war? First, macroeconomics always prevails: if the United States’ domestic investment continues to exceed its savings, it will have to import capital and have a large trade deficit. Worse, because of the tax cuts enacted at the end of last year, the US fiscal deficit is reaching new records – recently projected to exceed $1 trillion by 2020 – which means that the trade deficit almost surely will increase, whatever the outcome of the trade war. The only way that won’t happen is if Trump leads the US into a recession, with incomes declining so much that investment and imports plummet. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Trade Victory in Washington

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2018

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the IMF, is a professor at MIT Sloan, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and co-founder of a leading economics blog, The Baseline Scenario. He is the co-author, with James Kwak, of White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You.

US President Donald Trump holds himself out as a brilliant negotiator, and his supporters regard his trade policy as a perfect example of his success. But in his recent trade talks with the Europeans, Trump was clearly out of his depth.

WASHINGTON, DC – On July 25, when US President Donald Trump appeared in front of the White House with Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, their joint statement and spoken remarks surprised many. The two sides agreed “to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.” It seemed like a remarkable U-turn for Trump, who, until recently, was threatening the European Union with higher tariffs – and extolling the value of trade tariffs (which are essentially taxes on imported goods) more generally. He even called the EU a “foe” as recently as June.

Substantive follow-through on the joint US-EU statement would represent a major policy shift for the Trump administration. But this is no triumph for Trump; rather, he seems to have been outmaneuvered by adroit European diplomats. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Der Euro am Beginn des dritten Jahrzehnts

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2018

20 Jahre Euro-Geschichte in 5 Minuten: großartig! (hfk)

Hans-Werner Sinn, Professor of Economics and Public Finance at the University of Munich, was President of the ifo Institute and serves on the German economy ministry’s Advisory Council. He is the author, most recently, of The Euro Trap: On Bursting Bubbles, Budgets, and Beliefs.

MÜNCHEN – Wenn man den Zeitpunkt der unwiderruflichen Festlegung der Wechselkurse im Mai 1998 als Startpunkt setzt, ist der Euro nun zwanzig Jahre alt. Das erste Jahrzehnt war Party in Südeuropa, im zweiten herrschte Katerstimmung und das dritte steht im Zeichen einer zunehmenden politischen Radikalisierung.

Die Party kam durch den billigen Kredit zustande, den die Kapitalmärkte Südeuropa unter dem Schutz des Euro zur Verfügung stellten. Plötzlich war Geld genug da, die Gehälter der Staatsbediensteten und die Renten zu erhöhen und außerdem mehr private Konsum- und Investitionsausgaben zu finanzieren.

Die Geldflut erzeugte inflationäre Wirtschaftsblasen, die am Ende des ersten Jahrzehnts platzen, als die Lehman-Krise auch Europa erfasste. Zurück blieben völlig überteuerte Torsos einst halbwegs wettbewerbsfähiger Volkswirtschaften, die in ernste Schwierigkeiten gerieten, weil sich die Kapitalmärkte einer Fortführung der Kreditfinanzierung verweigerten. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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