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Archive for 23. August 2018

Russia’s Internal Otherness

Posted by hkarner - 23. August 2018

Date: 22-08-2018
Source: YaleGlobal by Viacheslav Morozov

Russia is Europe’s most populous country, and Vladimir Putin, in his fourth term, promises to focus on modernizing the economy and social institutions. “It is evident… that achieving a new level of economic development is hardly possible in total isolation,” argues Viatcheslav Morozov, professor of EU-Russia Studies at the University of Tartu, who writes about identity and foreign affairs. “On the other hand, the feeling of insecurity that underlies Russia’s pushback cannot be fully rationalized even if one agrees with the assumption that Western democracy promotion and geopolitical expansion go hand in hand.” Russians cherish a distinct history, traditions and peasant imagery that suggest an inability to integrate with Europe. Political leaders take advantage of a perceived cultural divide no longer based on social reality, one that vanished with standardized education and urbanization. Morozov concludes that the nation need not pursue some idealized image of Europe to improve the country and give all Russians a political voice. – YaleGlobal

A deep internal culture divide in Russia between traditionalists and European Russians encourages isolationism Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hyperinflationskrisen: Wenn das Brot im Stundentakt teurer wird

Posted by hkarner - 23. August 2018

András Szigetvari, 22. August 2018, 11:03 derstandard.at

57 Episoden extrem rasant steigender Inflation hat es in den vergangenen 100 Jahren gegeben. Aktuell durchlebt Venezuela eine tiefe Krise. Betroffen war einst auch Österreich

Der weltbekannte britische Ökonom John Maynard Keynes machte Anfang der 1920er-Jahre eine interessante Beobachtung. Viele Gasthausbesucher in der Weimarer Republik bestellten zwei Krüge Bier auf einmal. Der Grund laut Keynes: Das Bier wurde langsamer warm, als die Preise dafür anstiegen. Bei Teuerungsraten von 20 Prozent am Tag war das Bestellverhalten eine logische Reaktion. Solche witzigen Anekdoten können nicht darüber hinwegtäuschen, dass Hyperinflationskrisen wirtschaftlich und sozial immensen Schaden anrichten und betroffene Länder in eine tiefe Misere stürzen können. Gut beobachten lässt sich das aktuell am Beispiel Venezuelas. Das südamerikanische Land erlebt gerade eine Periode extremer Preissteigerungen.

Keine offiziellen Zahlen

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Britain edges closer to a hard Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 23. August 2018

Date: 22-08-2018
Source: The Economist

Just as the EU is softening its negotiating stance

JUST 220 days remain before Britain is scheduled to exit the European Union. Yet as the clock counts down, even the broadest contours of the future of Britain’s relationship with its continental neighbours remain uncertain. Last month the country appeared to be heading towards a “soft” Brexit, in which it would remain in the EU’s single market for goods while gaining some control over the movement of people. Dominic Raab, Britain’s chief negotiator, will meet his EU counterpart in Brussels today in an attempt to thrash out “the few remaining withdrawal issues”. Yet little else beyond the financial cost Britain must pay to leave the EU has been agreed, increasing the chances that no pact gets completed by the deadline next March. On August 23rd Britain’s government will publish the first of a series of technical notes to help people prepare for the risk of a no-deal Brexit.

European responses to Britain’s demands—which largely amount to retaining the coveted benefits of EU membership while shedding the block’s core obligations—have varied widely. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), our sister company, has compiled an index that aggregates the positions of each country on each major negotiating issue into a single figure. Its analysts assess EU member states’ stances on four main issues: trade in goods; movement of people; regulation of finance; and defence and security arrangements. It rates each of the issues on a scale from zero to ten, for a total assessment out of 40. Countries that score 30 or more are reckoned to have a “hard-core” negotiating position; those with scores of 25-29 are said to be “hard”; while those below 25 are “soft”.

Overall, the EIU reckons that the EU’s stance has actually softened in recent months. Of the 27 member states, fully 20 have shifted to a more lenient mix of positions, whereas only one (Ireland) has grown tougher. As a result, just two countries, Germany and France, are now rated to take the harshest stance on Brexit, down from six when the EIU first conducted the assessment in April 2017. France’s score has fallen from 32.5 to 30 in that time, and Germany’s remains at 30. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Friends

Posted by hkarner - 23. August 2018

Date: 21-08-2018
Source: The Economist
Subject: The number of money scandals in Trumpland is overwhelming
Will voters care?

AS A candidate, Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” and make government work for ordinary Americans. As a president, he presides over a staggeringly fetid administration. His former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, even wears clothes made from swamp creatures. Among the luxury goods on display during his trial on 32 counts of financial fraud and money-laundering was a python coat for which he paid $18,500, nearly twice what he paid for an ostrich waistcoat, but a mere fraction of what he spent on clothes, rugs, and garden landscaping—all funded by lobbying for foreign governments.

The prosecution alleged that Mr Manafort lowballed his income by $16.5m so as to pay less tax, and fraudulently obtained $20m worth of bank loans (none of Mr Manafort’s 31 foreign bank accounts were apparently willing or able to supply the necessary credit). The government’s lawyers also provided evidence that Mr Manafort dangled a job in the White House in front of a banker from whom he hoped to borrow. In response, Mr Manafort’s lawyers sought to remind jurors that he was a Republican, perhaps hoping that tribal loyalty would sway some of them to agree with the president that government prosecutors were engaged in a “total witch hunt”. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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„Noch ist es nicht zu spät“ – VW-Chef Diess warnt vor Abhängigkeit in der Batteriezellentechnik

Posted by hkarner - 23. August 2018

Herbert Diess beklagt im Interview die große Abhängigkeit von asiatischen Anbietern und den Vorsprung der US-Konzerne bei der Digitalisierung.

21.08.2018 – 18:30 Uhr Handelsblatt.com

Wolfsburg. Volkswagen-Chef Herbert Diess geht mit der Autobranche im Allgemeinen und mit seinem eigenen Unternehmen im Speziellen hart ins Gericht und sieht gewaltige Herausforderungen. Es müsse nun unbedingt der Einstieg in das Elektrozeitalter gelingen. Als schwere Hypothek empfindet er die „große Abhängigkeit“ bei der Batteriezellentechnik von den asiatischen Anbietern. Diess sagte im Handelsblatt-Interview: „Gehen wir davon aus, dass der Anteil der Elektrofahrzeuge 2025 bei zehn Prozent liegen wird, (…) reden wir von einem Umsatz mit Batterien zwischen 50 und 60 Milliarden Euro.“

Auch angesichts dieser Dimension sei es noch nicht zu spät, in die Batteriefertigung einzusteigen. Dabei denkt er angesichts der notwendigen Milliardeninvestitionen für Forschung, Entwicklung und Produktionsaufbau vor allem an die Autozulieferer und weniger an die Autohersteller: „Wenn ein Hersteller wie VW Batteriezellen produzieren würde, würde uns ein Konzern wie Daimler die Zellen wahrscheinlich nicht abnehmen. Besser wäre deshalb eine markenübergreifende Fertigung.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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