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Archive for 3. September 2018

The Growing Economic Sandpile

Posted by hkarner - 3. September 2018

August 31, 2018

“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

―Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

As you may have noticed, I’ve been in a pensive mood lately. I’m re-thinking a lot of things as I process economic developments, personal issues, and the clock ticking as I reach birthday number 69 in a few weeks. Many good things are happening but with them comes change.

Change will be today’s topic. Below I’m reproducing part of a letter I originally wrote in December 2007 and have referred to several times. It is the single most-read letter I have written and the most commented-on, too. I consider it, in some ways, my most important letter. If you’ve read it before, you should read it again. I have updated it a little bit, but the principles are just as timeless as ever. And for the time conscious, we have shortened it a bit and at the end, I try to apply those principles to present economic times.

Change happens quickly and often, unpredictably. And as we will see, the unpredictable part is actually a mathematical principle. As in the Hemingway quote above, not just bankruptcy but change also happens slowly and then seemingly all at once. It’s time passing without change that causes the worst problems, including some historic economic catastrophes. It turns out we shouldn’t just accept change; we actually require it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe Could Miss Its Opportunity for Political Realignment

Posted by hkarner - 3. September 2018

Jean Pisani-Ferry, a professor at the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) and Sciences Po (Paris), holds the Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa chair at the European University Institute and is a Mercator senior fellow at Bruegel, a Brussels-based think tank. 

Will the continent’s voters be offered the opportunity to decide on the key challenges their societies are facing, or will tactical maneuvering obfuscate the choices and permit the continued dominance of traditional politics? The nine months between now and the election of the next European Parliament will provide the answer.

PARIS – “There are two sides at the moment in Europe. One is led by Macron, who is supporting migration. The other one is supported by countries that want to protect their borders.” This is how Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán described the European political landscape during his August meeting with the Lega party’s Matteo Salvini, the strongman in the Italian government. “If they want to see me as their main opponent, they are right,” French President Emmanuel Macron instantly replied.2

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Hearing Aids Are Finally Entering the 21st Century

Posted by hkarner - 3. September 2018

Date: 02-09-2018
Source: Scientific American By David Pogue

This outdated, expensive tech is getting a big makeover

Most people probably associate three things with hearing aids: an elderly demographic, beige plastic construction and high-pitched feedback in public places. As it turns out, all those notions are now obsolete—or will be soon.

The most popular hearing-aid style is still the one that rests over your ear—a design that debuted in the 1950s. You know what else is decades old? Our country’s system for getting and paying for hearing aids.

Basic Medicare and most other insurance providers have never paid for adult hearing aids. At an average cost of $4,700 a pair, that makes hearing aids the third-largest purchase in most people’s lives after a house and a car. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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