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Archive for 19. Dezember 2018

The Economist’s country of the year 2018

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2018

Date: 18-12-2018
Source: The Economist

Which country improved the most in the past year?

Our annual “country of the year” award goes not to the most influential nation, nor to the richest, nor to the one with the tastiest food (sorry, Japan). It celebrates progress. Which country has improved the most in the past 12 months?

It is a tricky choice. A stellar performance in one year is no guarantee of future success. Last year’s pick, France, is now racked by riots. Myanmar, our winner in 2015, has regressed bloodily. Nonetheless, we must choose. For 2018, some of our staff facetiously suggested Britain, for giving the world a useful warning: that even a rich, peaceful and apparently stable country can absent-mindedly set fire to its constitutional arrangements without any serious plan for replacing them. Others suggested Ireland, for resisting a form of Brexit that would undermine Irish peace; and also for settling its vexed abortion debate democratically. Two Latin American states merit a mention. Whereas Brazil and Mexico are plunging into populism, Ecuador and Peru are strengthening institutions, such as the judiciary, that can curb a headstrong leader. South Africa has ditched a president, Jacob Zuma, who presided over the plunder of the state. His replacement, Cyril Ramaphosa, has appointed honest, competent folk to stop the looting.

In the end, the choice came down to three countries. In Malaysia voters fired a prime minister who could not adequately explain why there was $700m in his bank account. Despite Najib Razak’s glaring imperfections, his sacking was a surprise. Malaysia’s ruling party had dominated politics since the 1950s and gerrymandered furiously to keep it that way. Yet the opposition triumphed at an election, and Malaysians enjoyed the delicious spectacle of police removing big boxes of cash, jewellery and designer handbags from their former leader’s home. Malaysia might have made a worthy winner, except that the new prime minister, the nonagenarian Mahathir Mohamad, seems reluctant either to relax the country’s divisive racial preferences or to hand over power as agreed to his more liberal partner, Anwar Ibrahim, a former political prisoner. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Britain’s opposition is divided as deeply as the Tories are.

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2018

Date: 18-12-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board
Subject: Labour’s Brexit Pains

British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a speech at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Conference in London, Britain, 19 November 2018, (reissued 17 December 2018). Media reports on 17 December 2018 state that Jeremy Corbyn said he would table a motion of no confidence in the British Prime Minister Thersa May for delaying the Meaningful Vote. Theresa May has told Parliament the British Memebers of Parliament will vote on Britain’s Brexit deal in the week beginning 14 January 2019 after it was withdrawn of 11 December 2018. Labour to table a motion of no confidence in the British Prime Minister Thersa May, London, United Kingdom – 19 Nov 2018

Britain’s ruling Conservative Party suffered a nervous breakdown over Brexit last week, and now it’s the opposition Labour Party’s turn. Leader Jeremy Corbyn, backbench members of Parliament and the party’s grassroots are at odds over strategy and tactics in ways that complicate Britain’s path to a Brexit solution. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Italien und EU einigen sich im Budget-Streit

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2018

Che schifezza! (hfk)

18. Dezember 2018, 19:58 derstandard.at

Einzelheiten noch nicht bekannt – am Mittwoch soll der Deal laut Ministerium formalisiert werden

Rom – Italien hat sich im Streit mit der EU-Kommission um sein Budget für 2019 mit der EU geeinigt. Das verkündete eine Sprecherin des italienischen Wirtschaftsministeriums am Dienstag Abend. Die Sprecherin fügte hinzu, dass der Deal am Mittwoch formalisiert werde. Die EU-Kommission hatte Ende Oktober eine ursprünglichen Plan der Regierung der italienischen Regierung zurückgewiesen. Die Begründung dafür war, dass das Budget EU-Haushaltsregeln brechen würde. Der Plan sah eine Neuverschuldung von 2,4 Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts vor, nach 1,8 Prozent in diesem Jahr. Ein vergangene Woche vorgelegter überarbeiteter Plan sah eine Neuverschuldung von 2,04 Prozent vor.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Konjunktur: Sorgen der deutschen Manager wachsen

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2018

Das Konjunkturbarometer des ifo-Instituts sinkt zum vierten Mal in Folge. Außenwirtschaftliche Risiken drücken auf die Stimmung.

Brexit-Chaos, Handelsstreit: Die deutschen Manager beenden das Jahr wegen einer Vielzahl außenwirtschaftlicher Risiken im Stimmungstief. Das Barometer für das Geschäftsklima sank im Dezember überraschend deutlich um 1,0 auf 101,0 Punkte und damit den schlechtesten Stand seit mehr als zwei Jahren.

Das ist bereits der vierte Rückgang in Folge, wie das Münchner ifo-Institut am Dienstag zu seiner monatlichen Umfrage unter 9.000 Managern mitteilte. Ökonomen hatten lediglich mit einem Absinken auf 101,8 Zähler gerechnet. „In diesem Jahr fällt die Bescherung für die deutsche Wirtschaft mager aus“, sagte ifo-Präsident Clemens Fuest.

Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany Tightens Foreign Acquisition Rules Amid China’s Push for Technology Deals

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2018

Date: 16-12-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Any non-European foreign company planning to buy more than 10% of a German firm involved in defense, technology or media will see its deal probed by German authorities

In July, Germany’s KfW bank acquired a 20% stake in German transmission system operator 50Hertz Transmission’s holding company to fend off a Chinese bid.

Germany is tightening rules to make it harder for non-European companies to buy stakes in German firms without its approval, signaling growing concern in Berlin about China’s push to acquire key technology and know-how.

China’s aggressive plans to purchase assets around the world has forced a series of countries to take steps to screen the investments, many times blocking them. The European Union has recently agreed to establish a common framework to tackle the issue. In the U.S., Congress has moved to strengthen the vetting procedures for transactions involving homegrown technology. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Revealed: how Italy’s populists used Facebook to win power

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2018

Date: 17-12-2018
Source: The Guardian

Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio eclipsed rivals in online election battle, data shows

The domination of Facebook by Italy’s two populist political leaders, Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, is revealed in previously unseen data that shows how they exploited video and live broadcasts to bypass the mainstream media and foment discord during the country’s general election.

The data, reviewed by the Guardian, reveals how the leaders massively expanded their reach with inflammatory and visually arresting posts earlier this year, eclipsing their main rival, the centre-left former prime minister Matteo Renzi, on Facebook.

The Facebook data, which captured the engagement metrics on thousands of posts by the six major party leaders in the two months leading up to the election, was collected by academics at the University of Pisa’s MediaLab.

It reveals all of the 25 most shared Facebook posts in the two months leading up to the election were videos, live broadcasts or photos from either Salvini, who runs the far-right League, or Di Maio, the leader of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Backstops

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2018

Jürgen Stark

Jürgen Stark is a former Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank and former Deputy Governor of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

FRANKFURT – Seit 2010 wurde eine Vielzahl von Maßnahmen ergriffen, um den Euroraum „krisenresistenter“ zu machen. Neben dem bail out-Mechanismus sind es u.a. verschärfte Haushaltsregeln und die Bankenunion. Neueste Elemente sind die Stärkung des Europäischen Stabilitäts-Mechanismus (ESM), der nun als Letztsicherung (backstop) für den Bankenabwicklungsfonds (Single Resolution Fund/SRF) vorgesehen ist,  konkretere Zugangsbedingungen zu vorbeugenden ESM-Kreditlinien (Contingent Credit Lines) grundsätzlich solider Euro-Staaten sowie eine wichtigere Rolle der Kollektivklauseln („Collective Action Clauses“) in den Kontrakten für Staatsanleihen. Endgültige Entscheidungen u.a. über ein Euro-Budget und die europäische Einlagensicherung stehen noch aus.

Wie sind die bisherigen Schritte und die zu erwartenden weiteren Entscheidungen zur Reform der Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion (WWU) zu bewerten? Will man eine Währungsunion der Solidität und Stabilität mit Eigenverantwortung und Haftung der Mitgliedstaaten für ihre Politik oder der Solidarität mit Risikoteilung und Finanztransfers? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Overestimating the EU Economy

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 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.

If the EU were a soccer team, it would not lose games for lack of a game plan or due to inadequate capacity. The problem is that the team as a whole is not playing cohesively, and all of the top players are struggling individually, owing to messy problems at home.

ABU DHABI – The European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the OECD predict that, on average, the European Union’s economy will grow by 1.9% next year, a rate that is broadly consistent with the average of 2% expected for this year. But the picture this paints may prove to be overly optimistic, not only because the growth rate itself is likely to disappoint, but also because there is significant downward pressure on the EU’s growth potential beyond 2019 – pressure that, at present, European leaders seem unprepared to counter effectively. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hungary becomes the latest site of protests in Europe.

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2018

Date: 18-12-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board
Subject: Backlash in Budapest

Hungary has moved in an anti-democratic direction since Viktor Orban returned to power in 2010. But the protests in Budapest in recent days are a reminder that he hasn’t dragged all of his countrymen along with his program.

The demonstrations began Wednesday after the National Assembly, where Mr. Orban’s Fidesz Party has a two-thirds majority, passed labor legislation that critics call the “slave law.” It lets businesses ask employees to work up to 400 overtime hours annually, up from 250. The legislation also gives employers more time to settle overtime payments.

Hungary isn’t welcoming to immigrants, many of its most-qualified workers leave for better-paying work elsewhere in Europe, and its roughly 1.5 births per woman is one of the lowest fertility rates in the world. All of this has led to a severe labor shortage, and liberalizing overtime laws is a good economic idea. But the measure is opposed even by nearly two-thirds of Mr. Orban’s supporters. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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