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Archive for 6. Januar 2019

Growing might: China plans the biggest garden show ever

Posted by hkarner - 6. Januar 2019

Date: 05-01-2019
Source: The Economist

Celebrating one-party rule with a display of flower power

Beyond the Great Wall and the chain of rugged hills through which it snakes, workers are putting the finishing touches to a colossal edifice. The beams of its roof are curved, with golden tiles reminiscent of those that adorn the Forbidden City, 70km to the south-east. The building itself curves, too, in a shape that its architects say resembles a ruyi—a traditional Chinese talisman (pictured is an artist’s impression). They say it invokes a longing for fulfilment of the “Chinese dream”. That is a cherished slogan of China’s leader, Xi Jinping, whose wish is that China should emerge as a global giant. As a state news agency puts it, the building conveys the “imposing manner of a great power”.

The China Pavilion, as the structure is called, is for an international flower festival in Yanqing, a satellite town of the capital. The show will open on April 29th and last for more than five months. It will be the biggest expo of any kind that China has staged under the aegis of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions since the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. It will be the biggest horticultural one ever held anywhere. And it will be the centrepiece of the largest political celebration in China in a decade: the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Communist state. The big day itself will be on October 1st, as the flower show enters its final week. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How to Hit Russia Where It Hurts

Posted by hkarner - 6. Januar 2019

Date: 05-01-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Peter Harrell

A Long-Term Strategy to Ramp Up Economic Pressure

Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, its war in eastern Ukraine, its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and other aggressive acts against the United States and its allies demand a strong Western response. For the past four years, that response has been dominated by sanctions and other coercive economic measures. U.S. and European officials have hoped that the economic measures would not only exact a cost for such actions but also deter the Kremlin from escalating its assault on American and European interests.

The economic pressure has certainly had an effect. The IMF estimated that the sanctions linked to the 2014 invasion of Ukraine cost Russia 1 to 1.5 percent of its GDP by mid-2015. The sanctions also hurt the Russian treasury’s bottom line, since Russia had to make up for lost Western capital by spending billions of dollars to prop up large companies that depended on Western funds. The more recent sanctions announced in April 2018 in response to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election rattled Russian financial markets and put pressure on the value of the ruble. Specific people and companies have also felt the squeeze: the net worth of Oleg Deripaska, the pro-Putin oligarch, for example, has tumbled because of U.S. sanctions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon: Best of Frenemies

Posted by hkarner - 6. Januar 2019

Date: 05-01-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The JPMorgan chief and Amazon founder have found their companies’ fortunes increasingly entwined, but the balance of power between their firms has shifted

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive James Dimon assembled a team in 2017 to answer a question that had been nagging at him for a while: “How should we think about Amazon?”

The team explored the ways Amazon.com Inc. could muscle into financial services and where JPMorgan could fit in, according to people familiar with the matter. And what if, as Wall Street has long feared, the tech company were to become a bank itself?

Industries from pharmaceuticals to logistics are grappling with the Amazon question, as the retailer relentlessly expands into new business areas. But in many ways, the online retail giant and the nation’s largest bank by assets have a special relationship.

The fortunes of the two companies have become more entwined over the years. They are closely connected through a credit-card deal struck when the retailer was still mostly selling books and CDs on the internet. JPMorgan is in talks to partner with Amazon on a number of financial ventures, and the bank lends to the tech company. With Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the companies are working on a first-of-its kind venture to lower health-care costs for their hundreds of thousands of employees. Increasingly, JPMorgan has begun to emulate some of Amazon’s signature management practices. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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