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Archive for Februar 2019

Brexit Delayed or Denied

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2019

Date: 27-02-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

Chaos around a deal with the EU obscures bigger debates.

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on Feb. 26.

Anyone who thought the prospect of a deadline would clarify British minds on Brexit is turning out to be sorely mistaken. With a month left before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, the political chaos is deepening.

Tory Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday unveiled her latest “last-ditch” effort—there have been several—to get her withdrawal agreement over the finish line in Parliament. Lawmakers will get a second vote on her deal with Brussels on March 12, after MPs resoundingly rejected the deal the first time they were asked in January. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Wag the Dictator

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2019

Nina L. Khrushcheva is Professor of International Affairs at The New School and a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute. She is the author of Imagining Nabokov: Russia Between Art and Politics, The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind, and, most recently, In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones (with Jeffrey Tayler).

In recent decades, Russian and Chinese conglomerates have gained ever more global economic influence, making them powerful foreign-policy tools for their respective governments. But now Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are learning that they are the tools.

NEW YORK – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have each championed a model of authoritarian capitalism (call it “development with a dictator’s face”). But what neither leader seems to have anticipated is that the Russian and Chinese commercial sectors are becoming political forces in their own right, increasingly bringing pressure to bear on policymaking.

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Euroexperte Wieser: „Italien ist Ballast für die Eurozone“

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2019

Eric Frey, 27. Februar 2019, 14:46 derstandard.at

Der frühere Chef der Euro-Arbeitsgruppe sieht keinen Weg aus Italiens Budgetkrise, aber wenig Gefahr für die Eurozone

Sechs Jahre lang hat sich Thomas Wieser als Vorsitzender der Eurogruppe-Arbeitsgruppe mit den Problemen des Euro beschäftigt und Lösungen gesucht. Für das jetzige größte Sorgenkind der Eurozone, Italien, hat er allerdings keine. „Ich bin ratlos“, sagt er im STANDARD-Gespräch auf die Frage, wie die drittgrößte Volkswirtschaft der Währungsunion wieder zu einer vernünftigen Wirtschaftspolitik und einem Wachstumskurs finden kann.

„Dafür würde es eine Riesenkrise brauchen, ein sehr gut funktionierendes politisches System – oder ein Wunder.“ Trifft dieses nicht ein, dann könnte Italien ein Fall für einen Staatsbankrott mit einer Schuldenrestrukturierung, also einem ausverhandelten Schuldenschnitt, werden. Doch genau dafür fehlten derzeit die notwendigen Regeln in der EU, sagt Wieser. „Man müsste sich dringend ein Staatsinsolvenzrecht überlegen.“

Wieser nimmt am 5. März gemeinsam mit dem Ökonomen Christian Keuschnigg, Wirtschaftskammerpräsident Harald Mahrer und der ehemaligen Direktorin der Europäischen Zentralbank, Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, an einer Podiumsdiskussion des Club 20 gemeinsam mit dem STANDARD über die Zukunft des Euro teil. Dort wird Italien ein zentrales Thema sein.

Höheres Defizit

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AI’s Big Challenge

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2019

Date: 27-02-2019
Source: Scientific American By Garrett Kenyon

To make it truly intelligent, researchers need to rethink the way they approach the technology

The recently signed executive order establishing the American AI Initiative correctly identifies artificial intelligence as central to American competitiveness and national defense. However, it is unclear if AI has accomplished anywhere near as much as many have claimed. Indeed, current technology exhibits no convincing demonstration of anything remotely approaching “intelligence.”

To maintain U.S. supremacy in AI, the best way forward is to adopt a strategy hewing more closely to the way humans learn, which will put us on the best path to the economic growth and widespread social benefits promised by full-fledged artificial intelligence.

Here’s the challenge with most deep learning neural networks, which reflect the prevailing approach to AI: calling them both deep and intelligent assumes they achieve ever more abstract and meaningful representations of the data at deeper and deeper levels of the network. It further assumes that at some point they transcend rote memorization to achieve actual cognition, or intelligence. But they do not. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Where China Dominates in 5G Technology

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2019

Date: 27-02-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject:

Chinese companies are leaders in 5G patents and standards proposals. That means big royalties ahead.

Huawei Technologies holds more standard-essential 5G patents than any other company.

HONG KONG—Western countries are building more barriers to Huawei Technologies Co. equipment in their 5G network rollouts. But that won’t change an underlying truth about the next-generation communications networks: Technology developed in China will be at the center.

Huawei, and its crosstown rival ZTE Corp., have put forth vastly more proposals—and are among the biggest owners of key patents—underpinning the coming wave of 5G technology. That is in contrast to Western firms, which played a comparatively smaller role in the blueprint and design of 5G than in previous generations of wireless technology. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How Trump Killed the Atlantic Alliance

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2019

Date: 26-02-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Philip H. Gordon and Jeremy Shapiro

And How the Next President Can Restore It

The Atlantic alliance as we know it is dead. The end of the Cold War, the United States’ growing weariness of global burdens, and a preoccupation with domestic affairs on both sides of the ocean had already weakened transatlantic bonds when the presidency of Donald Trump inflicted the deathblow.

A future U.S. administration, even one that is more sympathetic to the idea of alliances, will be unable to restore the old alliance. If a new alliance is to emerge from the ashes of the past, it must be one based on a more realistic bargain between Europe and the United States, and one that better addresses the needs of both partners. The alliance is dead; long live the alliance.

AUTOPSY Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Cohen to Testify That Trump Engaged in Criminal Conduct While in Office

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2019

Date: 26-02-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

President’s ex-lawyer will tell House committee he witnessed Trump’s ‘lies, racism and cheating,’ role in hush payments, says a person familiar with his plans

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer, will for the first time publicly accuse the president of criminal conduct while in office related to a hush-money payment to a porn star, a person familiar with his planned testimony before Congress said.

Appearing on Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee, Mr. Cohen also will make public some of Mr. Trump’s private financial statements and allege that Mr. Trump at times inflated or deflated his net worth for business and personal purposes, including avoiding paying property taxes, the person said. The financial statements were developed by Mr. Trump’s accountant, the person said. The Wall Street Journal hasn’t seen those statements.

Mr. Cohen’s testimony is expected to focus on his “behind-the-scenes” accounts of working for Mr. Trump for over a decade, a period during which Mr. Cohen will say he witnessed “lies, racism and cheating” by Mr. Trump, the person said.

Mr. Cohen is expected to recount racist remarks Mr. Trump allegedly made to him, including instances in which Mr. Trump allegedly questioned the intelligence of African-Americans and criticized their lifestyle choices, the person said.

Mr. Cohen’s planned testimony comes 13 months after The Wall Street Journal first reported that Mr. Cohen paid $130,000 in October 2016 to former adult-film star Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, to buy her silence after she alleged having a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 26. Februar 2019

Date: 25-02-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: As Ex-Enron CEO Exits Prison, Some of Company’s Old Businesses Thrive

Companies built from pieces of the scandal-plagued energy giant have become industry leaders

Enron is a symbol of corporate fraud and excess since the Houston-based energy conglomerate collapsed nearly two decades ago.

Former Enron Corp. Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling has been released from federal custody after serving more than 12 years in prison for his role in one of the biggest business scandals in American history. He re-enters a world in which some of the businesses built from his old company’s less appreciated assets have become formidable in their own right.

Enron is a symbol of corporate fraud and excess since the Houston-based energy conglomerate collapsed nearly two decades ago amid questions about its accounting practices. Mr. Skilling, who was released Thursday according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, was among several executives who faced criminal charges after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Donald Trump’s real target is not illegal immigration but diversity

Posted by hkarner - 25. Februar 2019

Date: 24-02-2019
Source: The Economist: Lexington

That battle is already lost

When juan garcia started work as an urban planner for the government of Gaston County in 1997, he reckons he was the only Latino among its 1,400 employees. Hub of a dying textiles industry, on the western edge of Charlotte, the county was missing out on the boom already rippling through the periphery of North Carolina’s most dynamic city. For that reason Gastonia, its altogether less zippy capital, was not seeing many of the Mexican immigrants then pouring into the state, to labour on the building sites erupting in Charlotte and revive the poultry industry in Union County, east of the city. But this was about to change.

Finding opportunities overlooked by others in Gastonia’s run-down factories and mills, migrants started settling in the town’s trailer parks and poor black neighbourhoods. Its Hispanic population soared, to around 6,000, or 9% of the total, within a few years. This caused friction with Gastonia’s white majority, recalls Mr Garcia, who was born in Colombia. “Mexicans like to get physically closer when they’re talking to you than Anglos do. They might slaughter a chicken in their yard. They play loud music there.” But the ill-will rarely went beyond grumbling about the migrants’ poor English. Some in Gastonia said this reflected the much deeper tensions in the South between whites and blacks. Resentment of immigrants was only a brief distraction from that main drama. In any event, the migrants, many of whom had either moved from Texas or come directly from the Rio Grande, expected no favours. “So long as you treat people the right way, you’re all right,” shrugged Elvira, who came to North Carolina to pick tobacco 25 years ago and now works at the “Las Americas” supermarket in Gastonia.

The influx of Hispanics to the town, and hundreds of unfashionable cities like it, illustrates how much they have changed America over the past three decades. The Hispanic population has risen ninefold since the 1960s, to around 60m. Its members, many of them second- and third-generation immigrants, are dispersing across the country, driving growth and changing the social fabric wherever they go. While the white population is on the cusp of declining, most states have flourishing Hispanic communities. North Carolina, which had around 40,000 Hispanics in 1990, now has almost a million. The high growth rates it has meanwhile sustained owe a lot to this migrant infusion. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Misreading China’s Strength

Posted by hkarner - 25. Februar 2019

Stephen S. Roach, former Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and the firm’s chief economist, is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute of Global Affairs and a senior lecturer at Yale’s School of Management. He is the author of Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China.

With the Chinese economy slowing, the US believes that China is hurting and desperate for a deal to end the bilateral trade war before it resumes after March 1, when the current 90-day truce expires. But the two economies’ longer-term fundamentals compel a very different verdict on relative strength.

NEW HAVEN – US President Donald Trump’s administration has underestimated China’s resilience and strategic resolve. With the Chinese economy slowing, the US believes that China is hurting and desperate for an end to the trade war. But with ample policy space to address the current slowdown, China’s leadership has no need to abandon its longer-term strategy. While a cosmetic deal focused on bilateral trade appears to be in the offing, the sharp contrast between the two economies’ fundamental underpinnings points to a very different verdict regarding who has the upper hand.

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