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Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Archive for April 2019

Droht die nächste Eurokrise?

Posted by hkarner - 29. April 2019

Dank an H.G.

Für bedrohlich hält Kapitalmarktstratege Martin Lück von Blackrock vor allem Italiens wachsendes Schuldendilemma. Der Zollstreit mit den USA sei dagegen lösbar, meint er.

Wien. US-Präsident Donald Trump sorgte zuletzt wieder für Wirbel, als er sämtliche Ausnahmen bei den Sanktionen für iranische Ölexporte strich. Daraufhin schnellte die Notierung kräftig nach oben. In der EU zeigte man sich wenig erfreut – dabei wartet auf die Kommissare in Brüssel ohnedies schon eine Menge Arbeit: Italiens Defizit schwillt stetig an. Und das Brexit-Dilemma zieht sich weiter in die Länge.

Auch Anlegern, die ihr Geld in europäische Werte gesteckt haben, macht all das Sorgen. Aber wie beurteilen Experten die Lage? „Die Presse“ sprach mit Martin Lück, er ist Kapitalmarktstratege bei Blackrock. Und auch er warnt vor bedrohlichen Szenarien – sieht aber dennoch auch Chancen. Was etwa den Brexit betrifft, hält er die neue Schonfrist bis Oktober nicht für zu lang: Ein längerer Zeitraum sei notwendig, betont er, denn so werde Zeit für ein mögliches zweites Austrittsreferendum geschaffen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A bright future by Paul Mason

Posted by hkarner - 29. April 2019

Date: 28-04-2019
Source: The Guardian
Subject: Clear Bright Future by Paul Mason review – in the midst of crisis, a work of radical optimism

The current chaos contains the seeds of revolutionary change, argues the author of PostCapitalism. We need to challenge markets, take control of technology and consider what it means to be human

Tour de force … Paul Mason.

In a classic Little Britain sketch, David Walliams, playing a bank clerk named Carol, flatly refuses applicants for a loan – however reasonable, hopeful or desperate – with the robotic “Computer says no”. As this catchphrase illustrates, the everyday consequences of our surrender to machines are by now maddeningly familiar. Less evident is the political and intellectual work that has gone into legitimising it. In his latest tour de force, the former TV economics editor turned activist and author Paul Mason traces how an alliance of popular science gurus and Silicon Valley tycoons has led us to belittle our unique capacities as human beings, preparing the ground for the approaching supremacy of AIs.

As with machines, so with markets, whose worship has reduced relationships to competitive transactions, and individuals to homo economicus – a crass fictional construct programmed to maximise financial advantage at all times. Mason also chides the newer discipline of behavioural economics for framing us as flawed decision-makers who need to be “nudged”.

We have forfeited faith in our own capabilities, Mason argues, just when we need to strategise our way out of multiple political and environmental crises. The good news is that the current chaos contains the seeds of revolutionary change: the “clear bright future” of the title is from Leon Trotsky. We can uncancel this future, Mason insists, but only by rediscovering a quality that has become curiously unfashionable – humanity – and seizing control of technology. The socialisation of knowledge will enable us to overthrow capitalism, and automation will abolish our need to work. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Everyday Constitutional Crisis

Posted by hkarner - 28. April 2019

Date: 26-04-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Joseph C. Sternberg

The only question at issue in the Continent’s election for parliament is whether the EU is legitimate at all.

Brace yourself: European Parliament elections are less than a month away.

As has become customary, voters will engage in a strange act of self-disenfranchisement as they and their candidates eschew any serious discussions about what the European Parliament should do on any of a wide range of policy questions. As a result, we’ll look in vain for a parliamentary majority, let alone a popular consensus, strong enough to advance one or another approach to the EU’s next budget or its trade policies. European voters will abdicate any judgment on these questions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Incredibly Stupid

Posted by hkarner - 28. April 2019

Date: 25-04-2019
Source: The Economist
Subject: Foreign languages ought to be an asset for politicians—not a liability

Even if you distrust foreigners, shouldn’t you want to know what they are saying?

It seems hard to imagine, but once a British prime minister could not only aim to put Britain “at the heart of Europe”; he could say so in fluent French to the Assemblée Nationale. Today, even if Theresa May, a successor to the Europhile Tony Blair, could emulate him, the politics of patriotism might require her to hide it. In the nationalistic climate, many people in the Anglophone democracies seem to consider the ability to talk to foreigners in their own languages distasteful, even suspect.

Foreign-language skill has become yet another cultural-political divider: it is associated with despised liberal elites, like a fondness for sushi or a passport full of stamps. And like the general disgust with those elites, this attitude crosses the left-right divide. Pete Buttigieg, the young mayor of a medium-sized city in Indiana, is enjoying a surprise moment in the sun as a presidential candidate—and nearly every profile of him mentions that he speaks seven foreign languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Maltese (his family’s heritage tongue), Norwegian, Arabic (from which Maltese is descended), and Dari, a language of Afghanistan. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hoe Trump Lost Half of Washington

Posted by hkarner - 27. April 2019

Date: 26-04-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Peggy Noonan

The old ambassadors were willing to give him a chance.
He destabilized the whole town instead.

President Trump speaks in Washington, April 17.

“How did things ever get so far? I don’t know. It was so unfortunate, so unnecessary.” —Don Corleone, “The Godfather”

I keep thinking about the dynamics the past few years between the president and what used to be called official Washington. That relationship is ugly and broken, but it could have been otherwise.

Trump supporters have long held, and deeply believe, that none of the people in what they call the swamp were ever anything but unalterably opposed to him and meant, from day one, to remove him by whatever means possible.

This was true of about half of official Washington. They were predominately Democrats, though there were Republicans too, and certainly the media were against him, overwhelmingly. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China tries to calm jitters about the „Belt and Road“ Initiative

Posted by hkarner - 27. April 2019

Date: 25-04-2019
Source: The Economist

Though belt-and-road lending is worrisome, it is not malevolent. The real problem is overreach

Chinese engineers are drilling their way through the green hills of Laos, clearing a path for a railway that one day may traverse South-East Asia. Each time they complete a tunnel—at least three times in the past month—they hold a brief ceremony, waving Chinese flags for the cameras. They are celebrating not just their engineering success but also the evidence before them that the Belt and Road Initiative (bri), China’s global infrastructure-building scheme, is making progress. The full railway is a long way off. Work has barely begun in Thailand, the next link. But the section in Laos should be in use by 2021.

It will be a test of what many see as a big economic danger of the bri: that it will saddle poor countries with unmanageable debts. China insists that its tens of billions of dollars in loans and investments are fostering global prosperity—a message that it is sure to repeat to foreign leaders attending the second Belt and Road Forum, which takes place from April 25th to 27th in Beijing (pictured is a floral display marking the event). But worries about the cost of the bri, a project closely linked with President Xi Jinping’s foreign policy, have become widespread. Malaysia, Pakistan and Sierra Leone are among a growing list of countries that have delayed or scrapped China-led projects. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Euro’s Bad Year Just Keeps Getting Worse

Posted by hkarner - 27. April 2019

Date: 26-04-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Data released in coming days could widen gap between euro and U.S. dollar

Expectations are muted for next week’s batch of European data, which have some analysts betting the euro has further room to slide.

Investors souring on hopes of an economic rebound in the eurozone are taking
their bets to the currency market.

The euro is trading at a nearly two-year low against the U.S. dollar, hurt by reports this week showing confidence among businesses in Germany and manufacturers in France both fell in April. The currency is headed for its fifth weekly decline in six weeks, a reflection of the growing skepticism among investors about policy makers’ ability to steer an economic turnaround in Europe. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Falling Costs Make Wind, Solar More Affordable

Posted by hkarner - 26. April 2019

By Christian Bogmans

Harnessing wind and solar energy for low-carbon electric power generation was once considered uneconomical. Now, rapidly falling costs for these technologies are boosting global renewable energy capacity. Renewable energy sources can help reduce carbon emissions substantially and the effects of global warming.

As the Chart of the Week from the April World Economic Outlook shows, solar and onshore wind turbines saw the biggest price declines among low-carbon energy sources between 2009 and 2017. Prices dropped 76 percent for solar panels and 34 percent for turbines during that time, making them competitive alternatives to fossil fuels and more traditional low-carbon energy sources such as hydropower and nuclear. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Ifo-Index fällt: „Deutsche Wirtschaft verliert weiter an Kraft“

Posted by hkarner - 26. April 2019

Der deutschen Wirtschaft droht 2019 ein schwaches Jahr. Das zeigt auch das Barometer des Münchner Forschungsinstituts Ifo.

Rückschlag statt Trendwende: Für die deutsche Wirtschaft geht es nach dem Zwischenhoch im März wieder bergab – vor allem wegen der schwächelnden Industrie. Das Barometer für das Ifo-Geschäftsklima fiel im April überraschend um 0,5 auf 99,2 Punkte. Ökonomen hatten mit einem Anstieg auf 99,9 gerechnet, nachdem es im März das erste Plus nach sechs Rückgängen in Folge gegeben hatte.

„Die deutsche Wirtschaft verliert weiter an Kraft“, sagte Ifo-Präsident Clemens Fuest am Mittwoch zur Umfrage seines Instituts unter rund 9.000 Managern. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China’s maritime ambitions are becoming more evident.

Posted by hkarner - 26. April 2019

Date: 24-04-2019
Source: The Economist

The country throws a revealing party for the anniversary of its navy

AS MILITARY PAGEANTS go, multinational parades of warships deliver quite a complex message. Over a dozen countries—ranging from friends to overt rivals—sent naval vessels to the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao on April 23rd. There they steamed past a destroyer carrying China’s commander-in-chief, President Xi Jinping, in honour of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

Paint gleaming and brass fittings buffed to a hospital shine, there were frigates from near-allies such as Russia, and destroyers from almost-foes like India. Their mission was friendship and diplomacy. But these were heavily armed peace envoys, warily visiting a China whose emergence as an ocean-going nation is shaking Asia, and may one day change the world. Visitors involved in territorial disputes with China, including Japan and Vietnam, sent ships bristling with advanced weaponry. America sent no ships at all.

China sent mixed messages, too. As celebrations began, the visitors were hailed by Mr Xi as a sort of floating United Nations. A peace-loving China yearned to work with foreign navies to secure international sea-lanes and safeguard the ocean’s riches, Mr Xi declared. On state television presenters noted that, as a mainstay of anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since 2008, the Chinese navy had escorted more than 6,600 ships, from China and other countries, through bandit-infested waters. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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