Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Archive for August 2019

The Europeans want their own Vision Fund to invest in tech

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2019

Date: 30-08-2019
Source: The Economist

They might even get it

How much does it cost to bend the future to one’s will? Give or take $100bn, reckons Masayoshi Son, boss of SoftBank. That is the size of the Japanese conglomerate’s Vision Fund, which holds stakes in modish technology companies including WeWork and Uber. Mr Son is raising a new, similarly gargantuan pot.
Now the eu wants one, too. On August 22nd news filtered out of a proposal to create a €100bn ($111bn) fund to back European firms in “strategically important” industries.

Its proposed name and high-tech focus notwithstanding, the European Future Fund would hark back to decades past. Politicians across the old continent once believed themselves blessed with the gift of picking corporate winners. That 1970s experiment did not end well: “national champions” backed with taxpayers’ money were kept on life support with yet more of it.

Concerns about Europe falling behind in technology, too, are old hat. In the early 2000s France and Germany were so worried about Google that they lavishly funded Quaero, a made-in-Europe search engine. A few years and tens of millions of euros later, the project was quietly deleted. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China is calm as growth slows. But is it complacent?

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2019

Date: 30-08-2019
Source: The Economist

Though the trade war is hurting, officials are reluctant to unleash stimulus

Half a decade ago, if you had asked economists which number—five or seven—described China’s gdp and which its currency, most would have answered this way: growth will remain strong at around 7% annually, and the currency will strengthen until it takes just five yuan and change to buy a dollar. One measure of the impact of Donald Trump’s trade war on China is the inversion of these digits. As American tariffs bite, economic forecasters think that Chinese growth next year will slow to five-point-something percent. The yuan, for its part, has slumped to more than seven per dollar.

Mr Trump has crowed about the success of his tactics. “China has taken a very hard hit,” he said on August 26th at a news conference after the g7 summit in France. “They want to make a deal very badly.” But a more accurate reading of China’s policy stance is one of surprising calm in the face of the economic slowdown and, by extension, of stiffer resolve in the trade dispute. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Italy’s Progressive Surprise

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2019

Date: 30-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

The establishment and insurgent left team up to take out Matteo Salvini.

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Matteo Salvini in Rome

A week ago Matteo Salvini looked like Italy’s next Prime Minister, but now the League leader is headed for the political wilderness. Italy’s most interesting politician will have to watch as the left tangles with Brussels while trying to revive the economy.

On Wednesday night leaders from the insurgent 5 Star Movement and the establishment Democratic Party announced an agreement to form a center-left coalition. The parties provided few details, though Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will keep his job. This doesn’t look like a government built for the long-term—but what else is new in Italian politics?

In 2018 Mr. Conte, a lawyer, was plucked from near-obscurity to mediate an unruly coalition between the conservative League and the leftist 5 Star Movement. Imagine if an unknown law professor became U.S. President—with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump as strong co-vice presidents. Ministers from each party often undermined each other publicly and squabbled over parochial issues like rail projects and basic questions about the role of government. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How Parliament can stop Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2019

Date: 30-08-2019
Source: The Economist

The prime minister has sidelined Parliament and set a course for no-deal. MPs must act now to stop him

One by one, the principles on which the Brexit campaign was fought have been exposed as hollow. Before the referendum, Leavers argued that victory would enable them to negotiate a brilliant deal with the European Union. Now they advocate leaving with no deal at all. Before the vote they said that Brexit would allow Britain to strike more free-trade agreements. Now they say that trading on the bare-bones terms of the World Trade Organisation would be fine. Loudest of all they talked of taking back control and restoring sovereignty to Parliament. Yet on August 28th Boris Johnson, a leading Leaver who is now prime minister, announced that in the run-up to Brexit Parliament would be suspended altogether.

His utterly cynical ploy is designed to stop mps steering the country off the reckless course he has set to leave the eu with or without a deal on October 31st. His actions are technically legal, but they stretch the conventions of the constitution to their limits. Because he is too weak to carry Parliament in a vote, he means to silence it. In Britain’s representative democracy, that sets a dangerous precedent.

But it is still not too late for mps to thwart his plans—if they get organised. The sense of inevitability about no-deal, cultivated by the hardliners advising Mr Johnson, is bogus. The eu is against such an outcome; most Britons oppose it; Parliament has already voted against the idea. Those mps determined to stop no-deal have been divided and unfocused. When they return to work next week after their uneasy summer recess, they will have a fleeting chance to avert this unwanted national calamity. Mr Johnson’s actions this week have made clear why they must seize it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Joe Walsh’s long-shot bid to dethrone Donald Trump

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2019

Date: 30-08-2019
Source: The Economist

The former Tea Party congressman says he is a better version of the president

Joe walsh might seem an odd foil to President Donald Trump. The media-savvy former congressman, a Tea Party-firebrand, who announced his Republican primary challenge to the president on August 25th, has had a long record of controversial and (self-admitted) racist remarks in his record as both a politician and radio host. “I do feel a responsibility for helping to put Trump in the White House. And I have publicly apologised for that, because to me Donald Trump is like the worst version of a Joe Walsh,” he says.

Yet Mr Walsh is plunging into the treacherous waters of primarying a sitting president, all the same. He was not a devoted Never Trumper. In his telling, the spectacle in Helsinki of an American president trusting Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence agencies put him permanently off. The rest of his fellow Republicans might not see it that way. Although the party’s most prominent public intellectuals—like William Kristol and George Will—have long despised Mr Trump, the voting base remains utterly devoted. Among Republicans, 87% approve of the job that Mr Trump is doing. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s long vacation flight home

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2019

Date: 30-08-2019
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

Seen from an airliner, Europe’s problems look smaller

Even in europe, a continent of welfare states famed for their gloriously long holidays, the summer must eventually end. This week, as they trickle back from Mediterranean beaches and Alpine campgrounds, Europeans are preparing for a fateful autumn. The risk of a recession looms. Eurosceptic populists are likely to win elections in Poland, and perhaps in Italy. Britain is heading for a hard or no-deal Brexit. From trade wars to migrant crises, the outside world looks threatening. Still, gazing out of their aeroplane windows, returning holidaymakers may notice some of the things that hold their curious little continent together.

For one thing, they are physically connected. In Africa or SouthEast Asia, infrastructure often peters out at borders. Yet in Europe motorways, railway lines and waterways criss-cross the continent. Peering down into deep Balkan valleys, one can see how absurd local ethnic rivalries and hatreds are; they carve up a continuous landscape of rocky coastlines and dusty roads that can obviously succeed only as an integrated region. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Economists and central bankers unite in grumbling about Donald Trump

Posted by hkarner - 30. August 2019

Date: 27-08-2019
Source: The Economist Free exchange

But in some ways, the president brought them together at their yearly gathering

AS THE ANNUAL meeting of central bankers and economists at Jackson Hole, a mountain resort in Wyoming, began on August 23, two participants made a bet. Would President Donald Trump tweet about the opening remarks of Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, within 45 minutes of their publication? In the event, it took the president 57 minutes. That night the victor enjoyed his winnings—a glass of whiskey—in the bar.

Mr Trump’s words made the conference theme, “challenges for monetary policy”, uncomfortably timely. He called Mr Powell anenemy and promised to ramp up trade tensions with China further. Later that day he announced increases in tariff rates on over $500bn of Chinese imports. But even as stockmarkets reeled, the conference continued serenely. Indeed, Mr Trump even brought the participants together.

Most obviously, they were united in grumbling about the effects of his trade policy on the global economy. Philip Lowe, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, said that business uncertainty was turning political shocks into economic ones. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, said that trade tensions had raised risk premiums, tightening financial conditions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China’s Long March to Technological Supremacy

Posted by hkarner - 30. August 2019

Date: 27-08-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Julian Baird Gewirtz

The Roots of Xi Jinping’s Ambition to “Catch Up and Surpass”

Signs advertising 5G and China Unicom go up in Shanghai, April 2019

Until recently, American perceptions of Chinese technology tended to be either hopeful or dismissive. On the hopeful side, the information revolution was taken as a sure drive of greater freedom. “Imagine if the Internet took hold in China,” George W. Bush said in a presidential debate in 1999. “Imagine how freedom would spread.” Some observers noted considerable theft and imitation of U.S. technology firms, but Chinese technology was generally thought to represent little or no competitive threat, with analysts explaining—as a 2014 Harvard Business Review headline put it—“why China can’t innovate.”

But China has quickly moved up the value chain, creating world-class industries in everything from 5G and artificial intelligence to biotechnology and quantum computing. Some experts now believe that China could unseat the United States as the world’s leading technological force. And many U.S. policymakers view that prospect as an existential threat to U.S. economic and military power. “Very dangerous,” President Donald Trump said recently when talking about the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei; National Security Adviser John Bolton has warned of a “Manchurian chip.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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SEHNSUCHT NACH EINER KLIMAWENDE

Posted by hkarner - 29. August 2019

FURCHE-Kolumne 274 Wilfried Stadler

Ich sehne mich nach einer Klimawende. Nein, nicht nach der, die die Gletscher schmelzen lässt, sondern nach einer grundlegenden Wende des innenpolitischen Klimas. Drei Monate nach Ibiza und ganze fünf Wochen vor der Nationalratswahl wünsche ich mich einfach raus aus dem innenpolitischen Dauertief, aus den permanenten Unwettern und den Geröllmassen, die sie hinterlassen. All diese Zumutungen rauben uns kostbare Zeit und verdunkeln den Blick auf künftige Möglichkeiten.

Außerdem hoffe ich auf eine längst überfällige Mindestsicherung – nicht im sozialpolitischen Sinn, sondern als eine Mindestsicherung der Qualität des politischen Handelns. Und zwar zuallererst in charakterlicher Hinsicht. Personen, die sich diesbezüglich augenscheinlich diskreditiert haben, dürften am politischen Parkett für absehbare Zeit schlicht keine Rolle mehr spielen. Parteien, die sie dennoch ins Rennen schicken, nehmen sich damit aus künftigen Koalitionsgesprächen. Nur so hätte das Ibiza-Gewitter seinen wohl wichtigsten, reinigenden Zweck erfüllt.

Um auch eine Sicherung der inhaltlichen Mindest-Qualität zu gewährleisten, bräuchte es zuallererst mehr Offenheit und Pragmatismus in Sachfragen, die ja immer noch den größten Teil des politischen Geschäfts ausmachen. Zentrale Voraussetzung dafür wäre das Bemühen um Allparteilichkeit im Denken und Handeln. Denn Parteien sind zwar demokratiepolitisch bewährte Vehikel der Bündelung von Meinungen, sozialer Ambitionen und Welt-Anschauungen. Sie dürfen sich aber keinesfalls überheben und aus der Ausübung von Regierungsmacht das Recht auf Parteilichkeit ableiten. Faktenreich, evidenzbasiert, angereichert mit Erfahrungswissen und im Bewusstsein, dass zweitbeste anstelle unerreichbarer perfekter Lösungen auch nicht zu verachten sind: mit diesem Zugang stünde einer deutlich gesteigerten Professionalität nichts mehr im Wege. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Monitoring Global Financial Stability

Posted by hkarner - 29. August 2019

By Tobias Adrian, Dong He, Nellie Liang, and Fabio Natalucci

“It’s awful. Why did nobody see it coming?” asked Queen Elizabeth II in November 2008 during a visit to the London School of Economics, wondering why nobody had predicted the Global Financial Crisis. The bewilderment wasn’t unique to the British monarchy; across the world, many asked the same question.

Ten years on, it remains difficult to forecast financial instability. However, progress is afoot to improve the understanding of important links between the financial sector and the economy. We now understand better how financial vulnerabilities can amplify negative shocks and hurt output and employment.

Twice a year, the IMF comes out with its latest analysis of global financial stability risks in the Global Financial Stability Report, where it continues to initiate improvements in a framework for financial stability monitoring. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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