Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

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Archive for 12. Oktober 2019

When God Is Your Portfolio Manager

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2019

Date: 12-10-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Jason Zweig

Biblically responsible investing is booming, as some Christians move to match their faith with their stock buys

What would Jesus buy?

That question is spreading in the investing world, as evangelicals and other Christians seek investment management and financial planning to match their interpretation of biblical principles. The latest sign of the rise of faith-based investing was the launch of the Inspire International ESG exchange-traded fund on Sept. 30. Its ticker symbol? WWJD, short for the popular expression “What would Jesus do?”

Many socially responsible investors favor companies that recruit LGBT workers or donate to Planned Parenthood and the like. By contrast, biblically responsible investors shun companies that profit from or support abortion, pornography, gambling, or LGBT issues. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The risks from India’s rotten banks

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2019

Date: 10-10-2019
Source: The Economist

A slow-motion financial crisis threatens the country’s economic future

Imagine a central bank tweeting that, yes, there are rumours of “certain” banks facing deposit runs but “there is no need to panic”. Would you feel reassured? That is the unenviable position Indians found themselves in last week as a financial storm rumbled on in the world’s fifth-biggest economy with no sign of the authorities getting a firm grip. In the latest fiasco a co-operative bank, pmc, is accused of fraud, prompting depositors to yank their cash out. Meanwhile shares in Yes Bank, a private lender, have collapsed by 40% in the past month as rumours swirl. These are not isolated incidents. Roughly a third of the financial system is on crutches or under suspicion. Dazed by the scale of the task, the government and the Reserve Bank of India (rbi) are dithering. Until they act, India’s economy will not perk up—and there is a danger of a full-blown crisis.

The origins of this mess go back to 2005. In the first phase conventional banks, which control about four-fifths of the system’s assets and are mostly state-run, lent too freely to infrastructure and industrial projects, sometimes ones backed by well-connected tycoons. The plight today is a continuation of the second phase: a boom-and-bust in lightly regulated shadow banks, which control the remaining fifth of the system. The danger grew in 2016 when the government temporarily abolished large banknotes, leading many people to deposit money in banks and mutual funds. These, in turn, used the windfall to make loans to shadow banks, which went on their own lending binge, often using the money to finance property projects. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why onions and pigs can give economists a headache

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2019

Date: 10-10-2019
Source: The Economist

Idiosyncratic price rises can make targeting inflation tricky

In february 2017 Verizon, an American mobile-phone carrier, started offering mobile-phone connections that put no limits on data. “Unlimited adventures, unlimited laughter, unlimited connections,” promised an advert. They might have added “unlimited woe for central bankers”. The category of inflation in which mobile-phone plans feature subsequently plummeted, dragging overall core inflation down by about 0.2 percentage points at a time when it had been forecast to rise. For the best part of a year the Verizon disinflation became crucial to central bankers’ own communications, as they promised financial markets that the effect would soon wear off.

One-shot changes in prices constantly play havoc with central bankers’ attempts to target inflation down to the last tenth of a percentage point. In early 2019 Germany’s statisticians improved their monitoring of how holiday prices vary with the seasons. Unfortunately this captured volatility that has disrupted the index. In May the prices were 9% down on a year earlier; in June they were 6% up. Package holidays make up nearly 3% of German household consumption, giving them enough weight to cause volatility in overall inflation. And because Germany accounts for nearly one-third of the entire euro-zone inflation basket, the movements are large enough to show up at continental level (just like the tourists themselves). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Ultimate Learning Machines

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2019

Date: 11-10-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Alison Gopnik

The future of artificial intelligence depends on designing computers that can think and explore as resourcefully as babies do.

Last July, I went to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the blue-sky government research lab that helped to invent the computer and the internet. I was there, strange as it may seem, to talk about babies. The latest big DARPA research project, Machine Common Sense, is funding collaborations between child psychologists like me and computer scientists. This year I also talked about children’s minds at Google, Facebook and Apple.

Why are quintessentially geeky places like DARPA and Google suddenly interested in talking about something as profoundly ungeeky as babies? It turns out that understanding babies and young children may be one key to ensuring that the current “AI spring” continues—despite some chilly autumnal winds in the air. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The world economy’s strange new rules

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2019

Date: 10-10-2019
Source: The Economist

How rich-world economies work has changed radically. So must economic policy

Rich-world economies consist of a billion consumers and millions of firms taking their own decisions. But they also feature mighty public institutions that try to steer the economy, including central banks, which set monetary policy, and governments, which decide how much to spend and borrow. For the past 30 years or more these institutions have run under established rules. The government wants a booming jobs market that wins votes but, if the economy overheats, it will cause inflation. And so independent central banks are needed to take away the punch bowl just as the party warms up, to borrow the familiar quip of William McChesney Martin, once head of the Federal Reserve. Think of it as a division of labour: politicians focus on the long-term size of the state and myriad other priorities. Technocrats have the tricky job of taming the business cycle. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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