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Archive for 27. Oktober 2019

China’s Disturbing Vision

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2019

By John Mauldin, October 25, 2019

Hong Kong and the NBA
China’s Vision of Victory
Clashing Values

And once you see it, you cannot unsee it.

I’m not alone. Here is what we are observing at macro scale:

That it has been common knowledge—something we all knew that we all knew—since the Nixon years that by simply exporting capitalism and free enterprise, we would unshackle the forces of freedom in China.

That this common knowledge is [now] breaking.

Today, we all know that we all know that the influence of the Chinese Communist Party over what you and I do has been aided, not thwarted, by the nominal Chinese embrace of capitalism. I think that this—not the NBA, or Hearthstone, or Disney, but common knowledge about the distorting effects of concentrated power on the efficiency of market outcomes—is the real main event.     

—Rusty Guinn, Epsilon Theory Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tech Giants Have Hijacked the Web. It’s Time for a Reboot.

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2019

Date: 26-10-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Paul Vigna

While Washington looks to combat online monopolies, some innovators are developing new internet platforms to prevent monopolies from forming in the future

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said, in a speech last week at Georgetown University, that his social media megacorp and its Big Tech peers “have decentralized power by putting it directly into people’s hands.”

That sounds comforting and egalitarian, but a lot of people worry these days that they’ve actually centralized power—around themselves. This has become ever more obvious since Russian agents used Facebook in an attempt to manipulate the U.S. public in the 2016 election. It’s clearer every time somebody searches or posts about dogs, only to find their feeds inundated with dog food ads. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson’s shabby treatment of Ulster unionists is foolish

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2019

Date: 26-10-2019
Source: The Economist

Don’t feel sorry for politicians—but do worry about loyalist thugs

For a few minutes, it seemed like old times. On October 21st the Democratic Unionist Party walked back into the Northern Ireland Assembly, which had been closed for three years. The party, which insists on Northern Ireland remaining part of the United Kingdom and is socially conservative, was trying to block the legalisation of abortion and gay marriage—both of which had been imposed on Ulster by Westminster. But other assembly members did not turn up at the session, or left quickly, so the dup’s bid failed. It is not the most humiliating thing that has happened to the party this month.

The dup enjoyed two years in the sun. In June 2017 Theresa May, then the Conservative Party’s leader, lost her majority in the House of Commons and turned to the dup’s ten mps to make up the numbers. A party that most Britons probably thought of as cranky and obsessive (if they thought about it at all) was suddenly powerful. Conservatives praised the union and promised more cash for Northern Ireland. The dup was just as keen on Boris Johnson, Mrs May’s successor, who assured the party that no British prime minister could countenance a separation between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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At French insistence, the Macedonians are left out in the cold

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2019

Date: 26-10-2019
Source: The Economist

The Albanians too

Not even the bleariest-eyed of early-morning travellers can fail to notice the memorial at Sarajevo airport. It recalls eight French soldiers who died during the Bosnian war. When the war ended, in 1995, the American-designed peace deal was signed in Paris. Ever since then, European policy has been clear: to avoid the mistakes of the past, the western Balkan states must be anchored in the eu. But at a summit on October 18th, to the horror of Balkan leaders and most of his eu colleagues, Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, seemed to kick the legs out from under that policy.

Mr Macron argued that the eu’s enlargement strategy was “bizarre”, and that the eu needed reform before enlargement. France blocked the opening of accession negotiations for North Macedonia; along with Denmark and the Netherlands, it did so for Albania, too. Overshadowed by Brexit, the veto was barely reported in France, but it sent shock-waves through the Balkans. Serbia and Montenegro are already negotiating membership, and Kosovo and Bosnia would like to start as well. Although Mr Macron says that eu enlargement is not dead, he is unclear about what should happen next. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can the good run of central Europe’s economies last?

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2019

Date: 26-10-2019
Source: The Economist

The extremely open economies are vulnerable to external shocks

Fifteen years after they joined the eu, the four “Visegrad” states of central Europe (the v4) can be prouder of their economic achievements than of their patchy record on political reform. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have increased their levels of gdp per head dramatically, and are converging with their mighty neighbour Germany. The Czechs are the richest, with a gdp per head that is 73% of Germany’s, followed by Slovakia with 63% and Hungary and Poland with around 57% each—and the gap continues to close, as their growth outpaces that of the behemoth (see chart).

Four main external forces have driven the remarkable successes of the four extremely open v4 economies. The first is their access to generous subsidies from the eu, which make up a sizeable chunk of their respective national incomes. Second is the munificent flow of remittances from millions of expat v4 citizens who now live and work in the eu, especially in Germany, Austria or Britain. A benevolent recent economic environment has also helped, especially the success of the German economy, by far their most important trading partner and the biggest or second-biggest investor in each country. And lastly, the four all started from a low base, enabling them to serve as cheap workshops for more developed economies. The danger is that all four of these factors are now petering out. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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