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Archive for 24. November 2019

The EU’s EV Greenwash

Posted by hkarner - 24. November 2019

  Yes, Hans-Werner Sinn, we know that diesels emit little co2 but a helluvalot of other shit (RC

Date: 23-11-2019
Source: Project Syndicate by Hans-Werner Sinn

Hans-Werner Sinn, Professor of Economics at the University of Munich, was President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research and serves on the German economy ministry’s Advisory Council. He is the author, most recently, of The Euro Trap: On Bursting Bubbles, Budgets, and Beliefs.

EU emissions regulations that went into force earlier this year are clearly designed to push diesel and other internal-combustion-engine automobiles out of the European market to make way for electric vehicles. But are EVs really as climate-friendly and effective as their promoters claim?

MUNICH – Germany’s automobile industry is its most important industrial sector. But it is in crisis, and not only because it is suffering the effects of a recession brought on by Volkswagen’s own cheating on emissions standards, which sent consumers elsewhere. The sector is also facing the existential threat of exceedingly strict European Union emissions requirements, which are only seemingly grounded in environmental policy.

The EU clearly overstepped the mark with the carbon dioxide regulation that went into effect on April 17, 2019. From 2030 onward, European carmakers must have achieved average vehicle emissions of just 59 grams of CO2 per kilometer, which corresponds to fuel consumption of 2.2 liters of diesel equivalent per 100 kilometers (107 miles per gallon). This simply will not be possible. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Rethinking McKinsey: Disrupting the management priesthood

Posted by hkarner - 24. November 2019

Date: 21-11-2019
Source: The Economist: Schumpeter

When businessmen talk to partners of McKinsey, the high priests of management consultancy, it is like Catholics going to confession. They reveal all. They expect confidentiality. And whether or not it changes behaviour, the act itself is good for the soul. In this era of corporate unease, over everything from the next recession to climate change, executives are lining up at the confessional. But McKinsey, too, has some soul-searching to do. Its industry, estimated to be worth $300bn, is, like those of its clients, being transformed. And as its most revered—and hermetic—standard bearer, it is under more scrutiny than ever before.

Kevin Sneader, who took over as global managing partner last year, has lots on his plate. Recent years have been uncomfortable. Until a decade ago no McKinseyite had ever been sued for securities-law violations. In 2012 its former managing partner, Rajat Gupta, was convicted of insider-trading committed after he left the firm. Then in 2016 McKinsey was embroiled in a scandal in South Africa after it worked with Trillian, a local consulting firm owned by an associate of the controversial Gupta family (no relation to Mr Gupta). Mr Sneader has repeatedly apologised. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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This year’s Nobel prizes prompt soul-searching among economists

Posted by hkarner - 24. November 2019

Date: 21-11-2019
Source: The Economist: Free exchange

The rise of randomised controlled trials looks to some like a retreat from the biggest questions

Nobel prizes are usually given in recognition of ideas that are already more or less guaranteed a legacy. But occasionally they prompt as much debate as admiration. This year’s economics award, given to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, was unusual both for the recency of the contributions it recognised and the relative youth of the recipients. (For a review of “Good Economics for Hard Times”, by Mr Banerjee and Ms Duflo, see Books and arts section.) Intentionally or not, it has inflamed arguments about the direction of the profession.

The prize, awarded in early October, recognised the laureates’ efforts to use randomised controlled trials (rcts) to answer social-science questions. In an rct, researchers assess the effect of a policy intervention by dividing participants into groups, only some of which are treated with the policy. This year’s winners used rcts to study the effectiveness of anti-poverty programmes in developing economies. To take one example, Mr Kremer suspected that poor health might depress learning by reducing school attendance. By using randomisation to set the schedule by which different schools’ pupils would be treated for intestinal worms, Mr Kremer and his co-author, Edward Miguel, learned that deworming improved health and attendance—but not test scores. Their work has been highly acclaimed, before the Nobel and after. But strikingly, given its practical success, it has also faced sustained criticism. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How machine learning is revolutionising market intelligence

Posted by hkarner - 24. November 2019

Date: 23-11-2019
Source: The Economist

The business of gathering market-sensitive information is ripe for automation

The thames seems to draw people who work on intelligence-gathering. The spooks of mi6 are housed in a funky-looking building overlooking the river. Two miles downstream, in a shared office space near Blackfriars Bridge, lives Arkera, a firm that uses machine-learning technology to sort intelligence from newspapers, websites and other public sources for emerging-market investors. Its location is happenstance. London has the right time zone, between the Americas and Asia. It is a nice place to live. The Thames happens to run through it.

Arkera’s founders, Nav Gupta and Vinit Sahni, both have a background in “macro” hedge funds, the sort that like to bet on big moves in currencies and bond and stock prices ahead of predicted changes in the political climate. The firm’s clients might want a steer on the political risks affecting public finances in Brazil, or to gauge the social pressures that could arise as a consequence of an austerity programme in Egypt. It applies machine learning to find market intelligence and make it usable. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany Is Shirking Its EU Responsibilities

Posted by hkarner - 24. November 2019

Date: 23-11-2019
Source: DER SPIEGEL by Dirk Kurbjuweit

Germany used to be passionately pro-European, with the EU facilitating the country’s postwar return to the international community. These days? Not so much. And Berlin’s passivity is becoming dangerous.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

If the Germans were once the most committed, most passionate Europeans, they are today among the most half-hearted. Despite spending decades after World War II as the greatest beneficiary of the European idea, slowly shedding its pariah status, Germany is now extremely focused on its own interests. Even worse, though, is the fact that German politicians are no longer paying much attention to Europe at all. They are simply letting things take their course, playing catch up or just standing by and watching what happens next. It’s as if they are unable to recognize what is at stake.

A battle is underway in Europe and the U.S. for the future of liberal democracy. In the U.S., that fight is primarily focused on Donald Trump. In Europe, the situation is more multifaceted and less obvious, but no less dangerous. And as the strongest economy on the Continent, Germany should be on the front lines of that fight. Instead, the country is doing nothing to carry its weight, hunkering down in the middle of Europe seemingly with no idea what to do. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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