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Archive for 23. Februar 2020

Emmanuel Macron’s reforms are working, but not for him

Posted by hkarner - 23. Februar 2020

Date: 20‑02‑2020

Source: The Economist

Unemployment in France is falling. So are the president’s poll ratings

Abroad grin spreads across Aboubacar Koumbassa’s face as he displays the result of his morning’s class: a tray of oven‑hot pains‑aux‑raisins (currant pastries), which he and his classmates have baked for the first time. The 18‑year‑old, in a white chef’s cap and apron, had originally hoped for an apprenticeship as an electrician. But it was easier to secure one at a bakery. He now spends one week in three in the classroom, travelling over an hour by train. The other two weeks he is learning on the job. “I made the right choice,” he says, carefully inspecting his pastry, “because this is teamwork. Here we learn the theory, and at my firm we are really working.”

Apprenticeships offer a much‑needed path out of France’s highly academic school system and into the world of work. The Campus des Métiers, where Mr Koumbassa studies, lies in the Paris suburb of Seine‑Saint‑Denis, a neighbourhood of brutalist tower blocks with a poverty rate twice the national average. The centre trains some 1,400 apprentices, in subjects ranging from car mechanics and plumbing to hairdressing and patisserie. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Who will benefit most from the data economy?

Posted by hkarner - 23. Februar 2020

Date: 20‑02‑2020

Source: The Economist

It is already unequal and that inequality could get worse

The data economy is a work in progress. Its economics still have to be worked out; its infrastructure and its businesses need to be fully built; geopolitical arrangements must be found. But there is one final major tension: between the wealth the data economy will create and how it will be distributed. The data economy—or the “second economy”, as Brian Arthur of the Santa Fe Institute terms it—will make the world a more productive place no matter what, he predicts. But who gets what and how is less clear. “We will move from an economy where the main challenge is to produce more and more efficiently,” says Mr Arthur, “to one where distribution of the wealth produced becomes the biggest issue.”

The data economy as it exists today is already very unequal. It is dominated by a few big platforms. In the most recent quarter, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook made a combined profit of $55bn, more than the next five most valuable American tech firms over the past 12 months. This corporate inequality is largely the result of network effects—economic forces that mean size begets size. A firm that can collect a lot of data, for instance, can make better use of artificial intelligence and attract more users, who in turn supply more data. Such firms can also recruit the best data scientists and have the cash to buy the best ai startups. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Are there too many central bankers?

Posted by hkarner - 23. Februar 2020

Date: 22‑02‑2020

Source: The Economist

Euro‑area banks look especially flabby

Central bankers around the world have long pondered the causes of a slowdown in productivity. Might they be part of the problem? Many national central banks in the euro area have shed staff in the two decades since they ceded many of their responsibilities to the ecb.

Yet they still look flabby: the central banks of Germany, France and Italy have many more employees than the Bank of England, whose duties have grown over the same period.

In their defence the Europeans could point to the payroll of America’s Federal Reserve system. Its Board of Governors in Washington, dc, where most responsibility resides, had about 2,800 employees at the last count. But its network of less important reserve banks had another 19,500 Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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