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BILANZBETRÜGEREIEN UND LEHREN DARAUS

Posted by hkarner - 4. August 2020

FURCHE-Kolumne 298 ,    Wilfried Stadler 

Es war eine Sensation, als Wirecard im September 2018 den Aufstieg in den Aktienindex DAX, die oberste Spielklasse der deutschen Börse, schaffte. Ausgerechnet die traditionsreiche Commerzbank – nein, nicht „Commerzialbank“! – musste dem gefeierten Newcomer in dem auf 30 Mitglieder limitierten Club der höchst bewerteten deutschen Unternehmen Platz machen.

Schon damals entdeckten Finanzmarktprofis, die sich offensichtlich gründlicher als die damit beauftragten Wirtschaftsprüfer mit den Bilanzen des Börsenstars befassten, schwerwiegende Widersprüche im veröffentlichten Zahlenwerk. Man nahm diese Spielverderber jedoch entweder nicht ernst oder verfolgte sie gar wegen Rufschädigung. Auch die deutsche Finanzmarktaufsicht entschied sich aus falsch verstandenem Finanzplatz-Patriotismus fürs Wegschauen. Mittlerweile steht fest, dass das Management Milliarden-Guthaben auf Treuhandkonten bei philippinischen Banken betrügerisch vorgetäuscht hat.

Der aus Wien stammende Firmenchef Markus Braun hatte im Zusammenspiel mit seinem seit Auffliegen des Betrugs abgetauchten Alter Ego Jan Marsalek Geschäftswelt, Medienleute und Politiker jahrelang geblendet. Niemand konnte und wollte erahnen, dass er die auf grenzlegale Bilanzierungspraktiken anspielende Silicon-Valley-Parole „Fake it till you make it“ wörtlich nahm. Deshalb ist es auch allzu billig, im Nachhinein den Klügeren zu spielen und all jenen, die mit dem ob seiner Tüchtigkeit bewunderten Aufsteiger in Kontakt standen, daraus einen Vorwurf zu machen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Argentinien einigt sich mit Gläubigern auf Umschuldung

Posted by hkarner - 4. August 2020

orf.on, 4-8-2020

Argentinien hat sich mit seinen Gläubigern auf eine Umschuldung geeinigt. Man habe mit den Gläubigergruppen eine Vereinbarung getroffen, die es ihnen ermögliche, den argentinischen Umschuldungsvorschlag zu unterstützen und dem Land einen erheblichen Schuldenerlass zu gewähren, teilte das argentinische Wirtschaftsministerium heute in Buneos Aires mit. Man habe die Konditionen des vorigen Angebots für die Gläubiger verbessert, indem man die Zahlungstermine für die Anleihen angepasst habe, hieß es.

Die Schulden der zweitgrößten Volkswirtschaft in Südamerika galten zu den aktuellen Bedingungen als nicht mehr tragfähig. Deshalb hatte Argentinien von seinen privaten Gläubigern gefordert, auf einen Teil ihrer Forderungen von rund 66 Milliarden US-Dollar (rund 56 Mrd. Euro) zu verzichten. Ohne eine Einigung hätte eine weitere Staatspleite gedroht – es wäre die neunte. Unter den Gläubigern sind große Investmentfonds wie Blackrock, Ashmore und Fidelity.

Argentinien steckt in einer schweren Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise. Die Inflationsrate betrug zuletzt mehr als 50 Prozent. Für das laufende Jahr rechnen Experten mit einem Rückgang der Wirtschaftskraft um rund zehn Prozent. Ende Mai hatte Argentinien Zinsforderungen in Höhe von 503 Millionen US-Dollar nicht beglichen und war dadurch in einen begrenzten Zahlungsausfall gerutscht.

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Apple and Amazon’s Race to $100 Billion

Posted by hkarner - 3. August 2020

Date: 02‑08‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Prime Day and iPhone shifts could mean a $100 billion sales quarter for each tech giant

Apple on Thursday confirmed that this year’s crop of flagship iPhones will launch a few weeks later than the normal late September window.

The pandemic may have forced Apple Inc. to delay its big iPhone launch by a few weeks, but there is a silver lining in this particular cloud.

During its fiscal third‑quarter earnings call on Thursday, Apple confirmed that this year’s crop of flagship iPhones will launch a few weeks later than the normal late September window. This counts as a major disclosure from a company that normally doesn’t breathe a word about future products, though it was also Apple’s worst‑kept secret by this point. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that this fall’s iPhones—expected to include a 5G model—would be delayed by a month. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Utterly Disgusting Peole

Posted by hkarner - 3. August 2020

Date: 02‑08‑2020

Source: The Guardian

Subject: Steve Bannon hails Dominic Cummings and predicts lurch to right for No 10

Architect of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign reveals admiration for Boris Johnson’s aide in interview on dark politics

Steve Bannon praised Cummings and Johnson in interviews for a forthcoming book by journalist Peter Geoghegan.

Steve Bannon, who has previously backed a range of notorious far‑right political figures, has publicly endorsed Dominic Cummings for the first time, calling him a “brilliant guy”.

Donald Trump’s former chief strategist also said that Boris Johnson will become an increasingly populist prime minister after jettisoning his political positioning as a “globalist” to “opportunistically jump on Brexit”.

But Bannon, who helped mastermind Trump’s successful bid for the presidency, reserved his highest praise for Johnson’s most senior aide.

“A brilliant guy. I think Cummings is very smart where he puts his efforts. What I like about him is he has the ability to focus on the main things,” Bannon said, hailing the Downing Street strategist for his role in Brexit and Johnson’s 2019 election triumph.

The comments were made during interviews for a book to be published on Thursday which investigates how unaccountable money, lobbying and data has reshaped British politics. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe still lacks a foreign policy

Posted by hkarner - 2. August 2020

Date: 30‑07‑2020

Source: The Economist

Yet in matters of currency it has hung together better than predicted

To depress an eu diplomat, lay out a map of Europe. On one border is Russia, posing a physical threat to the bloc’s eastern members and a digital one to the rest. To the south‑east the western Balkans remain a mess. Turkey has evolved from partner to awkward neighbour to menace. In Ukraine a war still rumbles on, while Belarus, previously a place of autocratic stability, looks wobbly. Around the Mediterranean a line of unstable or failed states stretches from the Middle East to north Africa.

A coherent foreign policy in such circumstances would make sense. Instead the eu has a contradictory one. Russia is regarded as an existential threat by the likes of Poland, but a potential ally by France. Turkey is viewed in a similarly erratic way. Countries in the western Balkans should be hugged close or shoved away, depending on whom you ask. In Libya, perhaps the apogee of eu foreign‑policy bungling, member states managed to find themselves on different sides of a civil war, while both Russia and Turkey carved out a foothold on the eu’s southern underbelly. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why China’s answer to Nasdaq is going gangbusters

Posted by hkarner - 2. August 2020

Date: 30‑07‑2020

Source: The Economist

Shanghai’s tech‑focused STAR Market is benefiting from Sino‑American tensions

To see the world of technology shift before your eyes, look at the short history of the Shanghai Stock Exchange Science and Technology Innovation Board. China’s president, Xi Jinping, unveiled plans for the new exchange, modelled on New York’s Nasdaq and known as the star Market, in November 2018. It was to be a freer route to capital markets for Chinese tech firms. It opened in July 2019 with 25 companies and rocketing valuations. A year later, on July 23rd, the exchange launched an index of its 50 biggest companies.

A few months ago most people had never heard of the star Market or its firms. The most valuable was amec, a low‑key Chinese manufacturer of chipmaking tools with a market capitalisation of around 100bn yuan ($14bn). Other big members, which make semiconductors (Montage Technology), office software (Kingsoft) or railway electronics (China Railway Signal & Communication), were mostly anonymous to Western ears. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What the million‑mile battery means for electric cars

Posted by hkarner - 2. August 2020

Date: 30‑07‑2020

Source: The Economist

It is mainly about greater reliability

As every mobile‑phone owner knows, after a year or so the battery starts to fade and the beast needs recharging more frequently. That is a nuisance, but a phone’s batteries can be replaced fairly cheaply—or the whole handset traded in for the latest model. An electric car, however, is a much bigger investment. And batteries are its priciest component, representing around 30% of an average mid‑size vehicle. Apart from increasing the risk of running out of juice and leaving a driver stranded, a deteriorating battery quickly destroys a car’s second‑hand value.

To provide buyers with some peace of mind, carmakers guarantee their batteries, typically for eight years or around 200,000km. Producers are now, though, planning to go much further than that, with the launch of “million mile” (1.6m kilometre) batteries. Zeng Yuqun, the boss of Contemporary Amperex Technology, a giant Chinese firm which produces batteries for a number of carmakers, said in June that his company was ready to start manufacturing batteries which would last for 16 years or 2m kilometres. Elon Musk has hinted that Tesla, a Californian maker of electric vehicles of which he is boss, has a million‑mile battery in the works. Rumours suggest this could be unveiled in September. And over in Detroit, General Motors (gm) is in the final stages of developing an advanced battery which it says has similar longevity.

To the Moon and back, twice Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How to Prevent the Looming Sovereign‑Debt Crisis

Posted by hkarner - 1. August 2020

Date: 01‑08‑2020

Source: Project Syndicate by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Hamid Rashid

Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at Columbia University, is Chief Economist at the Roosevelt Institute and a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank. His most recent book is People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent.

 Hamid Rashid, a former director‑general for multilateral economic affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangladesh and senior adviser at the UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy, is Chief of Global Economic Monitoring at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 

From Latin America’s lost decade in the 1980s to the more recent Greek crisis, there are plenty of painful reminders of what happens when countries cannot service their debts. A global debt crisis today would likely push millions of people into unemployment and fuel instability and violence around the world.

NEW YORK – While the COVID‑19 pandemic rages, more than 100 low‑ and middle‑income countries will still have to pay a combined $130 billion in debt service this year – around half of which is owed to private creditors. With much economic activity suspended and fiscal revenues in free fall, many countries will be forced to default. Others will cobble together scarce resources to pay creditors, cutting back on much‑needed health and social expenditures. Still others will resort to additional borrowing, kicking the proverbial can down the road, seemingly easier now because of the flood of liquidity from central banks around the world. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can Germany now hold the European team together?

Posted by hkarner - 1. August 2020

Date: 31‑07‑2020

Source: The Guardian Timothy Garton Ash

Angela Merkel’s triumph in brokering an EU Covid‑19 recovery package could mark the resurgence of a shared political dream 

The other day, I had a dream. I dreamed that I was sitting on a beach in the summer of 2030 and looking back on how Germany had saved Europe.

The German chancellor had brokered a European recovery package after the Covid‑19 crisis of 2020, with large grants and loans to help hard‑hit south European economies, drawing on shared European borrowing. It had maintained constructive relations between the EU and post‑Brexit Britain, helped the citizens of Poland and Hungary to defend liberal democracy, confounded Vladimir Putin by seriously committing to a common European energy policy, used the regulatory power of the EU to curb Facebook, shaped a common strategy towards China and made a world‑leading example of Europe’s green new deal.

All this Germany had done by working as “first among equals” with other European countries, while partnering with the US and other democracies around the world. In realising this ambitious agenda, it had kept its civilised, consensual style of politics and the support of its own people. What an achievement for Germany and Europe at the beginning of the 2030s. What a contrast to the beginning of the 1930s. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Economic Costs of National Security

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2020

Date: 29‑07‑2020

Source: Project Syndicate by Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng

Andrew Sheng, Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Global Institute at the University of Hong Kong and a member of the UNEP Advisory Council on Sustainable Finance, is a former chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. His latest book is From Asian to Global Financial Crisis. 

Xiao Geng, Chairman of the Hong Kong Institution for International Finance, is a professor and Director of the Research Institute of Maritime Silk‑Road at Peking University HSBC Business School. 

As the US‑China rivalry escalates, the growing emphasis on national security will undermine global trade and investment, leaving fewer resources to finance social policies, address inequality, and tackle climate change. This is a global tragedy of the commons, and there is no guarantee that recognizing it will change the outcome.

HONG KONG – By disrupting the world’s interconnected economic, social, and geopolitical spheres, the COVID‑19 crisis has exposed just how fragile and inequitable the institutions that govern them really are. It has also highlighted how difficult it is to address systemic fragility and inequity amid escalating national‑security threats. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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