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The World Economic Forum warns that AI may destabilize the financial system

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2018

Date: 16-08-2018
Source: Technology Review

Increased use of machine learning and cloud services could make the financial world more vulnerable.

Artificial intelligence will reshape the world of finance over the next decade or so by automating investing and other services—but it could also introduce troubling systematic weaknesses and risks, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Compiled through interviews with dozens of leading financial experts and industry leaders, the report concludes that artificial intelligence will disrupt the industry by allowing early adopters to outmaneuver competitors. It also suggests that the technology will create more convenient products for consumers, such as sophisticated tools for managing personal finances and investments.

But most notably, the report points to the potential for big financial institutions to build machine-learning-based services that live in the cloud and are accessed by other institutions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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RBS zahlt Rekordstrafe in den USA

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2018

Das britische Institut soll vor der Finanzkrise faule Hypothekenpapiere verkauft haben.

Wien.Die Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) zahlt in den USA wegen Fehlverhaltens im Vorfeld der Finanzkrise eine Rekordstrafe. Das US-Justizministerium und die einst größte Bank der Welt einigten sich endgültig auf einen Vergleich über 4,9 Mrd. Dollar (4,3 Mrd. Euro), wie das Ministerium mitteilte.

Die RBS kann den langwierigen Streit um US-Hypothekengeschäfte nun zu den Akten legen. An der Börse in London notierte die RBS-Aktie am Mittwoch unverändert.

Es sei der größte Vergleich seiner Art, erklärte das US-Justizministerium weiter. Die Behörden sehen es als erwiesen an, dass die RBS wie viele Konkurrenten auf dem amerikanischen Immobilienmarkt trickste – und damit maßgeblich zur weltweiten Finanzkrise beitrug. Das Institut bündelte Hypotheken in komplexe Wertpapiere und verkaufte sie dann als sicheres Investment an Anleger. Dabei habe die RBS gewusst, dass die zugrunde liegenden Hypotheken stark ausfallgefährdet gewesen seien. Als der Markt abstürzte, wurden die Papiere plötzlich so gut wie wertlos

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How Keynes would negotiate Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2018

Date: 15-08-2018
Source: The Economist

The great economist would strive to understand the other side and focus only on the future

WOULD John Maynard Keynes be a Brexiteer or a Remoaner? The great 20th-century economist started out as a free-trader. But he argued against “economic entanglement among nations” in an essay titled “National Self-Sufficiency” in 1933. Goods should be “homespun” wherever possible, he wrote, and “above all, let finance be primarily national.”  By 1945 Keynes was an internationalist again.

If nothing else, Lord Keynes was a pragmatist (“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?,” he apocryphally said.)  What is certain is that he would be at the negotiating table.

How Keynes would handle Brussels today is clear from a speech to the House of Lords in December 1945 on Britain’s post-war financial dealings with America. In it, he sets out what it means to get the best deal possible, even in unfavourable circumstances. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Regulate to Liberate: Can Europe Save the Internet?

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2018

Date: 14-08-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Helen Dixon

Regulations to protect personal data don’t inspire much love. Companies frequently regard them as a nuisance, a needless expense, and a hindrance to innovation. Governments think the rules should apply to everyone but themselves. And ordinary people often act as if they don’t care whether their data is safeguarded at all.

But such regulations matter now more than ever. The world is increasingly defined by technological asymmetries; a huge gulf has opened up, with big corporations and powerful governments on one side and ordinary individuals on the other. Even in wealthy democratic societies, individual autonomy is at risk now that even simple choices, such as what news stories to read or what music to listen to, are dictated by algorithms that operate deep within software and devices—so deep that users are usually unaware of the extent to which data processing shapes their decisions and opportunities. Today, technology “is being used to control what we see, what we can do, and, ultimately, what we say,” the cryptographer and privacy specialist Bruce Schneier has written. “It makes us less safe. It makes us less free.”

Most people have yet to realize that truth. In the era of the Internet and mobile communications, people tend to focus more on the goods, services, and experiences that technology offers and less on the ways in which privacy is imperiled by software, code, and devices that have become an invisible but integral part of everyday life. Although many people want to have a sense of how data processing affects them, most aren’t interested in the details. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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ÖKONOMEN-STREIT UM EURO-BILLIONEN

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2018

FURCHE-Kolumne 247, Wilfried Stadler, 16. August 2018

Eine sonderbare Magie der Zahlen bewirkt, dass oft erst bestimmte, numerisch auffällige Werte unsere Aufmerksamkeit bekommen. Die Billion – das Tausendfache einer Milliarde also – ist so ein spektakulärer Schwellenwert, der zuletzt in zwei sehr unterschiedlichen Zusammenhängen medial auffällig wurde.
Zum einen erreichte Apple, von Steve Jobs mit zwei Freunden 1976 in der sprichwörtlichen kalifornischen Garage mit einem Startkapital von nur 1.300 Dollar gegründet – vor wenigen Tagen als erster Konzern der Welt einen Börsenwert von einer Billion Dollar. Zum anderen tobt gerade ein mit schärfsten rhetorischen Waffen geführter Ökonomen-Streit um den so genannten „TARGET-Saldo“, der für Deutschland zuletzt in die Nähe der ominösen Tausend-Milliarden-Euro-Schwelle gerückt ist.

Worum es dabei geht, lässt sich im ersten Durchgang durchaus plausibel so erklären: Werden Überweisungen von einem Euroland in ein anderes vorgenommen, geschieht dies im Rahmen eines „TARGET“1 genannten Abwicklungssystems stets unter Zwischenschaltung der nationalen Notenbanken. Die Höhe aller zwischen Eurostaaten in beide Richtungen durchgeführten Überweisungen aus den unterschiedlichsten Geschäftsvorgängen ist innerhalb dieses Systems naturgemäß nie gleich. Es gibt am Ende immer einen Überschuss oder Fehlbetrag, der als positive oder negative Saldo-Größe ausgewiesen wird. All diese abwicklungstechnisch bedingten Zwischengrößen – sie werden als „TARGET-Salden“ bezeichnet – sind jedoch unspektakulär und folgenlos, solange sie sich innerhalb ein und derselben Währung abspielen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The West Must Face Reality in Turkey

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2018

Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, previously served as Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department (2001-2003), and was President George W. Bush’s special envoy to Northern Ireland and Coordinator for the Future of Afghanistan. He is the author of A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order.

Turkey’s currency crisis and standoff with the United States over the imprisonment of an American pastor have exposed the crumbling edifice of the two countries‘ Cold War-era partnership. Rather than hold out hope that Turkey will return to the Western fold, US and European policymakers must consider a new policy toward the country.

NEW YORK – Now that Turkey is at loggerheads with its erstwhile ally, the United States, the country’s currency crisis has morphed into a political problem of the first order. The immediate issue is Turkey’s refusal to release the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being held on charges of terrorism, espionage, and subversion for his alleged role in the failed July 2016 coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The US government is right to object to Brunson’s detention. But its reaction has been counterproductive. In particular, the imposition of additional US tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminum could further undermine confidence in Turkey’s economy, triggering a wider crisis that would do serious harm to the global economy. Moreover, tariffs allow Erdoğan to blame his country’s economic woes on America, rather than on his own government’s incompetence. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Der Verfall der Lira birgt auch für Europa und Asien ein Ansteckungsrisiko

Posted by hkarner - 15. August 2018

Die Lira-Krise trifft nicht nur Schwellenländer – und ist längst zur Schuldenkrise geworden. Sie kann schnell auch auf etablierte Märkte überspringen.

13.08.2018 – 16:42 Uhr Handelsblatt.com

Die Währungskrise hat sich zu einer Schuldenkrise ausgewachsen. Sie kommt zur Unzeit

Es mutet wie ein Akt der Verzweiflung an: Erst fordert der türkische Präsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan seine Landsleute auf, angesichts des Kursverfalls der Lira Euro und Dollar sowie Gold in Landeswährung zu tauschen. Dann warnt er heimische Unternehmen, Geld in ausländischer Währung abzuheben.

Die Nervosität ist trotz aller Durchhalteparolen zum Greifen. Bricht die türkische Wirtschaft zusammen, birgt das erhebliche Risiken einer Ansteckung in Asien und Europa.

Wie schlecht es um die Türkei steht, zeigen die Kreditausfallversicherungen für fünfjährige Anleihen der Türkei. Sie haben den höchsten Stand seit der Finanzkrise 2008 erreicht. Die Währungskrise hat sich zu einer Schuldenkrise ausgewachsen, die schnell auf andere Schwellenländer überspringen kann. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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When China Rules the Web

Posted by hkarner - 15. August 2018

Date: 14-08-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Adam Segal

Technology in Service of the State

For almost five decades, the United States has guided the growth of the Internet. From its origins as a small Pentagon program to its status as a global platform that connects more than half of the world’s population and tens of billions of devices, the Internet has long been an American project. Yet today, the United States has ceded leadership in cyberspace to China. Chinese President Xi Jinping has outlined his plans to turn China into a “cyber-superpower.” Already, more people in China have access to the Internet than in any other country, but Xi has grander plans. Through domestic regulations, technological innovation, and foreign policy, China aims to build an “impregnable” cyberdefense system, give itself a greater voice in Internet governance, foster more world-class companies, and lead the globe in advanced technologies.

China’s continued rise as a cyber-superpower is not guaranteed. Top-down, state-led efforts at innovation in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, and other ambitious technologies may well fail. Chinese technology companies will face economic and political pressures as they globalize. Chinese citizens, although they appear to have little expectation of privacy from their government, may demand more from private firms. The United States may reenergize its own digital diplomacy, and the U.S. economy may rediscover the dynamism that allowed it create so much of the modern world’s technology. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Protectionism for Liberals

Posted by hkarner - 15. August 2018

Robert Skidelsky, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University and a fellow of the British Academy in history and economics, is a member of the British House of Lords. The author of a three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes, he began his political career in the Labour party, became the Conservative Party’s spokesman for Treasury affairs in the House of Lords, and was eventually forced out of the Conservative Party for his opposition to NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999.

The ability of companies to allocate jobs globally changes the nature of the discussion about the “gains from trade.” In fact, there are no longer guaranteed “gains,” even in the long run, to those countries that export technology and jobs.

LONDON – Liberal revulsion at US President Donald Trump’s mendacious and uncouth politics has spilled over into a rigid defense of market-led globalization. To the liberal, free trade in goods and services and free movement of capital and labor are integrally linked to liberal politics. Trump’s “America First” protectionism is inseparable from his diseased politics.

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