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From fugitive to taxpayer

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

Date: 21-04-2018
Source: The Economist

European countries should make it easier for refugees to work
It eases the fiscal burden without hurting locals’ prospects

MOUHANAD SALHA would like nothing better than to work. But since arriving in the Netherlands in late 2014, he has managed to do so for just one week. Like more than 80% of Syrian refugees in Europe, he is unemployed.

He was studying information technology when he fled Syria in 2012, and worked as an apprentice electrician in Lebanon, where “you can just go in and fix everything.” Not so in the Netherlands. Becoming an electrician requires elaborate certification, and jobs usually need proficiency in Dutch. Such rules, intended to shield native workers, deter asylum-seekers from looking for jobs. Refugees who do find work lose their government-paid benefits.

Asylum-seekers in the Netherlands are housed in government-run centres and not allowed to work until six months after they arrive. If they then find a job, the government withholds 75% of their wages to cover room and board. (Unsurprisingly, few do.) Once granted refugee status, as Mr Salha was last year, they are moved out into subsidised housing. Mr Salha registered with a temporary-job agency, but the local government told him working would mean losing housing and other subsidies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Yanis Varoufakis: Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

Date: 21-04-2018
Source: The Guardian By Yanis Varoufakis

The Communist Manifesto foresaw the predatory and polarised global capitalism of the 21st century. But Marx and Engels also showed us that we have the power to create a better world.

For a manifesto to succeed, it must speak to our hearts like a poem while infecting the mind with images and ideas that are dazzlingly new. It needs to open our eyes to the true causes of the bewildering, disturbing, exciting changes occurring around us, exposing the possibilities with which our current reality is pregnant. It should make us feel hopelessly inadequate for not having recognised these truths ourselves, and it must lift the curtain on the unsettling realisation that we have been acting as petty accomplices, reproducing a dead-end past. Lastly, it needs to have the power of a Beethoven symphony, urging us to become agents of a future that ends unnecessary mass suffering and to inspire humanity to realise its potential for authentic freedom.

No manifesto has better succeeded in doing all this than the one published in February 1848 at 46 Liverpool Street, London. Commissioned by English revolutionaries, The Communist Manifesto (or the Manifesto of the Communist Party, as it was first published) was authored by two young Germans – Karl Marx, a 29-year-old philosopher with a taste for epicurean hedonism and Hegelian rationality, and Friedrich Engels, a 28-year-old heir to a Manchester mill. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Dismantling Deutsche Bank- Should one of the world’s largest banks be wound down?

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

This article is absolutely essential for a deeper understanding of DB and the German Banking System! (hfk)

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Economist

The danger is that Deutsche staggers on, cloaked in German patriotism

DEUTSCHE BANK is one of the financial industry’s hardest problems. It is not a viable business when judged by any sensible yardstick, because it is unable to make enough profits to generate a remotely adequate return. Its existence does not seem to be in the public interest, since it is dominated by an investment bank that has paid its lucky staff a colossal €40bn ($49bn) over the past decade. The bank’s governance has misfired for ages. On April 8th Deutsche fired John Cryan, its chief executive, in the third regime change in seven years. If the rules of capitalism apply to banks, Deutsche should be wound down. Is that possible?

Deutsche was founded in 1870 to help German companies go abroad. In 1999 it bought Bankers Trust, a Wall Street firm, and went on a long expansion in the investment-banking business. Today it has four elements. A decent asset-management operation called DWS; a profitable payments business that ships money around the world for companies; a mediocre German retail bank that uses the Postbank and Deutsche brands; and a faltering global investment bank that soaks up half of the bank’s capital. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Emmanuel Macron’s ambitious plans for Europe are running aground

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

The EU is neither optimistic enough nor panicked enough for big new projects

WHEN France’s president speaks about Europe, his remarks are directed in part at Germany. Before his election in 2017 Emmanuel Macron went to great lengths to show Angela Merkel that he could be a credible partner. He lauded her leadership on refugees and Russia, took the fight to populists, and promised to tackle France’s economic rigidities, all wrapped in a European Union flag. The Elysée Treaty of 1963, the basis for Franco-German co-operation, would be given a fresh lick of paint. For years visitors to Berlin had grown familiar with weary complaints about unreformable France. Now the Germans seemed to have what they had long claimed to be waiting for. If Mr Macron had not come along, perhaps Germany would have had to invent him.

Mr Macron has always argued that his domestic plans cannot be isolated from his European ambitions. So this week, as transport strikes and university sit-ins roiled his country, he took his calls for EU reform to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. France’s Jupiterian president loves a good scrap, and it showed. Mr Macron sparred with MEPs from across the spectrum, passionately defending his decision to attack weapons sites in Syria, and reserving particular venom for a former ally of Marine Le Pen, the nationalist leader he bested last year. Mr Macron issued his customary battle-cry against illiberal populists and European naysayers—but also tried to dispel what seems to him to be a whiff of complacency.We can’t carry on as if this is any old debate,” he said, adding that he did not want to belong “to a generation of sleepwalkers”. As he knows, the warnings in Christopher Clark’s book of the same name, which charts the diplomatic missteps that led to the first world war, resonate with Mrs Merkel. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Economists still lack a proper understanding of business cycles

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2018

Date: 21-04-2018
Source: The Economist: Free exchange
Subject: Diminished expectations

The second in our series on the shortcomings of the economics profession

THE aftermath of the 2007-08 financial crisis ought to have been a moment of triumph for economics. Lessons learned from the 1930s prevented the collapse of global finance and trade, and resulted in a downturn far shorter and less severe than the Depression. But even as the policy remedies were helpful, the crisis exposed the economic profession’s continued ignorance of the business cycle. That is bad news not just for the discipline, but for everyone.

The aim of those studying the macroeconomy has always been to understand the economy’s wobbles, and to work out when governments should intervene. That is not easy. Downturns come often enough to be a serious irritant, but not often enough to give economists sufficient data for rigorous statistical analysis. It is hard to distinguish between short-run swings and structural economic changes resulting from demography or technology. Most classical economists were sceptical of the idea that the macroeconomy needed much oversight at all. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How More Than a Billion People Got Access to Financial Services in Less Than a Decade

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2018

Date: 20-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Corner shops, tailors, pharmacies, and even doctors‘ offices are adding simple financial services.

About 1.2 billion adults gained access to financial services between 2011 and last year, the World Bank said Thursday, as the internet and mobile phones increasingly connected far-flung communities to the global financial grid.

The share of the adult population with an account at a bank or mobile money provider grew to 69% in 2017 from 62% in 2014 and 51% in 2011, according to the Global Findex, a database produced by the World Bank.

Global policy makers consider “financial inclusion” to be a potential tool for fighting poverty and inequality by giving people better ways to save, borrow, buy, sell and receive payments. As traceable, digital transactions gradually displace the use of cash, authorities say, the process may also help combat money laundering and other illegal activities. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Merkel and Macron Begin Sparring on Eurozone Reform

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2018

Date: 20-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

French president seeks backing from reluctant German leader for a eurozone revamp with little time to overcome differences before EU summit in June

BERLIN—German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday kick-started what promised to be difficult talk about strengthening the eurozone’s architecture, as Berlin maintained its skepticism over ambitious French proposals to deepen the integration of the currency union’s economies.

Mr. Macron has been seeking support from Ms. Merkel for his campaign to overhaul the eurozone’s institutions, with proposals for common spending and burden-sharing, and was counting on Thursday’s meeting to overcome resistance from the German chancellor.

However, at a joint press conference ahead of the talks, Ms. Merkel remained noncommittal. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Change of state

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2018

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Economist

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party is doing lasting damage
Once hollowed out, the rule of law is hard to restore

FOR a glimpse of Poland under the populist Law and Justice (PiS) party, tune in to the news on the state television channel, Telewizja Polska (TVP). The opening sequence, a computer-animated tour of Polish landmarks, homes in on the clock tower of Warsaw’s royal castle. The capital’s most recognisable building, the towering Soviet-era Palace of Culture and Science, is nowhere to be seen. Then the anchors appear, and proceed to praise PiS slavishly while branding its critics treacherous crypto-communists.

This combination of subtle and brazen nationalist revisionism captures the two-and-a-half years of PiS rule. The party has purged the public administration, made it illegal to accuse the “Polish nation” of complicity in the Holocaust, and peddled conspiracy theories about the aeroplane crash in 2010 which killed then-president Lech Kaczynski and 95 others outside Smolensk, in Russia. It has turned a blind eye to chauvinism among its supporters, while prosecuting peaceful counter-protesters at the monthly commemorations of the Smolensk disaster led by Lech’s twin brother, Jaroslaw (pictured), who is PiS’s chairman. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How the elephant got its Trump

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2018

Date: 19-04-2018
Source: The Economist

The president’s takeover of his party won’t soon be undone
It will not easily be undone

“NEVER has a party abandoned, fled its principles and deeply held beliefs so quickly as my party did in the face of the nativist juggernaut,” Jeff Flake, a Republican senator from Arizona, said in a speech in March. “We have become strangers to ourselves.” There is a lot of truth in this. The speed with which the Republican Party’s establishment accommodated itself to a candidate, and then a president, who spurned all manner of norms and broke many bounds of decency, as well as policy commitments, was indeed without any precedent.

Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, went from refusing to campaign with Donald Trump (after a recording of him boasting about sexual assault became public) to failing quickly to condemn him (when, as president, he spoke of “very fine people on both sides” of confrontations between neo-Nazis and protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia). It now appears that Mr Ryan cannot stomach his position—or, alternatively, that he thinks the voters will not provide the Republican House majority he would need to continue in it after this November’s mid-term elections. On April 11th he announced that he will not seek re-election. Like Mr Flake himself, and Bob Corker, a senator who memorably compared Mr Trump’s White House to an “adult day-care centre”, not to mention 40 other House Republicans—a record—he is leaving the field of battle. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Heta-Gläubigern winkt wieder eine Ausschüttung

Posted by hkarner - 20. April 2018

Renate Graber, 20. April 2018, 17:39 derstandard.at

2020 soll die Hypo-Abbaugesellschaft ihr Vermögen verwertet haben, früher als geplant. Heuer soll es wieder eine Zwischenausschüttung geben

Wien – Als Kärntner Bank Hypo Alpe Adria hat sie auf rapides Wachstum gesetzt, jetzt, als staatliche Abwicklungsgesellschaft Heta, setzt sie auf Schrumpfung. Und: 2017 hat die Heta mehr Assets als geplant abgebaut und 3,3 Milliarden Euro daraus erlöst. Damit lag sie Ende des Vorjahres um rund 2,7 Mrd. Euro besser als veranschlagt. Derzeit sind noch rund 1,5 Mrd. Euro an zu versilberndem Vermögenswerten übrig, bis 2020 sollen die abgebaut sein. Diesen Rück- und Ausblick haben die drei Heta-Chefs am Freitag vor Journalisten in Wien gegeben. Bis zur endgültigen Auflösung der Gesellschaft werde es dann aber „noch ein paar Jährchen dauern“, erklärte Vorstandssprecher Alexander Tscherteu. 9,5 Milliarden Euro hat der Abbau der Heta bisher in Cash eingespielt. Voriges Jahr haben die Gläubiger eine Zwischenausschüttung von 5,8 Mrd. Euro bekommen – für heuer ist eine weitere derartige Auszahlung geplant. Voraussetzung dafür ist die Zustimmung der Abwicklungsbehörde in der FMA sowie ein Beschuss der Hauptversammlung. Diese besteht nur aus einem Aktionär (die Republik, vertreten durchs Finanzministerium) und wird am 16. Juni entscheiden.

Staat hat gute Aussichten

Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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