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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Richard Dawkins Offers Advice for Donald Trump, and Other Wisdom

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2017

Date: 15-08-2017
Source: Scientific American

The biologist and atheist, whose latest book was released this week, talks about the reliability of science, artificial intelligence, religion and the president

Richard Dawkins, the biologist and author, is complicated. I reached this conclusion in 2005 when I participated in a fellowship for journalists organized by the pro-religion Templeton Foundation. Ten of us spent several weeks at the University of Cambridge listening to 18 scientists and philosophers point out areas where science and religion converge. Alone among the speakers, Dawkins argued, in his usual uncompromising fashion, that science and religion are incompatible. But in his informal interactions with me and other fellows, Dawkins was open-minded and a good listener. Over drinks one evening, a Christian journalist described witnessing an episode of faith healing. Instead of dismissing the story outright, Dawkins pressed for details. He seemed to find the story fascinating. His curiosity, at least for a moment, trumped his skepticism. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Der «Draghi-Crash» ist nur eine Frage der Zeit

Posted by hkarner - 13. August 2017

Dank an R.B.
Risikoexperte Markus Krall
von Christof Leisinger 5.8.2017, 08:00 Uhr, nzz

Die Stimmung an den Finanzmärkten ist sehr gut. Glaubt man jedoch dem Risikoexperten Markus Krall, so täuscht sie ungemein. Er fürchtet, dass die Strategie der Europäischen Zentralbank zu einer deflationären Krise führen wird.

EZB-Präsident Mario Draghi heizt mit der expansiven Geldpolitik die Stimmung an den Börsen an.

Die Stimmung an den internationalen Finanzmärkten ist erstaunlich gut. Die Kurse an den Börsen laufen von Hoch zu Hoch, die Renditen an den Bondmärkten sind weiterhin vergleichsweise tief und in Europa erholt sich nun auch der Euro. Dafür seien schwindende geopolitische Risiken, ein anziehendes Wirtschaftswachstum und nicht zuletzt die anhaltend expansive Geldpolitik der Zentralbanken verantwortlich, heisst es. Mario Draghi, der Präsident der Europäischen Zentralbank, schreibt sich diese Entwicklung als Erfolg der extremen Krisenpolitik der Institution auf die eigene Fahne.

Markus Krall sieht das völlig anders. Der Unternehmensberater, der Banken und andere Finanzunternehmen seit 25 Jahren im Risikomanagement strategisch unterstützt, hält die Strategie der EZB nicht nur für wirkungslos, sondern sogar für extrem kontraproduktiv. Am Ende werde genau das unvermeidlich, was die EZB vordergründig vermeiden wolle. Er fürchtet, dass die EZB-Politik zu einem deflationären Crash führen wird. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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We Need a Social Economy, Not a Hyper-Financialized Economy

Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2017

We all know what a hyper-financialized economy looks like–we live in one:central banks create credit/money out of thin air and distribute it to the already-wealthy, who use the nearly free money to buy back corporate shares, enriching themselves while creating zero jobs. Or they use the central-bank money to outbid mere savers to scoop up income-producing assets: farmland, rental properties, etc.

This asymmetric wealth accumulation and avoidance of risk creates a self-reinforcing feedback loop, as the super-wealthy financiers and corporations use a slice of their income to buy political protection of their income streams, creating cartels and quasi-monopolies that are impervious to competition and meaningful regulation.

The only possible output of a hyper-financialized economy is rapidly increasing wealth and income inequality–precisely what we see now.

What we need is a social economy, an economy that recognizes purposes and values beyond maximizing private gains by any means necessary, which is the sole goal of hyper-financialized economies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A summer reading list for Brussels’s bureaucrats

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2017

Date: 27-07-2017
Source: The Economist

The future of Europe in one giant pile of beach reading

“HOW hard it is to escape from places,” Katherine Mansfield, an author from New Zealand, once wrote to a friend. She had a point, but long paid holidays and low-cost airlines do help. To judge by the tumbleweed blowing through the offices and halls of Brussels this week, the wallahs of the European Union have not found fleeing town too much of a wrench.

Recent summers have been marred by crises perfectly timed to ruin officials’ holiday plans. In despair at the turn Europe seemed to be taking, some turned to gloomy tomes by Joseph Roth or Stefan Zweig to explain the atavistic nationalism they feared was taking hold. This year’s vacationers leave town in brighter spirits. Relieved from concerns over the EU’s imminent collapse, many will indulge in chick lit or crime novels, to be devoured and discarded as swiftly as the latest Greek economic forecast. But for those looking to understand the current European moment, Charlemagne offers an alternative reading guide. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Globalism and Nationalism

Posted by hkarner - 12. Juli 2017

Date: 11-07-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs By Or Rosenboim

Why Interconnectedness Does Not Threaten Sovereignty

Speaking in Washington in April 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump declared that “we will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism.” Trump’s supporters on the American far right, such as the pseudonymous “Virgil,” who writes for the Breitbart website,similarly attack the “old globalist vision” as a “gospel,” a “new kind of religious faith” of “murky international enterprises” seeking to abolish national borders and undermine democracy.

These views caricature globalism as a liberal, capitalist, and anti-democratic alternative to nationalism. This understanding, however, is far from the historical meaning of the term. Indeed, as I explain in my book The Emergence of Globalism, the idea that globalism is fundamentally at odds with national sovereignty is a false and misleading narrative. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Ein neues Buch darüber, warum die Banken-Buchhaltung unsolide ist und zu Bankenkrisen führt

Posted by hkarner - 6. Juli 2017

Rezension des Buches von Michael Schemmann „Offenbarungseid der Deutschen Bundesbank“: Kritik am Aufsatz der Deutschen Bundesbank über die Rolle von Banken, Nichtbanken und Zentralbanken im Geldschöpfungsprozess, erschienen bei amazon.

Michael Schemmann  ist Bankkaufmann, Betriebswirt, emeritierter Professor für Finanz- und Rechnungswesen,  Wirtschaftsprüfer und Betreiber des  IICPA, eines internationalen Instituts für Wirtschaftsprüfer. In seinem knapp 100 Seiten umfassenden Buch antwortet er auf den Monatsbericht April 2017 der Deutschen Bundesbank.   die von der Bundesbank in diesem Monatsbericht ausführlich dargestellt und verteidigt wird. Die Bundesbank beschreibt in diesem Monatsbericht auf S.18, wie die Banken Geld schöpfen:

„Die Gutschrift des Geldbetrages in Form einer Bankeinlage erscheint in der Bilanz des Kunden X als Forderung an die Bank, die Verpflichtung zur späteren Zurückzahlung des Kredits stellt in gleicher Höhe eine Verbindlichkeit des Kunden X an die Bank dar. Spiegelbildlich zum Kundenkonto erhöhen sich in der Bilanz der Bank X deren Forderungen gegen den Kunden und deren Verbindlichkeiten an den Kunden. Im Ergebnis kommt es beim Kreditnehmer und bei der Bank zu einer sogenannten Bilanzverlängerung, zugleich wurden durch diese Buchungsvorgänge 1000 € Buchgeld (hier auch Giralgeld genannt) geschaffen.“

Schemmann kommentiert diese Geldschöpfungspraxis der Banken aus dem Blickwinkel des internationalen Standards für Rechnungslegung IFRS. Dort ist definiert, welche Voraussetzungen sowohl Vermögenswerte erfüllen müssen, die auf der Aktivseite eines Unternehmens verbucht werden, als auch Verbindlichkeiten, die auf der anderen Seite der Bilanz stehen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Doing away with cash: Predicting the future of money

Posted by hkarner - 2. Juli 2017

Date: 29-06-2017
Source: The Economist

A new book argues that mobiles are the future

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money that We Understand to Money that Understands Us. By David Birch. London Publishing Partnership; 264 pages; £22.50.

PEOPLE use money every day and yet struggle to understand it. The economic experiment known as monetarism—limiting the supply of money in order to control inflation—was abandoned when it became clear it was impossible to establish a precise definition of the money supply. The idea of negative interest rates, introduced by some modern central banks, puzzles those who think that savers should be rewarded for thrift.

“Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin” by David Birch, a consultant, offers a broad historical overview on the nature of this essential economic instrument. His underlying thesis is that money has evolved over the ages to suit the needs of society and the economy. Often these changes have occurred because previous forms of money were too inflexible. In the Middle Ages, metal coins were supplemented by bills of exchange to make long-term trade easier. Credit and debit cards have replaced the cumbersome process of clearing cheques.

Money may be about to change again. The author thinks cash will and should dwindle away. The future belongs, not to plastic cards, but to mobile phones. In Kenya, hundreds of businesses, including the leading utilities, accept payments through a mobile-based system known as M-Pesa (pesa means “money” in Kiswahili). More than two-thirds of adults use it. “With payment cards, you could pay retailers. With mobile phones, people can pay each other. And that changes everything,” he writes. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can China Replace the West?

Posted by hkarner - 29. Juni 2017

Date: 28-06-2017
Source: http://www.nybooks.com by Gideon Rachman

Jessica T. Mathews MAY 11, 2017 ISSUE
Easternization: Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline from Obama to Trump and Beyond

Gideon Rachman’s Easternization, his new survey of a transformed Asia, admirably does what so little writing on foreign affairs attempts. It treats with equal facility economics, geopolitics, security, enough history for needed background, official thinking, and public attitudes. Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, has an eye for the telling statistic and for the memorable detail that makes it stick. He packs an enormous amount of information into a short book and opens windows of understanding for nonexperts onto this immensely important three fifths of humanity. And while not directly concerned with the new American administration, the story he tells shows well why Donald Trump’s foreign policies could end so badly for the United States and for the world.

But Rachman does not, in the end, make a convincing case for the book’s thesis—embodied in its one-word title. The central issue, he writes, is “how the rise in Asian economic power is changing world politics.” His momentous answer is that “the West’s centuries-long domination of world affairs,” stretching back to 1500, “is now coming to a close.” Without doubt, Asia’s economic ascent has been extraordinary, but Westernization—the spread of the West’s influence and values—has rested on much more than its wealth and the military power derived from it. Those other elements—including open governments, readiness to build institutions, and contributions to others’ security and growth—are weak or absent in Asia today. Easternization is neither here nor coming soon. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Economics in Transition

Posted by hkarner - 26. Juni 2017

Since the 2008 global financial crisis, there has been no shortage of criticism of conventional economics, with its rigid models and fanciful “representative agents,” which utterly failed to predict the collapse. But the critics often overlook the emergence of new approaches – some predating the crisis – that could redefine the mainstream of economic thinking.

JUN 23, 2017 Project Syndicate

<img src=“/default/library/e193b48cdd42eff7e2560411ff37fd6f.onpoint.jpg“ alt=“Newsart for Economics in Transition“ width=“813″ height=“387″>

Andrew Lo, Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought, Princeton University Press
Richard Bookstaber, The End of Theory: Financial Crises, the Failure of Economics, and the Sweep of Human Interaction, Princeton University Press
Roderick Floud, Santhi Hejeebu, and David Mitch, eds., Humanism Challenges Materialism in Economics and Economic History, University of Chicago Press

MANCHESTER – There seems to be no end to the tide of books criticizing economics, and – as I am an economist – it must make me something of a masochist that I keep reading them. The exercise is all the more wearisome as the criticisms are both repetitive and increasingly misdirected.

Not that everything about the state of economics is fine; far from it. But only if today’s critics of economics pay more attention to what economists are actually doing will they be able to make a meaningful contribution to assessing the state of the discipline. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A grim diagnosis for Western politics

Posted by hkarner - 24. Juni 2017

Date: 22-06-2017
Source: The Economist

Edward Luce believes that the liberal order cannot be fixed without a clear view of what has gone wrong

The Retreat of Western Liberalism. By Edward Luce. Grove Atlantic; 234 pages; $24. Little Brown; £16.99.

FEW doubt that something big happened in Western politics during the past 12 months but nobody is sure what. Turmoil in Washington and London contrasts with centrist stability in Paris and Berlin. Edward Luce, a commentator for the Financial Times in Washington, is well placed to observe the shifts and shocks. “The Retreat of Western Liberalism” offers a brisk, timely survey.

“Fusion”, the longest of just four chapters, describes the successes of economic globalisation, but also the costs borne by the less well-off in rich countries, notably Britain, America and France. Next, “Reaction” attributes the recent “degeneration” of Western politics to slowing economic growth and to the rich taking an undue share of what little growth there is. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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