Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

In Populists vs. Establishment, the Establishment Strikes Back

Posted by hkarner - 28. März 2017

Date: 27-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

In elections in the Netherlands, Australia and Germany in recent days the forces of nationalism and populism suffered setbacks

Is it possible the populist tide is cresting?

It’s too early to draw any definitive conclusions, and the biggest test comes next month in France’s presidential vote. But in elections in the Netherlands, Australia and Germany in recent days the forces of nationalism and populism that have been on the march across First World democracies suffered setbacks.

The most recent test came over the weekend in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union struck a blow for the political establishment with a convincing victory in the state of Saarland, a good sign for the chancellor ahead of a national vote in September. The Christian Democrats’ secretary-general, Peter Tauber, said voters had “opted for stability and trustworthiness…The CDU is the only force that has made clear it wouldn’t work with either left- or right-wing populists.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Britain’s Messy Divorce

Posted by hkarner - 28. März 2017

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The High-Speed Trading Behind Your Amazon Purchase

Posted by hkarner - 28. März 2017

Date: 27-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Beneath the placid surface of product pages lies an unseen world of bots, algorithms, flash crashes and fierce competition.

I wanted to buy some mini marshmallows recently, so I went on Amazon. Perhaps because of their resemblance to packing material—light, bulky, ubiquitous—I figured they’d be cheap. But when I found the most popular brand, not only did the marshmallows cost twice what I’d pay at my local store, but the price had skyrocketed overnight.

Just beneath the placid surface of a typical product page on Amazon lies an unseen world, a system where third-party vendors can sell products alongside Amazon’s own goods. It’s like a stock market, complete with day traders, code-slinging quants, artificial-intelligence algorithms and, yes, flash crashes.

Amazon gave people and companies the ability to sell on Amazon.com in 2000, and it has since grown into a juggernaut, representing 49% of the goods Amazon ships. Amazon doesn’t break out numbers for the portion of its business driven by independent sellers, but that translates to tens of billions in revenue a year. Out of more than 2 million registered sellers, 100,000 each sold more than $100,000 in goods in the past year, Peter Faricy, Amazon’s vice president in charge of the division that includes outside sellers, said at a conference last week. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China is spending billions to make the world love it

Posted by hkarner - 28. März 2017

Date: 25-03-2017
Source: The Economist

Can money buy that sort of thing?

IMAGES of China beam out from a giant electronic billboard on Times Square in the heart of New York city: ancient temples, neon-lit skyscrapers and sun-drenched paddy fields. Xinhua, a news service run by the Chinese government, is proclaiming the “new perspective” offered by its English-language television channel. In Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, children play beneath hoardings advertising swanky, Chinese-built apartment complexes in the city. Buyers are promised “a new lifestyle”. Across the world, children study Mandarin in programmes funded by the Chinese state. Some of them in Delaware don traditional Chinese robes and bow to their teachers on Confucius Day.

For many years, shoppers around the world have been used to China’s omnipresence: “Made in China” has long been the commonest label on the goods they buy. More recently, however, the Chinese government has been trying to sell the country itself as a brand—one that has the ability to attract people from other countries in the way that America does with its culture, products and values. A decade ago the Communist Party declared a new goal: to build “soft power”, as a complement to its rapidly growing economic and military strength. It spends some $10bn a year on the project, according to David Shambaugh of George Washington University—one of the most extravagant programmes of state-sponsored image-building the world has ever seen. Mr Shambaugh reckons that America spent less than $670m on its “public diplomacy” in 2014. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Die fleißigen Banker von Cayman

Posted by hkarner - 27. März 2017

Eine Auswertung der NGO Oxfam zeigt, dass es bei großen EU-Banken eine Verschiebung von Gewinnen in Steueroasen geben dürfte. Allerdings hat die Studie auch methodische Schwächen.

Wien. Es ist selten, dass von einer NGO wie Oxfam Lob für die Politik kommt. Doch diesmal wird die EU von der Organisation, die eine „gerechtere globale Ressourcenverteilung“ als ihr Ziel angibt und dabei Politik und Wirtschaft meist kritisch gegenübersteht, ausdrücklich lobend erwähnt. Grund dafür ist, dass die EU Banken und Finanzinstitute dazu verpflichtet hat, ihre Gewinne sowie die dazugehörenden Steuerabgaben nach Land einzeln aufzuschlüsseln (country-by-country-reporting) und diese Daten auch zu veröffentlichen.

Aufgrund dieser Berichte hat Oxfam nun eine Auswertung über die 20 größten Banken der EU gemacht – und kommt dabei zu Ergebnissen, die auf eine relativ starke Verschiebung von Gewinnen in Richtung Steueroasen schließen lassen. So fällt mit 25 Mrd. Euro ein Viertel aller 2015 erzielten Gewinne in Ländern an, die Oxfam als Steueroasen qualifiziert. Dies, obwohl nur zwölf Prozent der Umsätze in diesen Ländern erzielt werden und lediglich sieben Prozent der Beschäftigten dort tätig sind. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s future is multi-speed and multi-tier

Posted by hkarner - 27. März 2017

Date: 23-03-2017
Source: The Economist

The EU must embrace greater differentiation or face potential disintegration

Charlemagne had a point

IS EUROPE READY to embrace a new model built around not sameness but difference? Although the recent commission white paper and several national leaders have come out for a multi-speed Europe, they really have in mind a way for small groups of countries to go forward in such areas as defence or taxation, without having to wait for all, using the treaty’s tools that allow enhanced co-operation. A true multi-speed, multi-tier Europe would be far more ambitious. Yet the troubles of the EU may seem to many quite enough to worry about without having to rethink the structure of their project.

That is certainly the message coming from national capitals and Brussels. Asked about how euro and non-euro countries will co-exist in future, one senior official in Paris notes that, after Brexit, nearly 90% of the union’s GDP will be generated by the euro zone. Others say all non-members except Denmark will join the euro within five years. The rows over asylum-seekers between east and west will similarly end, says a Eurocrat in Brussels, because central Europe gains so much from the EU. Brexit will hurt Britain more than its partners. And ideas for more variable geometry, such as the “continental partnerships” touted by Bruegel, are “suitable for think-tanks”, as another senior official (this time in Berlin) puts it, not to be taken seriously. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How to address the EU’s democratic deficit

Posted by hkarner - 27. März 2017

Good analysis! (hfk)

Date: 23-03-2017
Source: The Economist

The institutions need reform

Voting is the easy part

THE EU’S INSTITUTIONS, built up over six decades, are not ideally suited to responding flexibly to challenges such as the single currency, migration or foreign and security policy. The club remains vulnerable to the charges of operating with a “democratic deficit” that alienates many voters.

Start with what is still the central institution, the European Commission. Headed by Jean-Claude Juncker, a long-time prime minister of Luxembourg, it is much more than a civil service; it is the guardian of the treaties, the originator of almost all legislation and the sole executor of the EU’s budget. By the standards of most governments it is also small, employing only around 33,000 people—about the same as a largish local council in one of the member countries (though commission staff command much more lavish salaries).

The Juncker commission has done some good things; in particular, it has sharply reduced the volume of regulation it proposes. Yet it suffers from having too many commissioners (28, one per member country), a defect that has been only partially dealt with by the creation of senior vice-presidents and junior commissioners. One consequence is that, even more than before, the commission is more or less run by Mr Juncker’s powerful cabinet under Martin Selmayr, a German official. The commission has also allowed itself to be influenced too heavily by the European Parliament, the only institution that can dismiss it, instead of acting as a balance between the Council of Ministers (representing national governments) and the parliament as the two co-legislators in the system. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Economic shocks are more likely to be lethal in America

Posted by hkarner - 27. März 2017

Date: 23-03-2017
Source: The Economist

New research shows the mortality of middle-aged whites continues to rise

AMERICAN workers without college degrees have suffered financially for decades—as has been known for decades. More recent is the discovery that their woes might be deadly. In 2015 Anne Case and Angus Deaton, two (married) scholars, reported that in the 20 years to 1998, the mortality rate of middle-aged white Americans fell by about 2% a year. But between 1999 and 2013, deaths rose. The reversal was all the more striking because, in Europe, overall middle-age mortality continued to fall at the same 2% pace. By 2013 middle-aged white Americans were dying at twice the rate of similarly aged Swedes of all races (see chart). Suicide, drug overdoses and alcohol abuse were to blame. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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America’s shale firms don’t give a frack about financial returns

Posted by hkarner - 27. März 2017

Date: 25-03-2017
Source: The Economist: Schumpeter

Exploration and production companies are poised to go on another investment spree

INSIDE the boardrooms and bars of Houston, the spiritual capital of America’s energy industry, the swagger is back. The oil price may only be at $48, or half the level it was three years ago. But shale fracking—the business of getting oil and gas out of rocks by blasting them with water and sand—is booming once again after the crash of 2014-16. Exploration and production (E&P) companies are about to go on an investment spree. Demand is soaring for the industry’s raw materials: sand, other people’s money, roughnecks and ice-cold beer.

Shale’s second coming is testament to Texan grit. But the industry’s never-say-die spirit may explain why it has done next to nothing about its dire finances. The business has burned up cash for 34 of the last 40 quarters, according to figures on the top 60 listed E&P firms collected by Bloomberg, a data provider. With the exception of airlines, Chinese state enterprises and Silicon Valley unicorns—private firms valued at more than $1bn—shale firms are on an unparalleled money-losing streak. About $11bn was torched in the latest quarter, as capital expenditures exceeded cashflows. The cash-burn rate may well rise again this year. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Wirtschaft und Populismus: Das Ende der Trump-Blase

Posted by hkarner - 26. März 2017

Date: 26-03-2017
Source: Spiegel: Eine Kolumne von Henrik Müller

Der US-Präsident hat sich nach zwei Monaten bereits festgefahren, die anfängliche Euphorie der Wirtschaft verfliegt. Grund zur Schadenfreude? Keineswegs. Donald Trump kann noch eine Menge Schaden anrichten.

Populistische Politik ist schwer vorherzusagen. Sie folgt keinem berechenbaren Kurs. Sie basiert nicht auf Programmen, sondern setzt auf Überraschung und Effekt. Sie zielt auf Stimmungen, die im Zweifel wichtiger sind als Prinzipien. Doch Stimmungen können sich rasch ändern.

Anleger und Spekulanten hatten US-Präsident Donald Trump eine Menge zugetraut. Steuersenkungen, ein großes Infrastrukturprogramm, Deregulierung – all das versprach steigende Unternehmensgewinne. Entsprechend legten die Aktienkurse kräftig zu.

Nun kehrt Ernüchterung ein. Trump hat in der abgelaufenen Woche für seine Gesundheitsreform im Repräsentantenhaus keine Mehrheit zusammenbekommen und das Projekt erst mal abgesagt. Die Zweifel wachsen, ob er überhaupt etwas bewegen kann. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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