Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Japan’s Successful Economic Model

Posted by hkarner - 21. September 2018

Adair Turner, a former chairman of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority and former member of the UK’s Financial Policy Committee, is Chairman of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. His latest book is Between Debt and the Devil.

Japan’s GDP growth lags most other developed economies, and will likely continue to do so as the population slowly declines. But what matters for human welfare is GDP per capita, and on this front, the country excels.

TOKYO – Nearly everyone says that Japan’s economic model has imploded. Since 1991, growth has averaged just 0.9% versus 4.5% over the previous two decades. Slow growth, combined with large fiscal deficits and near zero inflation, has driven government debt from 50% of GDP to 236% of GDP.

Abenomics, the cluster of reforms initiated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he came to power six years ago, promised to get inflation up to 2%. But five years of zero interest rates and massive quantitative easing have failed to achieve this. A fertility rate of 1.4 and near-zero immigration mean that Japan’s workforce could shrink by 28% over the next 50 years, making health care for the elderly unaffordable and dramatically increasing the fiscal deficit, which is already running at 4% of GDP. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Good Politics, Bad Economics

Posted by hkarner - 21. September 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.

Advocates of liberalism find it hard to accept that populist and authoritarian governments could ever formulate sound economic policies, and they often assume that „free markets“ will always provide widespread prosperity and accountability. They’re mistaken on both counts.

LONDON – Bad economics breeds bad politics. The global financial crisis, and the botched recovery thereafter, put wind in the sails of political extremism. Between 2007 and 2016, support for extremist parties in Europe doubled. France’s National Rally (formerly the National Front), Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), Italy’s League party, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), and the Sweden Democrats have all made electoral gains in the past two years. And I haven’t even mentioned Donald Trump or Brexit.

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Post-Truth Germany

Posted by hkarner - 21. September 2018

Date: 20-09-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Georg Diez

The Chemnitz Attacks and the Crisis of German Democracy

And if it never happened? Then, of course, nobody is to blame. There is no responsibility, and there are no consequences. The end of a common understanding of what happened is in many ways the end of politics, because to define problems and work on solutions requires common ground. Germany, like the United States, has entered this post-truth hall of mirrors. The stakes are particularly high, because a violent far right is rising, in a country still troubled by its racist and murderous past. The embrace of a discourse of “alternative facts” signals that Germany has moved far from the role it played during the early days of the refugee crisis, as the exception to the rule of resentment.

How did we get here? At the end of August, following the alleged murder of a German citizen by two refugees, a right-wing mob of several thousand people took to the streets in the eastern city of Chemnitz, shouting racist slogans, threatening and chasing refugees (or just about anybody who looked different), and fighting an overwhelmed and outnumbered local police force. The images quickly spread on social media. One video showed a group of a few men first shouting at, and then running after, a man who is seen fleeing across a busy street, avoiding several cars as he speeds along. The German media used the term Hetzjagd, normally applied to the hunting of animals, to describe this scene and others captured during the riots. German Chancellor Angela Merkel used this word, too, in her public statement condemning the violence. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Digitalsteuer brächte Österreich maximal 80 Millionen Euro

Posted by hkarner - 20. September 2018

Das Ifo-Institut warnt die EU davor, die Umsätze von Google & Co. zu besteuern.

Wien. Es ist eines der Lieblingsprojekte von Finanzminister Hartwig Löger: Die Einführung einer EU-weiten Digitalsteuer für Internetriesen wie Google, Amazon und Facebook. Im Frühling schlug die EU-Kommission vor, die europäischen Umsätze der großen amerikanischen Techkonzerne mit bis zu drei Prozent zu besteuern. Aufgeteilt würden die Einnahmen nach Zahl der Nutzer in den jeweiligen Ländern. Jetzt warnt das Münchener Ifo-Institut davor, die Steuerpläne in die Tat umzusetzen. Gerade Exportnationen wie Deutschland oder Österreich seien Profiteure des Systems, wonach Waren da besteuert werden, wo sie hergestellt und nicht, wo sie konsumiert werden.

Zudem seien die positiven Effekte, die von der EU-Kommission in Aussicht gestellt wurden, fraglich. Das Institut rechnet mit einem maximalen Steueraufkommen von drei bis vier Milliarden Euro im Jahr. Österreich erhielte – nach Abzug der Digitalsteuer von der Bemessungsgrundlage – bestenfalls 79,3 Millionen Euro im Jahr. Das ist weniger als 0,1 Prozent der gesamten Steuereinnahmen des Landes. Brüssels Argument, dass die Digitalsteuer die Finanzkraft der Staaten verbessere, gehe also ins Leere. (auer)

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Arte: Lehman Whistleblowers – Der Gorilla im 31. Stock

Posted by hkarner - 20. September 2018

Unbedingt ansehen: online Verfügbar von 18/09/2018 bis 15/10/2018  https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/080155-000-A/inside-lehman-brothers/

Die Insolvenz der Investmentbank Lehman Brothers markierte den Beginn der Finanzkrise von 2008. Firmeninterne Whistleblower erzählen, wie sie damals vergeblich gewarnt haben und in der Folge massiv unter Druck gesetzt wurden. Heute scheint sich die Finanzwelt wieder berappelt zu haben – und das Zocken geht weiter.

Am Anfang der Finanzkrise von 2008 stand die Insolvenz einer Bank: Lehman Brothers, eine Investmentbank mit einem Schuldenberg von 613 Milliarden US-Dollar. Die größte Bankenpleite alle Zeiten. Firmeninterne Whistleblower von Kalifornien bis zur Wall Street hatten damals vergeblich Alarm geschlagen: Matthew Lee, einer der Vizepräsidenten von Lehman Brothers, weigerte sich, Finanztransaktionen in zweistelliger Milliardenhöhe zu genehmigen; Sylvia Vega-Sutfin und ihre Kollegen entdeckten in einer Kreditbank der Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. unzählige Betrugsfälle. Als sie ihre Vorgesetzten informierten, wurden sie unter Druck gesetzt oder sexuell belästigt. Lee wurde entlassen, Sylvia Vega-Sutfin und ihre Kollegen kündigten schließlich selbst, nachdem sie durch die Hölle gegangen waren. Sie warnen: Geschichte wiederholt sich. Mit der Bankensanierung kamen auch die schlechten Angewohnheiten zurück. Toxische Papiere, derivative Finanzinstrumente – die Mechanismen haben sich kaum verändert. Donald Trump setzt alles daran, die zerbrechlichen Schutzvorrichtungen seines Vorgängers einzureißen. Schlimmer noch: Trump regiert nun mit denjenigen, die das System in den Bankrott führten. „Inside Lehman Brothers“ gibt Einblicke in ein krankes System, das jegliche Warnzeichen ignoriert. Die Vorfälle von 2008 könnten sich jederzeit wiederholen. Der Kampf der Whistleblower ist alles andere als vorbei – doch sie finden immer noch kaum Beachtung.

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In Major Auto Partnership, Google’s Android System to Power Dashboard Media Display

Posted by hkarner - 20. September 2018

Date: 18-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Car makers have been reluctant to cede control to tech rivals; drivers will have better integration of Google’s maps, app store and voice-activated assistant

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is making a major push into the auto industry, partnering with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to use the tech company’s Android operating system to power media display that will eventually be sold in millions of cars world-wide.

The auto-making alliance, which together sells more vehicles than any other auto maker, is picking Google to provide the operating system for its next-generation infotainment system, marking a major victory for the Silicon Valley tech giant, which has spent more than a decade trying to replicate the success it has had with the smartphone in the car.

The alliance, which last year sold a combined 10.6 million vehicles globally, will debut the new system in 2021, giving drivers better integration of Google’s maps, app store and voice-activated assistant from the vehicle’s dashboard, the companies said.

The move comes as other auto makers have been reluctant to cede control of this space to tech rivals, in part because they see the technology as generating valuable consumer data that can be turned into new revenue streams.

Many drivers remain wedded to their phones, opting to use them in their cars to call up directions and perform other tasks. The auto industry has struggled to develop interfaces that are as reliable and easy to use. Many car systems are too complicated and prone to glitches, industry analysts and reviews say. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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ECB Succession Race Tests German Faith in Bundesbank Model

Posted by hkarner - 20. September 2018

Date: 18-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

With jockeying under way for top posts in central bank and EU posts, Berlin debates whether to lobby for inflation hawk Jens Weidmann

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, left, is a leading candidate to replace European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, at right.

FRANKFURT—The race to succeed Mario Draghi as European Central Bank president presents Germany with a stark choice: Back the country’s own candidate, a foe of Mr. Draghi’s 2.5-trillion-euro bond-buying program, or concede that once-unorthodox monetary tools are here to stay.

Germany’s central bank, long a powerful voice in the global fight against inflation, has grown out of sync in the postfinancial crisis era of stagnant prices and wages, with its greatly expanded role for central banks and outside-the-box policies.

“Perhaps the sands have shifted,” said Stefan Gerlach, former deputy governor of Ireland’s central bank. “Having been on the wrong side of history, at least as it appears now, has not helped the Germans.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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No, the Financial Crisis Didn’t Spawn Populism

Posted by hkarner - 20. September 2018

Date: 19-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Greg Ip

Election results and economic data suggest the two aren’t as closely connected as some commentators believe

The unifying factor in the rise of right-wing populism is a disenchantment with globalization in all its manifestations: international trade, international institutions (like the EU) and, most of all, immigration.

Two defining events of the last decade were the financial crisis and the rise of right-wing populists like Donald Trump. Many believe that the first caused the second.

In “Crashed,” historian Adam Tooze’s ambitious new history of the last decade, there is a direct line connecting them: “Overshadowed by memories of 2008, the 2016 election delivered a stark verdict.”

Surveys find little evidence for Mr. Bannon’s claim that the crisis drove voters into Mr. Trump’s arms.

Steve Bannon, the right-wing provocateur and architect of Mr. Trump’s campaign, agrees: “The legacy of the financial crisis is Donald J. Trump,” he told New York Magazine. “You know why the deplorables are angry? They’re rational human beings. We took away the risk for the wealthy.”

This seems intuitive. If, like Mr. Tooze, we treat the series of crises that include the failure of Lehman Brothers and cascaded through the eurozone as a single event, then this was the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression. And since the Depression led to political convulsions like nationalism and fascism, shouldn’t this one?

I used to think so, but upon closer read of elections, economic data, surveys and history, this connection looks exaggerated if not wrong.

This isn’t merely an academic point. By linking the financial crisis and populism too tightly, we might draw the wrong lessons about both.

To be sure, the crisis had political consequences. Practically every political party that governed during a crisis, from George W. Bush’s Republicans to Gordon Brown’s Labour Party, was shown the door. Several studies have found that politics becomes more fragmented and polarized in the wake of crises, and this one was no exception. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Countdown to Brexit: No Deal Might Be the Worst Deal of All

Posted by hkarner - 20. September 2018

Date: 19-09-2018

With just 200 days left to go until Brexit, a failure to secure a negotiated deal is looking increasingly possible. That would be disastrous for the European Union, but even worse for the British.

It’s the early morning hours of March 30, 2019, and the disaster is only slowly beginning to unfold. British radio stations report on the first traffic jams at the ferry docks of Dover and Folkstone. Flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and other airports to Continent have been canceled. All of them. It’s Saturday, so the stock markets are relatively quiet. At least for now.

Two days later, though, the pound takes a nosedive, bringing the share prices of British companies down with it. Alarmed by news reports that just get more disturbing as they pour in, the British begin emptying the supermarket shelves. Gas stations start to run out of gasoline. Remote areas such as Cornwall or Scotland declare states of emergency.

After just one week, hospitals report a lack of vital medications. The first reports of theft and looting make the rounds. Given the massive transportation and traffic chaos, the police are spread so thin that they don’t know what else to do but call for military backup. Meanwhile, the government in London just watches the unfolding events helplessly as everyone is too busy fighting for political survival. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Italy Faces Crunch Time on Budget

Posted by hkarner - 20. September 2018

Date: 19-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Markets and EU press Rome to curb expensive promises to voters

Luigi Di Maio, leader of Italy’s 5 Star Movement, said last week that universal basic income must be in the government’s budget. The deputy prime minister is shown here in Rome earlier this month.

ROME—Italy’s new populist government is facing a difficult decision: How to reconcile its expensive election promises with the reality of the country’s fragile finances.

It is a test of whether Europe’s rising antiestablishment parties can bring change to countries still bearing the scars of the Continent’s long economic downturn—or whether the constraints of life in the eurozone will force them to follow policies they long denounced.

The coalition in Rome, joining the antiestablishment 5 Star Movement with the nativist League, wants to slash taxes and raise social benefits to keep its voters happy. It also wants to avoid a clash with the European Union that could further spook financial markets. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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