Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

The insecurity of freelance work

Posted by hkarner - 18. Juni 2018

Date: 17-06-2018
Source: The Economist: Bartleby

Measuring changes in employment is proving difficult

THE decline of the conventional job has been much heralded in recent years. It is now nearly axiomatic that people will work for a range of employers in a variety of roles over their lifetimes, with a much more flexible schedule than in the past. Opinion is still divided over whether this change is a cause for concern or a chance for workers to be liberated from the rut of office life.

Is the shift really happening? Some figures from the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), released on June 7th, showed that only 10.1% of American workers were in “alternative employment” last year, a lower proportion than the 10.7% recorded in 2005. In contrast, a study of the British economy by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that the self-employed sector has been growing, with the number of self-employed sole traders rising by 25% between 2007-08 and 2015-16.

These two measures are different. But getting a good statistical fix is not easy when the jobs are hard to define. The ecology of the alternative-employment market has many species. At the top end are independent consultants with six-figure salaries and tax advantages from their self-employed status; at the bottom are cleaners on the minimum wage working for an agency. Some people will be on “zero hours” contracts where they are unsure of their income from week to week. Then there are jobs in the “gig economy”—people connected to work via websites, such as freelancers labelling photos to help artificial-intelligence programs. Plenty of people use the gig economy to top up income, rather than relying on it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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An outrageous penalty

Posted by hkarner - 17. Juni 2018

Date: 16-06-2018
Source: The Economist

As the World Cup begins
, Russia should free Oleg Sentsov

A film-maker locked up for protesting against the annexation of Crimea is on hunger strike

AS YOU settle down to watch the World Cup in Russia, remember Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director serving a 20-year sentence in a prison camp in Siberia. He has committed no crime. Rather, he was jailed for protesting against Vladimir Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the war Russia’s president unleashed in eastern Ukraine four years ago. On May 14th Mr Sentsov started a hunger strike demanding the release of all 64 Ukrainian political prisoners from Russian jails. The opening of the World Cup on June 14th was Mr Sentsov’s 32nd day without food. He is rapidly acquiring the moral stature once accorded to people like Anatoly Marchenko, a Soviet dissident who was on hunger strike for 117 days and died soon after he ended it in December 1986.

World leaders supported Mr Sentsov, though they could clearly do more. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, raised the case with Mr Putin. PEN America, a writers’ organisation, and dozens of artists in Russia and in the West have called for his release. One Western leader who has not done so is President Donald Trump. Instead, last week he called for Russia to return to the G7. It was expelled for the seizure of Crimea, which, in his words, “happened a while ago”. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can refugees help to plug Europe’s skilled-labour gaps?

Posted by hkarner - 17. Juni 2018

Date: 14-06-2018
Source: The Economist

Employing migrants in Germany and Sweden

THE canteen of Stockholm University could scarcely be more Swedish. Young blond students sip coffee and tap away on Macs. In room 3.89, an outpost of the campus, is another, newer Sweden. Refugees, all of them teachers, from lands far to the south and east are preparing for the classrooms of their new home. Several keep their coats on as Khadije Obeid takes them through the basics of the curriculum and shows a YouTube clip about education law. “In Syria the teacher has much authority,” says Samer, an English teacher, as he raises his hand above his head. “Here he is equal to the students,” he adds as he lowers it.

The ten women and seven men are on a “fast-track” programme for refugees with experience in occupations where labour is short. As well as learning Swedish, they get 26 weeks of daily classes, teaching practice and mentoring. The hope is that they will then train or, if their previous qualifications are recognised, go straight to the classroom. The government is running some 30 other programmes, for builders, chefs, medics and more; 5,300 people were enrolled in 2016 and 2017, of whom around 1,000 were in the teachers’ scheme. Within two years most fast-trackers are employed. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Anatomy of Global Debt

Posted by hkarner - 17. Juni 2018

Howard Davies, the first chairman of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority (1997-2003), is Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland. He was Director of the London School of Economics (2003-11) and served as Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry.

The IMF’s new Global Debt Database is an impressive piece of work. And the numbers suggest that the so-called debt intensity of growth has increased: we seem to need higher levels of debt to support a given rate of economic than we did before.

LONDON – At the end of May, the International Monetary Fund launched its new Global Debt Database. For the first time, IMF statisticians have compiled a comprehensive set of calculations of both public and private debt, country by country, constructing a time series stretching back to the end of World War II. It is an impressive piece of work.

The headline figure is striking. Global debt has hit a new high of 225% of world GDP, exceeding the previous record of 213% in 2009. So, as the IMF points out, there has been no deleveraging at all at the global level since the 2007-2008 financial crisis. In some countries, the composition of debt changed, as public debt replaced private debt in the post-crisis recession, but that shift has now mostly stopped.

Are these large figures alarming? In aggregate terms, perhaps not. At a time when economic growth is robust almost everywhere, financial markets are relaxed about debt sustainability. Long-term interest rates remain remarkably low. But the numbers do tend to support the hypothesis that the so-called debt intensity of growth has increased: we seem to need higher levels of debt to support a given rate of economic growth than we did before. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe struggles to respond to Mr Trump

Posted by hkarner - 17. Juni 2018

Date: 14-06-2018
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

To uphold its cherished rules, Europe must learn when to bend them

YOU can’t fault them for trying. Discussing trade at last week’s disastrous G7 summit in Quebec, Europe’s leaders met Donald Trump’s volley of insults and half-truths with a fusillade of facts. Emmanuel Macron explained how market access works. Angela Merkel brought up America’s procurement rules. Thrown off-guard, Mr Trump responded by suggesting that the G7 should transform itself into a tariff- and subsidy-free zone. The fact that this would involve submitting to the rules and institutions he has built his political identity opposing was not lost on the president’s European friends. A better illustration of the transatlantic gulf would be hard to find.

The past few months have been especially rough for Europe’s relations with America, as Mr Trump first withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran and then slapped tariffs on aluminium and steel imports. But the confrontation in Canada had a scales-from-the-eyes feeling to it. The United States is “saying goodbye” to the West, lamented Germany’s ambassador. One European official says his colleagues returned from the summit looking as if they had stuck their hands in a toaster. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Economic Growth in U.S. Leaves World Behind

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juni 2018

Date: 15-06-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Second-quarter growth on track to exceed a 4% pace—the fastest of any quarter in almost four years

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that sales at U.S. retailers rose 0.8% in May from a month earlier.

The U.S. economy is revving up just as Europe and other major economies lose steam, jeopardizing a rare period in which the world’s largest economies have been accelerating in unison.

The European Central Bank on Thursday took another step toward ending the massive stimulus measures it has used in an effort to boost growth since 2015. But ECB officials also said they would hold interest rates steady through summer next year, a sign that they felt the eurozone economy remains fragile.

In an indication of growing economic vigor in the U.S., the Federal Reserve on Wednesday tapped the brakes again, raising the benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point and signaling it may quicken the pace of future rate increases because of a strengthening economy and tightening labor markets.

The economies’ diverging paths were expressed most prominently in the euro, which on Thursday suffered its worst day against the dollar in two years. The euro lost 1.88% against the U.S. currency, its biggest drop since the day after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union.

The central bank announcements over the past two days offered the latest evidence that heady growth expectations for Europe and other major economies outside the U.S. might not be achieved, defying analysts who began the year convinced that the world economy’s first synchronized expansion in years would continue.

The International Monetary Fund said in January that the world’s seven largest economies each grew more than 1.5% in 2017, and it predicted more solid growth this year. Global manufacturing was booming and the IHS Markit global purchasing managers index that month was its strongest in nearly seven years.

Many investors counted on a revitalized Europe to lead that growth in 2018. But recent labor strikes in France, political turmoil in Italy and softer economic data are causing investors to rethink that premise. Germany last week reported that factory orders dropped 2.5% in April, while eurozone growth was 0.4% in the first quarter, down from 0.7% in the final quarter of 2017. On Thursday, the ECB revised down its eurozone growth expectations for this year to 2.1%, from 2.4%. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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After decades of triumph, democracy is losing ground

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juni 2018

Date: 14-06-2018
Source: The Economist

What is behind the reversal?

IN A glass case at the Diyarbakir Bar Association are a striped shirt, dark coat and coiled belt. They belonged to the former chairman, Tahir Elci, a lawyer who was murdered in 2015 amid clashes between the Turkish army and Kurdish separatists. He was standing by the Four-Legged Minaret, a 500-year-old landmark in the ancient city, calling for peace. Someone shot him in the head. No one knows who killed him. The government blames Kurdish terrorists. Many Kurds blame the government. After Elci’s death, the army pounded the rebel-held part of Diyarbakir to rubble. The debris, including body parts, was heaped onto trucks and dumped by a river. Locals are scared to talk about any of this.

Barely a decade ago, Turkey was a budding democracy and aspired to join the European Union. Now it is galloping towards dictatorship. In 2016 army officers tried to mount a coup, putting tanks in the streets, bombing parliament and nearly assassinating the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was quickly scotched. Mr Erdogan launched a purge. Over 200,000 people, mostly suspected members of the Gulen movement—the Islamist sect said to have led the failed putsch—were jailed or sacked. Anyone could be arrested for having attended a Gulenist school, holding an account at a Gulen-owned bank, or even possessing $1 bills, which the government says were a mark of Gulenism.

Millions of Turks are now terrified of their president. However, plenty admire him for protecting them from the Gulenists. Adem, an estate agent in Istanbul, congratulates Mr Erdogan for “cleaning away the enemies within”—echoing a government slogan. He says, of the purge’s victims: “They’ve been arrested because they’ve done something wrong.” He adds: “In America if you steal state secrets they put you in the electric chair, don’t they?” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Gemeinwohlbank ist gescheitert, zwei Drittel des Kapitals weg

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juni 2018

H.F. Karner:

Also, das haben wir schon seit Beginn dieser Schnapsidee und dem Ego-Trip vom Ursprungsgründer gesagt!







Renate Graber, 15. Juni 2018, 18:36

Die Gründung der Bank für Gemeinwohl ist gescheitert. Vom Genossenschaftskapital ist nur noch ein Drittel da, der Vorstand hofft dennoch auf einen Neustart

Wien – Die Bank für Gemeinwohl (BfG) wird es nicht geben. Vorige Woche hat die Finanzmarktaufsicht FMA den Antrag der BfG Eigentümer- und Verwaltungsgenossenschaft auf Erteilung einer Konzession als Zahlungsinstitut abgelehnt, die Genossenschaft wird kein Rechtsmittel dagegen einlegen. Eine rechtliche Analyse hat laut Brief des Vorstands an die Genossenschafter ergeben, dass das „keinen Sinn macht“, man würde sich nur weiter in zeit- und kostenintensiven Prozessen aufreiben. In seinem Brief zieht der Vorstand Bilanz: Man habe es 2015 nicht geschafft, das nötige Startkapital (15 Millionen Euro) für die Gründung einer Bank aufzutreiben, selbst die notwendigen sechs Millionen Euro, um bei der FMA den Lizenzprozess zu starten, habe man nicht erreicht. 4,2 Millionen Euro wurden von 6.000 Genossenschaftern eingesammelt.

„Hürden unterschätzt“

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Dealing with North Korea, Trump puts showmanship first

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juni 2018

Date: 14-06-2018
Source: The Economist

The summit was a triumph of showbiz over substance—and Mr Trump made big concessions for no return

AS A television spectacle, it was irresistible. The star of “The Apprentice” striding commandingly along the red carpet, reaching out his hand, ready to strike the deal of a lifetime. And grasping it, Kim Jong Un, the leader of the world’s most repressive dictatorship, his Mao suit, hairstyle and grievances imported directly from the 1950s, who just nine months before had promised to “tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire”. In the end, fire did not prove necessary: a suspension of weapons-testing and an invitation to a summit was all it took. President Donald Trump said it was an “honour” to meet Mr Kim, who duly promised “complete denuclearisation” in exchange for security guarantees. It was, Mr Trump said at a press conference, “a very great moment in the history of the world”.

To the extent history is playing any part in all this, it is in its tendency to repeat itself. North Korea has promised disarmament again and again over the past 30 years, only to renege each time after pocketing generous inducements. If the flimsy agreement Messrs Trump and Kim signed in Singapore is to turn out differently, as Mr Trump insists it will, America must be clear-eyed and exacting in the detailed nuclear regime that it negotiates with the North. Alas, so far Mr Trump seems more eager to play the talks for ratings—threatening not only a meaningful deal, but also America’s position in Asia.

Singapore canoodles Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Studie: Bitcoin-Boom war gezielte Manipulation

Posted by hkarner - 15. Juni 2018

Der historische Preisanstieg der Kryptowährung auf rund 20.000 US-Dollar war Teil eines großen Betrugs, schreibt der US-Ökonom John Griffin, der auf das Entdecken von Marktmanipulationen spezialisiert ist.

Hinter dem fulimnanten Aufstieg von Bitcoin im vergangenen Jahr könnte mehr stecken als die blanke Euphorie der Investoren. Zumindest die Hälfte des Preisanstiegs auf 20.000 Dollar dürfte gezielte Manipulation gewesen sein, so das Ergebnis einer neuen Studie des US-Finanzwissenschaftlers John Griffin.

Wann immer Bitcoinpreis 2017 gefallen ist, wurde die Kryptowährung Tether auf der Börse Bitfinex eingesetzt, um Bitcoin zuzukaufen und damit den Preis zu „stabilisieren und manipulieren“, schreibt der Experte für Finanzbetrug. „Betrug und Manipulation hinterlassen oft Spuren in den Daten und es ist fein, dass es eine Blockchain gibt, um diese Dinge nachzuvollziehen“, sagte Griffin zu CNBC. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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