Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘austerity’

Putting People First in Europe

Posted by hkarner - 6. August 2016

Photo of Jean-Paul Fitoussi

A delight! (hfk)

Jean-Paul Fitoussi

Jean-Paul Fitoussi is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Sciences-Po and Research Director of OFCE (Sciences-Po Center for Economic Research, Paris).
 

Photo of Khalid Malik

Khalid Malik

Khalid Malik is UNDP Director of the Human Development Report Office.

AUG 5, 2016, Project Syndicate

PARIS – The same type of populist discontent that fueled Brexit in the United Kingdom is on the rise throughout Europe, suggesting that policymakers have lost sight of the European project’s central objective: to ensure the wellbeing of all Europeans. As the first United Nations Human Development Report put it in 1990:Soci

The best way to capitalize on the people of a country or region is through social equity. Amartya Sen, in his magisterial The Idea of Justice, concluded that true social equity requires not equal treatment for all, but rather unequal treatment in favor of the poor and most disadvantaged. Mere equity in public finance or in the eyes of the law is not enough if we don’t also consider the different starting points for individuals and groups in society. Recognizing this, successive UN development reports since 1990 have made the case that both economies and societies are stronger when public policy puts people’s wellbeing first. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit and the Derivatives Time Bomb

Posted by hkarner - 3. Juli 2016

Posted on by Ellen Brown, Web of DebtBrown Ellen

Brexit could trigger a $500 trillion derivatives meltdown, by forcing the EU to allow insolvent member governments and banks to write down debt. Italy is in financial crisis and is already petitioning for that concession. How to avoid collapse of the massive derivatives house of cards? Alternatives are considered.

Sovereign debt – the debt of national governments – has ballooned from $80 trillion to $100 trillion just since 2008. Squeezed governments have been driven to radical austerity measures, privatizing public assets, slashing public services, and downsizing work forces in a futile attempt to balance national budgets. But the debt overhang just continues to grow.

Austerity has been pushed to the limit and hasn’t worked. But default or renegotiating the debt seems to be off the table. Why? According to a June 25th article by Graham Summers on ZeroHedge:

. . . EVERY move the Central Banks have made post-2009 has been aimed at avoiding debt restructuring or defaults in the bond markets. Why does Greece, a country that represents less than 2% of EU GDP, continue to receive bailouts instead of just defaulting?

Summers’ answer – derivatives:

[G]lobal leverage has exploded to record highs, with the sovereign bond bubble now a staggering $100 trillion in size. To top it off, over $10 trillion of this is sporting negative yields in nominal terms. . . .

Globally, over $500 trillion in derivatives trade [is] based on bond yields.

But Brexit changes everything, says Summers. Until now, the EU has been able to reject debt forgiveness as an alternative, using the threat of financial Armageddon if the debtor country left the EU. But Britain has left, and Armageddon hasn’t hit. Other Eurozone nations can now threaten to do the same if they don’t get debt forgiveness or a restructuring.

The First Domino – Italy Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Rethinking Policy at the IMF

Posted by hkarner - 8. Juni 2016

Posted on by iMFdirect

By iMFdirect

The global financial crisis led to a broad rethink of macroeconomic and financial policies in the global academic and policy community. ObstfeldEight months into the job as IMF Chief Economist, Maury Obstfeld reflects on the IMF’s role in this rethinking and in furthering economic and financial stability.

In an interview, Obstfeld notes that given the impacts of IMF decisions on member countries and the global economic system, it is especially important for the institution to constantly re-evaluate its thinking in light of new evidence.

He talks about fiscal policy, citing that “nobody wants needless austerity,” as well as on the Fund’s work on capital flows and trade.

Even as the Fund’s thinking evolves, Obstfeld says that the process has not “fundamentally changed the core of our approach, which is based on open and competitive markets, robust macro policy frameworks, financial stability, and strong institutions.”

IMFSurvey Magazine: Policy Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Ein Finanzministerium als Teil des Eurosystems 2.0

Posted by hkarner - 7. Juni 2016

06.06.2016
Von Dirk Ehnts, Makroskop

Der fehlgeleitete Glaube an die Allmacht des Marktes hat im Euroraum vielfach zu einem Teufelskreis aus Austeritätspolitik, Wirtschaftseinbruch, steigender Arbeitslosigkeit und sozialer Not geführt. Ein gemeinsames Finanzministerium könnte Abhilfe schaffen.

Die Euro-Krise, welche sich an die globale Finanzkrise 2008/09 anschloss, dauert nun schon sechs Jahre. Während in anderen Ländern der Welt eine weniger restriktive Sparpolitik des Staates wesentlich zur Erholung der Wirtschaft beitrug, erlebte die Eurozone eine lange Phase von Rezession und Stagnation. Denn hier wurde auf ein vermeintliches Staatsschuldenproblem mit Haushaltskürzungen reagiert.

Souveräne Staaten und schwäbische Hausfrauen

Diese Diagnose aber ist problematisch, da ein Staat nicht mit der vielzitierten schwäbischen Hausfrau gleichzusetzen ist. Während diese sich tatsächlich Gedanken machen muss, woher sie denn ihr Geld bekommt, um ihre Ausgaben zu bestreiten, kann der Staat dabei auf seine Zentralbank zurückgreifen. Entweder verkauft letzterer direkt Staatsanleihen an die Zentralbank, oder er verkauft sie an Banken, die wiederum die Staatsanleihen an die Zentralbank weiterverkaufen. Da der Staat dies unbegrenzt tun kann, ist ein Staatsbankrott komplett ausgeschlossen, so lange der Staat in seiner eigenen Währung verschuldet ist. Selbst in Krisenzeiten schießen aus diesem Grund die Zinsen für Staatsanleihen nicht in die Höhe: Es zweifelt schlicht niemand an der Zahlungsfähigkeit des Staates. Dieser Umstand erklärt auch das niedrige Zinsniveau außerhalb der Eurozone, wo es nirgends zu Problemen mit staatlicher Insolvenz kam. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Rescue Helicopters for Stranded Economies

Posted by hkarner - 1. Mai 2016

Photo of J. Bradford DeLong

J. Bradford DeLong

J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

APR 29, 2016, Project Syndicate

BERKELEY – For countries where nominal interest rates are at or near zero, fiscal stimulus should be a no-brainer. As long as the interest rate at which a government borrows is less than the sum of inflation, labor-force growth, and labor-productivity growth, the amortization cost of extra liabilities will be negative. Meanwhile, the upside of extra spending could be significant. The Keynesian fiscal multiplier for large industrial economies or for coordinated expansions is believed to be roughly two – meaning that an extra dollar of fiscal expansion would boost real GDP by about two dollars.

Some point to the risk that, once the economy recovers and interest rates rise, governments will fail to make the appropriate adjustments to fiscal policy. But this argument is specious. Governments that wish to pursue bad policies will do so no matter what decisions are made today. And to the extent that this risk exists at all, it is offset by the very tangible economic benefits of stimulus: improved labor-force skills, higher business investment, faster business-model development, and new, useful infrastructure. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Preparing for Europe’s Next Recession

Posted by hkarner - 3. April 2016

Photo of Jean Pisani-Ferry

Jean Pisani-Ferry

Jean Pisani-Ferry is a professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, and currently serves as Commissioner-General of France Stratégie, a policy advisory institution in Paris.

MAR 31, 2016, Project Syndicate

PARIS – If you do not understand what is happening to the eurozone economy, you are not alone. One day we are told that growth is definitely passé; the next that recovery is on track; and the third that the European Central Bank is considering sending checks to all citizens to boost output and revive inflation. Rarely has the economic picture been so confusing.

Start with medium-term growth. Since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, productivity has grown at a snail’s pace. Oddly, the smartphones’ magic computing power does not seem to offset the slowdown in efficiency gains in manufacturing and standard services. For almost a decade, annual productivity growth in the advanced economies has been close to 1%, versus 2% previously.

This may be a temporary lull or a statistical illusion. But with no evidence that it will end, policymakers have downgraded their forecasts. Since 2010, the US Congressional Budget Office has lowered its outlook for productivity growth in the decade to 2020 from 25% to 16%; so has the United Kingdom’s Office for Budget Responsibility, reducing its forecast from 22% to 14% productivity growth. Everyone is adjusting to leaner times. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Pain in Spain

Posted by hkarner - 28. Oktober 2015

Photo of Simon Tilford

Simon Tilford

Simon Tilford is Deputy Director at the Center for European Reform.

OCT 28, 2015, Project Syndicate

LONDON – Spain is the eurozone’s latest poster child for austerity and structural reforms. Its economy has expanded for eight consecutive quarters, steadily gaining momentum and easily outperforming the rest of the currency union. Export growth has matched that of Germany; unemployment has fallen by over a million people in two years; investment is picking up; and industrial production has jumped 5% in the last 12 months.

But Spain’s recovery is not quite what it seems, and there is scant evidence that what progress the country has made is the result of austerity and reforms.

In fact, far from adhering to the usual austerity narrative – according to which fiscal consolidation revives business confidence and thus investment and job creation – Spain’s return to growth partly reflects the easing of austerity since early 2014. The country has sensibly resisted pressure from the European Commission to take more aggressive steps to reduce its deficit, which, at 5.9% of GDP, was the European Union’s third highest last year. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Rohstoff-Krise: Russland beschließt strengen Austeritäts-Kurs

Posted by hkarner - 13. Oktober 2015

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten  | 

Russland will große Einschnitte bei den Staatsausgaben vornehmen. Die Austeritätspolitik ist eine Reaktion auf die sich verschlechternde Lage wegen des Rohstoff-Schocks. Die Regierung in Moskau schließt auch Einschnitte im Sozialsystem nicht aus.

Putin Golikowa

Denn man müsse zugeben, dass die aktuelle Krise im Vergleich zum September 2014 weitaus intensiver sei. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What’s Called “Capitalism” Is Far from Any Model of Capitalism or Market

Posted by hkarner - 1. Oktober 2015

Posted on September 30, 2015 by

By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius, Tumblr and Facebook. This piece first appeared at Down With Tyranny. GP article archive here.

food-chain-pyramid-life-science

Predators and prey. The homeless and left-behind are at the bottom (“decomposers”). Most of everyone else is in the next layer up (“producers”). The rest, from the well-off to the wealthy, are “consumers.” Interesting how that language works, isn’t it? (source)

by Gaius Publius

A recent piece I did on the British Labour politician Tony Benn featured a speech that offered a “history of neoliberalism” (click here to read and listen). Near the beginning of the speech, Benn said, “This country and the world have been run by rich and powerful men from the beginning of time.” Consider that for a moment, what that means about the arc of human history.

Near the end of his short talk, referencing the Thatcher (and Reagan) counterrevolution against the great populist gains of the 19th and 20th centuries, he said that this is “what the whole [modern] crisis is about, the restoration of power to those who’ve always controlled the world, the people who own the land and the resources and all the rest of it.”

That radical re-transformation of the world back to control by its original and longtime owners, “rich and powerful men,” was begun in England by Margaret Thatcher and several deliberate policies. Benn (my emphasis): “So privatization is a deliberate policy, along with the destruction of local democracy and the destruction of the trade unions to restore power back to to where it was.”

Benn also mentions the role of crushing personal debt in the Thatcher de-democratization of her society: Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Dead-End of Corbynismo

Posted by hkarner - 1. Oktober 2015

Photo of Andrés Velasco

Andrés Velasco

Andrés Velasco, a former presidential candidate and finance minister of Chile, is Professor of Professional Practice in International Development at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He has taught at Harvard University and New York University, and is the author of numerous studies on international economics and development.

SEP 30, 2015, Project Syndicate

SANTIAGO – Latin America has a new export: populist backlash. It first landed on the warm and receptive shores of the Mediterranean, nurturing support for Greece’s Syriza and Spain’s Podemos. Now it has reached the United Kingdom.

Corbynismo, the ideology of the long-marginalized British MP Jeremy Corbyn – who admired Venezuela’s late president, Hugo Chávez, thinks Vladimir Putin was justified in invading Ukraine, and now heads Britain’s venerable Labour Party – sounds familiar to anyone acquainted with Latin America. It calls for monetary financing of fiscal deficits (now called “people’s quantitative easing”), nationalization of industry (beginning with the railroads), and an end to competition and the private provision of public services. This is the stuff that former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his supporters thought – wrongly, it seems – they had consigned to the dustbin of history.

Of course, this new populism (Hillary Clinton’s Democratic rival Bernie Sanders is also a card-carrying member) has much fodder. As Martin Wolf has emphasized, the 2008-2009 financial crisis made voters understandably angry at “greedy plutocrats and their lackeys in politics and media.” Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman (who sometimes sounds like a Corbynista, but isn’t one) and Wolfgang Munchau stress that Europe’s moderate left lost popular support by being too ready to embrace the extreme version of fiscal austerity demanded by Germany and its orthodox allies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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