Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Britain’

Steve Bannon: ‚Now is the moment‘ for Boris Johnson to challenge May for PM

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juli 2018

Date: 15-07-2018
Source: The Guardian

Boris Johnson leaves his central London residence on Wednesday.

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon believes now is the time for Boris Johnson to challenge British prime minister Theresa May for her job, the Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday.

Bannon’s remarks come shortly after Donald Trump, in an interview with the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun newspaper published hours before he was due to meet May, directly criticised May’s Brexit strategy and heaped praise on Johnson, saying he “would be a great prime minister”.

Johnson, who led the main Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, resigned as foreign secretary on Monday over May’s strategy which he said was killing the “Brexit dream”.

Bannon was Trump’s 2016 campaign chair and senior White House strategist before leaving the administration last year. His standing in Trump’s orbit was damaged by the publication of a book about the Trump White House by the author Michael Wolff but he has since positioned himself again as a leading voice on the US far right.

He was quoted by the Telegraph as saying: “Theresa May has got a lot of great qualities – I am not sure if it is the right leader at the right time.”
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The special relationship once enriched Britain’s politics. No longer

Posted by hkarner - 8. Juli 2018

Date: 05-07-2018
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

America has become a source of bad ideas, polarisation and parochialism

MOST members of the British political elite are citizens of two countries—their own and the United States. They follow American elections with obsessive zeal. They gorge on fat biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Alexander Hamilton. They scheme to get their children places at Harvard and internships in Congress. The dirty secret of the Brexit debate is that most British politicians are not so much hostile to the European Union as bored by it. America is where their heart lies.

For much of the past 40 years this love affair has served Britain well. It has strengthened the forces of reform and regeneration, enlivened policy discussions and put the kibosh on little Englandism. Thanks in part to its close relationship with America, Britain has been able to revive the position it seized in the 19th century in the slipstream of liberal thought.

The first example of this was Thatcherism. American thinkers such as Milton Friedman and George Stigler provided Margaret Thatcher with the academic firepower she needed to tackle overmighty trade unions, public-sector interest groups and unproductive state companies. Thatcher’s close relationship with Ronald Reagan allowed her to play a disproportionate role in the greatest drama of her time—the collapse of Soviet communism—and curbed her parochialism. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Nationalism Will Go Bankrupt

Posted by hkarner - 21. Juni 2018

Anatole Kaletsky is Chief Economist and Co-Chairman of Gavekal Dragonomics. A former columnist at the Times of London, the International New York Times and the Financial Times, he is the author of Capitalism 4.0, The Birth of a New Economy, which anticipated many of the post-crisis transformations of the global economy. His 1985 book, Costs of Default, became an influential primer for Latin American and Asian governments negotiating debt defaults and restructurings with banks and the IMF.

The opposite of populist nationalism is not globalist elitism; it is economic realism. And in the end, countries such as Britain, the United States, and now Italy will learn the hard way that reality always eventually wins.

ROME – Nationalism versus globalism, not populism versus elitism, appears to be this decade’s defining political conflict. Almost wherever we look – at the United States or Italy or Germany or Britain, not to mention China, Russia, and India – an upsurge of national feeling has become the main driving force of political events.

By contrast, the supposed rebellion of “common people” against elites has not been much in evidence. Billionaires have taken over US politics under President Donald Trump; unelected professors run the “populist” Italian government; and all over the world, taxes have been slashed on the ever-rising incomes of financiers, technologists, and corporate managers. Meanwhile, ordinary workers have resigned themselves to the reality that high-quality housing, education, and even health care are hopelessly beyond their reach. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Roman Abramovich’s visa woes signal a shift in British policy on Russia

Posted by hkarner - 28. Mai 2018

Date: 24-05-2018
Source: The Economist

Vladimir Putin has long blurred the line between private and state interests. Now, so is the West

FIFTEEN years ago Britons searched the internet and learned to (mis)pronounce the name of an exotic Russian who had just bought an English institution, Chelsea football club. “He is Roman Abramovich, the major shareholder of Sibneft, one of the largest oil companies in Russia…one of his closest friends is Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia,” the Daily Mail told its readers. Over the next few years the papers fell in love with “Red Rom”, as the Sun dubbed him, who poured money into Chelsea. His marriages, divorces, yachts and parties made excellent copy. He became a celebrity—the most famous Russian oligarch in London.

This week Mr Abramovich made headlines again, for his absence from Chelsea’s cup-final tie with Manchester United. Chelsea won that match. But Mr Abramovich may lose a different game. His British visa expired last month and has not been renewed, putting his London mansion and football club out of reach. It is unlikely to be a glitch. As one of Britain’s richest domiciles, his case would probably have been considered by the home secretary. Rules introduced in 2015 require new checks. He has been asked for information about the source of his wealth and about his character. If the Home Office finds his answers unsatisfactory, his entry may be declined.

The source of Mr Abramovich’s wealth has not changed since his arrival in Britain, and nor has his character. He was one of the most influential Russians in the late 1990s, who assisted Mr Putin’s rise and benefited from it. What has changed is the relationship between Russia and Britain. Russia’s apparent use in March of a military-grade nerve agent against Sergei Skripal, a former double-agent living in Britain, tipped that relationship into open confrontation. As part of Britain’s counter-offensive, Theresa May has put together an international coalition against Russia and pledged to crack down on Russian money that is used to harm Britain and its allies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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John Weeks – Same old same old…Tory austerity

Posted by hkarner - 17. Mai 2018

The British economy is not doing well in any sense. Many UK citizens lead an existential battle of survival. All this has been caused by austerity, which was a miracle solution to solve all economic problems, much as the free market before it. John Weeks analyses the destructive process in an article, despite its many charts, is surprisingly simple to follow. So it you wish to understand the devastating effects of austerity this is a very straightforward explanation.

John Weeks is Professor Emeritus at SOAS, University of London, and associate of Prime Economics

Severe as it has been for the welfare of the British people, eight years of so-called austerity under three Conservative governments are but the most recent manifestation of Tory assaults on public services.  Since Margaret Thatcher became prime minister almost forty years ago, contracting the public sector has been a constant theme across Tory governments.

Chart 1 shows total pubic spending as share of GDP over four decades, 1980-2017.  In the first three years of the Thatcher government the share of public spending in GDP rose.  This unexpected rise resulted not from an expenditure increase, but from contraction of GDP, a severe recession consciously provoked by then-chancellor Geoffrey Howe with the putative purpose of reducing inflation.  The share of public spending declined continuously for the rest of the decade, falling from 42.8% in 1979, in the last year of the Labour government, to less than 35% in 1989 (Thatcher’s last full year in power).

By comparison the years of the Major government were relatively benign for public spending, though continuously below the 38 year average and falling after 1992.  The return of a Labour government briefly coincided with further decline, to 35% in 2000 from 37% when the Major government staggered to its unlamented end in a near electoral wide-out.  The decline at the end of the 1990s represented the reverse causality of the early 1980s.  A four year average growth rate of 3.5% resulted in GDP expanding faster than public expenditure.  During the last of the Blair years, 2000-2007, the public expenditure share in GDP rose almost continuously, to well above the period average.  In 2007 just before the global financial crash public spending relatively to GDP had returned to the four decade average of 39.7%. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Financial inclusion in the rich world

Posted by hkarner - 4. Mai 2018

Date: 03-05-2018
Source: The Economist

Tech and data offer hope of more financial inclusion in developed countries, too

HACKNEY IN NORTH-EAST London prides itself on being one of the capital’s most ethnically diverse boroughs. The council identifies only 36% of the population as “white British”. Dalston Junction, a now-trendy part of the borough, buzzes with a down-at-heel sort of cosmopolitanism: a Caribbean bakery; the Halal Dixy Chicken shop; the Afro World wig-and-extensions parlour; dozens of outlets for Lycamobile (“call the world for less”) and for money-transfer firms.

It is also diverse in wealth. Nearby gentrification is sprouting in a few trendy coffee bars and a sleek creperie. But Hackney is also, on a measure of “multiple deprivation”, the 11th most deprived of more than 400 local-authority areas in Britain. Dalston has more than the usual number of charity-run second-hand shops and at least four pawnbrokers.

Competing with this last group is a branch of Oakam, a British lender set up in 2006. It advertises itself as an “alternative to doorstep lenders”, the traditional financiers for those beneath the bar set by mainstream banks. Originally aimed at recent immigrants, it extended its reach to the rest of those “lacking access to basic financial services”—a group it puts at 12m across Britain. A report published in March 2017 by a House of Lords committee estimated that 1.7m adult British residents have no bank account; 40% of the working-age population have less than £100 ($140) in cash savings; and 31% show signs of financial distress. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Ann Pettifor – The Bank of England should not raise rates: here’s why

Posted by hkarner - 24. April 2018

Thanks to M.R.

Central Banks have discovered that they have little idea of what is occuring in the economies they are supposed to be guiding. Using economic models that do not function makes it almost impossible to guride their economies.

Ann Pettifor – Economist, director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME) –  Author of “Just Money – How Society Can Break the Despotic Power of Finance”

Cross-posted from Prime Economics

This week a friend casually explained that he and his wife considered having a second child. But having recently moved into a new house, they were having to fork out a large share of their income on mortgage interest payments. Hearing talk of potential rate rises had therefore persuaded them not to risk another pregnancy.

Such are the life-changing impacts of decisions (or non-decisions) made by a group of men (and one woman) on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England.

That morning the BBC had asked me to participate the next day in their 6.15 a.m. Business slot on Radio 4’s Today programme. The reason, the producer explained, was my known opposition to further Bank Rate rises. As I prepared to make the case that evening, Chris Giles of the FT tweeted that Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, had flip-flopped on the question of a rate rise. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Coordination on Syria Strikes Belies Simmering Tensions

Posted by hkarner - 16. April 2018

Date: 15-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Assault involved careful planning between the U.S., France and the U.K. despite divisions over other issues

The Trump administration’s close coordination with France and the U.K. to plan the strikes on the Syrian regime underscores an alignment between the U.S. and its European allies despite deep divisions over other issues.

The three countries launched airstrikes late Friday against Syrian regime targets in retaliation for a suspected chemical-weapons attack near the capital, Damascus, a week ago that killed at least 43 civilians and injured hundreds more.

The move was aimed at crippling President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical-weapons arsenal, targeting a research center and two production sites. The strikes also targeted a former missile base 15 miles west of the Syrian city of Homs.

U.S. and U.K. submarines armed with missiles moved within strike range of Syria, while a U.S. destroyer and a French frigate were in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Three more American cruisers and destroyers are deployed in the Middle East.

French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump emphasized that the strikes on Syrian targets were designed not to escalate tensions with Russia.

The assault capped a week of careful planning between the U.S., French and British militaries, despite tensions that have sowed divisions between the allies in recent months.

French President Emmanuel Macron has slammed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, pledged to push Europe to retaliate over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, and staunchly defended the Iranian nuclear deal against U.S. criticism.

Relations between the U.S. and Britain were tested when Mr. Trump called off a planned trip to London earlier this year to attend the official opening of the new U.S. Embassy in London. And in November last year, Prime Minister Theresa May criticized Mr. Trump when he retweeted messages from a British far-right group.

Further, Britain and France are on opposing sides over Brexit, with Mrs. May’s government seeking a clean break from the European Union and Mr. Macron having pursued a deeper union since his election victory last year. With two-year negotiations just past the midway point, critical issues over the U.K.’s divorce remain unsolved.

Mr. Trump was full of praise for the U.S.’s allies on Saturday, tweeting: “Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result.”

At a press conference in Downing Street, Mrs. May said the strikes were aimed at degrading Mr. Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons to attack his own people. A full assessment of the strikes is ongoing, but Mrs. May said the U.K. and its allies are confident they were successful.

“I believe that this action was necessary. I believe it was the right thing for us to do,” Mrs. May said. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Britain’s era of abysmal productivity growth could be at an end

Posted by hkarner - 13. April 2018

Date: 12-04-2018
Source: The Economist

The second half of 2017 saw the strongest productivity performance in over a decade

A FEW years ago the traffic lights around Trafalgar Square in London had a makeover. In place of the usual green man, which flashes when it is safe to cross the road, some lights had an image fitted of a same-sex couple holding hands. Timed to coincide with a gay-pride parade, the change was meant to symbolise London’s cosmopolitanism. But some economists joked that it was a symbol of something quite different. Where once a single worker was able to shepherd pedestrians across the road, two are now required. What better metaphor for Britain’s woeful labour-productivity growth?

It is little wonder that economists see weak productivity wherever they look. Britain has had a decade of barely any growth in the amount of output per hour of work (see chart). In the long term, productivity determines how much workers get paid. Stagnation over the past decade has thereby left Britons’ pay packets some 20% smaller than they would otherwise have been. It has also pressed down on the government’s tax take, ensuring that fiscal austerity has lasted longer than it otherwise might have. It is no stretch to say that weak productivity is Britain’s biggest economic problem—bigger, even, than the prospect of Brexit.

Lately, however, things have been looking better. Since 2016 productivity growth has been moving in the right direction. And in the second half of 2017, the latest period for which figures are available, output per hour grew by 1.7%, marking the country’s strongest performance in more than a decade. Are British workers shaping up at last? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What about next time?

Posted by hkarner - 25. März 2018

Date: 23-03-2018
Source: The Economist

Britain pulls off a diplomatic coup against Russia at the EU
After Brexit, it will be a lot harder

ONE question confronting Britain and the European Union is how to maintain foreign-policy and security co-operation after Brexit. Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, often notes that failure to find agreement would harm the security interests of both sides. On March 22nd that observation found a pointed form of expression at an EU summit in Brussels, following the recent nerve-agent attack on a Russian émigré and his daughter in Salisbury. After some agile British diplomacy the EU’s 28 leaders issued a joint statement declaring that the only plausible explanation for the attack was that Russia was responsible for it.

This language, tougher than Mrs May had dared to hope, clears the way for further collective EU action, including on beefing up defensive instruments against Russian hybrid warfare, later this year. Nor was the European response limited to words. The EU’s ambassador to Russia has been temporarily withdrawn to Brussels, and on March 26th several countries, possibly including France and Germany, are expected to announce that they are following the British example and expelling Russian diplomats. Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, reportedly asked her fellow leaders to state which of them would agree to do so. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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