Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Economist’

A prescription for the future: How hospitals could be rebuilt, better than before

Posted by hkarner - 7. April 2017

Date: 07-04-2017
Source: The Economist

Technology could revolutionise the way they work

IN A nondescript part of Cleveland, in a room known as the bunker, a doctor, nurses and medical technicians gather to keep watch over 150 patients in special-care units and intensive-care beds. Their patients are scattered around the region, in clinics that have no specialists covering the night shift. On a wall of beeping screens the bunker team members track their charges’ vital signs. They can zoom in on any patient via a camera at the foot of each bed. “These here are PVCs [premature ventricular contractions]; they’re bad things,” says Jim Goldstein, a cardiac technician, pointing to a graph of a patient’s heartbeat. The PVCs are getting worse, warns a flashing light. It’s time to alert a nurse on the ground.

Health-care providers such as the Cleveland Clinic, the big American hospital group that runs this remote intensive-care unit (ICU), are rethinking the way hospitals work. Today, hospitals are where patients go for consultations with specialists, and where specialists, with the help of medical technicians and pricey machinery, diagnose their ills. They are also the main setting for surgery and medical interventions such as chemotherapy; and where sick people go for monitoring and care. But high-speed internet, remote-monitoring technology and the crunching of vast amounts of data are about to change all that. In the coming years a big chunk of those activities—and nearly all the monitoring and care—could move elsewhere. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The world has made great progress in eradicating extreme poverty

Posted by hkarner - 3. April 2017

Date: 01-04-2017
Source: The Economist

But the going will be much harder from now on

TO PEOPLE who believe that the world used to be a better place, and especially to those who argue that globalisation has done more economic harm than good, there is a simple, powerful riposte: chart 1, below. In 1981 some 42% of the world’s population were extremely poor, according to the World Bank. They were not just poorer than a large majority of their compatriots, as many rich countries define poverty among their own citizens today, but absolutely destitute. At best, they had barely enough money to eat and pay for necessities like clothes. At worst, they starved.

Since then the number of people in absolute poverty has fallen by about 1bn and the number of non-poor people has gone up by roughly 4bn. By 2013, the most recent year for which reliable data exist, just 10.7% of the world’s population was poor (the modern yardstick for destitution is that a person consumes less than $1.90 a day at 2011 purchasing-power parity). Poverty has almost certainly retreated further since 2013: the World Bank’s finger-in-the-wind estimate for 2016 is 9.1%. Homi Kharas of the Brookings Institution, a think-tank, calculates that someone escapes extreme poverty every 1.2 seconds. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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France’s presidential race is a clash of worldviews

Posted by hkarner - 3. April 2017

Date: 01-04-2017
Source: The Economist

Marine Le Pen’s nationalism meets the unrepentant globalism of Emmanuel
Macron

Two against the EU

WHAT did Marine Le Pen, the head of France’s National Front, expect to gain by visiting Moscow on March 24th? Her core supporters relished seeing her with Vladimir Putin, a strong woman standing next to a strongman. Ms Le Pen came away claiming that the world now belongs to nationalist populists such as Mr Putin, Donald Trump, India’s Narendra Modi and, implicitly, herself. Interestingly, the visit did not seem aimed at the usual goal of candidates who go abroad: reassuring voters that they can safely be trusted with foreign policy.

In French campaigns, gravitas-enhancing trips beyond the Hexagone (as mainland France is known) are especially popular with candidates who have little experience of governing. This year Ms Le Pen has been to America (where she was seen sipping coffee in Trump Tower in New York), Germany, Lebanon and Chad. Emmanuel Macron, the young centrist who is tied with her for first place in the polls, has been to Algeria, Britain, Germany, Jordan and Lebanon, in part to reach out to expat voters and donors. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tortoise v hare: Is China challenging the United States for global leadership?

Posted by hkarner - 2. April 2017

Date: 30-03-2017
Source: The Economist

Xi Jinping talks of a “China solution”, without specifying what that means

AS DONALD TRUMP prepares to welcome Xi Jinping next week for the two men’s first face-to-face encounter, both countries are reassessing their place in the world. They are looking in opposite directions: America away from shouldering global responsibilities, China towards it. And they are reappraising their positions in very different ways. Hare-like, the Trump administration is dashing from one policy to the next, sometimes contradicting itself and willing to box any rival it sees. China, tortoise-like, is extending its head cautiously beyond its carapace, taking slow, painstaking steps. Aesop knew how this contest is likely to end.

China’s guiding foreign-policy principle used to be Deng Xiaoping’s admonition in 1992 that the country should “keep a low profile, never take the lead…and make a difference.” This shifted a little in 2010 when officials started to say China should make a difference “actively”. It shifted further in January when Mr Xi went to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and told the assembled throng that China should “guide economic globalisation”. Diplomats in Beijing swap rumours that a first draft of Mr Xi’s speech focused on the domestic economy, an uncontroversial subject that Chinese leaders usually like to talk about abroad. Mr Xi is said to have rejected this version, and brought in foreign consultants to write one dwelling more on China’s view of the world. Whether this story is true or not, the speech was strikingly international in tone and subject matter. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Britain’s brutal encounter with reality

Posted by hkarner - 1. April 2017

Date: 30-03-2017
Source: The Economist

Time to be honest about the trade-offs ahead

NINE tumultuous months after Britons voted to leave the European Union, the real Brexit process is at last under way. Theresa May’s dispatch of a letter to the European Council on March 29th, invoking Article 50 of the EU treaty, marked the point at which Britain’s withdrawal from the union became all but inevitable. For half the country’s population this was a moment to celebrate; for the other half, including this newspaper, it marked a bleak day. The future of both camps—and of the EU itself—now depends on what Mrs May does next.

The negotiations are sure to be difficult. Time is short, since Article 50 comes with a two-year deadline. The task of unwinding Britain’s membership of the club is fearsomely complex. Neither side is well prepared. In Britain, where Brexit increasingly resembles a faith-based initiative, voters have been given wildly unrealistic expectations of the Utopia ahead. Their first contact with the reality of losing preferential access to their main market will be traumatic. Unless Mrs May can persuade the Brexiteers on her own side that they must accept concessions, Britain may end up flouncing out of Europe without any deal at all. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Trump presidency is in a hole

Posted by hkarner - 1. April 2017

 „The first rule of the hole: When you are in one, STOP DIGGING!“ (hfk)

Date: 30-03-2017
Source: The Economist

And that is bad for America—and the world

DONALD TRUMP won the White House on the promise that government is easy. Unlike his Democratic opponent, whose career had been devoted to politics, Mr Trump stood as a businessman who could Get Things Done. Enough voters decided that boasting, mocking, lying and grabbing women were secondary. Some Trump fans even saw them as the credentials of an authentic, swamp-draining saviour.

After 70 days in office, however, Mr Trump is stuck in the sand. A health-care bill promised as one of his “first acts” suffered a humiliating collapse in the—Republican-controlled—Congress. His repeated attempts to draft curbs on travel to America from some Muslim countries are being blocked by the courts. And suspicions that his campaign collaborated with Russia have cost him his national security adviser and look likely to dog his administration. Voters are not impressed. No other president so early in his first term has suffered such low approval ratings.

It is tempting to feel relief that the Trump presidency is a mess. For those who doubt much of his agenda and worry about his lack of respect for institutions, perhaps the best hope is that he accomplishes little. That logic is beguiling, but wrong. After years of gridlock, Washington has work to do. The forthcoming summit with Xi Jinping, China’s president, shows how America is still the indispensable nation. A weak president can be dangerous—picture a trade war, a crisis in the Baltics or conflict on the Korean peninsula. 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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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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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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