Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Economist’

The golden age of the Western corporation may be coming to an end

Posted by hkarner - 20. September 2015

Date: 19-09-2015
Source: The Economist: Schumpeter
Subject: Death and transfiguration

EDWARD GIBBON, the great English historian, begins his “Decline and Fall” with a glowing portrait of the Roman Empire in the age of Augustus. The Empire “comprehended the fairest part of the earth”. Rome’s enemies were kept at bay by “ancient renown and disciplined valour”. Citizens “enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury”. Alas, this happy state of affairs was not to last: the Empire already contained the seeds of its own destruction. Gibbon soon changed gear from celebrating triumphs to chronicling disasters.

Perhaps the history of the Western corporation will one day be written in much the same vein. Today’s corporate empires comprehend every corner of the earth. They battle their rivals with legions of highly trained managers. They keep local politicians in line with a promise of an investment here or a job as a consultant there. The biggest companies enjoy resources that have seldom been equalled; Apple, for instance, is sitting on a cash pile of more than $200 billion. And they provide their senior managers and leading investors with “wealth and luxury” that would have impressed even the most jaundiced Roman.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Artificial intelligence in medicine: Now there’s an app for that

Posted by hkarner - 19. September 2015

Date: 17-09-2015
Source: The Economist

Computers can recognise a complication of diabetes that can lead to blindness

ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) can sometimes be put to rather whimsical uses. In 2012 Google announced that one of its computers, after watching thousands of hours of YouTube videos, had trained itself to identify cats. Earlier this year a secretive AI firm called DeepMind, bought by Google in 2014, reported in Nature that it had managed to train a computer to play a series of classic video games, often better than a human could, using nothing more than the games’ on-screen graphics.

But the point of such diversions is to illustrate that, increasingly, computers possess the pattern-recognition skills—identifying faces, interpreting pictures, listening to speech and the like—that were long thought to be the preserve of humans. Researchers, from startups to giant corporations, are now planning to put AI to work to solve more serious problems. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Only an EU-wide agreement on asylum can save passport-free travel in Europe

Posted by hkarner - 18. September 2015

Date: 17-09-2015
Source: The Economist
Subject: Europe’s migrant crisis: Shooting Schengen

SchengenWHAT happens at Europe’s borders often telegraphs momentous change. The Soviet blockade of Berlin in 1948 foreshadowed the cold war. The scrapping of a Hungarian fence on the frontier with Austria in May 1989 doomed Soviet rule in eastern Europe months before protests toppled its leaders. Now the reimposition of some border controls by Germany and Austria, to stanch the flow of refugees and migrants, is the harbinger of something dramatic: the erosion and possible demise of the Schengen free-travel area, one of the European Union’s most striking achievements.

For the past two decades anyone in the 26 European countries of the Schengen area, including some outside the EU (but excluding Britain and Ireland), could travel within this zone without being troubled by customs or passport controls. Named after the town in Luxembourg where the agreement was signed, Schengen makes trade and travel easier, and is a tangible manifestation of the EU’s “ever closer union”. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What slowing trade growth means for the world economy

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2015

Date: 16-09-2015
Source: The Economist

THE global economy has stumbled from one pothole to the next in 2015. America’s economy slowed to a crawl during an icy first quarter. Then fears of a Greek exit from the euro area worried markets. Now attention has turned to China, where the government is fumbling to contain a stockmarket rout and prevent a hard landing. In the background another ominous trend has been developing: world trade shrank on a quarterly basis in both the first and second quarter of this year: the worst performance since the height of the financial crisis. But how significant is a decline in trade for the global economy?

Growth in world trade is generally a little faster than growth in global GDP. In the 1990s the former accelerated quickly relative to the latter. An era of what some have called “hyperglobalisation” began, driven forward by a number of trends: liberalisation in China and the former Soviet Union, a reduction in trade barriers and the creation of the World Trade Organisation, and the expansion of global supply chains facilitated by progress in information technology. But the faster pace of growth in trade has not been sustained. Since the global financial crisis, trade has grown only fractionally faster than GDP. Both cyclical and structural factors are contributing to a slowdown. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Ökonomen rechnen mit Schuldenschnitt für Griechenland

Posted by hkarner - 16. September 2015


Die meisten Ökonomen gehen davon aus, dass der Grexit vom Tisch ist – und dass Griechenland einen Schuldenschnitt erhalten wird. Dies könnte darauf hindeuten, dass hinter den Kulissen bereits an jenem Konzept gearbeitet wird, das Angela Merkel und Wolfgang Schäuble bis vor kurzem noch kategorisch ausgeschlossen hatte.

Greece Euro cc

Bloomberg hat 31 Ökonomen zur Griechenland-Krise befragt. 94 Prozent der Befragten meinen, dass das Land einen Schuldenschnitt erhalten wird. Das Schuldenvolumen des Landes beläuft sich auf 317 Milliarden Euro. Nach Angaben des griechischen Finanzministeriums werden die Gespräche über einen Schuldenschnitt im Oktober beginnen. Der Volkswirt bei Vontobel Asset Management AG in Zürich, Ralf Weidenmann, rechnet hingegen mit Hilfen in Form von niedrigeren Zinssatz und einer Verlängerung der Zahlungsfristen.

Doch Ende Juli hatten die von Bloomberg befragten Ökonomen noch eine weitaus pessimistischere Sicht auf Griechenland. 71 Prozent der befragten 31 Ökonomen waren der Ansicht, dass das Krisenland bis Ende 2016 die Euro-Zone verlassen wird. Einen Schuldenschnitt schlossen die Ökonomen kategorisch aus. Die Troika hatte Deutschland bereits im Juli auf einen Schuldenschnitt für Griechenland vorbereitet. Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel ist vorläufig nur unter bestimmten Bedingungen zu einem solchen Schritt bereit, nachdem sie Verluste für die deutschen Steuerzahler zuvor für inakzeptabel erklärt hatte.


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Economists vs. Economics

Posted by hkarner - 10. September 2015

Date: 10-09-2015
Source: Project Syndicate


Dani Rodrik is Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth and, most recently, The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy.

CAMBRIDGE – Ever since the late nineteenth century, when economics, increasingly embracing mathematics and statistics, developed scientific pretensions, its practitioners have been accused of a variety of sins. The charges – including hubris, neglect of social goals beyond incomes, excessive attention to formal techniques, and failure to predict major economic developments such as financial crises – have usually come from outsiders, or from a heterodox fringe. But lately it seems that even the field’s leaders are unhappy.

Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate who also writes a newspaper column, has made a habit of slamming the latest generation of models in macroeconomics for neglecting old-fashioned Keynesian truths. Paul Romer, one of the originators of new growth theory, has accused some leading names, including the Nobel laureate Robert Lucas, of what he calls “mathiness” – using math to obfuscate rather than clarify. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How many migrants to Europe are refugees?

Posted by hkarner - 9. September 2015

Date: 08-09-2015
Source: The Economist

VIKTOR ORBÁN, Hungary’s prime minister, says the “overwhelming majority” of migrants in Europe are not refugees but are merely seeking a better life. Robert Fico, his Slovak counterpart, says up to 95% are economic migrants. The distinction matters, for under the 1951 Refugee Convention and a string of EU laws, European countries must offer refuge or other types of protection to asylum-seekers who can demonstrate that they are fleeing war or persecution. They are under no such obligation to those looking to improve their prospects, even if they have left behind lives of destitution. So if Messrs Orbán and Fico are right, Europe’s migration crisis amounts largely to a problem of border management and repatriation; not relocation, integration and the rest of it. Are they?
Asylum recognition EU
Let’s look at the numbers. According to the EU, in the first quarter of 2015, there were seven countries whose nationals obtained a “rate of recognition”—some form of protection in an EU country—over 50% (see chart). Put crudely, citizens of these seven countries obtained protection in the EU over half the time they applied.

How many of these people are reaching Europe? The UNHCR says that Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq account for nine in ten of the quarter-million-odd migrants detected arriving in Greece this year. Citizens of Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan comprise 41% of the 119,500 arrivals in Italy, and another 6% come from Syria. In other words, citizens from countries that usually obtain protection in the EU account for fully 75% of illicit arrivals by sea this year.

Crunch the numbers further and we find that at least 81% of those migrants entering Greece can expect to receive refugee status or some other form of protection in the EU. The figure for those entering Italy, who are a far more diverse bunch, is 46%. Many Nigerians, Bangladeshis and Gambians, among others, fail to obtain protection after crossing the Mediterranean (see chart 2). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Weltwirtschaft: Warten auf den nächsten Krisenschub

Posted by hkarner - 8. September 2015

07.09.2015 | 18:19 | Stephan Schulmeister (Die Presse)090428_wir_schulmeister_fr

Gastkommentar. Weltweit fallen die Aktienwerte und mit ihnen auch die Rohstoffpreise. Anleihekurse und Immobilienpreise werden folgen.

Die Realwirtschaft hat sich vom Schock der Finanzkrise 2008 bis heute nicht erholt, doch die Aktienkurse begannen schon im März 2009 wieder zu boomen und stiegen in den Industrieländern bis vor Kurzem auf das Dreifache. In der Volksrepublik China setzte der Boom erst Mitte 2014 ein, dafür aber in historisch einmaliger Rasanz. Nun fallen die Aktienwerte weltweit und mit ihnen die Rohstoffpreise – Anleihekurse und Immobilienpreise werden folgen. Ein neuer Krisenschub bahnt sich an.

Im Nachhinein wird emsig rationalisiert: Als die Aktienkurse nach 2000 um bis zu 70 Prozent einbrachen, war halt die „Internet-Bubble“ geplatzt; als sich dies 2008 wiederholte, hatten sich halt ein paar Banken verspekuliert; als sich die Nahrungsmittelpreise vor der Finanzkrise verdreifachten, hatten die Inder halt mehr Reis gegessen; als sich der Erdölpreis zur gleichen Zeit verfünffachte, hat halt der Verbrauch der Chinesen zugenommen. Kurz: Die Finanzmärkte spüren den „wahren“ Gleichgewichtspreis auf, der von den „Fundamentalfaktoren“ bestimmt wird („price discovery process“), Spekulation ist daher ein Segen für die Realwirtschaft – das hatte Nobelpreisträger Milton Friedman doch schon 1953 bewiesen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Lasering the fuel

Posted by hkarner - 4. September 2015

Date: 03-09-2015
Source: The Economist

Another way to enrich uranium may impair efforts to detect secret nuclear programmes

LaseringTRYING to find facilities that conceal uranium enrichment is hindered by the vast number of buildings worldwide. It has at least been possible to narrow the search down to big structures. Using spinning gas centrifuges to enrich fuel for nuclear bombs requires a structure the size of a department store, and enough electricity for some 10,000 homes. An alternative method being developed would make the search far more difficult. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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On refugees, Germany’s chancellor is brave, decisive and right

Posted by hkarner - 4. September 2015

Date: 03-09-2015
Source: The Economist
Subject: Europe’s migrant crisis: Merkel the bold

Merkel cc 3ANGELA MERKEL may be the most powerful politician in Europe, but she has rarely shown much inclination for bold leadership. Both in domestic politics and, especially, during the euro crisis, the German chancellor’s style has been one of cautious incrementalism. She has eschewed sweeping visions, put off decisions whenever possible and usually reflected, rather than shaped, public opinion. The European Union has paid a heavy price for her small-bore instincts, not least because they made the euro-zone crisis deeper and more protracted than it needed to be.

Against that background, Mrs Merkel’s approach to Europe’s migrant crisis is remarkable. As throngs of Africans and Arabs turn Italian and Greek islands, and eastern European railway stations, into refugee camps (and are found dead in Austrian lorries), the chancellor has taken a brave stand. She has denounced xenophobes, signalled Germany’s readiness to take more Syrian refugees and set out a European solution to a politically explosive problem. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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