Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Economist’

Saving globalisation: The reset button

Posted by hkarner - 1. Oktober 2016

Date: 29-09-2016
Source: The Economist

How to make economic liberalism fairer and more effective

THERE MAY be few better advocates of the benefits to America of an open economy than Pin Ni, boss of Wanxiang America Corporation, part of a private firm based in Hangzhou that his father-in-law started as a bicycle-repair shop. Mr Ni launched the American subsidiary in 1994, suspending his studies at the University of Kentucky. He has been there ever since.

During the car-industry meltdown in 2007-09 the company began buying moribund car-part suppliers and restoring them to health. It pushed its acquisitions to concentrate on their strongest suits, usually the relationship with the car manufacturers and engineering. It helped them to source components more cheaply and to gain a foothold in the Chinese market. Mr Ni is effusive about the prospects for American exporters. America has firms with technology and brands that are coveted around the world, he says. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The world economy: An open and shut case

Posted by hkarner - 30. September 2016

Date: 29-09-2016
Source: The Economist

The consensus in favour of open economies is cracking, says John O’Sullivan. Is globalisation no longer a good thing?

THERE IS NOTHING dark, still less satanic, about the Revolution Mill in Greensboro, North Carolina. The tall yellow-brick chimney stack, with red bricks spelling “Revolution” down its length, was built a few years after the mill was established in 1900. It was a booming time for local enterprise. America’s cotton industry was moving south from New England to take advantage of lower wages. The number of mills in the South more than doubled between 1890 and 1900, to 542. By 1938 Revolution Mill was the world’s largest factory exclusively making flannel, producing 50m yards of cloth a year.

The main mill building still has the springy hardwood floors and original wooden joists installed in its heyday, but no clacking of looms has been heard here for over three decades. The mill ceased production in 1982, an early warning of another revolution on a global scale. The textile industry was starting a fresh migration in search of cheaper labour, this time in Latin America and Asia. Revolution Mill is a monument to an industry that lost out to globalisation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China’s private investors keep their hands in their pockets

Posted by hkarner - 21. September 2016

Date: 20-09-2016
Source: The Economist
Subject: Chinese investment: A sponge wrung dry

ORDERS from on high can shape the Chinese economy. In 2013 Xi Jinping, the president, said cities should be more like sponges, sopping up rainwater for reuse when parched. China is now working on some 30 “sponge cities”. Then in 2014 Mr Xi said the government should encourage businesses to invest in state projects. Since then China has announced plans for thousands of “public-private partnerships” (PPP), including sponge cities. But investors do not seem interested. Sponge cities are struggling to soak up private capital.

This month Guyuan, a city in Ningxia, a north-western region that is dry most of the year, launched China’s first sponge-city PPP. However, as is the case with others that are in the works, the “private” side of the partnership was not all it was cracked up to be. The investor, Beijing Capital, is in fact a government-owned firm. And to make the deal viable, the government pitched in a subsidy worth nearly one-fifth of the 5 billion yuan ($750m) total cost. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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European leaders in Bratislava avoided all the difficult questions

Posted by hkarner - 19. September 2016

Date: 18-09-2016
Source: The Economist

Contentious issues about growth, migration and European defence have been postponed to later meetings

DRIVEN by crisis and recrimination, the European Union has lost its way in recent years. The European Union was in a “critical situation” after Britain’s unprecedented vote in June to leave the club, warned Angela Merkel, the normally sober German chancellor, when she arrived at a European summit in Bratislava on September 16th. By the end of the day the 27 EU leaders—all bar Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, who was not invited—had drawn up a “Bratislava road-map” to give direction to their floundering club. But the way ahead remains as murky as ever.

Divisive issues were left for another day; so were serious policy proposals. Mrs Merkel and Donald Tusk, who presided over yesterday’s meeting, had spent the preceding weeks trying to find common ground among governments for a reboot of the European project. But their soundings revealed more disunion than harmony, so expectations for Bratislava were played down. Mr Tusk’s limited aim was to diagnose common problems and to identify areas of potential co-operation. Most importantly, he sought to produce a show of unity in a club split by many quarrels, particularly over the management of asylum-seekers. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Superstar companies are good at everything, including pushing the boundaries

Posted by hkarner - 18. September 2016

Date: 15-09-2016
Source: The Economist
Subject: Downsides: The dark arts

COMPANIES ARE BY nature competitive. That is mostly to be welcomed, but sometimes their competitive instincts play out in less welcome ways as they engage in some of the darker arts of management. The two most obvious ones are to pay as little tax as is legally possible, and to lobby governments and a variety of other bodies to gain an advantage over rivals. To a greater or lesser extent all companies do this. The big difference is that the superstar companies, being good at everything they do, are also much better than the rest at practising these dark arts and taking them mainstream.

This raises three worries. The first is that they will keep getting better at them, applying the same creative excellence to rule-bending as they do to running their business in general. Second, superstars might use the combination of these and other skills to build up impregnable advantages, giving them growing monopoly power. Third, as their businesses become more mature, they may come to rely increasingly on those dark arts. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The alphabet of success

Posted by hkarner - 18. September 2016

Date: 15-09-2016
Source: The Economist

Superstars need a dazzling range of qualities

GENERAL ELECTRIC, THE product of an alliance between Thomas Edison, America’s greatest inventor, and J.P. Morgan, its greatest banker, was the technology superstar of the early 20th century. Edison’s patents have long since expired and electricity has become a commodity, but GE remains a commercial empire, the only intact survivor of the companies that made up the original Dow Jones index. GE employs 330,000 people in 180 countries, owns $493 billion-worth of assets and earned $117 billion in 2015. It has survived where other technology stocks have faded because it has fully mastered the art of management. Its slogan, “Imagination at work”, could just as easily be “Management at work”. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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British politics: Britain’s one-party state

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2016

Date: 15-09-2016
Source: The Economist

Labour’s implosion leaves Britain without a functioning opposition. That is more dangerous than many realise

CHEERING crowds flock to his rallies. Youngsters embrace him for selfies and hang on his every tweet. Jeremy Corbyn, improbable, crinkly rockstar of the far left, is on course to be re-elected Labour’s leader on September 24th in a landslide vote among the party’s members, hundreds of thousands of whom have joined up in the past year just to back him.

Yet Mr Corbyn’s popularity among Labour’s half-million members and affiliates is not replicated among Britain’s 45m voters, most of whom do not share his desire to overthrow capitalism and unilaterally forsake the country’s nuclear weapons, nor his soft spot for strongmen such as Vladimir Putin and the late Hugo Chávez. The party is polling at its lowest in opposition for 30 years. Among young people, his most sympathetic constituency, Mr Corbyn has an approval rating of -18%. Among the over-65s it is -68%. Labour is on course to lose scores of seats at the next election. And it will not end there. Parties often pick bad candidates—mainstream Republicans recoil at Donald Trump, for instance—but it usually costs them no more than one election. Mr Corbyn, by contrast, is packing Labour with allies and seems more concerned with building a long-term “movement” than winning power. The Conservative government can expect years without being seriously challenged in Westminster. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The rise of the superstars

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2016

Date: 15-09-2016
Source: The Economist

A small group of giant companies—some old, some new—are once again dominating the global economy, says Adrian Wooldridge. Is that a good or a bad thing?

ON AUGUST 31ST 1910 Theodore Roosevelt delivered a fiery speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. The former president celebrated America’s extraordinary new commercial power but also gave warning that America’s industrial economy had been taken over by a handful of corporate giants that were generating unparalleled wealth for a small number of people and exercising growing control over American politics. Roosevelt cautioned that a country founded on the principle of equality of opportunity was in danger of becoming a land of corporate privilege, and pledged to do whatever he could to bring the new giants under control.

Roosevelt’s speech sounds as fresh today as on the day he made it. A small number of giant companies are once again on the march, tightening their grip on global markets, merging with each other to get even bigger, and enjoying vast profits. As a proportion of GDP, American corporate profits are higher than they have been at any time since 1929. Apple, Google, Amazon and their peers dominate today’s economy just as surely as US Steel, Standard Oil and Sears, Roebuck and Company dominated the economy of Roosevelt’s day. Some of these modern giants are long-established stars that have reinvented themselves many times over. Some are brash newcomers from the emerging world. Some are high-tech wizards that are conjuring business empires out of noughts and ones. But all of them have learned how to combine the advantages of size with the virtues of entrepreneurialism. They are pulling ahead of their rivals in one area after another and building up powerful defences against competition, including enormous cash piles equivalent to 10% of GDP in America and as much as 47% in Japan. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The post-truth world: Yes, I’d lie to you

Posted by hkarner - 11. September 2016

Date: 10-09-2016
Source: The Economist

Dishonesty in politics is nothing new; but the manner in which some politicians now lie, and the havoc they may wreak by doing so, are worrying

TrumpWHEN Donald Trump, the Republican presidential hopeful, claimed recently that President Barack Obama “is the founder” of Islamic State and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, the “co-founder”, even some of his supporters were perplexed. Surely he did not mean that literally? Perhaps, suggested Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host, he meant that the Obama administration’s rapid pull-out from Iraq “created the vacuum” that the terrorists then filled?

“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS,” replied Mr Trump. “He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”

Mr Hewitt, who detests Mr Obama and has written a book denouncing Mrs Clinton’s “epic ambition”, was not convinced. “But he’s not sympathetic to them. He hates them. He’s trying to kill them,” he pushed back.

Again, Mr Trump did not give an inch: “I don’t care. He was the founder. The way he got out of Iraq was, that, that was the founding of ISIS, OK?” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europeans see themselves as mouse-sized. They need to man up

Posted by hkarner - 10. September 2016

Date: 08-09-2016
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne
Subject: Unshrinking the continent

LIKE all good B-movies, “The Incredible Shrinking Man” is deeper than it seems. After his body’s growth is sent into reverse by a wayward encounter with a radioactive cloud (yes, this is 1957), Scott Carey, the film’s hero, finds his relationships destroyed and his self-esteem dripping away. Richard Matheson, the screenwriter, said it was a “metaphor for how man’s place in the world was diminishing”. Today he might say the same for the old continent. Beleaguered by crisis and shorn of confidence, Europe seems to be shrinking by the day.

It might seem an odd time for such a claim. This week came news that the euro zone grew by 1.6% in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, and the European Union, lifted by a pre-referendum Britain, by 1.8%. This, as Eurocrats wasted no time pointing out, was a good clip faster than the United States. In most countries budget deficits are under control, and after years of austerity the euro zone is at last enjoying the mildest of fiscal expansions. Outside Italy its banks are in better shape. A pan-EU investment scheme launched, to much scepticism, by the European Commission last year is starting to show results. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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