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Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

WSJ Bias Towards Brussels

Posted by hkarner - 22. August 2019

Date: 21-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board
Subject: Italy’s ‘Hail Matteo’ Pass

If Salvini can win an election, Brussels owes him some running room.


Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini looks on during the debate at the Italian Senate, Rome, Aug. 20.

Italy’s coalition government collapsed Tuesday, and just as well. The awkward entente between the right-wing League and the left-leaning 5 Star Movement has barely functioned for most of its 14 months in power, and if a new election clears the way for one to emerge more firmly—and solely—in control, so much the better.

League leader Matteo Salvini would be the likely winner if there is an election. League’s support has risen to nearly 40% in most opinion polls, from the 18% vote share the party won in last year’s election. This is partly due to the party’s hard line on migration, an issue on which Mr. Salvini has taken a leading role as Interior Minister in the current administration. But his economic chops also played a role in his political ascent. The League has built a reputation as a pro-business party, and Mr. Salvini is pitching a corporate tax-rate cut as a centerpiece of his plan to revive Italy’s fortunes.

That fiscal gambit is at the root of Rome’s recent feuds with the European Union. The accountants in Brussels cling to largely invented economic forecasts to resist Mr. Salvini’s desire to experiment with tax reform. Mr. Salvini’s coalition partners hurt matters with 5 Star’s grandiose promises to expand welfare spending, which is recklessness the EU should discourage.

This wrangling creates uncertainty that markets dislike. Fear of an Italian exit from the eurozone or the EU seems overblown as long as 65% of Italians support eurozone membership and Italians trust the EU more than they trust their national government, according to the most recent Eurobarometer poll. The main threat to political stability and the EU now is that Brussels changes Italians’ minds by thwarting Mr. Salvini’s reform efforts. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Old World and the Middle Kingdom

Posted by hkarner - 21. August 2019

Date: 20-08-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Julianne Smith And Torrey Taussig

Europe Wakes Up to China’s Rise

Europe is beginning to face up to the challenges posed by a rising China. From the political debates roiling European capitals over the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei’s involvement in building 5G mobile networks to the tense EU-China summit earlier this year, recent events have shown that European leaders are growing uneasy in a relationship that until recently both sides saw as immensely beneficial. They worry about the political influence China has gained, especially over the EU’s smaller members, and its growing economic clout and technological prowess. They are starting, tentatively, to push back.

To better promote its interests, Europe should use its economic, political, and diplomatic power to level the economic playing field with China, guard against Chinese political influence, and defend democratic values at home. Yet two things stand in the way of such a strategy. First, Europe remains divided over how seriously to take the Chinese challenge. In contrast to the strategic shifts happening in Berlin, Paris, and the EU capital, in Brussels, the leaders of many smaller states still see only the economic benefits of deeper engagement with China. Second, Europe finds itself caught in the middle of a growing U.S.-Chinese rivalry. It cannot abandon its long-standing ties to the United States (even as it squabbles with the Trump administration over everything from tariffs to defense spending), but it also cannot afford to weaken a trade relationship with China worth well over $1 billion a day. Europe is walking a fine line by nominally resisting China’s predatory trade and investment practices but not issuing any meaningful threats. So far, playing it safe has failed to persuade China to change course.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A League of its own: Italy’s political mess

Posted by hkarner - 21. August 2019

The Economist, 20/8

“Even the crisis is in chaos”, an Italian newspaper recently proclaimed. As Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s prime minister, prepares to address the Senate today, the possible outcomes are legion. Matteo Salvini, leader of the hard-right Northern League, one of two parties in Mr Conte’s coalition, has withdrawn his support (but not his ministers), so the prime minister may resign without waiting for a confidence vote. If one is held, it could go either way: the other party, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), together with the centre-left PD and others could give Mr Conte a majority. Forming a PD-M5S coalition with a common programme, however, would not be easy. Given the parliamentary arithmetic, which he seems to have ignored until too late, Mr Salvini has tried to woo back the M5S. But on Sunday, M5S’s leaders slammed the door, describing him as untrustworthy. An election would suit the buoyant League. The forecast? Unseasonably foggy.

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Europe Must Oppose Trump

Posted by hkarner - 20. August 2019

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, Building the New American Economy, and most recently, A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism.

European leaders should recognize that a significant majority of Americans reject Trump’s malignant narcissism. By opposing Trump and defending the international rule of law, Europeans and Americans together can strengthen world peace and transatlantic amity for generations to come.

NEW YORK – With Donald Trump due to visit Europe again for the G7 summit later this month, European leaders have run out of options for dealing with the US president. They have tried to charm him, persuade him, ignore him, or agree to disagree with him. Yet Trump’s malevolence is bottomless. The only alternative, therefore, is to oppose him.

The most immediate issue is European trade with Iran. This is no small matter. It is a battle that Europe cannot afford to lose.Trump is capable of inflicting great harm without compunction, and is now doing so by economic means and threats of military action. He has invoked emergency economic and financial powers that aim to push Iran and Venezuela to economic collapse. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Ausfälle von Unternehmenskrediten häufen sich in Europa

Posted by hkarner - 19. August 2019

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten | Veröffentlicht: 18.08.19 20:25 Uhr

Die aktuelle Reihe von Ausfällen bei Unternehmenskrediten bedeutet möglicherweise eine Kehrtwende im Markt mit Credit Default Swaps.
Die Galapagos Group, zu der vor allem der knapp 100-jährige Bochumer Hersteller von Wärmetauschern Kelvion gehört, hatte am vergangenen Freitag angekündigt, dass sie einen Teil ihrer Schulden nicht bezahlen kann. Die geplante Schuldenabschreibung in Höhe von 250 Millionen Euro dürfte nun auch Auszahlungen bei sogenannten Credit Default Swaps (CDS) auslösen, wie die Financial Times berichtet.

Wetten gegen Unternehmen mit Credit Default Swaps CDS werden von globalen Investmentbanken gekauft und verkauft. Es handelt sich dabei um Derivate, die wie eine Versicherung gegen einen Zahlungsausfall wirken. Der Käufer zahlt Prämien und erhält eine Pauschale, falls das Unternehmen seine Schulden nicht begleicht.

Entscheidend ist, dass die Credit Default Swaps rein rechtlich nicht als Versicherung eingestuft werden. Daher können Finanzinstitute auch dann mit den CDS handeln, wenn sie gar keine Anleihen der betroffenen Unternehmen besitzen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Loud, obsessive, tribal’: the radicalisation of remain

Posted by hkarner - 18. August 2019

Date: 17-08-2019
Source: The Guardian By Daniel Cohen

They hate Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. They no longer trust the BBC. They love civil servants, legal experts and James O’Brien. And now, consumed by the battle against Brexit, hardcore remainers are no longer the moderates.

On 25 October 2017, a pensioner living in the Netherlands created a new hashtag. Hendrik Klaassens was concerned about the rise of Europe’s far right and wanted to bring campaigners together on Twitter. He settled on #FBPE: “Follow Back Pro EU”. Klaassens didn’t specifically have Britain in mind, but within a few days of his tweet, anti-Brexit Twitter accounts started using the hashtag. Before long, they were adding it to their usernames, so that it would appear whenever they tweeted. And in late November, when Mike Galsworthy, an influential anti-Brexit campaigner, posted a widely shared video on Twitter urging his followers to embrace it, #FBPE really took off. It wasn’t a memorable hashtag, but it didn’t need to be. The people consumed by their resistance to Brexit now had their own way to communicate, to find each other in the crowd. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Eurocrats know Boris Johnson well, making no-deal Brexit more likely

Posted by hkarner - 17. August 2019

Date: 15-08-2019
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

Familiarity breeds contempt

The last time continental Europeans felt they were dealing with an easily readable, straightforward British prime minister was in the late 1990s. Tony Blair charmed his continental colleagues. He wooed the French in their own language, led fellow heads of government on a bike ride through Amsterdam during a Dutch-led summit and made common cause with fellow “third way” social democrats like Gerhard Schröder, Germany’s then chancellor. Set against the backdrop of the “Cool Britannia” popularity of British music and fashion, this all suggested that Britain had finally cast off its conflicted post-imperial garb and was embracing a modern, European identity.

The glow faded when the Iraq war sundered Mr Blair from the French and the Germans. Then came Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May, who were all harder to place. All three made nice at European summits but flirted with the Eurosceptic tabloids at home. Mrs May took office in July 2016 after the country had voted for Brexit. But who was she? She ruled out a second referendum—then considered the most likely outcome in some continental capitals—but did not seem to be “of” the Brexiteers. At times she posed as a Thatcher-style Iron Lady; at others as a sensible Christian democrat. Buffeted by events, she was hard to define and left little lasting impression.

Boris Johnson is a different matter. Unlike his predecessors, Britain’s new prime minister is a familiar personality on the continent. Many in Brussels know him, by reputation or in person, from his time as a reporter there in the 1990s, when he spun highly exaggerated stories about the eu and helped pioneer the outraged Eurosceptic style in the British press. Continentals also know him from the London Olympics in 2012, when his performances as the capital’s buffoonish, zip-wire-riding cheerleader-in-chief caught the attention of the foreign press. Most of all they know him as the villain of the Brexit campaign; the man with a lie about the cost of eu membership on the side of his big red campaign bus who achieved the sort of victory of which nationalist populists on the mainland could only dream. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Warning Signs Point to a Global Slowdown

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2019

Date: 15-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Weakness in Germany, China, puts pressure on record U.S. expansion as recession risks rise; U.S. stocks tumble

Warning signs pointing to a deepening global economic slowdown—and the risk of recession—are flashing more brightly.

Many of the biggest troubles are showing up overseas. But stock and bond markets are signaling that the threat of a downturn is spreading to the U.S., the world’s largest economy, now in its longest expansion on record.

Economic output in Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy, contracted in the second quarter, according to a report Wednesday, while a report on factory output in China, the second-largest economy, came in lower than expected.

“It’s almost like we’re starting to see a textbook version of a pre-recessionary period,” Nicholas Akins, chief executive of Ohio-based American Electric Power Co. , said in an interview Wednesday. The company provides electricity to industrial, commercial and residential customers in 11 states. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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German Economy Contracts as Global Trade Battle Bites

Posted by hkarner - 15. August 2019

Date: 14-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Decline in GDP indicates that Europe’s largest economy has now become a drag on the region

Germany’s economy shrank slightly in the second quarter, rekindling fears of a recession and underscoring how Europe’s industrial core is suffering from the uncertainty caused by the U.S.-China trade dispute.

Economists and the government have cited the tensions between Beijing and Washington and the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union without a negotiated settlement as the main reasons for the cooling of Germany’s export-driven economy.

Analysts said the downturn should be a wake-up call for European policy makers to consider measures to stimulate activity in the region. Berlin, which has generated a budget surplus for the past five years, has been under pressure for months to loosen its strict fiscal policy to energize demand at home and in neighboring countries. The government has resisted any bold move so far, though is planning modest tax cuts and is working on its version of the Green New Deal, to be unveiled this fall. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 14. August 2019

FURCHE-Kolumne 273 Wilfried Stadler

Was für eine unglückliche Fügung: Inmitten sich aufschaukelnder Handels- und Währungskonflikte zwischen den USA und China ist Europa faktisch handlungsunfähig. Der langwierige Komplettaustausch aller Entscheidungsträger nach der Europawahl verbannt uns bis mindestens Ende Oktober auf die Reservebank der Weltpolitik. Was in normalen Zeiten kaum aufgefallen wäre, wird nun zum Glaubwürdigkeits-Problem. Fatalerweise verfestigt sich nämlich der Anschein, dass die Geschichte auch ohne die Mitwirkung von Europas Repräsentanten weitergeschrieben wird.

Getoppt wird dieser Eindruck noch durch die Brexit-Krise. Als sich die Abgeordneten der englischen Austrittspartei am Tag ihrer Angelobung im EU-Parlament beim Erklingen der Europa-Hymne demonstrativ wegdrehten, lieferten sie einen traurigen Beweis für den Grad an Absurdität, den ihr so hitzig verfolgtes Vorhaben  mittlerweile erreicht hat. Über den Ausgang dieses zuletzt von ihm in Eigenregie übernommenen Sommertheaters verrät der neue Premier Boris Johnson nur so viel: am 31. Oktober sollen – mit oder ohne Deal – die Zugbrücken hochgehen. Ein englischer Freund und Brexit-Gegner meinte kürzlich sarkastisch, wohl nicht zufällig werde dies der Abend von Halloween sein.

Der Ton, den Johnson dabei – wenn auch meist geistreicher – anstimmt, kopiert das Rollen-Modell des amerikanischen Präsidenten. Dieser macht bekanntlich aus seiner Verachtung gegenüber gemeinschaftlichen Zielsetzungen und übergeordneten Wertvorstellungen kein Hehl. Auf seinen Streifzügen durch den diplomatischen Porzellanladen bereitet es ihm offensichtliches Vergnügen, auf vielen der mühsam errungenen Kostbarkeiten des Multilateralismus herum zu trampeln – vom Boykott des Pariser Klimaabkommen bis zur Aufhebung des vor dreißig Jahren zustande gekommenen Atomwaffensperrvertrages. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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