Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Guardian’

With Trump we’ve reached the ‚mad emperor‘ stage, and it’s terrifying to behold

Posted by hkarner - 3. Juni 2020

Date: 02‑06‑2020

Source: The Guardian Richard Wolffe

Trump incites violence from the safety of a bunker, then orders peaceful protesters tear‑gassed for the sake of a surreal photo op

Writing from a Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King Jr famously told his anxious fellow clergymen that his non‑violent protests would force those in power to negotiate for racial justice. “The time is always ripe to do right,” he wrote. 

On an early summer evening, two generations later, Donald Trump walked out of the White House, where he’d been hiding in a bunker. Military police had just fired teargas and flash grenades at peaceful protesters to clear his path, so that he could wave a bible in front of a boarded church.

For Trump, the time is always ripe to throw kerosene on his own dumpster fire.

In the week since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers, Trump has watched and tweeted helplessly as the nation he pretends to lead has reached its breaking point. After decades of supposedly legal police beatings and murders, the protests have swept America’s cities more quickly than even coronavirus.

This is no coincidence of timing. In other crises, in other eras, there have been presidents who understood their most basic duty: to calm the violence and protect the people. In this crisis, however, we have a president who built his entire political career as a gold‑painted tower to incite violence. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Cummings is now a laughing stock. Alas, so is Britain

Posted by hkarner - 31. Mai 2020

Date: 31‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian by William Keegan

The guru of Brexit and the 2019 election has been exposed. But the economic and social damage is well and truly done

Dominic Cummings: digging himself deeper.

My father, who was of Irish extraction but hailed from County Durham, used to say: never kick a man when he is down. After the shambles of Mr Dominic Cummings’s recent excursion to Durham, one might be tempted to make an exception to the rule. But there is no need. The prime minister’s once‑valued adviser has been kicking himself – but not in the colloquial sense of expressing regret for his actions.

Deeper and deeper he dug himself in, as one terminological inexactitude led to another, and the rule‑breaker failed lamentably to justify breaking government lockdown instructions for which he was at least in part responsible.

Now, I have never, to my knowledge, met Mr Cummings. But what amazes me, and almost everyone I know, is how this first‑class clown could have acquired a reputation for having anything resembling a brain. His snivelling appearance before the media in the garden of No 10 was a classic of its kind.

The eye test has made him an international laughing stock; and, while we are on the subject of sight, his supposed foresight in forecasting the outbreak of the plague must be making George Orwell laugh in his grave. In 1984, Big Brother’s team made forecasts once they knew the result. Cummings appears to have tried the same but was found out. The guru can, it seems, be sensationally incompetent. If only he had manifested such incompetence during the referendum campaign and the 2019 general election. In those days he was, alas, far more successful in distorting the truth. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Guardian view on Europe and Covid‑19: time for true solidarity

Posted by hkarner - 28. Mai 2020

Date: 27‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian Editorial

A €500bn recovery fund proposed by Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, to be distributed to the worst‑hit EU countries, could be a breakthrough moment

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron at a joint video conference. ‘Both have recognised that unless the burden of reconstruction is seen to be genuinely shared, there will be existential implications for the future of the EU.’

In 1790, following the American war of independence, Alexander Hamilton proposed that federal government should take on the huge debts incurred during the struggle by individual states. It had long been Hamilton’s view that this move would be a key moment in the forging of a true United States of America. “A national debt,” he had written, “if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing. It will be a powerful cement of our union.” 

Until now, this kind of thinking has never gained a foothold in the European Union. Despite periodic calls for deeper fiscal union, richer EU states have balked at the notion of pooling debt with weaker neighbours. After the crash of 2008, when Greece hovered on the edge of bankruptcy and a sovereign debt crisis threatened to engulf Italy, the EU went no further than the provision of emergency loans and cheap credit. The bailout money came with painful strings attached, as countries were obliged to launch deeply resented austerity programmes in order to manage their growing debt mountain. The alternative – writing off debts in Hamiltonian fashion – was dismissed out of hand by Germany’s finance minister at the time, Wolfgang Schäuble. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China raises US trade tensions with warning of ‘new cold war’

Posted by hkarner - 25. Mai 2020

Date: 25‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian

Foreign minister accuses Washington of damaging relationship with Beijing 

Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister, said the US was ‘pushing our two countries to the brink of a new cold war’.

The prospects of a trade war between China and the western economies ratcheted up on Sunday as Beijing accused the US of pushing relations towards a “new cold war”.

“China has no intention to change, still less replace the United States,” China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said on Sunday in the latest escalation in tensions between the world’s two largest economies. “It’s time for the United States to give up its wishful thinking of changing China and stopping 1.4 billion people in their historic march toward modernisation.”

He said US political attacks on China over the coronavirus and global trade matters “are taking China‑US relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new cold war”. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump, Putin and Bolsonaro have been complacent. Now the pandemic has made them all vulnerable

Posted by hkarner - 19. Mai 2020

Date: 18‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian Simon Tisdall

The world’s strongmen may well end up paying a political price for their cynicism and incompetence

If Boris Johnson is mishandling the pandemic, he is not alone. Falsely claiming everything is under control, dodging responsibility, hiding from public view, exploiting the crisis for political gain, mounting artificial distractions and blaming the media: these are common behaviour patterns exhibited by some of the world’s most powerful – and shifty – leaders.

Will they pay a price for their lethal incompetence and cynicism? It’s possible some will, though it may take a while. The pandemic is changing political calculations around the globe. Leaders who looked invulnerable suddenly appear less so. That in turn could shift the strategic calculus and alter the balance of power between countries in ways both unexpected and permanent.

Donald Trump’s performance is a lesson in how not to handle an emergency. It may become a compulsory case study for future students of crisis management. Trump minimised the threat early on, offered phoney assurances, and failed to make a plan. He has since accused China of deliberately spreading “plague” while weaponising the crisis to smear his Democratic rival, Joe Biden. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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World nuclear arms spending hit $73bn last year – half of it by US

Posted by hkarner - 15. Mai 2020

Date: 14‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is launched during a developmental test on 5 February 2020, at Vandenberg air force base, California.

The world’s nuclear‑armed nations spent a record $73bn on their weapons last year, with the US spending almost as much as the eight other states combined, according to a new report.

The new spending figures, reflecting the highest expenditure on nuclear arms since the height of the cold war, have been estimated by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican), which argues that the coronavirus pandemic underlines the wastefulness of the nuclear arms race. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Elites have failed us. It is time to create a European republic

Posted by hkarner - 14. Mai 2020

Date: 13‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian

After the pandemic, EU citizens must seize the moment to build a democracy of equals who share the same protections

‘Europe today needs a second peaceful revolution after the one of 1989.’ The Berlin Wall comes down.

In 1933, the year of the Nazi takeover, the French writer Julien Benda wrote his Discourse to the European Nation, urging Europeans to come together around their shared universalist values and against the rising monsters of nationalism. As Europe marched towards the murder of its soul and its people, many dared to dream the impossible.

Benda was not alone. The Ventotene manifesto, one of the founding texts of European federalism, was drafted in 1941. And it was against the background of a continent in ruins that Churchill spoke of a “United States of Europe” in 1946. The rebirth of Europe would have been unthinkable if the flame of European unity had not been kept alive throughout the continent’s darkest hour. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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‚Finally, a virus got me‘: Ebola expert on nearly dying of coronavirus

Posted by hkarner - 13. Mai 2020

Date: 13‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian

Peter Piot tells of his brush with death and predicts people will suffer effects of the virus for years

Peter Piot: ‘I’m glad I had corona and not Ebola.’

Peter Piot, the scientist who helped discover the Ebola virus, and the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has told of his brush with death after contracting Covid‑19.

The professor had never previously been seriously ill, but after 40 years studying and leading the global response to infectious diseases including HIV and Aids, he said that “finally, a virus got me”. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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There is a glimmer of hope‘: economists on coronavirus and capitalism

Posted by hkarner - 11. Mai 2020

Date: 10‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian Yanis Varoufakis and David McWilliams

Greece’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and Irish economist David McWilliams on the hope for a global new deal

David McWilliams: I think it is fair to say that capitalism – in the course of this unprecedented crisis – has been suspended. We are not going back to where we were, to business as usual. The state has come back, and this episode will not be forgotten by the electorate. I don’t know where we are going, but one thing seems clear: we are not going back.

Yanis Varoufakis: I like this phrase: capitalism has been suspended. The last time capitalism was suspended in the west was during the second world war, with the advent of the war economy: a command economy that fixed prices. The war economy marked the transcendence of the standard capitalist model.

But what we see now is not so much the suspension of capitalism. The rules of capitalism may have been suspended – all those sacrosanct policies are gone, the neat separation of fiscal and monetary policy is gone, the idea that public debt is a bad thing is gone. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump is handling coronavirus so badly, he almost makes Johnson look good

Posted by hkarner - 3. Mai 2020

Date: 02‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Jonathan Freedland

The only thing protecting the prime minister from harsher criticism of his failures is that the US president’s are even worse

This government should be on the rack. The evidence that it botched crucial decisions at crucial moments is piling up. The litany is now so familiar it barely needs repeating, from the failure to secure personal protective equipment for frontline workers in health and social care to the 11 lost days of delay before imposing a lockdown that has proved essential for saving lives.

 You can focus on specific judgments: why did ministers allow mass gatherings, from racing at Cheltenham to a Stereophonics gig in Cardiff, ignoring the warnings that such events would be a virus‑fest? Why did it initially tell people to stay away from pubs and restaurants, but simultaneously allow those places to stay open? Why did the government call a halt in March to testing and tracing? If the answer is a lack of capacity, then why did it not immediately set about recruiting the “army of contact tracers” that will be required if we are ever to emerge from our homes? Why the focus on mega‑labs, rather than seizing on the offer of small laboratories to do testing for their local hospitals, which, as Paul Nurse, director of the Francis Crick Institute, has argued, could have made those hospitals “safe places”? Why the rules initially limiting tests to those NHS employees with symptoms, which, as Nurse puts it, allowed staff to be on wards “infecting people”? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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