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Posts Tagged ‘JJohnson’

The Billionaire Problem

Posted by hkarner - 2. Dezember 2019

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the IMF, is a professor at MIT Sloan, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and co-founder of a leading economics blog, The Baseline Scenario. He is the co-author, with Jonathan Gruber, of Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream.

Writing in the 1830s, as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace, Honoré de Balzac anticipated the broader social concern: “The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime that has been forgotten, because it was properly carried out.” But today’s billionaires make forgetting impossible.

WASHINGTON, DC – Our billionaire problem is getting worse. Any market-oriented economy creates opportunities for new fortunes to be built, including through innovation. More innovation is likely to take place where fewer rules encumber entrepreneurial creativity. Some of this creativity may lead to processes and products that are actually detrimental to public welfare. Unfortunately, by the time the need for legislation or regulation becomes apparent, the innovators have their billions – and they can use that money to protect their interests. 

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Boris Johnson’s threat of a no-deal Brexit will not break EU unity

Posted by hkarner - 2. August 2019

Date: 01-08-2019
Source: The Guardian by Guy Verhofstadt

The UK government should instead seek an agreement that removes the need for the backstop altogether

Attempts to put pressure on Ireland will only be met with waves of solidarity from the rest of the EU.’ Boris Johnson at Stormont House, Belfast on Wednesday.

No matter what Boris Johnson or his new Vote Leave cabinet threaten – and the expectation in Brussels is that no-deal planning will be ramped up in an attempt to intimidate other EU countries – be in no doubt: there isn’t time to limit the damage of a sudden severance from the world’s largest trading bloc this Halloween.

Unless a further extension is requested, or article 50 is revoked by 31 October, when the current extension of UK membership expires, a dramatic shock awaits the global economy, and we all stand to lose. The few who may prosper are the wealthy bankers and hedge fund managers who have already bet on chaos. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Observer view: now the fight starts to stave off a disastrous no-deal Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 22. Juli 2019

Date: 21-07-2019
Source: The Guardian Observer editorial

Only MPs can stop Boris Johnson, who has demonstrated repeatedly that he cannot be trusted

Boris Johnson faces the most challenging problems of any prime minister since the Second World War.

On Wednesday, a new prime minister will move into Downing Street. He will assume office at a time of burgeoning crisis. While the political system remains gridlocked over Brexit, the west’s deteriorating relations with Iran are fraught with the risk of global conflict. No prime minister has faced as challenging a set of circumstances since the Second World War. And the man who looks almost certain to be making his entrance through that famous door is Boris Johnson.

It’s hard to think of a senior Conservative MP less qualified to assume the premiership in such times. The clash with Iran highlights the wider dilemma Britain will face after Brexit. Isolated from our European allies, the danger is that we simply become a lesser satellite of American foreign policy, buffeted by global events and too weak to resist the pressure to do the bidding of Donald Trump. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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EU expected to reject outright Johnson and Hunt’s backstop plan

Posted by hkarner - 17. Juli 2019

Next PM will be told in ‘no uncertain terms’ that axing backstop amounts to no deal

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt’s Brexit plan to axe the Irish border backstop from the withdrawal agreement will be rejected outright by the European Union, EU sources have said.

Informed sources say it is doomed to failure and if the next prime minister goes to Brussels with such a proposal, he will be told in “no uncertain terms” that it amounts to a declaration of no deal.

Brussels had already rebuffed such a plan when the Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay, who is part of Johnson’s campaign, met the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, last week.

In what was seen as “spinning for a Boris plan”, Barclay told Barnier five times during the meeting that the backstop was dead. Sources say he told Barnier they wanted a series of mini-deals and alternative arrangements for the Irish border.

He was told that was Brexit fantasy and a non-starter, and that the “mini-deals” outlined in EU contingency plans were temporary and covered only the “bare bones” such as aviation, mobile phone roaming and haulier driving licences. They did not include the major issues such as trade or the Irish border. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson and the Threat to British Soft Power

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juli 2019

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, is United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. He chairs the Advisory Board of the Catalyst Foundation.

The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United Kingdom’s last chance to maintain any influence or relevance on the world stage.

EDINBURGH – Since the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID) was created 22 years ago, it has lifted millions out of poverty, sent millions of children to school, and saved millions of lives through vaccination programs and other innovative initiatives. Most recently, it has been a world leader in delivering development aid to poor countries facing the ravages of climate change.

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Our end-of-year awards celebrate the worst in politics

Posted by hkarner - 9. Dezember 2018

Date: 06-12-2018
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

And the winner is…

One of the highlights of any political journalist’s year is the Spectator dinner. Politicians and hacks drink fine champagne, eat good food and exchange juicy gossip, while the magazine’s editor hands out awards to Members of Parliament. But this year’s dinner, held on November 28th, had a surreal air. It was as if the Russian political class was toasting its brilliance in 1917 or the German one celebrating its triumphs in 1932.

The awards are supposed to recognise the best of the British parliamentary system. That system is convulsed by its worst crisis in the democratic era, as politicians fall over each other to make fools of themselves and ancient traditions crumble. Everywhere you look you can see politics at its worst: conspiracy, back-stabbing, grandstanding and chaos. So, in tune with the spirit of the times, we present an alternative set of awards.

Starting with the minor gongs, let’s honour the seat-blocker of the year. The one thing that the Conservative Party has going for it is a rising generation of talented mps, but their progress into government is being stymied by ministers who should never have been promoted. Liam Fox, the trade secretary, and Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House of Commons, are strong candidates for this award, but nobody can hold a candle to the transport secretary, Chris “Failing” Grayling, whose combination of incompetence and unpopularity put him several lengths ahead of the rest. Not only did Mr Grayling mess up the introduction of a new train timetable so badly that whole sections of the railway system seized up, but he tried to palm the blame off on everybody but himself. This week a parliamentary committee produced a report on his performance so withering that, in normal times, he would have had to resign. But Mr Grayling had taken the precaution of being the first cabinet minister in David Cameron’s government to back Brexit, thus making himself unsackable. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The clown prince: Boris Johnson’s bid for the Tory leadership

Posted by hkarner - 15. September 2018

Date: 13-09-2018
Source: The Economist

Will the support of the party membership be enough to make him prime minister?

ONE of Boris Johnson’s favourite phrases is aut homo aut mus: are you a man or a mouse? The former foreign secretary, classicist and contender for the Conservative Party leadership is going out of his way to prove that he is no rodent. Barely a week passes without his lobbing a missile at Theresa May in the form of a newspaper article, speech, bon mot (or faux pas). He uses his weekly column in the Daily Telegraph to explain why she is making a mess of things. On September 9th he took to the pages of the Mail on Sunday to deliver his most incendiary one-liner yet: “We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution and handed the detonator to Michel Barnier,” he wrote, referring to the EU’s chief negotiator.

Never a strong leader, Mrs May has been weakened by her travails over Brexit. On September 11th members of the European Research Group (ERG), an 80-strong collection of Brexit-supporting MPs, met in Westminster to discuss the mechanics of bringing down the prime minister. Mr Johnson is the prime contender to replace her. But what are his chances?

She will be at her most vulnerable in November or December when (and if) she returns from Brussels with a deal—presumably a modified version of her Chequers proposal—on which the House of Commons will vote. Steve Baker, the shop steward of the Brexiteers, claims that he has 80 votes gainst Chequers. That could trigger a confidence vote on the prime minister.

Mrs May might well win such a vote, if only because Mr Johnson is so unpopular among Tory MPs. His problem is not just that the majority of Tory MPs voted “remain” in the referendum, and hate him as leader of the Brexiteers. MPs of all political persuasions regard him as a cad. One senior Tory says that “it’s 100% inconceivable that he’ll become leader of the Conservative Party…He’s a media clown, not a serious politician.” “He’s a shit who doesn’t give a shit about anything but himself,” says another. The list of charges against him is long: he doesn’t believe in anything but his own advancement; he doesn’t lift a finger to help his colleagues; he was a disaster as foreign secretary. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China, the Innovation Dragon

Posted by hkarner - 1. Januar 2018

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the IMF, is a professor at MIT Sloan, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and co-founder of a leading economics blog, The Baseline Scenario. He is the co-author, with James Kwak, of White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters to You.

Jonathan Ruane, co-founder of the Global Business of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics course at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, is a lecturer in the Global Economics and Management group at MIT and an adjunct professor at Trinity College Dublin. He is a former Fulbright recipient and technology entrepreneur.

Total spending on R&D in China (as a percentage of GDP) more than doubled from 0.9% in 2000 to 2.1% in 2016. To date, the increase has mostly been focused on applied research and commercial development, with only 5% dedicated to basic science. Nevertheless, China ranked 22nd in the 2017 Global Innovation Index (a survey of 127 countries and economies based on 81 indicators) ahead of Spain, Italy, and Australia. China’s share of high-impact academic publications (the top 0.1% of papers in Scopus, which rates by citations) has grown, from less than 1% in 1997 to about 20% in 2016.

The sheer volume of university graduates (6.2 million in 2012, six times the 2001 total) combined with an internationally trained, highly skilled diaspora whose members return home in large numbers – there are 800,000 Chinese students in tertiary education abroad – is likely to produce enough talent to achieve the desired effect.

American workers are still considerably more productive than their Chinese counterparts. On average, each Chinese worker generates only about 19% of the amount of GDP that an American worker does. But this lead is being eroded.

Other factors in America’s favor include 30 of the top 100 universities in the world, a risk-taking, entrepreneurial culture, and its companies’ heavy exposure to market forces. Traditionally, this has driven US firms to compete aggressively, often relying on innovation.

But American industry is not as dynamic as it once was. Between 1997 and 2012, two-thirds of America’s industries experienced an increase in market concentration, and a record 74% of employees are working at these aging (16 years or older) incumbents.

US President Donald Trump’s administration seems to have completely misunderstood what is needed. Trump favors a more protectionist future, which would take the pressure off US companies to be globally competitive or truly innovative. American universities are being undermined by changes in the tax code and impending spending cuts – part of what appears to be a broader war on science. And immigration – an essential source of talent and ideas – looks likely to be restricted.

Given its own policies, and those of the US, China is on track to become the world’s innovation leader. By the end of 2018, it will be more apparent just how quickly and easily this latest chapter in the Chinese success story will be written.


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Lessons from Trump’s Health-Care Debacle

Posted by hkarner - 31. März 2017

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Old fashined nationalism: The British LePen

Posted by hkarner - 21. Februar 2016

Date: 21-02-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Boris Johnson Favors British Exit From European Union

Mayor of London says he is looking for ‘a better deal’ for people of Britain

Johnson CC2Britain will hold a referendum on European Union membership on June 23.

LONDON— Boris Johnson, London’s mayor and one of the U.K.’s most prominent politicians, has said he supports Britain’s exit from the European Union, a blow to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s campaign to remain in the club.

Mr. Johnson on Sunday said too much legislation affecting Britain was coming from the EU and that Britain’s sovereignty was being eroded by the bloc.

“After a great deal of heartache, I don’t think there’s anything else I could do,” Mr. Johnson said. “I want a better deal for the people of this country: To save them money and to take back control.” He said the deal Mr. Cameron had secured didn’t fundamentally change the U.K.’s relationship with the EU.

Mr. Cameron on Friday agreed with other EU leaders on changes to the U.K.’s relationship that the prime minister argued will give Britain more control over its laws and reduce the pull of his country’s welfare system for other EU citizens. The prime minister says Britain is better off in terms of economic and national security within the EU. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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