Geschrieben von hkarner - 6. Februar 2014
The Founding Fathers feared inequality would doom America, and knew what to do about it
President Obama’s State of the Union speech last week focused on America’s severe and growing inequality, but he stopped short of repeating the Founding Fathers’ many warnings that this condition could doom American democracy.
The founders, despite decades of rancorous disagreements about almost every other aspect of their grand experiment, agreed that America would survive and thrive only if there was widespread ownership of land and businesses. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Veröffentlicht in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Hamilton, Jefferson, Newsweek, USA | Leave a Comment »
Geschrieben von hkarner - 20. Januar 2014
In the Italian South Tyrol, German speakers long for when they were part of Austria
In Italy’s Alps, at the border with Austria, there’s a land where people speak in German and dream of independence.
Once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, it was annexed by Italy at the end of World War I. But even today, not a single drop of Italian blood runs through the veins of its more than 500,000 inhabitants.
They feel and simply are still Austro-German. If a Neapolitan or Roman, but even a Florentine, pops up asking for directions, they’ll look at him in a funny way trying to grasp what he’s saying and (might) reluctantly reply in Italian with a pronounced German accent.
In honor of bilingualism, all roads, locations, villages and peaks bear both German and Italian names. Citizens’ ID cards are different from the rest of Italy’s – they are green and written in both languages. Children go to separate schools according to their mother tongue, and there’s even a third linguistic group: Ladin, a vulgar alpine version of Latin. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Veröffentlicht in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Austria, Italy, Newsweek, Südtirol | Leave a Comment »
Geschrieben von hkarner - 13. Januar 2014
Airbnb is leading a DIY Internet revolution that could upend chains everywhere.
Late last year, Airbnb announced that it’s going after the major hotel chains – which at first sounded kind of cute, like a precocious Little League pitcher saying he’s going to strike out Miguel Cabrera.
But when CEO Brian Chesky laid out his thinking for me while sitting on a barrel in Airbnb’s new, funky headquarters in San Francisco, I thought the investors who have pumped $326 million into the company might not be too dim. Airbnb is becoming much more than a way to spend $26 a night to sleep in London with five other people at The Imperial Fleapit. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
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Geschrieben von hkarner - 29. Dezember 2013
From the boom in American energy exploitation to the tapering of quantitative easing, the economy is heading for a prosperous New Year.
Remember 2013? The Dow banged to a record high, even against a rising Greek chorus of investors warning of the possibility of another flash crash. (To be sure, there was a computer glitch in April that shut down the Chicago Board Options Exchange for half a day, but otherwise the Cassandras were disappointed.)
The shutdown of the federal government for two weeks in October churned markets as part of a long series of self-imposed wounds inflicted by the bifurcated Congress, which fought with itself over the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling, sequestration, you name it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Veröffentlicht in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Bitcoin, Newsweek, QE, Shale, USA | Leave a Comment »
Geschrieben von hkarner - 12. Juni 2012
Spain has accepted a big bank bailout, but the Eurostorm isn’t ending anytime soon—and it may come to American shores just in time for the election.
by Niall Ferguson
Could Europe cost Barack Obama the presidency? At first sight, that seems like a crazy question. Isn’t November’s election supposed to be decided in key swing states like Florida and Ohio, not foreign countries like Greece and Spain? And don’t left-leaning Europeans love Obama and loathe Republicans?
Sure. But the possibility is now very real that a double-dip recession in Europe could kill off hopes of a sustained recovery in the United States. As the president showed in his anxious press conference last Friday, he well understands the danger emanating from across the pond. Slower growth and higher unemployment can only hurt his chances in an already very tight race with Mitt Romney.
Most Americans are bored or baffled by Europe. Try explaining the latest news about Greek politics or Spanish banks, and their eyelids begin to droop. So, at the end of a four-week road trip round Europe, let me try putting this in familiar American terms. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Veröffentlicht in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Austria, ECB, ESM, Euro, Europe, Ferguson, Finanzkrise, Grexit, Newsweek, USA | Leave a Comment »
Geschrieben von hkarner - 6. Mai 2012
In a new book, ‘End This Depression Now!,’ Nobel Prize–winning economist Paul Krugman says the current economic problems can be fixed both more easily and more quickly than anyone imagines. But politicians’ desire to slash spending is deeply destructive, and he details why austerity is so appealing even to Very Serious People—and why it’s such a bad idea.
Everything that helps to increase the confidence of households, firms and investors in the sustainability of public finances is good for the consolidation of growth and job creation. I firmly believe that in the current circumstances confidence-inspiring policies will foster and not hamper economic recovery, because confidence is the key factor today.
—Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, interviewed in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, June 2010
In the scary months that followed the fall of Lehman Brothers, just about all major governments agreed that the sudden collapse of private spending had to be offset, and they turned to expansionary fiscal and monetary policy—spending more, taxing less, and printing lots of monetary base—in an effort to limit the damage. In so doing, they were following the advice of standard textbooks; more important, they were following the hard-earned lessons of the Great Depression. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Veröffentlicht in Artikel, Books | Getaggt mit: austerity, Banken, Depression, ECB, Euro, Europe, Finanzkrise, Inflation, Krugman, Nasenring, Newsweek, USA | Leave a Comment »
Geschrieben von hkarner - 13. Februar 2012
Source: NewsWeek by Niall Ferguson
Venture capitalist Peter Thiel has made a fortune as an investor.
Why is he so worried about the future?
Damn. Peter Thiel is smarter than I am.
It’s not just that, as the founder of PayPal, president of the hedge fund Clarium Capital, managing partner of the venture-capital firm Founders Fund, and one of the early angel investors in Facebook, he’s vastly and maddeningly wealthier than I am. I have met some people even richer than Thiel who turned out to be intellectually vacuous.
It’s the fact that Thiel is also one of the most interesting and original thinkers in America today—something you’ll already know if you’ve read the darkly powerful article he published in National Review last year titled “The End of the Future.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Veröffentlicht in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Ferguson, Innovation, Newsweek, Regulieren, Thiel, USA | Leave a Comment »
Geschrieben von hkarner - 24. Januar 2012
The truth talker. As head of the International Monetary Fund, can Christine Lagarde steer Europe and America away from the brink of the next Great Depression?
Friday the 13th of January dawned grim at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. The news blowing in from across the Atlantic, as often happens these days, brought the smell of disaster like an approaching hurricane. The credit scores of France and eight other European countries had just been knocked down. Negotiations to bail out an all-but-bankrupt Greece had stalled, or died—it wasn’t clear which.
At a meeting that morning, the fund’s board heard that European countries were not doing the maximum necessary to stave off a financial implosion that could suck the life out of America’s anemic recovery and bring Western economies again to the brink of recession, or worse.
Christine Lagarde, the former French finance minister who has been at the top of the fund since last summer, sat at the head of the oblong ring of seats in a conference room lined with portraits of past IMF managing directors, all of them men. (Her immediate predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, resigned in the midst of a sex scandal last May; his painting has yet to be put up.) Lagarde listened calmly as the 24 representatives of 187 different countries took in the bleak news, delivered by one of her key aides. Good, she thought. The staff, which has its antennae everywhere, told what the whole truth is. From her point of view, that made it a positive meeting. “Telling truth is our job,” she said. There is still time to prevent a second collapse, she believes. But not much time. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Veröffentlicht in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Finanzkrise, IMF, Lagarde, Newsweek | Leave a Comment »
Geschrieben von hkarner - 12. Dezember 2011
The future of Europe is in the hands of one painfully private leader.
What does the chancellor really think?
The Lady prefers blonds. Angela Merkel, 57, once dubbed the Queen of Europe, likes to surround herself with smooth-shaven, uncrumpled, and, yes, often blond courtiers and allies. Just look at her most successful spin doctor, the velvety Ulrich Wilhelm. Or the man she chose for Germany’s president, the straight-backed Christian Wulff. Or the economic adviser she appointed as head of the Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann, who seems to have emerged from the same gene pool. It’s not really their Germanic features and grooming that interest the chancellor, of course, but rather their sober, Germanic approach to global crisis: If in doubt, stick to the rules.
Some years ago, after an interview with Merkel, I had a run-in with the chancellery. I had, said the court of Angela, violated a vaguely defined embargo for publication. “The chancellor believes this to be unacceptable behavior!” yelped Wilhelm over the phone. ”We thought Britain was the home of fair play!” The Mistress of Order had spoken. Now she and her team, baffled by the bond markets’ sudden whistle-blowing power over individual euro-zone economies, are struggling to impose German order, not only on a scruffy correspondent but on the whole continent. It is not a pretty sight. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Veröffentlicht in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Finanzkrise, Germany, Merkel, Newsweek | Leave a Comment »
Geschrieben von hkarner - 5. Dezember 2011
As the economic crisis rages, leading British historian Simon Schama makes an impassioned plea: America’s fate remains deeply intertwined with the continent.
In September 1946, much of Europe had been reduced to smoking rubble. Bitter hardship and gnawing hunger were the lot of millions. The curtain had come down on one monstrous theater of violence and cruelty only to have it rise on others. Unnumbered multitudes languished in displaced-persons camps, with millions more living as refugees from their ancestral lands and homes. An immense Soviet Army had brought liberation, but along with it a contagion of rape and the sinister prospect of new Stalinist tyranny lurking like a predator in the shadows, waiting to pounce on the wasted, fragile democracies.
It was against this bleak backdrop that Winston Churchill, no longer British prime minister but nonetheless assuming the mantle of the prophet, addressed the University of Zurich. In a speech not much remembered today but packed with visionary power, Churchill addressed a continent in agonized distress. “I wish to speak to you today on the tragedy of Europe,” he began, summoning from his rumbling baritone the deepest notes of grandeur. The only way forward for the shattered continent, Churchill said, was “to re-create the European family”—to make some sort of greater union of the continent’s disparate, perpetually warring parts. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Veröffentlicht in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Europe, Finanzkrise, Newsweek, USA | Leave a Comment »