Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘NYT’

Our Broken Economy, in One Simple Chart

Posted by sschleicher - 9. August 2017

David Leonhardt, NYT, Aug 7

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How Bad Will It Be If We Hit The Debt Ceiling?

Posted by hkarner - 7. August 2017

The odds of a self-inflicted US debt crisis now look pretty good: hard-line Republicans are eager to hold the economy hostage, Democrats are in no mood to make concessions, and Trump is both spiteful and ignorant. So it looks fairly likely that by October or so there will come a day when the U.S. government stops paying some of its bills, including interest on debt.

How bad will that be? The truth is that we don’t know; but it may be helpful to talk about *why* we don’t know.

Until now, US debt has played a special role in the world economy, because it is — or was — the ultimate safe asset, the thing people can use to secure transactions with no questions about it retaining its value. In a way, the dollar is to other moneys as money is to other assets, and US dollar debt is the form in which dollars are held with ultimate safety.

Taking away that role could be very nasty. One prominent interpretation of the 2008 financial crisis is that it was a “safe asset shortage“: when people realized that those AAA securities engineered from subprime loans weren’t the real thing, they scrambled into an inadequate supply of trill safe stuff. Deprive them of dollar debts as safe assets, and terrible things could happen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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European Bank Cuts Funds to VW Because of Emissions Fraud

Posted by hkarner - 3. August 2017

Date: 02-08-2017
Source: The New York Times

A Volkswagen factory in Dresden, Germany. The cut in financing from the European Investment Bank is the latest blow to the automaker’s reputation.

FRANKFURT — Volkswagen suffered another blow to its reputation on Tuesday after it was barred from receiving European Union research financing over allegations it misused a previous loan to cheat on emissions.

The decision by the publicly owned European Investment Bank at least temporarily deprives Volkswagen of low-cost financing it badly needs for research and development during a period of technological upheaval in the automobile business.

Traditional carmakers are struggling to keep up with upstarts like Tesla to develop electric vehicles capable of driving themselves. Volkswagen’s resources have already been depleted because of the company’s admission in 2015 that it programmed 11 million cars to fool regulators. Penalties and legal settlements in the United States totaled more than $22 billion, and cases in Europe are pending. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Great Health Care Coverup

Posted by hkarner - 30. Juli 2017

July 25, 2017 5:22 pm July 25, 2017 Paul Krugman, NYT

Like many people, I have a sick sense of anger over what just happened in the Senate, which just voted to proceed on a health care bill without any information on what will be in the bill. There’s still hope that in the next few hours, moderates who just caved in will balk at the horrible things they’re being asked to vote for. And I do mean hours: there will be no time for reflection or serious debate.

But nobody should have any confidence that they will. And I think we can almost take it for granted that John McCain will first vote for something terrible, then give a grandstanding speech about making our politics better.

The important thing to realize is WHY the Senate is doing this — rushing to pass legislation that will have a vast impact on American lives, the economy, and more without a single hearing, without time for a proper analysis of the bill, and with crucial votes taken on behalf of legislation yet to be determined. It’s not some arbitrary failure of procedure: it’s a coverup.

The fact is that Republicans have no good ideas on health; everything they want to do will make huge numbers of people worse off, to the benefit of a wealthy few. And they know this. They know that the campaign against Obamacare was based on lies from the beginning, that all their complaints about things like high deductibles were hypocritical. They know that what they’re about to do is terrible. But they’re trying to do it anyway — and the only way they have a chance is by breaking every rule of good governance, by making the process so rushed and secretive that nobody has a chance to say “Wait a minute– what are we doing?” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Pure Class Warfare, With Extra Contempt

Posted by hkarner - 26. Juni 2017

In this sense – and in only this sense – what we’re seeing now is a departure from previous Republican practice.

In the past, laws that would take from the poor and working class while giving to the rich came with excuses. Tax cuts, their sponsors declared, would unleash market dynamism and make everyone more prosperous. Deregulation would increase efficiency and lower prices. It was all voodoo; the promises never came true. But at least there was some pretense of working for the common good.

Now we have none of this. This bill does nothing to reduce health care costs. It does nothing to improve the functioning of health insurance markets – in fact, it will send them into death spirals by reducing subsidies and eliminating the individual mandate. There is nothing at all in the bill that will make health care more affordable for those currently having trouble paying for it. And it will gradually squeeze Medicaid, eventually destroying any possibility of insurance for millions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Making Ignorance Great Again

Posted by hkarner - 6. Juni 2017

Date: 05-06-2017
Source: The New York Times: Paul Krugman

Donald Trump just took us out of the Paris climate accord for no good reason. I don’t mean that his decision was wrong. I mean, literally, that he didn’t offer any substantive justification for that decision. Oh, he threw around a few numbers about supposed job losses, but nobody believes that he knows or cares where those numbers came from. It was just what he felt like doing.

And here’s the thing: What just happened on climate isn’t an unusual case — and Trump isn’t especially unusual for a modern Republican. For today’s G.O.P. doesn’t do substance; it doesn’t assemble evidence, or do analysis to formulate or even to justify its policy positions. Facts and hard thinking aren’t wanted, and anyone who tries to bring such things into the discussion is the enemy.

Consider another huge policy area, health care. How was Trumpcare put together? Did the administration and its allies consult with experts, study previous experience with health reform, and try to devise a plan that made sense? Of course not. In fact, House leaders made a point of ramming a bill through before the Congressional Budget Office, or for that matter anyone else, could assess its likely impact. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Off-the-Cuff Tweets Strain Foreign Ties

Posted by hkarner - 6. Juni 2017

Date: 05-06-2017
Source: The New York Times

WASHINGTON — On one level, President Trump reacted to Saturday night’s terrorist attack in London much as his predecessors might have. He expressed solidarity and telephoned Britain’s prime minister to offer condolences. “WE ARE WITH YOU,” he wrote to Britons.

But even as the investigation into the attack was getting underway, Mr. Trump wasted little time in using the episode to defend his hotly disputed travel ban on visitors from certain predominantly Muslim countries and to criticize the judges who have blocked it. And by Sunday morning, he decided to go after the mayor of London as not being tough enough on terrorism.

Along the way, he mischaracterized the mayor’s position, renewed a trans-Atlantic feud stretching back a year and widened his rift with the United States’ traditional European allies a bit further. And he set off a chain reaction in the news media world, triggering partisan reactions that illustrated just how polarized both the United States and the world have become about the uninhibited, Twitter-obsessed president. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump Gratuitously Rejects the Paris Climate Accord

Posted by hkarner - 2. Juni 2017

Date: 02-06-2017
Source: The New York Times By Paul Krugman

President Trump on Thursday announcing the United States’ withdraw from the Paris climate change accord.

As Donald Trump does his best to destroy the world’s hopes of reining in climate change, let’s be clear about one thing: This has nothing to do with serving America’s national interest. The U.S. economy, in particular, would do just fine under the Paris accord. This isn’t about nationalism; mainly, it’s about sheer spite.

About the economics: At this point, I think, we have a pretty good idea of what a low-emissions economy would look like. I’m sure that energy experts will disagree on the details, but the broad outline isn’t hard to describe.

Clearly, it would be an economy running on electricity — electric cars, electric heat, with internal combustion engines rare. The bulk of that electricity would, in turn, come from nonpolluting sources: wind, solar and, yes, probably nuclear.

Of course, sometimes the wind doesn’t blow or the sun shine when people want power. But there are multiple ways to deal with that issue: a robust grid that can ship electricity to where it’s needed; storage of various forms (batteries, but also maybe things like pumped hydro); dynamic pricing that encourages customers to use less power when it’s scarce and more when it isn’t; and some surge capacity — probably from relatively low-emission natural-gas-fired generators — to cope with whatever mismatch remains. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Blind Spots in Trump’s Trade Tirade Against Germany

Posted by hkarner - 1. Juni 2017

Date: 31-05-2017
Source: The New York Times

President Trump and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany

WASHINGTON — The last time relations between the United States and Europe were this bad — in the spring of 2003, during the buildup to the invasion of Iraq — the administration of George W. Bush decided to “punish France, ignore Germany and forgive Russia,” in a phrase attributed to the national security adviser at the time, Condoleezza Rice.

Now, President Trump has flipped the formula, punishing Germany while largely ignoring France. (His conciliatory approach to Russia seems more or less in line with the Mr. Bush of 2003.)

The difference this time is trade. Germany runs a chronic, yawning trade surplus with the United States, which Trump administration officials say Germany has widened by exploiting a weak euro to put American exports at a disadvantage. That, more than differences over NATO, Russia or climate change, is driving a wedge between the two countries. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Merkel, After Discordant G-7 Meeting, Is Looking Past Trump

Posted by hkarner - 30. Mai 2017

Date: 29-05-2017
Source: The New York Times

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in Munich on Sunday. “The times in which we could rely fully on others, they are somewhat over,” she said.

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Europe’s most influential leader, has concluded, after three days of trans-Atlantic meetings, that the United States of President Trump is not the reliable partner her country and the Continent have automatically depended on in the past.

Clearly disappointed with Mr. Trump’s positions on NATO, Russia, climate change and trade, Ms. Merkel said in Munich on Sunday that traditional alliances were no longer as steadfast as they once were and that Europe should pay more attention to its own interests “and really take our fate into our own hands.”

“The times in which we could rely fully on others — they are somewhat over,” Ms. Merkel added, speaking on the campaign trail after a contentious NATO summit meeting in Brussels and a Group of 7 meeting in Italy. “This is what I experienced in the last few days.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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