Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

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Posts Tagged ‘Rogoff’

Betting on Dystopia

Posted by hkarner - 11. Dezember 2018

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

The right way to think about cryptocurrency coins is as lottery tickets that pay off in a dystopian future where they are used in rogue and failed states, or perhaps in countries where citizens have already lost all semblance of privacy. That means that cryptocurrencies are not entirely worthless.

CAMBRIDGE – With the price of Bitcoin down 80% from its peak a year ago, and the larger cryptocurrency market in systemic collapse, has “peak crypto” already come and gone? Perhaps, but don’t expect to see true believers lining up to have their cryptocurrency tattoos removed just yet.

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The Global Impact of a Chinese Recession

Posted by hkarner - 8. November 2018

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

Most economic forecasts suggest that a recession in China will hurt everyone, but that the pain would be more regionally confined than would be the case for a deep recession in the United States. Unfortunately, that may be wishful thinking.

CAMBRIDGE – When China finally has its inevitable growth recession – which will almost surely be amplified by a financial crisis, given the economy’s massive leverage – how will the rest of world be affected? With US President Donald Trump’s trade war hitting China just as growth was already slowing, this is no idle question.

Typical estimates, for example those embodied in the International Monetary Fund’s assessments of country risk, suggest that an economic slowdown in China will hurt everyone. But the acute pain, according to the IMF, will be more regionally concentrated and confined than would be the case for a deep recession in the United States. Unfortunately, this might be wishful thinking.

First, the effect on international capital markets could be vastly greater than Chinese capital market linkages would suggest. However jittery global investors may be about prospects for profit growth, a hit to Chinese growth would make things a lot worse. Although it is true that the US is still by far the biggest importer of final consumption goods (a large share of Chinese manufacturing imports are intermediate goods that end up being embodied in exports to the US and Europe), foreign firms nonetheless still enjoy huge profits on sales in China. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Crazy Rich Asia

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2018

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

With an unexpected hit on its hands, perhaps Hollywood will use more films like “Crazy Rich Asians” to illustrate key concepts about a region that is the biggest economic success story of the last several decades. There are many more stories about that story to be told.

CAMBRIDGE – In the surprise hit movie “Crazy Rich Asians” (based on a 2013 Kevin Kwan novel), a New York University economics professor (Rachel), travels with her boyfriend to Singapore to meet his family. There, she learns, apparently for the first time, that her significant other (Nick) is heir to one of Asia’s largest fortunes and has a mother intent on making sure her son does not marry a commoner, Asian-American or not.

Partly because of its (terrific) all-Asian cast (an extreme rarity), and partly because it recalls earlier eras of great romantic comedies, the film has caused a lot of buzz. Perhaps there will even be a long overdue Oscar for Michelle Yeoh (from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), who plays the steely but loving mother. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Are Trump’s Policies Hurting Long-Term US Growth?

Posted by hkarner - 7. August 2018

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

When it comes to economic performance, US presidents have considerably more influence over long-term trends than over short-term fluctuations. And it is by this standard that Donald Trump’s administration should be judged.

CAMBRIDGE – President Donald Trump regularly thumps his chest and claims credit for each new uptick of the fast-growing US economy. But when it comes to economic performance, US presidents have considerably more influence over long-term trends than over short-term fluctuations.

To be sure, Trump’s tax cuts and spending hikes have provided some extra short-term stimulus. So too, apparently, have foreign buyers of US products such as soybeans, who are rushing to stock up before the tariff war fully heats up. Still, it is not easy to speed up a $20 trillion economy, even by running a budget deficit of nearly $1 trillion, as Trump’s administration is doing. In fact, short-term fluctuations in business inventories have arguably held down growth as much as other factors have temporarily propped it up. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Big Tech Is a Big Problem

Posted by hkarner - 3. Juli 2018

KennKenneth Rogoffeth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

The prosperity of the US has always depended on its ability to harness economic growth to technology-driven innovation. But right now Big Tech is as much a part of the problem as it is a part of the solution.

CAMBRIDGE – Have the tech giants – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft – grown too big, rich, and powerful for regulators and politicians ever to take them on? The international investment community seems to think so, at least if sky-high tech valuations are any indication. But while that might be good news for the tech oligarchs, whether it is good for the economy is far from clear.

To be fair, the tech sector has been the United States’ economic pride and joy in recent decades, a seemingly endless wellspring of innovation. The speed and power of Google’s search engine is breathtaking, putting extraordinary knowledge at our fingertips. Internet telephony allows friends, relatives, and co-workers to interact face to face from halfway around the world, at very modest cost.

Yet, despite all this innovation, the pace of productivity growth in the broader economy remains lackluster. Many economists describe the current situation as a “second Solow moment,” referring to legendary MIT economist Robert Solow’s famous 1987 remark: “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Donald Trump’s Normal Fed

Posted by hkarner - 4. Mai 2018

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

For now, Fed appointees have been treated almost as well as generals in the US president’s universe. In a crunch, however, the Fed’s much-vaunted independence could prove more fragile than most people realize.

CAMBRIDGE – In a presidency that has shown little regard for conventional institutional norms, how can one explain Donald Trump’s completely reasonable appointments to the Federal Reserve Board? The most recent nominations, Columbia professor Richard Clarida and Michelle Bowman, the bank commissioner for the state of Kansas, continue a pattern of choosing seasoned technocrats, beginning, most importantly, with Jerome Powell, the new Fed chair.

If Trump were a normal president, appointing highly regarded individuals who can ensure effective policymaking would be business as usual. But here is a president who has often chosen officials with little government experience, and then seems to task them with creating the most disruption possible in the departments they are selected to run. Yet for the Fed, the author of The Art of the Deal has nominated as vice-chair an academic (Clarida) whose most famous paper is entitled “The Science of Monetary Policy.Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Will China Really Supplant US Economic Hegemony?

Posted by hkarner - 3. April 2018

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

As artificial intelligence reshapes the global economy, economists who once argued that China’s massive population would propel it to superpower status should rethink that assumption. In fact, as the global economy reaches higher stages of development, China’s labor advantage today could become a handicap tomorrow.

CAMBRIDGE – As China and the United States engage in their latest trade tussle, most economists take it as given that China will achieve global economic supremacy in the long run, no matter what happens now. After all, with four times as many people as the US, and a determined program to catch up after centuries of technological stagnation, isn’t it inevitable that China will decisively take over the mantle of economic hegemon? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Langfristiges Wachstum: Ökonomen gegen Naturwissenschaftler

Posted by hkarner - 5. März 2018

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

CAMBRIDGE – Die meisten Wirtschaftsprognostiker haben die jüngsten Fortschritte bei der künstlichen Intelligenz (z. B. den durch das selbstlernende Schachprogramm von DeepMind im Dezember demonstrierten Quantensprung) achselzuckend zur Kenntnis genommen. Sie sehen darin keine größeren Auswirkungen auf das längerfristige Wachstum. Dieser Pessimismus ist mit Sicherheit einer der Gründe, warum die realen (inflationsbereinigten) Zinssätze weiter extrem niedrig bleiben, auch wenn der als Stimmungsbarometer geltende Zinssatz zehnjähriger US-Staatsanleihen in den letzten Monaten um einen halben Prozentpunkt gestiegen ist. Liegt der angebotsseitig begründete Pessimismus richtig, dürften die jüngsten massiven Steuersenkungs- und Ausgabepakete in den USA eher zu einem Anstieg der Inflation führen als die Investitionen anzukurbeln.

Es gibt viele Gründe, die aktuelle US-Fiskalpolitik abzulehnen, auch wenn die Senkung der Körperschaftsteuer sinnvoll war (wenn auch nicht in der verabschiedeten Höhe). Schließlich leben wir in einer Zeit steigender Ungleichheit und fallender Einkommensanteile für die Arbeit (im Verhältnis zum Kapital). Die Regierungen müssen mehr und nicht weniger tun, um Einkommen und Vermögen umzuverteilen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Wann kommt der technologiebedingte Umbruch in der höheren Bildung?

Posted by hkarner - 6. Februar 2018

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

CAMBRIDGE – Zu Beginn des Internet-Zeitalters in den frühen 1990er Jahren schien eine Explosion akademischer Produktivität in Reichweite. Doch es kam nichts. Stattdessen entwickeln sich die Lehrmethoden an Hochschulen und Universitäten – wo man sich rühmt, massenhaft kreative Ideen zur Modernisierung der Gesellschaft hervorzubringen – weiterhin im Schneckentempo.

Freilich haben PowerPoint-Präsentationen die Wandtafel abgelöst, „offene Online-Vorlesungen” verzeichnen oftmals mehr als 100.000 Anmeldungen (obwohl die Zahl der wirklich engagierten Studierenden tendenziell weit geringer ist) und in so genannten „Flipped Classrooms“ treten aufgezeichnete Unterrichtseinheiten an die Stelle von Hausaufgaben, während die Zeit im Klassenzimmer mit der Diskussion dieser Hausaufgaben verbracht wird. Doch angesichts der zentralen Rolle der Bildung bei der Steigerung der Produktivität stellt sich die Frage, ob sich die Bemühungen zur Wiederbelebung der sklerotischen westlichen Ökonomien nicht auf die Neuerfindung der höheren Bildung konzentrieren sollten.

Man kann verstehen, warum sich der Wandel in der Grund- und Sekundarstufe, wo man mit massiven sozialen und politischen Hindernissen zu kämpfen hat, so langsam vollzieht. Aber Hochschulen und Universitäten verfügen über viel umfangreichere Möglichkeiten für Experimente; tatsächlich ist das in vielerlei Hinsicht ihr Daseinszweck. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Financial regulators too often think “this time is different”

Posted by hkarner - 27. Januar 2018

Date: 25-01-2018
Source: The Economist

Which helps explain why financial crises are so grimly predictable

FOR a phenomenon with such predictably bad outcomes, a financial boom is strangely seductive. Not a decade after the most serious financial crisis since the Depression, the world watches soaring markets with a mixture of serenity and glee. Natural impulses make finance a neck-snappingly volatile affair. Governments, though, deserve heaps of blame for policies that amplify both boom and bust. As regulators begin picking apart reforms only just enacted, it is worth asking why that is so.

Finance is hopelessly prone to wild cycles. When an economy is purring, profits go up, as do asset values. Rising asset prices flatter borrowers’ creditworthiness. When credit is easier to obtain, spending goes up and the boom intensifies. Eventually perceptions of risk shift, and tales of a “new normal” gain credence: new technologies mean profits can grow for ever, or financial innovation makes credit risk a thing of the past. But when the mood turns, the feedback loop reverses direction. As asset prices fall, banks grow stingier with their loans. Firms feel the pinch from falling sales, get behind on their debts and sack workers, who get behind on theirs. The desperate sell what they can, so asset prices tumble, worsening the crash. Mania turns to panic. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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