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Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Tony Blair is right on Brexit. Now he should get into the trenches or back off

Posted by hkarner - 19. Februar 2017

Date: 17-02-2017
Source: The Economist

Blair CCTONY BLAIR’S speech on Brexit on the morning of February 17th attracted a predictable storm of derision. Today the former prime minister serves as a sort of Rorschach test for whatever irks the viewer: to the left he stands for free-market capitalism and war, to the right he stands for a hyper-metropolitan internationalism, to some of his former acolytes he stands for how not to secure one’s political legacy after leaving politics. In parts of Westminster and Fleet Street voicing nuanced opinions about Mr Blair meets with a mix of bafflement and distaste, like ordering veal at a vegan restaurant.

To be sure, some of the criticism is valid. Mr Blair presided over the build-up to Britain’s financial and economic crisis and the failure of the post-invasion period in Iraq. His globe-trotting, pro-globalisation breeziness clashes with the prevailing mood among electorates in much of the West. His business activities since leaving Downing Street (ten years ago this June, believe it or not) have done his domestic reputation significant harm.

Yet the shame of all this is that it detracts from the many things Mr Blair says that are worth heeding. He may have been out of British politics for a while—that mid-Atlantic accent does not lie—but he remains the most successful British politician of the past two decades. To read some of his critics you would think his record, leading a previously unelectable party to three strong election victories, was achieved by pure fluke or by casting some sort of spell on an electorate that would never ordinarily vote for him. Whisper it softly, but perhaps the former prime minister is a better strategist, a more expansive thinker and operator, than these infantile interpretations allow. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Disunited Kingdom

Posted by hkarner - 26. November 2016

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Brexit: Sir John Major says ‚perfectly credible‘ case for second referendum

Posted by hkarner - 26. November 2016

Date: 25-11-2016
Source: The Guardian

john-major-ccFormer PM says ‘tyranny of the majority’ should not dictate manner of UK’s exit from the European Union in remarks likely to anger pro-Brexit Tories

Sir John Major has suggested the terms of Brexit could go to a second referendum, while Tony Blair has suggested the British people could change their mind.

Sir John Major has declared there is a “perfectly credible” case for a second referendum on Brexit and people who voted to remain should not be subject to the “tyranny of the majority”.

The former prime minister said the views of Remain voters should be heard in the debate about how Britain will leave the European Union.

The ex-Conservative leader told guests at a private dinner that the 48% of people who voted to stay in the European Union should have their say on the terms of the deal for breaking away from Brussels. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tesco Bank: Hacker plündern 20.000 Giro-Konten

Posted by hkarner - 8. November 2016

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten  | 

Hacker haben bei einer britischen Bank 20.000 Giro-Konten geplündert.Tesco Bank muss gegen Hacker kämpfen. (Foto: dpa)

Die Tesco Bank hat nach betrügerischen Abbuchungen bei rund 20.000 Kunden vorübergehend alle Transaktionen gestoppt, die über das Internet ausgeführt werden. Über das Wochenende seien Girokonten von Internetkriminellen angegriffen worden, teilte Bankchef Benny Higgins am Montag mit. 40.000 Kunden bemerkten demnach verdächtige Transaktionen. Geld sei von rund 20.000 Konten erbeutet worden. Eine genaue Summe nannte die Tesco Bank nicht.

Die Tesco Bank gehört zum britischen Supermarktriesen Tesco. Das Kreditinstitut gibt es seit 1997. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe May Finally End Its Painful Embrace of Austerity

Posted by hkarner - 9. Oktober 2016

Date: 07-10-2016
Source: The New York Times

Hammond CCPhilip Hammond, Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, said this week that the government would borrow more to finance new infrastructure projects.

LONDON — As Europe has grappled with the trauma of a devastating financial and economic crisis, policy makers have consistently relied on one approach to managing the damage — budget austerity.

Shrink government spending by trimming pensions and cutting social programs, the logic runs, and the markets will gain confidence in the tough-minded people in charge. Confident markets make for happy markets. Money will pour in, and good times will roll.

Even as prosperity has remained painfully elusive across much of Europe, leaders have time and again renewed their faith in the virtues of this harsh medicine.

Until now. Europe is re-examining the merits of austerity. Some policy makers are flashing tentative signs that they may be prepared to slacken their grip on public coffers to spur growth and improve the lot of ordinary people suffering joblessness and diminished wealth. In the clearest sign of this shift, the heavily indebted Italy is increasingly inclined to challenge Germany — the guardian of austerity — to loosen European purse strings. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Cut-throat competition is slashing offshore wind costs to unthinkable levels

Posted by hkarner - 3. Oktober 2016

Wind
Dong Energy turbines in the North Sea. IT is the biggest offshore operator in British waters 


For years the complaint against offshore wind was prohibitive cost.  The new worry is that it is suddenly becoming too beguilingly cheap.

The world’s biggest wind companies are driving down power contracts so fast in their coat-throat battle for market share that they may be making impossible commitments. The sums of money at play are huge, and the stresses may not come to light until the financial cycle turns.

A string of tenders this year have slashed strike prices to once unthinkable levels.  The Danish giant Dong Energy stunned the industry in July by clinching an offshore deal in the Netherlands at a strike price of €72.5 per megawatt hour (MWh), half the sorts of levels agreed less than five years ago. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Not-So-High Costs of Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 9. September 2016

Photo of Daniel Gros

Daniel Gros

Daniel Gros is Director of the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies. He has worked for the International Monetary Fund, and served as an economic adviser to the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the French prime minister and finance minister. He is the editor of Economie Internationale and International Finance.

SEP 8, 2016, Project Syndicate

BRUSSELS – The United Kingdom’s vote to “Brexit” the European Union is on course to become the year’s biggest non-event. Beyond a weaker pound and lower UK interest rates, the referendum has not had much of a lasting impact. Financial markets wobbled for a few weeks after the referendum, but have since recovered. Consumer spending remains unmoved. More surprising, investment has remained consistent, despite uncertainty about Britain’s future trade relations with the EU. Have the costs of Brexit been overblown?

Not exactly. In fact, the UK may well end up losing the predicted 2-3% of GDP from Brexit. But it is the exit from the single market, not the initial vote to leave, that will bring those losses, and that may happen over a long period. If the exit turns out to be a ten-year process, the losses would be borne gradually over that period, costing the UK about 0.2-0.3% of GDP per year, on average. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Britisches Kontrollamt fällt vernichtendes Urteil zu AKW Hinkley Point

Posted by hkarner - 14. Juli 2016

14. Juli 2016, 18:38 derstandard.at

Das National Audit Office stellte fest, dass Investitionen in erneuerbare Energien billiger wären als das geplante Atomkraftwerk

London/Wien – Erneuerbare Energien wären billiger. Auf diese einfache Formel bringt das National Audit Office (NAO) sein Urteil über das geplante Atomkraftwerk (AKW) Hinkley Point C. Im jüngsten Bericht kommt die staatliche Kontrollbehörde zu einem vernichtenden Urteil über das AKW im Südwesten Englands. Allein bei den Betriebskosten für die beiden Reaktoren ist laut dem britischen Rechnungshof über die Laufzeit mit Zuzahlungen von rund 30 Milliarden Pfund (rund 35 Milliarden Euro) zu rechnen. Vor dem Pfund-Absturz durch das Brexit-Votum wäre es umgerechnet noch teurer geworden. Zuzüglich weiterer Garantien, allen voran dem garantierten Abnahmepreis von 92,50 Pfund je Megawattstunde für 35 Jahre (unabhängig vom aktuellen Strompreis), der dem Betreiber, dem EdF-Ableger NNBG zugesichert wurde, sowie Vorsorgen für den Fall eines AKW-Unfalls, wären Investitionen in den Ausbau von Wind- und Sonnenenergie für die Steuerzahler wohl günstiger, argwöhnt die NAO in ihrem jüngsten Bericht „Nuklearenergie im Vereinigten Königreich“.

Kostenexplosion

Die Baukosten sind in dieser Kostenschätzung noch nicht inkludiert, sie belaufen sich laut EdF-Angaben auf 18 Milliarden Pfund. Darüber hinaus garantiert die Regierung für Anleihen des französisch-chinesischen Konsortiums im Volumen von bis zu zwei Milliarden Pfund. „Wir schätzen, dass die zusätzlichen Zahlungen für Hinkley Point C von 6,1 Milliarden Pfund im Oktober 2013 (als der Bezugspreis fixiert wurde) auf 29,7 Milliarden im März 2016 explodiert sind“, rechnet die Behörde in ihrem Report vor. Überhaupt führe die Realisierung alter Nuklearprojekte zu höheren kurzfristigen Kosten als der Ausbau von Wind- und Solarenergie. Die Entscheidung der Regierung, den AKW-Ausbau weiter zu forcieren fußt demnach mehr auf strategischen denn auf finanziellen Gründen: Atomenergie sei notwendig, um natürliche Schwankungen von Wind und Solar auszugleichen. (ung, 15.7.2016) – derstandard.at/2000041118915/Britisches-Kontrollamt-faellt-vernichtendes-Urteil-zu-AKW-Hinkley-Point

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Globalization’s Political Fault Lines

Posted by hkarner - 5. Juli 2016

Photo of Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and Chairman of Roubini Macro Associates, was Senior Economist for International Affairs in the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration. He has worked for the International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve, and the World Bank.

JUL 4, 2016, Project Syndivate

NEW YORK – The United Kingdom’s narrow vote to leave the European Union had specific British causes. And yet it is also the proverbial canary in the coalmine, signaling a broad populist/nationalist backlash – at least in advanced economies – against globalization, free trade, offshoring, labor migration, market-oriented policies, supranational authorities, and even technological change.

All of these trends reduce wages and employment for low-skill workers in labor-scarce and capital-rich advanced economies, and raise them in labor-abundant emerging economies. Consumers in advanced economies benefit from the reduction in prices of traded goods; but low and even some medium-skill workers lose income as their equilibrium wages fall and their jobs are threatened. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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