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Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

For Europe, Trump Is a Blessing in Disguise

Posted by hkarner - 21. Februar 2018

Date: 20-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

His policies promote energy independence and balance between France and Germany.

French president Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Trump administration is turning out to be a blessing in disguise for the European Union. While many of the president’s rhetorical statements offend European sensibilities, and while dramatic acts like the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord prompt talk of a “crisis” in trans-Atlantic relations, the actual consequences of the administration’s policies are shoring up Europe’s foundations in surprising ways.

A year ago, fears that an allegedly pro-Russia Trump administration would ditch the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and throw Europe to the wolves had delicate Europeans trembling. These days those fears seem quaint. But few in Europe have yet grasped how anti-Russian and pro-European the Trump foreign policy is at its core.

This is partly because European reflexes, especially German ones, are so often nonstrategic. Fine words and noble resolutions are mistaken for hard facts, and the wrapping paper matters more than the gift. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What the Price of Iberian Ham Tells Us About Spain’s Economy

Posted by hkarner - 20. Februar 2018

Date: 19-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Spaniards are shaking off one of the country’s worst downturns in decades and splurging on goods recently considered extravagant

RONDA, Spain—The latest sign of Spain’s bullish economic recovery?
A surge in ham prices that some are calling a bubble.

Cheered by strong economic growth, Spaniards are shaking off one of the country’s worst downturns in decades and splurging on goods recently considered extravagant. That includes the ultimate Spanish gastronomic luxury: free-range, acorn-fed Iberian ham.

On a recent morning, José Manuel Jiménez Laguna, a pig broker, fielded calls from farmers eager to buy Iberian piglets at prices that are 40% higher than a year ago. A 50-pound, purebred Iberian piglet, which produces high-quality jamón ibérico de bellota, sells on average for around €115 ($143) vs. around €83 at the same time last year.

Iberian pigs that graze on acorns produce meat that has a special marbling and taste, which fetches a higher price.

What the Price of Iberian Ham Tells Us About Spain’s Economy

“The prices are astronomical!” Mr. Jiménez Laguna told a rancher over the phone while driving between farms near Ronda in southern Spain. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Infrastructure Plan Falls Flat for Investors

Posted by hkarner - 20. Februar 2018

Date: 19-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan has left investors in infrastructure firms unimpressed

The nonfederal to federal funding ratio of President Donald Trump’s Incentives Program is far above the one typical of large projects such as the new Tappan Zee Bridge in New York.

Maybe it should be called “Infrastructure Weak.”

In the days following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, investors took President-elect Donald Trump at his word that he would open the floodgates of federal spending and deregulation to fix America’s creaking transport, energy and water systems. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany’s Coffers Are Overflowing, But No One Is Talking About Tax Cuts

Posted by hkarner - 19. Februar 2018

Date: 18-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Despite huge government surpluses and comparatively low debt, lowering taxes is off the table

The German government never had so much money or so many ideas about how to spend it. The one thing that isn’t being discussed is giving it back to taxpayers.

Tax cuts—a fixture of the political debate in the U.S., where the government hasn’t balanced its books in decades—are barely on the agenda here, even though Germany’s next government is expected to post a consolidated budget surplus of roughly €50 billion ($62 billion) between now and 2021, according to finance ministry calculations.

“It is sort of a through-the-looking-glass world,” said John Kornblum, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany, of the two countries’ differing attitudes. “Traditionally Germans have been in favor of hoarding resources rather than lowering government expenditures.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Robots Are Coming for Garment Workers. That’s Good for the U.S., Bad for Poor Countries

Posted by hkarner - 18. Februar 2018

Date: 17-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Automation is reaching into trades that once seemed immune, transforming sweatshops in places like Bangladesh and bringing production back to America

The Mohammadi Group’s automated knitting machines leave little for humans to do.

DHAKA—At the Mohammadi Fashion Sweaters Ltd. factory in Bangladesh’s capital, a few dozen workers stand watching as 173 German-made machines knit black sweaters for overseas buyers. Occasionally the workers step in to program designs or clean the machines, but otherwise there is little for humans to do.

It’s a big change from a few years ago, when hundreds of employees could be found standing over manual knitting stations for up to 10 hours a day. Mohammadi’s owners began phasing out such work in 2012, and by last year, the knitting process was fully automated. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Totally Sick

Posted by hkarner - 18. Februar 2018

Date: 17-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Wall Street’s Five CEOs Get Biggest Payday Since 2006

Combined compensation for chiefs of the biggest banks hit $126 million, the highest annual tally since before financial crisis

Wall Street CEOs are getting paid the big bucks again.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. said Friday that they gave their CEOs raises for 2017, meaning all five large U.S. banks with significant trading and investment-banking operations have done so.

The chief executives of the banks, which include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., and Morgan Stanley , were paid on average $25.3 million for their work last year, up 17% from 2016, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. For the group as a whole, combined total compensation of about $126 million is the highest annual tally since before the financial crisis. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Americans Can’t Get Enough Consumer Debt

Posted by hkarner - 16. Februar 2018

Back to normal! (hfk)

Date: 15-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

After taking a breather during the recession, Americans have a voracious appetite again for credit-card, auto loans.

Interest rates are on the rise, but that hasn’t curbed Americans’ appetite for consumer debt.

If anything, consumers are borrowing more on credit cards or through auto loans than they have in years, and lenders seeking growth are happy to oblige them.

Abe Schilling, a 33-year-old car salesman in Great Falls, Mont., said he signed up for more than five credit cards over the past year, from issuers including Capital One Financial Corp. and Discover Financial Services , after he received offers in the mail. He also took out a $36,000 loan to buy a new Jeep Grand Cherokee. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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U.K.’s Boris Johnson Calls for Definitive Stance on EU Exit

Posted by hkarner - 16. Februar 2018

  What a clown! (hfk)

Date: 15-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Foreign secretary says Britons should embrace Brexit rather than fear it

LONDON—British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called for the U.K. to make a definitive break from the European Union, rejecting the notion of a second Brexit referendum and extolling the country’s global economic potential once it is free of the bloc.

“Brexit is about re-engaging this country with its global identity and all the energy that can flow from that,” Mr. Johnson said in a speech, the first of several by cabinet ministers laying out Britain’s plans for leaving the EU. He acknowledged there had been “a hardening of the mood, a deepening of the anger” over Brexit, but that the public should embrace it rather than fear it.

Since taking office after Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May has struggled to unite the country—and her government—behind her Brexit plans.

Mrs. May’s cabinet is divided between those who supported staying in the EU, including Treasury chief Philip Hammond, and those, like Mr. Johnson, who campaigned to leave.

In recent weeks, Mrs. May’s top team and her party have sparred over how close Britain’s links should be with Europe once it leaves and over the shape of the future relationship. Mr. Hammond last month called for a Brexit that would keep the U.K. and EU economies closely aligned. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Google Must Shine More Light on its Cloud

Posted by hkarner - 15. Februar 2018

Date: 14-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Reporting cloud revenue could help offset concerns about growing costs of the core business

Google is the world’s second-largest company by market value. But even for huge businesses, little things can count for a lot.

Google Cloud Platform isn’t really small. In fact, parent company Alphabet Inc. says the division is now generating about $1 billion in revenue per quarter. That, however, is about 3% of what the core Google business reported for its most recent quarter. It also is notably smaller than Amazon.com ’s AWS segment, which is currently the largest provider of public cloud services. AWS saw revenue of $5.1 billion in the fourth quarter, up 45% year over year.

Still, Alphabet considers the Google Cloud Platform one of its biggest “bets”—on par with its efforts in branded hardware as well as YouTube. It is also a major force behind the parent company’s spending. Google Cloud Chief Executive Diane Greene said at a conference Tuesday that the division was “the largest driver of head count additions” at Alphabet last year, when the company added more than 8,000 full-time employees.

Outside of selective snippets, such as the mention of revenue two weeks ago on its earnings call, Google has kept the performance of its cloud business shrouded in mystery. Its operating results are lumped into a segment called “Google Other,” which generated revenue of $14.3 billion last year—up 42% from the year before. That includes cloud, Google’s devices and content purchased from the Google Play online store—hardly complementary businesses. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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U.S. Stocks Rise After Two Turbulent Weeks

Posted by hkarner - 14. Februar 2018

Date: 13-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Dow jumps 400 points following its largest one-week percentage decline in more than two years

U.S. stocks roared for a second consecutive session Monday as commodity prices stabilized, providing a respite for investors after two bruising weeks that pushed indexes from New York to Hong Kong into correction territory.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed out of the gate, marched steadily higher and never reversed course during the day. The S&P closed up 1.4% while the Dow gained 1.7%, but remain off 7.5% and 7.6% from their Jan. 26 highs.

The steady upward moves marked a sharp departure from recent days. Concern over rising bond yields and collapsing bets that the market’s low volatility would continue led investors to pull a record amount of money from equity funds in a single week and dump other assets, like oil and gold. In total last week, the blue-chip Dow changed direction 53 times, including 29 times in a single session.

Although markets rose Monday, many investors and analysts warn that any recovery could be tested as early as Wednesday, when a Bureau of Labor Statistics report on consumer prices gives investors a fresh look at inflation data. Further evidence of inflation could stoke another bout of pressure on bonds and stocks, rattling markets anew. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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