Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

Cash Is Dead. Long Live Cash.

Posted by hkarner - 11. April 2017

Date: 10-04-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The push to end hard-currency payments in favor of digital ones keeps hitting speed bumps

Authorities hope digital payment systems will make illicit activities harder to finance, but for many countries, cash still rules.

As credit card use and digital payment systems like Venmo and Android Pay spread, Americans use less and less cash to buy things. Yet the amount of bills and coins in circulation continues to grow: Hard currency as a percentage of U.S. gross domestic product is now at 8.6%, the highest level since the early 1950s, an era long before the widespread use of plastic and smartphones. Europe, Japan, and Australia have similar trends.

The most likely reason for the cash paradox, analysts say: a thriving global underground economy of tax evasion, organized crime and terrorism financing. Digital payments may be faster and more efficient, but cash cloaks transactions in privacy.

In a 2015 report titled “Why Is Cash Still King?” Europe’s police agency, Europol, concluded that “while cash is slowly falling out of favor with consumers, it remains the criminals’ instrument of choice.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What’s Become of the American Dream?

Posted by hkarner - 9. April 2017

Date: 08-04-2017

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Part of the problem is definitional. It isn’t just about houses, cars and material prosperity.


I want to think aloud about the American dream.

People have been saying for a while that it’s dead. It’s not, but it needs strengthening. We should start by saying what it means, which is something we’ve gotten mixed up about. I know its definition because I grew up in the heart of it and remember how people had long understood it.

The American dream is the belief, held by generation after generation since our beginning and reanimated over the decades by waves of immigrants, that here you can start from anywhere and become anything. In America you can rise to the heights no matter where and in what circumstances you began. You can go from the bottom to the top.

Behind the dream was another belief: America was uniquely free, egalitarian and arranged so as to welcome talent. Lincoln was elected president in part because his supporters brought lengths of crude split-rails to the Republican National Convention in Chicago in 1860. They held the rails high and paraded them in a floor demonstration to tell everyone: This guy was nothing but a frontier rail splitter, a laborer, a backwoods nobody. Now he will be president. What a country. What a dream.

This distinguished America from old Europe, from which it had kicked away. There titles, families and inherited wealth dictated standing: If you had them, you’d always be at the top. If you didn’t, you’d always be at the bottom. That static system bred resentment. We would have a dynamic one that bred hope. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Your Financial Adviser Can’t Be Conflict Free

Posted by hkarner - 8. April 2017

Date: 08-04-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By JASON ZWEIG

‚Conflict free‘ is good marketing, but it is a bad description of financial advice, because it can lull investors into dangerous complacency

All financial advisers — like all people who perform a service for anyone else, including journalists — have conflicts of interest. That’s true regardless of whether they work for someone else or for themselves, whether they earn fees or commissions, or whether they call themselves “fiduciaries” who put clients’ interests ahead of their own.

Investors should bear that simple truth in mind as the U.S. Department of Labor announced this past week that it would delay a rule requiring anyone providing specific investment advice on retirement accounts to minimize conflicts of interest.

And you should be wary of financial advisers who aggressively market themselves with the label “conflict free.” No matter how sincerely they may believe it, that description is impossible. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump Shows He Is Willing to Act Forcefully, Quickly

Posted by hkarner - 7. April 2017

Date: 07-04-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

President demonstrates comfort with military action in ordering missile strikes in Syria

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—President Donald Trump’s decision to order military strikes in Syria sets his presidency on a new and unpredictable course that is likely to shape his time in office.

Faced with his first major foreign-policy test—a moment that confronts every new president—Mr. Trump demonstrated a comfort with military action and a flexibility in approach that saw him change course not only on comments he made in the campaign but also on his policy toward Syria in just 48 hours after seeing gruesome photographic evidence from the Asssad regime’s chemical-weapons attack Tuesday.

His decision drew support from Republican and Democratic lawmakers who have long called for stronger U.S. action in Syria.

But with his message delivered both in missiles and in a presidential address from behind a podium at his private resort in Florida, Mr. Trump faces the difficult choice his predecessor and other world leaders have grappled with for years: Now what? It’s the question that repeatedly led President Barack Obama to decide against deeper military involvement in Syria. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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In Britain, Hopes for a ‘Half-In’ Brexit Deal Linger

Posted by hkarner - 7. April 2017

 Is that worth a Brexit? (hfk)

Date: 06-04-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

Theresa May shows signs of willing to compromise for a ‘deep’ partnership

Nine months after the referendum and a week after the triggering of Article 50, it is starting to become clear what Theresa May meant when she said “Brexit means Brexit.”

In her Lancaster House speech in January, the Prime Minister ruled out “partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out. We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries.”

Yet senior pro-EU conservatives are increasingly optimistic that what may yet emerge from the negotiations is what one describes as “associate membership in all but name.”

Indeed, Mrs. May’s goal of a “deep and special partnership” covering everything from trade to security sounds a lot like an Association Agreement of the sort that the EU already has in place with many neighboring countries.

Ukraine, for example, negotiated an Association Agreement with the EU that covers security and foreign policy as well as a deep and comprehensive trade agreement. This deal allows Ukraine tariff-free access to much of the EU single market for goods in return for compliance with EU rules, overseen by a bilateral commission, and without joining the customs union, allowing it to strike its own trade deals. Ukraine and the U.K. may not have much in common but the Ukraine deal provides a template of sorts, which has the advantage of being provided for under the EU treaties. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Jeff Bezos Sees ‘Golden Age’ for Entrepreneurs in Space

Posted by hkarner - 7. April 2017

Date: 06-04-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Amazon.com CEO says lower launch costs will eventually ‘open the gateway’ for space entrepreneurs

Jeff Bezos laid out his vision for space-tourism flights that he looks to start next year in what he hopes to bring a ‘golden age for space exploration.’

COLORADO SPRINGS—Looking to start space-tourism flights in 2018 that he predicts will open the floodgates for a new breed of entrepreneurs,  Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos said in some years he has personally invested up to $1 billion to further those goals.

Flanked by a New Shepard rocket featuring the telltale scorch marks of multiple flights, Mr. Bezos appeared before a gaggle of reporters during a conference here Wednesday to lay out his vision for Blue Origin LLC, the company he founded more than a decade ago to lower launch costs and make reusable rockets a reality.

He said he was “hopeful” that Blue Origin will begin offering trips for paying customers next year, adding that “I’m super optimistic” there will be a large market for such 11-minute thrill rides in a fully automated capsule offering views of the earth from the edge of space. Blue Origin hasn’t yet set a price or begun marketing efforts. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China Can’t Carry Global Economy if U.S. Stumbles

Posted by hkarner - 4. April 2017

Date: 03-04-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Suddenly it’s a world upside down—investors are deserting U.S. growth plays as skepticism about Donald Trump’s agenda rises, while overcapacity-ridden China and aging Japan are looking unexpectedly strong.

Better growth in the world’s second- and third-largest economies, which both posted surprisingly good manufacturing numbers Friday, is great news for Asia and commodity exporters.

It won’t do much to help major developed economies, however, if growth in America and Europe falters along with Mr. Trump’s pro-business agenda.

Better growth in China does contribute in one key way to the so-called Trump trade: It boosts global inflation through higher commodity prices. The close correlation between global commodities and Chinese real-estate investment shows the bulk of the big bounce in prices since early 2016 is due to the cyclical recovery in China, rather than the rhetoric around plans for increased U.S. infrastructure spending. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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U.K.’s Challenge: Reconciling Its Brexit Aims

Posted by hkarner - 4. April 2017

Date: 03-04-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

Prime Minister Theresa May needs a deal that achieves three objectives. But the objectives may be irreconcilable

After nine months of phony war, the Brexit battle lines have been drawn.

Last week’s opening salvos were cloaked in generous diplomatic language. British Prime Minister Theresa May used her letter invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to laud Europe’s liberal democratic values and declared her wish for a “deep and special partnership” with the European Union.

EU Council President Donald Tusk reciprocated by declaring the Brexit negotiations an exercise in “damage control” with the goal of keeping the U.K. as close a partner as possible.

The desire for an amicable divorce on both sides is sincere, not least because the consequences of a collapse of the legal frameworks underpinning current cooperation in areas such as trade, finance, science and security would be so severe. Yet neither side is confident that the obstacles to a deal can be overcome.

The greatest obstacles lie within the U.K. itself. Mrs. May faces what may prove an impossible trilemma. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Emerging Markets Are Looking Better Than the USA

Posted by hkarner - 2. April 2017

Date: 01-04-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By JASON ZWEIG

Investing in emerging markets isn’t a bad idea, but rushing to do so is

Investors should ponder why that quintessential wise man, Benjamin Franklin, owned an asbestos purse. Perhaps it was to keep his money from burning a hole in his pocket. If we all had fireproof purses, maybe we wouldn’t be so eager to put hot money to work.

So far in 2017, exchange-traded funds investing in stocks from such developing nations as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and Russia have taken in $10.5 billion in new money, estimates TrimTabs Investment Research of Sausalito, Calif. With $127.8 billion in total assets, one-twelfth of all the money in these funds has come in over the past 90 days.

Much of that, presumably, is in hot pursuit of high recent returns. Emerging markets are up 12.4% this year — double the return of the S&P 500 index of U.S. stocks, counting dividends. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Totally incredible: 2 Nutcases discuss the world situation

Posted by hkarner - 1. April 2017

Date: 31-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Nigel Farage, U.K. Outsider, Finds a Home in Donald Trump’s Orbit

Brexit advocate sees a kindred spirit in the White House, where his advice is welcome

Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, ex-leader of Britain’s UKIP political party.

LONDON—British politician Nigel Farage huddled with top aides to President Donald Trump at the White House for nearly three hours on a recent Saturday afternoon, discussing, among other things, what he sees as the deep flaws of the European Union. Then Mr. Farage bumped into Mr. Trump, who invited him to the steakhouse in the Trump International Hotel.

“Dinner with The Donald,” Mr. Farage wrote in a Twitter post with a picture of himself grinning widely next to Mr. Trump, the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner. Also at the table was Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

A commodities trader turned antiestablishment activist, Mr. Farage campaigned for the U.K. to pull out of the bloc in last year’s referendum fight and then for Mr. Trump’s election. He has since become a regular presence in the president’s orbit, offering counsel and comparing notes, people familiar with the situation say. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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