Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

Swiss Are Frank About Their Love of Cash

Posted by hkarner - 4. Januar 2017

Date: 03-01-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

While cashless and electronic transactions are the trend globally, Switzerland’s affinity for bills shows no signs of abating

A bundle of 1000 Swiss franc bank notes. Amid a a global trend toward cashless economies and electronic payments, the Swiss keep far more paper money on hand than citizens of other nations.

ZURICH—Not long ago, Tom O’Hara walked into a used car dealership in Ponte Tresa, Switzerland, and forked over the equivalent of nearly $13,000 in cash for a 1999 Porsche Boxster. It was just one of three cars that Mr. O’Hara, a onetime American and current Swiss citizen, paid for in cash in 2015.

“You could do it by bank transfer,” said Mr. O’Hara, a 57-year-old electrical engineer. “But most people just take the cash out, and bring it over.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Fate in 2017: Caught Between Low Rates and Populist Politics

Posted by hkarner - 3. Januar 2017

Date: 02-01-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Europe seems on course for modest growth in 2017—unless Brexit proves to be the start of something bigger

As populist politicians like France’s Marine Le Pen gain ground in European Nations, a breakup of the eurozone appears more likely.

For Europe in 2017, the big question is whether fragile economic growth and unprecedented central-bank stimulus will be overtaken by populist politics.

European equities could have a strong year if the antieuro populist candidates that have gained traction over 2016 fail to win elections, as polling suggests. But if populist candidates triumph in coming votes, the prospect of a eurozone breakup could return to markets. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Putin’s Economy Survives

Posted by hkarner - 31. Dezember 2016

Date: 30-12-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Conservative fiscal and monetary policies, plus an autocrat’s ability to impose austerity measures, keep Russia afloat where the Soviet Union sank

“Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart,” Russian President Vladimir Putin famously said in 2010. But he quickly added, “Whoever wants it back has no brain.”

Mr. Putin isn’t usually known as a savvy economic steward. Yet as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s collapse this week, his famed comments sum up the increasingly clear results of an epic historical experiment. To run that experiment, first, take two authoritarian regimes based in Moscow, one rooted in state-run socialism, the other in crony capitalism. Next, expose them both to a series of shocks: low oil prices, costly military adventures abroad, confrontation with the West and a sluggish economy in which political dictates override market forces. Then wait several years to see which regime survives.

When the Soviet Union confronted this array of challenges in the mid-1980s, it promptly collapsed. But facing very similar forces today, Mr. Putin’s government has survived—even thrived. What has made the difference, above all, is Mr. Putin’s devotion to conservative fiscal and monetary policies, coupled with an authoritarian’s ability to implement austerity measures without consulting his population. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Oil Producers Turn to Wind Power

Posted by hkarner - 28. Dezember 2016

Date: 27-12-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

European oil companies take on offshore wind projects; a way to diversify and leverage experience drilling at sea

Wind energyThe Netherlands wants to build the world’s largest offshore wind project,
and an unlikely company is helping: Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

The oil-and-gas giant is facing shareholder pressure to develop its renewable business. Add in falling construction costs for such projects, and Shell has decided to join a handful of other oil companies aiming to leverage their experience drilling under punishing conditions at sea.

Norway’s Statoil ASA is already building its third offshore wind farm, in the Baltic Sea, and is developing the world’s first floating wind farm off the east coast of Scotland. Denmark’s state-owned Dong Energy AS—once a fossil-fuel champion—is now the biggest player in the offshore wind market. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Many Hurdles to an Orderly Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 23. Dezember 2016

Date: 22-12-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal by Simon Nixon

Businesses should be preparing for the scenario that the U.K. crashes out of the EU without a deal, Simon Nixon writes

It was like pulling teeth, but Theresa May did eventually admit to a parliamentary committee this week that her government was preparing for all Brexit scenarios, including the possibility that the U.K. crashes out of the European Union in 2019 without securing any deal with the bloc at all. This should hardly come as a surprise. Not only is it a standard principle of deal-making to identify your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement, but the possibility that the U.K. might be forced to fall back on its Brexit BATNA is alarmingly high. Perhaps the U.K. and EU will be unable to agree on a deal, or the EU unable to ratify what has been agreed upon.

Businesses should be preparing for this worst-case scenario, too—but there is scant evidence this is happening, judging by the output of the various industry lobby groups. Their submissions to the government invariably focus solely on their ideal negotiated outcome. In almost every case, this amounts to a plea to preserve the status quo—or as much of it as possible. After 43 years of EU membership, most sectors in Britain are deeply integrated into pan-European supply chains and are broadly content with EU regulation, which is seen as high quality, predictable and trusted by customers and consumers. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Bring Back Jobs From China? In Shenzhen, They Aren’t That Worried

Posted by hkarner - 23. Dezember 2016

Date: 22-12-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

As Donald Trump presses companies on U.S. manufacturing, city that became poster child for globalization has learned to adapt to economic shifts

SHENZHEN, China—U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s threat to compel Apple Inc. and others to manufacture more at home should strike fear into this Chinese megacity where many of the world’s high-tech gadgets are made.

Once a sleepy village, Shenzhen today is the sprawling epicenter of China’s consumer-electronics industry, the country’s top export. At two Foxconn Technology Group factories here, some 230,000 workers make gear for Apple and global rivals, including Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies Co., which has its base in Shenzhen.

Yet many executives here say they aren’t worried by Mr. Trump. The economic forces that transformed this once-poor backwater in Guangdong province into a sea of skyscrapers are too massive to be rolled back, their thinking goes. Even if Mr. Trump imposes tariffs on Chinese-made goods, as he has threatened to do, it’s now so efficient to engineer, produce and ship electronics from this region of southern China that it could still outcompete the U.S., they say. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Record Capital Outflows Push Euro Toward Parity With Dollar

Posted by hkarner - 22. Dezember 2016

Date: 21-12-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Higher interest rates in the U.S. are drawing money out of the eurozone

parity-eMore money has left eurozone financial markets this year than at any time in the bloc’s history, helping drive the euro toward parity with the dollar for the first time in 14 years.

The eurozone had its largest-ever net outflows in the 12 months to September, data from the European Central Bank showed Tuesday.

Eurozone investors bought €497.5 billion ($516.5 billion) of financial assets, such as stocks and bonds, outside the bloc in that period. Global investors, meanwhile, sold or let mature €31.3 billion of eurozone assets during the year. Together, that adds up to a net outflow of €528.8 billion, the most since the single currency was introduced in 1999.

Late Tuesday in New York, the euro was at $1.0388, its lowest level since January 2003, compared with $1.0403 late Monday.

Many analysts now believe that the common currency will hit parity with the dollar next year. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit: the people have spoken – but they didn’t have a clue

Posted by hkarner - 20. Dezember 2016

Date: 19-12-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: U.K. Weighs Cost of Brexit Nuclear Option

A threat to exit from the EU without a deal would only be credible if the U.K.  prepared for the hardest of Brexits—and incurred the very costs it is trying to avoid.
The U.K. wants a Brexit process that would allow it to negotiate both its formal divorce and its future trading relationship with the EU in tandem. But hardly anyone outside the British government believes this is realistic.

The U.K. has spent six months debating where it wants to go. But now, with just three months until Prime Minister Theresa May intends to formally start the Brexit process, it is grappling with a new question: How to get there?

In any negotiation, process is power—and there is growing anxiety in the British government that it may be forced to accept a Brexit process that will give the EU the upper hand. Some officials privately warn that under those circumstances, the U.K. could even abandon the process altogether, taking the nuclear option of walking away from the EU without any deal. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why 2016 Was a Watershed Year for Tech

Posted by hkarner - 20. Dezember 2016

Date: 19-12-2016

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 

Companies sparred with governments globally as they faced criticism, unprecedented scrutiny

As 2016 nears an end, five of the seven most valuable companies in the world—including the three most valuable—are technology companies.

Beyond their worth in the eyes of investors, Apple Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc., and Facebook Inc. also are powerful forces in everyday lives. Tech can seem inescapable.

That helps explain why 2016 also was a difficult year for many of these companies. Collectively, they faced sharp criticism and unprecedented levels of scrutiny while clashing with governments around the world—including the future U.S. president.

It’s no coincidence, for example, that digital-ad spending in the U.S. has been projected to eclipse spending on TV ads in 2016, while Facebook battled concerns about its influence over politics and its role in spreading fake and distorted news. Those developments are two sides of the same coin—Facebook’s power. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Risky Business of the Bank of England’s Brexit Warnings

Posted by hkarner - 16. Dezember 2016

Date: 15-12-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

In recent weeks, the BOE has at times sounded like an arm of the Treasury, if not a branch of the British Bankers‘ Association, Simon Nixon writes.

Both the Bank of England and some quarters of the U.K. government have argued for transitional arrangements after Brexit to allow banks to adjust to any new settlement between the U.K. and the EU.

It is nearly 20 years since the Bank of England was relieved of its responsibility for the “sponsorship of the City.” When the central bank was handed its independence from political control in 1997, the government took the view that the BOE should focus solely on maintaining monetary and financial stability, leaving others to cheerlead for the U.K.’s financial-services industry. Yet in recent weeks, the BOE has at times sounded again like an arm of the Treasury, if not a branch of the British Bankers‘ Association.

In a series of interventions, BOE officials have warned of risks to European financial stability from a so-called hard Brexit, arguing for transition periods to allow banks to adjust to any new settlement between the U.K. and the EU. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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