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Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

Trump, Comey Duel Over Book

Posted by hkarner - 17. April 2018

Date: 16-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

On Twitter, president writes, ‘I never asked Comey for Personal Loyalty. I hardly even knew this guy. Just another of his many lies.’

President Donald Trump had more to say Sunday about the book penned by James Comey, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

WASHINGTON—Friction between President Donald Trump and James Comey resurfaced this weekend after details from the former FBI director’s book reopened the debate over Mr. Comey’s firing.

In an interview with ABC News that aired Sunday night, Mr. Comey said his decision to tell Congress 11 days before the 2016 presidential election that the FBI was again examining Hillary Clinton’s emails was influenced by his belief the Democratic nominee would defeat Mr. Trump.

“I don’t remember consciously thinking about that, but it must have been because I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump, and so I’m sure that it was a factor,” Mr. Comey told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in the exclusive interview, according to excerpts released by the network.

Mr. Comey, who is promoting the book due in stores Tuesday, also called Mr. Trump “morally unfit” to be president.

“A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds,” Mr. Comey said, according to a transcript of the entire interview released by ABC.

Mr. Comey’s memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” is critical of Mr. Trump, according to a copy reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. He writes that the president is a “deeply flawed person and leader,” compares him to a Mafia boss and characterizes his presidency as a “forest fire.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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In Syria and Beyond, a Dangerous New Era Dawns

Posted by hkarner - 16. April 2018

Date: 16-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. simultaneously confronts an aggrieved Russia and an aggressive rising power in China, a situation that calls for dexterous diplomacy

At a Wall Street Journal gathering of business leaders in London a few days ago, John Sawers, a career British diplomat and former head of the MI6 intelligence service, delivered a sober warning: For the first time in living memory, there is a realistic prospect of a superpower conflict.

His declaration came as the Western missile strike at Russia’s friends in Syria was imminent. But that confrontation is only a small part of the troubling equation he described.

The U.S., a mature power, simultaneously confronts an aggrieved and newly assertive Russia as well as an aggressive rising power in China. This is the backdrop for not only the standoff in Syria but also rising trade tensions with China. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Coordination on Syria Strikes Belies Simmering Tensions

Posted by hkarner - 16. April 2018

Date: 15-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Assault involved careful planning between the U.S., France and the U.K. despite divisions over other issues

The Trump administration’s close coordination with France and the U.K. to plan the strikes on the Syrian regime underscores an alignment between the U.S. and its European allies despite deep divisions over other issues.

The three countries launched airstrikes late Friday against Syrian regime targets in retaliation for a suspected chemical-weapons attack near the capital, Damascus, a week ago that killed at least 43 civilians and injured hundreds more.

The move was aimed at crippling President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical-weapons arsenal, targeting a research center and two production sites. The strikes also targeted a former missile base 15 miles west of the Syrian city of Homs.

U.S. and U.K. submarines armed with missiles moved within strike range of Syria, while a U.S. destroyer and a French frigate were in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Three more American cruisers and destroyers are deployed in the Middle East.

French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump emphasized that the strikes on Syrian targets were designed not to escalate tensions with Russia.

The assault capped a week of careful planning between the U.S., French and British militaries, despite tensions that have sowed divisions between the allies in recent months.

French President Emmanuel Macron has slammed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, pledged to push Europe to retaliate over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, and staunchly defended the Iranian nuclear deal against U.S. criticism.

Relations between the U.S. and Britain were tested when Mr. Trump called off a planned trip to London earlier this year to attend the official opening of the new U.S. Embassy in London. And in November last year, Prime Minister Theresa May criticized Mr. Trump when he retweeted messages from a British far-right group.

Further, Britain and France are on opposing sides over Brexit, with Mrs. May’s government seeking a clean break from the European Union and Mr. Macron having pursued a deeper union since his election victory last year. With two-year negotiations just past the midway point, critical issues over the U.K.’s divorce remain unsolved.

Mr. Trump was full of praise for the U.S.’s allies on Saturday, tweeting: “Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result.”

At a press conference in Downing Street, Mrs. May said the strikes were aimed at degrading Mr. Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons to attack his own people. A full assessment of the strikes is ongoing, but Mrs. May said the U.K. and its allies are confident they were successful.

“I believe that this action was necessary. I believe it was the right thing for us to do,” Mrs. May said. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Dr. Doom Still Basking in His Fame After Warning of Housing Collapse

Posted by hkarner - 15. April 2018

Date: 14-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Nouriel Roubini, one of the first voices to predict the financial crisis, has been in high demand on the lecture circuit

Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor and economist was one of the early predictors of the U.S. housing crisis.
A decade after the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal has checked in on dozens of the bankers, government officials, chief executives, hedge-fund managers and others who left a mark on that period to find out what they are doing now. Today, we spotlight analyst Meredith Whitney and economist Nouriel Roubini.

Nouriel Roubini continues to delight in the celebrity status he achieved as a rare voice warning of a housing market collapse before the 2008 financial meltdown.

He wrote a well-received book, titled “Crisis Economics.” He has been in high demand on the lecture circuit. And he has amassed nearly 450,000 Twitter followers; a total, he says, that is second only to Paul Krugman among economists.

“Every day, someone on the street stops and says, ‘Can I take a picture with you?’” the 60-year old said in a recent interview.

Before the financial crisis, the New York University professor was little known outside of academic circles. Nearly always clad in a black suit, Mr. Roubini was dubbed “Dr. Doom” after an International Monetary Fund event in September 2006, where he said a slowdown in the U.S. housing market could lead to a global recession. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What Lessons Can Washington Learn From Europe About Regulation of Tech Firms?

Posted by hkarner - 14. April 2018

Date: 13-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The EU has advanced dozens of initiatives, including privacy rules that take hold next month

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg.

U.S. lawmakers this week set the stage for a possible new era of regulation for big tech companies as they questioned Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg about the company’s handling of user privacy.

They offered few specifics about what type of oversight they would favor for an industry that has up to now been governed in the U.S. with a light touch. But as they mull how and whether to pursue regulation to address increasing concerns, including about digital privacy, they might look to Europe to seek answers and to avoid some pitfalls.

Across the Atlantic, both Brussels and European Union member states have pushed for a raft of different regulations of the tech industry in recent years—covering issues including privacy, hate speech, taxes and unfair trading practices.

That has led to accusations in the past by U.S. officials and companies that the EU is unfairly targeting American firms, while EU officials have said they are just trying to level the playing field for smaller players. Brussels’ regulation has also been accused of stymieing innovation.

Mr. Zuckerberg told U.S. lawmakers he was open to regulation, but warned against far-reaching rules that could harm innovation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The US never had a „commander in chief“ as dumb as this one!

Posted by hkarner - 13. April 2018

Date: 12-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Trump Tweets Raise Questions About Military Planning

President’s messages about possible strike in Syria stir concerns about opponents’ response

The U.S. has one guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, in the Mediterranean, where it could take part in any strike on Syria.

WASHINGTON—In a series of tweets and pronouncements in recent days, President Donald Trump has outlined a military operation still in the planning stages, spelled out a decision timetable and pointed to the kinds of weapons he may use.

“Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” he tweeted on Wednesday, referring to advanced weaponry at least 24 hours before any operation in Syria is likely to begin. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Plan for Europe’s Great Unwinding

Posted by hkarner - 13. April 2018

Date: 12-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Mario Draghi has less than two years to devise an exit strategy from today’s extraordinary monetary policy.

The economic crisis in Europe is finally fading, and Mario Draghi and his colleagues at the European Central Bank can breathe a sigh of relief. Their strategy of negative interest rates and asset purchases is paying dividends. But now the recovery brings fresh headaches for Mr. Draghi. It will soon be time to start the complex task of unwinding the extraordinary and unconventional monetary stimulus that has resuscitated the economy.

The immediate problem facing Mr. Draghi is how to phase out the ECB’s asset-purchase program, known as quantitative easing or QE, and then gradually return interest rates to more normal levels. And that is only the beginning.

The ECB’s balance sheet has doubled in size over the past three years. This is partly as a result of QE. But it is also reflects the €750 billion of cheap fixed-rate, long-term funding that the ECB has lent to banks. In some respects those loans, known as TLTROs, are an indirect form of QE, with the ECB lending the banks cash and the banks buying bonds. Either way the ECB is printing money and its balance sheet is increasing. That balance sheet will eventually have to shrink back to more normal levels. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Key to Smarter AI: Copy the Brain

Posted by hkarner - 12. April 2018

Date: 11-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject:Justin Sanchez of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is developing brain-computer interfaces to teach machines to think like us.

Everyday life is incredibly complex—filled with unexpected events, nuanced problems and new skills to be mastered. Fortunately for us, the brain is very good at processing new information. AI, on the other hand, isn’t. A computer can teach itself to master a narrow, predetermined skill, such as identifying dogs in photos or translating from English to French. But that same machine would be at a loss when faced with even the simplest unexpected task outside its area of expertise. That’s because AI lacks the brain’s plasticity—its remarkable ability to adapt and evolve.

Until AI can learn on the fly as our brains do, it will never be truly intelligent. One avenue to teaching AI to act like the brain is to study the brain itself. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Boom Reawakens the Ghost of Crisis Past: Debt

Posted by hkarner - 11. April 2018

Date: 10-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

A mounting pile of debt across the eurozone, after almost a decade of accommodative monetary policy, is worrying regulators

LISBON—Filipe Garcia e Costa had never borrowed from a bank when ultralow interest rates tempted him to take out a €185,000 ($226,000) loan to buy an apartment here.

The caveat: The 32-year-old real-estate manager won’t finish repaying the debt—worth seven times his annual salary—until he is 75.

Mr. Garcia e Costa isn’t alone in ramping up debt. Across the eurozone, economic optimism, ultralow interest rates and fierce competition among banks have helped push private-sector lending to its highest level since the financial crisis. That would be good news if it wasn’t for one big problem: the region’s already high debt.

Over the past decade, the debt held at eurozone firms and households rose around 12 percentage points to 160% of gross domestic product, according to data from the Bank for International Settlements. In the same 10-year period, U.S. private-sector debt fell around 14 percentage points, to 152% of GDP.

The borrowing binge is seen as one adverse effect of almost a decade of easy money from the European Central Bank, which slashed interest rates below zero and bought bonds to reignite an economy reeling from a crisis that was triggered in the first place by over-indebtedness.

As the ECB moves to unwind those policies, the debt they contributed to could hurt overleveraged companies and consumers, hurting the region’s now booming economy. Rising interest rates make it harder for people and companies to borrow and serve existing debts, crimping their ability to spend and invest, while pushing some into bankruptcy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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For Many Investors, the Tech Rout Is ‘Nothing to Lose Sleep Over’

Posted by hkarner - 10. April 2018

Date: 09-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Some are calmly riding out the market’s turmoil, while others see an opportunity to buy shares of technology stars

When the rout in technology heavyweights like Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. spilled over into the broader market in late March, many feared that individual investors would flee for the exits, exacerbating the declines.

Instead, Alex Boucher, a 22-year-old college student in Westfield, Mass., added to his position in chip maker Nvidia Corp., seeing a chance to pick up the pricey stock at a discount.

San Jose, Calif.-based contractor Michael Chu, 34, shrugged off a $2,700 loss in his tech-heavy index-fund holdings, betting the technology selloff was “just one of those downturns that will pick back up.”

And in Dallas, portfolio manager Craig Hodges took only two phone calls from clients on a day when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 500 points, a pittance compared with the 10 to 15 investors he would hear from daily at the peak of the 2008 financial crisis.

It isn’t that investors aren’t worried about the stock market: Roughly 37% of individual investors expect stocks to fall over the next six months, according to an American Association of Individual Investors survey, the highest share since September. And it isn’t that individuals don’t own technology shares, either: As investors have loaded up on index funds, many are more exposed to the tech sector than ever.
Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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