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Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

High-Tech Solar Projects Fail to Deliver

Posted by hkarner - 14. Juni 2015

Date: 13-06-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal

$2.2 billion project in California generates 40% of its expected electricity
Hi Tech Solar projectThe Ivanpah solar-thermal plant in California uses thousands of mirrors to reflect sunlight and generate steam.

Some costly high-tech solar power projects aren’t living up to promises their backers made about how much electricity they could generate.

Solar-thermal technology, which uses mirrors to capture the sun’s rays, was once heralded as the advance that would overtake old fashioned solar panel farms. But a series of missteps and technical difficulties threatens to make newfangled solar-thermal technology obsolete.

The $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar power project in California’s Mojave Desert is supposed to be generating more than a million megawatt-hours of electricity each year. But 15 months after starting up, the plant is producing just 40% of that, according to data from the U.S. Energy Department. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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People don’t go because they have nothing, they go because they want better and more

Posted by hkarner - 14. Juni 2015

Date: 12-06-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Allure of Wealth Drives Deadly Trek

KOTHIARY, Senegal—Less than a month after mourning a neighbor killed on the 3,000-mile migrant trail to Europe, Ibrahima Ba set off on the same treacherous road.
The 27-year-old was supposed to build a future in this stable corner of rural Africa, using money sent from his father in France to raise bulls and sell diesel fuel. But in March, as chaos in Libya eased a pathway to the Mediterranean, Mr. Ba gambled he could make a better life, selling the cattle to buy a ticket along the world’s deadliest migrant route and joining the largest global migration wave since World War II.

In April, Mr. Ba’s family mourned him, too: they believe he drowned alongside 700 migrants aboard a trawler that tipped into the sea, the worst in a series of tragedies that shocked Europe and triggered frantic diplomacy to rethink European immigration laws.

At least 1,840 have died on the crossing from Libya to Italy so far this year, following 3,200 known deaths last year, the International Organization for Migration says.

“He didn’t lack for anything, he had everything he needed,” said Mr. Ba’s mother, Awa Diop. “But he wanted to have his own means.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can China Be Contained?

Posted by hkarner - 14. Juni 2015

Date: 13-06-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal

As tensions with China rise, U.S. foreign policy thinkers are dusting off ideas from the Cold War—and questioning the long-standing consensus for engagement with Beijing

For many Americans today, the promise of being diplomatic partners with China seems more remote than ever before.

Writing in 1967, at the height of the Cold War, Richard Nixon proclaimed a new American ambition: to “persuade China that it must change.”

“Taking the long view,” he wrote, “we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbors.” Four years later, having ascended to the White House, Nixon engineered an “opening to China” that promised to turn the communist giant into a diplomatic partner, one that would adopt America’s values and maybe even its system of democracy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How the Eurozone Should Deal With Pushback

Posted by hkarner - 12. Juni 2015

Date: 11-06-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

A bold solution is needed to persuade unruly member states to undertake economic overhauls

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has objected to measures that the country’s creditors have insisted upon in exchange for fresh aid.

Whatever the outcome of the interminable Greek crisis, it has highlighted a major challenge for the eurozone: How does it induce a member state to pursue policies vital not only to its own economic fortunes, but also to those of every other country to which it is yoked? How can sovereign governments—including those not facing the prospect of imminent default if they refuse to accept the conditions attached to a bailout program—be persuaded to undertake reforms that will make their economies more flexible and therefore better able to withstand shocks? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Greece Is the Crisis Club’s Odd Man Out

Posted by hkarner - 12. Juni 2015

Date: 11-06-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal By GREG IP

Stunted export sector makes eurozone’s weakest link less responsive to bailout medicine

Odds are Greece and its international creditors will strike some sort of deal to avoid default before a deadline looming at the end of June.

The bigger question is whether Greece will emerge from a new bailout any better able to grow, and thus support its debts, than it did from prior deals.

Alone among the countries at the center of the eurozone’s sovereign-debt crisis, Greece saw its economy shrink in the first quarter this year. While the bailout negotiations are the latest stumbling block, Greece has lagged behind its peers throughout the crisis.

Greece competitivenessBlame that not just on the burden of managing its debt, now nearly 180% of gross domestic product, but on a fundamentally different economy: its export sector is small, undiversified and deeply uncompetitive.

Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland all entered the crisis with huge current account deficits—the balance on all exports, imports and income between a country and its partners.

Such deficits are typically corrected via currency devaluation, which boosts exports and curbs imports. But membership in the euro makes devaluation impossible. Instead, prices and wages must decline, a painful process called “internal devaluation.”

This has worked to boost other crisis countries’ exports for more than Greece’s, which, adjusted for inflation, are still lower than in 2008. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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European Companies Flag China Growth Concerns

Posted by hkarner - 11. Juni 2015

Date: 10-06-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal

European firms cut China growth forecasts and some are preparing to reduce staffing levels

European companies are scaling back investments in the country as China’s pace of growth slows.

BEIJING—European companies doing business in China are cutting investment amid growing concerns over flagging growth prospects and dwindling profits there, a survey showed.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, a trade organization representing more than 1,400 European companies with operations in that country, said Wednesday that many of its members have lowered their expectations for the future of China’s economy and are preparing to cut costs, mostly by reducing staffing levels. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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EU Lawyers Favor Market-Economy Status for China Next Year

Posted by hkarner - 10. Juni 2015

Date: 10-06-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Designation would lead to lower tariffs on ‘dumped’ Chinese exports

BRUSSELS—European Union lawyers have concluded that China should be formally designated a “market economy” at the end of next year, a step that would make it far harder for European companies to protect themselves against low-price Chinese exports, EU officials say.

The question of whether China is given market-economy treatment at the end of 2016 will be hotly debated by governments around the world in the coming months. Beijing and its allies argue that China’s 2001 agreement to join the World Trade Organization requires countries to give China market-economy treatment 15 years later, in December 2016. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Stiglitz: Fed’s Zero-Rate Policy Boosts Inequality

Posted by hkarner - 8. Juni 2015

Date: 07-06-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal

StiglitzJoseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize-winning economist and professor of economics at Columbia University, says the Fed’s aggressive monetary policies may have further boosted U.S. inequality.

The Federal Reserve’s prolonged policies of near-zero interest rates and asset purchases have further widened the already large gap between the rich and poor in the United States, says Nobel prize-winning economist and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz.

“Contrary to the presumption in the nineteenth century, where lower interest rates favored debtors over creditors and thus increased equality, we show that…lower interest rates may actually increase inequality,” Mr. Stiglitz, a long-time inequality scholar, argues in the fourth of a four-part working paper series published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

That’s because rich individuals tend to hold much of their wealth in a stock market that benefits disproportionately from such policies, which included purchases of government and mortgage bonds, a program known as quantitative easing or QE.

“The composition of wealth-holdings will differ between the capitalists and life cycle savers, so that any policy which differentially benefits those assets held by capitalists leads to greater inequality. Quantitative easing did that,” he says.
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U.S. Considers Harder Line on Russia

Posted by hkarner - 7. Juni 2015

Date: 06-06-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Obama administration officials are considering new deterrence strategies to rein in Russian meddling in Europe, in what some say would amount to an updated version of Cold War-era containment.

The proposed approach involves beefing up the militaries of allies and would-be partners and rooting out government corruption, which they see Moscow exploiting to gain more influence.

Some administration officials also want to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to limit Moscow’s orbit. Membership for Ukraine or Georgia remains off the table, but some Pentagon and administration officials are advocating admitting the small Balkan country of Montenegro to solidify the country’s ties to the West and show that Mr. Putin doesn’t have a veto over alliance expansion. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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EU Moves Against Three Chinese Solar Panel Makers

Posted by hkarner - 6. Juni 2015

Date: 06-06-2015

Source: The Wall Street Journal

EU says three Chinese companies violated pact signed with solar panel industry

BRUSSELS—European authorities imposed sharp tariffs on three large Chinese solar-panel manufacturers, kicking them out of a pact signed with the Chinese industry that allows them to export to Europe with minimal tariffs.

The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, said on Friday that Canadian Solar, ET Solar and ReneSola Ltd. are violating an agreement signed in 2013 with the Chinese solar panel industry that allows them to avoid import tariffs of up to 70%; the pact requires the Chinese producers to export their panels above a minimum price and abide by several other conditions.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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