Friday, 30 October 2020

Trump's Fake Recovery (w/ Richard Wolff)

Donald Trump is faking the economic recovery! Economist Richard Wolff looks beyond the deceptive third quarter numbers, showing us that economy is much more fragile than the incumbent president would have us believe.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

France Expected to Impose Four-week National Lockdown

THE GUARDIAN: Emmanuel Macron reportedly planning move after record number of new Covid cases

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is expected to impose a new four-week national lockdown to halt the spread of Covid-19, according to French media.

The announcement would follow record numbers of new cases in France that have put pressure on hospitals, and a startling rise in coronavirus deaths.

Macron is due to make a televised address on Wednesday evening after holding a second emergency meeting with government ministers. The prime minister, Jean Castex, also met union leaders and opposition parties to justify the need for stricter measures.

Large swathes of France, including Paris, have been placed under a night-time curfew, but officials say this has not been enough to stop the virus. » | Kim Willshir | Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Monday, 19 October 2020

Lessons on Negative Rates to Be Found Overseas

THE TIMES: If pricing in the money markets is anything to go by, the Bank of England will introduce negative rates in Britain for the first time next year.

It has been no secret in recent months that Threadneedle Street is reviewing how sub-zero rates might be implemented, although Andrew Bailey, the Bank’s governor, has been at pains to emphasise that its work implies nothing about whether policymakers will use the policy tool.

The Bank last week asked commercial lenders for information about whether their systems could cope with negative rates, spurring yet further speculation that it was moving closer to cutting rates below zero.

By charging firms to keep deposits at central banks, the theory behind negative rates is that it encourages commercial banks to lend rather than hoard cash, thereby stimulating the economy.

The Bank will be looking to other countries where negative rates have been deployed to gauge whether they work in practice. » | Gurpreet Narwan, Ben Martin | Monday, October 19, 2020

With Covid-19 Under Control, China’s Economy Surges Ahead

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Exports jumped and local governments engaged in a binge of debt-fueled construction projects. Even consumer spending is finally recovering.

BEIJING — As most of the world still struggles with the coronavirus pandemic, China is showing once again that a fast economic rebound is possible when the virus is brought firmly under control.

The Chinese economy surged 4.9 percent in the July-to-September quarter compared with the same months last year, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced on Monday. The robust performance brings China almost back up to the roughly 6 percent pace of growth that it was reporting before the pandemic. » | Keith Bradsher | Published, Sunday, October 18, 2020 and Updated Monday, October 19, 2020

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Brexit ohne Vertrag: Lässt Boris Johnson die Bombe platzen? | DW Nachrichten

Im Brexit-Streit mit Großbritannien ist keine Entspannung in Sicht. Die EU- Staats- und Regierungschefs fordern von London ein Entgegenkommen. Aber auch Boris Johnson droht mit einem harten Bruch. Taktisches Manöver um Druck zu machen?

UK Credit Rating Downgraded by Moody's amid Growth Concerns

THE GUARDIAN: Ratings agency cites weakening economy, Brexit woes and coronavirus shocks

Credit ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded Britain’s credit status, citing a decline in economic strength in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and continued Brexit uncertainty.

With the government struggling to contain a second wave and ministers under pressure to sanction extra spending to protect businesses and jobs, Moody’s lowered the UK’s sovereign debt rating by one notch to Aa3 from Aa2.

The ratings agency said it expected that the public finances would worsen as a result of the pandemic, though it expected the overall debt burden to stabilise next year, leading it to drop the “negative outlook” attached to the rating to one of “stable”. » | Phillip Inman | Friday, October 16, 2020

Monday, 12 October 2020

Le bilan économique de Donald Trump anéanti par le Covid-19

LE MONDE: Editorial. Alors que, fin 2019, les taux de chômage et de pauvreté étaient au plus bas aux Etats-Unis, la crise liée à la pandémie a tout changé. L’économie américaine a besoin d’un plan d’aide, qui est, pour l’heure, bloqué par l’opposition entre républicains et démocrates.

Editorial du « Monde ». Donald Trump fait mine de se réjouir du rebond économique des Etats-Unis : en septembre, la première économie du monde avait recréé 11,4 millions d’emplois, la moitié des 22 millions détruits en mars-avril, lorsque éclata la crise du Covid-19. En réalité, ce chiffre est une catastrophe pour le président sortant : jamais le taux de chômage (7,9 %) n’avait été si élevé à la veille d’une élection présidentielle américaine depuis la deuxième guerre mondiale. Donald Trump a perdu l’un de ses arguments de campagne les plus forts, son bilan économique. » | ÉDITORIAL | lundi 12 octobre 2020

Bank of England Asks Banks If They Are Ready for Negative Interest Rates

THE GUARDIAN: Lenders asked what steps they would take if official borrowing costs were pushed below zero

The Bank of England has moved a step closer to adopting negative interest after writing to banks asking them how ready they would be for the ground-breaking move.

Sam Woods, one of Threadneedle Street’s deputy governors, has asked banks what steps they would need to take in the event that official borrowing costs were pushed below zero.

Woods said: “For a negative bank rate to be effective as a policy tool, the financial sector – as the key transmission mechanism of monetary policy – would need to be operationally ready to implement it in a way that does not adversely affect the safety and soundness of firms.” » | Larry Elliott | Monday, October 12, 2020

Thursday, 8 October 2020

While Millions Lost Jobs, Some Executives Made Millions in Company Stock

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Even as millions of people have lost their jobs during the pandemic, the soaring stock market since the spring has delivered outsize gains to the wealthiest Americans. And few among the superrich have done as well as corporate executives who received stock awards this year. » | Peter Eavis | Thursday, October 8, 2020

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Dr Richard Wolff: End of Empire

Amazon, Jeff Bezos and Collecting Data | DW Documentary

No company stores more data than Amazon, the former online bookseller. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has become the richest man in the world. Every second Euro in online trading is spent at Amazon. Is the IT giant, with its unabated growth, about to turn our economic system upside down?

Amazon is a machine that can simultaneously observe, compare and analyze more than 300 million people worldwide. The company is not just a marketplace, market supervisor and provider of more and more services and consumer items - it also controls all the data streams in this market and uses them to its own benefit. Who suspects that a single click on an Amazon page will forward information to the company that fills a printed DIN-A-4 page? A conversation with Alexa, watching a streaming offer on Amazon-Prime, ordering vegetables via Amazon-Fresh - all this put together creates a whole library of information about every customer. The group collects everything - it just won’t reveal what conclusions it draws from it. What would be possible if data from other, new business areas were added? In the USA, Amazon is also active in the health and insurance sectors, and police officers are using its facial recognition software to search for wanted persons.

Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos (Full Film) | FRONTLINE

An inside look at how Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos built one of the largest and most influential economic forces in the world — and the cost of Amazon’s convenience.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Geneva to Raise Minimum Wage to £3,500 a Month

THE GUARDIAN: Voters back increase amid reports of growing poverty linked to Covid-19 pandemic

Geneva is to raise its minimum wage to almost £3,500 a month, reported to be the highest in the world, after locals approved the measure in a surprise vote result sparked by reports of growing coronavirus-linked poverty in the Swiss city.

The canton’s 500,000 voters passed the increase proposed by local unions and leftwing parties, after twice rejecting it in 2011 and 2014.

The minimum hourly wage will rise to just under £19.50 an hour, more than twice the rate in neighbouring France, with a guaranteed minimum monthly salary of 4,086 Swiss francs (£3,457) based on a 41-hour working week, or 49,000 Swiss francs (£41,430) a year, in one of the world’s most expensive cities to live. » | Kim Willsher in Paris | Wednesday, September 30, 2020