Thursday, 26 November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I should like to take this opportunity to wish our American visitors, followers, and Twitter followers VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

QE Has Paved the Way for a New Financial Crisis, Warn Germany's 'Wise Men"

THE TELEGRAPH: Council of Economic Experts says low interest rates pose risk for financial stability, and call on the ECB to end stimulus measures

The European Central Bank must end its unprecedented stimulus measures to prevent a new financial crisis from erupting in the eurozone, Germany's top economic advisers have warned.

Berlin's Council of Economic Experts - known as the country's five "wise men" - said the ECB must consider tapering its bond-buying measures early to avoid dangerous imbalances from building up in the bloc.

The Council's annual report delivered a scathing verdict on the ECB's recent measures and the perils of record low interest rates.

"Monetary policy is leading to a build-up of risks to financial stability which could pave the way for a new financial crisis," they said.

"Persistently low interest rates erode the earnings of banks and life insurance companies, and raise the appetite for taking risks. It is important to avoid delaying an exit from the low interest rate environment for too long." » | Mehreen Khan | Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Armistice Day: Nation Remembers War Dead

BBC: A two-minute silence has been observed across the UK to remember the nation's war dead on Armistice Day.

The silence began at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - the time in 1918 when the guns fell silent along the Western Front in Europe.

War memorials, offices, schools, town halls, and churches all hosted events.

The Princess Royal was at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, while veterans and serving personnel laid wreaths at the Cenotaph in London.

Armistice Day follows similar ceremonies on Remembrance Sunday to pay tribute to all those who died in World Wars One and Two and in every conflict since. (+ BBC video) » | Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sunday, 8 November 2015

43 Millionen Europäer haben nicht genug zu essen

KURIER: Ein Report untersuchte humanitäre Folgen der Wirtschaftskrise.

43 Millionen Europäer haben nicht genug zu essen. Immer mehr Menschen am Kontinent sind auf Hilfe angewiesen, 120 Millionen Europäer sind per Definition armutsgefährdet. Das geht aus einem am Donnerstag in Rom veröffentlichten Report der Internationalen Föderation der Rotkreuz- und Rothalbmondgesellschaften hervor, die sich unter anderem auf Eurostat-Zahlen beruft. Die Studie untersuchte die humanitären Auswirkungen der Wirtschaftskrise. » | APA / la | Freitag, 11. Oktober 2013

In Memory of the Fallen: Remembrance Sunday 2015

Remembering those who perished for our liberty; in gratitude for their sacrifice.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Prying Eyes: Companies Track Employees On- and Off-duty via Special Software & SM

Edward Snowden showed the public to what extent governments are spying on them. But there is another form of surveillance, that's barely on the radar... employers using software to track employees in the work place.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Analysts Warn of "Another Crash" as FTSE Hits Lowest Level Since Black Monday

THE TELEGRAPH: Almost £44bn has been wiped off the value of Britain's biggest companies as copper prices hit a two-week low.

Almost £44bn was wiped off Britain’s leading companies in a torrid trading session which saw the mining heavy FTSE sink to its lowest level since "Black Monday", as analysts warned another “crash” in global markets is possible.

In its biggest fall since September 1, the blue chip index slumped 172.87 points, or 2.83pc, to 5,935.84, just 37 points shy of where it closed on August 24, as the rout in commodity prices continued to drag mining stocks lower.

Despite racing to an all time record high of 7,104 in April, the FTSE 100 has steadily lost ground, and is now down 16.4pc, rocked by concerns over an economic slowdown in China.

Joshua Mahony, of IG, warned: “There is a distinct possibility of yet another crash in financial markets.”

“The steroids of monetary policy may have brought us to heights previously unseen in global markets, yet as the Fed and Bank of England begin wean us off this artificial high, we are coming to find ourselves perilously exposed to another major selloff.” Read on and comment » | Tara Cunningham, Business Reporter | Tuesday, September 22, 2015

VW Is Now in Mortal Danger, But It’s Not the Only One

THE TELEGRAPH: There is little doubt that the repercussions from the Volkswagen scandal will spread beyond the German giant

It is, at this stage, possible to say, without fear of contradiction, that things look pretty bad for Volkswagen.

Some of the numbers that have been generated by this scandal are scarcely believable. Volkswagen’s shares have slumped 35pc in the two days since news broke that the company falsified emissions data in the US to make its diesel engines look cleaner than they actually are. This is a more precipitous fall in value than BP suffered in the days after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

About €25bn (£18bn) has been wiped off the market capitalisation of the German company, which has fessed up to the fact that 11m of its cars have probably been fitted with the pollution cheating software. VW has already set aside a cool €6.5bn to pay all the fines that are surely heading its way; some believe the figure could end up being fined closer to $18bn (£12bn). Read on and comment » | Ben Wright | Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Friday, 18 September 2015

Fragen und Antworten: Warum die Fed nicht am Geldhahn dreht

Fed-Chefin Janet Yellen
DIE PRESSE: Einmal mehr hat die US-Zentralbank die Zinswende verschoben. Ökonomen zufolge droht sie ihre Glaubwürdigkeit zu verlieren.

Die Zinswende in den USA bleibt vorerst aus. Noch scheuen sich die Geldpolitiker um Fed-Chefin Janet Yellen, erstmals seit Jahren wieder am Geldhahn zu drehen. Allerdings könnte die US-Notenbank noch in diesem Jahr handeln - und damit auch die Konjunktur im Euroraum anschieben. Seit Ende 2008 liegen die Zinsen in den USA, zu dem Banken Zentralbankgeld leihen können, auf dem Tief zwischen 0 und 0,25 Prozent. » | APA/dpa | Freitag, 18. September 2015

Negative Interest Rates Could Be Necessary to Protect UK Economy, Says Bank of England Chief Economist

Andy Haldane, the Bank of England's chief economist
THE TELEGRAPH: Andy Haldane argues for raising UK's inflation target in bid to give policymakers more 'wiggle room' in fighting downturns - and suggests cash could need to be abolished sooner rather than later

The Bank of England may need to push its interest rates into negative territory to fight off the next recession, its chief economist has said.

Andy Haldane, one of the Bank’s nine interest rate setters, made the case for the "radical" option of supporting the economy with negative interest rates, and even suggested that cash could have to be abolished.

He said that the "the balance of risks to UK growth, and to UK inflation at the two-year horizon, is skewed squarely and significantly to the downside".

As a result, "there could be a need to loosen rather than tighten the monetary reins as a next step to support UK growth and return inflation to target". » | Peter Spence, Economics Correspondent | Friday, September 18, 2015

Die US-Notenbank sendet das falsche Signal

Fed-Chefin Janet Yellen beantwortet die Fragen
der Journalisten nach der Leitzins-Entscheidung.
SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG: Die Fed setzt weiter auf die Strategie des billigen Geldes. Ändert sie diese nicht endlich, wird es in einer nächsten Krise gefährlich.

Die Entscheidung ist also noch einmal vertagt, die US-Notenbank belässt ihren Leitzins vorerst bei null. Zu groß war offenbar die Furcht der Währungshüter, dass die erste Straffung der Geldpolitik seit neun Jahren die Konjunktur abwürgen, Chaos an den Finanzmärkten auslösen und viele Schwellenländer in die Krise stürzen könnte.

So berechtigt die Sorgen sind: Der Beschluss der Fed ist falsch. Die US-Wirtschaft wächst robust, die Arbeitslosigkeit ist kräftig gesunken. Gleichzeitig könnte die Inflationsrate bei einem parallelen Anstieg von Löhnen und Energiepreisen rasch zum Problem werden. Wann, wenn nicht jetzt, will die Notenbank damit beginnen, das unnatürliche Zinsniveau der letzten Jahre hinter sich zu lassen und zu normaleren Sätzen zurückzukehren? » | Ein Kommentar von Claus Hulverscheidt | Donnerstag, 17. September 2015

Paul Mason: Is Capitalism Dead?

In the wake of the financial crisis and with the rapid rise of new technologies, award-winning economist and journalist, Paul Mason, believes we're on the cusp of a seismic economic shift, of a kind yet to be seen in human history. So has capitalism had its day? Watch him argue his case with Douglas Murray, Zoe Williams, Julia Powles and Pat Kane.

The Guardian Live event took place on 22 July and was chaired by Observer editor John Mulholland.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

BMW CEO Faints during News Conference at Frankfurt Auto Show

The CEO of BMW Harald Krueger, fainted during a news conference at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Staff rushed to help him back onto his feet and off the stage. BMW spokesperson told media that Krueger has been traveling a lot recently and didn't feel well.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Should We Return to the Gold Standard?

Aug. 28, 2015 - 4:52 - Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes and Steve Moore of the Heritage Foundation discuss the markets and whether to go back to the gold standard.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Millionen junge Europäer ohne Job bedrohen den sozialen Frieden

TAGES ANZEIGER: In Europa sind 7,5 Millionen Menschen unter 25 Jahren seit Jahren ohne Job. Die Aussichten, dass sie jemals den Einstieg in die Arbeitswelt schaffen, sind schlecht. Trotzdem halten sie still.

Europas hohe Jugendarbeitslosigkeit ist eines der grossen Übel unserer Zeit. Vor allem im Süden des Kontinents droht es einer ganzen Generation das Leben zu vermiesen. Seine toxische Wirkung wird noch jahrzehntelang anhalten, selbst wenn sich die Lage irgendwann wieder bessern sollte. Aber das ist keineswegs sicher. 7,5 Millionen Europäer unter 25 Jahren haben keine Arbeit und keinen Ausbildungsplatz; europaweit beträgt die Jugendarbeitslosigkeit mehr als 21 Prozent, in Griechenland überschreitet sie die Marke von 50 Prozent, in Spanien liegt sie knapp darunter. Aber auch in einigen mitteleuropäischen und nördlichen Ländern, etwa in Belgien, Polen, Irland oder Schweden, ist mindestens jeder fünfte junge Erwachsene betroffen. Und in Wirklichkeit ist die Situation noch schlimmer, als es die Statistiken ausweisen. Denn es genügt, dass ein Jugendlicher eine einzige Stunde pro Woche arbeitet, ob bezahlt oder umsonst, um nicht mehr als erwerbslos zu gelten. » | Von Sandro Benini, Co-Leiter International | Mittwoch, 26. August 2015