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« A glass half full in London | Main | What would it take to make international finance safe? »

April 02, 2009

Comments

paperwight

"On the first point, isn't it the case that the reason trade unions, say, have lost power in recent decades is the ideology of deregulation which swept Washington, D.C.? Or that U.S. auto makers have been unable to get large-scale import protection because this was a no-no in the prevailing ideological climate?"

Well, yeah, but as you say, ideas don't come from nowhere. And the propagation of ideas (and in these latter days, the funding of idea factories) depends very much on who has the incentive and the resources to make sure that the ideas are properly structured into handy talking-point packages and repeated often enough and to the right people so that they become conventional wisdom.

Which brings us back to interest groups...

raivo pommer-eesti

raivo pommer-eesti-www.google.ee
raimo1@hot.ee

EZB BANK KRISE

Die Europäische Zentralbank hat bei ihrer Ratssitzung in Frankfurt ihre Entscheidung getroffen: Der wichtigste Zins zur Versorgung der Kreditwirtschaft mit Zentralbankgeld verringert sich um weitere 0,25 Prozentpunkte auf 1,25 Prozent.

Experten hatten mit einer deutlicheren Senkung auf ein Prozent gerechnet. Seit Oktober hatte die EZB den Leitzins damit bereits um insgesamt drei Prozentpunkte verringert. Eine Null-Zins-Politik wie sie etwa in den USA derzeit gilt, lehnt die EZB bislang ab.


Die Entscheidung der EZB wirkt sich direkt nur auf die Banken aus: Der Leitzins gibt vor, zu welchen Bedingungen sich die Institute Geld leihen können. Dies hat indirekt aber auch Folgen für Bankkunden - welche genau, können aber auch Fachleute nur anhand der bisherigen Entwicklung vermuten. So geht die Finanzexpertin der Verbraucherzentrale Rheinland-Pfalz, Sylvia Beckerle, davon aus, dass sich der bisherige Trend zu niedrigeren Sparzinsen fortsetzt: "Die Zinsen für die Anleger werden weiter nach unten gehen."


Die Zinsen vor allem für Tagesgeld und Festgeld sind in den vergangenen Wochen wesentlich deutlicher gesunken als die für Raten- oder Hypothekenkredite, wie der Finanzberater der Verbraucherzentrale Baden-Württemberg, Niels Nauhauser, sagt: "Die Anlagezinsen wurden rasch gesenkt, die Darlehenszinsen bleiben oben." Das sei immer so, habe sich aber in der Finanzkrise verschärft, weil die Banken die Gewinne noch mehr bräuchten.

Richard

Dani- I think you are missing Simon Johnson's point. Politics in America has changed dramatically in the last 30 years primarily because of the increasing role of money, much of it supplied by big New York banks. When I first started as an activist in the Republican Party in the 1970's if the party asked someone to run for Congress raising the money was not a big issue. You could do a couple of fundraisers and send a letter out to grass roots people asking for money and usually raise enough money for a good candidate to make a run for office. In those days in Michigan where I was involved with the party the most that anyone might spend on a race would be $100,000 and that would be an expensive race. Politics was retail. Today of course Congressional races often cost several million dollars. This forces congressional candidates of both political parties to go to corporate PACs to raise money. In fact to "go to New York" to raise money is a euphemism that politicians use to say that they are raising money on Wall Street. The effect of this is that candidates are forced listen to the ideas being pushed by corporate America. To give an example of this: one of my friends ran a savings and loan PAC in the 1980's she would bundle contributions with other S&L pacs to raise enough money to finance a candidates entire race. If his race cost half a million dollars one hundred S&L pacs would together offer to give him that much money in 100 five thousand dollar contributions. The effect of this was that it was very difficult for the Congressmaen not to listen to ideas supporting deregulation. In American politics you must have money to bring your ideas to the public. When you talk about "ideas in the air" remember that while itellectuals can develop ideas on their own to put them in the air they must be marketed by someone, usually a politician taking corporate PAC money. Just look at how difficult it has been for you and Joseph Stiglitz to get an audience for the idea that maybe unregulated international trade isn't always wise.

raivo pommer-eesti

raivo pommer-eesti-www.google.ee

raimo1@hot.ee

Regierungstreffen zu „Bad Bank“ geplant

Geschenk für die Banken? Finanzminister Steinbrück will im Kanzleramt Pläne vorlegen, wie man belasteten Instituten helfen kann

Die Bundesregierung wird nächste Woche darüber beraten, wie man Banken von problembehafteten Papieren befreien kann, ohne den Staatshaushalt allzu sehr zu belasten. Nach Informationen der F.A.Z. werden sich dazu Kanzleramtsminister Thomas de Maizière (CDU), Finanzminister Peer Steinbrück (SPD) und Wirtschaftsminister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (CSU) mit dem Bundesbankpräsidenten Axel Weber und dem Chef des Bankenrettungsfonds Soffin, Hannes Rehm, treffen.

Die Bundesregierung wehrt sich dagegen, eine zentrale Stelle („Bad Bank“) einzurichten, die den Finanzinstituten risikoreiche Papiere auf Kosten der Steuerzahler abnimmt. Noch immer haben die Banken Risiken in ihren Bilanzen, die ihre Fähigkeit und Bereitschaft dämpfen, neue Kredite zu vergeben. Steinbrück warnte mehrfach, dass eine zu großzügige Lösung den Bund mit bis zu 200 Milliarden Euro belasten kann. Er wird seine Pläne der Runde im Kanzleramt vorlegen.

Tony Levitas

Dani,

While I agree with you about the strange faith that Simon puts in the IMF to get us out of this mess, I too think you are missing his point. As I read him, there was a mutually reinforcing circle between interests --say financial deregulation-- and ideology --say the Washington Consensus-- that lies at the root of where we are today. The best symbol of this was probably the troijka of greenspan, rubin and summers, that ran the Clinton administrations economic policy, and which with Wendy and Phil Gramm did the most to actually institutionalize the idea that Wall Street could regulate itself. Rubin and Goldman Sachs crowd obviously had a direct interest in the line. With the Gramms the question is more ambiguous, in as much as both certainly beleived in deregulation of certain sort and profited from it personally, Phil from campaign contributions, Wendy through her engagement at Enron. But let us not cast aspersions on the motives of either Greenspan or Summers and lets just assume that their position was one of principled and reasoned belief.

In other words, from the start the ideas were in bed with the interests and the interests were in bed with the ideas. And both joined force to whack other ideas, or other interests, say those of Stieglitz and the woman (whose name i forget) who tried to regulate the derivates at the SEC and was institutionally disappeared.
More importantly, the issue now, is whether these (wounded) interests and (discredited) ideas can be disentangled and transformed into rational policy. And on that score, I am afraid things are looking less than rosy: The Geithner Plan, and every thing that has proceeded it with respect to the financial crise per se, does everything it possibly can not only to save the existing interests --on the ground that it is only they who can get the market up and running again-- but makes no effort to think through the issue that is forcing us to kow-tow in the first place. And again this returns us to perhaps Simon's most salient point: That anything too big to fail, shouldn't exist in the first place.

GabbyD

hi prof: you said

"The fact that we have chosen to follow the last route, and not any of the others, is determined not by power but by the "ideas in the air": "

could it also be that the other routes were politically obvious, and/or had been used before?

hence the menu of helping bankers is not as large as one might think

raivo pommer-eesti

Die Schweiz und die USA


werden Ende April formell Verhandlungen über das Doppelbsteuerungsabkommen aufnehmen. Dies sagt der Schweizer Botschafter in Washington, Urs Ziswyler, in einem Interview des Nachrichtenmagazins «10vor10» des Schweizer Fernsehens (SF), das heute Freitagabend ausgestrahlt wird. Der Botschafter drückte die Hoffnung aus, dass diese Verhandlungen in der Schweiz stattfinden werden. Erste Gespräche im Hinblick auf eine Ergänzung oder Neuaushandlung des Abkommens seien bereits vergangene Woche in Washington erfolgt. Ziswyler machte im weiteren deutlich, dass die Schweiz für ein erfolgreiches Steuerabkommen auch ein Entgegenkommen erwartet.

Damoklesschwert der Klage gegen UBS

«Wir können nicht akzeptieren, dass parallel zu diesen Verhandlungen das Damoklesschwert der 52'000 Namen im Raum steht, die ein US-Gericht von der UBS verlangt. Wir können nicht unterschreiben, wenn nicht auch dort Fortschritte gemacht werden», sagte der Botschafter. Auch müsse den wenig geduldigen Amerikanern immer wieder dargelegt werden, wie das Schweizer System mit dem Parlament laufe und dass ein Referendum möglich sei.

Zu verhandeln gibt es mit den USA eine Menge wesentlicher Details. Die Schweiz wird nämlich künftig ausländischen Behörden Informationen über deren Steuerpflichtige liefern müssen, wenn das Ausland diese Daten braucht, um Steuern korrekt veranlagen zu können.

James

"But since I am an economist, it would be in my interest to say so, wouldn't it?"

Erm, given the state of the global economy, perhaps not...

Per Kurowski

When Simon Johnson says “Regulators, legislators, and academics almost all assumed that the managers of these banks knew what they were doing. In retrospect, they didn’t.”… We should ask him…. and whose fault was that? Only the bankers? Not the regulators, the legislators and the academics?

When regulators in Basel, believing themselves to be the Masters of Risk, imposed what must be one of the most naïve and gullible regulatory systems ever, where for instances a bank is allowed to leverage its equity 62.5 times to 1 if it is lending to a corporation that some human fallible credit rating agencies had rated as AAA or AA-… from my perspective they are the most to be blamed… followed by the many academicians that ignored the issue or preferred to avoid discussing with their peers.

And when Simon Johnson says “Wall Street is a very seductive place, imbued with an air of power” he should acknowledge that exactly the same or more goes for the IMF, the Congress and the universities. Where were those regulators, legislators, and tenured academics who were being paid and honored with independence to serve as advisors and guides to the society, much more than what can be attributed to some Wall Street operators? Where was Simon Johnson himself?

On April 4, in Strasbourg, France, at a Town-Hall meeting, Obama said “We just emerged from an era marked by irresponsibility, and it would be easy to choose the path of selfishness or apathy, of blame or division. But that is a danger that we cannot afford. The challenges are too great”. And Obama is absolutely right.

Philip Delves Broughton in “MBA arrogance and the myth of leadership”, Financial Times March 23, wrote… “The recent officer class of global capitalism has been the MBA class. But it was a case of lions led by donkeys, at least in the financial industry. Honest individuals and businesses came to rely on a system that betrayed them”… and I cannot but feel that he’s got a point.

PBH

Obama’s agenda, however, became less opaque in June 2008 when he chagrined labour supporters by appointing Jason Furman, the director of the Brookings-affiliated Hamilton Project, as the head of his economic policy unit. The Project, founded by ex-Treasury secretary Robert Rubin in 2006, has been part of the institutional network that elaborates the legacy of the Clinton Administration: in this case as a megaphone for centrist economic policies that meld fiscal conservatism and financial deregulation with smarter public investment. Furman’s appointment was followed by the arrival in the inner circle of Rubin’s successor in the Clinton Treasury, Lawrence Summers, a devotee of Milton Friedman (‘any honest Democrat will admit that we are now all Friedmanites’), who with Rubin, Alan Greenspan and Phil Gramm had dismantled the last New Deal firewall, the Glass–Steagall Act, between traditional banks and derivative Ponzi schemes. By making the Hamilton Project his economic shadow cabinet, and later elevating the radioactive Summers to the directorship of the National Economic Council, Obama restored to power the auteurs of the catastrophe, and willingly entangled himself in the seedy history of ‘Rubinomics’ and the notorious back door between the Clinton White House and big investment banks and money funds...

Even Jeffrey Sachs said as much:

"The Tarp has not revived the banks or their lending, but it has supported a massive transfer of taxpayer wealth to the management and owners of well-connected financial institutions. Some of those transfers – as in the case of Merrill Lynch using its government-financed sale to Bank of America to enable $4bn in bonuses last month – are beyond egregious. Yet the US is now inured to corruption and in such a rush that even billions of dollars of public funds shovelled into Merrill’s private pockets in broad daylight barely merited a day’s news cycle."

Jan

How can "ideas" explain the contrast between, on the one hand, the massive subsidies for Citi and BofA, which were engaged in compulsive gambling and outright swindling, and, on the other, the harsh treatment of GM, which over the past decade or so has achieved a remarkable turnaround from its engineering and management failures during the eighties and early nineties?

Is the "idea" that a grossly over-built financial sector will in the future contribute more to prosperity and growth than large-scale capital-intensive manufacturing?

Or perhaps Simon Johnson had it right. GM's basic problem is that it doesn't own the US Treasury Department.

raivo pommer-eesti.

raivo pommer-www.google.ee
raimo1@hot.ee

Krisenbanken: 210 Millionen Dollar Bonus


Neue Empörung über Millionenbonuszahlungen in den USA: Die staatlich kontrollierten US-Hypothekenfinanzierer Fannie Mae und Freddie Mac wollen offenbar rund 210 Millionen Dollar (156 Millionen Euro) an Boni ausschütten. Die Summe solle an insgesamt 7600 Beschäftigte gehen, berichtete das "Wall Street Journal" am Freitag.

Der höchste Einzelbonus des Pakets liege bei 1,5 Millionen Dollar. Die Gelder sollten als sogenannte Halteprämien überwiegend bis ins kommende Jahr hinein gezahlt werden, so das Blatt. Knapp ein Viertel der Summe sei sogar schon geflossen.

Die Finanzierer Fannie und Freddie erlitten 2008 zusammen Verluste in Höhe von rund 108 Milliarden Dollar. Sie stehen hinter etwa jedem zweiten US-Immobilienkredit. Um einen völligen Kollaps am Häusermarkt zu verhindern, übernahm der Staat im September die Kontrolle und gab Milliardenhilfen.

D. Frank Robinson

Some "..ideas in the air..." are used to suck the oxygen from other ideas in the air. For example, gold as universal money and abolishing central banking - Austrian school (Mises, Hayek, Rothbard) ideas which have not quite had all the oxygen sucked from them.

wjd123

This was written after reading Dani's "Simon Johnson's morality tale," A plan B for global finance," and "Ideas and interests"


In "Trilemma," an essay by Dani on his blog, he claimed that if countries wanted "deep" global integration they would have to give up nationalism or democracy. Nationalism imposed barriers to globalism while globalism required the democratic polis to be subservient to global aims.

However, if the trilemma isn't about deep global integration but about deep international integration then there is a way for countries to achieve greater integration without giving up democracy. The EU way.

For instance under EU law woman have greater protection against discrimination in the work place than they would under the laws of any member country. EU citizenship allowes a Spaniard working in England to vote in local elections there.

Internationalism the EU way has increased both the rights of woman and expanded democracy.

The ability of the global economy to arbitrage away one nations political economy against other's is lessened under deep internationalism in the same manner that is harder for speculators to make a run on the euro than it is for them to make a run on the pound.

Ideological questions of legitimacy that arise when global markets undermine the rules and regulations of democratic agreed upon political economies are brought back to a democratic polis

Instead of political economies being reduced to the lowest common denominator under "deep" globalization, political economies that opt for this type of "deep" internationalism swap some sovereignty for expanded democracy and expanded rights. A good deal all around.

Expanded checks and balances against oligarchic capture also opens up.

France not having interests in finance that are as great as America's or Britain's would be a check against those interest gaining too much power.

It seems to me that checks and balances on an international scale would make oligarchic capture harder than checks and balances on a national scale.

And since Dani argues "Simon Johnson's morality tale" that it is too easy to blame the bankers for our financial crisis because the spirit of the times after Reagan and Thatcher has been one of deregulation why not take advantage of the new spirit for regulation to forge some international solutions to international problems exposed by the financial crisis.

Dani says that GATT was a victim of its own success. How so? Is it in the Paul Krugman sense that free trade wasn't a problem until it grew big enough to become a problem. If so, we can't look backwards for solutions if we are to progress.

While it's true that the internationalism I speak of isn't working very well right now that's no reason to give up on it and revert back to nationalism. In fact since the idea of regulation is in the wind and EU countries are open to it, now would seem to be the opportune time to get international financial regulations that don't possess the weakness of the Basel I and Basel II attempts.

I agree with Dani that there can't be a one size fits all approach to regulating. This isn't one of them, it's an international way that takes small possible steps that moves us toward a greater globalism without the stumbling blocks of national restrictions or less democracy

I also agree with Dani when he writes in "A plan B for global finance":

"Yet the logic of global financial regulation is flawed. The world economy will be far more stable and prosperous with a thin veneer of international co-operation superimposed on strong national regulations than with attempts to construct a bold global regulatory and supervisory framework. The risk we run is that pursuing an ambitious goal will detract us from something that is more desirable and more easily attained."


I agree, that is, if he isn't conflating his deep globalism that can't work along side democracy, with deep internationalism that can work along side democracy. I agree, that is, if he isn't conflating a globalism that can't expand our freedoms with an internationalism that can; a internationalism that can guard against capture by oligarchic interests; an internationalism that can overcome questions of legitimacy while protecting and expanding individual rights.

I'm excited about this entry by Dani "Ideas and Interests. I get that way when the zeitgeist is changing, moving close enough to touch. It's like boarding a plane in the middle of a stormy night and finding you've been seated next to Angelina Jolie.

The spirit of the times is changing. Now is not the time to propagate the thesis that the American congress isn't about to give up any of our nations sovereignty. We are a democracy. Change is open in democracies. Change is easier when the winds of change are at your back.

Today the idea of international regulations is stronger then ever. Unforeseen consequences of the past are cautionary tales that should be heeded. But they are cautionary tale form another time. New ideas are in the air. The old tales should be noted but not be used to inhibit ideas that the zeitgeist is opening to. Now is the time to push for the anti-thesis.


eee_eff

"It's a very old question in the social sciences: do governments act the way they do because of the pressure of politically powerful and organized groups ("interests") or because of prevailing views on what is desirable and feasible ("ideas")?"

"No-one could deny that interest groups play a role in shaping policy. But I would argue (i) that the identity of the groups that get to exercise power and (ii) the manner in which their interests are advanced are also determined by prevailing world views about the proper role and functions of government. On the first point, isn't it the case that the reason trade unions, say, have lost power in recent decades is the ideology of deregulation which swept Washington, D.C.?"

I think that it is debatable which is a cause and which is an effect. The fact that deregulation ideology is ascendant is a sign that trade unions have lost power. It's not just a chicken or egg argument. It goes to the heart of the need to judge folks by what they do, not what they say. All the rhetoric is just cover for manipulating the levers of power. As you approach the centers of power, intellectual honesty evaporates. You need to re-read Anthony Downs.[An Economic Theory of Democracy. (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1957)]

"US automakers have been unable to get large-scale import protection because this was a no-no in the prevailing ideological climate?"

Yes, you've just proven the point I've made above. There's nothing 'ideological' about denying the automakers a bailout--AIG got a bailout. AIG was politically connected, the automakers weren't.

P>S> Typepad sucks--it doesn't allow even basic html formating like or in comments>>

mycroft


" So where do ideas come from? Keynes had something to say on this, which is too well known to be quoted here. But surely one important source are economists. "

Yes, but which economists?
Clearly the ideas of some economists are more influential than those of others. Even though the former may be talking nonsense. Take Lucas and Prescott and Sargent for example.
The fact that those who spout such patently false ideas are considererd "eminent economists" suggests something is rotten in the state of academic economics.

wjd123

eee_eff,

Imagine a household, the Zeitgeist household, in which live two beautiful sisters. One the good sister who accepts the conventional wisdom and one the bad sister who is always questioning it.

One night a terrible storm breaks out, the worst storm the Zeitgeist household has seen in decades. The house is struck again and again by lightening. Everyone becomes alarmed that it's going to cave in on them.

As the storm progresses the father turn on the bad sister, the one that has to question everything. He accuses her of causing the storm by her refusal to pay proper homage to the gods. The mother is in tears.

Terrified, she runs from from the house and out into the storm. She has to get away. As she drives to the airport her emotions are confused. She finds herself terrified and relieved at the same time.

All the airlines but one have been grounded, the New Ideas airline. She runs across the tarmac and boards a plane ready to take off.

You're on that plane--I haven't figured out if you belong there, but this is fiction so I'm going to give you a seat. This beautiful sister sits down beside you. She smiles at you. Her terror starts to recede, She thinks she is finally amongst friends who understand her.

You both know that it's going to be a bumpy flight. She offer you her hand for support. Instead of taking it you ask her what she does for a living.

The terror starts to swell up within her again.

Eee, take her hand! Take her hand! In the name of every traveler that prayed for safe passage, take her hand!

raivo pommer-www.google.ee

raivo pommer-www.google.ee
raimo1@hot.ee

EUROZONE

Die Talfahrt der Wirtschaft in der Eurozone hat sich nach Einschätzung von Wirtschaftsforschern aus Deutschland, Frankreich und Italien zum Jahresstart beschleunigt.

«Die Aussichten für die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung bleiben trotz der Umsetzung der staatlichen Konjunkturpakete düster», heißt es in einer am Dienstag veröffentlichten gemeinsamen Konjunkturprognose des Münchner ifo- Instituts, der französischen Statistikbehörde Insee und des italienischen Wirtschaftsforschungsinstituts ISAE.

Die Eurozone befinde sich in einer schweren Rezession. Der Rückgang des Bruttoinlandsprodukts (BIP) in der Eurozone werde sich im ersten Quartal auf 1,9 (4. Quartal 2008: minus 1,6) Prozent beschleunigen, ehe die Wirtschaftsleistung im zweiten Quartal um 0,6 Prozent und im dritten Quartal um 0,2 Prozent sinke.

Der private Konsum werde abnehmen, insbesondere, da sich die Entwicklung der real verfügbaren Einkommen spürbar verschlechtern dürfte, heißt es in der Studie. Auch die Investitionen dürften nach ihrem Einbruch gegen Ende des Jahres 2008 weiter kräftig fallen. Zum einen bleibe die Lage auf den Finanzmärkten unverändert angespannt; zum anderen dürfte die Unterauslastung der Kapazitäten stark belastend wirken.

Die Inflationsrate werde unter der Annahme, dass der Ölpreis um 45 Dollar schwanke und sich der Wechselkurs bei 1,35 Dollar je Euro stabilisiere, im Juni und September 2009 bei je minus 0,2 Prozent liegen. Die Gefahr einer Deflation bestehe momentan nicht, da die Kerninflationsrate deutlich positiv bleibe.

robertdfeinman

You underestimate the power that the super wealthy have had in getting their message across. Heritage, Hoover, Cato, U Chicago, GMU and a number of other "think tanks" are all funded by the same core group. You can look it up on Source Watch and Media Transparency for the details.

The proof can be seen by the observation that these libertarian, "free market", weak regulation ideas are hardly to be found elsewhere. The political power that the huge wealth inequality in the US enables just doesn't exist elsewhere and without the infusion of money to keep the propaganda flowing the ideas don't get traction.

People just can't believe that the entire economy could be hijacked by a 100 or so super wealthy families, but it is true. They keep their tracks covered which is why most people are unaware of their activities.

Follow the money.

raivo pommer-www.google.ee.

raivo pommer-www.google.ee
raimo1@hot.ee

NORDBANK-drei million euro

Demnach hatte die Bank im Vorgriff auf die ursprünglich geplanten Ausschüttungen in Höhe von 64 und 200 Millionen Euro zum Zeitpunkt von Wiegards Angaben bereits gut acht Millionen ausgezahlt.

Der Minister habe sich auf Auskünfte der Bank verlassen müssen, weil es sich um rein operatives Geschäft handele, sagte der Sprecher. Das Ministerium überwache nicht den Zahlungsverkehr der Bank. Es habe sie nun aber aufgefordert, die Vorgänge zu erklären.

Die HSH Nordbank hatte im März angekündigt, aus EU-rechtlichen Gründen auf die Ausschüttung zu verzichten. Die ausgezahlten Summen würden daher zurückgefordert, heißt es in der Antwort auf die Kleine Anfrage des Hamburger Abgeordneten Stefan Schmitt (SPD).

Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein helfen ihrer gemeinsamen Landesbank mit einer Kapitalspritze in Höhe von drei Milliarden Euro sowie Garantien über weitere zehn Milliarden Euro aus der Klemme. Die Parlamente beider Länder hatten dem Rettungsplan in der vergangenen Woche zugestimmt.

eee_eff

Hey: wjd123, I am the pilot, I am the pilot...

raivo pommer-www.google.ee

raivo pommer-www.google.ee
raimo1@hot.ee

OeNB Bank in WIEN

Durch die Brisanz der Affäre rund um die Immobilienfirma Meinl European Land (MEL, heute Atrium Real Estate) ist auch der Wirtschaftsprüfer Philip Göth wieder ins Zentrum des öffentlichen Interesses gerückt.

Göth sitzt im Aufsichtsgremium der Oesterreichischen Nationalbank (OeNB) – dem Generalrat – und hat Ende 2006 per Gutachten den börsegehandelten MEL-Papieren bescheinigt, "zur teilweisen Veranlagung von Mündelgeld" geeignet zu sein. Mittlerweile haben Anleger viel Geld mit dem verloren, was Göth als "MEL-Aktie" bezeichnete, obwohl es sich dabei um Zertifikate gehandelt hat. Konsumentenschützer werfen Meinl vor, zu Unrecht mit der Mündelsicherheit geworben zu haben.

Es könne nicht sein, dass Göth weiterhin als Generalrat der OeNB tätig sei, poltert SPÖ-Finanzsprecher Jan Krainer. Neben dem MEL-Gutachten stößt sich Krainer auch an Göths Rolle als Aufsichtsrat der Bank Medici – jenes Wiener Institutes, das Fonds des mutmaßlichen US-Milliardenbetrügers Bernard Madoff vertrieben hat.

gulcan

After studying 8 years of variety of economic topics, I have never had a clear understanding of the relationship of economics and politics. These two main areas are seem to be interrelated in a philosophical way. But I don't think -most of economics-minded people like me could be able to understand the interests and political turnover of the fastly changing dynamics of public policy formation. After learning a study done in early 80's, now it makes more sense to me why it is hard to be an economist in an environment necessitates interactions with the other "interests"..

["....we have seen evidence that economists behave less cooperatively than noneconomists along a variety of different dimensions. This difference in behavior might be exclusively the result of training in economics. Alternatively, it might exist simply because people who chose to major in economics were different initially. Or it might be some combination of these two effects. We now report evidence on whether training in economics plays a causal role..."]

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/economics_frank/frank.html

[".........We may look at these findings, take a little cynical amusement at the expense of economists from them, and leave it at that. But the findings do raise some awkward questions, as the authors recognise. We might ask: What are the consequences of economists holding to a value set that prioritises personal interest over the common interest? Given that professional economists play a significant role in the development of both public policy and the policies of large corporations such as banks, what impact will the value priorities of economists have on such policies? Is it possible that these policies are skewed towards self-interest and away from concern for others to an extent that does not represent the value preferences of the general population?

Source:

http://wellsharp.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/economists-are-more-selfish/

Neil Gandal, Sonia Roccas, Lilach Sagiv, and Amy Wrzesniewski (2005) Personal value priorities of economists. Human Relations, 58(10), 1227-1252.

raivo pommer-eesti.

Major companies in the Silicon Valley are suffering the biggest slump since the dot-com bust, further proving that the leading
technology hub is not immune from the effects of a global economic meltdown, a new report has said.

According to rankings compiled by the San Jose Mercury News, total market capitalisation of Silicon Valley's 150 biggest public companies plunged 32 per cent to about $850 billion for the past 12 months ending March 31, the worst decline since 2002.

The newspaper's annual Silicon Valley 150 list ranks public companies headquartered in the region on the basis of their worldwide revenues for the most recent available four quarters.

Michael F. Martin

Ideas or interest groups? The answer is both/and. Ideas held in isolation by an individual cannot have an impact. Interest groups form around ideas about what will promote the goals of the interest group -- ideas that don't always fit easily with rational expectations (although the rational hypothesis is so difficult to falsify that there's always some handwaving possible).

We probably can't reliable forecast what ideas are going to be focal points for the formation of new and powerful coalitions. But we can see how the focal points that constitute currently existing coalitions are changing sooner and in more detail than ever before thanks to things like Google Insight and Twitter Search.

New states of the system have to be explored before new equilibria can be found that provide the right packages of ideas for new organizations to emerge.

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USA HYSTERIE

1773 kündigte die Tea Party von Boston von der bevorstehenden Amerikanischen Revolution. Die Siedler der neuen Welt lehnten sich gegen die Steuerpläne ihrer Kolonialherren auf. Aus Protest gegen das britische Imperium warfen sie Teeladungen der East India Trading Company ins Hafenbecken.

Heute steht Tea für Tax Enough Already. Die gierigen Unterdrücker sitzen heute nicht in London, sondern in Washington. Die Demokraten sind die Rotröcke und Präsident Barack Obama ist King George.

Wochenlang haben konservative Strategen auf diesen Tag hingearbeitet, allen voran die Macher von Fox-News, dem rechtslastigen Fernsehkanal, in dem Obama wahlweise als böswilliger Sozialist (in Steuerfragen) oder politisches Weichei (im Umgang mit Schurkenstaaten) verdammt wird.

Nichts sollte dem Zufall überlassen werden, niemand den Aufschrei der Aufrechten überhören, und so schickte Fox-News seine Reporterschwadronen aus, um jede noch so kleine Tea Party aufzuspüren. Eine mit roten Punkten gespickte Amerika-Karte zeigte es an: Protest im ganzen Land, "from sea to shining sea", und Fox-News-Moderatoren waren ganz dicht dran am Geschehen, ob in San Antonio, New York oder Sacramento.

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LB BANK


Eine Rechnung sorgt in den USA derzeit für erhebliche Diskussionen. Ausgestellt hat sie die renommierte New Yorker Anwaltskanzlei Weil, Gotshal & Manges, die Forderung beträgt 55,1 Millionen Dollar (42 Millionen Euro), Empfänger sind die Nachlassverwalter der amerikanischen Pleitebank Lehman Brothers.

Die Rechnung von Weil, Gotshal & Manges ist nur der erste Teil eines Pakets an Honorarforderungen, das in nächster Zeit auf Lehman Brothers zukommen wird. Für Anwälte und Bilanzexperten ist die Pleite der Investmentbank ein Mega-Geschäft. Anwaltsfirmen und Wirtschaftsprüfer wurden engagiert, um die Abwicklung der Bank zu begleiten. Ihre Arbeit wird, so will es das amerikanische Recht, bevorzugt honoriert. Im Klartext heißt das: Juristen, Buchprüfer und Verwalter werden aus der Insolvenzmasse zuerst bezahlt - und dann erst andere Gläubiger.

Der Konkursexperte Lynn LoPucki von der University of California, Los Angeles schätzt, dass bis zum Ende der Abwicklung 900 Millionen Dollar an Honoraren für Rechtsberatung und Buchprüfung fällig werden, 200 Millionen Dollar davon an die Kanzlei Weil, Gotshal & Manges, die Lehman schon beinahe ein Vierteljahrhundert betreut und auch nach der Insolvenz des US-Energiekonzerns Enron engagiert wurde.

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Paris

Der Autozulieferer Schaeffler schließt ein Werk in Frankreich. In einem weiteren Werk werden mehr als hundert Arbeitsplätze abgebaut.


Geschlossen wird nach Angaben von Geschäftsführung und Gewerkschaftsvertreter die Fabrik in Saint-Simeon in der Nähe von Grenoble im Osten des Landes, in der 85 Menschen arbeiten.

Das Schaeffler-Werk in Calais am Ärmelkanal werde nach dem Abbau von 115 Stellen mit 265 Beschäftigten weiterbestehen. Die Fertigung dort sei zuletzt um die Hälfte zurückgegangen.

Ein Vertreter der Gewerkschaft CGT kündigte Proteste gegen den Stellenabbau in Calais an.

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EU-CO-2

Den Verbrauchern und der Industrie in Europa drohen höhere Energiesteuern. Die Europäische Kommission will die Steuern auf Energie künftig stärker am Kohlendioxidausstoß ausrichten und dafür einheitliche Mindeststeuersätze einführen. Das geht aus einem internen Entwurf der Behörde hervor, wie ein neuer Regelungsrahmen für Steuern auf Energie und Elektrizität aussehen soll. Konkret sollen die Staaten künftig auf Kraftstoffe zusätzlich zu den heute bestehenden, weitgehend am Verbrauch ausgerichteten Mindeststeuern eine Steuer von mindestens 3 Cent je ausgestoßenem Kilogramm Kohlendioxid erheben. Für Heizstoff soll es mindestens 1 Cent sein. Zudem will die Europäische Kommission die bestehenden Steuerprivilegien für Kraft- und Heizstoffe aus Biomasse untersagen. Die EU-Mitgliedsstaaten sollen zwar keine Kohlendioxidsteuer auf solche Kraftstoffe erheben. Alle anderen Privilegien sollen aber wegfallen.

raivo pommer-eesti.

The WACS consortium and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) have signed today a turnkey contract valued at several hundred million US dollars to deploy a new submarine cable network that will provide the first direct connection between Southern Africa and Europe. Named the West Africa Cable System (WACS), this 14,000 km-long submarine network system will bolster Internet

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From Bubble to Depression?

By STEVEN GJERSTAD and VERNON L. SMITH Bubbles have been frequent in economic history, and they occur in the laboratories of experimental economics under conditions which -- when first studied in the
Britain may have to go to the IMF for a huge financial bailout, the George Soros, the influential investor, warns today The man who made $1 billion on Black Wednesday in 1992 told The Times that Britain was particularly vulnerable to the economic crisis. Mr Soros - speaking days after an auction of government bonds failed for the first time in 14 years, ringing alarm bells about...

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GOOGLE

Der erfolgsverwöhnte Internet-Konzern Google hat der Wirtschaftskrise zum Jahresauftakt weiter getrotzt und seinen Gewinn kräftig gesteigert. Der Überschuss kletterte im ersten Quartal um neun Prozent auf 1,42 Milliarden Dollar (1,08 Mrd Euro).

Der Umsatz wuchs zum Vorjahr um sechs Prozent auf 5,51 Milliarden Dollar, wie Google am Donnerstag nach US-Börsenschluss im kalifornischen Mountain View mitteilte.

«Google hatte ein gutes Quartal angesichts der Schwere der Rezession», sagte Konzernchef Eric Schmidt. Mit den Zahlen übertraf der Suchmaschinen-Riese die Erwartungen der Analysten. Die Aktie legte in einer ersten Reaktion nachbörslich deutlich zu. Wesentliche Einnahmequelle Googles sind bezahlte Werbeanzeigen rund um die Internet-Suche. Der Konzern ist hier mit weitem Abstand Marktführer vor Yahoo! und Microsoft.

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Positiv aufgenommene Nachrichten von Nokia und der US-Bank JPMorgan haben den deutschen Aktienmarkt am Donnerstag angetrieben. Auch optimistisch stimmende Konjunkturdaten stützten laut Händlern den Markt. Die verhaltene Entwicklung an den US-Börsen begrenzte allerdings die Gewinne.

Zu Handelsschluss verzeichnete der DAX ein Plus von 1,31 Prozent auf 4.609,46 Zähler. Vor der Eröffnung an der Wall Street hatte der Leitindex bei 4.644,84 Zählern noch sein Tageshoch markiert. Der MDAX der mittelgroßen Werte rettete Gewinne von 1,12 Prozent auf 5.208,73 Punkte ins Ziel. Für den Technlogiewerte-Index TecDAX ging es letztlich um 1,38 Prozent auf 554,25 Zähler hoch.

Das US-Finanzinstitut JPMorgan berichtete für das erste Quartal einen überraschend hohen Quartalsgewinn und Rekorderträge. Das Geschäft des Handyherstellers Nokia brach im Auftaktquartal zwar stärker ein als befürchtet. Dennoch hielt das Unternehmen an der Jahresprognose für die Branche fest. In den USA hellte sich in der Region Philadelphia das Geschäftsklima im April stärker als von Experten erwartet auf. Auch die wöchentlichen US-Erstanträge auf Arbeitslosenhilfe sorgten mit einem unerwartet deutlichen Rückgang für gute Stimmung.

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Starke Rückgänge im Baltikum

Dabei sank die Industrieproduktion in allen Staaten, für die Daten vorlagen. Die stärksten Rückgänge gab es in Estland (minus 30,2), Lettland (minus 24,2) und Spanien (minus 22 Prozent); auch in Deutschland gab es mit minus 20,6 Prozent einen massiven Einbruch.


Vereinigte Staaten
Erstmals seit 50 Jahren fallen die Preise
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Ökonomen befürchten Jahrhunderteinbruch
Industrieproduktion in Europa


Am besten sah es noch in Griechenland (minus 4,9), den Niederlanden (minus 5,9) und Dänemark (minus 11,8 Prozent) aus. Erfasst wurde die gesamte Industrie ohne das Baugewerbe.

Gegenüber Januar verzeichneten die Statistiker einen saisonbereinigten Rückgang um 2,3 Prozent in der Eurozone und 1,9 Prozent in der gesamten EU. Von den erfassten Staaten verzeichneten 16 eine sinkende Industrieproduktion; nur in Portugal (plus 2,4 Prozent), Griechenland (plus 1,7) und Polen (plus 0,4) sah es gegenüber dem Vormonat besser aus.

Die höchsten Rückgänge gab es in Litauen (minus 4,1), Estland (minus 3,6), Italien (minus 3,5) und Deutschland (minus 3,2 Prozent).

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Flowers 21,7%-Verkürzte Frist

Diese verkürzte Frist wird durch eine Sonderregelung des Bankenübernahmegesetzes ermöglicht, auf dessen Grundlage der Staat die HRE übernehmen will.

Der Staat strebt mit seinem Übernahmeangebot den Angaben zufolge den Erwerb aller Anteile an der HRE an. Sollten die Aktionäre in den kommenden zwei Wochen nun nicht auf das Übernahmeangebot eingehen, will der Bund die Bank verstaatlichen - dann aber zum gesetzlichen Mindestpreis von 1,26 Euro.


Fraglich ist insbesondere, ob der US-Finanzinvestor J.C. Flowers, der 21,7 Prozent an der Bank kontrolliert, sich auf das Angebot einlässt.

Mit der Verstaatlichung der HRE sollen bereits geleistete Staatshilfen von mehr als 100 Milliarden Euro abgesichert werden. Die HRE war im Zuge der Finanzkrise in große Schwierigkeiten geraten. Ein Kollaps der Bank würde nach Einschätzung der Regierung zu Erschütterungen im Finanzsystem und zu Schwierigkeiten ganzer Staaten führen.

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REZESSION IN MICROSOFT

Der weltgrößte Softwarekonzern Microsoft hat durch die Krise am PC-Markt einen herben Gewinneinbruch erlitten. Der Überschuss brach im abgelaufenen Quartal um fast ein Drittel auf knapp 3,0 Milliarden Dollar (2,3 Mrd Euro) ein. Der Umsatz fiel um sechs Prozent auf 13,6 Milliarden Dollar, wie der US-Konzern am Donnerstag nach Börsenschluss am Sitz in Redmond (Bundesstaat Washington) mitteilte. Das ist der erste Rückgang der Quartalserlöse im Jahresvergleich seit der Windows-Konzern Anfang 1986 an die Börse ging.

Microsoft rechnet überdies nicht mit einer schnellen Besserung am Markt. "Wir erwarten, dass die Schwäche mindestens bis ins nächste Quartal anhält", sagte Finanzchef Chris Liddell. Mit seinen Zahlen enttäuschte der Softwareriese die Erwartungen der Analysten.

Der PC-Absatz war im ersten Quartal laut den Marktforschern von Gartner um 6,5 Prozent geschrumpft. Werden weniger Computer verkauft, kann Microsoft damit zum Beispiel auch sein Betriebssystem Windows seltener absetzen. Außerdem sind immer mehr der verkauften Computer Mini-Notebooks, von denen zahlreiche nicht mit Windows, sondern mit dem freien Betriebssystem Linux laufen.

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SLOW- MOTION

Federal regulators on Friday will privately begin telling the 19 largest US financial institutions how well they performed in stress
tests to assess their soundness.

Regulators trying to stabilize the financial system also will release the test methodology they used, which could provide clues about which banks may be in trouble - but also could could unwittingly roil the industry.

The results of the stress tests won't be publicly released until May 4.

The slow-motion rollout is intended to blunt market reaction to the news of which banks are healthy, which ones could fail if the recession worsens and which need more money to survive.

News reports, including a confidential outline of the tests first reported by The Associated Press this week, have led analysts to start handicapping which banks could fail. The speculation will intensify with Friday's release of the test methodology.

``I'm worried about the overreaction - people selling every bank short and pulling out all their deposits and hiding their money in the mattress,'' said Scott Talbott, a lobbyist with the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents the biggest financial firms.

Regulators are striving to release enough information about the stress tests to inspire confidence. But they don't want to give analysts so much detail that they can run their own tests on the banks before the official release of results.

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BRITISH CHRISE


Equally, it may be true that British GDP will be lower than the government forecasts by the middle of the next decade - credit crunches are much harder to slip away from than the government forecasts. But after the stimulus the economy has received, there should be some growth, broadly corresponding to the shape the Treasury predicts.

The real issue is the evaporation of our economic and political pretensions. The Treasury has been forced to recognise that 5% of Britain's GDP has disappeared forever. Too many industries were dependent upon the crazy world of ever-rising house prices and easy credit; now gone for ever. This means that the path to sustainable public finances is going to be astonishingly painful. We can live with national debt doubling, but it cannot double again.

The numbers are terrifying. Budget deficits, even for Keynesian apostles of deficit finance like me, cannot stay at 12% of GDP, or £175bn, for very long, however justifiable in recession. The problem is that so much economic capacity has permanently disappeared, along with those parts of the economy that used to deliver rich tax revenues; the post-recession economy will only reduce the deficit by a quarter. The rest has got to be found by tax increases or reductions in planned spending.

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US-BANKEN

The United States pledged robust support Saturday for an overhaul of governing power within the International Monetary Fund so key emerging-market nations get more say in how the lender operates.

In a speech to the IMF's steering committee, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also called on the fund to be prepared to offer loans to recapitalize banks or to aid developing countries in rolling over corporate debt.

Geithner's proposals, delivered in a strongly worded address at the IMF's semiannual meeting, are likely to provoke some controversy among the other industralized countries who, with the United States, have long dominated the global lender.

He said, however, it was necessary to retool the IMF to reflect a shift in global economic reality.

"This is essential to strengthening the IMF's legitimacy, ensuring that it remains at the center of the international monetary system and reflects the realities of the 21st century," Geithner said.

Washington's commitment to reform carries special weight because it is the biggest single shareholder within the IMF.

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AMERICA-EUROPE

Barack Obama is unhappy with much that preceded his occupation of the White House, and not only his predecessor’s foreign policy, for which he is a serial apologiser. Pre-Obama domestic policy also displeases him: any prosperity the nation enjoyed, he says, was built on a foundation of sand. That, won’t happen again: the trillions of debt he is loading on the nation’s books will enable us to erect our post-recession house on solid rock. Our world will never be the same again.

Of course, it never has been: the march of technology has enabled us to travel faster, age more slowly, entertain ourselves differently, and build air-conditioned homes in the miserably hot south and southwest, and in our nation’s steamy capital. But the president has something more in mind and, with control of both houses of Congress, the power to change the way we live now. Let’s make a few guesses as to where those changes will take us.

Top of the president’s change list is the way we consume energy. He believes our use of carbon-based fuels is causing the globe to heat up, with all the dire consequences conjured up by Al Gore as he sits in the library of his home, probably the largest single consumer of energy of any private residence in America. By one means or another, the president will make the use of oil, natural gas and especially coal so expensive that consumers will be forced to use less energy, and rely more for the energy we do use on costly wind and solar power, paid for with tax-funded subsidies or higher utility bills.

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WORLDCRISE

Lady Godiva's legendary ride naked through Coventry was perhaps one of the most effective anti-tax demonstrations in history. Her tyrannical husband, Earl Leofric, had imposed an oppressive tax called the Heregeld to pay for the King’s bodyguard.

After pleading with him to repeal the tax, Leofric replied: "You will have to ride naked through Coventry before I will change my ways". So Godiva took him at his word – after ordering the town to close all their windows and doors, she rode through the town with only her long golden hair as her cover. True to his word, Godiva’s husband repealed the hated tax.

2. 1773: Colonial taxes

The Boston Tea party was not a party, but a demonstration against the unfair taxation of colonies. The British Government gave the British East India Company, an English trade company, far more beneficial tax arrangements than its colonial competitors.

Demonstrators in Boston became particularly fed-up with this, and one night a group of protestors sneaked onboard a docked British East India Company ship and unloaded 45 tons of tea (worth an estimated £10,000 - that is about £953,000 today) into the sea. The event ultimately helped spark the American Revolution and the loss of America to the British Empire.

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The current crisis may mean he is about 10 years out – but, still, not a bad prediction for a man who died in 1938.

HousePriceCrash.co.uk was established in October 2003 after its founders predicted “one of the potentially biggest economic boom bust events in living memory” was coming. Its aim, apparently, is to provide a “counterbalance to the huge amounts of positive spin the housing market receives in the main media”.

Whist there is not currently a lot of positive news about the housing market to counter, the site does provide a plethora of information, statistics and forums for those interested in the great house price crash.

He may not have predicted the entire financial meltdown, but he did warn the Government of the possible collapse of Icelandic banks back in July. He said last week: “"Alarm bells were ringing all over about the Icelandic banks and the Treasury must have been blind and deaf not to hear them."

In a written question to the government in July, he asked: "What steps [have] the United Kingdom financial authorities taken to satisfy themselves, independently of the Icelandic financial authorities, of the solvency and stability of Icelandic banks taking deposits in the United Kingdom?”

Lord Davies, for the Government, replied that there was no concern about the liquidity or capital base of Icelandic banks operating in the UK.

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CHINA GOLD

Die Volksrepublik China hat ihre Goldreserven seit dem Jahr 2003 von 600 auf 1.054 Tonnen aufgestockt. Das teilte der Leiter der Verwaltung der Währungsreserven, Hu Xiaolian, der chinesischen Nachrichtenagentur Xinhua mit.

Peking hatte in den vergangenen Jahren keine präzisen Angaben über seine Goldreserven gemacht. Marktkenner vermuteten allerdings schon länger, dass Peking seine Reserven ausbauen würde. Der Goldpreis legte am Freitag in Reaktion auf die Meldung aus China leicht zu. Kurz nach Eröffnung des New Yorker Handels kostete die Unze dort 908 Dollar. Der HUI-Index (Amex Gold Bugs Index) führender Goldminenwerte verbesserte sich zu Handelsbeginn um 3 Prozent auf 299 Punkte. Ende März hatte der Index noch 342 Punkte erreicht.

Leichte Diversifizierung der riesigen Währungsreserven

Wie Hu Xiaolian sagte, erfolgte der Reservenaufbau überwiegend durch Käufe von in China selbst gefördertem Gold. China gehört seit Jahren zu den wichtigsten Förderländern der Welt. Mit ihren Reserven von 1.054 Tonnen übertrifft die Volksrepublik die Schweiz, die Reserven von 1.040 Tonnen ausweist. Innerhalb der chinesischen Währungsreserven von rund 2.000 Milliarden Dollar spielt Gold aber nach wie vor nur eine bescheidene Rolle: Der Marktwert der Goldreserven beträgt lediglich gut 30 Milliarden Dollar.

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The biggest German bank, Deutsche Bank, posted on Tuesday strong first quarter results, the latest major bank in Europe and North
America to offer hope for an eventual end to the financial crisis.

Deutsche Bank reported a net profit of 1.2 billion euros ($1.56 billion), far surpassing market expectations.

In the first quarter of 2008, Deutsche Bank had posted a net loss of 141 million euros, and analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a net profit of 764 million euros this time around.

Bank chairman Josef Ackermann said: "This was a key quarter for Deutsche Bank. Once again we demonstrated our strength, as we have consistently throughout this crisis. "But in this quarter, we also proved our earnings power."

Deutsche Bank is the latest global bank to report solid first quarter results, along with peers such as Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, giving a glimmer of hope that the financial crisis could be past the worst.

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Im Jahr 1954 das Flaggschiff der Gesellschaft.

Nur drei Fondsmanager hat es seitdem vor Sweeting gegeben, darunter Sir John Templeton, den Firmengründer. Er hat die Investmententscheidungen des Fonds mehr als 30 Jahre lang selbst gefällt, bevor er 1987 andere ans Ruder lies


Sweeting führt die Geschäfte seit Anfang vergangenen Jahres. Sie hat keine leichte Zeit erwischt. Denn seit einigen Jahren läuft der einst 40 Milliarden schwere Templeton Growth der internationalen Marktentwicklung hinterher. So gab der Fonds in Euro gerechnet allein im ersten Quartal des Jahres 41 Prozent nach, der Vergleichsindex büßte dagegen 37 Prozent ein. Auch auf Fünfjahressicht schneidet der Templeton Growth Fund schlechter ab als der Aktienindex MSCI Welt.

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I can't see any obvious reason why a US fiscal expansion would increase foreign demand for US debt. If anything, it might reduce foreign demand, if it were perceived to make US debt riskier, since there would be more debt outstanding. And then US net exports would actually rise, so you would get a crowding-in effect.

I don't know if you are right or if I am right. But what bothers me is that I don't see much analysis of this question anywhere. How fiscal policy affects the exchange rate and net exports, under current conditions, ought to be one of the things we are analysing.
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The 90s was the decade when the Taliban were in power in Afghanistan and it had a spill-over effect on the bordering areas of Pakistan, along the Durand line in NWFP and Balochistan. And that probably seeped into Punjab and Sindh gradually.

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How can "ideas" explain the contrast between, on the one hand, the massive subsidies for Citi and BofA, which were engaged in compulsive gambling and outright swindling, and, on the other buy viagra, the harsh treatment of GM, which over the past decade or so has achieved a remarkable turnaround from its engineering and management failures during the eighties and early nineties?

Is the "idea" that a grossly over-built financial sector will in the future contribute more to prosperity and growth than large-scale capital-intensive manufacturing?

Or perhaps Simon Johnson had it right. GM's basic problem is that it doesn't own the US Treasury Department.

The comments to this entry are closed.