Archive for the 'Economics' Category

“It is as if the white tribe united in demonstration to say, “If a black man can be president, then any white man—no matter how fallen—can be president.””

Monday, September 11th, 2017

The Atlantic: The First White President. “The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.” By Ta-Nehisi Coates.

“When a woman “exploded” and told [George] Packer, “I want to eat what I want to eat, and for them to tell me I can’t eat French fries or Coca-Cola—no way,” he sees this as a rebellion against “the moral superiority of elites.” In fact, this elite conspiracy dates back to 1894, when the government first began advising Americans on their diets. As recently as 2002, President George W. Bush launched the HealthierUS initiative, urging Americans to exercise and eat healthy food. But Packer never allows himself to wonder whether the explosion he witnessed had anything to do with the fact that similar advice now came from the country’s first black first lady. Packer concludes that Obama was leaving the country “more divided and angrier than most Americans can remember,” a statement that is likely true only because most Americans identify as white. Certainly the men and women forced to live in the wake of the beating of John Lewis, the lynching of Emmett Till, the firebombing of Percy Julian’s home, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers would disagree.”

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Who said Donald Trump doesn’t get anything done? <\Sarcasm>

Friday, August 25th, 2017

The Washington Post: What Trump has undone.

“President Trump has repeatedly argued that he’s done more than any other recent president. That’s not true, as measured by the amount of legislation he’s been able to sign. It is true, though, that Trump has undone a lot of things that were put into place by his predecessors, including President Barack Obama.

Since Jan. 20, Trump’s administration has enthusiastically and systematically undone or uprooted rules, policies and tools that predated his time in office. Below, a list of those changes, roughly organized by subject area.”

32 Milliarden Euro Steuern hinterzogen

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Die Zeit: Der größte Steuerraub in der deutschen Geschichte. “Über Jahrzehnte plünderten Banker, Berater und Anwälte den deutschen Staat aus. Niemand verhinderte den Raubzug. Doch dann kam ihnen eine Frau auf die Spur.” Von Lutz Ackermann, Benedikt Becker, Manuel Daubenberger, Philip Faigle, Karsten Polke-Majewski, Felix Rohrbeck, Christian Salewski und Oliver Schröm.

“Kann das Ausplündern des deutschen Staates rechtens sein?

Es ist eine Frage, die nun die Gerichte entscheiden müssen. Mittlerweile halten die meisten Juristen, die sich mit dem Thema beschäftigen, zumindest einen Teil der Deals für illegal. Längst geht es nicht mehr bloß um einige amerikanische Pensionsfonds. Es geht um einen milliardenschweren Akt der Selbstbedienung, an dem sich Dutzende deutscher Banken beteiligt haben, darunter die Commerzbank, die Deutsche Bank, die HypoVereinsbank, die DZ Bank, die HSH Nordbank und die Landesbank Baden-Württemberg.

Die Beteiligung so vieler Banken verleiht dem Fall Brisanz. Und sie macht die Aufarbeitung heikel. Wenn die Banken das Geld zurückzahlen müssen, könnten einige von ihnen in Schwierigkeiten geraten. Die Frankfurter Maple Bank ist schon bankrott. Die Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) schließt weitere Fälle nicht aus. “Müsste all das Geld zurückgezahlt werden, das dem Staat geklaut wurde, könnte das bei einigen Banken eine Kernschmelze auslösen”, sagt Steuerprofessor Spengel. “

Panorama: . Milliarden aus der Staatskasse: Die Steuerräuber
von Lutz Ackermann, Manuel Daubenberger, Philip Faigle, Karsten Polke-Majewski, Felix Rohrbeck, Christian Salewski, Oliver Schröm.

“Bei Cum-Cum-Geschäften hilft eine inländische Bank einem ausländischen Investor dabei, eine Steuerrückzahlung zu ergattern, auf die dieser keinen Anspruch hat. Der Gewinn wird aufgeteilt. Durch solche Cum-Cum-Deals sind dem Staat nach der Berechnung Spengels seit 2001 mindestens 24,6 Milliarden Euro entgangen.

Cum-Ex-Geschäfte sind damit verwandt, aber weitaus komplizierter. Die Besonderheit: Eine Steuer wird einmal abgeführt und mehrfach vom Fiskus zurückgefordert. Ein Netzwerk aus Banken, Beratern, Anwälten und reichen Investoren ließ sich also Steuern erstatten, die nie bezahlt wurden. Zwischen 2005 und 2012 entstand den Berechnungen von Spengel zufolge ein Schaden von mindestens 7,2 Milliarden Euro, also von durchschnittlich gut einer Milliarde Euro pro Jahr. “Der Schaden durch Cum-Ex-Geschäfte dürfte insgesamt noch höher liegen, da sie auch schon vor 2005 getätigt wurden”, so Spengel. Erst 2012 wurde diese Geschäfte unterbunden.”

“[Trump’s] speech was packed with make-believe numbers from controversial or disproven studies. It was hypocritical and dishonest.”

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Der Spiegel: Paris Disagreement Donald Trump’s Triumph of Stupidity. “German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other G-7 leaders did all they could to convince Trump to remain part of the Paris Agreement. But he didn’t listen. Instead, he evoked deep-seated nationalism and plunged the West into a conflict deeper than any since World War II.” By SPIEGEL Staff.

“Renewable energies, said the chancellor [Angela Merkel], present significant economic opportunities. “If the world’s largest economic power were to pull out, the field would be left to the Chinese,” she warned. Xi Jinping is clever, she added, and would take advantage of the vacuum it created. Even the Saudis were preparing for the post-oil era, she continued, and saving energy is also a worthwhile goal for the economy for many other reasons, not just because of climate change.

But Donald Trump remained unconvinced. No matter how trenchant the argument presented by the increasingly frustrated group of world leaders, none of them had an effect. “For me,” the U.S. president said, “it’s easier to stay in than step out.” But environmental constraints were costing the American economy jobs, he said. And that was the only thing that mattered. Jobs, jobs, jobs.

At that point, it was clear to the rest of those seated around the table that they had lost him. Resigned, Macron admitted defeat. “Now China leads,” he said.”

Ultrasonic Boom

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Wired: Hundreds of Apps Can Listen for Marketing ‘Beacons’ You Can’t Hear.

“Beacon technology is also showing up in more physical locations. While the researchers didn’t find any ultrasonic tones being broadcast out on a sampling of television programming from seven countries, they did find that four of the 35 retail stores they visited around Germany did have beacons installed. “It was really interesting to find beacons at the entrance of some stores in two German cities,” says Erwin Quiring, a privacy and Android security researcher who worked on the study. “It affects all of us if there’s some kind of privacy invasive technique we don’t know about and which runs silently on phones.””

(My emphasis.)

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