Archive for the 'Economics' Category

Merkel meets Trump

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Deutsche Welle

News: US President Trump welcomes Chancellor Merkel to the White House. “Chancellor Merkel and President Trump have held their first joint press conference at the White House. Items on the agenda for the first meetings between the two leaders are NATO, immigration and global trade.”

Merkel meets Trump: The ending of a beautiful friendship? “Trump does not only want to build real walls, he also wants to isolate the USA economically. Merkel will seek to fend off his plans as she visits Washington – and that is not only in her interest.”

Business: Uncertainty clouds German firms’ US outlook. “Amid growing protectionist rhetoric and fears of increasing barriers to trade across the world, German business leaders look at the new Donald Trump administration in the US with cautious optimism.”

In German:

Transatlantische Beziehungen: Erster Auftritt von Kanzlerin Merkel und US-Präsident Trump. “Chaos à la Donald Trump oder Ordnung à la Angela Merkel? Das war die Frage im Vorfeld des ersten gemeinsamen Auftritts. So viel vorweg: Er lief deutlich gesitteter ab als Trumps vorige Pressekonferenzen in Washington.”

Merkel in Washington: Das Ende einer wunderbaren Freundschaft? “Nicht nur echte Mauern will Trump hochziehen, auch wirtschaftlich will er die USA einigeln. Merkel wird sich bei ihrem Besuch in Washington dagegen stemmen. Aber auch andere würden unter einem isolierten Amerika leiden.”

Transatlantische Beziehungen: Merkel trifft Trump: Worum geht es? “Es dürfte kompliziert werden in Washington: Trump findet Merkels Flüchtlingspolitik “katastrophal”. Sie findet sein Einreise-Dekret ungerechtfertigt. Einem konstruktiven Dialog steht allerdings noch viel mehr im Weg.”

“You can take an existing trending topic, such as fake news, and then weaponise it.”

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media. “With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, the rightwing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network.” By Carole Cadwalladr, Sunday 26 February 2017.

“Many of the techniques were refined in Russia, he says, and then exported everywhere else. “You have these incredible propaganda tools developed in an authoritarian regime moving into a free market economy with a complete regulatory vacuum. What you get is a firestorm.”

This is the world we enter every day, on our laptops and our smartphones. It has become a battleground where the ambitions of nation states and ideologues are being fought – using us. We are the bounty: our social media feeds; our conversations; our hearts and minds. Our votes. Bots influence trending topics and trending topics have a powerful effect on algorithms, Woolley, explains, on Twitter, on Google, on Facebook. Know how to manipulate information structure and you can manipulate reality.

We’re not quite in the alternative reality where the actual news has become “FAKE news!!!” But we’re almost there. Out on Twitter, the new transnational battleground for the future, someone I follow tweets a quote by Marshall McLuhan, the great information theorist of the 60s. “World War III will be a guerrilla information war,” it says. “With no divisions between military and civilian participation.”

By that definition we’re already there.”

Link via MetaFilter.

Maybe a little hindsight will help in the future?

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

Inquiring Minds Podcast Episode 154: Changing Political Minds – The Deep Story With Arlie Hochschild and Reckonings. (Podcast, 1hr 18min 40s)

“We team up with Stephanie Lepp from the Reckonings podcast and talk to sociologist Arlie Hochschild about whether or not this election is causing more people than usual to change their minds about politics. We then hear from two voters who did in fact make some kind of transformation during this election season – one young voter who was voting in his second presidential election and one long-time voter and political insider who has been voting for 40 years.”

This podcats aired six days ago, a few days before the election. Still, the interviews with the two voters and especially the insights of Arlie Hochschild gave me a lot of insight into how many Americans think about politics and how they decided who to vote for. Recommended!

About Arlie Hochschild, quote from Wikipedia:

“Her latest book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, is based on five years of immersion among Louisiana supporters of the Tea Party. It explores the role of emotion in politics by first posing a paradox. Why, she asks, do residents of the nation’s poorest state vote for candidates who resist federal help? Why in a highly polluted state, do they vote for candidates who resist regulating polluting industry? Her search for answers leads her to what she calls their “deep story,” a metaphorical expression of the emotions they live by. The people she studied may not be voting for their economic self-interest, she found, but they are voting for their emotional self-interest as members of a group which feels marginalized, scorned by coastal liberals, and left behind.”

“It’s a good place to be a woman”

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

The Guardian: Why Iceland is the best place in the world to be a woman. By Noreena Hertz, 24 October 2016.

“Since 1975, the Nordic country has blazed the trail in gender equality and now, from infancy to maternity, women and girls enjoy a progressive lifestyle. But how did they achieve it?”

Link via

Bitte keine amerikanischen Verhältnisse in Deutschland

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Pharmama: EU kippt die Preisbindung für rezeptpflichtige Arzneimittel – für ausländische Versandapotheken.

“Wie reagieren die deutschen Apotheker?

Sie sind entsetzt von diesem Urteil. Bin ich auch. Und ihr solltet das auch sein! Das Urteil sabotiert de facto das deutsche Gesundheitssystem. Apotheken sind nicht nur Medikamenten-Dispenser, sie sind auch erste Anlaufstelle bei Gesundheitsfragen. (Immer noch) leicht erreichbar und die wohl zugänglichsten Medizinalpersonen. Nimm sie weg und Du hast vielleicht noch die (überlaufenen) Notfallstationen der Spitäler. Die Versandapotheken können nicht die Aufgaben übernehmen, die die Vor-Ort Apotheke täglich leistet. Die haben keinen direkten Kontakt zu den Patienten zu den Menschen hinter der mit Medikamenten zu behandelnden Krankheiten.”