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23/02/2019
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Macron y Merkel anuncian en Aquisgrán nuevo Tratado franco-alemán

Anuncian también el establecimiento de una zona económica y compromisos medioambientales ante la realidad de una Unión Europea que está fragmentada y dividida. Este Tratado firmado recientemente por Francia y Alemania supone un nuevo paso en las relaciones bilaterales, pero no debería trasladar la imagen de duunvirato: el acuerdo representa un punto de encuentro insuficiente para desarrollar el proyecto europeo.

Claves de un nuevo Tratado franco-alemán en Aquisgrán

Aquisgrán, Ene.22.– Francia aspira a conservar su capacidad autónoma de actuación, mientras que la prioridad alemana es mantener el statu quo y la cohesión de la Unión, y preservar el papel de Europa en la OTAN.

El Tratado de Aquisgrán ocupa 16 páginas en su versión alemana, que contiene 28 artículos. Más allá del marcado carácter simbólico del acuerdo, el texto contempla objetivos y medidas concretas. Estos son los principales puntos del acuerdo franco-alemán firmado el martes en Aquisgrán:

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A real threat of World domination

The corporate world is plagued by a drive to “gigantism” that is a veiled form of monopolistic and oligopolistic trends dominating all other trends of globalization (some of them beneficial). This drive to gigantism is nothing new; it started with the Industrial Revolution of the XIX century, but its development has become overwhelming and crushing with the forming of blocs of firms, holding companies, and conglomerates that are amassing even greater resources. In addition, globalization has given way to the proliferation of mergers. These consolidations exhibit the same disregard for restraint and employ similarly disruptive means of expansion as those in stock market manipulations and hostile merge/takeover, among other strategies giving way to the formation of powerful cartels (oligopolies) and monopolies. Joseph Stiglitz offers us in the article that follows a partial remedy, so that these large conglomerates cannot evade their fiscal responsibilities.

How Can We Tax Footloose Multinationals? 

Apple, Google, Starbucks, and companies like them all claim to be socially responsible, but the first element of social responsibility should be paying your fair share of tax. Instead, globalization has enabled multinationals to encourage a race to the bottom, threatening the revenues that governments need to function properly.

New York, Feb.13.– In the last few years, globalization has come under renewed attack. Some of the criticisms may be misplaced, but one is spot on: globalization has enabled large multinationals, like Apple, Google, and Starbucks, to avoid paying tax.

Apple has become the poster child for corporate tax avoidance, with its legal claim that a few hundred people working in Ireland were the real source of its profits, and then striking a deal with that country’s government that resulted in its paying a tax amounting to .005% of its profit. Apple, Google, Starbucks, and companies like them all claim to be socially responsible, but the first element of social responsibility should be paying your fair share of tax. If everyone avoided and evaded taxes like these companies, society could not function, much less make the public investments that led to the Internet, on which Apple and Google depend.

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The truth about Global Warming & Winter Storms

Global warming is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the Earth's atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants. According to the NASA, sunlight passes through the atmosphere and warms the Earth surface; this heat is radiated back toward space. But then, most of the outgoing heat is absorbed by greenhouse gas molecules and re-emited towards the Earth and warming its surface. "On Earth, human activities are changing the natural greenhouse. Over the last century the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) ... Warmer conditions will probably lead to more evaporation and precipitation overall ...  [ Read more

Extreme cold gripping Midwest does not debunk global warming, experts say

“A cold snap in the teeth of global warming is no more unusual than a cool day in summer. Both happen,” one climate scientist said.

Jan.29.– The massive cold weather front that has descended over the Midwest this week has commentators straining for analogies (“deep freeze,” “arctic outbreak” and “ice age”), and at least some people wondering what has become of global warming.

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The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index

According to the latest Democracy Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit, democracy did not go into decline in 2018 for the first time in three years. The index rates 167 countries by 60 indicators, including electoral processes and civil liberties. Just as populists with autocratic tendencies have won elections in recent years, so too has political participation shot up. But this year’s results may signal only a pause, not an end, to democracy’s retreat".

A welcome break: The retreat of global democracy stopped in 2018

Jan.8.– Democracy stopped declining in 2018, according to the latest edition of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. The index rates 167 countries by 60 indicators across five broad categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties.

It is stricter than most similar indices: it concludes that just 4.5% of the world’s people live in a “full democracy”. However, the overall global score remained stable in 2018 for the first time in three years. Just 42 countries experienced a decline, compared with 89 in 2017. Encouragingly, 48 improved.

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The €uro enters its third decade in need of reform

The EU’s great project may not survive another crisis, but it is already entering one. The euro zone doesn't have the fiscal or banking unions it needs to make monetary union work, and it's not close to changing that. In the meantime, the €uro's continuing flaws continue to suck countries into crisis. And their politics get radicalized. Not counting the Brexit's commotion. The euro zone isn't what economists call an "optimal currency area". Its different members are different enough that they should have different monetary policies. But they don't. Ten years after the world financial crisis of 2009, interest rates remain low (negative), monetary policy is far from normal with no room for decreases to stimulate the economy if a crisis happened. The European Central Bank (ECB) could engage in more quantitative easing, but it will likely face opposition by some countries – and ECB President Mario Draghi will not be around, as he will step down by October 2019. Fiscal policy is in no better place. Euro governments continue to struggle with high debt levels, leaving little room for a fiscal policy stimulus if a recession happens."

The euro at 20 – I’m OK, €UR OK

Brussels, Jan. 5.– The €uro is a survivor. The new currency, brought into being on January 1st 1999, has defied early critics, who thought it doomed to failure. It has emerged from its turbulent teenage years intact, cheating a near-death experience, the debt crisis of 2009-12. It is now more popular than ever with the public. But fundamental tensions attended its birth. Although the euro has made it this far, they still hang over it. If Europe’s single currency is to survive a global slowdown or another crisis it will require a remodelling that politicians seem unwilling or unable to press through.

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