Europeanen zijn 10% productiever dan Amerikanen

Poetin valt genadeloos onze zwakke plekken aan

Lees verder

De lange arm van Uncle Sam

Prachtig vond ik het toen de Amerikanen drie jaar geleden de jarenlange wantoestanden bij de Fifa aanpakten.

De corrupte voetbalorganisatie had er onvoldoende bij stilgestaan dat iedereen die de Amerikaanse wet overtreedt vervolgd mag worden, ook al gebeurt dat buiten de Amerikaanse jurisdictie. Meer dan het gebruik van een Amerikaanse server voor de opslag van e-mails hebben openbare aanklagers niet nodig.

euro-dollar-valuta-cbAangezien de dollar wereldwijd zo’n dominante munt is, is het vrijwel onmogelijk om buiten de dollar om met smeergelden te werken en geld wit te wassen. Banken als BNP Paribas, HSBC en Commerzbank werden op miljardenboetes getrakteerd toen bleek dat ze handel hadden gefaciliteerd in landen die op de Amerikaanse zwarte lijst stonden. En omdat ze nu eenmaal zonder dollarfunding niet kunnen bestaan, betaalden ze grif. Lees verder

Our financial claims can evaporate

Building up financial claims is nice, but whether they ultimately yield real money you just have to wait and see.

The Netherlands knows all about that. Its banks, insurers and pension funds had invested many billions in the American housing market through all kinds of bonds and mortgage-backed securities. When the market imploded in 2007 and kicked off the great financial crisis, a large part of the investments had to be written off.

Portemonnee met euro'sFor an aging country, it is wise to put some money aside and invest outside of the country in future production. But you should not exaggerate it, as the Netherlands has done for decades. The Dutch pension funds alone now have € 1,400 billion in assets – about twice the Dutch GDP – and the majority of these have been invested abroad.

It all started in the early Eighties when the Dutch formulated an answer to the crisis in those days. With a policy of wage moderation, they made their exports more competitive and at the same time they limited imports. Via trade – or rather, by parasitising on growth abroad – the Netherlands pulled the economy out of the situation smoothly. Later, the Germans under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder copied the Dutch example. This model also proved to be the solution for Germany, the then sick man of Europe. Lees verder

Het buitenland is ver weg voor Amerikanen

Weg met cash! (nu ja, bijna)

China can endure much more pain

The American economy flourishes. President Donald Trump puts all US prosperity at risk in his fight against China.

The American economy flourishes. Every week a figure becomes available that president Donald Trump proudly shares with his electorate via Twitter: the lowest unemployment rate in fifty years, a record for the Russell 2000 – a stock index with smaller, nationally operating companies – or, as at the end of last week, there is unprecedented optimism in the economy.

US China flagsThe tax reduction agreed at the end of last year works wonders. Although ‘wonders’? Every well-functioning economy goes through the roof with a budget stimulus of 5% of gross domestic product. Anyway, the White House, which can look forward with great confidence to the November elections, will think: who can defy me?

It explains why Trump has declined the recent Chinese offer to buy $ 70 billion of additional US energy and agricultural products in exchange for not imposing his tariffs. He could have told his constituents that Beijing had given in to his pressure, but instead he doubled up his efforts. Already he has put forward $ 450 billion in tariffs. China responded by withdrawing its offer and announcing equally burdensome countermeasures.

Lees verder