martes, 21 de febrero de 2017

GEAB 112. Disgregación estadística global: la multiplicación de los instrumentos de medida de la realidad económica

Umfassende Krise der Statistik: Die Überarbeitung der Werkzeuge zur Quantifizierung der wirtschaftlichen Realität

Disaggregazione statistica globale: la proliferazione degli strumenti di misurazione della realtà economica

Dislocation statistique globale : la démultiplication des outils de mesure de la réalité économique

Global statistical dislocation: the multiplication of tools for measuring economic reality

Disgregación estadística global: la multiplicación de los instrumentos de medida de la realidad económica

pic geab.euEn la crisis sistémica global por la que estamos pasando, nuestro equipo, desde hace ya varios años, llama “niebla estadística” a la incapacidad de los instrumentos que existen actualmente para medir la economía real, así como a la manipulación de estos instrumentos con el fin de hacer que los discursos políticos parezcan congruentes con los resultados (o al contrario). Si dejamos a un lado esta tentación de manipulación, esta “niebla estadística” proviene igualmente del hecho de que la economía está evolucionando profundamente, y los indicadores de ayer (PIB, desempleo, etc.) ya no son relevantes en el mundo de hoy en día.  Tras algún que otro inútil intento de transformación de estos indicadores desde hace más de una década, de nuevo vemos cómo nacen nuevas iniciativas que esta vez sí prevemos sostenibles, y que generarán cierta confusión a corto plazo, antes de integrarse de aquí a 2025, bajo el liderazgo de instituciones internacionales como el G20.
Los límites de los dos indicadores estrella
Los debates y propuestas de las campañas electorales demuestran que solo cuenta la tasa de crecimiento del PIB por una parte y la tasa de desempleo por otra. No es de extrañar en un sistema en el que el trabajo, al igual que el aumento de la “riqueza”, tiene un papel central. Estos dos indicadores han orientado las políticas durante largas décadas, con resultados que pueden considerarse satisfactorios en muchos aspectos. Sin embargo, si cada punto de crecimiento es más difícil de obtener y la tasa de desempleo permanece constantemente alta, es por una razón. La sociedad está en plena transformación radical y estos dos indicadores, que no reflejan esta evolución, están empezando a quedar obsoletos. Como veremos, sus limitaciones se deben a varios factores. Está el factor estadístico por una parte, el político o ideológico por otra, pero fundamentalmente se deben al hecho de que estos indicadores, de por sí, no miden el desarrollo armonioso de una sociedad[1]
Ambas medidas son tan emblemáticas que, evidentemente, son objeto de una intensa presión política y de constantes comparaciones internacionales. Y ahí es donde surgen los primeros problemas. ¿Cómo pueden compararse economías que funcionan con monedas diferentes, cuyos tipos de cambio no paran de oscilar drásticamente[2]? Ya hemos visto las pésimas consecuencias que puede tener la utilización de una referencia única, el dólar. Otro de los muchos ejemplos que podríamos dar es que EE.UU. es, de lejos, el primer país en términos de PIB nominal expresado en dólares, mientras que está por detrás de China en paridad de poder adquisitivo (PPA).
fig geab112 1
Gráfico 1 – Países clasificados según su PIB en paridad de poder de adquisición, 2014.
Fuente: The Conversation
Otro ejemplo, ¿qué sentido tiene la comparación del crecimiento del PIB en EE.UU., donde la población crece un 0,7% al año[3], con el de la zona euro, donde la población crece solamente un 0,3% al año[4]? ¿Por qué comparar la renta per cápita entre un país donde servicios esenciales como la educación o la sanidad cuestan dinero, y otro donde son gratuitos?
Las comparaciones relativas a la tasa de desempleo son aún más delicadas, pues los métodos de cálculo difieren entre países. Muchas veces, citamos la página web ShadowStats por su cálculo alternativo de la tasa de desempleo en EE.UU., sin duda más fiel a la “realidad” (al menos la vivida por la mayoría de estadounidenses) y que nos da una imagen singularmente diferente del mercado laboral estadounidense…
fig geab112 2
Gráfico 2 – Tasa de desempleo en EE.UU. Rojo: oficial; gris: U6; azul: ShadowStats.
Fuente: Shadowstats.
En el caso de la tasa de desempleo, las estadísticas no miden lo que aseguran medir (o más bien, lo que entendemos comúnmente por “paro”), resultando engañosas. Lo mismo para el PIB, que no es más que un pésimo reflejo de la “riqueza” de una nación. Así, resulta todavía más perjudicial cuando estas estadísticas sirven de guía para la creación de una política económica, como por ejemplo la moderación salarial en Alemania en detrimento de sus asociados europeos, o el dumping fiscal irlandés para atraer a las multinacionales…
__________________________________________________
[1] No podemos evitar compartir con ustedes la conocida cita de Robert Kennedy sobre el PIB en 1968: “En resumen, lo mide todo, excepto aquello por lo que merece la pena vivir”.
[2] Recordemos que un dólar estadounidense valía 0,6 € a finales de 2008, mientras que ahora vale 0,94 €… ¡un aumento del 50% !
[3] Fuente: Wikipedia

2017/02/20 - Political Anticipation - A LEAP Press review (GEAB special)

The GEAB bulletin of February is available now! Enjoy.
Global statistical dislocation: the multiplication of tools for measuring economic reality. 

Within the global systemic crisis that we are now experiencing, our experts have been talking for some years about “statistical fog” to qualify the inability of today’s tools to measure real economy, or even the way to manipulate them in order to match results to the political speech (or vice versa). Leaving aside the temptation to manipulate, this “statistical fog” also derives from the fact that the economy is evolving profoundly, and yesterday’s indicators (GDP, unemployment, etc.) are no longer relevant in today’s world. After a few vain attempts to transform these old time indicators, we are able to see new initiatives... (Read the FREE public announcement / GEAB 112)

A political anticipation calendar of future events: February-May 2017
February 15-16 / Astana: Next round of peace talks on Syria The peace in Syria initiative launched by Russia, Turkey and Iran in the wake of the December 29 ceasefire agreement continues. The capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, will be hosting a new meeting on February 15 and 16, to which the United States, the United Nations and Jordan are invited. The United Nations had scheduled a meeting on the same subject on February 8 in Geneva, which they decided to postpone until February 20 in order to take into account the outcome of the Astana meetings… (Subscribe to read more / GEAB 112)

These will be the 32 most powerful economies in the world by 2050
By 2050, the world is likely to have changed drastically from what we know now, and the planet’s economic and financial landscape will be no exception. A report from professional services giant PwC looks at which economies around the world will be the biggest and most powerful in 33 years time... (The Independent)

Germany: An Arrhythmia at the Heart of Europe
We anticipate that this European state will face several economic, cultural and political difficulties this year and next. First, the rise of the euro will hurt German exports; the stabilisation of oil prices prohibits the oxygen balloon effect of prices declines of 2015; failure of the migrant strategy puts Germany face to face with all the consequences of its weak demographics (in terms of domestic consumer market and potential for wage decline); there are centrifugal tendencies within the federation particularly with growing cultural and political divergences as in Bavaria… (Subscribe to read more / GEAB 112)

Italy’s former PM Renzi resigns as PD head as party split beckons
Former premier Matteo Renzi is to stand again for his Democratic Party (PD) leadership. Internal party feuding is threatening to split the party ahead of elections to be held by early 2018. Resisting pressure from a small group of party dissidents, Renzi resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) during a special conference in Rome on Sunday... (Deutsche Welle)

September 2017 – Euro crisis: The ECB loses its independence
The post-Brexit Europe does not need the extreme right-wings, it is already lining up with the national-European model proposed by the British. The antagonism between European and national levels, which has dramatically increased within the crisis, due to a lack of democratic anchoring at the European level, has led in just 6 months to a complete takeover of the European institutions by the Member States. The problem is that the failure of the community method results a “might makes right” systems… (Subscribe to read more / GEAB 112)

Juncker attacks US on Nato spending
European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker has said the US was wrong to push European members of Nato to spend more on their militaries. “It has been the American message for many, many years. I am very much against letting ourselves be pushed into this,” he said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Thursday (16 February), according to the Reuters news agency... (EUObserver)

European Real Estate: Caution
Here and there we may read some optimistic analyses on the European property market, saying either that the “revival” is here, that the sector is in good health, and so on. As our readers might guess, we are less enthusiastic and suggest the utmost caution in this regard, although the outlook is not uniformly and entirely gloomy. The real estate market remains hard to analyse because of the actions of the various economic and political players. The perspectives are very uncertain this year, so the utmost caution is required. Yet... (Subscribe to read more / GEAB 112 )

Euro: keep believing in it!
The LEAP team now believes that the more we are told about the difficulties of the euro, the more we must hear “course change needed” rather than “end of the euro coming”. Euro exit threats are mostly brandished as part of the haggling and bargaining kind of negotiations currently taking place among all the actors concerned, each with radically divergent interests… (Subscribe to read more / GEAB 112)

Asia's Strongmen Aren't Strong Enough
Across Asia, the world has supposedly been witnessing the return of the strongman. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been grasping more and more control in his own hands since claiming power in 2012. Two years later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India and President Joko Widodo (known as “Jokowi”) in Indonesia won office by selling themselves as forceful economic and political reformers. All three were heralded as the firm hands these giant developing nations needed to rejuvenate their promising but troubled economies. (Bloomberg)

For first time, Coalition now killing more civilians than Russia
New Airwars research shows that for the first time since Moscow intervened in Syria’s civil war in September 2015, airstrikes by the US-led Coalition are now claiming the lives of more civilians than Russia’s brutal aerial campaign To date, Airwars researchers have identified 95 separate reported civilian casualty events in January across Iraq and Syria allegedly involving the Coalition. For the same period, 57 alleged Russian incidents took place... (Airwars)


Europe Needs a Higher Price on Carbon
Europe’s promise to lower greenhouse-gas emissions looked bright a dozen years ago, when its leaders created the first big market for trading carbon permits. Sadly, though, its system has failed to encourage investment in clean technology and appreciably lower carbon dioxide emissions. Until the European Union trims the number of permits traded enough to drastically raise the cost of emitting carbon dioxide, its market will remain dysfunctional... (Bloomberg)

Gas: the real challenge
The oil crisis hides the gas emergence and subsequent trench warfare among the major producers. Around Europe: the United States and the unconventional shale gas, transported by sea and as liquid gas; Russia, Algeria and Norway, and the conventional gas (indexed to oil prices for the time being, under long-term contracts) delivered by land… (Subscribe to read more / GEAB 112)


Referendum to create ‘Republic of Artsakh’ on Europe’s fringe
Some 100,000 ethnic Armenians are voting on a new name for their territory and new powers for their leader on Monday (20 February) in the crosshairs of Azerbaijan’s artillery and missiles. The referendum, in what used to be called the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, but what is likely to be called the Republic of Artsakh after the vote, comes in reaction to Azerbaijan’s military assault last April, which claimed between 50 and 350 lives on both sides... (EUObserver)

martes, 7 de febrero de 2017

2017/02/07 - Political Anticipation - A LEAP Press review

Central Banks - End of cordial agreements
A war is expected in 2017 between supranational financial regulators, starting with the BIS (Bank for International Settlements), and the central banks. The full exit of the United States from these bodies in 2017, US which will no longer obey to anything else than national regulatory policies, will automatically trigger a return, particularly within the euro and dollar zones as long as the two are linked. We anticipate a complete disruption of the BIS to which nobody will want to obey anymore. By percolation, the ECB will also find it increasingly difficult to control its troops...
(Subscribe and read more in the last GEAB Bulletin)

Time to sell the dollar on ‘erratic’ Trump policies, J.P. Morgan says
The dollar enjoyed a strong run after Election Day, but the Trump administration has turned into a headwind for the buck and more troubles are ahead, strategists at J.P. Morgan warn. In a note out late Friday, the bank’s foreign exchange strategy team led by Paul Meggyesi said it had started to sell the dollar against the yen USDJPY, -0.27% and Swiss franc USDCHF, +0.1007% following comments from Trump and his trade advisor that the U.S. currency has gotten too strong... (Market Watch)

EU founders speak of possible ‘multispeed’ future after Brexit
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of other founding states of the European Union spoke on Friday of some countries moving ahead faster than others with further integration. After a summit in Malta at which all national leaders discussed plans for a formal declaration in March on the future of the bloc following Britain’s departure, Merkel and others offered endorsements of a so-called “multispeed Europe”, which some governments fear could damage EU unity in the wake of Brexit... (Reuters)

Meet the Man Who Will Challenge Merkel
With the surprise announcement that Martin Schulz, until recently the head of the European Parliament, will be the Social Democrats' chancellor candidate this fall, the German political landscape has undergone a tectonic shift. Now Chancellor Angela Merkel must prepare for a real fight. When SPIEGEL published a profile of Martin Schulz four years ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel took him aside at a European Union summit to tell him that she found it very interesting... (Spiegel)

Telling the whole truth in a post-truth environment
In 2016, surprisingly for many, Oxford Dictionaries chose as their Word of the Year “post-truth”, an adjective defined as: “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. This runs contrary to the main tenet of the OECD, the “house of best practices” whose works and analysis depend on high quality statistics and solid empirical evidence... (OECD Insight)

Former Catalan president defiant before trial over secession vote
The former Catalan president Artur Mas has insisted he has nothing to apologise for as he prepares to go on trial for his role in the symbolic independence referendum staged in the region three years ago. Mas, who governed Catalonia from 2010 to 2016, will appear at the high court in Barcelona on Monday along with former vice-president Joana Ortega and former education minister Irene Rigau... (The Guardian) 

Romanian protests continue despite government climbdown
A sea of light flooded Bucharest’s Victory square on Sunday (5 February) evening as people flashed their mobiles on the building in front of them: the government headquarters. Earlier that day, the social democrat government had repealed the emergency decree that would have weakened the country’s anti-corruption laws, but people still gathered for the largest anti-government protest in Romania’s post-communist history... (EUObserver)

OPEC to Swell Investor Gains by Turning Market Upside Down
OPEC’s production cuts have already turned oil speculators the most bullish in a decade. As their effect is felt, crude could become even more alluring. The supply curbs are boosting short-term oil prices, pushing some higher than later-dated contracts for the first time in two years... (Bloomberg)
Mikhail Gorbachev: ‘It All Looks as if the World Is Preparing for War’
The world today is overwhelmed with problems. Policymakers seem to be confused and at a loss. But no problem is more urgent today than the militarization of politics and the new arms race. Stopping and reversing this ruinous race must be our top priority... (Time)

EU leaders united as Trump overshadows summit
EU leaders ended a summit in Malta Friday calling for unity, strength and confidence in facing difficult global challenges including the behaviour of the new U.S. administration. The leaders of the 28 Member States were in Malta - which currently holds the EU presidency - to discuss Europe's response to the new Trump administration, as well as migration issues, and the future of Europe after Brexit... (EU Business)

Marine Le Pen vows to put France first at National Front party conference
Marine Le Pen of the National Front (FN) kicked off her campaign to become France's next president with a speech that took many of its cues from the campaign rhetoric of divisive - and successful - populist leaders in Britain and the United States. Le Pen emphasized that under her leadership France's national interests would take precedence above all else - an obvious nod to the platforms on which US President Donald Trump ("America First") and "Leavers" in the UK ("Take back control") rode to success... (Deutsche Welle)

China versus the United States
The real revelation in 2017 will be that China is not heading to adopt the Western model but to implement a separate model which will send a powerful signal of the end of the single-track economic thinking; this will most probably open a very large window of opportunities for other models to emerge (America first, Europe first, China first, India first, Africa first...) with a great potential for liberating both energies for modernisation and ideological conflicts... (Subscribe and read more in the latest GEAB Bulletin)

EU farming policy: The damage done by 20 years of inertia
The EU has long understood that the common agricultural policy (CAP) needs to become fairer and greener. Despite progress in some areas, the data shows that the problems of the 1990s have not gone away. The CAP, which oversees subsidies to farmers in Europe, is a complex bureaucracy favouring large businesses over small farmers, pushing them towards intensive farming practices that harm the environment and lead to unemployment... (EUObserver)

Donald Trump's Wall Street deregulation slammed as 'the last thing we need' by ECB head Mario Draghi
Donald Trump’s roll-back of Wall Street regulation is “very worrisome” and “the last thing we need” the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has warned. Giving evidence to the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs on Monday, Mr Draghi was asked about the American President’s assault on the US post-crisis Dodd-Frank legislation, which had curbed the risk-taking of US banks, raised their capital requirements and introduced more safeguards for consumers... (The Independent)

viernes, 20 de enero de 2017

2017/01/19 - Political Anticipation - A LEAP Press review

Money, Finance, Europe, Democracy, Geopolitical Configuration: the GEAB bulletin’s 35 trends
Every year, LEAP/E2020 is offering you a short overview of the up and down[1] trends of the year which is starting. In addition to the intellectual interest of this contribution of LEAP/E2020, which of course reflects many of our researchers’ analyses over the past few months, it aims at providing a better perception of priorities within the news, at the same time conveying tracks of recommendations. This list can thus help very concretely the GEAB reader to get prepared for the year to come. With an eleven-year success rate ranging from 69% to 85%, this annual anticipation is a very concrete decision-making tool for the next twelve months... (GEAB 111 / read the public announcement)

EU Parliament speaker vote could strengthen eurosceptics
The European Parliament elects a new speaker on Tuesday in an unusually hotly contested vote that could strengthen eurosceptic forces at a time when the EU faces British moves to leave and questions about its future role. A divisive campaign and the end of the ‘grand coalition’ of the main parties is also likely to hamper the assembly, delaying lawmaking... (Reuters)

Welcome To The Third World, Part 21: This Pension Thing Is About To Get Real
Though it may not be instantly clear, in the above quote Michael Lewis is talking about public sector pensions and how over the course of several decades, mayors and governors across the US have colluded with police, firefighter and teachers unions to promise outrageously-generous benefits and then failed to put aside enough money to pay for them... (Dollar Collapse)

Merkel Anticipates Frosty Relations with U.S.
The hour-long video didn’t exactly put the German chancellor in a cheerful mood. The footage was from Donald Trump’s recent appearance in Pennsylvania during his so-called Thank You Tour and Angela Merkel, as she told the national executive committee of her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), watched the rally in its entirety... (Spiegel)

China 2017 - Towards a Total Course Change
Since Deng Xiaoping, in the '70s, gave top priority to economic development, China has made tremendous sacrifices. Having worked hard and cheap and polluting its country, it soon became the workshop of the world. But all those sacrifices were not in vain. Barely 15 years later for instance, in 1993, Shanghai was able to launch its first ultra-modern subway line. This example is not taken at random: the construction of metro lines is always a good indicator of both economic and administrative health of cities or countries... (GEAB 111 / subscribe to read)

Trump Takes Aim at King Dollar and It Threatens U.S. Equities
The S&P 500 has a friend and a foe in King Dollar. The greenback is the only major currency whose current strength has coincided with rallies in its domestic equity market, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., underscoring the risk for stocks if the dollar's poor start to the year gathers more steam... (Bloomberg)

Bitcoin, crypto-currencies and state power strategies
Crypto-currencies, of which Bitcoin is the most popular, are "virtual" currencies devoid of any physical reality, possessing an electronic form and functioning by using cryptographic methods. They are used specially as a means of payment in an innovative decentralised peer-to-peer system. With the Bitcoin and the other crypto-currencies, one can buy everything from food products, company shares, to false driving licenses and even Kalashnikovs... (GEAB 111 / subscribe to read)

Merkel on Trump: The EU can take care of itself
Speaking at a press conference with the prime minister of New Zealand, the German chancellor dismissed Trump’s criticism of her refugee policy. Germany’s top diplomat accused Trump of contradicting his own cabinet. German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed US president-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the European Union... (Deutsche Welle)

Investments, trends and recommendations : Currencies, watch out, turbulence ahead
The currency market is particularly dangerous this year: with a dollar which has strengthened whilst Trump needs a weak currency and will do everything possible to achieve the goal; a yuan which risks at any moment to be devalued, authoritatively as we have seen, while its medium-term movement is on the rise according to the will of the Chinese leaders; a euro depending on the goodwill of the ECB and its quantitative easing; trade wars and monetary conflicts most probably in the near future... (GEAB 111 / subscribe to read)

Obama’s legacy in Asia
The outgoing president wasted no time to highlight his signature achievements, from preventing a global economic depression and the collapse of American car industry, to overseeing decent economic recovery and marriage equality to the establishment of the foundations of a truly universal healthcare system. On foreign policy, he highlighted his administration’s broadly successful efforts to ... (Aljazeera)

World Bank downgrades India’s growth forecast after demonetisation
The World Bank has downgraded the Indian economy’s growth forecast as sharp falls in the country’s automobile and real estate sales flagged the short-term impact of recalling India’s two most-used bank notes. The Washington-based financial institution predicted India’s economy would grow by a “still robust” 7% in the fiscal year... (The Guardian)

Syrian government ‘ready to negotiate on everything’, Assad says
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he is prepared to negotiate on “everything” in proposed peace talks with rebels later this month, despite the shakiness of the current ceasefire. Talks brokered by Syrian ally Russia and rebel supporting Turkey are supposed to take place in Kazakhstan before the end of January, but last week opposition groups said they had frozen the process in light of continued government strikes across the country... (The Independent)

lunes, 9 de enero de 2017

2017/01/05 Political Anticipation - LEAP Press review

Marie-Hélène Caillol: “They destroyed the EU” (interview by La Vanguardia, 30/12/2016)
The current crisis of the EU is multiple; the integration of the Eastern countries was rather a failure. In the Southern Europe, the “magic” of the European dream has also disappeared; the EU no longer means “democracy and prosperity”, but the opposite: austerity and imposition. The Franco-German couple is, unofficially, getting a divorce. We also need to face the Brexit, the Italian referendum… whilst in the north, we dream of a “Kerneuropa” (a Lutheran matrix European hard core without the Southern states) … So we’ve reached an unprecedented situation... (Read the entire interview)

GEAB registration invite + Gift Box
Allow us to spoil you in this eleventh year of the GEAB with additional ingredients for your understanding of the world and the future: a bouquet of E-books; a virtual one-to-one online meeting with Marie-Hélène Caillol, the Editor in Chief (Jan. 20, 2017); the US Elections Special File Supplement; one extra GEAB subscription free for a friend, and many more... This Gift Pack is available for all GEAB subscriptions and renewals paid between December 1, 2016 – February 1, 2017. (Subscribe to the GEAB and get the Gift Box now)

Demon-etisation: India opens with a fanfare the ball of the fiscal QEs
Since November 8, 2016, India has created a monetary revolution of a magnitude never seen, both by the size of the population concerned and the depth of the transformation induced. By demonetising the biggest notes of 500 and 1000 Rs (rupees), the Indian government is trying to reintegrate into the official economy the state's gigantic parallel (or black or more simply the archaic) economy. In a nation where 90% of the transactions are made in cash, a huge part of the financial activity escapes the knowledge of the central government, and therefore statistics, taxes... (GEAB 110 / Dec. 2016 - Read the Public Announcement)

Chinese debt, global debts, interest rates: the insolvent countries no longer have friends
As we have already discussed and explained before, the crisis is now taking a more geopolitical form. Does this mean that the economic-financial crisis is over? No one will accuse us of having pretended that. If need be, we can confirm that the crisis is always there, always vivid, and it is in perfect shape after more than eight years of existence, thank you very much. One of the best signs of this is the employment rate in Western countries; but also the difficulties experienced ... (GEAB 110 / Dec. 2016 - Perspectives)

African Union: One road, One continent, One currency. The end of the CFA franc
Africa! The second largest continent in the world after Asia, both in size and population, and also one of the poorest is shaken by internal conflicts and wars. But above all, it’s a continent with one of the youngest age pyramids in the world; so many opportunities open for the future and for hope in this region which will experience great challenges of development, modernity and opening-up in the coming decades... (GEAB 110 / Dec. 2016 - Telescope)

An evaluation of our anticipations for 2016 (drawn from GEAB n° 101 of January 2016): 75% success
Each year in December, we evaluate our trend anticipations made in January. This month, we come across a final score of 25.5 out of 34, meaning a 75% success rate; two points more than last year. The year 2014 and the great turmoil caused by the Euro-Russian shock that drove us below the 70% success at that time, seems to be reconciled with... (GEAB 110 / Dec. 2016 - Focus)

Investments, trends and recommendations
We have often repeated that the dollar-centred financial system is still the international standard, but that there are now superimposed new systems based on other currencies and centred in other regions of the world, which are international as well, such as: Islamic finance and sukuks; yuan's financial exchanging network; the eurozone; the beginning of a ruble system around the financial centre of St. Petersburg, the baikalbonds, Urals oil,…; emergence of an African monetary-financial system (to be monitored closely); the possible revival of a sterling system around a United Kingdom making the logical monetary choice of the Commonwealth rather than the euro... (GEAB 110 / Dec. 2016 - Investments)

11 Surprising Predictions for 2017 From Some of The Biggest Names In Science
What scientific discoveries will 2017 bring? What technological innovations? Probably not time travel — or time-shares on Mars. But no one really knows for sure, and when we asked some of the biggest names in in science and technology to share their predictions for the coming year, there was a bit of pushback. “I normally don’t make predictions for anything less than two trillion years in the future,” Arizona State University cosmologist Lawrence Krauss told NBC MACH. It’s easier to make predictions that far out, he added jokingly, when “no one will be around to check them... (NBCNews)

Dollar retreats from 14-year high after FOMC minutes
The U.S. dollar fell on Wednesday, pulling back from a 14-year high following the release of commentary from the Federal Reserve. While the dollar had already been weaker against its major rivals, it extended its decline following the release of minutes from the Fed’s December meeting, with a key currency index dropping to its lows of the session... (MarketWatch)

Why German Banks Took Stand Against Basel Capital Floors
No wonder Germany is on the warpath against a proposed global standard for how banks calculate the capital they need: Its largest lenders rank among the worst when it comes to how they assess risk. That means Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG will be affected more than most big lenders and may have to raise additional capital, if and when the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision implements a proposed floor for how much their risk-weighting of assets can veer from standardized measures... (Bloomberg)

U.S. banks gear up to fight Dodd-Frank Act’s Volcker rule
Big U.S. banks are set on getting Congress this year to loosen or eliminate the Volcker rule against using depositors’ funds for speculative bets on the bank’s own account, a test case of whether Wall Street can flex its muscle in Washington again. In interviews over the past several weeks, half a dozen industry lobbyists said they began meeting... (Reuters)

Ambassador to EU quits and warns staff over ‘muddled thinking’
Britain’s ambassador to the European Union Sir Ivan Rogers dealt a blow to the UK’s Brexit negotiations by quitting and urging his fellow British civil servants in Brussels to assert their independence by challenging “ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking”... (The Guardian)

Indonesia suspends military cooperation with Australia
Indonesia has suspended all military cooperation with Australia, reportedly over offensive materials displayed at an Australian military base where its troops were training. The offensive “laminated material” shown at a base was insulting towards Indonesia’s five founding principles – Pancasila – Indonesian newspaper Kompas has reported. The Kompas report says a cable dated 29 December, sent by Indonesian military commander General Gatot Nurmantyo, instructed that all military cooperation, including training with the Australian defence force, be suspended. (The Guardian)

56 killed, many beheaded, in grisly Brazil prison riot
Bodies butchered, decapitated and burned after clashes between rival drug gangs at a prison complex in Amazonas state. A prison riot in the Brazilian Amazon has left at least 56 people dead with some bodies decapitated and burned, officials said. The riot erupted on Sunday afternoon and lasted for 17 hours in the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex (Compaj) in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state. The rioters took 12 guards hostage and a still unconfirmed number of prisoners escaped... (AlJazeera)