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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Germany: Donald Trump slams Angela Merkel′s refugee policy - contradicting his campaign statements about Iraq war

US President-elect Donald Trump labeled German Chancellor Angela Merkel's stance on refugees  (or illegals as he called them) a "catastrophic mistake." He said the policy would lead to even more countries leaving the European Union after Britain.

President-elect Trump heavily criticized Chancellor Merkel's open-door policy on refugees in a joint interview published on Sunday with German tabloid newspaper "Bild" and British newspaper "The Times of London."

"I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals, you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from,” he said.

In 2015 about 900,000 migrants, many coming from Syria, entered Germany after Merkel opened the country's doors, famously saying "we can do this."

Note EU-Digest: Instead of blaming Angela Merkel for her refugee policy, which is one of the most humane in the EU, Donald Trump should have  put the blame on the US  (as he did during his presidential campaign) and specifically on the former Bush Administration which started the Iraq war under the pretense of "the treat of weapons of mass destruction", which proved to be a total hoax.

Unfortunately the Bush war in Iraq  unleashed a disastrous chain of other wars in the Middle East creating a massive refugee problem for Turkey and the EU.

When will the EU Commission, or any European politician,  for that matter,  finally open their mouth on the subject and request the US to pay the countries which have been picking up the tab for housing and feeding the millions of refugees, some compensation for the costs incurred as a result of the US Iraq war? 

Also most amazing was that the journalists interviewing Trump never related the Bush Iraq war to the refugee problem Europe is facing or corrected him when he used the word illegals to describe the refugees?  

If a Donald Trump presidency wants European Nations to pay their fair share in NATO, he better also pay the Europeans compensation for housing the millions of refugees as a result of the Bush Iraq war.  
 
Read more: Donald Trump slams Angela Merkel′s refugee policy | News | DW.COM | 15.01.2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

Advertising budgets: Top 20 companies with the biggest advertising budget - by Tom Wadlow

According to Forbes’s extensive survey of global brands, the world’s most valuable brand Apple spends under a quarter of what the likes of Pampers and Gillette spend on advertising.

Automotive and consumer packaged goods firms occupy five of the top six advertising spends, with luxury brand Louis Vuitton also among the heavy spenders.

The top 10 advertising budgets for 2016 are as follows:

    Pampers - $8.3bn (Ranked 50th most valuable brand)
    Gillette - $8.3bn (28th)
    L’Oreal - $8.2bn (34th)
    Chevrolet - $5.1bn (59th)
    Louis Vuitton - $4.4bn (19th)
    Ford - $4.3bn (35th)
    Coca-Cola - $4bn (4th)
    Amazon - $3.8bn (12th)
    Sony - $3.7bn (76th)
    AT&T - $3.6bn (13th)
    Lexus - $3.6bn (63rd)
    Toyota - $3.6bn (6th)
    Samsung - $3.3bn (11th)
    NIKE - $3.2bn (18th)
    Google - $3.2bn (2nd)
    American Express - $3.1bn (24th)
    T-Mobile - $2.9bn (93rd)
    Nissan - $2.8bn (70th)
    Verizon - $2.7bn (21st)
    Chase - $2.7bn (65th)

Apple does not appear in the top 20. Its $1.8bn spent on advertising makes it the 33rd biggest spending company, despite its brand value being more than double that of any other in the world. 

Read more: Top 20 companies with the biggest advertising budget | Marketing | Business Review Europe

Thursday, January 12, 2017

US Economy: Welcome to Trumponomics: A Variant of "Economic Nationalism" - by Jean-Francois Boittin

There is a delicious double standard in Donald Trump’s view of globalization, which may have a direct bearing on his emerging economic policy.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the one-time owner of the Miss Universe pageant – a very global enterprise – never missed an opportunity to rage against economic globalization.

That put him in sharp contrast to the Republican Party, which has long embraced this process. Even more potently at the ballot box, his stance also put him into sharp relief to the Democratic Party. Thanks to the Clintons’ relentless steering, their party embraced economic globalization at least as much.

The underlying logic, in the world of Trump, was straightforward:

    Globalization is good when he benefits from it — as he did with his global Miss Universe brand, centered as it is on the visual merchandising of women’s bodies

    
   Globalization is bad — when it is not about his brands and the goods he sells, but all other firms’ goods and services.

   
    To date, Trump’s basic operating rule has been to say “to hell with the damn foreigners.” They are cheats and thieves who flout the rules and devalue their currencies in order to rob Americans in the global economic game.

Those damn foreigners, according to Trump also engage in the wholesale stealing of our intellectual property.

It would be complete news to him that the historical record indisputably shows that Americans did so themselves in a very systematic way during all of the 19th century in order to build up their economy.

But trade is only a part, if an essential one, of capitalism.

To be sure, as the owner of a private company, he could have bought more stuff for some of his ventures that was “made-in-America” — and thus more expensive, leaving him with smaller profits. He chose not to do that.

His operating rule is clear: Do as I say, not as I do.

At a minimum, economic nationalism will cost Trump’s angry blue-collar workers a lot of extra money each year. That is money they definitely don’t have.

It is easy, and perhaps alluring, for political elites to sell enraged voters on the notion of economic nationalism. But it is almost impossible to deliver on it.

Read more:P Welcome to Trumponomics: A Variant of "Economic Nationalism"

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Norway: Airline Industry - Cheap Atlantic crossing may no longer be flight of fancy

Norwegian bringing back affordable fares across  the Atlantic
Low-cost airlines dominate European and American skies, but they’ve never managed to pull off the same trick and make money by flying across the Atlantic or further afield.

Now Norwegian Air Shuttle, the Oslo-based budget carrier, thinks it might have figured out how to break that pattern and challenge the alliances of legacy airlines that rule the lucrative transatlantic market.The idea of a transatlantic low-cost airline isn’t new.

Freddie Laker tried it in the 1970s with his Skytrain, but it went bust in 1982. Other efforts like Canada’s Zoom Airlines also failed. That’s because long-haul flights on wide-body airliners across oceans are a very different proposition from the short hops flown by cheaper narrow-body aircraft in the U.S. and Europe.

“I understand where they are coming from, but I yet have to be convinced it will work,” said Tim Coombs, managing director at U.K. consultancy firm Aviation Economics. “The case for the success of the long-haul, low-cost business model is not as clear-cut as it is with short-haul, low-cost.”

AirAsia X — the long-haul, low-cost affiliate of the AirAsia Group — is the international carrier with the longest track record of trying to make money by flying to distant locations, he said. “The signs so far have been unpromising,” he added. “In the past five years, it has enjoyed only one year, 2012, when it recorded a profit.”

Norwegian hopes that its effort will be different. A few smaller competitors are also venturing into the long-haul, low-cost market. They include Iceland’s WOW Air, linking Europe and America via Iceland, and France’s French Blue. But Norwegian is the largest.

Norwegian believes it has worked out how a low-cost can make long-haul routes work. It operates a single fleet type of modern aircraft on intercontinental routes and will take delivery of its first Boeing MAXs this year. It has its own short-haul network to supply passengers and is in talks with Ryanair to bring passengers to its long-haul routes. Unlike decades-old flag carriers, the Norwegian brand dates only to 2002, which means there are no legacy work practices or inflexible staff. It has scale and sufficient aircraft orders to support its growth. Its network focuses on leisure routes and it flies to secondary airports rather than big, expensive or congested airports.

Norwegian started as a traditional short-haul, low-cost carrier. But in 2013, it parted ways with rivals like Ryanair and easyJet, launching its first nonstop long-haul flights in 2013 between Oslo and New York with a fleet of brand new Boeing 787s. Norwegian posted a 246 million Norwegian krone (€33 million) net profit in 2015, reversing a 1.1 billion krone loss in 2014.

Its network has grown substantially since then, offering transatlantic flights from several cities in Northern Europe, Paris and London Gatwick, from where it introduced the U.K.’s first long-haul, low-cost flights, and now flies to eight U.S destinations. That’s posing a growing challenge to SAS, Air France, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Spain’s Iberia and Ireland’s Aer Lingus will soon feel the pinch as well. From June, Norwegian will connect Barcelona with nonstop flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco (Oakland), New York (Newark), and Miami (Fort Lauderdale). To make matters worse for Iberia, Norwegian is also considering destinations in its key markets of Argentina and Chile.

Building its intercontinental network has not been easy. But Kjos, a lawyer by training and a former fighter pilot for the Royal Norwegian Air Force, is not afraid of a good fight. It took him three years to obtain the U.S. permit for Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary, and to get it he had to abandon his initial idea to work with Asia-based contract crews in order to cut costs.

Read more: Cheap Atlantic crossing may no longer be flight of fancy – POLITICO

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

USA: President Obama's farewell speech

Click on the link below for an unedited transcript of President Obama’s prepared remarks during his farewell address in Chicago, as provided by the White House.

Read the full transcript of President Obama's farewell speech - LA Times

Sunday, January 8, 2017

USA: Economists On Trump's 100 Day Action Plan - Not Even Funny Any More - Tim Worstall

Donald Trump has told us of his Contract With America and the subsequent 100 day action plan. Some parts of that are about economics and the economy so it's useful to go and ask economists about the effects of that part of the plan. To which one senior and well respected economist has responded as above - not even funny any more. Agreed, that was Austan Goolsbee who was the Chair of the Council of Economic

Advisers for Obama for a while so we wouldn't describe him as wholly non-political perhaps. But the level of support among a wider group of economists was tepid at very best. Lukewarm would be a much too encouraging word.

Read more: Economists On Trump's 100 Day Action Plan - Not Even Funny Any More

Friday, January 6, 2017

Banking Industry: still free wheeling

The book:The U.S." Government and the Major Banks:Justice for Sale at the Bazaar-By Frank Vogl "
notes:

"To date, not a single top banker has been put on trial, let alone sent to prison, for the frauds perpetrated by the institutions they lead".

Obviously the question is Who is kidding whom ?-  

Bottom-Line: Hanky - Panky Capitalism still alive and well.