Posts Tagged ‘Ekonomi’

EKONOMI | President Barack Obama har varit bättre för USA:s ekonomin än vad företagen vill erkänna.

bloomberg-businessweek-27 June-July 3 2016

När Obama intervjuades av ett team från tidskriften Bloomberg Businessweek lyckades han även få in en giftig kommentar om att Donald Trump inte uppfattas som speciellt framgångsrik bland många affärsmän.

The stock market has tripled. Profits are very high. And yet you still have this label of being an anti-business figure. How do you look at that?

Well, first of all, toward the end of my second term, I think among the business community, there’s maybe a greater acknowledgment, a less grudging acknowledgment, that we steered through the worst financial and economic crisis in our lifetimes successfully—certainly more successfully than many of our peers. We’re now 10 percent above the GDP pre-crisis. In Europe, for example, they’re just now getting back to even.

As you mentioned, the stock market, obviously, has come roaring back. But I think more relevant for ordinary folks, we’ve cut the unemployment rate in half. We’ve been able to have the longest [stretch of] consecutive months of private-sector job growth in our history. Biggest job growth since the ’90s in manufacturing. The auto industry has come roaring back and is selling more cars than ever. We’ve doubled the production of clean energy. Our production of traditional fossil fuels has exceeded all expectations. We’ve been able to grow the economy, reduce unemployment, and cut the deficit by around three-quarters, measured as a percent of GDP. So it’s hard to argue with the facts.

I think where the business community has traditionally voiced complaints about my administration is in the regulatory sector. And yet, if you look at the results—Dodd-Frank being a good example—it is indisputable that our banking system and our financial sector are safer and more stable than when I came into office. Now, what’s also true is that banking profits are not as outsized as they were, but I don’t consider that a bad thing, and I think most Americans don’t either. They’re still making a profit, it’s just that there is a froth that’s been eliminated, and that’s good over the long term for the financial sector.


We’re going to have a global entrepreneurship summit—the last one of a series that we began when I first came into office. And the enthusiasm from around the world about these summits speaks to the advantage that we continue to have here in the United States. It’s this notion that if you get a good idea, and you organize some people to support you, and you learn from your mistakes, you can create something entirely new.

You can become Bill Gates.

You can become Bill Gates. Or, in some cases, you can electrify a village. You can save water in a desert. That’s the thing about the U.S. economy that continues to be unique. And it’s tied to capitalism and markets, but it’s also tied to a faith in science and reason and a mindset that says there’s always something new to discover, and we don’t know everything, and we’re going to try new things, and we’re pragmatic. And if we ever lose that, then we will have lost what has made us an incredible force for good in the world. If we sustain it, then we can maintain the kind of progress that has been made. I always tell interns and young people who I talk to that as tough as things seem right now, do not believe people when they tell you they wish they could go back to the good old days. Because the good old days aren’t—I’m now old enough where I remember some of those good old days.

Does it annoy you, then, that the guy who wants to go back and is America’s most successful businessman, at least by his own reckoning, is Donald Trump?

Well, I—there’s no successful businessman in America who actually thinks the most successful businessman in the country is Donald Trump. I know those guys, and so do you, and I guarantee you, that’s not their view.

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Businessweek, 27 juni-3 july 2016.

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EKONOMI | Hur stort inflytande har en amerikansk president på den ekonomiska utvecklingen i en modern ekonomi?

The New York Times Magazine - 1 Maj 2016

Arbetslösheten i USA ligger på fem procent. Underskottet minskar och BNP ökar. Trots detta känner sig många amerikaner att utvecklingen går i fel riktning.

Frågan är om president Barack Obama borde klarat av att kommunicera en mer positiv bild av vad som uppnåtts under hans tid i Vita huset – detta trots att hans politiska motståndare inte har vikt en tum i sin nattsvarta beskrivning av den ekonomiska utvecklingen.

Andrew Ross Sorkin, finansiell kolumnist, skriver i The New York Times Magazine om det ekonomiska arv som Barack Obamas sannolikt lämnar efter sig.

Often in our conversations, the president expressed a surprising degree of identification with America’s business leaders. “If I hadn’t gone into politics and public service,” Obama told me, “the challenges of creating a business and growing a business and making it work would probably be the thing that was most interesting to me.” His showy embrace of capitalism was especially notable given his fractious relationship with Wall Street and the business community for much of his first term.

In December 2009, Obama was not reluctant to chastise bankers. “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers on Wall Street,” he told Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes.” “The people on Wall Street still don’t get it. They don’t get it. They’re still puzzled, ‘Why is it that people are mad at the banks?’ ”

Given the national mood at the time, Obama’s words shouldn’t have come as a surprise to the business leaders. But the financial sector had buoyed Obama’s campaign, giving him $16 million in political support, nearly twice what McCain received from it, and some executives responded to his new populism in emotional terms. “It’s a war,” Stephen Schwarzman, a co-founder of Blackstone Group, the giant private-equity firm, said of Obama in 2010 and his effort to close a tax loophole that benefited the industry. “It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.” (Schwarzman later apologized.) Others seemed more concerned with the language itself. In 2011, Leon Cooperman, a billionaire hedge-fund manager, wrote a public letter to Obama, saying: “The divisive, polarizing tone of your rhetoric is cleaving a widening gulf, at this point as much visceral as philosophical, between the downtrodden and those best positioned to help them. It is a gulf that is at once counterproductive and freighted with dangerous historical precedents.”

When I asked him about these reactions, Obama laughed. The criticism he leveled at Wall Street “was extraordinarily mild,” he said, but “it hurt their feelings. I would have some of them say to me, ‘You know, my son came home and asked me, ‘Am I a fat cat?’ ” He laughed again.

Obama’s rhetoric does seem mild, at least compared with the withering contempt of, say, Franklin Roosevelt, who, laying out the objectives for the second stage of the New Deal in 1936, said that reckless bankers and speculators are “unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.” Obama, to the contrary, seems to find their hatred irritating. “One of the constants that I’ve had to deal with over the last few years is folks on Wall Street complaining even as the stock market went from in the 6,000s to 16,000 or 17,000,” he said. “They’d be constantly complaining about our economic policies. That’s not rooted in anything they’re experiencing; it has to do with ideology and their aggravations about higher taxes.”


It has always been the case that voters credit or, more often, blame the president for the nation’s economic performance. But it is also the case that the president generally has considerably less sway to move the economy than even he might like to acknowledge. And as the economy continues to disperse, that sway may be diminishing further. A president has less power than ever, in either a hard- power (legal/regulatory) or soft-power (cultural) sense, over American chief executives, let alone over the chief executives of multinationals based in France or China or other places where many U.S. employers make their headquarters.


Obama considered the problem from a political perspective. “In some ways,” he said, “engaging in those hard changes that we need to make to create a more nimble, dynamic economy doesn’t yield immediate benefits and can seem like a distraction or an effort to undermine a bygone era that doesn’t exist. And that then feeds, both on the left and the right, a temptation to say, ‘If we could just go back to an era in which our borders were closed,’ or ‘If we could just go back to a time when everybody had a defined-benefit plan,’ or ‘We could just go back to a time when there wasn’t any immigrant that was taking my job, things would be O.K.’ ” He didn’t mention Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders by name, but the implications were obvious.

Tidskriftsomslag: The New York Times Magazine den 1 maj 2016.

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VALÅR | I år kan vi förvänta oss att partierna kommer att försöka undvika att tala klarspråk kring finansieringen av alla reformer man utlovar.


Trots detta är det inte ledarsidorna eller de politiska reportrarna som bäst lyckats beskriva regeringens (och Socialdemokraternas) retoriska krumbukter i vad som säkert blir en av årets huvudfrågor.

Lars Calmfors, professor i internationell ekonomi och tidigare ordförande i det finanspolitiska råd som utvärderar regeringens ekonomiska politik, blev den som fick ta på sig den pedagogiska uppgiften att förklara hur den ekonomiska politiken egentligen blir till.

Regeringen tackade honom knappast för att han avslöjade argumenteringen kring, och verkligheten bakom, det så kallade reformutrymmet.

Att Calmfors redan 2010 hade lyckats krypa under skinnet på regeringen blev tydligt när den i vanliga fall så behärskade Anders Borg (M) utmålade professorn som en ”akademiker som kladdar med pennan”.

I augusti skrev Calmfors i Dagens Nyheter:

Det är stötande hur regeringens argumentation förändrats över tiden. I början av den ekonomiska krisen 2008/09 var man ytterst obenägen att föra en expansiv politik för att hålla nere arbetslösheten. Enligt statsministern ville de som då rekommenderade stimulanser ”köra ekonomin i diket”. I dag vill finansministern ”tillföra energi till ekonomin” genom just en sådan politik. Det ligger knappast något ekonomiskt omtänkande bakom detta. Det är i stället fråga om en rent politisk kalkyl. 2008/09 gällde det att övertyga väljarna om en borgerlig regerings förmåga att värna de offentliga finanserna. Sedan man väl lyckats med det, satsar man i stället på en typisk valbudget. Sådan politisk opportunism står i uppenbar strid med den bild av unik ekonomisk kompetens som regeringen vill ge.

Regeringen vill använda merparten av sitt beräknade reformutrymme till skatte- och avgiftssänkningar. Det kommer att göra det ännu svårare att upprätthålla det offentliga välfärdsåtagandet framöver. Om personaltätheten i offentligt finansierade verksamheter ska behållas och olika bidrag öka i takt med lönerna, krävs det i stället betydande skattehöjningar framöver.

Den centrala frågan i den ekonomisk-politiska debatten bör därför vara vilka ambitioner vi har för det offentliga välfärdsåtagandet. Vill vi behålla det på nuvarande nivå eller rent av öka det? Eller är vi beredda att minska det i utbyte mot lägre skatter? Här bör de politiska alternativen redovisas tydligare. Det underlättas inte av regeringens ovilja att förklara hur reformutrymmet uppstår. Det underlättas inte heller av att Socialdemokraterna verkar beredda att acceptera skattesänkningar sedan dessa väl genomförts trots att de inskränker möjligheterna att finansiera de offentliga utgifter partiet egentligen vill ha. Mer tydlighet är en förutsättning för rationella ställningstaganden från väljarnas sida.

Vi får se om media kommer att vässa pennorna eller om det även framöver blir de enskilda, partipolitiskt obundna debattörerna som får stå för den giftigaste analysen.

Bild: Hämtad här

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ROM | Att kalla valet av ny påve för en nyhet är lite av ett understatement. BuzzFeed visar hur 48 tidningar från världens alla hörn slog upp nyheten.

La Nacion den 14 mars 2013

Här är ytterligare en framsida från påvens eget hemland Argentina – La Nacion den 14 mars 2013.

Läs mer: Ett intressant porträtt av Jorge Mario Bergoglio från 2005 i Catholic Herald. Bland annat tas upp hans syn på politik och ekonomi.

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AGENDA | En president hinner knappt bli omvald innan man börjar fundera över hans plats i historien.

The Economist 19-25 januari 2013

Hur kommer man att bedöma president Barack Obama om fyra år? Det kan kännas lite väl tidigt att  fundera över detta när han precis har hunnit svära presidenteden.

Men sanningen är att andra mandatperioden tenderar att bli en enda lång nedräkning tills det är dags att lämna över till nästa president.

Det är sällan en president har lika mycket energi under andra mandatperioden som under första. Redan nu ser vi denna vinkling i media. Har han några nya idéer? Orkar han hela vägen? Har han redan börjat slå av på takten?

En ledarartikel i The Economist har gjort sin bedömning om vad Obama måste fokusera på om han vill bli ihågkommen som en av de stora presidenterna.

Ett misslyckande innebär inte bara att han förpassas till de mediokras skara utan också att resultatet kan få svåra inrikes- och utrikespolitiska konsekvenser.

På det utrikespolitiska området ser man främst relationerna med Kina och arabvärlden som viktiga. Men över allt detta hänger USA:s finansiella och ekonomiska kris.

Och det är knappast problem han kommer att kunna lösa fullt ut även om alla demokrater och republikaner skulle köpa hans förslag rakt upp och ner.  

[H]is first term was nowhere near successful enough to earn Mr Obama the mantle of greatness—or to guard him against the possibility of a disastrous second term wiping away all else.


The most fundamental is that America must put its fiscal house in order. Admiral Mike Mullen, then the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was not exaggerating when he said in 2010 that America’s debt was the greatest strategic threat the country faces. Since then, $3 trillion has been added, pushing the dolorous pile above $16 trillion. Much of that has been caused by the recession and the stimulus to fight it; but by the end of this decade, with ever more baby-boomers retiring, the deficit is set to rise relentlessly. If Mr Obama hands over a country heading towards bankruptcy in January 2017, he can forget any idea of being remembered as an economic saviour.

Having ignored the recommendations of the deficit committee he himself established, Mr Obama has never given any sign, other than rhetorically, of being at all serious about cutting “entitlements”: these are the pensions and government health-care schemes for the poor and elderly that will overwhelm the budget as the population ages and medical costs continue their uncontrolled rise. Far from reforming entitlements, Mr Obama added an expensive new one in his first term: subsidised health insurance for lower-paid workers. And the president has just avoided coming up with any cuts in the deal made on January 1st to stop America heading over the fiscal cliff, despite bullying the Republicans in Congress to accept tax rises on the rich.

An America that cannot deal with its financial problems other than through repeated crises followed by shabby postponements will eventually go broke. And its capacity to offer leadership to the world is gravely diminished. Why should leaders in Beijing, Brasília, Bogotá or even Berlin see anything to emulate in Washington? If Mr Obama corrects this, he will be seen as a transformative figure. If not, future generations will look back on “the Bush-Obama years” as a time when two presidents stoked up a very foreseeable disaster.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är The Economist den 19-25 januari 2013.

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EKONOMI | Många av presidentens egna anhängare har blivit djupt besvikna över resultat efter fyra år med Barack Obama i Vita huset.

Under första perioden brukar presidenter bränna mesta av sin energi. Det är då man är som mest innovativ och lanserar sina bästa idéer.

Har man inte lyckats genomföra idéerna under de fyra första åren blir det inte mycket lättare under andra mandatperioden.

Under de sista åren tryter idéerna. Även om man aldrig skulle erkänna det för sig själv har man redan börjat nedräkningen till den dag när man lämnar Vita huset.

Dessutom är många av de närmaste medarbetarna slutkörda. Många söker sig till mer välbetalda jobb med mindre pressande arbetstider och uppgifter.

Allierade i kongressen är dessutom inte längre lika villiga att hjälpa till om de sista åren ser ut att bli en segdragen historia med vikande opinionssiffror.

Många positionerar sig för att kunna bli återvalda. Går det inte bra för presidenten vill man inte gärna binda upp sig allt för nära till en person som snart skall lämna över.

Politiska motståndare har ännu mindre anledning att kompromissa. Man vet att presidenten är på väg ut. Och varför då ge hans partis nästa presidentkandidat möjlighet att rida på föregångarens politiska framgångar?

Och i media har man börjat spekulera om presidenten redan har blivit en ”lame duck”.

”It’s the economy, stupid!” var den maxim som kampanjstrategen James Carville spikade upp på väggen i Bill Clintons ”war room”. Samma sak gäller för Obamas administration.

Presidenten hoppas säkert att republikanerna efter sitt nederlag nu kommer att bli mer kompromissvilliga.

Om inte annat för att väljarna kan komma att straffa dem för vad man ser som ren tjurskallighet.

Om ekonomin förvärras kan det mycket väl vara kongressen som får stå som boven i dramat. Väljarnas förtroende för presidenten har nämligen alltid varit större än för politikerna i kongressen.

Nästa fyra år kommer därför att bli tuffa för Obama. Och problemen har knappast blivit mindre.

I en ledare i New Statesman skriver man följande:

The greatest immediate danger is that Congress will prove incapable of steering the US away from the so-called fiscal cliff, the $607bn worth of tax rises and spending cuts due to come into effect on 1 January 2013. Should the Democrats and the Republicans fail to reach agreement on a less severe austerity programme, the US could suffer a double-dip recession, with grave consequences for the global economy.

The US Congressional Budget Office estimates that the planned fiscal contraction, which, at 4 per cent of gross domestic product […] would cause the US economy to shrink at an annual rate of 1.3 per cent during the first half of 2013. In addition, it would lead to job losses of over five million by 2014. Already, the fiscal cliff is thought to have reduced GDP by 0.6 per cent this year through its chilling effect on investment. Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, whose activist monetary policy has done much to keep recession at bay, has warned, “If the fiscal cliff isn’t addressed, I don’t think our tools are strong enough to offset the effects of a major fiscal shock.” The responsibility for averting economic catastrophe lies with the president and Congress.

Mr Obama has proposed maintaining the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans earning less than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples), while allowing taxes to rise for those on incomes above this level. He would seek to achieve $4trn in deficit reduction over the next decade by cutting $2.50 in spending for every dollar in revenue, including using half of the money saved from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for this purpose.


On the economy, as in other areas, Mr Obama must hope that the Republicans, no longer preoccupied with defeating him, will instead seek to work with him. Should they prove willing to do so, there is potential for the president to make progress in those areas where he disappointed during his first term.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är New Statesman den 9-15 november 2012. Montaget med Obama som Harold Lloyd i den berömda klockscenen i filmen ”Safety Last!” är gjort av Dan Murrell.

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USA | Alla politiker har sina svaga punkter. Och även med bra kampanjstrateger är det svårt att helt dölja detta i en lång och utdragen valrörelse.

Ekonomitidskriften Fortune har fokuserat på Barack Obamas och Mitt Romneys ekonomiska budskap och hur man tänker lösa landets problem.

Tony Newmyer skriver om Barack Obama och hans planer inför nästa mandatperiod och hur dessa planer har påverkat valkampanjen så här långt.

Reflecting on his first term in an interview with CBS last month, Obama said he had made a mistake. He had thought, he said, ”that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.” It’s odd that such a masterful storyteller forgot to tell a story. Bogged down in legislative wrangling, he frequently neglected his most powerful tool: his ability to go over the heads of the fractious Beltway crowd and take his case directly to the American people. He had run on a pledge to end an era of crippling partisanship, and he had won the White House with a huge army of volunteers. The care and feeding of that ground force shifted to the Democratic National Committee once Obama took office, but the party never quite figured out how to translate the popular energy that inspired his campaign into an instrument to advance his legislative agenda.

It’s an error Obama is determined not to repeat if he wins a second term. To that end, his team is prepping a major post-election mobilization to preserve the campaign’s momentum and keep the heat on Congress during the budget talks. The plan is to retain about 150 of the campaign’s sharpest operatives on payroll, deployed across the country to organize grass-roots support behind the President’s agenda, people briefed on the plan say. ”Whether you’re organizing people to vote or organizing people to try to encourage their representative to support or oppose something, it’s the same thing,” says one, who wasn’t authorized to discuss internal deliberations on the record.

And Obama appears poised to match that tactical gambit with a new toughness at the negotiating table.


When you observe the race, it’s difficult not to notice the gap between the specificity with which Obama’s economic team in the White House is thinking through second-term scenarios and the vague treatment the next four years are getting on the trail. ”I have to believe, and this surprises me, that the Obama team has concluded their economic narrative is not strong enough to sustain their campaign,” says Bill Galston, who was a senior adviser to President Clinton. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a former adviser to Obama, warns, ”It matters what he campaigns on, because you can’t claim a mandate for doing things unless you talk about them in the election.”

I samma nummer skriver David Whitford och Doris Burke om bl.a. Mitt Romneys otydlighet när det gäller hans planer vid en eventuell valseger.

Romney’s critics complain that he’s not saying enough. That he’s long on grand gestures — rein in the federal government, unshackle the private sector, restore America’s greatness — but short on specifics. The critics are not wrong. Romney says, for instance, that he favors lowering tax rates but preserving current tax revenue. He says he can achieve that by ”broadening the tax base” — Washington-speak for closing loopholes and fiddling with deductions. But closing what and fiddling how?

A bipartisan research team at the Tax Policy Center (TPC) in Washington ran the numbers and concluded that ”any revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Gov. Romney has proposed would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.” Some voters will think that’s great — just not the voters Romney still needs.


Assuming Romney really does have a plan to pull off this feat of fiscal wizardry, he’s keeping the details to himself.

That’s basically been the Romney campaign strategy: the less said the better. It makes obvious political sense, and not just because the candidate, as we’ve seen repeatedly, doesn’t do himself any favors when he goes off script. The economy is weak, unemployment is high, consumer confidence is low, and an alarming (for President Obama) nearly two-thirds of the electorate is dissatisfied with the direction the country is going. Maybe all Romney has to do to beat Obama is not be Obama.

I gathered as much during a Romney bus tour in June that wound through half a dozen Northern battleground states. Along the way I did meet some hard-core Romney backers, but they were the exceptions. At a rally in Troy, Ohio, Zelda Hockaday, 75, a retired lab technician and former Newt Gingrich supporter, told me, ”I’m not sure yet,” when I asked her why she was supporting Romney. ”That’s what I came to find out. The main thing is, he’s opposing Obama.”

Läs mer: I samma nummer kan man även läsa ”Hey, Washington: Enough Already”. Artikeln är tidskriftens förslag på hur man skulle kunna lösa problemen i ekonomin. På nätet finns också den fullständiga intervjun med Mitt Romney.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Fortune den 3 september 2012.

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