Vladimir Gligorov (1945–2022)

Pred nekaj dnevi je umrl Vladimir Gligorov, eden zadnjih velikih, morda celo zadnji iz generacije velikih ekonomistov s področja nekdanje Jugoslavije. Po razpadu nekdanje Jugoslavije je deloval na Dunaju, na inštitutu WIIW, kjer sem ga tudi spoznal. Vladimir je bil res intelektualec med ekonomisti z veliko začetnico, diskusije z njim so bile užitek. Spomnim se enega prvih srečanj na eni izmed konferenc, pred letom 2000. Bil sem še čisto svež raziskovalec, takoj po doktoratu. Med zajtrkom sva diskutirala o globalni ekonomiji, omenil sem rivalstvo med Japonsko in ZDA, Vladimir pa je samo odmahnil z roko in rekel, da je Japonska passe in naj gledamo Kitajsko, ki bo postala nova globalna velesila. Seveda je imel prav.

Vladimir, bilo mi je v čast, da sem te poznal in lahko diskutiral s teboj.

Spodaj je “In memoriam”, ki so ga napisali njegovi sodelavci na WIIW. Resnično lepo so se poslovili od Vladimirja, ki je bil njihov mentor skozi desetletja.

Our wiiw Senior Research Associate, dear colleague, mentor and friend, Vladimir Gligorov, passed away on Thursday 27 October 2022. His 77th birthday was just about a month ago. Not that he attached any importance to such events. He had no time for or interest in such secular issues as birthdays, holidays, or weekends. He was a true scientist. He worked every day, reading and writing on economics, politics, philosophy, history, or literature. Being a cinephile and loving his family was the closest he came to the everyday life of an average person. In a typical post-Yugoslav intellectual tradition, he liked to compare key scenes of movies with crucial issues in the sciences mentioned above. His oeuvre as a researcher is huge and the sheer number of book chapters, working papers, articles, comments, and blog contributions, let alone interviews in newspapers and online-portals in various fields, is probably uncountable. He also translated many books. It is no exaggeration to claim that it would be easier to enumerate what he did not do than the opposite.

To read the obituary, please follow this link.

Mario Holzner, Robert Stehrer and all wiiw staff

Roubini: Srečni, če bo samo kot ekonomska kriza v 1970-ih letih in ne kot vojna v 1940-ih

“Dr. Doom” Roubini v intervjuju v Der Spieglu o novi multi krizi zaradi desetih “mega nevarnosti” (Adam Tooze to imenuje “polikriza) pred nami, pri kateri bomo (po N. Fergusonu) “srečni, če bo samo kot ekonomska kriza v 1970-ih letih in ne kot vojna v 1940-ih“, da se bomo na zahtevo ZDA  morali odločiti ali bomo sledili ZDA ali Kitajski in da nam nihče ne garantira, da zaradi krize ne bimo volili skrajnih desničarjev. Kar je seveda šele uvod v globalno vojno.

Večina izmed nas je seveda bistveno manj pesimistična od Roubinija. Kar pa še ne pomeni, da tudi upravičeno.

Roubini: I was in Washington at the IMF meeting. The economic historian Niall Ferguson said in a speech there that we would be lucky if we got an economic crisis like in the 1970s – and not a war like in the 1940s. National security advisers were worried about NATO getting involved in the war between Russia and Ukraine and Iran and Israel being on a collision course. And just this morning, I read that the Biden administration expects China to attack Taiwan sooner rather than later. Honestly, World War III has already effectively begun, certainly in Ukraine and cyberspace.

DER SPIEGEL: Politicians seem overwhelmed by the simultaneity of many major crises. What priorities should they set?

Roubini: Of course, they must take care of Russia and Ukraine before they take care of Iran and Israel or China. But policymakers should also think about inflation and recessions, i.e. stagflation. The eurozone is already in a recession, and I think it will be long and ugly. The United Kingdom is even worse. The pandemic seems contained, but new COVID variants could emerge soon. And climate change is a slow-motion disaster that is accelerating. For each of the 10 threats I describe in my book, I can give you 10 examples that are happening as we speak today, not in the distant future. Do you want one on climate change?

DER SPIEGEL: Another threat you describe is that the U.S. could pressure Europe to limit its business relations with China in order to not endanger the U.S. military presence on the continent. How far are we from that scenario?

Roubini: It is already happening. The U.S. has just passed new regulations banning the export of semiconductors to Chinese companies for AI or quantum computing or military use. Europeans would like to continue doing business with the U.S. and China, but it won’t be possible because of national security issues. Trade, finance, technology, internet: Everything will split in two.

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Zaradi energetske krize finančni trgi nočejo več posojati Nemčiji

Prejšnji teden se je zgodil fenomen: Nemčiji ni uspelo prodati nove izdaje 5-letnih obveznic. Še več, kupci so bili pripravljeni kupiti manj kot polovico (47%) ponujenih obveznic. To se je Nemčiji, nekoč najbolj varnem finančnem zavetju, zgodilo prvič po letu 1999. Za razliko od tega so finančni vlagatelji razgrabili za 10 milijard evrov obveznic, ki jih je ponudila Francija. Pri tem je Francija, paradoksalno, za skoraj 50 odstotnih točk BDP bolj finančno zadolžena od Nemčije (javni dolg / BDP: DE 67% BDP; FR 113% BDP).

Kot poroča Reuters, naj bi finančne vlagatelje motila predvsem negotovost v Nemčiji zaradi energetske krize, saj ni jasno, kako bo Nemčija prestala to zimo brez ruskega plina in kako bo sfinancirala 200 milijard evrov težki paket za premostitev izpada ruskega plina in energetski prehod. V ta namen je nemški parlament prejšnji teden odpravil t.i. dolžniško zavoro (nemško verzijo fiskalnega pravila). Za razliko od tega se vlagateljem Francija zdi manj tvegana, saj je manj odvisna od ruskega plina in je hkrati zaradi več kot 50-odstotnega deleža električne energije iz zanesljivega jedrskega vira na varni strani glede dobav električne energije to zimo.

Izgleda, da so finančni trgi Scholzu dali podobno zaušnico kot pred mescem in pol Trussovi v V. Britaniji. Obakrat so ocenili, da sta njuna proračunska načrta na “shaky” temeljih.

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Brazil’s economic and political rollercoaster

Michael Roberts Blog

The latest polls put Workers Party leader Lula de Silva ahead in the two-horse race with incumbent right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro in today’s final round of the presidential election in Brazil. If Lula wins, it will be a dramatic comeback for the former president after having been jailed for alleged corruption under the previous right-wing Temer regime; and then finally released and allowed to run again. A Lula victory will mean that the Workers Party has regained the presidency after losing it when last WP leader Dilma Rousseff was impeached by a right-wing Congress in a ‘soft coup’ in 2016.

The victory of ‘Tropical Trump’ Bolsonaro in 2018 was achieved mainly because of the disillusionment by sections of the working class with the Workers Party and the successful media campaign claiming that the WP was corrupt. After the collapse of commodity prices in resources and agriculture in 2014, the economy…

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Kako se znebiti strateškega tekmeca

Zgodovina je v svojem bistvu zaporedje vojaških in ekonomskih vojn v neprestanem boju za prevlado. Uspešnost strategije prevlade pa je ob vojaški moči pogosto odvisna od pogajalskih spretnosti in marketinga.

Poglejmo si tri poučne zgodovinske primere. Prvi primer se nanaša na gospodarski vzpon Anglije. Po zaslugi odkritja pomorske poti do Amerike in Azije sta v 16. in 17. stoletju Španija in Portugalska bogateli z ropanjem zlata v svojih kolonijah. Anglija je bila takrat preveč zaposlena z nenehnimi vojnami s Francijo, da bi se lahko šla kolonizacijo. Toda kljub temu ji je uspelo profitirati od nje. Po zatonu Španije konec 17. stoletja je Portugalska iskala pomorsko zaščito in jo našla v Angliji v zameno za trgovinski sporazum (leta 1703).

Sporazum je bil navidezno bolj ugoden za Portugalsko, ki je dosegla za tretjino nižje carine za izvoz svojega vina glede na Francijo, medtem ko se je sama zavezala, da za uvoz tekstila iz Anglije ne bo uporabljala višjih carin kot za uvoz iz drugih držav. Toda realno je bil to pogajalski dosežek za Anglijo, saj Portugalska z vinom niti približno ni mogla pokriti uvoza tekstila iz Anglije. Rezultat je bil trajni trgovinski deficit Portugalske, ki ga je plačevala v zlatu, zato je bil sporazum zelo eleganten način, da je Anglija leto za letom črpala portugalske zaloge zlata.

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Deindustrializacija Nemčije v živo: Biggest Chemical Plant Dumps Germany for China

Nekoč bodo Olafu Scholzu in njegovi druščini na smetišču zgodovine postavili spominsko tablo kot grobarjem nekdanje evropske gospodarske velesile Nemčije. Samo gledamo z odprtimi usti in se čudimo tej kombinaciji neverjetne politične naivnosti, nesposobnosti in popolne podrejenosti ameriškemu gospodarju vojne. Če bi kdo hotel uničiti Nemčijo, bi ravnal tako kot Scholz & druščina.

The inflation conundrum

“Mary C. Daly, President of the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco, also concluded that “As for the Phillips curve … most arguments today center around whether it’s dead or just gravely ill. Either way, the relationship between unemployment and inflation has become very difficult to spot.”

So why do economists and central bankers continue to peddle a theory that has no empirical support? Gavin Davies, a Keynesian and former chief economist at Goldman Sachs, explained: “without the Phillips Curve, the whole complicated paraphernalia that underpins central bank policy suddenly looks very shaky. For this reason, the Phillips Curve will not be abandoned lightly by policy makers”.”

Michael Roberts Blog

In many previous posts, I have argued the current sharp rise in inflation rates in all the major economies does not derive from so-called ‘excessive demand’; or from excessive money supply growth; or wage demands forcing companies to raise prices.

It primarily relies on the failure of supply to match demand. Supply was drastically squeezed during the COVID pandemic slump of 2020 and the productivity of labour contracted sharply. Capitalist investment and the production revival during the economic recovery in 2021 were inadequate to meet to renewed spending by consumers and companies. That failure was exacerbated by supply-chain blockages (loss of employees in key industries and the collapse of trade and transport connections). And the Russia-Ukraine conflict then added to that in reducing energy and food supply and exports, causing rocketing food and energy prices.

What does this show about mainstream economic theories on inflation and policies to reduce…

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Hikelandia failed: So centralne banke res zamudile v boju proti inflaciji?

Svet ECB je danes sledil jastrebom v svojih vrstah in dvignil obrestno mero za 0.75% (največ v zgodovini). Pri tem se ni oziral na to, da je inflacija v evro območju pretežno (med dvetretjinsko in tričetrtinsko) ponudbene narave (glejte sliko spodaj) in da tovrstne inflacije centralna banka ne more znižati z ukrepi, ki vplivajo na povpraševanje. Natančneje, ne more je znižati, brez da bi z visokim dvigom obrestnih mer ter daljšim vztrajanjem pri visokih obrestnih merah, dokler se ponudbeni šoki sami ne odpravijo, gospodarstvo poslala v globoko in trajno recesijo (s tem centralna banka dejansko ustvari stagflacijo). Centralne banke namreč za razliko od povpraševalne narave inflacije (pregrevanje gospodarstva zaradi visokega povpraševanja) pri ponudbeni inflaciji ne morejo odpraviti vzrokov zanjo – ne morejo povečati ponudbe nafte in plina, ne morejo ustvariti dodatne ponudbe surovin in inputov in ne morejo znižati njihovih cen.

EA Inflation components 08-2022

Danes mnogi očitajo centralnim bankam razvitih držav, da so lani po začetku rasti cen, ki je sledila post-kovidnemu odpiranju gospodarstev (april 2021), zamudile. Da so živele v napačnem prepričanju, da je inflacija zgolj prehodne narave in da se bo umirila po začetnem šoku. S tem naj bi omogočile, da se je inflacija razrastla in se vgradila v stroške. Vendar ti kritiki, kot kaže analiza The Economista, nimajo prav. Države, ki so začele takoj in preventivno z drastičnim dvigovanjem obrestnih mer, danes glede stopnje inflacije niso nič na boljšem, kot države, ki so s tem počakale.

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Kako ugasniti državo, če ne uboga?

Če se je kdo začudil nad tišino iz Nemčije, ko so ji razstrelili plinovoda Severni tok 1 in 2, za to ni potrebe. Prvič, bilo je jasno, kdo je v ozadju. In drugič, Nemčija si ne more privoščiti, da bi protestirala pri diverzantu. Ker jo slednji lahko preprosto ugasne, če bi Nemčija kakorkoli protestirala.

Meni najboljši del iz filma Snowden se začne pri minuti 55:55, ki govori o tem, kako so ZDA – po tem, ko so njihove varnostne službe dobile popolni vpogled v vso elektronsko komunikacijo ljudi v zahodnih in zavezniških državah, tako navadnih ljudi kot vseh ključnih politikov, gospodarstvenikov in drugih javnosti osebnosti – prevzele nadzor tudi nad vso kritično infrastrukturo v nekaterih državah. Tako da so denimo v operacijske sisteme njihovih elektroenergetskih sistemov, vodooskrbnih sistemov, bolnišnic itd. namestile “implatante”, virusne “črve”, ki jih lahko sprožijo na daljavo. In v trenutku ugasnejo luči, zaustavijo promet, oskrbo z vodo, bolnišnice, če država ne bi bila več kooperativna z ZDA.

Delček Snowdnovega monologa:

»…and we didn’t stop there. Once we owned their communication system we started going after their physical infrastructure. We’d slip these little sleeper programs into power grids, dams, hospitals and the idea was if the day came when Japan was no longer an ally it’d be the lights out. And it wasn’t just the Japanese we were planning malware. Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Austria. I mean, China I can understand, or Russia or Iran, Venezuela, okay, but Austria?

The truth sinks in that, no matter what justification you’re selling yourself, this is not about terrorism. Terrorism is the excuse. This is about economic and social control. And the only thing you’re really protecting is the supremacy of your government.«

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