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Why this Boom Could Keep Going Well Beyond 2019

The Austrian business cycle theory offers a sound explanation of what happens with the economy if and when the central banks, in close cooperation with commercial banks, create new money balances through credit expansion. Said credit expansion causes the market interest rate to drop below its "natural level," tempting people to save less and consume more.

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How California’s Government Plans to Make Wildfires Even Worse

Not every square inch of the planet earth is suitable for a housing development. Flood plains are not great places to build homes. A grove of trees adjacent to a tinder-dry national forest is not ideal for a dream home. And California's chaparral ecosystems are risky places for neighborhoods.

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Upward pressure on equity volatility mitigated by fund flows

Whereas inflation is expected to be dormant next year, our expectation of real GDP growth of just 1.3% in the US in 2020 could put upward pressure on equity volatility. Since monetary policy tends to lead volatility by two and a half years, the Fed’s turn toward quantitative tightening in 2017 is also continuing to exert upward pressure on volatility levels for now.

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Core sovereign bonds 2020 Outlook

Neutral US Treasuries. We expect the US 10-year yield to fall towards 1.3% in H1 as US growth falters and the US Federal Reserve starts signalling additional rate cuts. However, continued monetary easing and election promises (i.e. fiscal stimulus) could boost inflation expectations in H2, with the 10-year yield ending 2020 at around 1.6% in our central scenario.

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Exports: Currency Devaluation Won’t Grow the Economy

A visible weakness in economic activity in major world economies raises concern among various commentators that world economies have difficulties recovering despite very aggressive loose monetary policies. The yearly growth rate of US industrial production stood at minus 1.1 % in October, against minus 0.1% in September, and 4.1% in October last year.

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Swiss foreign work permit quotas maintained for 2020

Every year, Switzerland sets quotas for the number of work visas it issues to citizens outside the EU and EFTA. This week the government announced it would maintain the quota of 8,500 permits that was in place in 2018. In addition, it confirmed an earlier deal it struck with the UK to issue up to 3,500 work visas to British citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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1 in 10 Swiss hospitals facing financial difficulty

Around one hospital in ten in Switzerland could end up in financial difficultly, according to a report by PWC. In addition, 37 of the 44 hospitals surveyed will not be profitable enough to remain competitive over the next five to ten years, predict the authors of the report.

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A China Trade Deal Just Finalizes the Divorce

Each party will continue to extract whatever benefits they can from the other, but the leaving is already well underway. Beneath the euphoric hoopla of a trade deal with China is the cold reality that the divorce has already happened and any trade deal just signs the decree. The divorce of China and the U.S. was mutual; each had used up whatever benefits the tense marriage had offered, and each is looking forward to no longer being dependent on the...

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Politicians Want Thanksgiving To Be Political. Ignore Them.

Often, government-created holidays begin with a good premise — i.e., Independence Day, Armistice Day — and get worse from there. On Independence Day, instead of celebrating armed rebellion and secession, we now sing the praises of the government. Similarly, Armistice Day — a day designed to commemorate the end of a war — became Veterans Day, a day designed to honor government employees.

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Euro Area 2020 Macro Outlook

After an estimated 1.2% in 2019, we expect GDP growth of 1.0% in the euro area in 2020. Country wise, we expect more manufacturing-intense countries to underperform more domestically driven ones. Thus, we project weak growth of 0.7% in Germany and 0.4% in Italy in 2020, while we expect France and Spain to remain relatively resilient, growing by 1.2% and 1.7%, respectively.

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Federal Council paves way for VAT refund on Billag fee

At its meeting on 27 November 2019, the Federal Council set out its plan for the refund of value-added tax (VAT) on Switzerland’s radio and television licence, formerly known as Billag. Between 2010 and 2015, VAT was charged on Swiss television and radio licences.

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Capital Accumulation, Not Government, Is the Key To Technological Innovation

According to Mariana Mazzucato, the RM Phillips Professor in the Economics of Innovation at the University of Sussex, government is an important factor in the promotion of innovation and thus economic growth. In particular, she challenges the popular view that innovation happens in the private sector, with governments playing a limited role. Many commentators regard her as a revolutionary thinker that challenges the accepted dogma regarding the...

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FX Daily, November 27: In Search of New Incentives

Overview: The global capital markets are subdued. There have been few developments to induce activity. Even President Trump's claims that the talks with China are in the "final throes" failed to excite. Equities are extending their advance. Bonds are little changed, and the dollar is mostly firmer. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index and Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 advanced for the fourth consecutive session.

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The $31 million watch and other Swiss price world records

A CHF640 ($645) bar of chocolate is a sign of either the end of civilisation or a healthy market economy. Whatever your view, Switzerland holds several world records when it comes to expensive goods. “As the hammer came down on $31 million (CHF30.6 million), the audience leapt as one to its feet, erupting in wild cheering and thunderous applause,” the Financial Times wrote on November 11 as a world record was set in Geneva for the highest price of...

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Currencies: do it with style

Our scenario of ongoing global growth moderation and elevated political uncertainties should, we believe, support defensive currencies. We consider a currency ‘defensive’ if it is likely to remain resilient should global risk appetite falter.

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There Is No End to History, No Perfect Existence

All doctrines that have sought to discover in the course of human history some definite trend in the sequence of changes have disagreed, in reference to the past, with the historically established facts and where they tried to predict the future have been spectacularly proved wrong by later events.

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Don’t Want a Liquidity Trap? More Saving Is the Answer

With interest rates in many countries close to zero or even negative, some commentators are of the view that monetary policy of the central banks are likely to become less effective in navigating the economy. In fact it is held that we have most likely reached a situation that the economy is approaching a liquidity trap. But what does this mean?

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Why Friedman Is Wrong on the Business Cycle

According to an article in Bloomberg on November 5, 2019, Milton Friedman’s business cycle theory seems to be vindicated. According to Milton Friedman, strong recoveries are just natural after particularly deep recessions. Like a guitar string, the harder the string is plucked down, the faster it should come back up.

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French-speaking cantons biggest winners from next year’s fiscal transfers

The amount of money paid by “rich” cantons to “poor” ones will rise by CHF 61 million to CHF 5.3 billion in 2020, according to a recent government press release. The only French-speaking canton paying will be Geneva. All of the rest will see the sums they receive rise compared to 2019. In 2020, Geneva will pay CHF 275 million, down slightly from the CHF 300 million it paid in 2019.

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More than 100 members of Extinction Rebellion convicted in Switzerland

In September 2019, groups of people belonging to the group Extinction Rebellion blocked two road bridges in Lausanne. Local police cleared the bridges by removing, in some cases carrying, protesters away. On 7 November 2019, 117 of the people involved in the bridge protests were convicted and fined for breaking Switzerland’s penal code, according to RTS.

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