Young people’s attitudes towards retirement are contradictory: on the one hand, they don’t trust public pay-as-you-go pensions. According to recent surveys, around half of the respondents do not expect significant retirement income from this source. On the other hand, private efforts are insufficient to close the expected pensions gap.
The usual reaction to major accounting-based corporate collapses is that they are ‘one-offs’. When the truth comes out, it is relatively easy to understand the methods and motives of the bad guys, and yet it always seems surprising that auditors and regulatory watchdogs did not spot the malpractice and stop it earlier. Let us take a brief look back at the major accounting shocks of the past 20 years, the measures taken to prevent these scandals recurring, and then assess the effectiveness of these measures in the light of what we know about Wirecard.
Suppose we had a society where the only difference among its members were their age. How unequally would wealth then be distributed?
Reforming is a path for reelection: German Chancellor Angela Merkel privatized, deregulated, capitalized. She did not reflate nor accepted deficits : she reduced taxes. For sure, there are some lessons to learn for France.
The Cypriot crisis has enthroned Germany has the leading European country. European economics are likely to be German driven from now on. Thus, fiscal profligacy or faulty business models are considered to have caused the recent crisis and the German cure to this is clear: austerity and structural reforms must be enforced. Cyprus was first on the list.
Celebrating that the end of the world has been temporarily postponed (presumably due to government planning) the IREF Paris team wishes you Happy Holidays.
In lieu of Season’s Greetings, our Swedish and German colleagues have devised Calendars, revealing both government waste and clever advice on taxes. These may be viewed online at Skattebetalarna and Steuerzahler.
By Nicolas Lecaussin
The French government recently announced the creation of 100 000 green jobs over the next three years. The goal is of course to stem rising unemployment. However, the tangible results of creating green jobs in several countries, as well as the real costs of these jobs, should have given food for thought before taking action.
In France, an IREF study (“Les mythes des emplois verts”) published in early 2011 showed that the term is ambiguous and calculated the real cost of a green job, based on official reports. The definition of green jobs is rather vague, although there is an official handbook on green growth (“Focus on 50 professions for green growth”). Among these, most already exist (gardeners, sewermen, cleaners, geologists …). Others seem to come straight out of a vaudeville: nature discovery guide, eco-museum guide, eco-interpreter, nature guide…
The times when Germany was the symbol of fiscal probity seem far away. The German Taxpayers’ Association (BdSt) publishes each year its “Black Book” providing an overview of government waste which makes Darth Vader look like a choirboy in comparison.
As tax revenues are flooding into the Treasury, the German taxpayers’ association (BdSt) has asked the federal government to axe the “stealth” tax increases and to cut spending further. Current estimates show that tax revenues will be substantially higher than previously thought: a record 600 billion euros in 2012 and 700 billion euros in 2017.
The BdSt considers that some 27 billion euros could be saved in the federal budget.
Until now, the debt crisis seemed to spare the biggest European economy. But the country everybody is relying on starts to meet difficulties to refund its debt. The sale of German benchmark bonds on Wednesday turned to a disaster and the Bundesbank has been forced to hold on to record amounts (39% of the €6 billion Germany had hoped to sell) to ensure the auction did not fail. However, this is not so surprising if one takes a look on German 10-year real bond yield that turns to be negative: