What GM’s layoffs reveal about the digitalization of the auto industry


While all of those perspectives are relevant, the most revealing aspect of GM’s announcement may well be what the layoffs say about broader technology trends. GM’s layoffs are not just incremental but existential, in that sense:

They are about accelerating the staffing changes mandated by the company’s aggressive transition from analog to digital products and from gasoline to electric power.

As such, the new layoffs (and associated future hirings) are likely an augury of much more disruption coming — in the auto sector, for sure, but also in firms all across the economy.

Central to GM’s announcement is, in our view, what we call the “digitalization of everything.”

By that, we mean that GM’s layoffs significantly reflect the talent and workforce strains associated with the diffusion of digital and electronic technologies into nearly every industry, business, and workplace in America.

Source: What GM’s layoffs reveal about the digitalization of the auto industry

The Brief – Tangled up in blue | EURACTIV.com


Another summit is upon us this week, and it’s Brexit time again. Another summit wasted on squaring the circle of the UK’s indecisiveness. Cynics might say that surely, EU leaders could put their time to better use.

To be fair, if it wasn’t Brexit, it would have been something else. A problem always comes along, like migration, Trump or Russia. And they are all legitimate issues that deserve attention.

But when will the leaders find the time to sit down and think about strategic, long-term issues, issues that tend to end up under the carpet or fall by the wayside?

European leaders, within and without the EU institutions, have conveniently forgotten the attempts to replace the EU’s treaties with a European constitution.

Source: The Brief – Tangled up in blue – EURACTIV.com

Of funds and values: Conditionality in EU cohesion policy | EURACTIV.com


The draft MFF proposed by the European Commission includes new tools for addressing the systemic misuse of EU funds. This is a major step forward, as the Commission does not only acknowledge the problem that EU funds can become more likely targets of fraud and corruption than national budgets in some countries, but also that what we are seeing today is a systemic problem.

Source: Of funds and values: Conditionality in EU cohesion policy – EURACTIV.com

The Euro At 20 And The Futures Of Europe | Social Europe

Weakened by a decade of unresolved economic crisis and shaken by the awakening of populism, the European Union (EU) project currently faces four disintegrating factors: Brexit, democratic disaffection, monetary and financial fragmentation and territorial dislocation.

If EU member states want to escape those looming risks, they must, as they always have in the last five decades, reinvent Europe in order to save it.

Source: The Euro At 20 And The Futures Of Europe • Social Europe

All that glitters is not just gold | EURACTIV.com


The circular economy is taking on more and more significance but a potential clash is looming between maximizing the potential of our waste and safeguarding human health.

Industries and policymakers are now showing huge interest in closing production loops, whether motivated by cutting costs, honoring sustainability commitments or scoring political points.

Source: All that glitters is not just gold – EURACTIV.com

Tackling climate change will require ‘transforming the whole economy’, financiers warn | EURACTIV.com


The global economy has to prepare for a profound transformation in the coming decades as the impact of climate change becomes more tangible, Zurich insurance experts told EURACTIV.com.

“Tackling climate change is about transforming the whole economy,” said Zurich Insurance Group’s Chief Risk Officer Alison Martin.

“We have to change the way we live, the way we move, how we spend our money. This is a profound transformation and the majority of changes are yet to come,” she said.

Source: Tackling climate change will require ‘transforming the whole economy’, financiers warn – EURACTIV.com

‘Loss and Damage’ emerges as crunch item at COP24 | EURACTIV.com


There is still no clear picture in Katowice on how to provide a readily available funding mechanism for developing countries affected by extreme weather events.

“Loss and Damage” is turning into one of the most intensively negotiated agenda items in Katowice, said Reinhard Mechler, deputy director of the Risk and Resilience (RISK) research program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

“Nothing is clear at this stage of the negotiations,” he told EURACTIV.

Source: ‘Loss and Damage’ emerges as crunch item at COP24 – EURACTIV.com

Licking their wounds, fund managers prep for rally in ’19 | Reuters


Part of the yield curve inverted this week when yields on 5- year Treasuries dropped below those on both the 2- and 3-year securities, a signal that has preceded every U.S. recession in recent memory by between 15 months and 2 years.

Yet the long delay between a yield curve inversion and a full recession can still be a profitable time to invest, said Charles Lemonides, founder of New York-based hedge fund ValueWorks.

Source: Licking their wounds, fund managers prep for rally in ’19 | Reuters

Germany Sticks To Its Mercantilist Model | Social Europe

As Donato Di Carlo rightly points out, the scale of the imbalances within the eurozone has been at the core of the academic and political debate. The most common criticism of Germany’s excessive surpluses usually refers to the wage restraint policies that the government implemented from the onset of EMU in the late 1990s.

With unit labor costs undercutting the inflation target set by the European Central Bank (ECB), Germany has amassed substantial gains in its price competitiveness through an effective depreciation of its real exchange rate.

This, in turn, enabled an accumulation of surpluses, which would have been impossible under a fluctuating exchange rate regime and an appreciating currency.

The problematic implications of the competitive divergences across the eurozone are generally well understood.

Now, the question about its viability hinges upon the rectification of the accumulated imbalances.

Source: Germany Sticks To Its Mercantilist Model • Social Europe

The Liberal Delusion | Social Europe

For as long as it is part of cultural class warfare, the fight against the far right will never be won. The frontline runs between middle-class groupings, which is why – even in these times of extreme inequality – the debate focusses on questions of morals and identity, not wealth distribution.

For much of recorded human history, questions about who we are and where we are going have been the domain of priests and philosophers.

Today, however, it is academics and creatives who are providing answers.

Source: The Liberal Delusion • Social Europe