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Mixed Jobs Report Sets Fed Up for Close Rate Call

U.S. employment growth slowed in August but the jobless rate fell to the lowest level since 2008, a mixed reading less than two weeks before a crucial Fed meeting. 209

Hungary Says It Will Bus Migrants to Austria Border

Hungary said Friday it would provide buses to take migrants to the Austrian border after a stream of people who have been stranded in the country for days set out for the border on foot. 141

Refugees Find Smooth Welcome in Germany, but Strain Shows

Refugees meet a well-oiled system that gets them off the street and into emergency shelters fast, but some say it is already under strain and is struggling to offer newcomers long-term prospects.

The U.S. Veterans Who Fight ISIS

A former Army Ranger and a decorated Marine are among U.S. veterans volunteering to join Kurdish fighters against Islamic State in Syria.

Chinese Navy Ships Passed Through U.S. Waters

The Pentagon said five Chinese navy ships operating off Alaska in recent days had come within 12 nautical miles of the coast, entering U.S. territorial waters, but complying with international law. 304

Inside Israel’s Bid to Derail Iran Pact

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has undertaken a high-stakes campaign to persuade Congress to scuttle the Iran nuclear agreement, leaving the White House infuriated and many Democrats resentful. 1062

G-20 Increasingly Concerned About Slowing Chinese Economy

China’s market routs and a string of weak data are fueling concern among Group of 20 officials that a slowing Chinese economy could fuel further market instability and push global growth deeper into a long-term rut.

Putin Pitches for Foreign Investment in Russia’s Far East

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a pitch for greater investment in his country’s resource-rich Far East region, despite a slowdown in the Chinese economy that has shaken global markets.

From Piles of Trash Sprout Demands for Change in Lebanon

Protests demanding political reform bridge country’s longtime political, religious and ethnic divides.

Saudi King’s Visit a Chance to Invigorate U.S. Ties

King Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives Friday for his first White House visit at a pivotal time, when the two allies are trying to maintain their lukewarm agreement on the Iran nuclear deal while striving for new commitments.

U.A.E. Says 45 of Its Soldiers Killed in Yemen

The United Arab Emirates announced the single largest loss of personnel in the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

No Emerging Markets in Your Portfolio? Look Again

Some foreign-stock mutual funds have 30% or 40% of assets in developing nations.

An Online Bank With a Personal Touch

Live Oak Bancshares is betting that its hybrid model can be an example for how to expand small-business lending.

Heard on the Street

This Plastics IPO Is Timed Right – For the Seller

Bayer’s material science division, now called Covestro, had a strong first-half ahead of a planned initial public offering. That looks hard to keep up.

Chinese Companies Share Investors’ Pain

China’s listed companies joined in the market mania, buying up shares in one another; now the holdings that padded earnings as prices boomed threaten to gut them as they plunge.

Brussels Beat

EU Displaces U.S. as Top Antitrust Cop

The European Union’s antitrust activism has put it in prime position to shape the Internet and is encouraging some U.S. technology executives to focus on Brussels.

Daimler, Renault Reboot Tiny Car

Daimler is taking another crack at the U.S. market for ultra-compacts with a retooled version of its ForTwo Smart car built through a collaboration that could become a benchmark for other auto makers. 70

Volkswagen CFO Nominated as Board Chairman

The largest shareholder of Europe’s biggest auto maker nominated the company’s CFO to become the next chairman of VW’s supervisory board.

BASF, Gazprom Renew Abandoned Asset-Swap Plan

Germany’s BASF and Russia’s Gazprom will complete an asset-swap deal signed in 2013 but called off last year amid tension between Russia and the West.

GVC Wins Race to Acquire Bwin.party

Sports betting and online gambling operator GVC Holdings PLC said it had clinched a deal to buy Bwin.party Digital Entertainment PLC after beating an offer from online gambling peer 888 Holdings PLC.

Fashion

How Fashion Experts Shop the High Street

Despite the crowds, the lines and the overpacked rails, there are real gems to be found in mainstream stores—you just need to know how to find them.

Will Lyons on Wine

What’s the Point of Scoring Wines?

A wine’s taste and character change almost daily, and taste is subjective—so is giving them marks a pointless exercise?

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Michael Grandage: A Director’s DNA

With ‘Photograph 51’ at London’s Noël Coward Theatre, the acclaimed director coaxes Nicole Kidman back onstage for an exploration of the passion and poetry of science.

Going Native in NYC: 8 Things to Do as an Expat in the Big Apple

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Die Seite Drei
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Lobbyismus ist eine Schattenpflanze

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Groß war vor Weihnachten die Aufregung, als der Verdacht aufkam, dass die Apothekerlobby einen Spion in das Gesundheitsministerium eingeschleust hatte, der Nachrichten und Gesetzesvorlagen aus der Leitungsebene des Ministeriums heimlich mitlas. Gesundheitsminister Daniel Bahr war „stinksauer“, und die Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelte.

Jetzt sind wir im neuen Jahr – und die Sache dürfte schnell wieder in Vergessenheit geraten. Immer wieder bringt das anrüchige Gewerbe der Lobbyarbeit solche Fälle hervor – ein symptomatisches Problem sozusagen, denn Lobbyisten arbeiten an der Grenze zwischen legitimer Interessensvertretung und egoistischer Durchsetzung von Einzelinteressen. Und die Grenzübertretung ist dabei inzwischen fast zur Regel geworden, dabei ist die Grenze klar erkennbar. Doch scheint die Versuchung so groß zu sein, dass die Lobbyisten ihr immer wieder erliegen.

Eine legitime Interessenvertretung arbeitet auf einen Ausgleich von Interessen hin – und die Auseinandersetzung darüber findet in aller Öffentlichkeit statt. Eine Durchsetzung egoistischer Einzelinteressen muss dagegen das Licht der Öffentlichkeit scheuen – denn hier sucht eine einzelne Gruppe nach dem Vorteil auf Kosten der Allgemeinheit.

Doch verdeckte Lobbyarbeit darf es in der Demokratie nicht geben. Die heutige Praxis des Lobbyismus mit vertraulichen Gesprächen in Hinterzimmern, privilegierten Zugang zu Informationen und personellem Austausch zwischen Ministerien und Lobbyorganisationen verträgt sich ganz schlecht mit den Prinzipien der Demokratie.

Der angebliche Spion im Gesundheitsministerium ist ein skandalöser Fall, sicherlich – aber bei Lichte betrachtet ist der Alltag des Lobbyismus selbst der wahre Skandal. In der heutigen Ausprägung treibt Lobbyismus nur im Verborgenen und im Schatten seine Blüten; im hellen Licht der Öffentlichkeit muss er dagegen wie ein Schattengewächs unweigerlich verdorren.

Deshalb sollte größtmögliche Transparenz und völlige Öffentlichkeit der erste Gebot der Lobbyarbeit werden. Nur so lässt sie sich mit Demokratie versöhnen. Dann handelt es sich auch um eine legitime Interessenvertretung. In dieser Form wäre Lobbyarbeit sogar ein Dienst an der Demokratie selbst. Die leidet nämlich unter Schattengewächsen.

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    • Ich bin selbst seit kurzem Lobbyist aber in einem sehr technischen Gebiet, und das als studierter Designer.
      Das Lobbying, das hier kritisiert wird, mache ich sicher nicht - ich arbeite einfach nur in Fachgremien mit, um sachliche Diskussionen zu führen, und in Fachgremien zukünftige Normungen zu präzisieren.
      Wesentlich ist mir, dass in der Politik die Ziele, die durch Gesetze erreicht werden sollen, selbst in der Politik klar sind.
      Leider ist es aber so, dass viele Gesetze wider besseres Wissen gemacht, beschlossen und verabschiedet werden.
      Wenn es ein wenig mehr Verantwortung gegenüber dem Volk geben würde, dann könnten so Lobbyisten wie im Gesundheitswesen noch so viel wollen und wünschen - das Gesetz würde so ausfallen, wie es dem Volk zugutekommt.
      Wenn man aber den politischen Prozess so anschaut, wie da auf billigste Weise der politische Gegner bei irgendwelchen Gesetzen "eingekauft wird" ... dann ist es doch kein Wunder, das bei dieser Beliebigkeit schon innerhalb der politischen Klasse dann auch das Ohr für wie auch immer geartete Partikularinteressen wie den Apothekerverband oder ähnliches weit offen steht.
      Nach dem Motto: Wenn es doch eh egal ist, wie das Gesetz später aussieht, dann tu ich dem da (und mir selbst) villeicht noch einen Gefallen.

      Bei jeder Abstimmung müsste es Pflicht sein, gemeinsam einen Schwur im Parlament zu leisten:
      Der Text dieses Schwurs:
      "Diese Abstimmung wird ausschließlich zum Wohle des Volkes stattfinden. Ich bin gegenüber meinem Gewissen verpflichtet, dies zu verantworten und niemandem sonst. Jegliche Einflussnahme durch Lobbyinteressen habe ich zwar feststellen können, aber sie beeinflusst meine heutige Entscheidung nicht, denn ich bin nur dem Volk gegenüber verpflichtet, welches mich dafür gewählt hat."

      Wenn das so durchgführt werden würde ... hätten wir beispielsweise den aktuellen Bundespräsidenten schon knapp 600 Tage früher gehabt.

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    Hinweise zu Themen, Anregungen und Ihre Fragen nehmen wir unter redaktion@wallstreetjournal.de entgegen.

The Wall Street Journal & Breaking News, Business, Financial and Economic News, World News and Video
Search

Mixed Jobs Report Sets Fed Up for Close Rate Call

U.S. employment growth slowed in August but the jobless rate fell to the lowest level since 2008, a mixed reading less than two weeks before a crucial Fed meeting. 209

Hungary Says It Will Bus Migrants to Austria Border

Hungary said Friday it would provide buses to take migrants to the Austrian border after a stream of people who have been stranded in the country for days set out for the border on foot. 139

Refugees Find Smooth Welcome in Germany, but Strain Shows

Refugees meet a well-oiled system that gets them off the street and into emergency shelters fast, but some say it is already under strain and is struggling to offer newcomers long-term prospects.

The U.S. Veterans Who Fight ISIS

A former Army Ranger and a decorated Marine are among U.S. veterans volunteering to join Kurdish fighters against Islamic State in Syria.

Chinese Navy Ships Passed Through U.S. Waters

The Pentagon said five Chinese navy ships operating off Alaska in recent days had come within 12 nautical miles of the coast, entering U.S. territorial waters, but complying with international law. 304

Inside Israel’s Bid to Derail Iran Pact

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has undertaken a high-stakes campaign to persuade Congress to scuttle the Iran nuclear agreement, leaving the White House infuriated and many Democrats resentful. 1046

G-20 Increasingly Concerned About Slowing Chinese Economy

China’s market routs and a string of weak data are fueling concern among Group of 20 officials that a slowing Chinese economy could fuel further market instability and push global growth deeper into a long-term rut.

Putin Pitches for Foreign Investment in Russia’s Far East

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a pitch for greater investment in his country’s resource-rich Far East region, despite a slowdown in the Chinese economy that has shaken global markets.

From Piles of Trash Sprout Demands for Change in Lebanon

Protests demanding political reform bridge country’s longtime political, religious and ethnic divides.

Saudi King’s Visit a Chance to Invigorate U.S. Ties

King Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives Friday for his first White House visit at a pivotal time, when the two allies are trying to maintain their lukewarm agreement on the Iran nuclear deal while striving for new commitments.

U.A.E. Says 45 of Its Soldiers Killed in Yemen

The United Arab Emirates announced the single largest loss of personnel in the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

No Emerging Markets in Your Portfolio? Look Again

Some foreign-stock mutual funds have 30% or 40% of assets in developing nations.

An Online Bank With a Personal Touch

Live Oak Bancshares is betting that its hybrid model can be an example for how to expand small-business lending.

Heard on the Street

This Plastics IPO Is Timed Right – For the Seller

Bayer’s material science division, now called Covestro, had a strong first-half ahead of a planned initial public offering. That looks hard to keep up.

Chinese Companies Share Investors’ Pain

China’s listed companies joined in the market mania, buying up shares in one another; now the holdings that padded earnings as prices boomed threaten to gut them as they plunge.

Brussels Beat

EU Displaces U.S. as Top Antitrust Cop

The European Union’s antitrust activism has put it in prime position to shape the Internet and is encouraging some U.S. technology executives to focus on Brussels.

Daimler, Renault Reboot Tiny Car

Daimler is taking another crack at the U.S. market for ultra-compacts with a retooled version of its ForTwo Smart car built through a collaboration that could become a benchmark for other auto makers. 70

Volkswagen CFO Nominated as Board Chairman

The largest shareholder of Europe’s biggest auto maker nominated the company’s CFO to become the next chairman of VW’s supervisory board.

BASF, Gazprom Renew Abandoned Asset-Swap Plan

Germany’s BASF and Russia’s Gazprom will complete an asset-swap deal signed in 2013 but called off last year amid tension between Russia and the West.

GVC Wins Race to Acquire Bwin.party

Sports betting and online gambling operator GVC Holdings PLC said it had clinched a deal to buy Bwin.party Digital Entertainment PLC after beating an offer from online gambling peer 888 Holdings PLC.

Fashion

How Fashion Experts Shop the High Street

Despite the crowds, the lines and the overpacked rails, there are real gems to be found in mainstream stores—you just need to know how to find them.

Will Lyons on Wine

What’s the Point of Scoring Wines?

A wine’s taste and character change almost daily, and taste is subjective—so is giving them marks a pointless exercise?