Today we got another morsel from the German export smorgasbord, along with a beautiful long-term chart from the German statistical agency that says it all.
Entries in Europe - Germany (179)
Suddenly, there’s a solution to France’s economic crisis. Unlike the cacophonous clamor from the far right to drop the euro, this one is attractively presented with graphs and in terms that even a French politician might understand. And it’s not contaminated by partisanship.
Germany has neither a minimum wage nor a government. Someday it might. If not, there will be new elections, and Chancellor Merkel might get pummeled because she’d be blamed for them. So she’s trying to form a coalition with the left-leaning SPD on whose list of campaign promises was a decent minimum wage.
By Scott Belinksi, Oilprice.com: In Germany, where renewable energy has been aggressively pushed, companies may soon lose an exemption from expensive renewable energy surcharges. Business leaders worry this will "destroy Germany's industrial core."
There has been a symphony of calls for American investors to plow their money into European stocks. So, net inflows into European equity funds have set records, driven by euphoria about a presumed recovery. Equities soared. But turns out, reality has bad breath.
While the US government wants to get its hands on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and crucify him properly, the German government remains red-faced and tangled up in its own underwear. Yet among Germans, and their politicians, support for him is surging.
Most powerful person in the world? Putin! Sez Forbes. At least, it wasn’t Merkel, who has been throwing her weight around when she found out that her Handy had been bugged by the NSA, just like our cellphones. We have to take it; she gets to make a big stink and gripe to Obama on the (bugged) phone.
The euro, its dexterous management, the “whatever-it-takes” guarantees by ECB President Draghi, the trillions being shifted around to prop up banks and governments – all these efforts to keep the Eurozone duct-taped together have hit countries differently. Including France and Germany. They’re shooting at each other now, and hitting the ECB.
The Oktoberfest, one of the biggest beer binge events in the world, is closely watched for economic trends. Alas, this year was the second year in a row when, despite Teutonic organizational ingenuity and marketing muscle, the number of visitors and, most crucially, beer consumption “unexpectedly” dropped (as if we didn't have enough bad news already).
Apple has become a legal juggernaut. It’s taking on everyone and everything for presumed violations of its patents and trademarks. Billions are at stake. Its bitten-into-apple logo is sacred. The color red is sacred. So are red apples of any kind, apparently. Then it tried to squash a cafe in Germany, owned by a stubborn entrepreneur with a vision.
Great Start in Germany: Three Days After Election Victory, Merkel’s Party Breaks Campaign Promise Of “No Tax Hikes”
Germans pay a lot of taxes. The value added tax was raised to 19%. The state grabs 42% of any income above €52,882 and 45% above €250,731. There’s the church tax, solidarity tax, gasoline tax.... Not much is left over when a German is done paying taxes. So, during the campaign, Chancellor Merkel’s party pledged categorically not to raise taxes.
Germany’s industrial conglomerates and the vibrant Mittelstand (privately held enterprises that were world leaders in their niche until the Chinese came along), decorated with real wage declines since the heyday of Reunification... all have been bandied about as economic model for troubled, if unenthusiastic Eurozone countries. But there is a darker side.
German Election Finally Gets Messy: “Euro Is More Than A Currency” And Greece “Shouldn’t Have Been Allowed In”
No debacle is allowed to interfere with Chancellor Merkel’s efforts to hang on to her job, and debacles get swept under the rug at least until after the elections on September 22. Every time uppity opposition voices stir up some controversy, it’s brushed off, denied, ridiculed, or minimized – and it has worked admirably well so far. But suddenly there’s Greece again.
German Gov. CONFIRMS: Key Entities Not To Use Windows 8 with TPM 2.0, Fearing Control by ‘Third Parties’ (Such As NSA)
I expected the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) to contact me in an icily polite manner and make me recant, and I almost expected some goons to show up with an offer I couldn’t refuse, and I half expected Microsoft to shut down my computers remotely and wipe out my data. But none of that happened. Instead, the BSI confirmed the key points.
Experts at the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI) determined that Windows 8, the touch-screen enabled, super-duper, but sales-challenged operating system is dangerous for data security. It allows Microsoft to control the computer remotely through a backdoor – with keys likely accessible to the NSA.
“The largest espionage scandal in the 21st century is shaking Germany,” wrote Peer Steinbrück, the man who's desperately trying to unseat one of the most popular German politicians, Chancellor Merkel. Massive anti-NSA protests spread across the country. Well, 1,000 demonstrators straggled through Frankfurt. It’s going to be tough for him.
When going overseas, Chancellor Merkel doesn’t leave home without planeloads full of executives from Germany's most coddled companies – exports being the core of foreign policy. And if these deals get snagged on the rusty nails of payment risks, it’s up to the government to help out with guarantees, even if they’re infested with conflicts.
Voestalpine, an Austrian steelmaker with 46,000 employees, saw its revenues decline by 4% last year. It blamed the “cooling down of the global economy,” and “dwindling momentum in Asia (especially China).” Now it’s under pressure to cut costs. Hence offshoring to cheap countries! China or Indonesia? Nope.
The financial crisis was brutal for Germany, but the recovery steep, and in 2011, the gloating started. They called it the German “success recipe,” a superior system that would keep the economy growing even amidst Eurozone debt-crisis mayhem. That optimism has endured, and stocks have hit new highs, but the economy has diverged sharply.
Chancellor Merkel’s coalition is likely to emerge victoriously from the elections in September, unless a major debacle blows up. So no debacle is allowed to occur until after the election. But just then, new revelations about NSA spying blew up: turns out, all citizens anywhere can be under surveillance by any government, including their own, beyond control and oversight.