Germany’s brewers want to make fracking verboten. In the U.S., the gas drilling technique’s economic benefits trump environmental concerns. Whether it’s the British countryside or German lager, threats to cultural touchstones will hold back a similar boom in Europe.
For the first time ever, both teams in Europe’s biggest championship will be German. In 2000, the country was the sick man of the pitch. The sport’s resurgence, like the economic renaissance, relied on the social market economy and the ability to push through structural reforms.
Auditors in China can no longer claim that “state secrets” prohibit disclosure to the U.S. watchdog. That should keep Chinese companies from being banned in U.S. markets. There are open questions about sovereignty and state capitalism, but those are fights for another day.
It’s easy to see how Jamie Dimon would consider an independent chairman at JPMorgan a demotion for him. If peers like Lloyd Blankfein hold both top jobs, CEOs only may feel like second-class citizens. U.S. financial regulators could turn the division of labor into a virtue.
Perennial budget deficits have helped to offset corporate deleveraging. That explains why public debt is so high. If Prime Minister Abe’s policies revive private investment, the government’s track record suggests it will tighten its belt by raising taxes. Tokyo won’t go bust.
The bursting of the gold bubble is just the harbinger. Other asset classes are vulnerable to the U.S. central bank dialling down its money-printing programme. Safe-haven bonds are already easing. Commodities look next in line. Stocks are the best bet but they too may suffer.
Selling its final stake in lender ICBC leaves Goldman Sachs with an annual return on its investment of around 36 percent. HSBC, which just sold out of insurer Ping An after ten years, notched up a lesser 23 percent. The reason: the UK lender put strategic value before profit.