Breakingviews

German CDS imply bank doom loop is unbroken

February 10, 2016

Market turbulence has led investors to snap up safe German bonds, yet the cost of insuring against a Teutonic default is up. Blame a rout in Deutsche Bank shares. Until Europe’s banking union is complete, governments are the ultimate backstop if big lenders get into trouble.

Darkening German economy could be Merkel’s nemesis

February 9, 2016

Falling industrial production and weak exports suggest emerging markets may be chipping away at Germany’s economic miracle. Chancellor Angela Merkel has ridden out a refugee crisis. But if economic weakness is allowed to reach labour markets, her political fate could be sealed.

China’s record waste deal is far from rubbish

February 5, 2016

State-backed Beijing Enterprises is buying Germany’s Energy from Waste for $1.6 bln. Unlike some of China’s splashier foreign deals, this looks decently priced and makes obvious strategic sense. China badly needs more clean-technology expertise. Expect more trashy buys.

Deutsche Bank risks its own “keep dancing” moment

January 28, 2016

Despite a rotten quarter in investment banking, Germany’s biggest lender will keep adding risk and rainmakers. CEO John Cryan is entitled to see fixed-income issues as cyclical. But in time his stance may echo ex-Citi boss Chuck Prince’s 2007 pledge to stay at the subprime ball.

VW plea from Brussels confuses cause and effect

January 20, 2016

EU officials are urging the German carmaker to compensate Europeans like U.S drivers. VW’s two-tier scandal response, however, simply reflects the weaker emissions regime put in place by diesel-loving policymakers. Stricter standards will warrant tougher enforcement – next time.

Das wasted Kapital: a tale of German inefficiency

January 14, 2016

German consumers are among Europe’s most avid savers, but earn abysmally low returns on their investments. Poor portfolio choices, driven by excessive risk aversion, have dented real household wealth by 15 pct in a decade. Resolving the savings paradox could spur German growth.

VW’s U.S. lawsuit shows reboot is only half done

January 5, 2016

A strongly worded government complaint has undermined Volkswagen’s progress in tackling its emissions scandal. U.S. laws are tougher than in Europe, and the German carmaker’s lobbying clout there is smaller. VW needs drastic steps to win goodwill.

Volkswagen top brass will be up for the chop

December 31, 2015

The German carmaker’s chairman and CEO are both new to their roles. But in 2016, huge emissions-cheating fines and a scathing external report on VW’s governance will shine a spotlight on leaving long-term insiders in charge. Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch looks particularly exposed.

Dixon: EU could fall apart without flexibility

By Hugo Dixon
December 21, 2015

Brussels’ knee-jerk reaction to crises is to ask for more power. Its latest series of problems has fuelled right-wing populism, which feeds off the idea that the EU already has too much influence. Unless the bloc adopts more decentralised solutions, it could unravel.

Sanofi and Boehringer scratch each others’ backs

December 15, 2015

The French pharma group is swapping its animal health business for the consumer arm of the German company. The 23 billion euro deal helps both while avoiding the risk of expensive M&A. Boehringer may have a marginally better deal, but Sanofi’s need is probably greater.