Olaf's Feed
Oct 22, 2014
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Germany’s economic miracle is past its peak

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Europe’s economic powerhouse is losing its lustre. Germany is flirting with a recession that may usher in a new era of feeble growth. Many drivers of its stellar growth performance in recent years are disappearing, and misguided policies add extra burdens. So far, Angela Merkel has not woken up to the country’s fading economic miracle.

Oct 20, 2014
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Adidas can’t afford to be sentimental about Reebok

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Unwinding the ill-fated acquisition of Reebok could offer a much-needed new start for German sportswear maker Adidas.

Oct 3, 2014
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Rocket and Zalando call top of Europe’s IPO market

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Highflying hopes of a renewed surge in European new issues have been hit by two rockets. Weak market debuts for internet fashion retailer Zalando and tech company incubator Rocket Internet appear to mark an early zenith for initial public offerings in the region.

Sep 16, 2014
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No-debt mania continues to dictate German policies

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Angela Merkel’s rhetoric on higher public investment is changing for the better. But the German chancellor remains unruffled by growing calls from her euro partners and the European Central Bank to change tack on fiscal policy. Germany’s excessive focus on balanced budgets remains unchanged and is likely to prevent any swift and significant increase in public infrastructure spending.

Aug 12, 2014
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German stocks price in sanctions tail-risk

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The German economic mini-miracle is on hold. Thursday’s announcement of second quarter GDP, which was not affected by Russian trade hostilities, will probably show a decline from the weather-boosted beginning of the year. Investors are looking for worse. The 8.7 percent drop in the DAX stock index since July 3 puts it among the worst performers of major European stock markets.

Jun 30, 2014
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Evonik in $400 mln soccer deal it doesn’t need

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Evonik’s 300 million euro ($400 million) tie-up with Bundesliga soccer team Borussia Dortmund (BVB) has little merits for the company’s shareholders. Germany’s third-largest chemical company hopes that the alliance with the club will turn its brand into a global household name. The snag is that Evonik doesn’t do any business with end users.

Jun 24, 2014
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Next stop: Siemens-Alstom train merger

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Once the dust settles over the Alstom bidding war, Siemens and its French rival may want to revisit the most compelling aspect of the German company’s losing bid: a merger of both groups’ train-making units that would create the train equivalent of Airbus, the European aircraft maker.

Jun 11, 2014
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Siemens needs more than Mitsubishi to win Alstom

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Siemens is smart to team up with Japanese engineering peer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in a potential bid for Alstom’s power assets. But this probably won’t be enough for the German group to see off rival interest from America’s General Electric.

Jun 11, 2014
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New Lufthansa chief starts with crash landing

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Lufthansa’s problems go much deeper than the 2014 revenue miss that just forced the group to issue a profit warning. The German airline’s ambitious medium-term cost-cutting programme “Score” also lies in tatters. So does Lufthansa’s credibility with investors, which sent the share down 14 percent on June 11.

May 15, 2014
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Good German growth covers up bad economic policies

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Germany’s pleasant growth surprise comes with a hidden cost. The stronger-than-expected upswing allows Angela Merkel, the chancellor, to carry on with some misguided policies.