Olaf's Feed
Feb 8, 2013
via Breakingviews

Peugeot’s writedown shocker isn’t end of trouble

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

In a French corporate version of glasnost, PSA Peugeot Citroën is cleaning up its balance sheet and will write off assets to the tune of 4 billion euros – 28 percent of its current asset base, an amount equivalent to twice its current market capitalisation. Now it can focus on the future: it’s bleak.

Jan 9, 2013
via Breakingviews

Porsche’s real legal crash test is yet to come

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

Porsche has enjoyed a smooth ride in the courts so far. The carmaker has avoided the potholes created by its epic and unsuccessful attempt to gobble up Volkswagen. Disgruntled investors accuse the company of systematic lying during the 2008 saga, and are suing for billions of compensation. Porsche rejects all accusations. But in spite of the significant hurdles investors who feel they’ve been duped are facing in the German legal system, the group isn’t out of the woods yet.

Dec 19, 2012

Breakingviews-German anti-Google bill sets unwelcome precedent

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

By Olaf Storbeck

LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – If you can’t ransom
it, punish it. That seems to be the German media’s Google
(GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) policy. After intense lobbying from the country’s
publishers, the German parliament is about to vote on a new law
stipulating that search engines need publishers’ consent before
listing freely-available stories. This will even apply to
headlines and short, automatically-generated excerpts that
Google and others use to promote search results.

Dec 18, 2012
via Breakingviews

Merkel set for uncomfortable electoral victory

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

The parliamentary election Germany will hold next year will be both boring and exciting. Chances are high that Angela Merkel will win a third term. But voters won’t give her conservative CDU party a clear majority, and they still haven’t made up their mind about her coalition partner. The result’s implications for Germany’s stance in the euro crisis will be limited, no matter which party is in government.

Dec 13, 2012
via Breakingviews

EU shows it can bank on its union after all

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

Even as late as last week, people close to the negotiations on the fledgling banking union thought a viable compromise was still way off. The differences between France and Germany seemed almost insurmountable, the Brits were kicking up a fuss as usual and the legal questions appeared fiendishly complex.

Dec 11, 2012

Merkel wants banking union – a good, German one

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

By Olaf Storbeck

LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters Breakingviews) – German officials
discussing the euro zone’s banking union these days insist they
prefer thoroughness over speed. External observers easily
mistake this insistence as an attempt to procrastinate. However,
concluding that Germany is trying to derail the project by
delaying it indefinitely is a misconception.

Nov 22, 2012
via Breakingviews

German press crunch time could imperil democracy

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

This autumn is proving to be particularly grim for the German press. DAPD, the country’s second-largest news agency went into administration in early October. The Frankfurter Rundschau, the oldest national paper in Germany, followed suit last week. On Thursday, Gruner + Jahr (G+J), Europe’s largest printing and publishing house, will probably pull the plug on Financial Times Deutschland (FTD).

Nov 19, 2012
via Breakingviews

Bayern’s profits shine in fickle football economy

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

In the mid 60s, the executives of a minuscule football club from southern Germany, Bayern Munich, travelled north to Cologne to visit the country’s most successful team. They wanted to learn how to run a professional sports club. And learn they did. Bayern has dominated the Bundesliga, Germany’s professional league, ever since.