For anyone banking on globalization, German companies were a safe bet for many years because they sold more than two thirds of their products abroad.
But since the start of the year, that reliance on exports has become a millstone. Markets are speculating that the Chinese boom is coming to an end, that growth will slow and the global economy is about to enter a period of trade barriers and nationalist retrenchment as espoused by populist parties around Europe and presidential candidates like Donald Trump.
As a result, investors are withdrawing capital from Germany faster than from any other highly developed industrial economy. Germany’s DAX index has lost 12 percent since the start of the year, wiping €150 billion, or $163 billion, off the value of the leading stocks it contains.