Morning Briefing Global Edition

Brussels' Forgotten Filing Cabinet

International treaties with the E.U.'s notorious debt sinners were not as forgiving as Brussels is nowadays. Source: E+/Getty Images
International treaties with the E.U.'s notorious debt sinners were not as forgiving as Brussels is nowadays.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    My Handelsblatt Morning Briefing Global Edition gives you an overview of the most important news from Germany and Europe – in a concise, two-minute read.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Deutsche Bank made a record loss of €6.8 billion in 2015 and its share price has yet to recover from a slump at the start of 2016.
    • The IMF believes that without debt relief, Greece will miss targets for GDP recovery in 2018.
    • As part of the E.U.-Turkey migrant deal in March, Ankara agreed to reform its counter-terrorisms laws targeting Kurdish parliamentarians and other government critics.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

The U.S. business community is not only wary of supporting Republican hopeful Donald Trump; some are even going rogue. That’s the result of today’s Financial Times survey of business views on the U.S. election.

Trump’s erratic populist pronouncements are scaring many free enterprisers into the arms of the Democrats. Only a quarter of respondents backed Mr. Trump. Maybe the majority of the electorate should heed what big business is doing when election day rolls around: It usually pays to follow the money.

 

Austria is still in shock. In the first round of presidential elections back in April, the mainstream ÖVP and SPÖ parties – which have taken turns providing the head of state for more than half a century – didn’t make it into runoff elections this coming Sunday.

The new Social Democratic chancellor, Christian Kern, said yesterday: “If we don’t comprehend that this is our last chance, the two big parties are going to disappear.” The German sister parties to the SPÖ and ÖVP should listen up to what Kern has to say today in his government statement. Vienna may just be a suburb of Berlin.

 

“If we don't comprehend that this is our last chance, the two big parties are going to disappear.”

Christian Kern, Austrian Chancellor

The E.U. Commission is going soft on notorious deficit sinners Spain and Portugal. Brussels won’t be opening proceedings against Italy either, a country that simply can’t get its act together shoveling away its pile of debt.

Remember those treaties with solid debt stipulations? Might as well cart them off to a Belgian paper recycler. Maybe then they’ll meet a better fate than just moldering away in a Brussels filing cabinet.

 

Germany has been on the outs with the IMF right from the start over whether Greece should be given debt relief.

Now a confidential letter seen by Handelsblatt shows that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble – the most vocal hardliner in negotiations with Athens – may in fact be willing to ease up on Greek debts. But not until after Germany’s 2017 general elections. There’s nothing like an upcoming election to shift your convictions.

 

Chancellor Merkel will be going to Istanbul on Sunday. Her new partner, President Erdoğan, has been acting up for days now, undiplomatically litigating and bulldozing through the political landscape.

 

Everyone is replaceable, but that doesn’t go for great ideas.

He’s been digging in his heels about stripping a third of Turkish parliamentarians of their immunity – people who all just happen to be his political opponents. Erdoğan is giving Joseph Stalin’s motto a new lease on life: “We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.”

 

A Chinese company has made an unsolicited takeover bid for German robotics firm Kuka, valuing the company at €4.5 billion.

The German management was open to the overture, hoping they’ll get better access to the Chinese market if they have an owner from the Middle Kingdom. If you look at it that way, a Chinese buyer isn’t a problem; it’s the solution.

 

Deutsche Bank’s annual general meeting in Frankfurt today will be the kickoff to CEO John Cryan’s sole tenure – and the end of his dual leadership with Jürgen Fitschen.

That means we’ll be bidding farewell to a man who pioneered the process of cultural change at the bank after years of excess. For the sake of Germany’s biggest bank, you can only hope that some of his spirit remains. Everyone is replaceable, but that doesn’t go for great ideas.

 

My Handelsblatt Morning Briefing Global Edition is an e-mail newsletter sent to your inbox at around 6 a.m. each weekday Wall Street time. It gives you the most important news from Germany and Europe. To reach me: g.steingart@vhb.de

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