Morning Briefing Global Edition

Yankee Corporate Love

Germans suspect their government is hiding details of the trans-Atlantic free trade deal from them. Back in February, the government tried to placate TTIP opponents by opening a reading room for lawmakers in the economics ministry.

But some lawmakers still think the documents are incomplete, impenetrably bureaucratic or dated. Even though the facts are literally on the table, skepticism still carries the day.

 

While the future of trans-Atlantic trade languishes in political purgatory, firms are getting on with business. Data released today from accounting firm EY shows Germany is the top address in Europe for foreign investors, with a 9 percent increase on 2014, itself a record year.

Nearly 70 percent of international corporate managers polled named Germany as their top investment destination. Who headed the list of admirers? America, with 192 projects.

 

Are you a manager in breach of your fiduciary duty? Then you should have Directors & Officers insurance coverage against corporate mistakes, just like Volkswagen’s board of management does. The official line from the carmaker’s supervisory board is that no top VW manager was involved in or ordered the carmaker’s emissions-rigging affair.

But just in case, VW has notified the group of insurers holding its D&O policy that it may file claims to cover losses caused by management error. In Wolfsburg, the smoke may finally be starting to clear.

 

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière yesterday said burglaries in Germany rose almost 10 percent in 2015. The number of politically motivated crimes jumped almost 20 percent from 2014, while politically motivated acts of violence soared 30 percent.

But at a press conference in Berlin, De Maizière sounded like an upbeat TV weather man announcing the arrival of passing cold front. In politics, he of all people should know that when there’s rain on the home front, it may pour at the Chancellery.

 

Today the federal cabinet leaves Berlin for Meseberg, an 18-century castle about an hour’s drive north of the capital, for its annual two-day retreat. Chancellor Angela Merkel will report on her visit to Istanbul. Everyone knows that Merkel and Erdogan’s political futures are narrowly intertwined.

But the strong man in Ankara has more influence over the German chancellor than she would like to admit. There are many ways to lose your personal sovereignty. Outsourcing your independence to an autocrat is one of them.

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