Morning Briefing Global Edition

James Bond in Saxony

Every TV debate seems to bring the Republican presidential candidate a step closer to defeat. The second last night saw Donald Trump again talk himself into a contorted rage, a red-faced knot of bluster, prevarication and insult. What should be clear to middle-class voters by now: This man belongs on a therapist’s couch – not behind a desk in the Oval Office.


With the U.S. political system seemingly intent on self-destructing, the U.S. economy is going gang-busters. With a gross domestic product of $17 trillion, the United States is attracting, above all, German companies. Last year, America generated one in four euros of revenue for DAX firms, according to Handelsblatt calculations. This is the first time in history Germany’s blue chips have sold more in the United States than at home, where revenues were only 22 percent.


There’s a simple explanation for the U.S. euphoria: Nowhere does the corporate sector cough up more earnings than in the United States. When U.S. quarterly reporting kicks off today with aluminum maker Alcoa, Bloomberg predicts the country’s 500 largest corporations will have earned on average 9 percent more than a year before.  That’s good reason to buy U.S. stock. But be careful: Wall Street professionals are known for celebrating too early. Current market prices already factor in future gains – but perhaps a bit of wishful thinking too.


Germany’s mass-circulation Bild newspaper reported on Angela Merkel’s royal arrival yesterday in Niamey, the capital of Niger: “Drums, flutes, drawn sabers and wooden spears: The chancellor hasn’t been received in such fashion in a long time.” That’s for sure. Back home, a new poll puts her party, the Christian Democratic Union, at only 29.5 percent. Breathing down her neck is the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany party, her pursuer. Merkel may want to consider extending her trip. After all, when you have trouble at home, it’s time to get out of Dodge.


The arrest of suspected Syrian terrorist Jaber al-Bakr is good news but not quite as heroic as the police in Saxony make it out to be. The true heroes of this drama are Al-Bakr’s Syrian brethren, fellow refugees who caught wind of his deadly plans, lured him into a trap and gagged and bound him for the police. Surely, secret agent James Bond would have refused praise from “M’’ under these circumstances.


Image of the Day

image of the day
During her three-day trip to Africa, Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the city of Niamey in Niger yesterday and was welcomed by dancers dressed in the colors of the German flag and musicians playing traditional flutes. SOURCE: MICHAEL KAPPELER/DPA
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