The city of Orlando published the names of the 49 victims killed during the mass shooting Sunday at a gay nightclub in Florida. Within a day of the tragedy, politicians dug their usual battlefield trenches. Donald Trump congratulated himself on being “right’’ about Muslims, broadening his promised immigration ban, and said the victims should have had the foresight to arm themselves. President Obama made his fourteenth post-massacre call for banning military-style assault rifles, which, coming during this U.S. election year, is no better than shouting at windmills.
Microsoft on Monday said it would buy LinkedIn, the online professional networking site, for $26.2 billion. It’s the U.S. software giant’s biggest-ever acquisition. While LinkedIn’s active monthly user number is relatively low at 100 million, access to the data of its professional users may be invaluable. If data is the new gold, Microsoft may have just hit the mother lode.
With 10 days until Britain’s referendum on E.U. membership, Labour Party heads have waded into the Brexit debate with renewed vigor. Yesterday former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is still popular with Labour’s 9 million voters, delivered an impassioned pro-Europe speech. The former Labour strategist, Stephen Carter, told Handelsblatt that Britain would lose all influence in Brussels through a Brexit. Good to know that reason and political pragmatism are rising commodities at the moment in London.
Reporters accompanying Chancellor Angela Merkel on her state visit to China expected a confident turnout by the local business community. What they didn’t expect was an even more assertive display by the Germans traveling with Merkel. In the presence of the Chinese prime minister, Germany Inc. complained openly about the lack of digital security and illegal technology “transfers’’ within state-mandated joint ventures. Siemens’ CEO Joe Kaeser even held forth on the evils of state intervention and offered the Chinese some free-market tips. Peking wasn’t expecting a’68-style rebellion!
NATO defense ministers announced plans to boost their presence in Eastern Europe by sending heavy military equipment and 4,000 troops to Poland and the Baltics. The deployment comes ahead of next month’s NATO summit in Warsaw. The military muscle-flexing will do little to scare Vladimir Putin, who enjoys the art of agitating. Anyone who wants peace shouldn’t be preparing for war.
Last month I spoke with Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble at our lively Deutschland Dinner event in Berlin. Our curious audience had so many questions for Germany’s fiscal fox that we had to go into interview OT. From Greek debt relief to overflowing state coffers, inquiring savers wanted to know. On behalf of Handelsblatt’s readers, I would like to thank Mr. Schäuble for his valuable time and industrious efforts in providing answers.