Morning Briefing

Porsche’s Sporty Recall

The diesel scandal has taken on a whole new dimension: Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt yesterday ordered a recall of 20,000 Porsche Cayenne sports utility vehicles and a ban on new registrations. It’s a vicious circle: The harder the minister cracks down, the more worried diesel owners become.

Dieselgate and the cartel allegations cast a long shadow on the car industry. Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW may still earn billions but their reputation is ruined. First it was the bankers, now it’s the car bosses who have come to symbolize a managerial class that is more than willing to toss aside principles to chase the cash. Our weekend feature on managers and morality takes a closer look at how these leaders lost their way.

Eleven senior Deutsche Bank executives have taken responsibility for the bank’s scandal after the fact. After a lengthy legal battle, Jürgen Fitschen, Anshu Jain, Josef Ackermann and other former board members have agreed to forgo bonuses worth €40 million. The bank can now close the door on a difficult chapter of its history. But the deal hasn’t helped its share price: Deutsche Bank was the biggest loser on the DAX yesterday.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel are discussing the possibility of increasing cooperation within the euro zone with some but not all members of the monetary union. The two are interested in establishing a core group of countries to push through reforms to strengthen the common currency. This would be a small step towards fixing a bigger problem – but would inject new vitality into the European project.

For a while yesterday, Jeff Bezos was the richest person in the world. According to Forbes magazine, the Amazon founder briefly overtook Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates with a fortune of $91 billion, until the online retailer’s share price fell back, leaving Gates on top, but with less than $1 billion separating them. It makes you wonder what customers of these high-tech giants think about their race to riches.

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