Morning Briefing Global Edition

Saying Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam
German banks don't want to get on Uncle Sam's bad side.
  • 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


    • Last night the Greek parliament adopted a new €5.4-billion austerity package.
    • Germany’s planned coal phase-out by 2045 is expected to cost €71.6 billion.
    • The German government has a 15-percent stake in Commerzbank, the country’s No. 2 bank.
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Hillary Clinton is readying for her likely showdown with Donald Trump – and attracting an unusual set of well-heeled supporters. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Democrat raked in $4.2 million from “Wall Street” donors so far; in March alone it was $344,000.

The more probable her nomination, the more Wall Street big hitters are jumping on her bandwagon – even some who had supported Republicans.


The summer blockbuster season is fast approaching in Europe and this year, a much-anticipated sequel has people lining up in Brussels, Athens and in the voting chambers of national governments across the continent: The Greek Debt Crisis.

Smoke bombs and tear gas flew last night outside the parliament building in the Greek capital as lawmakers narrowly approved a €5.4-billion austerity package including a round of pension cuts and sales tax hikes. That should encourage euro-zone finance ministers meeting today to approve billions in new emergency loans.


In Germany, what’s good for your energy footprint is bad for your budget.

Is there an alternative to the high costs of alternative energy in Germany? Apparently not. Germany, which has decided to shut down its nuclear power plants by 2022, is now considering doing the same with the nation’s coal-fired power plants, which supply 40 percent of its electricity.

But clean air comes with a hefty price: €71.6 billion by 2045, according to an estimate by the Institute of Energy Economics in Cologne. Consumers would foot the bill for the shift to costlier natural gas. In Germany, what’s good for your energy footprint is bad for your budget.


Next Wednesday the Green Party is hoping for answers from Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Commerzbank CEO Martin Zielke. The two are scheduled to appear before the Bundestag budget committee to talk about “dividend stripping”– a technique that times stock sales and purchases to compel a refund from the tax man for banks and their clients.

How was it possible that partially state-owned Commerzbank was involved? It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul.


Now supreme leader Kim Jong Un wants to follow in the footsteps of Kim Il Sung and put meat on the bare-boned economy.

The German government is trying to strong-arm banks into doing business with Iran again. In a letter to banks, Matthias Machnig and Thomas Steffen, state secretaries in the government economics and finance ministries, wrote: The nuclear deal has cleared the way for “restarting of European-Iranian economic relations.” Interpretation: Please start lending again to German companies doing business there.

Maybe German bankers are more worried about the United States, which still has in place some economic sanctions against Iran even after the nuclear deal. They’re the ones making Frankfurt bankers say uncle.


North Korea has rediscovered an old communist house recipe: the five-year plan. The last time the so-called Hermit Kingdom had one of those was in the ‘80s.

Now supreme leader Kim Jong Un wants to follow in the footsteps of Kim Il Sung and put meat on the bare-boned economy. That is the vision he outlined to his Workers’ Party at a weekend congress that met for the first time in 36 years. It’s like the classic kids’ book: “One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and – pop! – out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.”


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

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