Morning Briefing Global Edition

Silk Road Reopened

Philip Gordon, former special advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama, told Handelsblatt that recent proposals of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are contradictory and dangerous. “No one can know what he would do,” Gordon warned. And what does he foresee in a President Hillary Clinton? Expect “continuity, but differences in style” and more active foreign policy. The Democratic front-runner secured the needed delegate number this week. As she awaits her coronation at the convention in July, we are eager to learn her pick for running mate. Bill, anyone?


Eager exporters are lining up for business opportunities in trade-hungry Iran. In an interview with Handelsblatt, the Iranian trade minister confirmed his government and Germany would soon reach a settlement to restart a loan guarantee program. The move helps protect German exporters so they can re-enter the lucrative, but high-risk, Iranian market. Daimler, Airbus, Siemens and BASF are already negotiating deals. In Germany, foreign policy is often a matter for the economy minister.


Yesterday the European Central Bank began its desperate attempt to boost eurozone growth by purchasing corporate bonds. What’s on the shopping list so far? Beer, cars and phones. Spending billions per month on bonds will likely distort market prices while putting taxpayers on the hook. Welcome to Absurdistan, formerly known as Europe.


Austria’s right-wing populist Freedom Party announced it will contest the close results of last month’s presidential election before the country’s constitutional court, which has four weeks to render a decision on new elections. It’s the new e-commerce form of democracy: If you don’t like what you bargained for, just send it back.


Berlin-based incubator Rocket Internet is fighting its own battle in the court of enterprise. The e-commerce pioneer has lost half its value since its IPO launch in Frankfurt in 2014. At today’s annual general meeting, founder and chief executive Oliver Samwer must convince unhappy shareholders that his penchant for risk is not irresponsible, but enriching. Perhaps he should begin the meeting with some insight from Italian adventurer Reinhold Messner: “Those who risk nothing, can not even fail.”

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