Morning Briefing Global Edition

VW’s Alpha Leader

It's the law of the pack in Wolfsburg.
  • 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


    • Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn has said he’d be willing to reduce his bonus.
    • The German refugee agency has 400,000 asylum applications waiting to be processed.
    • A recent poll showed Germany’s Social Democrats at only a 21-percent approval rating.
  • Audio


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No one outside the Washington beltway has heard much about John Kasich in the traveling circus of U.S. presidential primaries. That’s probably because of the Republican presidential hopeful’s lackluster performance: Since March 15 he hasn’t won a single delegate. The governor of Ohio has only scored a single state – his own. In Arizona he lost to Marco Rubio – who had already dropped out of the race.

Kasich is certainly not the candidate closest to the Republican heart, but at the party convention in Cleveland, maybe he’ll become the candidate of reason.


Speaking of enigmatic phenomena: Despite being neck-deep in its abysmal Dieselgate crisis, Volkswagen’s six-person steering committee yesterday couldn’t agree to cut bonuses for its board members.

Now the team of the company’s former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, is letting Handelsblatt know he’d be willing to reduce his bonus. That puts the other board members – not to mention the supervisory board chair – on the spot. Winterkorn is still alpha male at VW. Back in Wolfsburg, it’s the law of the pack: When the big dog growls, the pups take heed.


Back in Wolfsburg, it’s the law of the pack: When the big dog growls, the pups take heed.

The four biggest audit firms – KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and EY – apparently asked not what their country could do for them, but what they could do for their country.

That’s why they’re sending workers to help Germany’s understaffed refugee intake agency juggle 400,000 asylum applications. The Big Four may also be familiar with something else John F. Kennedy once said: “Sure it’s a big job; but I don’t know anyone who can do it better than I can.”


A string of election defeats and a miserable showing in the opinion polls are roiling Germany’s SPD party once again. The Social Democrats are questioning whether party leader Sigmar Gabriel is the right man for the job.

The SPD has never had a problem toppling its leaders: They’ve given the boot to four men over the past 15 years. The problem is the SPD never benefited from the bloodletting. If it had, they would have a majority in the Bundestag instead of what looks like a one-way ticket to obscurity-ville.


“Sure it’s a big job; but I don't know anyone who can do it better than I can.”

John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. President

When you think of BMW motorcycles, you probably think engineering, performance and safety. Also, 50-year-old, after-work desperados riding off into mid-live crises, looking for adventure. Ola Stenegard, BMW’s chief motorcycle designer, is using blaring rock music, beards, earrings and tattoos to attract a new breed of highway outlaw: 20- and 30-somethings looking to power through their own quarter-life crisis.


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


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