It’s Only Money

Other people’s money. But still.

Money

The schwarze Null or “black zero” (meaning a balanced budget) was yesterday. A supplementary budget for 2020 at about 40 percent the size of the original one will now be approved by the German cabinet to help fight the economic woe being caused by the corona pandemic.

Germany tears up fiscal rule book to counter coronavirus pandemic – Berlin to raise €150bn in new debt to bolster ailing economy.

Other Than Bars…

Clubs, discotheques, theaters, opera houses, museums, casinos, trade fairs, zoos, arcades, betting offices, brothels, churches and fifty or sixty other places for social and anti-social interaction, lots of other stuff in Germany is still open. Sort of. For now.

Corona

Corona ain’t no big deal here either.

Die Bundesregierung vereinbarte am Montag mit den Ministerpräsidenten der Länder, dass zahlreiche Geschäfte und Einrichtungen geschlossen werden sollen.

German Of The Day: Rodungsstopp

That means to stop the clearing. Of trees, in this case.

Tesla

That this particular Rodungsstopp could also stop the construction of Tesla’s planned Gigafactory in Brandenburg – and what could turn out to  be the livelihood of 12,000 people – doesn’t seem to interest the greener than green politicians who have sought it.

Tesla has been ordered to temporarily halt preparations for a car factory in Germany after environmentalists won a court injunction on Sunday…

Protesters say the factory is a threat to local wildlife and water supplies…

According to local media reports, Tesla has promised to relocate colonies of forest ants, reptiles and bats, and is working with conservationists. Last month, authorities defused seven Second World War bombs discovered at the site.

Tesla currently has two Gigafactories in the US and one in Shanghai, China.

Der Rodungsstopp an der geplanten Tesla-Fabrik in Brandenburg alarmiert die Wirtschaft: Mehrere Verbände warnen vor Konsequenzen für den gesamten Standort Deutschland.

German Of The Day: Rückgang

That means decline.

Spielball

You know. Like the Decline and Fall of the Merkel Empire?

Biggest German industry slump in a decade revives recession fears – German industrial output suffered its biggest fall in December since the recession-hit year of 2009, a shock drop highlighting the weakness in manufacturing that risks dragging Europe’s largest economy into contraction again.

Deutsche Industrieproduktion bricht ein – “Spielball der Weltkonjunktur.”

Can You Tell The Difference?

Apparently in celebration of the recent trademarking of her name and the #FridaysForFuture movement, climate change activist Greta Thunberg has been turned into a wax statue in Germany.

Greta

No, not her personally. I mean she has been immortalized in sculpture at the Panoptikum wax museum in Hamburg. An interesting twist: Thunberg’s sculpture is reportedly the first in the museum that will change clothes as the seasons change. Kind of odd if you think about it, though. With the temperature rising due to climate change is this going to turn into some kind of bizarre striptease or something? And what about the issue of melting wax, huh? Has anybody given that any thought? Maybe it’s time to start a new movement to combat that. Do I have to think of everything here, people?

Greta 2

Can you tell which one up there is Greta and which one is made of wax? You don’t think both could be made of wax, do you?

These Wind Turbines Don’t Work

Wind

German wind energy is in a crisis – “Five times the amount of wind turbines are needed.”

Like these wind turbines up  there, Germany’s energy turnaround just isn’t turning around the way the smart people who planned it planned it. To turn around.  Unless turning around and around  in circles counts.

A mere 1078 megawatts worth of wind turbines were built last year – nearly 80 percent lower than the 2017 level.

Eine Windkraft-Leistung von gerade mal 1078 Megawatt wird im vergangenen Jahr installiert – fast 80 Prozent weniger als noch 2017.

What Does SPD Stand For?

Other than Social Democrat Party, I mean. Shekels, Payola and Dough?

SPD

Or is it more like Scratch, Plunder and Dinero?

When not fighting for the rights of the working class and alleviating the capitalist economic oppression of the masses, ex-vice chancellor and national chairmen of Germany’s Social Democrat Party Sigmar Gabriel enjoys doing part-time community service work serving on the supervisory board of the freakin’ Deutsche Bank.

It’s understandable. Sort of. He recognized there was a problem with Deutsche Bank years ago (he wasn’t the first, however) and now only wants to take this opportunity to help them clean things up.

“Deutsche Bank, as one of the most important financial institutions in Europe, has the opportunity and the responsibility to help shape the future of the German and European economy. I want to play a part in this.”

The Third Time’s The Charm

Or it will be. Or it could be. Maybe.

Growth

Germany’s Second Economic Miracle Is Ending – The cognoscenti of international economics are once again agape, and not in a flattering way, at the budget surpluses Germany’s government keeps running, when instead it should be stimulating the economy with tax cuts and higher spending. The surplus revealed this week for 2019, at 13.5 billion euros ($15 billion), is the fifth in a row, and the biggest ever.

Many Germans still regard such numbers as signs of economic virtue and virility, as they keep slashing public debt and reveling in high employment numbers. Alas, these positive indicators are likely to be lagging, not leading. That’s because an unusual era is drawing to an end, one that was likened by Bert Ruerup, one of Germany’s top economists, to a “second economic miracle.” (The first was West Germany’s long postwar rally).

In the past 15 years — somewhat coincidentally, the reign of Angela Merkel as chancellor — Germany turned from the “sick man of Europe” to the continent’s export powerhouse and growth engine. In the next 15 years, Germany won’t necessarily become sick again. But, as Ruerup puts it, it could simply turn economically “gray,” with meager growth indefinitely.

German Of The Day: Tiefstand

That means lowest level. You know, like the current 23-year low in German car production?

Tiefstand

German car production fell to its lowest in almost a quarter of a century as Europe’s biggest economy suffers from the fallout of a global trade war.

Automakers including Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG produced 4.66 million vehicles in German factories last year, the weakest since 1996. The country’s VDA car lobby, which published the figures on Monday, said the 9% decrease was a result of waning demand from international markets.

The industry is set for more tough times this year. The VDA predicted global car deliveries will drop to 78.9 million vehicles from 80.1 million in 2019.

$33 Billion And Counting

In fines. Up until now.

VW

But would it matter if Volkswagen paid another 30+ billion to German customers too? Who would trust this company anymore, whatever they paid? What did Warren Buffet say? “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

VW to Sound Out Settlement in German Car-Owners’ Mass Lawsuit – Volkswagen AG and German consumer group VZBV agreed to settlement talks in a court case involving hundreds of thousands of drivers who claim that their diesel cars lost value in the wake of the emission-cheating scandal.