Germans Feeling Gloomy?

Wow. We’ve never had that one before.

Gloomy

The German economy is booming. Unemployment is at a near-record low. In Europe and around the world, the country is seen as a beacon of wealth and efficiency.

So what’s so mysterious about their gloom? This is Germany. Duh. How could Germans not get gloomy about a situation like that?

But maybe, just maybe, with a little luck things will start to crap out here before too long and everybody can start cheering up again.

Es war einmal ein starkes Land.

Advertisements

Robust Export Growth?

German exports rebounded in May, providing more evidence of a strengthening of the economy in the second quarter.

Export

Yeah, I guess that’s true. If you forget the exports last month to one particular country. Those have dropped 10% for some inexplicable reason. But I’m sure that will pick up again real soon, right?

Despite ongoing trade tensions, German exports did what they normally do: grow. In May exports increased by 1.8% MoM, from -0.3% in April. At the same time, imports increased by 0.7% MoM, from 2.6% MoM in April. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed somewhat, from EUR20.1bn to EUR19.7bn.

“Die Verunsicherung durch die Einführung von Importzöllen seitens der USA und die Gegenmaßnahmen der EU und Chinas machen sich direkt bei den Unternehmen bemerkbar.”

Deutsche Baaaank

It looks like it’s going to be a long fall.

Deutsche Bank

Sorry, I mean it already has been a long fall. But at least this fall is free.

It would be an understatement to say Deutsche Bank AG is going through a difficult period. It chalked up its third straight annual loss in 2017. The new chief executive officer, Christian Sewing, has unveiled the bank’s fourth turnaround plan in as many years, yet its shares have fallen to a record low…

How much time does the bank have? Not a lot.

Der Aktienkurs der Deutschen Bank ist auf ein neues Allzeittief gefallen. Am Mittwochmorgen notierte das Papier bei 8,76 Euro – ein Trauerspiel mit Vorgeschichte.

Trump Responsible For Germany’s Weakening Economy

What a jerk.

Trump

Worse still, he tweets awful things about German officials and the increased crime rate they have brought to their country due to the influx of migrants.

Migrants

Worserer still, he’s also the reason why Germany will be missing its CO2 emissions target for 2020.

Emissions

And worstest of all, he is personally responsible for Germany’s loss to Mexico in the World Cup.

Mexico

And all of this on a Tuesday? They should rename it Trumpday.

Die deutsche Wirtschaft schwächelt, das stellen führende Wirtschaftsforschungsinstitute fest. Schuld ist demnach auch die Politik von US-Präsident Donald Trump.

More Redistribution Needed

Or that’s what this article seems to suggest.

Redistribution

And this in a country that has already been redistributing the wealth for decades and decades or longer.

When it comes to the superrich, however, there are relatively reliable estimates in the form of lists of the world’s wealthiest people, with the one compiled by the US business magazine Forbes leading the way. A similar list is compiled in Germany by manager magazin. A team of tax experts led by Stefan Bach of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) has examined the wealth statistics compiled by the ECB and augmented them with lists identifying the ultrarich. And the team did so for three countries: Germany, France and Spain.

The result: The 45 richest households in Germany own as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. Each group possessed a total of 214 billion euros in assets in 2014.

Bad superrich! Bad!

Why would more redistribution be necessary in a country like Germany? Maybe because it doesn’t work. It can’t work, in fact. It is not, nor has it ever been, a zero sum game, this wealth business. Here or anywhere else. But it’s a great way for redistributing politicians to get elected. Again and again and again. To no avail.

“Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”

Germans Worried About Low Angst Level

Concerned about the traditional German angst about sozialer Abstieg (personal social decline) is currently at an all-time low, a number of German angst experts are recommending that radical options be considered when next month’s election rolls around.

Hafen

“We could all vote for the SPD, for instance,” said one less than thoroughly angst-filled social worker, with a stress on social. “That would bring my angst about social decline shooting back to appropriate levels in no time. I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for the Left party yet, though. I do have heart problems, after all.”

Die Wirtschaft wächst – und die Deutschen fühlen sich so sicher wie seit fast drei Jahrzehnten nicht. Laut einer Erhebung der Universität Leipzig hat nur noch jeder Dritte Abstiegsängste.

PS: To help folks combat their angst about not having enough angst, somebody has introduced Donald Trump ecstasy pills over here. They are guaranteed to stick in any German throat that tries to swallow them, however.

German Government Fears Trump Would Ravage American Economy

But I happen to have access to a German code breaking machine here called the Enigma-Not and it tells me that what this actually means is that the German Government fears Trump would ravage the German economy.

Trump

When I ran “shrinking gross domestic product, fewer jobs and higher unemployment in the United States” through the Enigma-Not, for instance, it gave me  “NATO countries like Germany, Trump has said, have to pay more of the costs for their own security in the future. Otherwise, the US would withdraw its troops.”

Meanwhile… Trump’s biggest lender is Deutsche Bank. He owes about $300 million to the bank, nearly half of his outstanding debt.

German Of The Day: Mittelschicht

That means middle class.

And here you thought that your middle class was shrinking. And it is, of course. But the German middle class is shrinking, too. And “it’s shrinking as quickly as the middle class in the U.S.” It’s down to 54 percent of the population, from 60 percent 20 years ago.

Der Anteil der Mittelschicht an der Bevölkerung ist in Deutschland in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten auf zuletzt 54 Prozent geschrumpft. Rund 20 Jahre zuvor lag er noch bei 60 Prozent. Vergleicht man die Entwicklung von 1991 bis 2013, schrumpfte die Mittelschicht in Deutschland genauso stark wie in den USA.

Would Numbers Lie?

News products can be that way. On the one hand the numbers tell us today that the mood in the German economy has picked up yet again and that German companies are looking ahead to 2015 with renewed confidence.

Positive

At the same time we read how Germany’s National Office for Statistics has determined that one in every five Germans is a victim of poverty.

A contradiction? Not necessarily, I guess. That’s why everybody’s kind of happy sort of around here these days. And that’s why I, for one, believe everything I read.

Die Stimmung in der deutschen Wirtschaft hat sich im Dezember erneut verbessert: Der Ifo-Index legte zum zweiten Mal zu.

Is The Party Over?

While Germany has so far led the regional recovery, it is feeling the pain of increasing political tension. The European Union agreed last week on its widest-ranging sanctions yet over Russia’s backing of rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia counts Germany as its biggest trading partner in Europe.

Germany

“The manufacturing-sector outlook does not look encouraging.”

Die Konjunktur läuft nicht mehr rund – Industrie-Aufträge mit stärkstem Minus seit 2011