“Trump is awful but…”

“He’s right.”


Uh-oh. All bets are off now. I may have found a German economist who is willing to take an unpopular stand and defend certain aspects of the Trump administration’s policy. Unpopular? Sacrilegious is more like it, right?

“On one side there’s the EU with a trade surplus that is mostly supplied by the huge German surplus. On the other side is the USA that has been living with deficits for 30 years. Germany is the world’s largest surplus country and the USA is the world’s largest deficit country. The trade practiced between these two national economies may be free but it is not efficient. This criticism of the German undervaluation strategy – that is, the relatively weak salary increases combined with a weak euro – has been around since presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Politicians in Congress have warned about making trade deals with notorious surplus countries. Trump is just the first one to do anything about it.”

“Every country can do whatever it wants – but not when it is part of a currency union in which there are no exchange rates that could be adjusted. Germany procures an advantage in global trade not just due to the quality of its products vis-a-vis its EU partners, the USA and other countries. In the past 15 years salaries in Germany have remained far behind productivity. We gain advantages over other national economies through wage dumping.”

“Will the punitive tariffs have a real effect on the German economy? Not so quickly. They have just been little needle pricks up until now. But if the EU now pursues the loud-mouth announcements made by Commission President Jean-Claud Juncker and reacts with its own punitive tariffs it is possible that the USA’s reaction will be more massive. Yet Trump is merely following a very simple rule here that no one in Germany wants to believe: The losers in such a trade conflict will be the trade surplus countries and the winners will be the deficit countries.”

Aber wenn die EU jetzt den großmäuligen Ankündigungen des EU-Kommissionspräsidenten Jean-Claude Juncker folgt und mit eigenen Strafzöllen reagiert, kann es sein, dass die USA noch massiver reagieren. Trump folgt doch einer einfachen Regel, die in Deutschland niemand wahr haben will: Verlieren werden in einem solchen Handelskonflikt die Handelsüberschussländer und gewinnen werden die Defizitländer.



Beautiful German weapon sales of the week.


Because somebody has to admire them.

But when it comes to SPENDING money for defense in Germany, well… German officials are scrambling to make sense of the latest twist in the brewing war over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, which could see Washington dole out exemptions based on allies’ defense-spending levels.

Made In Germany

Speaking of sanctions… Neither Iran nor Syria will ever have to worry about those, either. Not as long as Germany is in the picture, I mean.


Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control approved a license for a company to sell military applicable technology to Iranian companies that subsequently was used in Syrian regime chemical weapons attacks, reported the German publication Bild on Monday.

The German company Krempel, located near the southern city of Stuttgart, sold electronic press boards to Iranian companies that were used in the production of rockets.

Deutsche Bauteile in Assads Giftgas-Raketen – „Der konventionelle Gefechtskopf wurde entfernt und mit einem großen Gaszylinder ersetzt.“ Die Kennzeichnung aller Raketen verrate, dass sie „2016 produziert wurden und während des Konfliktes aus dem Iran geliefert wurden“.

“Not Deployable For Collective Defense”

Three years ago, Germany’s military made headlines when it used broomsticks instead of machine guns during a NATO exercise because of a shortage of equipment. The lack of real weapons in the European Union’s most populous nation was seen as symptomatic of how underfunded its military has long been.


One Russian annexation later, if anything, the state of affairs has only gotten worse, according to the parliamentary commissioner for the country’s armed forces.

He has now reached the conclusion that the German military is virtually “not deployable for collective defense,” at the moment. Independent commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels also indicated in a recent interview that Germany was unprepared for the possibility of a larger conflict even though smaller operations abroad may still be possible.

Meanwhile… Rising exports, Turkish tanks fuel German arms sales debate.

Again: Germany’s army is an alibi army that will never be used for anything other than to make Germans feel better (less worse?) about being 1) pacifists while being at the same time 2) the world’s third largest weapons exporter. Remember this when the next demand for them to spend 2 percent GDP on their defense comes up and they start to fidget – and get away with not spending it again.

German Of The Day: Suboptimal

That means sub-optimal, of course. Somewhat less than perfect.


And, as reported earlier, that is the condition in which Germany’s mighty submarine fleet is currently in.

Abysmal Readiness – Indeed, the German military, which transitioned to being a purely volunteer force in 2011, has struggled to fill its ranks, and has sought to appeal to young recruits with more flexible hours, cozier barracks and childcare facilities. A recent publicity campaign featured one of the female sailors serving aboard a U-Boat, which commentators have pointed out would be impossible now due to the entire fleet being grounded.

Exports of these babies, however, couldn’t be doing better. You do the math. You know, just do a little sub-traction.

Germany’s low levels of defense spending in the post–Cold War era reflect a commendable wariness toward using military force after the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany in World War II. However, as the state with the greatest wealth, population and political clout in the European Union, it will be expected to contribute more to European defense as Moscow presents a more aggressive posture in eastern Europe.

PS: Get your free sample of Brain Quest – A Fantastic Voyage through the Progressive Mind today! Read responsibly.

Tanks For The Kunst

Exporting tanks? No problem. But don’t try importing them without official authorization.


Not even if they are kind of sort of “demilitarized” and all you want to do is paint them for peace or whatever. Now the guy who imported them for artist Harald Glööckler is going to have to go to jail or something. Or maybe not. Glööckler is the work of art on the right, by the way.

Zwei Panzer und Harald Glööckler – Was eigentlich ein Kunstobjekt in einem Garten werden sollte, kommt nun vor Gericht. Angeklagt: Ein 49-Jähriger.

Saudi Arabia AND Egypt

Beautiful German weapon sales of the week.


Because somebody has to admire them.

The German government approved nearly €450 million ($526 million) worth of weapons exports to Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the third quarter of 2017, more than five times the €86 million it sold in the same quarter of last year.


Beautiful German weapon sale of the week.


Because somebody has to admire them.

Meanwhile… All of Germany’s six submarines are currently out of action. The country’s only operational sub had an accident off the coast of Norway on the weekend and was moved into the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ shipyard in Kiel. In that incident, the U-35 had a rudder blade damaged during a diving maneuver.

No, it’s not like Germany merely has an alibi army, or in this case navy, just to justify its lucrative weapon sales. It just looks that way.


Beautiful German weapon sale of the week.


Because somebody has to admire them.

German weapons firms have found eager buyers in the United States. Stats show that stock prices of US gunmakers rise after shootings like the one in Las Vegas…

Heckler & Koch (H&K), based in Oberndorf, southern Germany, is currently building a $23 million (€19.55 million) gun factory in Columbus, Georgia, that will exclusively make “sports and hunting” weapons for the US civilian market.

“We’re the Porsches.”