The Regulator Failed?

Well, then let’s give the regulator more money and personnel.

Wirecard

To ensure that they keep on failing in the future? Government in action, folks. If it’s not too big to fail it’s too much of a failure to fail, I guess.

Germany to overhaul regulator after Wirecard scandal – Germany’s finance minister wants to beef up the nation’s financial regulator in the wake of the Wirecard scandal. The finance watchdog admitted its ineffectiveness in preventing the auditing disaster.

“If we come to the conclusion that BaFin needs more money, more jobs and more competency, I will make every effort to ensure that this happens.”

Just Say No

No, not no to drugs. Just say no to energy. Electricity was yesterday.

Energy

No nuclear energy, no coal energy. Not much sun either for solar energy. There’s lots of wind in Germany, though. Hot air mostly but still.

Germany is first major economy to phase out coal and nuclear – German lawmakers have finalized the country’s long-awaited phase-out of coal as an energy source, backing a plan that environmental groups say isn’t ambitious enough and free marketeers criticize as a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Bills approved by both houses of parliament Friday envision shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 and spending some 40 billion euros ($45 billion) to help affected regions cope with the transition.

The plan is part of Germany’s ‘energy transition’ – an effort to wean Europe’s biggest economy off planet-warming fossil fuels and generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from renewable sources. Achieving that goal is made harder than in comparable countries such as France and Britain because of Germany’s existing commitment to also phase out nuclear power by the end of 2022.

What’s An Increase Of 42% Among Friends?

Somebody just slammed Germany in the face with a brick. I mean a Brexit.

EU

Germany to contribute 42% more to EU budget: report – The European Commission would like to see €13 billion more per year from Europe’s largest economy. EU leaders, including Angela Merkel, are meeting Friday to discuss the bloc’s future budget.

Germany currently contributes an average of €31 billion a year to the EU budget. The proposal for the new budget would raise that contribution to €44 billion — an increase of 42%.

$1.5 Trillion?

There must be a better word than “stimulus” for that.

Stimulus

Wherever medication is given in huge and sudden doses, there’s a risk of unpleasant side effects. In Germany, and Europe generally, one of these may be a lasting shift in governing philosophy from market-friendly policies to state interventionism. That needn’t end in central planning. But even going part of the way would mean buying relief today at the price of misery tomorrow…

First, governments tend to confuse a company’s size with strength. Second, they’re usually worse than private investors at spotting winners, and always worse at pulling money out of losers. Third, they turn the economy into a big lobbying competition for businesses, which eventually hurts taxpayers and consumers.

Germany To Subsidize Tesla

In a bold move to help the ailing German automobile industry, the German government will be spending billions of euros on subsidies for electric cars most likely manufactured by the American electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. (Germans don’t do electric cars).

Tesla

Germany raised the incentives to buy electric cars and cut the sales tax on more fuel-efficient internal combustion engines (ICE), but increased taxes on gas guzzling SUVs and sports cars which will hit the profits of the big auto makers.

Wumms“ für Tesla und Nel. Geldregen für Wasserstoff und E-Auto – Daimler und Co stehen im Regen.

German Of The Day: Wiederaufbaufonds

That means reconstruction bonds. Or Eurobonds/Coronabonds light. Or Germany breaking a taboo and knuckling under to France to share debt with other EU countries, if you prefer.

Merkel

It’s hard to keep up with them. Politicians just can’t burn money fast enough these days.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel broke with her country’s longstanding opposition to raising money together with other – often poorer – EU countries. But the proposal made with French President Emmanuel Macron is limited in scale and duration, which could help her sell it to skeptics back home.

It consists of 500 billion euros ($550 billion) in loans and grants to help countries through the recession, and is viewed by some as a step toward stronger EU ties as the 27-country union faces challenges not just from the virus crisis, but from populist forces in member countries Hungary and Poland who want to loosen the bloc’s ties.

Werteunion ruft zu Widerstand gegen Merkel auf.

Easy Money

A government program that’s easy to scam? Wow. That’s never happened before.

COVID

It’s not the government’s money in the end anyway so who cares, right? Money for nothing and the click’s for free.

The government of North Rhine-Westphalia, a province in western Germany, is believed to have lost tens of millions of euros after it failed to build a secure website for distributing coronavirus emergency aid funding.

The funds were lost following a classic phishing operation.

Cybercriminals created copies of an official website that the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs had set up to distribute COVID-19 financial aid.

Crooks distributed links to their sites using email campaigns, lured users on the sites, and collected details from locals. They then filed requests for government aid on behalf of the real users but they replaced the bank account where funds were to be wired.

Smart Move

I guess. German city introduces face masks for shoppers as corona cases rise.

Jena

It’s just that the German government doesn’t have any face masks for the population. Nor does German industry. They shipped them all off to China as the pandemic began. No joke. Now Germans are forced to either make their face masks themselves or pay ridiculous prices for the few that are available until industrial production gets back up to speed again. Thank goodness for government planning.

The city of Jena in eastern Germany has decided to make people wear face masks when shopping or traveling by public transport, stepping up efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus and becoming the first city in the country to introduce the measure.

But Where Does All This CO2 Keep Coming From?

We’ve shut down practically all of our nuclear power plants already.

Plant

Of course, we had to replace them with dirty coal-firing ones but we’ll be shutting those down soon too. Unfortunately, the renewable utopia we ordained those many years ago still isn’t working yet for some odd reason nor does it look like it will anytime soon. But still. At least the energy prices German consumers have to pay keep climbing and climbing to ever ridiculously high and higher levels. Maybe we could start cutting off power in German homes and industries for a few hours every day and get the populace to stop making so much CO2 that way – and spend more time out in “nature.” It would only be for their own good. Then the rest of the world would admire us yet again for the fine example we have set and start emulating us with gratitude (we are the Big Green and Moral Superpower, after all). Then Planet Earth and Planet Germany would be rescued in no time.

Germany shuts down atomic plant as nuclear phase-out enters final stretch – The Philippsburg power station is one of the only plants still operating in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg. Germany has vowed to start decommissioning every nuclear power facility by the end of 2022.

Angela Merkel’s blunder of the decade that’s taboo in Germany (he means before her blunder in 2015).

The EU Needs More Money From Germany

That’s a shocker. Gee. I wonder why?

EU

It’s not like the arrogance and hubris of EU technocrats let the second biggest contributor to their budget walk away from their, well, generous redistribution system or anything. No, not at all. It’s… What is it, anyway? Is this still the Europe you want, Germany?

The U.K. was a strong proponent of free-trade, EU enlargement and pragmatic cooperation to tackle security threats. It opposed a “fortress Europe” approach, pushing for a competitive and open economy.

Britain also became in recent years the EU’s second-biggest net funder. EU officials say the U.K.’s departure will leave an estimated €84 billion ($93 billion) hole in the bloc’s next seven-year budget.

Agreeing on the size and makeup of that €1 trillion-plus budget will be the first major post-Brexit fight. Efforts to cut the amount of money spent on the EU’s newer members in Central and Eastern Europe risk further embittering the bloc’s east-west relations, already scarred by fights over migration and democratic norms.