Artificially Intelligent, Maybe

But is it smart?

Technical progress by decree?

AI

Germany is often criticized for sluggish levels of digital investment, particularly in AI. The government wants to invest €3 billion before 2025 to try and close the knowledge gap with world leaders in the field.

Germans are smart, of course, but they can’t even spell AI properly. They call it KI. Ridiculous. And when you look at the amount being invested, well, maybe they’re not all that good at math anymore, either.

“This amount is much less than companies, such as Microsoft or Google, invest in AI in a single year. So people should not think that Germany will suddenly become a world leader in the field, able to compete with the US and China.”

What A Steal

In more ways than one. Investors are now paying for the privilege of lending Germany money.

Bonds

On Wednesday, Germany issued its first 5-year bond ever with a negative yield, which means investors are making a loss by loaning money to the German government. It sold €3.3 billion ($3.7 billion) of debt at a negative yield of 0.08%, according to the country’s Finance Agency.

If it sounds backwards, that’s because it is.

Investors appear willing to buy at these rates because of falling inflation in Europe. There are even concerns about deflation, which could trigger bigger problems like a recession. The idea is that these German bonds would lose less value than other assets.

PS: Thanks for the way cool “V for Varoufakis” video, A.K.

 

German Of The Day: 5 Billionen

That means 5 trillion (don’t ask, but it really does). And that’s how many euros German savers have set aside for a rainy day.

Trillion

That’s going to be one rainy day.

Zwar investierten die privaten Haushalte ihr Geld trotz niedriger Zinsen vor allem in kurzfristige und vermeintlich sichere Bankeinlagen. Trotzdem wuchs ihr Geldvermögen von Juli bis September 2014 um 28 Milliarden Euro oder 0,6 Prozent auf 5,01 Billionen Euro, wie die Deutsche Bundesbank mitteilte.

Buy Amerikan!

These are not real Germans.

Germans

Don’t be fooled by the authentic German attire and flags. These are actually US-Amerikaner with German Wurzeln. Only now they call them roots.

America’s German roots are rich and strong. From California to New York, 48m people claim German ancestry, which would make them the country’s biggest diaspora. But when it comes to owning businesses in America, Germany has punched below its weight, with only 8% of the stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) there. It ranks 7th, behind France, Britain and Japan, among others. British and Japanese firms are especially prone to megalomaniac episodes in which they seek, and fail, to conquer America. German firms have been more cool-headed.

This year, however, things have changed. German giants such as Siemens, SAP, Bayer and Infineon have been on a spree, so far spending more than $65 billion on American firms. Of all the American companies receiving foreign bids this year, a fifth were from German buyers, measured by value. And of all the cross-border takeovers worldwide led by German firms, 60% were for American firms.

Merkel To Discuss Human Rights While In China

Very, very, discretely, that is. If at all.

After all, what are draconian measures against Chinese civil rights activists, state censorship and unrest in Tibet compared to all those trillions of dollars of Chinese currency reserves just waiting to be invested in debt-ridden euro zone countries like, well, her own? And waiting and waiting and waiting, I might add.

Who says grovelling will get you nowhere? Maybe I did. But at least it’s worth a try.

“Chinese investments are expressly welcome. They will be sought, used and appreciated — both in Germany and in the rest of the euro zone.”