Angela Merkel Visits Hong Kong

Just kidding. Why would she do that?

Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was welcomed with military honors in China on Friday with a business delegation in tow, hoping to secure an economic agreement.

China is Germany’s largest import market and, after the USA and France, and also its most important export market. In 2018 the two countries traded goods worth almost €200 billion ($221 billion).

Hong Kong protesters make plea to Chancellor Merkel.

Other Folks Are Making Money With Greta?

Or on her? Off her? Greta HERSELF? How, how… How could anybody be surprised by this?

Greta

They used to call them hipsters. Now they call them hypsters. This stuff is hilarious.

In the meantime Greta Thunberg has the schedule of a supermodel: Press conferences, photo shootings, interviews, speeches in parliaments and appearances at demonstrations alternate at an ever faster rate… Greta Thunberg hat mittlerweile den Terminplan eines Supermodels und Spitzenpolitikers; Pressekonferenzen, Foto-Shootings, Interviews, Parlamentsreden und Demonstrationsauftritte wechseln sich immer hektischer ab.

The sailing yacht passage is also getting harsh criticism because it is one of the most expensive racing yachts in the world, its “Team Malizia” stems from the tax haven of Monaco, the ship belongs to an ominous real estate millionaire from Stuttgart and Greta is being unnecessarily exposed to storm hazards in the Atlantic… Auch die Segeljachtfahrt wird vielfach kritisch kommentiert, weil es sich um eine der teuersten Rennjachten der Welt handelt, weil ihr “Team Malizia” aus Monaco stammt und also aus einem Steuerparadies, weil das Schiff einem ominösen Stuttgarter Immobilienmillionär gehört, weil man Greta unnötig in atlantische Sturmgefahren begibt.

And this is why the public is beginning to doubt the motives of Greta’s backers. Is she possibly the coldly staged product of cleaver marketing strategists who only want to make a profit from the media hype? So wachsen im Publikum die Zweifel über die Motive von Gretas Hintermännern. Ist sie womöglich ein kalt inszeniertes Produkt cleverer Marketingstrategen, die Profit aus dem medialen Hype schlagen wollen?

The “We don’t have time” cooperation is now under suspicion. The company was founded by the successful Swedish public relations manager and stock market specialist Ingmar Rentzhog in 2017. His self-assured goal: To establish the “worldwide largest social network for climate activism” and make as much money in the process as possible. Greta Thunberg was systematically targeted as the figurehead… Die Aktiensgesellschaft “We don’t have time” steht im Zwielicht. Das Unternehmen wurde von einem der erfolgreichsten PR-Manager und Börsenspezialisten Schwedens, Ingmar Rentzhog, 2017 gegründet. Sein selbstbewusstes Ziel: Das “weltweit größte soziale Netzwerk für Klimaaktion” zu schaffen und damit möglichst viel Geld zu verdienen. Als Galionsfigur wird Greta Thunberg dafür gezielt aufgebaut.

There is not conflict of interest between climate protection and making money.
Kein Interessenkonflikt zwischen Klimaschutz und Geldmachen.

Stay tuned or something.

German Of The Day: Erfolglos

And while we’re at it, fassungslos und ahnungslos.

Fassungslos

That means unsuccessful, stunned and clueless, respectively. And all three apply to Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas, who just got a taste of the real world in Tehran during his pitiful attempt to salvage what is left of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran – for world peace, of course (and for German corporate interests in the region, coincidentally).

The German foreign minister appeared somehow surprised to discover that the mullahs are upset with Europe as “so far, we have not seen practical and tangible steps from the Europeans to guarantee Iran’s interests.” This is because, well, they can’t. If you aim at being weak long and hard  enough then weak you shall be. But there’s a bright side to this, I guess. German diplomacy would not be German diplomacy without the foreign ministers fervent hope that “ways can be found to reduce current tensions through dialogue.” Good luck with that, Heiko.

By the way, anybody in Germany who repeats the word “dialogue” long and hard enough can become German foreign minister, too.

Außenminister Maas in Iran – Zwischen erfolglos und fassungslos.

Germany To Lead From Behind Again

This time from far behind. You know, like from way, way, way far behind? But still.

Iran

Germany looks to ‘lead’ US-Iran talks– in what is clearly a noble effort to bring peace to the region and profits to the German corporations still sexually aroused about doing business with Iran despite the collapse of the 2015 nuclear agreement – and, of course, to take an indirect swipe at Israel in the process while they’re at it already.

“The latest escalation requires us as European neighbors to intervene in favor of de-escalation and peaceful coexistence,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters during an unannounced stop to Iraq. “We cannot just seek dialogue, we must lead it, precisely where the differences seem insurmountable and long-simmering conflicts run deep.”

“Das ist eine Reise in die Krise.”

Conservative, Male, Wealthy?

What has this guy been smoking? How could anybody with credentials like that ever hope to become the chairman of Germany’s conservative party?

Merz

Conservatives don’t exist in this country. It’s against the law or something. And if they did, they would have to be liberal, female and have a very modest income. Germans also have a big Neid (envy) problem, you see.

German businessman Friedrich Merz, who is running to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the Christian Democratic (CDU) party, disclosed for the first time that he earns about one million euros (S$1.57 million) a year, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday (Nov 18).

Merz verrät sein gigantisches Einkommen, zählt sich aber nicht zur Oberschicht.

German Of The Day: Länderfinanzausgleich

That’s a beauty, isn’t it? And it means “German Länder fiscal equalization scam.” I mean scheme.

Länderfinanzausgleich

And THAT means.. Well, think Robin Hood. The rich and therefore “bad” German states (the ones on the left in the image) must be punished for this and therefore the Robin Hoodlums in the Bundestag take some of their money and give it to the poor and therefore “good” German states (on the right side of the image). Berlin, on top, is actually on bottom, so-to-speak, being the poorest of the poor. The Robin Hoods and the Bundestag are located in Berlin, by the way. But that’s just a coincidence, of course.

The theory being, I’m assuming here, is that this kind of completely unjust robbery and redistribution will encourage the poor “good” German states to finally get their acts together already so the rich “bad” German states don’t have to pay their bills anymore. That’s just a theory, like I said, of mine. I must say, though, this redistribution initiative has certainly had a positive effect here in Berlin these past thirty, forty, fifty years. Once you ignore the fact that not a thing has changed.

Berlin Schlusslicht, Bayern Zahlmeister.

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.”

Let’s Do The Math

Yeah, that makes sense. When Britain does it’s Brexit thing and leaves the EU the money they’ve been pumping into it all these years will stop coming in.

Brexit

That means the remaining countries – like Germany – will have to make up for this. OK. Are you still with me here? Good. Now can you tell me why this is supposed to be a news item? You should have worried about this before you failed to compromise with them and let them get away in the first place.

Of the expected 10.2 billion euros that will be permanently missing in the EU budget after the Brexit, Germany will most likely have to come up with an additional 3.8 billion annually if the general conditions remain the same.

Von den voraussichtlich netto 10,2 Milliarden Euro, die im EU-Haushalt nach dem Brexit dauerhaft fehlen würden, müsste Deutschland bei unveränderten Rahmenbedingungen rund 3,8 Milliarden Euro übernehmen.

German Of The Day: Netto vom Brutto

That means net pay from the gross. And gross is it ever. Only Belgium (think Land of the EU) does it better. Meaning worse, of course.

Netto

According to a report just published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Germany has the second biggest tax burden worldwide. And we’re talking about middle-income people here, people. Not millionaires or anything.

The OECD calculated each country’s tax wedge – the gap between what employers take home in pay and what it costs to employ them, including personal income tax and social security contributions. Germany had a tax wedge for single, childless workers of 49.4 percent, behind Belgium at 54 percent. That means nearly half of a single person’s income goes towards taxes and social security contributions in Germany.

Please remember this the next time somebody starts telling you again how wonderful everything over here in ze Europe is (“socialized medicine” and all that). There simply is no free Mittagessen (lunch).  You can go broke eating free lunch over here.

„Die Belastung der Bürger ist deutlich höher, als uns bewusst war.”

Remember: Germans have more words for taxation than Eskimos have for snow.

Poor But Sexy, But Poor

Those were the days. Berlin used to be just (arm aber sexy) poor but sexy.

Poor

Now Berlin is poor but sexy, but poor. At least when it comes to trying to earn a living here.

The German capital pulls down the per capita income for the entire country. According to Eurostat (the European statistics office), Germany’s gross national product (with an emphasis on gross) would climb 0.2 percent if they could just find a way to factor out losers like us here in Berlin.

Poor? Yo capital is so poor it can’t afford to pay attention.

Die Hauptstadt drückt auf das Pro-Kopf-Einkommen der gesamten Bundesrepublik: Das Bruttoinlandsprodukt je Einwohner würde um 0,2 Prozent steigen, wenn man Berlin und seine Einwohner ausklammert, wie das Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) auf Basis von Daten des Europäischen Statistikamtes Eurostat errechnete.