German Budget Surplus Offers German Politicians Further Ways Not To Spend It

The dramatic growth in Germany’s public sector surplus over the first half means the government has extra room for manoeuvre, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Friday after data was released showing the surplus at a record high.


“I’ll be looking into as many ways as possible not to spend any of it,” he said. Or could have said. And this is social democrat, too. This savings mania is a German thang.

And saving money is generally a very sound idea, I understand that. But how about considering giving that surplus back to the people you took it from in the first place? I’m just saying.

Der FDP-Politiker Dürr verlangte angesichts der hohen Überschüsse, den Solidaritätszuschlag abzuschaffen. Auch der Bund der Steuerzahler forderte eine Entlastung der Bürger.

Germans Worried That Germans Are Spending Too Much

Now that they can’t worry about Germans spending too little for once, I mean.


Everything is geared for disaster here and every German knows it: Exports, imports, consumption, employment. You name it, it’s all working way too splendidly. Das kann nicht gut gehen (that’s never going to work out). Like oh my God we are all going to die.

Ausfuhren, Importe und Konsum laufen prächtig.

PS: But a little more on the serious side, what the hell else are you going to do with your money these days except spend it?

The crisis is over, let’s save even more!

In case you hadn’t noticed, German psychology is different than other kinds of folks’ psychology (volks-psychology?). At least when it comes to saving money it is.

Whereas Americans, let’s say, save the little that they can when times are hard and then toss it out with both fists like crazy people the first chance they get, Germans save when the times are hard and then save even more when the times are good again. The spending part gets removed from the calculation here entirely.

And that’s what’s happening now, again. Now that the financial crisis is ancient history and everything is booming here again and unemployment is supposedly under three million and milk and honey are flowing down the streets and into the gutter and all that, private Germans are saving more privately than ever–an average of about 11.5 percent of what they’ve earned this past six months.

And no, they don’t maybe know something that the rest of us don’t know. They’re just hamsters. It’s in their jeans. I mean genes.

“Für die privaten Haushalte zusammen ergibt sich ein Sparvolumen von rund 93 Milliarden Euro.”

PS: I’m thinking now it’s maybe just a big game or something that only the initiated (the Germans themselves) know about. Whoever has saved the most money by the time he or she dies, wins.

Saving ain’t what it used to be

In Germany, I mean. About 16 percent of the German population doesn’t have anything left over to save anymore.

But the rest who do are still pretty good at it–and they are just as conservative about their saving strategies as they have ever been. Some 49 percent of savers save using the good old-fashioned savings account, 35 percent still like the old Bausparvertrag technique (a savings contract with a home building society), 31 percent save using insurance policies and only about 22 percent go for stocks and bonds.

And that all of these numbers added up together give you a number like way higher than 100 percent only goes to show you just how good at saving these Germans really are. Damn. I wish we could do that.

“Lediglich fünf Prozent aller Sparer legen besonderen Wert darauf, dass sie die Finanzprodukte, in die sie investieren, auch vollständig verstehen.”