V-Shaped

You know, V. Like V are having the worst economic downturn since World War II.

V

But whether the German stimulus measures “have bucked the Corona crisis” or not remains to be seen.

It can’t be too much of a crisis anymore though. Not if all the brothels are being allowed to open again. Come what may.

Several states in northern Germany are set to lift or ease pandemic restrictions on prostitution, with North Rhine-Westphalia now allowing sex workers to resume their business. The decision comes in the wake of several court cases filed by sex workers, who argued the restrictions unfairly discriminated against them.

More Debt Is The New Normal

In Germany too.

Schulden

The govenment might not directly admit it but the days when they at least strove to reach a balanced budget (black zero) are over.

Germany’s spending to counter the coronavirus crisis and modernize its economy means the country shouldn’t return to a balanced budget anytime soon, according to a senior Finance Ministry official…

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government abandoned its balanced-budget policy this year and is set to borrow about 218 billion euros ($258 billion). A deficit of more than 80 billion euros is set for next year to fight the fallout from the pandemic, people familiar with the matter have said…

Germany’s constitutional debt brake obliges the government to keep debt under control. In good times, the rule allows for a structural deficit of 0.35% of gross domestic product. In times of recession, new borrowing can go up in proportion with the economic decline.

“A balanced budget isn’t obligatory.”

No Way Back

No way out. No doubt about it.

Out

Spending other people’s money is so exciting. Joint debt is the bestest kind of debt there is. It’s free. Somebody else will pay it back. In this case, the Germans. Germans who haven’t even been born yet, but still.

Germany’s Scholz (SPD) sees ‘no way back’ from EU joint debt – German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said Sunday (23 August) that the European Union’s recovery package financed by joint borrowing was a long-term measure rather than a short-term coronavirus crisis fix, contradicting Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“The Recovery Fund is a real step forward for Germany and for Europe, one we won’t go back on,” Scholz, who is also the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) candidate to succeed Merkel in 2021 elections, told the Funke newspaper group.

Germany Would Be So Much Poorer Without Berlin

Not. Not according to this latest study.

Berlin

Normally, the per capita economic output (GDP) in capital cities in Europe is higher than in the rest of the given country. There is one big exception, however. Germany would be wealthier without Berlin.

Poor but sexy” is out. Now Berlin is just poor. Actually, it’s been that way for ages but nobody seems inclined to do anything about it. See the current red-redder-green city government.

Jeder Deutsche wäre ohne Berlin knapp 80 Euro reicher. Every German would be about 80 euros richer without it.

German Of The Day: Abziehen

That means to withdraw.

Germany

US to withdraw 12,000 troops from Germany in ‘strategic’ move – The US is set to withdraw almost 12,000 troops from Germany in what it described as a “strategic” repositioning of its forces in Europe.

About 6,400 troops will be sent home, with the rest moved to other Nato countries such as Italy and Belgium.

President Donald Trump said the move was a response to Germany failing to meet Nato targets on defence spending.

So schnell wie möglich.

This Is The Real Problem

Not Donald Trump withdrawing American troops.

Germany

The Germans want a free ride and they’re offended at having finally been caught.

The Sorry State of Germany’s Armed Forces – Trump’s calls to withdraw U.S. troops from the country are impulsive, but Germany isn’t blameless.

The German armed forces are in a sorry state, and that’s not because Germany, more important to NATO’s efficacy as a collective defense pact than any other European member state, lacks the means to fix this problem. It does not.

Germany’s gross domestic product, valued at $4 trillion, ranks fourth in the world and first in Europe. The country is also Europe’s technological powerhouse. Indeed, in 2018, the World Economic Forum hailed it as the world’s leader in technological innovation.

And yet the German military remains riddled with problems. A damning 2019 report (available in an English-language summary) issued by the Bundestag’s then commissioner for the armed forces, Hans-Peter Bartels, summed up the problem.

PS: Please note here that the woman who ran the Bundeswehr for years and years and proved to be unable to fix it is now the woman EU technocrats (voters weren’t asked) have chosen to fix Europe.

German Of The Day: Säumig

That means delinquent.

Trump

You know, as in Donald Trump accusing Germany of being “delinquent” in its payments to Nato, and saying he would stick with the plan unless Berlin changed its course? The truth hurts, Germany. “Why does Germany pay billions to Russia for energy and then we’re supposed to protect Germany from Russia? How is that supposed to work? It doesn’t.”

Trump confirms plan to cut troops in Germany – US President Donald Trump has confirmed plans to withdraw 9,500 American troops from bases in Germany. 

„Warum zahlt Deutschland Russland Milliarden Dollar für Energie, und dann sollen wir Deutschland vor Russland schützen? Wie soll das funktionieren? Es funktioniert nicht.“

Austria Doing Germany’s Job Again

Frugality? Refusing to pay other countries’ debts? That was “old Germany.”

Austria

Now the Germans need a country like Austria to take care of the problem for them – just like the Austrians took care of Merkel’s migrant madness by closing their borders way back when.

‘Frugal four’ nations counter Franco-German EU initiative – Four EU countries have teamed up, rejecting Macron and Merkel’s persistent lobbying for a €500 billion rescue fund. Instead, they have their own scheme on how to save Europe from economic fallout amid the pandemic…

The four countries also indicated that they will neither agree to a mutualization of debt nor an increase in the EU budget. Their draft proposal was seen by the German Press Agency (DPA) on Saturday.

“Our objective is to provide temporary, dedicated funding through the EU budgetû and to offer favorable loans to those who have been most severely affected by the crisis.”

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.

I Got Your Quantitative Easing For You Right Here, Pal

Imagine that. A nation state (member state) ought to have a say in how its money is spent. What a radical new concept.

Court

Germany’s top court has ruled that the European Central Bank’s mass bond-buying to stabilise the eurozone partly violates the German constitution.

The ruling relates to government debt worth €2.1 trillion (£2tn; $2.3tn) bought by the ECB since 2015, but not purchases in the coronavirus crisis.

The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe says there is not enough German political oversight in the purchases…

The plaintiffs are a group of German academics, including a former leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), Bernd Lucke. They argue that the purchases violate the EU ban on one eurozone member subsidising the debts of another.

It is now up to the ECB to explain how its mass bond-buying programme is “proportionate”. The Bundesbank could pull out if it is not satisfied, in three months’ time – which would be a big blow to the eurozone.