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.

And What’s The Problem With That?

German-U.S. Ties Are Breaking Down – Never since the founding of postwar Germany have relations between Berlin and the United States been as fragile as they are today. There is virtual radio silence between Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump and U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell is doing more to agitate the situation than to mediate.

Germany

It’s quite easy to explain, really: “I’m making them pay their bills” and the Germans don’t want to pay these bills. They’ve never paid them in the past, they’re thinking, so why should we pay them now? If there’s anything else I can do to straighten any of this up for you here, just ask.

“There is no understanding, but there are also no misunderstandings.”

German Of The Day: Igelsex

Go figure. It’s pronounced “eagle sex” but it means hedgehog sex.

Igelsex

Germans kept up at night by noisy igelsex (that’s hedgehog coupling) – Police called out to reports of nocturnal disturbances find hedgehogs ‘having fun.’

I don’t buy it, though. I think these Germans were kept up at night, tossing and turning, worrying about the German economy.

“Germany’s economy is highly dependent on exports, and that’s what’s hitting the German economy now. If the trade conflicts persist for many more years, this will hit Germany very hard.”

A Meating Of Minds

Meat

President Donald Trump just announced a new deal under which the EU will accept a high number of American beef exports, a move that will surely increase profits for US farmers and related industries. The EU will accept 45,000 tons of hormone-free beef from foreign countries every year, and America will be allowed to fulfill 35,000 tons of that quota after seven years — roughly 80 percent of the total.

“America has great beef. We’re selling more.”

Well, Then He Shouldn’t Announce Tariffs, Right?

German auto sector could drop as much as 12% if Trump announces tariffs, analyst says.

Tariffs

Gee, I wonder if there is anything the Germans/Europeans could do to prevent that from happening? I dunno. How about like maybe lowering their tariffs? Just thinking out loud here, people.

Germany’s automotive sector could fall as much as 12% over “three bad trading days,” if President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on European car manufacturers, one analyst told CNBC.

Trump has until Friday midnight (Washington time) to decide whether to impose duties on car imports. This would likely hurt Germany, the EU’s traditional growth engine, given that it is one of the largest direct car exporters to the U.S.

“If indeed we get U.S. car tariffs on imports from the euro zone — not just their announcement, you could forget our economic forecasts completely. No chance of a sustained pick-up in activity throughout the second half as we expect.”

German Of The Day: Handelskrieg

That means trade war.

Handelskrieg

A trade war between the United States and Europe is coming and the fallout could tip Germany into recession, according to analysts at German lender Commerzbank…

Official German statistics supplemented by the bank’s own research show that in 2018, the United States was the top export destination for German cars, accounting for about 12% of the total with a value of 27 billion euros of parts or finished vehicles.

The bank estimated that a Trump-ordered tariff increase of 25 percentage points on EU auto imports would slash that figure for Germany down to around 14 billion euros per annum.

When factoring in how much of that export figure is actual German “added value,” the bank estimated that total economic output for the country could fall by around 0.25 percentage points.

“All the more dangerous in a situation where the German economy is only just managing to avoid a recession,” it read.

German Of The Day: Naivität

That means naivete, as in being gullible or simple-minded.

China

Here’s an example: Industry Leaders Accuse Europe of Naivete with Respect to China – China’s aggressive approach in extending its economic power is causing concern among European companies. They demand a tougher approach from Brussels – and a convincing vision.

Good luck with that, European industry leaders. “Europe” doesn’t have time to deal with little issues like that at the moment, nor will it have any time in the near future. It is too occupied with self-inflicted problems like uncontrolled migration and Brexit (and the ensuing financial crisis) and placing the next batch of non-elected and unaccountable EU eurocrats in power. But once all that is taken care of, who knows? That little Chinese issue might just get tackled, too.

Die aggressive Vorgehensweise Chinas bei der Ausdehnung seiner Wirtschaftsmacht bereitet europäischen Unternehmern Sorgen. Sie fordern eine härtere Gangart von Brüssel – und eine überzeugende Vision.

German Of The Day: Unsicherheit

That means uncertainty. You know, like economic uncertainty?

Export

German exports fell by 1.3% in February compared with the month before, the Federal Statistics Office said on Monday. The figure represents the biggest drop in export revenue for a year…

Economists say that uncertainties surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU, the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China as well as weakening demand for industrial products are weighing on economies across the world.

“Die Ungewissheit aufgrund der vielen ungelösten Konflikte schlägt sich in den Auftragsbüchern nieder.”

Political Paralysis?

That’s my thing now. That’s what I do.

Merkel

On the one hand, I could screw it up with this side. On the other hand, I could screw this up over here first. Decisions, decisions…

The global order that underpins German prosperity is unraveling, and Angela Merkel doesn’t know what to do. President Donald Trump’s America First policy is forcing Germany to make an impossible choice between the U.S. and China — pitting the force behind the country’s modern economic success against the key to its future growth…

For decades, the country profited from an international trading system run by the West and backed up by the military might of the U.S. The government just got out of the way and watched exports roll. Those days are over…

“Germany is caught up in a dilemma of changing trade patterns and doesn’t know how to react.”

Trump hin oder her – die USA bleiben Deutschlands wichtigster Absatzmarkt.

We’re All Going To Die!

When the Brexit hits the fan, remember?

Brexit

It’s quite odd. Germans, notoriously nervous by nature, don’t seem terribly worried about Brexit these days at all. I guess there’s only so much you can worry about at any given time. Even if you’re a German.

Dead calm: Brexit not in top 10 of German businesses’ priorities – With five weeks to March 29th, Germans are worried – about everything but Brexit.

Commuters fear inner-city bans on diesel cars. Politicians are fighting over renovating – and digitising – German schools. Police are battling criminal Arab clans.

“I don’t know why Germany, all in all, is so relaxed about this.”