I’ll Go With “Systematic Issue”

Specifically, it’s a systematic decline caused by systematic dishonesty and corruption.

Deutsche Bank

The simultaneous decline of Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank (DB), and Bayer has been nothing short of stunning. It raises the question as to whether it is merely coincidence, or if there is a larger systemic issue in play.

At Harvard’s 368th Commencement this past Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of her life experiences growing up during the Cold War in post World War II Europe.

On this cool and overcast day, she also gave advice to the graduates on how to live their lives. She obliquely mentioned the trade war and indirectly criticized President Donald Trump — which got a round of applause. She even quoted the German poet, Hermann Hesse, saying “in all beginnings dwells a magic force for guarding us and helping us to live.”

There was one topic, however, that Merkel didn’t broach, perhaps not surprising given the celebratory nature of the day. Merkel made no mention of the economic dysfunction and even decay that seems to be infecting Germany — particularly when it comes to Germany’s largest and most prominent companies. The simultaneous decline of Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank (DB), and Bayer has been nothing short of stunning. It raises the question as to whether it is merely coincidence, or if there is a larger systemic issue in play. Either way, something is rotten in the state of Germany.

Car No Longer Manufactured Since 2003 Will No Longer Be Manufactured Again Next Year

Feature

The compact Beetle was introduced in Germany in 1938 during the Nazi era before becoming a symbol of Germany’s rebirth as a democratic, industrial powerhouse after the second World War.

It came to the US 11 years later, where it became a symbol of utilitarian transport for the postwar baby boom generation – often used by hippies.

The famous car sold for about 30 years before US sales stopped in 1979, through production continued continued production for Mexico and Latin America. The last of the original bugs was produced in Puebla, Mexico, in 2003.

VW Käfer wird bereits seit 2003 nicht mehr hergestellt.

I Know Nothing

Nothing!

Winterkorn

Uh, yes you do. Former VW boss Martin Winterkorn has maintained from the start of the Dieselgate scandal that he knew nothing about the manipulative tricks going on in his company. But it’s now coming out that a high-ranking VW engineer who knows better is cooperating with the German prosecuting attorney’s office and spilling the beans on Winterkorn big time. This is going to cost VW a whole lot more than they figured on, I bet. Even the Germans are holding them responsible. Think of that. And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of guys. Talk about systematic criminal activity.

I mean, do these people really think they can get away with this stuff and nobody is ever going to squeal on them? I guess it’s too lonely up there at the top when you’re, well, on the top, in your little I know nothing dream world.

„Ich bin bestürzt über das, was in den vergangenen Tagen geschehen ist. Vor allem bin ich fassungslos, dass Verfehlungen dieser Tragweite im Volkswagen-Konzern möglich waren.”

Trump To Follow Germany’s Lead

After Germany introduced a ban on German vehicles in the city of Hamburg today, President Donald Trump has announced plans to do the same in US-Amerika, as well. Sort of.

Trump

A report that U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to pursue German carmakers until there are no Mercedes-Benz rolling down New York’s Fifth Avenue dented shares in the luxury car manufacturers on Thursday.

An excerpt from German magazine Wirtschaftswoche’s article, which cited several unnamed European and U.S. diplomats but did not include any direct quotes, could not be independently verified, while a United States Embassy spokesman in Berlin referred questions to Washington.

The news and current affairs magazine said Trump had told French President Emmanuel Macron in April that he aimed to push German carmakers out of the United States altogether. Macron’s administration in Paris declined to comment on the report.

Eine harte Antwort wäre für die deutsche Wirtschaft riskant: US-Präsident Trump hat neben den Metall-Zöllen auch Zölle auf ausländische Autos ins Spiel gebracht.

German Of The Day: Gefangenenaustausch

That means a prisoner exchange.

VW

And that is what this guy, the German executive guy responsible for environmental questions in US-Amerika for VW who just got sentenced by a US court to seven years in prison and $400,000 – after “admitting to charges of conspiring to mislead U.S regulators and violate clean-air laws” – is hoping for.

Of course in this case, if nobody can find a US-Amerikan prisoner in Germany worth swapping places with, the exchange could still take place between prisons, couldn’t it? At any rate, his lawyers would like to exchange his yucky American one for one of the more humane German kind.

This is another one of those cases where worlds collide, folks. Convicted murders don’t get seven years over here in Germany. And this wanted clown goes on vacation in Florida thinking nobody will notice (that’s where they busted him)? Here’s some more German of the day: Wer nicht hören will muss fühlen. Those who refuse to follow the rules shall feel the consequences.

Sieben Jahre soll der VW-Manager Oliver Schmidt wegen des Abgasskandals in einem US-Gefängnis sitzen. Doch der Verurteilte hofft auf eine Überstellung nach Deutschland – womöglich im Austausch mit einem US-Häftling.

PS: Are you ready for your free sample of Brain Quest – A Fantastic Voyage through the Progressive Mind? Be brave.

German Of The Day: Die Mannschaft

The advertising marriage of VW and “Die Mannschaft”, as Germans call their team, starts on January 1, 2019 and runs until July 31, 2024.

Mannschaft

No financial details were released, but German media said Wolfsburg-based VW would pay the German Football Association DFB 25 million to 30 million euros ($28-34 million) a year, far more than Daimler has paid.

Volkswagen, Audi, Daimler…

There seems to be a connection here somewhere but I just can’t find it.

Daimler

Oh, yeah. Now I know: Diesel.

A German media research consortium reported Wednesday that German automaker Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, had for almost 10 years cheated emissions tests on two of its lines of engines. The allegations prompted a series of raids carried by German authorities on a number of Daimler locations back in May.

And all of this was financed by the Deutsche Bank, right?

“Wir kooperieren vollumfänglich mit den Behörden. Spekulationen kommentieren wir nicht.”

German Of The Day: Deutsche Bank

That means German Bank.

Deutsche Bank

And it’s getting hard to find a financial scandal that this bank is not involved in. When it comes to corruption and criminal activity, it’s the Volkswagen among the banks, you could say. Or the Audi, if you prefer.

Today’s criminal activity: U.S. authorities have tried to seize millions of dollars associated with several companies that deal with North Korea, including the country’s military, from eight large international banks, according to court filings made public on Thursday. Deutsche Bank is among them.

Some of the transactions were processed for Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Material Co and four affiliated “front” companies that prosecutors said tried to evade sanctions through transactions that would benefit North Korean entities, “including the North Korea military and North Korea weapons programs,” according to the filings.

Amerikanische Staatsanwälte haben die Deutsche Bank und sieben weitere Banken im Visier. Der Grund: Sie sollen Geschäfte mit nordkoreanischen Tarnfirmen gemacht haben.

My Guess Is Argentina

US authorities have issued international arrest warrants for five former VW managers and developers for their role in the Dieselgate scandal.

VW

Nobody in Germany can seem to find them so, you know, just put two and two together. No, that doesn’t make five. But it comes close.

Under the constitution, German citizens can only be extradited to other European Union countries or to an international court. But leaving Germany could pose the risk of being extradited to the United States from a third country.

Erwartbare Konsequenz.”

Ig Noble Deeds That Are Concealed Are Most Esteemed

Perhaps the best-known awardee Thursday night was German car manufacturer Volkswagen, which was handed the Ig Nobel for chemistry, “for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested.” No one from the company attended the ceremony to collect the prize, however.

VW

Wer den Schaden hat … VW hat für seine Schummel-Software, die zum Dieselgate geführt hat, von der Harvard-Uni einen Anti-Nobelpreis bekommen.