Handelsblatt Morning Briefing: CDU fetish “black zero”

Good morning dear readers,

if you read what the CDU is currently publishing about Helge Braun, “their” minister in the Chancellery, one might think that the man is a “submarine” of the Greens or the Social Democrats in the vicinity of Angela Merkel. The party-internal criticism fell on the trained doctor so unanimously and forcefully. He had allowed himself in the Handelsblatt to think about suspending the debt brake, which is not to be complied with, and wants to change the Basic Law for this. “Not capable of a majority,” rumbles parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus. Something like that “in the future, vote with the party and parliamentary group beforehand,” waddles Armin Laschet, the new party leader.

The move by Chancellor Helge Braun to suspend the debt brake for years is met with fierce resistance in the Union.

(Photo: via REUTERS)

It is clear that the “black zero” is to the Union what square chocolate is to Ritter Sport. Only for the SPD and the trade unions is it not a trademark, but a fetish from a distant time before Corona.

This offer creates its own demand. If the state does Lufthansa and Tui Supported with billions of sums, then he can hardly watch the ailing department store block Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof without doing anything. A letter from Josef Sanktjohanser to the Federal Government that we have received now gives the right momentum to the works council’s demands.

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The President of the German Trade Association writes about a “visitor magnet” that is “systemically relevant for the future of German inner cities”. There is currently talk of a government loan of several hundred million euros. Department store monopoly René Benko can be happy: First he got rid of more than two billion debts in insolvency proceedings, now the state is funding the announced restart. But no minister can improve the low online sales share of 4.3 percent.

Like Max Frisch, one should probably see the crisis as a “productive state”: “You just have to take away the aftertaste of the catastrophe.”

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin talked on the phone about an extension of the nuclear disarmament treaty.

(Photo: AP)

Donald Trump may have had strong personal ties with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. But apart from photo opportunities, the two managed nothing. There is Joe Biden, Trump’s successor in the White House, after a few days. He’s now on the phone with Putin about an extension of the nuclear disarmament treaty “New Start” – an agreement has been reached, reports the Kremlin. Biden’s spokeswoman does not want to confirm this – but she does say that the US President has spoken about the “poisoning” of the oppositionist Alexei Navalny and “Russia’s ongoing aggression” in Ukraine. Just because Joe Biden signs new contracts, he doesn’t want to be seen as the “Washington wimp”.

Where is the US headed? Hardly any other scientist has dealt with the division of this nation as much as Martha Nussbaum, 73, who was honored with the Kyoto Prize, the “Nobel Prize in Philosophy”. In an interview with my colleague Moritz Koch, the professor from Chicago University explains that the shock of the violence in the Capitol will lead to the split in the Republican Party – since business associations don’t want to donate money for candidates with a hate agenda. In the end, the “decent Republicans” would quit and form a new party. She sees the ban against Trump on Twitter and Facebook as positive: “People are polarized by what they hear and see every day. Just the reduced presence of these false and inflammatory stories will help. ”

The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi has had embarrassing moments. He had to admit that his new Covid-19 vaccine will not be ready until the end of 2021, six months later than planned. Now, pushed by the French state, the company has found a solution for the meantime. From summer onwards, Sanofi will be helping to produce the vaccine developed in Mainz by Biontech / Pfizer. “We will use our plant in Frankfurt,” says CEO Paul Hudson in “Le Figaro”. An additional 100 million cans are to go to EU countries. The old site of the Hoechst company – merged 21 years ago into the pharmaceutical company Aventis, which in turn merged with Sanofi – has been given new honors.

Such vaccination aids are supposed to save Angela Merkel’s balance sheet, who already warns internally: “This thing slipped away from us.” And publicly explains: “Where we didn’t look good, that is still evident today, that is the lack of digitization in our society.” CSU boss Markus Söder is even more drastic: “Almost all promises cannot be kept.”

After months of power vacuum, the major Italian bank Unicredit seems to have found a successor for Jean Pierre Mustier: Andrea Orcel.

Almost four years ago, Andrea Orcel hit the headlines with an awkward story. A change from the former Swiss investment banker failed at the last minute UBS to the top of the Spanish Major bank Santander – You couldn’t agree on the salary. The manager then sued for 112 million euros, the proceedings are still pending in a court in Madrid.

Similar endowment problems appear with the Italian money house Unicredit, the mother of Hypovereinsbank in Munich. The 57-year-old will soon succeed Jean Pierre Mustier as CEO. Orcel used to be in the service of the US investment bank Merrill Lynch, the crisis bank nationalized today Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) advise. At the request of the Roman government, Unicredit will soon take over MPS – which is much smoother with Orcel than with its predecessor.

And then there is the Spanish football club FC Barcelona, ​​which is not only proving to be top at championships, but also in debt. The liabilities now amount to around 1.2 billion euros, 730 million of which are to be repaid in the short term. Barcelona spends an astonishing 74 percent of its revenue on Lionel Messi and other players, as well as coaches and staff. And the Catalans owe a number of clubs a lot of money for expensive transfers, including Bayern Munich. Money not only scores goals, but also own goals. The club is either ripe for the insolvency administrator or the McKinsey principal.

I wish you a successful, carefree day.

I warmly greet you

Hans-Jürgen Jakobs
Senior Editor

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