German Finance – Kafkas Diasporasi Sat, 25 Sep 2021 06:34:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 German Finance – Kafkas Diasporasi 32 32 German elections will set direction after 16 years under Merkel Sat, 25 Sep 2021 06:34:00 +0000

BERLIN (AP) – Sunday’s close elections in Germany will determine the leadership of the most populous country in the European Union after 16 years under Angela Merkel, whose party scrambles to avoid defeat by center-left rivals after a roller coaster countryside. Green environmentalists are also targeting at least some power.

About 60.4 million people in the nation of 83 million are eligible to elect the new parliament, which decides who will be the next head of government. Recent polls point to a neck and neck race between Merkel’s center-right Union bloc and the Social Democrats, with the latter slightly ahead.

Polls show the Greens, making their first candidacy for the chancellery, in third place after a campaign in which all three held the lead. The candidate of the Social Democrats, current Minister of Finance and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has seen his personal ratings climb amid the error-ridden campaigns of his rivals, Armin Laschet of the Union and Annalena Baerbock of the Greens.

Merkel, who remains personally popular after leading Germany through a series of crises, announced in 2018 that she would not run for a fifth term. This set up the first election since West Germany’s initial vote in 1949 in which there is no outgoing chancellor seeking re-election.

Voters seem disappointed with the choices. Whoever finishes first is expected to get a historically low share of the vote, with polls showing no party should get 30% support. The lowest score to date for a winning party is the Union’s 31% in 1949, which is also the bloc’s worst result to date.

Such a result would likely trigger a long haggling over a new government coalition, with the party that finishes first in the best position – but not guaranteed – for its candidate to succeed Merkel.

A top spot for the Social Democrats, who supplied three of Germany’s eight chancellors after World War II but have been Merkel’s junior government partners for 12 of the past 16 years, would be remarkable after a long electoral crisis for the party. When the Union and the Greens picked their candidates this spring, the election was generally expected to be a race between the two.

The Union was prepared for a Laschet-Baerbock battle and “Laschet practically wanted to act as titular, with all his leadership expertise” of his current post as governor of Germany’s most populous state, Rhineland from North Westphalia, political science professor Andrea Roemmele from the Hertie school in Berlin said this week.

“But now the duel is not Laschet against Baerbock, it is Laschet against Scholz, and in this combination Mr Laschet was forced to play the role of challenger,” she said. “Scholz deploys all the power of his vice-chancellor, the finance minister, and likes to campaign that way; he just succeeded in building trust.

Scholz also had the most fluid campaign, although opponents sought to capitalize on a recent police search of his ministry. Baerbock suffered from early blunders, including having to correct details in a resume and facing allegations of plagiarism in a new book.

Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, was appointed after a contentious internal battle with a rival, then suffered from the perception that he had mismanaged the deadly floods that hit his state in July. A scene in which he was seen laughing in the background as the German president made solemn remarks about the disaster did not help his campaign image.

These woes have often distracted attention from political issues.

The main parties have significant differences in their proposals for tackling climate change. The Laschet Union is pinning its hopes on technological solutions and a market-oriented approach, while the Greens want to raise carbon prices and end the use of coal sooner than expected. Scholz stressed the need to protect jobs as Europe’s largest economy shifts to greener energy.

Laschet insists there should be no tax increases as Germany pulls out of the coronavirus pandemic, that the country has weathered well economically thanks to major bailouts that have contracted new debts. Scholz and Baerbock support tax hikes for the wealthiest Germans, and also support an increase in the country’s minimum wage.

Foreign policy did not play a big role in the campaign, although the Greens favor a tougher stance on China and Russia.

As their poll scores plummeted, Laschet and other Union leaders constantly warned that Scholz and the Greens would form a coalition with the Opposition Party, which opposes the military deployments of the NATO and Germany abroad. It is questionable whether such a partnership is realistic, given foreign policy and other differences.

Scholz’s first choice would likely be an alliance with the pro-business Greens and Free Democrats – and a coalition with these two parties is also Laschet’s most likely path to power. The Greens favor an alliance with the Social Democrats and the Free Democrats an alliance with the Union.

The outcome of the election may also allow a repeat of the outgoing “grand coalition” of the mainstream mainstream parties, under Scholz or Laschet, although there is unlikely to be much appetite for it on either side. But no party wants to bring the far-right Alternative for Germany into government.


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Elections in Germany: who will be the next Angela Merkel? Fri, 24 Sep 2021 16:23:47 +0000 German society watchers will quickly point out that the locals resist change and value continuity. And for good …

German society watchers will quickly point out that the locals resist change and value continuity. And for good reason, if we look at the twentieth century: the outbreak and loss of two world wars, the second of which left Europe in ruins and the country divided between East and West. Thus, during the last three decades, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, marked the beginning of a Germany, stability was the main concern of the Germans.

Yet this Sunday’s elections to vote among members of the Bundestag, Germany’s national parliament, dramatic changes will occur – in the country, and perhaps for Europe and Germany’s place in the world.

The biggest change: the granting of votes which will lead to the replacement of the historic mandate of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel. The chemist-turned-politician will step down once a new chancellor has been selected, ending her 16 years as head of Germany. During Merkel’s tenure, Germany’s first female Chancellor oversaw a period of stability that made the country the world’s fourth-largest economy and a model for providing social safety nets, welcoming refugees and forging ambitions for the transition to a low carbon nuclear system energyless economy.

[MORE: Countries With the Largest Refugee Populations]

Merkel was also given various political nicknames: the leader of Europe, and even the leader of the free world, a label that resonated during the administration of the former US president. Donald trump. She has succeeded in bringing EU member states together on various issues, including migration and financial crises, with the latter leading her to actively orchestrate economic bailouts and austerity measures imposed on them. Greece and Portugal. And under the leadership of Merkel, a skilled scientist, Germany itself has fared relatively better during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic than many other European countries.

“I wouldn’t call her the leader of Europe, I would call her the mediator of Europe,” says Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, vice president of the German Marshall Fund in the United States. “She has mastered the art of negotiating these compromises for 16 years, which has made her a unique figure in Europe.

Sunday marks the last day Germans can vote; voters were able to mail their votes for weeks. While Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has dominated German politics for decades, this year’s election is considered one of the most open in decades. The CDU is headed by Armin Laschet, a longtime ally of Merkel and deputy head of the CDU. The other big party, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), has a little ahead of the CDU in the last weeks of the poll.

But this election concerns more personalities than political parties. Laschet failed to connect with many Germans, and the popularity of the CDU has waned since he was appointed party leader. SPD leader Olaf Scholz is seen by many analysts as the most experienced candidate; He has been Merkel’s vice-chancellor and finance minister since 2018, with the CDU and SPD sharing power in a coalition government.

But neither party attracts poll numbers that come close to the majority, as other parties that have grown in popularity over the past decade have become strong contenders for any future coalition government.

At the start of the campaign, Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock had a lead in the polls, with the Germans seeing environmental issues such as climate change as essential to tackle, and the party itself moving towards the middle of the mainstream on issues supporting the country’s industries.

“You have a… candidate who says, ‘Let’s have someone else and they’re all about 30 years older than me,’ Kleine-Brockhoff says of 40-year-old Baerbock. “I think it appeals to a certain segment of the population who are tired of this kind of continuity politics.” The Green Party has fallen back to third place, and with a large proportion of voters saying they are undecided – about 1 in 3 voters were undecided in the latest polls – analysts are avoiding predictions.

“The polls don’t tend to show that there is a big possibility of swing,” says Kleine-Brockhoff. “There might still be hidden support for the CDU. It’s hard to know.

Managing the pandemic remains the main issue. But polls show the public is concerned about the country’s future financial health. During the pandemic, German leaders moved away from a philosophy of maintaining a minimum public debt to spend on programs to support the public and various economic sectors.

Germany is also more ethnically diverse and socially liberal than it was a decade ago, prompting a backlash that has maintained the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). a modest but persistent presence in the political landscape.

“Change happens in German society, but hardly ever when they vote,” says Daniel Hamilton, senior researcher at the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute. “It comes between elections. And sometimes that causes new elections.

Perhaps the biggest challenge, observers say, is the need for Germans to realize that the world is very different from the one they are used to. Over the past three decades, Germany has benefited from a post-Soviet world order ruled by the West, with the United States playing the role of benevolent guarantor of security. But the chaotic fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban and the continued rise of China are just the latest signs that such a world order is changing, experts say.

“There is a huge disappointment in the United States,” said Hamilton, regarding the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. “And that sort of reinforces the question the Germans asked themselves during the Trump years, which is ‘Can we continue to rely on the United States?'”

Hamilton continues, “I would say we are entering an era of disruption, which is deeply troubling for a country that clings to stability and peace because of its history. The Germans and their leaders, he says, have yet to recognize that the global geopolitical landscape is changing. What these changes could mean for Germany can be profound.

“I think when this debate comes, and it does, then you will see a real change in (the) German approach to the world, but we are not there yet.”

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Candidates face off in last pre-election televised debate in Germany | WGN 720 radio Thu, 23 Sep 2021 20:20:44 +0000

Berlin (AP) – Three candidates hoping to succeed Angela Merkel as German Chancellor and four leaders of other parties currently in parliament had their last televised debate ahead of Sunday’s elections. Clashed Thursday on various topics.

Unlike previous discussions which repeatedly focused on climate change, poverty and other national topics, the candidate also discussed foreign policy issues for the first time.

Olaf Scholz, the left-wing Social Democratic Party, who is now Germany’s finance minister, said closer cooperation within Europe is needed, but at the same time the EU must continue to work in close collaboration with the United States and NATO. ..

“We are a big country in the middle of the European Union with the largest population and the greatest economic power,” Scholz said. “Therefore, we need to ensure that Europe speaks with a more united voice. “

Its closest rival, the center-right coalition bloc Armin Laschet, also called for a stronger and more united Europe, adding that the continent should cooperate with a joint arms project.

“We need more Europe, we have to speak with one voice,” said Rachelte. “We have to start the project together, and we have to arm the project to be able to act together. “

Greens candidate Annalena Baerbock said Europe needs to find a common approach on how to interact with China.

“I want to make sure that one (EU) country does not play against the other (EU) country, creating a unified European approach to China,” she said.

Candidates and leaders were also faced with how to address housing shortages in major German cities, tackle hatred on social media and tackle the radicalization of protests against pandemic restrictions.

Merkel’s coalition bloc and her candidate for prime minister, Rachette, have made a small profit in recent weeks of polls. But it remains slightly behind Scholz’s center-left Social Democratic Party.

The Greens, who are the first to defend a candidate for prime minister, are in third place, but can play the role of Kingmaker when it comes to forming a government.

The number of parties with close competition and strong support means that the next government will be determined by post-election coalition negotiations between at least two and more likely three parties.

Merkel, prime minister since 2005, has not sought a fifth four-year term.

Just over 60 million Germans elect a new parliament. The party with the most seats tries to establish a coalition government and lets its members elect the prime minister.

Follow Associated Press’s coverage of the German elections at

Candidates face off in last pre-election televised debate in Germany | WGN 720 radio

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Deutsche Bank CFO: There should be bank mergers and acquisitions, you have to prepare Thu, 23 Sep 2021 09:31:00 +0000 James von Moltke, CFO of German Deutsche Bank is pictured in Frankfurt, Germany on February 2, 2018. REUTERS / Ralph Orlowski

BERLIN, September 23 (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) sees the logic that there should be consolidation in the European banking sector and the task ahead is to prepare for this result, the CFO said on Thursday James von Moltke.

True to the German bank’s standard line on potential mergers, von Moltke told a financial conference hosted by BofA Securities that she should first make a strategic overhaul before considering any major deals.

“We see the industry logic that there should be consolidation in the European banking sector,” he said in response to a question.

“This is something we see in the future for our business … Our focus on transformation is what we need to do to prepare for this eventuality.”

Deutsche Bank has been repeatedly linked with a possible merger with a large Swiss bank, but chief executive Christian Sewing has always said that a turnaround plan he launched in 2019 should bear fruit first.

The bank published its first annual profit since 2014 last year and last month benefited from a rating upgrade by Moody’s. Read more

Von Moltke said that Deutsche’s four business units – asset management and its private, corporate and investment banks – were operating as planned or ahead of schedule. This allowed him to reach his goal of generating revenues of 25 billion euros ($ 29.3 billion) or more next year. L8N2QP1WT

Commenting on a US investigation into the DWS asset management industry’s (DWSG.DE) use of sustainable investing criteria, von Moltke said he “stands by his disclosures.”

“We will have to follow the process of these investigations,” he said, adding that he did not see the investigation having a measurable impact on Deutsche’s third quarter results.

($ 1 = 0.8530 euros)

Reporting by Douglas Busvine, editing by Thomas Escritt

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Deutsche Bank chairman warns of conflict between foreign regulators and German governance Wed, 22 Sep 2021 16:42:31 +0000

Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner warned in a speech in Frankfurt Wednesday that German companies could not comply with both international regulations and local securities laws.

Germany has a two-tier advisory system, with the board fully responsible for day-to-day operations and corporate strategy. The management is not ordered by the Board of Auditors, which has the right to appoint, supervise and advise the management.

“”[International] Regulators and watchdogs [a German] The chairman emphasizes that it is their sole duty to monitor the control system of the company, ”Achleitner said at the corporate governance conference. “Instead, they expect detailed checks outside the scope of German securities law.”

Achleitner has chaired Germany since 2012 and will step down as lender in May next year, at the end of his second five-year term. Deutsche has yet to name a successor.

Under his supervision, the bank’s share price accumulated a loss of 12 billion euros, raised 19.5 billion euros in new capital and paid out billions of dollars to resolve various allegations of fraud, 70 It fell by almost%.

Over the past two decades, Deutsche Bank has had difficult relationships with foreign regulators, including the US Federal Reserve, and has frequently complained about banking supervision.

Deutsche Bank has been stable since Christian Sewing took over as CEO in 2018 and began a radical restructuring. Earlier this year, the bank Highest quarterly profit Since 2014, stock prices have risen by over 45% in the past 12 months.

In his speech, Achleitner argued that the German supervisory board has become much more professional over the past decade. However, he said the part-time director still lacks the legal authority he has over the US or UK board and struggles to meet the expectations of regulators outside of Germany.

“At least in the banking sector, not only the chairman but also the individual members of the board of auditors are invited to the conversation. [by regulators]”Said Achleitner.

“It’s almost useless [in such conversations] To underline Germany’s corporate governance, ”he added, claiming that foreign regulators have held the board of auditors responsible for specific matters, regardless of their actual legal capacity under German law. . Insisted.

Achleitner did not call for the abolition of the two-tier board system in Germany, but proposed some reforms, including their reduction in order to make the supervisory board more effective. Currently, they typically have 20 members, which “makes productive discussions and quick decisions difficult,” he said.

He also called on companies to redouble their efforts to professionalize the supervisory board. “Since the turn of the millennium, we have certainly seen improvements in recruiting. We must rely on them to meet the growing expectations of investors and regulators. “

Couture had to apologize after the bank announced last week, And pulled, A research report accusing German financial regulators and the country’s conservative government of making serious mistakes.

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FOCUS-German automotive giants rely on hydrogen cars Wed, 22 Sep 2021 05:07:53 +0000

By Nick Carey

MUNICH, Sept. 22 (Reuters) – Battery power could be the precursor to becoming the automotive technology of the future, but let’s not rule out neglected hydrogen.

This is the view of some major automakers, including BMW and Audi, who are developing prototypes of hydrogen fuel cell passenger vehicles alongside their fleets of battery cars as part of preparations to move away from fuels. fossils.

They are hedging their bets, calculating that a change in political winds could tip the scales in favor of hydrogen in an industry shaped by Tesla’s decision to take the battery route to cleaning cars.

The global automotive hub, Germany, is the center of attention. He is already betting billions on hydrogen fuel in sectors like steel and chemicals to meet the climate targets and a close election this month could see the Greens enter the coalition government and push the technology further.

BMW is the biggest proponent of hydrogen among German automakers, paving the way for a mass market model around 2030. The company also has an eye on the evolution of hydrogen policies in Europe and China, the largest automotive market in the world.

The Munich-based premium actor has developed a prototype hydrogen car based on its X5 SUV, in a project already partially funded by the German government.

BMW vice president Jürgen Guldner who heads the hydrogen fuel cell car program told Reuters the automaker will build a test fleet of nearly 100 cars in 2022.

“Whether this (technology) is driven by policy or demand, we’ll be ready with a product,” he said, adding that his team was already working on the development of the next generation of vehicles.

“We are on the verge of getting there and we are really confident that we will see a breakthrough in this decade,” he said.

VW’s premium brand Audi told Reuters it had assembled a team of more than 100 mechanics and engineers who researched hydrogen fuel cells on behalf of the entire Volkswagen Group and built a few prototypes of cars.


Hydrogen is considered a safe bet by the world’s largest truck manufacturers, such as Daimler Truck, the unit of Daimler AG, Volvo Trucks and Hyundai, because the batteries are too heavy for long-haul commercial vehicles.

Yet fuel cell technology – where hydrogen is passed through a catalyst, producing electricity – is currently too expensive for mainstream cars. Batteries are complex and contain expensive materials, and although refueling is faster than recharging batteries, infrastructure is scarce.

The fact that hydrogen is so far behind in the race for the affordable market also means that even some tech champions, like the German Greens, prioritize battery-powered passenger cars as they see them as the fastest way to get to the market. ” achieve their main objective of decarbonization. transport.

The Greens, however, support the use of hydrogen fuel for ships and planes and want to invest heavily in “green” hydrogen produced only from renewable sources.

“Hydrogen will play a very important role in the transport industry,” said Stefan Gelbhaar, party spokesman for transport policy in the Bundestag.

Politics can be unpredictable, however – diesel has gone from saint to sin in the wake of Volkswagen’s Dieselgate emissions fraud scandal, which erupted in 2015. Some automakers are seeing hydrogen technology as an insurance policy while the EU aims for an effective ban on fossil fuel cars from 2035..

Last year, Daimler announced it would halt production of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL, a hydrogen fuel cell SUV, but a source close to the company’s plans said the project could easily be revived if the European Commission or a German government with Green participation decide to promote hydrogen cars.

“We focus on electricity (battery-powered) first, but we cooperate closely with our truckers,” said Jörg Burzer, production manager at Daimler, when asked about this approach.

“The technology is always available.


For years, Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda, and South Korean Hyundai, were the only ones to develop and promote hydrogen fuel cell cars, but now they have company.

China is expanding its hydrogen fueling infrastructure, with several automakers now working on fuel cell cars, including Great Wall Motor, which plans to develop SUVs that run on hydrogen.

The EU wants to build more hydrogen refueling stations for commercial vehicles. Fitch Solutions automotive analyst Joshua Cobb said the bloc will likely not start pushing hydrogen passenger cars for two to three years, given he is still figuring out how to pay for his battery-electric car and how to get it. sufficient “green” hydrogen from renewable sources.

But he added: “It is not forbidden to think that if the (German) Greens come to power, they could step up the push to pass regulations favoring hydrogen fuel cell cars.”

BMW’s Guldner acknowledged that hydrogen technology was too expensive to be viable for the consumer market today, but said costs would decline as trucking companies invest in the technology to bring vehicles to market. large-scale fuel cell.

To demonstrate BMW’s X5 hydrogen prototype, Guldner ran Reuters at 180 km (112 miles) per hour on the highway near the automaker’s headquarters in Munich and gave it enough fuel in a matter of minutes. travel 500 km using a hydrogen pump at a Total Gas Station.

Guldner said BMW sees hydrogen fuel cell cars as “complementary” to its future line of battery-powered electric models, providing an alternative for customers who can’t charge at home, want to travel far and refuel quickly. . The engine of the hydrogen X5 is the same as that of BMW’s all-electric iX.

“When the future is zero emissions, we believe that having two answers is better than one,” he added.


Still, Cobb of Fitch Solutions said it would be years before any European political support for hydrogen cars translated into significant sales.

Indeed, the automotive consultancy LMC predicts that various uses of hydrogen – in commercial vehicles, aviation and energy storage – would stimulate its adoption in passenger cars, but in the longer term.

“We’re just not going to get there anytime soon,” said Sam Adham, senior LMC powertrain analyst. LMC estimates that by 2030, hydrogen fuel cell models will only account for 0.1% of sales in Europe, and sales will not take off until after 2035.

There remain divisions over the prospects for technology in the global automotive industry, and even within automotive groups.

VW’s Audi unit may be researching fuel cells, for example, but Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has criticized hydrogen cars.

“The hydrogen car has proven to be NOT the solution to climate change,” he said in a tweet this year. “False debates are a waste of time.”

Stephan Herbst, general manager of Toyota in Europe, has a different point of view.

Speaking as a member of the Hydrogen Council group of companies, which predicts that hydrogen will power more than 400 million cars by 2050, Herbst said he believes governments have now set ambitious targets. of reduction in carbon emissions, they would push hydrogen alongside the battery. electric car.

“We firmly believe that it is not a question of one or the other,” he added. “We need both technologies.” (Reporting by Nick Carey; Additional reporting by Christina Amann in Berlin and Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt; Editing by Joseph White and Pravin Char)

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Cashier in Germany killed by customer over mask argument Tue, 21 Sep 2021 15:58:00 +0000

Germany reacted with shock and outrage on Tuesday after a 20-year-old gas station worker was gunned down by a customer angry over being asked to wear a mask while buying beer.

Saturday night’s murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein is believed to be the first in Germany linked to government coronavirus rules.

As the country is five days away from a general election, politicians from all walks of life have condemned the murder and expressed concern over the radicalization of the anti-mask movement.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz of the center-left Social Democrats, favorite to succeed outgoing Chancellor Angel Merkel, said he was “shocked” by the murder of someone who only wanted “to protect himself and others “.

“As a society, we must resolutely resist hate,” he tweeted.

The argument started when the cashier, a student, told the customer to put on a face mask, as required by all German stores. After a brief argument, the man left.

The suspect returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he brought his six pack of beers to the checkout, he took off his mask and another discussion ensued.

“The assailant then took out a gun and shot him in the head,” prosecutor Kai Fuhrmann told reporters on Monday.

“Not the way”

The anonymous suspect, a 49-year-old German, went to a police station the next day to surrender. He was arrested and confessed to the murder.

He told police he felt “stuck” by the coronavirus measures, which he saw as an “ever-increasing violation of his rights” and that he had seen “no other way out”, he said. said Fuhrmann.

The mayor of Idar-Oberstein, Frank Fruehauf, called it an “unfathomable and terrible act”, and residents laid flowers and candles outside the gas station.

The suspect was not known to police and did not have a permit for the weapons and ammunition found during a search of his home, the prosecutor added.

Armin Laschet, candidate chancellor of Merkel’s conservative CDU-CSU bloc, said it was a “horrible” crime.

“Violence is not the way,” he said in a direct appeal “to those with other opinions, including the Querdenkers”.

The German “Querdenker” (lateral thinkers) movement has emerged as the strongest voice against government restrictions on coronaviruses.

Its protests have at times drawn tens of thousands of protesters, drawing a wide range of people including vaccine skeptics, neo-Nazis and members of the far-right AfD party.

Annalena Baerbock, the Greens candidate for chancellery, said she was “shaken” by the murder and very worried about the “radicalization of the Querdenker scene”.

“Growing aggressiveness”

The Tagesspiegel newspaper said far-right Telegram newsgroups applauded the murder, with one user writing “Here we go !!!” while others have posted thumbs-up emojis.

Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said it was “disgusting” that the murder was being used online “to spread even more hatred and contempt” for human life.

“The rule of law must use all means to oppose the radicalization of Covid deniers ready for violence,” she said.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency announced in April that it would begin monitoring key Querdenker figures over concerns that they were trying to undermine the state and had links to right-wing extremism.

Stephan Kramer, head of the internal intelligence agency in eastern Thuringia state, told German media group RND he was saddened but not surprised by the murder.

“The escalation of right-wing conspiracy fantasies among aggressive and violent citizens has been evident for months,” he said.

“The increasing aggressiveness is palpable in everyday life.”

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A calm economic calendar to further test the support Mon, 20 Sep 2021 22:38:47 +0000

Thursday 23rd September

Spanish GDP (QoQ) (Q2)

French manufacturing PMI (sept.) Prélim

French Services PMI (Sept.) Prélim

German manufacturing PMI (sept.) Prelim.

German services PMI (sept.) Prélim.

Euro zone manufacturing PMI (sept.) Prelim.

Euro zone Markit Composite PMI (sept.) Prélim.

Eurozone Services PMI (Sept.) Prelim.

Friday 24e September

German Ifo Business Climate Index (September)


It was a particularly bearish start to the week for the European majors on Monday.

The DAX30 slipped 2.31% to lead the way, with the CAC40 and EuroStoxx600 posting losses of 1.74% and 1.67% respectively.

Today’s economic data was limited to wholesale inflation figures in Germany, which had a moderate impact on the majors.

The lack of statistics left markets with little to distract from Wednesday’s policy decision and FOMC projections.

After Friday’s pullback, declining buyers were left on the sidelines, with Fed policy uncertainty testing the support of the majors.

The Evergrande crisis, which raised fears of contagion in global financial markets, added to market angst that day.


It’s a calm day on the eurozone economic calendar. In August, Germany’s annual wholesale inflation rate fell from 10.4% to 12.0%. Economists had forecast an increase to 11.4%. On a monthly basis, the German producer price index rose 1.5%, after rising 1.9% in July. Economists had forecast a more modest increase of 0.8%.

The United States

It was also a particularly calm day on the economic calendar, with no major statistics for the markets to take into account.

Market movers

For the DAX: It was a bearish day for the auto sector on Monday. Continental tumbled 5.59% to lead the way, with Volkswagen sliding 3.89%. Bmw and Daimler were not far, however, with losses of 2.73% and 2.68% respectively.

It was also a bearish day for the banks. German Bank and Commercial bank collapsed 7.67% and 7.92% respectively.

From CAC, it was a bearish day for the banks. Gen Soc and BNP Paribas fell by 5.70% and 4.46% respectively, with Agricultural credit down 3.86%.

It was also a bearish day for the French automotive sector. Stellantis SA decreased by 4.47%, with Renault down 2.19%.

Air France-KLM reversed the trend with a 5.31% rebound, while Airbus SE fell 0.97%.

On the VIX index

It was a 3rd consecutive day in the green for the VIX Monday.

After surging 11.34% on Friday, the VIX jumped 23.55% to end the day at 25.71.

On Monday, the NASDAQ slipped 2.19%, with the Dow Jones and the S & P500 ending the day down 1.78% and 1.70% respectively.

The day to come

It’s another particularly calm day ahead for the eurozone economic calendar.

There are no major statistics to give direction to the European majors at the start of the week.

In the US, there are also no major statistics to consider later in the session, leaving markets in limbo ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC.


In the futures markets, at the time of writing, the Dow Mini was up 4 points.

For an overview of all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This item was originally posted on FX Empire

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German fund company audited by KPMG reveals years of compliance failure in its UK branch Mon, 20 Sep 2021 17:05:20 +0000 A German fund group audited by KPMG has not complied with UK law at its London branch for years, Financial news can reveal.

German € 13 billion fund management firm Aquila Capital has not contributed to a pension scheme for its UK employees in the two years since it was legally required to do so in July 2019, according to an internal email and payslip from a UK member of the company. employees seen by FN. The company said it employed seven people in its London team last month.

Aquila had “taken longer than expected” to set up a pension scheme for its UK employees and the UK pensions regulator was “fully aware of this problem,” an Aquila spokesperson said. KPMG declined to comment on its audit of the fund company. The spokesperson added that “backdated pension contributions will be paid to all affected employees.”

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Evolve, a pension fund approached by Aquila Capital, said FN he had “no choice but to report” the group of funds to the regulator in January after signing up for Evolve’s services but did not submit relevant data or make a payment.

Failure to comply could see the sustainable investment group facing thousands of pounds in fines, according to analysis by two UK pension law experts, who spoke to FN after analyzing the application data on the regulator’s website. The lawyers are not involved in this case. KPMG and Aquila Capital declined to comment on any potential ramifications.

UK law requires employers to automatically enroll their employees in the country in an occupational pension scheme, no later than three months after an employee has started working, and to start contributing to that scheme on behalf of the employee since then.

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“It’s very strictly regulated,” said Martin Jenkins, a partner at Irwin Mitchell law firm, who was not involved in the case and spoke about UK legal requirements in general. “A non-payment of contributions [into employees’ pension] or failure to simply put the plan into action is a violation of the law by the employer. “

KPMG is under investigation in the UK regarding its audit of outsourcing company Carillion in the run-up to its 2018 collapse. A KPMG spokesperson said FN in early September that he was taking the Carillion case “extremely seriously” and “had fully cooperated with our regulator throughout their investigation.”

The collapse of Wirecard in Germany and Greensill in Australia has also drawn attention to the role of listeners. Wirecard, audited by EY, subsequently appointed KPMG as external auditor for investigate allegations of wrongdoing. The German company filed the German equivalent of bankruptcy last year. KPMG was not involved in an audit of Greensill.

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The lawyers said FN the Aquila Capital case again raises questions about the effectiveness of the audit industry.

“If there was no mention of the pension plan [or delays around setting it up] in the annual accounts of the company, it is a failure, according to a senior lawyer specializing in pensions who was not involved in the case. “If auditors were not informed, then they could say that an employer has breached its obligations because part of an employer’s obligation is to disclose all relevant information to its auditors.

“Both parties can blame each other,” according to a separate regulatory lawyer, who was not involved in the case. “It’s a long-standing problem. “

KPMG’s German office made no mention of Aquila’s failure to comply with UK pensions law according to the group’s annual accounts for the 12 months to December, according to documents signed by KPMG and seen by FN.

Jenkins said employers were legally required to itemize their retirement obligations in their company’s accounts and that he would generally expect to see “any failure to comply with relevant legislation … [as] a note to the accounts ”.

UK and EU law requires business leaders to ensure that the annual accounts give a true and fair view of their business, including by pointing out any possible legal risk to any part of their business group, according to the two anonymous lawyers mentioned above, who were not involved in the case.

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Failure to comply with UK pensions law would be considered “a cabinet disclosure event to the auditor,” the senior regulatory counsel said. The lawyer added that the auditor should also “receive updates from its own network of firms covering the footprint of individual audit clients to say what material changes have occurred during the period audited.”

The Carillion collapse was a catalyst in the UK government’s overhaul of the audit industry and its regulator. The government has held consultations on potential industry reforms, but has yet to introduce legislation to make changes. Instead, it has so far relied on the Financial Reporting Council, the UK’s accounting industry regulator, to implement changes through new regulations, in the hope to restore confidence in the audit industry.

Aquila Capital told its London-based employees in a September 18, 2020 email, seen by FN, that he was “currently exchanging key data” with “EVOLVE … a specialist UK regulated pension provider” with which he had chosen to partner.

The email stated that the fund group, which is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and Germany’s BaFin, expected the process to “end no later than October” 2020.

The group then told its UK employees in June 2021 that it “was launching the UK pension scheme”, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A pay slip from a UK based employee dated July 23, seen by FN, however, does not include a line relating to company pension contributions on behalf of their employees or to employee pension contributions.

As of mid-September 2021, UK employees at Aquila had not been contacted by Evolve “and no one has had the opportunity to opt out – contrary to what was stated in the email,” said the person close to the file.

The person said the company’s lack of compliance had called into question its credentials as an environmental, social and governance investor.

“As a company that claims to focus on ESG, Aquila Capital is clearly failing on the S element, especially in the context of (…) its own UK employees,” the person said.

ESG criticism comes against a backdrop of growing backlash against fund groups that espouse their environmental, social and governance credentials. In mid-September, Desiree Fixler, the former head of sustainability at German asset manager DWS, claimed the company had distorted its ESG capabilities in its 2020 annual report.

His action sparked investigations by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and German regulator BaFin.

A spokesperson for Aquila Capital said: “We are currently working with our expert external advisers to put in place an appropriate retirement solution in order to meet our retirement obligations to our UK staff as soon as possible, also taking into account wishes and comments from our employees. “

“We provided the terms and conditions of the revised pension plan to all employees several weeks ago,” the spokesperson added.

Aquila Capital has two funds listed on the London Stock Exchange: the Aquila European Renewables Income fund and the Aquila Energy Efficiency Trust. Because the funds do not have UK employees, they are not part of UK retirement requirements, a spokesperson for Aquila Capital said.

BaFin and FCA spokespersons declined to comment on the matter. The pension plan offered by Aquila Capital is no longer that of Evolve. Aquila Capital declined to comment on the name of its current pension provider.

A KPMG spokesperson declined to comment on Aquila’s comments on the matter and the pension regulator’s awareness of its compliance lapses.

A spokesperson for the UK pension regulator also declined to comment on his involvement in the case.

To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email Lucy McNulty

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Junior banker’s failed attempt at humor leads to trial Mon, 20 Sep 2021 08:05:00 +0000

It is not difficult to feel sorry for each of the two main protagonists of a labor court involving Barclays’ London operation which ended earlier this month. The young woman – Anca Lacatus – has pain endometriosis this makes her job difficult and it means that she is now living in the parental home again. The young man – James Kinghorn – has two children and may have quit his job at Barclays, although it is not clear whether this was due to the affair (Barclays did not respond to our request to comment on his fate).

Described by the judge as “smart,” Kinghorn was an associate vice president (AVP) in Barclays’ London rate options middle office team. Lacatus worked there as an entrepreneur at the analyst level between 2016 and 2020.

Kinghorn was at the very least more considerate than Lacatus’ supervisor – a woman described by Lacatus as giving “looks of spite” and whom a colleague said had a “combative style of communication”. After reviewing the texts exchanged between Kinghorn and Lacatus, the judge said Kinghorn was “rightly sympathetic” and expressed “genuine concern” for Lacatus amid his worsening health problems. Nonetheless, Barclays was found guilty of direct sex discrimination, and Kinghorn’s failed attempts to be funny are to blame.

On at least two occasions starting in 2018, Kinghorn referred to women as “birds” in Lacatus’s presence, in what he said was an attempt to be light-hearted. On a related note, he jokingly suggested that Lacatus shouldn’t report it to HR.

Lacatus objected to being called a bird when this first happened. The judge in the case found that while Kinghorn tried to be witty, his “rather childish attempt at irony” fell flat and the language he used was sexist. The decision also indicated that Kinghorn could have done more to learn more about Lacatus’s health and could have reduced his hours accordingly.

Lacatus won £ 46,000 ($ 63,000) when she joined Barclays. She said she constantly had to work more than 48 hours a week and she was unfairly expected to train her colleagues when she was a junior herself. In comparison, she complained that Kinghorn often left work early on Monday nights to play football and returned late in the morning (which the judge found sometimes happened when Kinghorn took his daughters to school) and that this was discriminatory.

Overall, however, the court found that Kinghorn did not discriminate against Lacatus by making him work longer than him. – In fact, Lacatus spent just over half of her time in 2018 working less than 35 hours per week, and the remaining weeks she worked an average of six hours of overtime. Although the judge admitted that Lacatus was working “far too often until late in the evening ”, the court therefore found that Lacatus did not work more than 48 hours per week and that Kinghorn was doing his weight and working as late as the others …

The entire 185-page court ruling should be required reading for anyone managing a team in the City of London and is a lesson in how ‘jokes’ can come back to bite. While Lacatus’s claim failed in several respects (she also argued that she was unfairly dismissed, underpaid, and unfairly denied long-term sickness benefits, among others), her claim for discrimination based on sex after Kinghorn mentioned the “birds” means she is entitled to compensation which will be determined by another court later this year. Barclays said: “We agree that the language used was inappropriate and unacceptable, as does the person who used it.”

It could have been worse. – Lacatus also called Kinghorn’s reference to an Italian colleague as “the Italian dude” as proof of his propensity for racial discrimination. She also complained that Kinghorn and the same Italian praised their Japanese colleague for ‘always be available at all times ”, and that this was tantamount to tacitly suggesting that women should be available to work all the time. The judge rejected these two elements of the claim …

In addition, hires are exploding in Paris after Brexit. Renaud Garnier, recruiter at Michael Page in Paris, confided Bloomberg that good candidates based in Paris now have “three or four” different employers chasing them, and that in some cases candidates may live seven hours from Paris and come to the office one day a week due to the level of demand, something this has never been possible before COVID.

A bank that will hire in the French capital is Citi, which has just recruited Sylvie Renaud Calmel of SocGen at the head of its French markets activity. Calmel should strengthen the Parisian team.

During this time…

Something funny may have happened before Goldman’s recent purchase of Greensky. – A trader made a return of 3,900% after purchasing 8000 options that would pay off if GreenSky’s price exceeded $ 10. (CNBC)

24 year old The cryptocurrency hedge fund manager was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison after lying about returns and siphoning money from his $ 90 million fund to pay for a lavish lifestyle. (WSJ)

Jump Trading is setting up a separate unit of over 80 people focused on the growth and development of blockchain networks and digital coins. (Financial Times)

Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing apologized to Germany’s finance ministry for a DB research note that questioned the qualifications of regulators and criticized a government-backed pension system “failing”. (Bloomberg)

Deutsche Bank reversed its loss of market share on Fixed Income Stream products. She has also hired 23 fixed income salespeople and traders since mid-2019. (IFRE)

The Daily Mail has tracked down Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and determined he leaves home for office at 6 a.m. and remains in office at 6 p.m. This is apparently proof that other Bank staff should be in the office as well. (Daily mail)

Goldman Sachs opened its office in a WeWork (for starters) in Birmingham, UK, and blanketed the city with posters saying “We are here because you are here “and” Goldman Sachs. We hire.” (Sky)

DBS Bank in Singapore is hiring 150 people in tech roles (including AI) in new hackathon. (Straits Times)

HSBC already hired for 400 direct-to-client positions for its mainland digital wealth planning business known as HSBC Pinnacle and will have around 700 personal wealth planners in the field by the end of the year. (South China Morning Post)

Coinbase HR Director (who previously worked for Citadel) on the difference remote working makes: “As of March 2020, 69% of our employees were based in the Bay Area. Today only 30% of our employees live there, although our total workforce has more than doubled during this time.. ” (Protocol)

One of Morgan Stanley’s new IBD analysts suffers from dwarfism. “I was afraid of how someone like me, a first generation college student from a low income background, with no connections and no business experience, might be successful … ” (Business intern)

Walking 7,000-8,000 steps a day will reduce your risk of premature death by up to 70%. (New York Times)

photo by Saad Chaudhry to Unsplash

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