Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Unione Europea

Industriali tedeschi: Trump ha ragione e Merkel torto. – Handelsblatt.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-06-04.

 Das Brandenburger Tor in Berlin

Handelsblatt è l’organo ufficioso degli industriali tedeschi. Eccome un breve tratteggio.

Questa Unione Europea si sta collassando. – Handelsblatt.

««Wie giftige Gabe. Wie Ezb-Praesident Mario Draghi den Euro rettet und die Sparer ruiniert. ». Un velenoso regalo. Come Presidente dell’Ecb Mario Draghi ha salvato l’euro ed ha rovinato i risparmiatori.»

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«L’Handelsblatt (in lingua italiana, giornale commerciale) è un quotidiano tedesco di economia e finanza pubblicato da Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt a Düsseldorf, una sussidiaria del Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. Ha una tiratura media di 148.319 copie giornaliere ed è diretto da Bernd Ziesemer. ….

Dal settembre 2006 viene tenuto anche l’elenco di tutti gli economisti operanti in Germania, Austria e nella Svizzera di lingua tedesca» [Fonte]

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Nonostante la bassa tiratura, Handelsblatt è il giornale economico di riferimento in Germania. Oggettivamente, è uno dei pochi media tedeschi che non siano ideologicamente orientati. Questa linea editoriale genera talora incomprensioni, perché accanto ad articoli editoriali sostanzialmente neutri possono comparire articoli su invito che propugnano tesi ben definite, anche se non coerenti con quella del quotidiano. Da qualche tempo pubblica anche una versione in lingua inglese, tenuta in gran parte sotto copyright.

Da molti punti di vista è vicino alla linea editoriale della Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Faz), anch’essa a bassa tiratura – 382,000 copie giornaliere – ma nota a livello mondiale per il livello decisamente elevato dei suoi articoli.

Handelsblatt. Ciò che rendeva forte la Germania ora la rende vulnerabile.

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Già. Gli industriali lo hanno ben capito come la Germania sia vulnerabile.

«Domestic policy is partly to blame for Germany’s high current-account surplus, though nobody wants to admit it with Donald Trump on their heels»

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«Even in Roman times, judges went by a simple principle: A case should be weighed on the power of each argument, rather than the total number of arguments brought by each side»

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«Judex non calculat was the phrase back then, and it also applies today. Lawyers are often criticized these days for failing to consider individual arguments with equal amounts of care.»

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«That’s an accusation we can level at Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Economics Minister»

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«When Mr. Schäuble says “there are no political roots behind the surplus,” he is wrong»

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La rivolta degli industriali, quelli rimasti in Germania, ha un substrato di fondo.

Quando gli investimenti finanziari rendono molto di più di quelli effettuati nel comparto produttivo, questo ultimo resta senza investimenti: risulta essere strozzato.

Quando il corpo delle regole legislative e normative fa lievitare il costo della produzione, questa non è più competitiva a livello mondiale.

Quando varia il clima politico ed economico mondiale occorre adeguarsi: ogni resistenza sarebbe inutile.

È arrivato il melting point, di qui la presa di posizione degli industriali.


Handelsblatt. 2017-06-01. It’s Germany’s Fault, Too

Domestic policy is partly to blame for Germany’s high current-account surplus, though nobody wants to admit it with Donald Trump on their heels, writes Handelsblatt’s chief economist.

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Even in Roman times, judges went by a simple principle: A case should be weighed on the power of each argument, rather than the total number of arguments brought by each side. Judex non calculat was the phrase back then, and it also applies today. Lawyers are often criticized these days for failing to consider individual arguments with equal amounts of care. That’s an accusation we can level at Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries – both lawyers – in their defense of Germany’s high current-account surplus.

In a recent position paper, designed to rebut the Trump administration and other critics, the two ministers spoke of the “high level of competitiveness” of German exporters and the “low prices of energy and raw materials,” which reduce import bills. They also pointed to the European Central Bank’s monetary policy, which keeps the euro exchange rate low, thus making exports cheap. All that, they say, led to 2016’s current-account surplus of €266 billion ($297 billion ) or 8.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

All of these arguments work. Yet the ministers failed to refute the biggest criticism leveled at Germany: Mr. Schäuble’s balanced budget.

When Mr. Schäuble says “there are no political roots behind the surplus,” he is wrong.

Unlike lawyers, economists love using formulas and equations to explain things. These can help weigh up whether a criticism is valid or not. So let’s take a look at these arguments through the eyes of an economist.

There’s two forms of measuring growth in any national economy. Gross domestic income (GDI) consists of wages, capital income and profits. It can be spent, saved or turned over to the tax office. On the flipside, gross domestic product (GDP) measures the sum of spending, investment and the difference between exports and imports. A current-account surplus equals the difference between savings and investments, plus the government’s budget balance. So savings and budget surpluses increase the current-account surplus, while investments and budget deficits reduce it. So when Mr. Schäuble says “there are no political roots behind the surplus,” he is wrong.

But before we start bashing Mr. Schäuble, let’s take a look at the sums involved. In 2016, Germany’s budget surplus amounted to €26 billion – about 10 percent of the year’s current account surplus. So even if Mr. Schäuble had run a deficit of €11 billion last year – the maximum allowed by the country’s “debt brake,” a debt cap anchored in Germany’s constitution – the current-account surplus would have still been at more than 7 percent of GDP.

And what should Germany even do with all that money? It could have used up the budget surplus by giving everyone living in Germany €300. Assuming Germans save about 10 percent of that, it would have raised overall economic consumption by about €22 billion. About a third of domestic demand goes to imports, so this would have driven Germany’s imports up by €7 to €8 billion. The big winners of this would have been China and the Netherlands, from where almost 20 percent of German imports come – and both also have a fat surplus in their current-account balances.

There’s still room for other explanations, but not mentioning the role of fiscal policy leaves Germany needlessly open to attack.

Instead of tax cuts or gifts, many believe more public investment is appropriate. True, the state invested €66.3 billion in 2016, the highest mark in absolute terms since reunification. But Germany’s economy has also grown: At 2.1 percent of GDP, this was actually the average rate invested since the start of the millennium. In the 1990s, this rate was actually half a point higher.

To fully use up the debt brake’s scope for running a deficit, every level of government would have to boost its investments by half. That sounds good: After all, everyone in Germany could identify a road full of potholes or a city building that’s falling down. Likewise, Donald Trump and other NATO members would be thrilled if Germany spent more on weapons. And while poor planning has led to problems in construction, building new homes would at least partially reduce the current-account surplus, too.

Why Mr. Schäuble and Ms. Zypries chose to leave this point our of their paper is a mystery. Germany’s budget surplus is low when measured against its huge current-account surplus, and thus has a limited impact. That means there’s still room for other explanations, but not mentioning the role of fiscal policy leaves Germany needlessly open to attack.

To really drive down the current-account surplus, wages would need to increase dramatically. That would make German exports more expensive and drive up consumer spending. But wages are negotiated by unions and employers in Germany. It’s strange that in defending the high current-account surplus, Mr. Schäuble and Ms. Zypries fail to mention that Germany’s constitution prohibits politicians from influencing wages.

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