1. Research
  2. Products & Topics
  3. Periodicals
  4. Talking Point

Talking Point

In Talking Point we present our take on current affairs and developments in the worlds of business, financial markets and politics.

156 (11-20)
May 4, 2020
Region:
During March, the first month in which the coronavirus pandemic made itself felt in Europe, banks' balance sheets grew substantially. On the one hand, euro-area banks raised enormous amounts of liquidity from the ECB, other financial corporations and non-financial companies. On the other, they just kept a large part of that at the central bank or lent it to other banks and other financial corporations. In addition, banks extended markedly more credit to non-financial firms which likewise stacked up their liquidity buffers to prepare for weaker cash flows as a result of the looming massive recession. The crisis so far had no major impact on banks’ retail business and their holdings of government bonds. [more]
11
April 29, 2020
Region:
Analyst:
The government’s coffers are not bottomless. That is why any money spent on cushioning the impact of the corona crisis should be used as efficiently as possible to achieve the maximum positive impact or compensate for the damage caused by the lockdown. Unlike other sectors, such as hotels or restaurants, car producers in Germany were and are not directly affected by the lockdown. Car dealers have re-opened. Moreover, a car-scrapping bonus scheme will cause customers to bring forward purchases, with sales declining in the following year. In addition, high-wage earners in particular will benefit from the financial windfall. Car sales in Germany play only a limited role for German carmakers’ overall profitability. And finally, subsidies for e-cars already provide an incentive to include environmental considerations in car-buying decisions. [more]
12
April 22, 2020
The economic slump is taking its toll on the banking industry. For the major US banks, profits in Q1 more than halved compared to the prior year, as loan loss reserves jumped. Revenues declined moderately with weakness in interest income and fees and commissions partly compensated for by a jump in trading income. Deposits, loans and other assets surged because clients hoarded liquidity. Banks’ capital ratios fell only somewhat and they remain well capitalised. Banks in Europe may have faced similar trends overall but will probably have benefited less from the supportive trading environment and suffered more from declining capital ratios. They are also handicapped by their much lower starting level in terms of profitability. [more]
13
April 20, 2020
Region:
The COVID-19 crisis raises the question of whether the increased shift towards working from home will ultimately reduce demand for office space. The longer the crisis continues, the more people will get used to long-distance co-operation – and the more efficient remote communication may become. However, employees and teams experience the corona crisis very differently. Much depends on how well a team worked together pre crisis. [more]
14
April 15, 2020
Region:
Analyst:
The coronavirus pandemic has struck the German mechanical engineering sector at an already difficult time. Since 2019 at the latest, mechanical engineering firms have been feeling the effects of a realignment in the industry, particularly as German automobile manufacturers shift towards electric mobility. On top of that, there was the possibility of unusual expenses due to the potential discontinuation of deliveries from China amid ongoing trade conflicts. Production may decline by 25% or more in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus. [more]
15
April 8, 2020
Region:
The banking industry in Europe is entering the corona recession with strong capital levels and ample liquidity, though still only moderate profitability. Revenues will come under substantial pressure this year, loan loss provisions will jump and net income will fall materially – many banks may well make losses. However, there is likewise massive support from the public sector, with governments propping up the real economy, central banks the financial markets and supervisors relaxing rules for banks. This should mitigate the hit. Nevertheless, the risks are profound and a prolonged shutdown could even trigger a renewed banking crisis. Enormous uncertainty regarding its depth and length notwithstanding, the current crisis may well turn out more severe than the macro-financial shock scenario underlying the latest European bank stress test. Its magnitude could possibly even exceed the financial crisis and the Great Recession. [more]
17
April 3, 2020
Region:
In their fight against the spread of COVID-19 over the last weeks, EU governments introduced temporary restrictions to border traffic of various degrees ranging from border controls to outright closure. In several cases this had a severe impact on freight traffic as border controls led to tens of kilometres of traffic jam, such as between Poland and Germany. [more]
19
February 25, 2020
Region:
Last week's special Council meeting on the next EU budget 2021-2027 ended without an agreement. When EU leaders left Brussels on Friday after close to 30 hours of negotiations, there was no timeline set for further talks. In our view, it would have been a surprise if the meeting had led to a big breakthrough, given the traditionally contested nature of negotiations between net contributors and recipients of the seven-year budget. This time, the situation is much more complicated, as Brexit leaves a sizeable gap of around EUR 60-75bn in the ~EUR 1tr budget. Still, despite the meticulous preparations of Council President Charles Michel, including a marathon of bilateral meetings with EU leaders ahead of the summit and a new compromise budget proposal, not even a preliminary agreement regarding the approximate size of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) could be reached. [more]
20
7.6.3