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Frank Zipfel

18 Documents
February 6, 2015
Region:
1
With the independence referendum in Scotland and unofficial polls in Catalonia and Veneto, separatist aspirations in Europe were recently given a boost. In regions seeking greater self-determination or even full secession, not only emotional and cultural aspects play a role but also concrete financial motives. Nearly all the regions seeking greater autonomy are among the wealthiest in their respective countries and far outstrip the national average in terms of per capita income. Moreover, some of them are substantial net contributors in regional redistribution systems. [more]
November 5, 2014
Region:
2
We have cut our German GDP growth forecast from 1.5% to 1.3% for 2014 and further from 1.5% to 0.8% for 2015. We do not see Germany falling into a technical recession in Q3. But the 6 month slump of the ifo index has increased the risk that we might see a negative GDP print in Q4 2014 or Q1 2015. The positive effect of weaker oil prices will be offset by wage growth slowing from 3% plus this year towards 2% in 2015, as export-orientated sectors will respond to weaker external demand. Further topics in this issue: German industry: Temporary slowdown; German construction: Robust investment, but price momentum slowing; Inheritance tax: Constitutional Court ruling likely to weigh harder on business heirs; 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: "Blooming landscapes" only in part. [more]
September 30, 2014
Region:
3
The recent positive surprises provided by real economic indicators have for now banished concerns that Germany might slide into recession in Q3. However, the ongoing geopolitical risks and the question marks hanging over the expected cyclical upturn will probably lead to weaker growth in exports and company investment. That is why we have scaled back our growth forecast for the winter half-year 2014/2015. Thus, we have lowered our forecast from 1.8% to 1.5%. In our current issue we also address Germany’s fiscal position, we analyse the consequences of potential Russian gas supply disruptions and we take a look at the investment behaviour of German households. [more]
July 25, 2014
Region:
4
Sub-sovereign bonds are a segment that has attracted little attention to date. Bonds are the dominant form of funding for Germany's Länder, though, and they also play an important role for the regions in Spain. While the Länder benefit from Germany’s excellent sovereign rating, only those Spanish regions not forced to request financial assistance from the central government at the height of the debt crisis have recently been able to obtain financing via the capital market. In France the issuance by the municipalities is likely to increase due to the newly established Agence France Locale. A local authority finance agency is also in the process of being introduced in the United Kingdom. The importance of the sub-sovereign bond market crucially depends on country-specific institutional arrangements. [more]
June 5, 2014
Region:
Analyst:
5
The adoption of the proposal to extend the Savings Taxation Directive is another important stepping-stone towards comprehensive, universal automatic exchange of information at the EU level. The current schedule is very optimistic. But given the international developments over the past year it may be assumed that nothing will be able to stop the march of automatic exchange of information even beyond the EU's borders on a medium-term horizon. It remains to be seen to what extent it will actually be possible to coordinate the multitude of international initiatives with one another and ensure adequate data protection. [more]
May 2, 2014
Region:
6
Given the continued strong employment build-up and wage increases as well as slight increase in hours worked disposable income should grow by 2.5% even though monetary social benefits and income from self-employment and from investment are expected to rise only at a sub-par rate. Due to the falling inflation rate this allows real private consumption to rise by 1.2% in 2014, and might even have some upside potential. From 2015 the federal government plans to deliver a balanced budget. This year the federal budget will already run a structural surplus. Budgetary risks arise from higher interest rates and a weakening economy, as the budget includes barely any reserves for them while being exposed to potential additional spending on adjustments that need to be made to the minimum subsistence level (basic personal allowance) and children's allowance or for increases that need to be made to infrastructure spending. [more]
December 5, 2013
Region:
Analyst:
7
The findings of our study show that in both the periods before and after the Lehman collapse higher liquidity and lower risk aversion go hand in hand with lower yield spreads between federal bonds and Länder bonds. With regard to the influence of fundamental macroeconomic and fiscal variables on the yield spread there are, however, differences between the periods before and after the Lehman collapse. Up until the Lehman collapse neither the debt level nor the relative economic output had a significant impact on the size of the yield spread. Like in the European bond market, however, the economic output and the debt levels of the Länder have been major determinants of the yield spread since 2008 – despite (implicit) joint liability of the different levels of government. [more]
November 29, 2013
Region:
8
The coalition intends to hugely increase pension benefits, introduce a minimum wage and increase public spending. There is as little provision for tax hikes (SPD campaign issues) as for tax relief (CDU and CSU pledges). Trend growth, in particular labour supply, will be weakened. Inefficiencies in energy policy will be inadequately addressed. The sustainability of public finances will be substantially reduced. [more]
October 1, 2013
Region:
9
After the strong showing of the conservatives in the federal elections, Germany is moving in big steps towards a centrist coalition government consisting of CDU/CSU and SPD. There are at least three reasons for this course of action: the "energy turnaround", the renegotiation of fiscal federalism and banking policy, all call for a tight coordination between the federal level and the 16 states, nine of which are governed by SPD-led coalitions. Up-coming decisions in euro area management would benefit from a solid majority in the parliament, too. The CDU/CSU will have to provide substantial concessions to the SPD to make it happen. We expect this to happen. [more]
September 12, 2013
Region:
Analyst:
10
In the current debate and the numerous initiatives surrounding the improvement of tax collection and cooperation on cross-border (investment) income it is vital to differentiate between two phenomena: one is the fight against (illegal) tax evasion (mainly on investment income) and the other is the legal, (often) so-called 'aggressive' tax planning via profit shifting. Efforts to establish the automatic exchange of information for tax purposes as the European and/or international standard are relatively advanced. 'Aggressive' tax planning, which enables the de facto tax exemption of profits, cannot be addressed by extending the scope of the exchange of information alone, however. [more]
March 1, 2013
Region:
11
There is much to suggest that the economy returned to a growth path – albeit only a modest one – in the first quarter after a 0.6% contraction of real GDP in the closing quarter of 2012. New order intake and industrial output had already begun to pick up in December, so there was a growth overhang in production from the outset in Q1. Besides, business sentiment had already started to brighten four months ago. [more]
January 16, 2013
12
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance (FATCA) provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code comprise an important broadening of the international reach of the U.S. tax system. This law is aimed at countering tax evasion by U.S. citizens and residents who receive earnings from assets held offshore. Currently a growing number of Intergovernmental Agreements between the United States and partner countries are being negotiated to overcome the conflict of laws issues raised by the application of FATCA as well as to simplify implementation and reduce compliance costs. [more]
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