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641 (11-20)
August 30, 2019
Region:
The number of bank branches in Germany has declined sharply, to 28,000 in 2018 from around 40,000 in 2007. With 33 bank branches per 100,000 inhabitants, branch density in Germany is still relatively high. Almost 70% of Germans visit a branch at least once per month. Clients who have a loan or a private pension plan or are a FinTech user are more likely to visit a bank branch, in contrast to Millennials and less wealthy Germans. In Q2, loans to German households were up by a record EUR 16.9 bn qoq and 4.4% yoy. Mortgages surged by EUR 13.2 bn and consumer loans grew dynamically by EUR 2.9 bn, too. Deposits again rose strongly by EUR 34.4 bn. [more]
August 30, 2019
Region:
Given that in the meantime most official forecasters agree with us that the Germans will suffer at least a technical recession, even German politicians and commentators are starting to join the so far mainly Anglo-Saxon chorus, asking for countercyclical fiscal measures. In our view the government should only act if there is clear evidence that we might be at the brink of a deep recession. Despite the undoubtedly massive economic policy uncertainties we do currently not expect such a scenario. [more]
August 23, 2019
Region:
What should an honest and law-abiding German citizen think when their finance minister, a high-ranking representative of the state, is investigating whether he can protect them from the actions of another state body, the central bank? This is exactly what the Bavarian Prime Minister Söder is calling for: a ban on negative interest on bank deposits (up to a certain level), whose chances of realisation are now being examined by the Federal Ministry of Finance. [more]
August 22, 2019
Region:
The digital transformation has enriched societal discourse through new forms of multilateral communication, but it has also amplified the spread of misinformation, echo chambers and propaganda, offering authoritarian states new means of surveillance and control. How democracies approach this challenge will be a key factor in their performance, given intensifying competition among political systems. [more]
August 19, 2019
Region:
We see Germany in a technical recession, as we expect another ¼% GDP drop in Q3. Our forecast for 2019 is now 0.3%. Given no indication for a rebound we lowered our 2020 forecast to 0.7%. We acknowledge these revisions do not properly account for the recent accumulation of risks. Given the increasingly fragile state of the global economy, the realization of one or more risks could easily push the economy into a completely different scenario, where growth revisions of a few tenths of a percentage point will not be sufficient. (Also in this issue: German automotive industry, chemical industry, house prices, corporate lending, the view from Berlin, digital politics.) [more]
August 16, 2019
Two decades ago, newspaper editors were told the internet age meant they had to give away content for free, create click-bait, and support it all with any advertising they could find. It hasn’t turned out that way. Fears of fake news, the shift to quality, and the lack of patience for distraction has led to growing numbers of subscribers at some of the world’s best-known mastheads. Yet, the shift is not complete. Communications and 5G technology are likely to have five impacts on the news media: the return of regional reporting with new funding models, less focus on speed, a reduction in the number of news sources people read, the acceptance of automation, and the return of television news, in a curated format. [more]
July 22, 2019
The antennae and boxes, about the size of a handbag, have become more visible in New York over the last few years. They sit atop street lights, buildings, and other convenient locations. They are part of the ShotSpotter system and they listen for gunshots. When a shot is fired, the sensors can triangulate its location to within 25 metres. It then immediately sends an audio file to a support team. A review takes place using both machine learning and human input to determine if the sound was a real gunshot or something else that sounds similar, such as a firework. If determined to be real, the police are notified. They can then arrive at the location already knowing how many shots were fired and whether the shooter is moving. Luke Templeman, Analyst on the Thematic Research team, explores what it would be like living in a ‘Smart City’. [more]
July 22, 2019
Analyst:
Facebook’s Libra project aims to establish both a private digital currency backed by a basket of hard currencies and a global payment network. It is thus challenging many established players in the financial system, including central banks, credit institutions and payment providers. Facebook can integrate Libra services into its digital platforms and benefit from strong network effects. In Europe, Libra would enter a competitive but fragmented digital payments market. As a currency, Libra will carry a foreign exchange risk for Europeans. But if the ECB drove interest rates deeply below zero, Libra could offer an easy digital way out. The flipside, though, would be a loss of sovereignty for Europe. [more]
July 10, 2019
The global 5G rollout has just begun, but behind the hype lies uncertainty and the potential for unintended consequences. This edition of Konzept seeks to answer many unresolved questions. First and foremost, we explain the tangible ways in which 5G will affect you, including the smartphone impact, the future of television, predictive maintenance, autonomous cars, smart cities and more. We also examine the geo-political disagreements, emerging market economics, and argue that the financial cost of distraction is greater than expected. [more]
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