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Talking Point

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

127 (41-50)
November 18, 2016
Region:
European banking sector results improved in the third quarter after a weak first half of the year. Still, all revenue components registered year-over-year declines, only partly offset by falling costs and lower loan losses. While credit growth remains nearly non-existent, deposit growth has picked up further momentum and is now at its strongest since 2009. This comes despite record-low borrowing costs for customers and deposit rates virtually at zero. Going forward, following the US election, one of the biggest unknowns is the future direction of prudential regulation at the global level, where changes could have a material impact on European banks. [more]
41
November 8, 2016
Region:
It was obvious that the Chinese government was not amused when, in light of the ever-expanding list of German technology companies being bought up by Chinese investors, the German Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel spoke of the lack of reciprocation in Chinese investment conditions for German companies. According to press reports, in the first half of this year alone, Chinese companies invested at least EUR 8 billion in German companies. [more]
42
September 27, 2016
Region:
Analyst:
The Climate Action Plan 2050 is intended to show how Germany can meet its climate change targets; it is currently out for consultation with Federal German government departments. There was intense public criticism when individual passages of an earlier draft of the plan were diluted at the instigation of the German Chancellery. In this political discussion, long-term political ideals are confronted by cautious (more realistic?) recent assessments of technological progress, the economies of scale achievable by climate-friendly technologies, and adoption by consumers. The Climate Action Plan remains vague in many important aspects, such as the technologies to be used to meet climate change targets, the approximate absolute costs that can be expected, the restrictions on consumer sovereignty and commercial freedom of choice that politicians are considering and the future infringement of ownership rights and vested interests. [more]
44
August 29, 2016
Region:
Analyst:
Nearly four years ago, the European Commission set its sights on increasing the share of manufacturing in total gross value added from 15.5% at that time to 20% by 2020. This target will probably not be met. After all, in 2015 the share of manufacturing was only around 15.6% and thus scarcely higher than in 2012. However, industry's contribution to EU output has at least stopped decreasing since 2012. Furthermore, industrial gross value added has picked up (slightly) in the EU in recent years in both nominal and real terms. In a few member states, there have been highly contrasting developments in the significance of manufacturing in the economy. It is striking that the industry share in the three large Eastern Europe member states has increased sharply since 2012. Spain and Italy have reported modest gains. Germany has seen its industry share decline slightly in 2015; however, at 22.8% it still far outstrips the EU average. [more]
45
August 23, 2016
Region:
Many of the things that had us gasping in amazement when we watched science fiction films just a few decades ago have now become a mass-market reality. Today, Hollywood shows us what we can expect if we continue to develop digital technologies at the current pace. Of course, artificial intelligence and its use in all areas of our lives are undoubtedly still a long way off. However, substantial progress is being made especially when it comes to pattern recognition, modern data analysis and the use of self-learning algorithms. Without this technological progress, we would no longer be able to cope with the exponential growth in data volumes and data potential of which we can still only begin to conceive. We need the machines. [more]
46
August 22, 2016
Region:
The debate about whether a negative interest rate policy (NIRP) helps or hinders the transmission mechanism of monetary policy continues to rage. The BIS and many others – including us* – long ago issued warnings about throwing open the monetary floodgates and the side effects of negative central-bank interest rates, and now Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, has also clearly rejected negative interest rates, despite using all the means at his disposal to prevent the UK economy from sliding into recession after the Brexit shock. The package of measures he launched in August significantly exceeded market expectations, but Carney has ruled out negative interest rates, referring to the adverse impact on the capital markets. [more]
47
August 18, 2016
Region:
The European banking industry has gone into reverse gear this year so far, following substantial progress in 2014 and 2015. Its revenues and profits have relapsed into contraction, and the potential for lower loan loss provisions to come to the rescue seems exhausted. Once more, cost cuts have not kept pace with the retreat on the income side. In a market environment that continues to be very challenging, banks may have to resort to even tougher measures to put themselves on a sustainable footing again. [more]
48
July 28, 2016
Region:
The issue of future EU-UK relations has many facets. Among those widely overlooked so far are the consequences for the coordination of social security systems. Will the EU’s social and labour law-related standards still apply in the UK after Brexit? Will British pensioners living in France or Spain still be allowed to reside there and to receive a full pension? What about EU citizens’ access to services from Britain’s National Health Service (NHS)? Will bankers who have migrated from London to Frankfurt still be eligible to receive the German child benefit for their children who stayed behind? [more]
50
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