And BMW blinks. With sales of new vehicles approaching 18 million units in 2011, China is the largest car market in the world, far ahead of the US. No major car maker would want to miss out on the opportunities in China. Yet, there is a problem: Pressure by the Chinese Government to transfer the newest technologies.
The right of German religious organizations to terminate an employee for violating their moral codex, even in deeply private situations, has been affirmed by the Federal Labor Court. And they’re among the top employers in Germany! If you’re a divorcee and work for a Catholic hospital, you may get fired if you remarry. Heck, you may get fired for getting divorced.
“We’re on the way to a worldwide financial dictatorship governed by bankers,” said Peter Gauweiler, German Member of Parliament. “We don’t support Greece. We support 25 or 30 worldwide investment banks and their insane activities.”
Marine Le Pen, president of the Front National and one of the top contenders in the 2012 presidential election, said the unspeakable. And the media printed it. And now word is out.
The Bundesbank lashes out at the ECB for its decision to print money and buy crappy bonds of eurozone countries that lived high on the hog for years but are crumbling under a pile of debt. This puts it on collision course with the German industrialists that got rich off those countries. Angela Merkel is caught in between.
The run-up of the Swiss franc entailed a stock-market crash, gigantic hits to wealth invested overseas, and big losses in Swiss pension funds. Companies are reeling. Layoffs and a recession are next. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) flooded the market with francs, intervened in the currency markets, and forced real interest rates into negative territory. Without much success.
And so is obesity. Good food and leisurely meals bien arrosé are considered the glue that keeps families, and French society, together. And yet, chain restaurants have elbowed their way in and now control 20% of the total restaurant market.
All Tax And No Play. But they still can’t balance their budget or bail out Italy.
While we’re having all the fun.
… if you can print money and are in control of the credit markets. Look at Japan. That doesn’t mean the underlying problems don’t matter.
The litany of layoffs among the largest banks continues. And it’s ugly. After announcements and rumors from Wall Street, the first European banks have come out to air their dirty laundry. And now, per the Financial Times, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is adding 2,000 layoffs to the list. 63,000 by eight European banks so far. Something big is afoot.