Monday, March 04, 2024

Before passing away, Ferdinand Piëch exhorted his heirs to keep the Porsche-Volkswagen Group intact

By Ulrich Viehöver

Many in the business feared him. Some even hated him. Managers tended to avoid him. Thousands of car aficionados revered him. And almost all his competitors copied him. Germany’s highest-profile car designer and business leader Ferdinand K. Piech is dead. Will the business legacy he left, now worth many billions of euros, disintegrate without him?

His fortune is tied in with Volkswagen and the families of Porsche and Piech that …

Bill Gates is wrong. Nuclear power will not save the climate. Beyond Chernobyl and Fukushima, there’s too much speaking against it

Bill Gates is wrong. Nuclear power will not save the climate. Beyond Chernobyl and Fukushima, there’s too much speaking against it
By Christoph von Eichhorn

Nuclear power? No, thank you! “That chapter is over,” a spokesperson recently proclaimed. Nuclear power isn’t even a topic anymore, she argued. And this spokesperson wasn’t from some environmental organization or the like; she was representing RWE, one of three large corporations in Germany that still produces electricity from nuclear energy. The two other companies, EnBW and Eon, have issued similar sentiments, pointing to the fact that their priority is …

The Solidarity Pact that provided cash and financial stability to the eastern German states following reunification is about to expire

The Solidarity Pact that provided cash and financial stability to the eastern German states following reunification is about to expire
By Stefan Locke

It was mid-August, just before regional elections in Brandenburg and Saxony, when German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for a “new solidarity pact.” What the president was demanding was not more money, but a “solidarity pact of appreciation,” especially for achievements during eastern Germany’s peaceful evolution and the transformation of its economy from socialist planning to the capitalist market.

The transformation of eastern German that began in 1990 was an immensely …

The histrionic debate over nationalization and forcible expropriation in Germany distracts from a more urgent conversation

By Albrecht von Lucke

In early May, Kevin Kühnert, who heads the left-wing SPD youth organization – the Jusos – sparked national and even international discussion. In an interview with the weekly Die Zeit, asked whether he favored the collectivization of the automaker BMW, he answered: “In a democratic way, yes.”

Is it possible that today, roughly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, serious …

Women in Germany are still massively under-represented in positions of leadership in business, politics and culture, but they themselves contribute to this stagnation

By Inge Kloepfer

They do, in fact, exist – women in leadership positions in Germany. Janina Kugel and Lisa Davis, for example. And, since the beginning of this year, Birgit Bohles. The first two women are board members at Siemens and the third recently made it onto the board of directors at Deutsche Telekom. There are others, as well: Renata Jungo Brüngger and Britta Seeger, for example, are two management executives at Daimler …

German companies are doing well in the US, but Trump’s unorthodox trade policy is producing a “climate of instability”

By Nikolaus Piper

Economically, at least, things are just fine between the United States and Germany. Bilateral trade is flourishing. America is the biggest consumer of German goods worldwide, ahead of France and China. Exports across the Atlantic rose last year by 1.5 percent to €113.5 billion. In 2018, imports from the US into Germany grew even more rapidly, rising by 4 percent to €64.6 billion. The bilateral trade surplus with the US …

We often hear that more R&D is necessary to save our climate, but the necessary technologies have long existed – we just have to put them to use

By Marlene Weiß

In 2010, The Washington Post ran a Tom Toles cartoon that regrettably seems to become more and more relevant from year to year. The cartoon depicts researchers in 2060 still searching for a breakthrough technology to solve climate change; what they’ve come up with is a time machine to take the scientists 50 years back to the point in time when humanity should have put a price on CO2. From …

Facebook is funding research on media, ethics and innovation. Welcome promotion or damnable colonization of journalism by a tech giant?

By Thomas Schuler

It was a bit of good news, at least for the Rheinische Post: “Facebook is promoting journalists in Germany,” ran a May 2018 headline of the Düsseldorf daily. “Facebook is honoring a pledge to invest in the struggle against online fake news via technological solutions as well as through advanced training.” It sounded like Germany’s journalists and public at large had been longing for such a commitment.

Since November, …

Daimler bends: How the automaker’s new CEO, Ola Källenius, intends to leads the company into the future

By Martin Gropp

Ola Källenius seemed to be in an almost motionless state as he watched what was likely the most important moment in his career. Roughly 5,000 people had traveled to the annual shareholders meeting in Berlin to witness Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche hand over the reins to his successor at the venerable automaker. The meeting marked the end of Zetsche’s 13-year reign, and while the auto world’s most famous mustachioed man …

China wants to consolidate its emergence as a world power based on the new supercontinent of Eurasia, as the US and the EU look on from the sidelines

By Katja Gloger

The city of Khorgos in Central Asia is a barren steppe. It’s unbearably hot in the summer, and temperatures in the winter can get down to a teeth-chattering minus 40 degrees Celsius. Until a few years ago, this patch of land was a small post on the border between China and Kazakhstan. In fact, it’s not far from Eurasia’s “pole of inaccessibility,” that is, a geographical location marking the farthest …