The modernized Opel Insignia is finally starting to be produced. The brothers will replace Astra and the new DS

Opel’s flagship was complemented by Buick Regal and Holden Commodore. However, with the advent of the Insignia facelift, its production in Germany ends.

The second-generation Opel Insignia has been modernized after three years of production. We first saw the rejuvenated shapes before the end of last year, however, the modernized car begins to be produced only now, when the first of its models came off the assembly line in Rüsselsheim – the Insignia Sports Tourer station wagon in Satin Steel shade. However, the start of production is accompanied by significant changes.

Until now, the Insignia has been produced at Opel’s home plant in Rüsselsheim alongside its technically related siblings, the Buick Regal and Holden Commodore. The trio was formed at a time when Opel belonged to the American concern General Motors. The German carmaker then ensured their production even after its transition under the wings of the PSA Group. However, GM paid for production at Opel under an agreement with PSA.

However, such a solution no longer pays off for the American concern. And so while the Opel Insignia has been upgraded for this year, the Buick Regal and Holden Commodore ends in Rüsselsheim.

The end of Commodore is related to the end of the activities of the Australian brand Holden, which GM no longer counts on. Regal, on the other hand, is ending due to declining interest from American customers in middle-class cars. However, this only applies to the North American specification, Buick Regal continues in the Chinese market. However, GM produces it for the Middle Kingdom in cooperation with the car manufacturer SAIC directly in the most populous country in the world. The Chinese Regal, like the Insignia, underwent a facelift this year.

However, the end of the Insignia’s siblings forced Opel to look for ways to fill the production capacity of its home plant in Rüsselsheim. The solution was finally found when, from 2021, the plant would produce two more models alongside the Insignia.

The first will be the next generation of the compact Opel Astra, which will be complemented by an unspecified model from the French luxury brand DS. But it will probably be a new crossover DS 4. So far, we only know that the basis will be the EMP2 platform, which allows the installation of an electrified drive. The architecture developed by the PSA Group will also be used by future generations of the Astra.

“We are pleased that Opel’s top flagship will continue to be built here. This improves the utilization of the plant and helps to secure highly qualified jobs in Rüsselsheim. The success of the transformation towards electromobility will be crucial for the future. We would like to do our best to support society, “ comments the mayor of Rüsselsheim am Main, Udo Bausch, who took part in the start of production of the modernized Insignia.

The modernized Opel Insignia is distinguished by a slightly redesigned design with full-LED headlights at the base. The offer of engines has also changed more significantly. Of the Opel petrol at the premiere talked about the 1.4T (107 kW) and 2.0T (147 and 169 kW), the turbodiesels are replaced by a three-cylinder 1.5D (91 kW), first introduced in the upgraded Astra, and a 2.0D (128 kW).

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The Genesis G70 has a facelift. The Korean competitor BMW 3 also has split lights

The Genesis G70 mid-size sedan has been in production since 2017. This year, it underwent a facelift, which unified its appearance with other models of this Korean premium brand.

The year 2020 is important for the Genesis brand, the premium division of the Korean Hyundai-Kia concern. It launched its first SUV, the GV80, and gradually innovates its line according to the new design direction. The upper middle class G80 model thus received a new generationwhich has been transformed into a four – door coupe, and now comes the upgraded G70. It will start selling on the domestic Korean market next month.

The Genesis G70 is a mid-size sedan sold since 2017, which uses the same technique as the Kia Stinger. Since then, it has competed with cars such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the BMW 3 Series or the Jaguar XE. Like them, they rely on a sporty character, the brand itself calls it its most athletic sedan.

At the same time, Facelift unified its appearance with newer representatives of the brand. This specifically means a giant mask in the shape of a coat of arms and divided headlights. The front parts were therefore completely transformed to follow the already mentioned GV70 and G80. The double light motif is also repeated at the stern.

The interior has also been modified. The driver-oriented concept evoking the cockpit of a fighter aircraft has been retained, but a magnified screen of the multimedia system, with a diagonal of 10.25 inches, has newly settled at the top of the center panel. The advantage of the new infotainment is the possibility of air updates, without the need to visit the service. The space for wireless charging of smartphones was also modified, for its more convenient use.

We do not know the offer of the upgraded G70 engines at the moment, but there is speculation that the basic supercharged 2.0 T-GDI four-cylinder petrol engine will be replaced by a larger 2.5-liter turbo engine that appeared on the larger GV80 and G80 models. It is also likely to replace the existing 3.3 T-GDI V6 with a six-liter six-cylinder fork.

More information on the upgraded Genesis G70 will be published in the coming weeks. However, it is almost certain the arrival of a stylish shooting marriage, which the carmaker is already diligently testing, although at this point it is still not certain when we will see him. The important news is the fact that the Genesis G70 could also go to Europe in the future. The Korean premium brand is now really preparing a long-announced entry into European marketswhich was not disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The new Volkswagen Passat is beginning to take shape. It will be more luxurious and practical

The VW Passat with the internal designation B9 is planned for 2023. It will again offer two body versions, while a fully electric alternative is also planned.

The Volkswagen Passat is already a traditional part of the offer of the German carmaker, his the first generation arrived in 1973. Today, its eighth generation is sold in Europe, and although it is one of the best-selling middle-class models in Europe, there has been speculation about its possible end. But now it seems that Passat is saved.

This is according to information from the British magazine Autocar, which claims that the management of Volkswagen for more than a year has been discussing whether to keep Passat in the offer. The general decline in customer interest in the classic middle class, not only in Europe but also in the USA, spoke against its remaining in the portfolio. In addition, the sports-styled Arteon is partly selling the Passata, and the carmaker is also expecting a lot from the upcoming middle-class electric car.

On the contrary, the fact was that the Passat itself is still doing quite well. Although it is no longer the most sought-after middle-class car on the old continent, it was surpassed last year by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and in the first half of this year by the BMW 3 Series, but it still sells more than 100,000 units a year. And that’s still a lot, even though the middle-class segment is declining at the expense of the SUV, and the Passat itself is not achieving such sales as before. In addition, Volkswagen needs such a car for the Chinese market, where middle-class sedans are extremely popular, so it is not so much more difficult to offer such a car elsewhere in the world. And such benefits eventually prevailed.

It is the high sales of luxury competitors that mean that the Passat will become an even more premium product in the new generation, with the internal designation B9, in order to reduce sales to models of luxury brands. At the same time, however, he will want to be an even greater practitioner. Volkswagen has a sports-styled Arteon in its portfolio, so don’t expect any four-door coupe shapes from the new Passat. The shape will be absolutely practical, for the most spacious interior. However, the practicality could be emphasized by the change in the concept, where the sedan would replace the Škoda Superb liftback model. So far, however, such a possibility is mere speculation; on the contrary, the station wagon will remain unchanged.

In addition, the Passat adapts to declining mid-range car sales across the globe by sharing technology across specifications. For example, in the USA, an otherwise styled Passat (so-called NMS) with an older base in the form of the PQ46 platform is sold. The next Passat for the USA with its own technology will no longer be created, or either it will be replaced by an electric car based on concept ID. Vision, or a model with the same technique as in Europe.

Not surprisingly, the technical basis will be provided by the modular MQB platform, in the current innovated version, more adapted to electrified drives. The arrival of mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids is now a natural choice. The purely electric version will not come, or will come the distinctive, already mentioned middle-class electric car, based on the ID concept. Vizzion. It will logically use the MEB architecture developed exclusively for electric cars.

The ninth-generation Volkswagen Passat is being prepared for 2023. It will be produced alongside the next Škoda Superb, but it is still not clear where. It will certainly not be in Emden, Germany, where the Passat was manufactured until now. The local plant will reorient itself exclusively to the production of electric cars. According to the original plans, the production of the next Passat was to be moved to Kvasin, but due to the filling of the local production capacity, other possibilities were still being sought. Following the cancellation of the project for the construction of a completely new factory in Turkey, the previously considered transfer of Passat production to Bratislava is a possibility.

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BMW will fulfill the dream for fans. For the first time in history, it will sell the M3 Touring

The BMW M division has begun testing the car that many fans have been calling for for years. It is a fast estate M3 Touring.

The BMW M3 Touring has been the dream car of many fast car fans for many years. However, the Munich carmaker has long rejected such a car, the BMW M division twice offered a fast station wagon only through the larger M5 series, for the E34 and E60 generations. Who wanted a car like the M3 Touring, had to go to Alpina for its alternative in the form of the B3 Touring. But now the management of the Munich carmaker has changed its mind and confirmed the arrival of the M3 Touring.

It will be the first production BMW M3 with a station wagon body. In the past, only a prototype of such a car was created, exactly 20 years ago, based on the M3 generation E46. In the sixth generation M3, however, the station wagon will no longer be just a theoretical possibility, but a reality.

The station wagon will complement the M3 series as the last body variant, sometime during 2022. It is currently beginning its intensive testing on racing circuits and on public roads, which will last approximately two years. The first to arrive is the M3 sedan and the derived M4 coupe, which will be presented together this September. Next year, the M4 Cabrio will follow.

The BMW M3 Touring will share the mechanical parts with the sedan, which specifically means the use of a three-liter in-line six-cylinder turbocharged with the internal designation S58. The engine is already used by SUVs X3 M and X4 M, while in M3 it will provide 353 kW and 375 kW, respectively, in the top version of the M3 Competition.

The use of all-wheel drive is also confirmed, which will certainly be seen in the station wagon. It will be available at an additional cost from the M3 Competition, where the exclusive option will be an eight-speed automatic with a hydrodynamic converter, instead of the existing seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

However, the carmaker has so far refused to provide more information about the M3 Touring. Further speculation about the engine and driving performance is welcome, but premature, writes in a press release announcing the arrival of this news. BMW certainly guessed its fans well in this regard, there will be a lot of talk about the M3 Touring now. Anyway, we are looking forward to it too!

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SME bonds are risky for private investors

The MS “Germany”

The bankruptcy of the former ZDF “dream ship” had caused a lot of fuss.


(Photo: dpa)

Berlin Unlike bonds from the USA and Germany, SME bonds have not only been considered a risky investment since the corona crisis. The extensive standstill of the economy further exacerbates the financing situation of medium-sized companies. “The bottom line is that small investors have to be prepared for defaults,” says Hans-Werner Grunow, managing director of management consultancy Capmarcon, which specializes in corporate finance.

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The German economy shows its strengths in the corona crisis

The breathing mask is the most visible symbol of the corona crisis. It is essential for containing the pandemic – and thus also for a return to normal private and working life.

A profound relaxation of the protective measures will only succeed if the population will wear the masks in a disciplined manner at work, in local public transport or when shopping. Unfortunately, the respiratory mask is still too scarce.

However, it is also a symbol of the solidarity with which the Germans are fighting the corona crisis. In private households, cloth masks for friends and acquaintances are sewn or in small tailors for the local customers.

But many companies, especially small and medium-sized companies, have changed their production at short notice due to the pandemic. Swimwear manufacturer Maryan Beachwear from South Baden, for example, is now producing masks instead of bikinis. The masks are even certified according to the high-quality FFP2 standard.

Mechanical engineers also participate, like Ruhlamat from Thuringia. The company has developed a production line for single-use surgical masks at record speed. The crisis even made unusual collaborations such as that between the car supplier Mahle and the underwear manufacturer Triumph possible.

There are many such examples – and they give courage in the corona crisis. Of course, the German economy is suffering severely from the consequences of the pandemic. Sales collapse, profits erode. Many companies will lose their existence and jobs will be lost on a large scale. There is no doubt about that.

The German economy also shows its strengths in the crisis: technical know-how, flexibility, ingenuity – and a great deal of solidarity.

A virtue from the grade

Many companies make a virtue of necessity. The fair construction company “Fair Care” from Frankfurt, for example, changed its production at short notice. The company usually produces structures for exhibition stands.

The business collapsed suddenly because of the corona pandemic, and it is not foreseeable when it can start again. However, the company now uses its machines to manufacture acrylic glass panes as protection against infection. One meter wide, 70 centimeters high and with passage. Easy to assemble and special requests are possible at any time. Numerous authorities in Hesse, citizens’ offices, medical practices and pharmacies have already ordered protection from the stand construction company.

All the initiatives with which companies have switched their production to respiratory masks or infection protection are an important contribution so that Germany can weather this crisis better and faster.

With all the solidarity behind the commitment in many cases, the companies themselves also benefited from it. The rapid and creative changeover of production helps to alleviate your own economic problems. Many companies can thus compensate for at least part of their losses and keep some of their employees on.

This flexibility and creativity can currently be observed in many areas of the economy. Even small retailers and restaurateurs are tackling the crisis with great ingenuity and commitment.

The majority of the restaurants, which suddenly had to close the dining rooms, set up a pick-up or delivery service at short notice. Toys and booksellers also deliver the goods or books they have ordered to their doorstep to their customers who are not allowed to come. Even supermarkets that are allowed to open have set up delivery services or special time windows for shopping for older, particularly vulnerable customers.

Customers reward the initiatives

These initiatives are also rewarded by customers. Regular guests like to be brought pizza and pasta by their favorite Italian, and regular customers prefer to order their books from local bookstores rather than always online. Solidarity works on both sides. It is practiced by companies, but also by many customers for their regular businesses and regular restaurants.

That won’t save every business. But every attempt is worth it. And those who survive will benefit in the long term from their commitment in this difficult time. The medium-sized companies that produced masks and infection protection did something for their image. The restaurateurs and local dealers have tied their customers even closer to themselves.

The corona crisis, as bitter as it is, also has something good: The German economy shows its strengths in the crisis. It reacts flexibly, it is imaginative, the technical know-how is enormous, and the spirit of the social market economy is really lived by many companies.

More: Management legend Fredmund Malik on the consequences of the corona crisis for executives

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Fintechs feel disadvantaged when it comes to credit distribution

Berlin The run on the new quick loans from the state development bank KfW has started. But fintechs hardly play a role in the distribution of funds, and that annoys the young technology-driven financial companies: “It stunned me that the house bank principle should also apply to quick loans for small and medium-sized companies,” criticized Marko Wenthin, head of the online bank for business customers, Penta .

Although KfW is completely at risk with these loans, an entire market sector, the fintechs, is excluded from this lending process.

On Wednesday, the federal government opened another protective shield for corona-damaged companies. Companies with ten or more employees can apply for a KfW quick loan, which is 100 percent secured by the federal government. However, to the annoyance of the fintechs, these loans are only allowed to pass through the house banks such as savings banks, Volksbanks or private banks.

For the Penta boss, the fintechs, who are subject to bank regulation or use processes approved by the financial regulator Bafin, are predestined to participate in this public funding program. “We carry out the highest banking standards to identify our customers, the so-called KYC process (Know Your Customer), and can scale quickly thanks to our digital expertise,” said Wenthin.

The co-boss of the financial services provider for the self-employed, Kontist, agrees with the criticism. “After all, it is unreasonable to expect Penta, Kontist or other digital financial service providers to turn to a savings bank or cooperative bank especially for public aid,” says Sibylle Strack.

The Federal Ministry of Economics, however, assumes that only the use of established procedures ensures that the loans arrive at the company as quickly as possible. For this reason, lending within the framework of the KfW special program is based on the established house bank principle with the banks accredited by KfW, explained a spokeswoman. Even with a 100 percent liability waiver, certain customary bank procedures would have to be followed.

In contrast, the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) is open to criticism. “We are constantly reviewing proposals to further improve government aid programs. This also includes the proposal to involve fintechs in KfW lending, ”emphasized a spokeswoman. The chairman of the Fintech Council, who is located at the BMF, does not see the door slammed yet. “The processes are constantly being optimized at high pressure. I also see the greatest potential for working with fintechs there, ”said Chris Bartz.

Ineffective aids

Fintechs are not only criticizing the practice of granting KfW quick loans. For Kontist’s co-boss, the Corona emergency aids for self-employed persons and small businesses “go beyond the realities of life”. Her main criticism: Unlike the KfW quick loans for companies with ten or more employees, this aid should not be used as an entrepreneur’s wage. “Legislators must ensure the same conditions as quickly as possible, otherwise our clients will quickly face Hartz IV for basic security”, demands Strack. Hundreds of thousands of self-employed people could be affected.

The Federal Ministry of Economics does not explain why the emergency aid may not be used as entrepreneurial wages. But the ministry justifies the exceptions in the quick loan as follows: If the KfW quick loan is drawn on, a distribution of profits and dividends is excluded. “Due to the loan terms of up to ten years, customary market remuneration to business owners is excluded,” said the spokeswoman.

Not only fintechs like Penta and Kontist see opportunities in the corona crisis to offer help for their customers. FinAPI sees its strengths in fraud prevention. According to Florian Haagen, head of Fintech, which offers interfaces to bank accounts, among other things, applicants should be checked when granting emergency aid. “There are cases where fraudsters apply for emergency aid with little publicly available or undercover information,” he says. “In order to prevent fraud, we recommend checking whether the applicant is actually a so-called beneficial owner and the specified account is in their name or the company.”

This control is often difficult or impossible to do manually. Together with its parent company, the Schufa economic information file, FinAPI therefore offers banks the appropriate technology with which they can automatically check the applications and validate the account details provided. One is already “in very concrete talks” with various institutes.

More: Fintechs – That could be the crisis winners and losers.

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Respirators: Trigema boss Grupp justifies high prices

Trigema has never been mainstream – whether the textile and petrol station company from the Swabian Jura released a monkey as a news anchor for television viewers or, as it is always featured in advertising, “the owner Mr. Grupp” employed a large number of refugees. Whether the medium-sized company demanded that income tax be halved or whether it was defying globalization with the “100 percent Made in Burladingen” credo.

Company leader Wolfgang Grupp was also there early when it came to sustainability, when he wasn’t flying into events in the company’s own helicopter. Under his aegis, the company regularly attracts attention with its unconventional behavior.

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This has never hurt business. The most recent turnover was around 100 million euros. Grupp is the third generation to run the company in the country, and as business-minded as he is, it didn’t take long for Grupp to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Because the 46 Trigema outlets nationwide are closed. The sales that the company normally makes with sports and casual clothing has plummeted. “Of course we didn’t send anyone on short-time work,” says Wolfgang Grupp to WELT.

“The German wages are covered”

Instead, the 78-year-old boss has had his 1200 employees produce tens of thousands of respiratory masks daily since mid-March. But this is by no means a charity event: The “Trikotwarenfabrik Gebrüder Mayer” is calling 120 euros including shipping – for only ten pieces of the so-called “makeshift mouthguard”. It consists of just a few square centimeters of cotton and polyester, a rubber or ribbon, wire as a nose piece and the obligatory Trigema flag as a logo.

In a video on the company’s website, it appears that around two to three minutes of personnel costs are added. The spokesman for the film explains: “Every fold of the mask is sewn by hand.”

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CEO Grupp explains that a mask is not as easy to manufacture as it looks. Five operations are required – from cutting fabric to packaging. “The price is reasonable for me when the wages and special expenses are covered,” said Grupp. “I was happy to help, but I can’t give away the masks.”

The price had to be high so that the family business would not go bankrupt due to the Corona crisis. He could not be responsible for increasing the price of each piece. “The German wages are covered and I guarantee jobs.”

Competition from Eterna and Mey

So far, Trigema has delivered 350,000 masks, meanwhile 80 percent of the sewers produce up to 35,000 pieces per day. The rest of the fabrics produced for the warehouse. “We work our way through,” explains Grupp – with sufficient distance. He is pushing a million orders ahead of him. On April 15, for example, the orders from March 28 were dispatched – in chronological order, if it is not an emergency. If interested parties order today, they will be put off on May.

The rush is surprising, at least when looking at the price. Because a comparison shows: The American conglomerate 3M recently produced mouthguards for less than a dollar a piece. These mass products even had an N95 filter that repels 95 percent of all particles. As a result, unlike the Trigema fabric piece, they also meet medical requirements.

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Because the Trigema variant with the lowest protection class barely prevents particles and viruses: Burladingen write that their makeshift protection is “not a medical device”. The mask offers “a certain protective function against larger droplets of the wearer only for third parties”. However, it is still twenty times more expensive than its US counterpart during normal times.

But the German competition is cheaper too. The Passau clothing company Eterna, for example, sells masks in packs of ten for 39 euros. Although the material and processing are similar in description, only a third of the Trigema price is due. However, Eterna produces in the Czech Republic. “You have to take a manufacturer who manufactures here in Germany,” says Grupp against it. “I would like to see someone in Germany who responsibly produces a mask for three euros.”

No permanent mask supplier

The Swabian textile company Mey says on request that it is not yet being delivered to private individuals, the minimum order quantity is 20 pieces. The price: 4.40 euros. Tailors all over Germany also open their stores by the hour and offer breathing masks made from scraps of fabric for a few euros.

The price has no impact on the mask sales of the family business that Grupp has been leading since 1969: After all, Grupp says that his major customers – the Daimler and Bosch corporations as well as state governments and clinics – are well informed.

They would order from other manufacturers if they found cheaper masks. The Trigema boss even gave them a guarantee to cancel the orders in the event of better offers. However, the mouth and nose covers with tape become significantly cheaper with increasing order quantities – up to a low price of six euros from an order size of 1000 pieces.

Nevertheless: Grupp does not want to become a permanent mask supplier: “I am very happy when the demand drops and I can return to my normal production of sports and leisure clothing,” he says. But then he had another problem: he had to be able to supply his normal customers again, because the mask orders were more of a problem.

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KfW eases conditions for quick credit

KfW

KfW quick loans have been available since Wednesday.


(Photo: dpa)

Frankfurt The conditions for obtaining the new KfW loans with full state liability have been softened again. Companies can now also receive the so-called KfW quick loan, which only made their way into the profit zone in 2019.

Originally, only companies should be able to receive money that made a profit in the sum of the years 2017 to 2019. “By applying to the house bank without further risk assessment, the aid quickly reaches the companies and thus helps to alleviate the severe effects of the corona pandemic,” said the head of the state development bank Günther Bräunig on Wednesday.

The loans are available to medium-sized companies with more than ten employees who have been active on the market since at least January 1, 2019. The federal government assumes the entire risk for loans of up to EUR 800,000.

KfW quick loans have been available since Wednesday (April 15). The first funds should flow to the companies this week. KfW has given the banks and savings banks a general commitment so that they can make an advance payment and pay the loans if the application conditions are met.

From April 22, the first funds will flow from KfW to the house banks. Then the necessary IT system should be in place. So far, this was only expected at the end of April.

Experts anticipate a high demand for the new quick loans. “We expect a large number of consulting requests and requests from our corporate customers in the coming days and weeks,” said one Commerzbank-Speaker. “We are well prepared to support our customers.”

With an interest rate of three percent, the quick loans are somewhat more expensive than the KfW aid loans launched at the end of March, in which part of the risk remains with the house banks and a credit check is carried out.

As of Tuesday evening, there were 9728 applications for these loans with a total volume of 22.9 billion euros, according to KfW. Around 90 percent of the applications were for loans under EUR 800,000. KfW will probably not be able to provide information on the demand for the new quick loans until next week.

More: The head of the supervisory board of Deutsche Börse calls for more help for start-ups.

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Politicians must not lose out in the fight against Corona

There are people who think that the corona crisis will pass like a storm at some point – and then everything will be the same again. That should be a mistake, just like the often-used phrase that nothing will be as it used to be. As is so often the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

The pandemic and its consequences represent a break with normality, socially, politically and above all economically. The crisis is not cyclical, it did not start in a single industry, it affects almost everyone – and at the same time. The economic standstill also affects not just one economy, but all, almost simultaneously. And lastly, there is both a supply and demand shock.

So there are enough reasons to call this state-mandated standstill historical, also because there are simply no benchmarks in history. And, as is well known, special locations require special means. That may be true. But without a doubt, the standards can also shift.

It becomes very worrying when, as is so often the case today, the argument is given that there is no alternative to a rescue policy that, like the dimensions of the crisis a few months ago, still seemed unthinkable.

Some people may wonder what the more unpredictable size is: the virus or the political actors who fight it by any means – whatever it may cost. Even the rhetoric arouses suspicion: How credible is a policy that claims to be able to provide “unlimited resources”?

Everyone knows that this is not true – and it does not get any better if the Chancellor, her ministers and also prime ministers repeat it like a prayer wheel.

Problematic disincentives

The logic of the rescue policy is basically understandable: In the end, it may be better for the state to keep the companies that have been put into an artificial coma alive than to let them go bankrupt. Because in the end the state would have to pay for the millions of unemployed anyway.

But there remains an unease. Not only in view of the trillions that the state is mobilizing. The bailout package is more than three times the annual federal budget. False incentives set by the state are even more problematic.

Take banks, for example: After the institutes hesitated to pass on the subsidized KfW loans to small and medium-sized companies because they should take 20, then only 10 percent of the default risk onto their own books, the state has followed suit. The state now assumes full liability for medium-sized companies up to a credit volume of EUR 800,000. What does the world cost?

Regardless of the fact that those systemically important banks that had to be saved with billions of taxpayer money during the financial crisis apparently do not (want) to be able to do their part to alleviate the crisis – what does this step ultimately mean?

First: The banks continue to distribute the cheap KfW loans, put their interest on top of it and do not take any risks. So the question arises, who should be saved here, the banks or the middle class?

Second, the originally planned low risk share of the banks had a purpose: it was to prevent the banks from not passing on their loans to hopelessly over-indebted companies.

This suddenly no longer applies – and some experts are already joking that fewer companies end up going bankrupt than in normal times. In any case, we have already experienced in the financial crisis what it means when companies take risks without liability.

There are other examples where there is economic nonsense in the name of Corona. The pandemic was obviously an opportunity for our Minister of Economic Affairs to tighten the foreign trade law again.

This is also done with a light-heartedness that must cause concern in an open economy that is dependent on foreign sales markets, such as German.

In the event that an acquisition by an investor from outside the European Union could lead to an “expected impairment” of public order or security, the state may intervene in the future. This is not unlike the protectionist sound of Donald Trump.

And the wording is so soft that there are no limits to arbitrariness. The ministry makes no secret of the fact that it is worried that German companies will become a bargain for foreign investors after the stock market slumps. As if companies weren’t cheap everywhere now.

The self-empowerment of the state may be justified in many areas in corona times. But the carelessness with which this happens is irritating. And the question of who ends up paying the gigantic bill is completely unanswered. Increase the short-time work allowance to 87 percent? So be it.

A means test with direct help? There is no imperative in need. Why not immediately use this crisis to introduce a general basic income? The legendary “Whatever it takes” by Mario Draghi, the head of the ECB at the time – it turns into a “Whatever, take it!” In this crisis.

More: Corona crisis: Zero hour – How a responsible restart of the economy succeeds. Read more here.

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