Morning Briefing: IG Metall discovers the “full throttle” tactic
the “concerted action” by the largest industrial union, IG Metall, consists of demanding eight percent more wages for 3.8 million employees. That would be the strongest increase since 2008. The crux of the proposal lies in the “turning point” that Chancellor Olaf Scholz often invokes. In a profit year like 2021, it would be easier to respond to such advances – in the crisis year 2022 with the expected calamities (gas price, inflation, delivery problems) that’s two sips too much from the bottle.
Wage demands are almost always wrong from an employer’s perspective, but this 8 percent idea is particularly wrong, even when it’s close to inflation. “The employees need relief, also with a view to their bills increasing again in 2023,” says IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann – but in return, Gesamtmetall President Stefan Wolf refers to the currently massive increase in costs for 94 percent of all member companies of their own associations.
No doubt: There will be difficult wage negotiations in mid-September. The fear of inflation increases and with it the salary – which then becomes inflation.
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Pharma against politics, that’s the latest pairing in Berlin’s government district. This was preceded by the idea of Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) to burden the consistently profitable pharmaceutical companies with a solidarity levy of one billion euros each for 2023 and 2024 in view of the financial disaster of the health insurance companies. In addition, drug prices are to be dampened.
Hagen Pfundner, CEO of Roche Pharma, warns in view of the planned extension of the drug price moratorium that the industry cannot compensate for inflation “unlike petrol stations and energy companies”. The special levy is a “camouflaged excess profit tax”. Loss of profits threatened – and a “dramatic job cuts”.
The co-government party FDP joins the resistance, giving Lauterbach, who was recently hapless, a new test from which he can only fail.
In theory, British Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, 58 – unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria – even become US President. He was born in New York City. But not even the slightly clownish Donald Trump thinks of that after his adept’s “clown case” (“Economist”).
The timetable for Johnson, who has announced his resignation as leader of the Conservative Tories, is now clear. White smoke is expected to rise over Westminster on September 5th. After a highly complicated selection process for Johnson’s successor, it will then be clear who won the race from the group of eleven applicants.
The favourites: Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, resigned as finance and health ministers respectively, as well as acting foreign minister Liz Truss. In the “Times” Minister of Education Nadine Dorries was skeptical: “People will now tear each other apart in the media, it will be a bloodbath.”
“Bye-bye-Boris” itself does not give any indication as to who the right person might be. Maybe he’s hoping for a follow-up job as a crime scene cleaner, which could then turn into something more.
The world population is only growing slowly, probably by less than one percent this year This is the smallest increase since World War II, according to a UN report. In 2022, the number of people on earth could reach eight billion. But in 61 countries, the population will shrink by at least 1 percent by 2050.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres praises advances in medicine, but the ever-increasing proportion of older people is just as challenging for public finances as growth policies. If there are fewer and fewer young people, the system simply lacks the juvenile drive. Incidentally, India is expected to overtake China (1.4 billion people) as the most populous country in the world next year.
Because it’s so beautiful, a Konrad Adenauer classic appears at this point: “We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.”
20 years ago, the French film “8 Women” celebrated great cinema success. In banking, seven women run a well-known financial institution, the Geneva-based Edmond de Rothschild banking group, which is joined by cheese, perfume and wine firms. These are relatives of the deceased patron Benjamin: These are his mother, his half-sister, his four daughters (19 to 26) and the widow Ariane de Rothschild, with whom we had a lengthy conversation. In detail, the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Bank says about…
- the owners of the bank: “We may be the only bank in the world that is entirely owned by women. The majority of the votes go to me and my daughters. But overall it is a challenge for the industry to get women into senior positions.”
- the Rothschild symbol: “For us, the name means bringing tradition and renewal into balance. It’s about independence, strong conviction and a long-term perspective measured in decades. We’re not even thinking about selling, and our daughters explicitly don’t want that either.”
- Greenwashing in asset management: “This has done a great deal of damage to the reputation of the industry. Banking only works with trust. This greenwashing debate makes investors suspicious, they feel used.”
From Seneca we know: “It is equally wrong to trust all or no one.”
And then there is the Swedish payment provider Klarna, just a star of start-ups, now just a case for the hospital. In addition to the jubilant announcement from Stockholm that it had just secured 800 million euros in financing, the information was given that the company was valued at only 6.7 billion dollars, a drop of 85 percent within one year. The current market environment is also affecting the unlisted Swedes, who announced in May that they would lay off every tenth of around 7,000 employees. The events are typical of the current situation of the company founders.
Walter Benjamin knew: “Hope is only given to us for the sake of the hopeless.”
It greets you cordially
Hans Jürgen Jakobs
PS: In the gas meltdown, politicians are calling Save energy on. What measures have you taken? Increased the stock of wood? Are you considering swapping gas heating for a heat pump? Have you reduced your shower time? Should you limit yourself at all? Or are the problems in the hands of politicians and companies? Write us your opinion in five sentences [email protected]. We will publish selected articles with attribution on Thursday in print and online.
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