Monday, August 26, 2013

A perspective on the German ‘job miracle’: labor market outcomes and welfare after the labor market transformation

A piece on German 'job miracle' which was enabled by chancellor Schröder's labor market reforms and which is considered to be the foundation for Germany's present economic strength.

Contains charts regarding:
long term unemployment (as % of active population 2000 - 2012)
long term unemployment (as % of unemployment 2000 - 2012)
youth unemployment (in %, age 15 - 24, 2000 - 2012)
Labor force activity (in %, male,female, total, 2000 - 2012)
Unemployment benefits & reservation age
Unit labor costs (Germany, Finland, France, Spain, 2000 - 2012)
Average working time
Hourly productivity
part time / full time employment
risk of poverty / inequality
Average weekly working time
& much more

Also contains a detailed country comparison :  Germany <> Spain, Italy and France (charts & text)

Summary by Bank of Finland (Soumen Pankki):

paper by Michaela Schmöller (BoF,pdf, 0.92 MB, 61 pages, english)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

NL: ABN Amro to be reprivatized soon - taxpayer's 'rescue bill' likely between 7 and 22 bn €

Dutch government expects loss on ABN Amro sale (, Aug 23rd 2013)
ABN AMRO bad debts rise as government plans sale (, Aug 23rd 2013)
ABN Amro's IPO a heavy burden on the taxpayer (, Aug 24th 2013)(*)
Dutch Bank ABN Amro Takes Step Toward an I.P.O. (, Aug 23rd 2013))
Lower house supports ABN Amro decision (, Aug 23th 2013)(*)

The IPO decision
reactions & analysis (audio/video,, Aug 23rd 2013)(*)

The taxpayer's costs (32 bn€) for ABN Amro explained(*):

source: NOS - Dutch public TV (use link if embedded video doesn't work)

Earlier (2012) ...
A special commission ('De Wit commission') investigated the rescue of the Dutch financial sector during the financial crisis of 2008:

Criticism De Wit on bank rescue (text & video,, Apr 11th 2012)(*)
De Wit: "big mistakes have been made" (text & video,, Apr 11th 2012(*)

(Former Dutch finance minister) Wouter Bos comments on De Wit commission's findings
(text & video,, Apr 12th 2012)(*) 

Former Dutch finance minister Gerrit Zalm is ABN Amro's CEO since nationalization

BTW: Insurer ASR has been rescued, too:
rescued for 3.65 bn €, government will likely get between 2.15 - 2.30 bn €
(sources:, Aug 24th 2013 &, Aug 23rd 2013) (*)

* = Dutch language

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

France: government presents its "France 2025" vision for the country's future

Jean Pisani-Ferry (

French minister predicts ‘full employment’ by 2025 (, Aug 17th 2013)
Hollande livre sa vision de la France de 2023 (, Aug 19th 2013)
France in 2025: full employment, no red tape and housing for all? (, Aug 18th 2013)
France in 2025: Hollande hits back at 'Nostradamus' jibes (, Aug 20th 2013 2013)
"France 2025" – Hollandes Vision von Glück (,  Aug 19th 2013)
France to invest €20bn in high-speed broadband for the entire country (ZDNET, Feb 22nd 2013)

French Investment Bank to launch in 2013 (EZR compilation)
Charts re France (Reuters/Datastream)
A Proud Nation Ponders How to Halt Its Slow Decline (NY Times, Aug 24th 2013)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Announcement: Twitter handle changed from andrs_mr to EZR_news

It won't affect those who are already following ...
Just another 'station ID' will pop-op in their Twitter timeline.

A 'rethink' (old: andrs_mr >>> EZR_news) however is needed, when trying to send direct messages to this account. (private or public ones)

Twitter logo, EZR Twitter policy won't change at all ...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

state secret bank rescue (ARTE TV docu, German language)

Where has the all money for European bank rescues gone ?

Some answers regarding:
Ireland, Spain (Bankia), Greece, Cyprus
, but also Germany(HRE)
compiled by German journalist Harald Schumann (Der Tagesspiegel)

Interviews with:
German FinMin Wolfgang Schaeuble
Spanish FinMin Luis de Guindos
Irish depute FinMin Bryan Hayes
ECB's Joerg Asmussen
Irish finance professor Karl Whelan
Irish economist Constantin Gurdgiev
& others

Staatsgeheimnis Bankenrettung ARTE (Youtube, video, 53 minutes, German language)

Quand l'Europe sauve ses Banques, qui paye ? (Youtube,video, 52 minutes, French language)

New ! The Secret Bank Bailout (HD 1080p) (Youtube, 58 minutes, English language)

Germany: Lastest figures released by FAZ re bank rescues since 2008 & Euro area liabilties

risks resulting from euro area rescues

Schäuble: Gesamtrisiko beträgt 310 Milliarden Euro (FAZ, Aug 17th 2013)(German)
(engl.:Schaeuble: total liabilities 310 bn euro,
IFO: 533bn € optimistic scenario, 637bn pessimistic)
(article is a follow-up to this one a day earlier: Deutsche Haftung höher als Schäuble angibt)

risks re German bank rescues since outbreak of financial crisis 2008

Milliardengrab Bankenrettung (FAZ, Aug 16th 2014)(German)
(engl.: billion grave bank rescue,
646 bn € guarantees, 259 bn used , possible bill for taxpayer: 30-50 bn)

(included European rescue chart: light red = guarantees, dark red = used , BIP = GDP )

Cross border exposures (BIS data) 
State secret bank rescue (video) 

Ab 2015 keine Nettokreditaufnahme mehr geplant  (, Aug 13th 2013)

Update: German positions (on: Greek debt haircut (OSI),euro exit, forming 'grand coalition')

Unity re Greek debt haircut: Merkel & Steinbrueck against Greek debt haircut (German)
(Handelsblatt, Aug 17th 2013)(via @)

Seehofer (CSU) rules out debt relief for Athens  (German)(Die Welt, Aug 17th 2013)
(via @s)

Debt relief for Greece: Wagenknecht (Leftists) demands 'truth commssion' (German)
(Handelsblatt, Aug 17th 2013)

IFR Comment: A third aid programme, no new haircuts for Greece ( Chancellor Merkel not ruling out a 'grand coalition' (DW, Aug 17th 2013)(via @h)

Schaeuble adviser Kai Konrad: "Germany can't rescue the eurozone"(German)
(interview on German euro exit ('Gerxit'?))  (Die Welt, Aug 17th 2013)(via @t)

German citizens :
Germans Believe Politicians Are Lying About Crisis, Says Study (WSJ, Aug 15th 2013)

related: (EZR compilation)
German finance minister Schäuble's statement on possible 2nd 'haircut' for Greece (OSI)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Portugal 2nd quarter GDP: +1.1% q/q , BUT (Portugal Statistics explains)

A question possibly also asked by others in Europe (and elsewhere)

The chart looks nice:

Commissioner Rehn is happy , too:

, but as always 'the devil is in the details':
The less intense year-on-year reduction of GDP in the 2nd quarter was mainly driven by the less pronounced decrease of Investment, particularly in Construction, and to the significant acceleration of Exports of Goods and Services, partially due to the calendar effect associated to the Easter celebration (in 2012, it took place in April whereas in 2013 it occurred in March).
source: Statistics Portugal (#FF)

There is now a new Twitter handle for the people who fancy graphics

Saturday, August 10, 2013

BBC: Das Auto - The Germans, Their Cars and Us (video,2013)

Dear reader,

not exactly "news", but a very interesting review and comparison of the British and German car industry from right after the war (1945) to the present time.
Lots of explanations what went wrong in Britain and what the Germans did right. Including some only recently declassified documents of the British government on their estimates of the British (largely state owned) car industry.

A lot of production numbers, exports, consumer opinions, management performance , but of course also an overview what models did turn out to be "best sellers" and which ones flopped.

BBC Das Auto The Germans Their Cars and Us  (BBC TV, video, Youtube, 59 minutes)