Handelsblatt Morning Briefing: Joe Biden Really Elected

Good morning dear readers,

the vote of the 538 electorate – in the “Electoral College” – confirmed Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election that night. The vote of the 55 representatives from California finally lifted him over the threshold of the 270 votes necessary for victory.

Overall, it is expected that Biden will get 306 votes and still-President Trump on 232. All of this looks sober like the balance sheet of a company – and yet does not make us forget the more than 50 lawsuits with which Trump wanted to prevent his rival from taking office. It was only last Friday that he failed in the Supreme Court.

Shortly after choosing Biden, Trump announced the resignation of his Attorney General William Barr on December 23. The once loyal paladin did not want to continue because of the increasingly grotesque election dispute. With Plutarch, we realize how bad it is to only realize that you have no friends when you need friends.

538 electors from the Electoral College have confirmed Democrat Biden’s victory in the US presidential election.

(Photo: AP)

In the best of all worlds, in which we and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz believe in romantic hours, the IT systems purr, algorithms spit out Optima and the most beautiful plan comes out of the computer.

Unfortunately, our digital happiness is being disturbed by people who could appear in “Aktenzeichen XY” or in the novel by the recently deceased John Le Carré. Take the Dax candidate, for example Symrise, the king of scents and flavors from Holzminden. Here the employees have now been warned that one is being “attacked globally by cyber criminals”.

The hackers acted with “extortionate intent”. Because the wrongdoers smuggled a virus into the network, large parts of the production were temporarily idle. Since the staff is apparently still being asked not to use company equipment, it can be assumed that the disturbance will continue.

Sometimes it is not about simple blackmail like in a kidnapping case, but about political attacks in the fight for the top of the world order. In any case, the US is now warning of a global spy ring, a “state attacker” who is targeting national intelligence services, corporations and other groups.

Suspected: Russia. Apparently, the cyber warriors hijacked software from the Solarwinds company, which the US military and the Pentagon also use – and which gives access to the IT security system.

The American authority for cyber security and infrastructure asks partner companies to secure their networks. Internally, it is believed that the hackers wanted to suck knowledge from the heart of the US administration.

A spokesman for Vladimir Putin said: Just because Americans have not been dealing with the problem for months shouldn’t make baseless accusations that the Russians are behind it all.

Initially, the reasons that led to a temporary world failure on Monday remained unknown Google-Services have led. Suddenly at 12.30 p.m. CET, the video platform YouTube, the email service Gmail and Google Maps were not available anywhere on earth. However, the search engine did not stop working.

All offers were restricted for the “majority of users”, confirms the group from Mountain View in California. In the meantime, however, the malfunctions have been remedied in many cases – which could also mean that they could still persist in some places.

The three candidates for the federal chairmanship of the CDU, Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen, will present themselves to the delegates digitally.

The candidates for the CDU chief position presented themselves in the most beautiful harmony yesterday evening during a live internet talk in the party headquarters: The three tie men of the year in the studio together with the presenter.

The dispute over the election date seemed to be forgotten: Shortly before, January 15 and 16 had been looked for for a Christian Democratic digital party congress with subsequent postal voting. Of course, nobody wanted to make the party older, more masculine and more analogous, that was evident. Instead, the CDU must become younger, more feminine and more digital. That has been the program for years, but it is not reality.

Armin Laschet emphasized the “C” in the party name and its importance as NRW Prime Minister, insider tip Norbert Röttgen called for a “complete new start” and veteran Friedrich Merz brought the “new generation contract” into play.

Somehow one wished for Prince and Sleeping Beauty to come over during the 90 minutes, at the latest when Röttgen placed something like an aphorism: “Kissing is always a pleasant method to wake up.”

The board real entertainment at Volkswagen has come to a temporary end. After several rounds of the Supervisory Board and explorations, CEO Herbert Diess suppressed the demand to have his contract, which expired in April 2023, extended today to the end of 2025. The 62-year-old’s plan was daring or meschugge, depending on who you ask in Wolfsburg. There, on the Mittelland Canal, and in the rest of the republic you have to be prepared for the following:

  • In the future, electric cars will also be produced at the central location, not just in Emden, Brussels and Saxony, everything exactly as the powerful works council wanted.
  • Fixed costs are expected to decrease by five percent across the group by 2023.
  • Audi board member Arno Antlitz will become CFO for soon-to-be-retired Frank Witter in mid-2021.
  • Thomas Schmall will take over the new technology department on January 1st, and Murat Aksel, VW brand purchasing director, will also take care of all purchasing issues outside of e-mobility.
The VW CEO Herbert Diess was unable to assert himself against the supervisory board with his request for a contract extension.

After the not entirely successful power struggle, Diess can be sure that he has strengthened his ascended Praetorians. And with a glass of wine he can enjoy a declaration of honor from the family spokesmen Wolfgang Porsche and Hans Michel Piëch, according to which the CEO has “full backing”. With such formulations, back and intervertebral disc problems are often the result.

And then there is the mayor of Tübingen, Boris Palmer, once a shooting star, now relegated to the Greens. The 48-year-old bestselling author, who is proud of his consistent corona policy to protect the elderly, now has to admit that an important statement in his track record is wrong.

Palmer claimed last Wednesday that Tübingen no longer had any pandemic cases among people over the age of 75. One day later, however, it turned out that six residents and four nurses were infected in at least one retirement home. There were problems with the data transfer, says Palmer and apologizes.

Not only the Tübingen “Corona miracle” is missing, but also the support of his party. According to the Baden-Württemberg state executive board, the top of the city association also opposes him: “For us Greens in Tübingen, it is above all important that Boris Palmer no longer becomes a Green OB candidate in 2022.” A lot of enemy, a lot of honor? Much enemy, much pain.

I wish you a pleasant day and close with the “famous last words” of the now retired “Tagesschau” spokesman Jan Hofer: “Do it well.”

I warmly greet you

Hans-Jürgen Jakobs
Senior Editor

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