The expensive, dreary November morning briefing

Good morning dear readers,

welcome to the current cultural break month of November, of which Erich Kästner once wrote: “You know what you owned when you lost it.” The partial lockdown could cost the German economy more than 19 billion euros, calculates the German Institute for Economic Research. Almost six billion are generated in the catering and hotel industries alone. Corona optimists hope for freedom at Christmas. Corona pessimists are listening to Christian Drosten, who says that the pandemic will “not be over” at Easter. First of all, the country had to do with the “final round effect” over the weekend, the urge to really beat the drum again. The police had to end parties, in Munich even a children’s birthday party with 100 guests. I don’t know how you experienced it: The Oscar-nominated film “And tomorrow the whole world” in the cinema was already booked up for the next few days, as was the somewhat upscale Italian on the corner. The mood? Like on the eve of Prohibition. In protest against the decreed shutdown of restaurants, the owners of the legendary Berlin political pub “Stestandung”, incidentally, initially banned top politicians from entering before they rowed back “from the wrong corner” after applause.

Shortly before the US presidential election, Joe Biden and Donald Trump give everything again. to get voters to their side.

(Photo: AFP)

The final hours before the US presidential election are filled with poll interpretations. Nationally, Joe Biden leads with ten points ahead of Donald Trump and is also usually in front in the decisive “swing states”. But Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Florida are in short supply. It is only irritating that, according to a recent survey by Selzer in Iowa, Trump leads with 48 to 41 percent, but the others see only a small lead. In the past, Selzer was often right. Do the other Biden overestimate? Trump is already talking about wanting to declare himself the winner early on. In the end, the decisive factor could be the corona situation, of which top health expert Anthony Fauci says: “We are facing a lot of suffering. It’s not a good situation. ”Trump railed against a lockdown like in Europe with a Biden victory: Then one would live like in a“ prison state ”, and that without holidays. The rumbling president rarely speaks of the 230,000 corona deaths in the USA.

So suddenly the three CDU chief applicants can pull themselves together. NRW cheerful nature Armin Laschet, “Yesterday’s Hero” Friedrich Merz and the almost professorial Norbert Röttgen now want to make the decision in mid-January who will take over the ruling party and finally relieve “AKK” of its burden. However, according to the current Corona forecasts, there would probably be no face-to-face party conference, only an online election – which is currently not legally possible. The anonymity of the election does not appear to be guaranteed. And so a legal dispute develops behind the walls of the Bundestag, whether a retouching of the party law is sufficient or whether the Basic Law must be changed. In the latter case, parts of the opposition that – at first glance – have absolutely no desire to do so would have to agree. From the FDP, for example, complaints can be heard about a “pig gallop procedure” which does not fit the dignity of the constitution.

According to a new study, the carbon footprint of an electric car is worse than expected.

(Photo: dpa)

One of the currently popular general judgments is that electric cars are definitely better for the environment than “combustion engines”. It depends, says the Association of German Engineers (VDI) in a study that we have. The decisive factor is whether the necessary batteries are produced with “green” electricity from renewable energies or whether they come from countries with a high proportion of coal-based electricity, such as China. But many of the batteries used in this country come from there. VDI President Volker Kefer speaks of “misunderstandings” in our cover story, saying that the CO2 balance of e-cars is by no means fundamentally superior. His harsh judgment: “The one-sided focus of politics on electric cars is counterproductive from the point of view of climate protection.”

One of the highlights of today’s issue is a long conversation with Hans Georg Näder, owner and head of the board of directors of the prosthesis manufacturer Ottobock. With my colleagues Kirsten Ludowig and Anja Müller, he talked about his eco-farms in his home town of Duderstadt, in Provence and in Uruguay, as well as about the good 2020 financial year and his shipyard in Larsmo, Finland, which builds yachts with nano solar cells. In detail, the entrepreneur who sympathizes with black and green says …

  • … about his re-entry into the CDU, after switching to the FDP in 2015: “I promised Jens Spahn that I would switch back to the CDU – and I will keep my promise. I am disappointed with the FDP and with Christian Lindner as party leader. How many entrepreneurs. It started with Jamaica, he cured that. Then this no-go in Thuringia … “
  • … about the current Minister of Health: “I am now a big fan of Jens Spahn, who has proven himself in the pandemic. In my opinion, he is the right candidate for Chancellor for the Union. Friedrich Merz is the perfect person as super minister for economy and finance. “
  • … about an IPO and our own shareholder EQT: “We are now making Ottobock so fit that we will be ready for a possible IPO in mid-2022. EQT can then place their 20 percent share and my family up to ten percent. Some family entrepreneurs are very conservative in their values. I am not one of them. We could never have grown like this with bank loans. I orientate myself towards listed companies like Sartorius and Symrise, whose CEOs I keep in close contact with and who also come from southern Lower Saxony. “

He could also have quoted the Lower Saxony song: “We are the Lower Saxony / storm-proof and earth-grown.”

With the death of Mario Ohoven, an important voice of the German middle class fell silent.

(Foto: picture alliance)

The German middle class has many representatives, but none has been as colorful as Mario Ohoven in recent yearswho had gathered around many small entrepreneurs – preferably from financial sales. From 1998 onwards, as President of the Federal Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the former investment advisor made an impression in politics, also because he represented pointed opinions outside of the mainstream. With him, the political stage inevitably became the “show staircase”. Wife Ute once said of Ohoven’s talent for sales: “He could even sell refrigerators to Eskimos.” Ohoven had “achieved great things for medium-sized businesses,” said Economics Minister Peter Altmaier. The gifted networker had a fatal accident on Saturday in a traffic accident on the A44 near Düsseldorf at the age of 74.

In this sad November, a daily tip on reading, listening and seeing may help. Distraction in a virus emergency. It starts with “Privateigentum” from the Klaus Wagenbach publishing house, the third novel by the French writer Julia Deck. To a certain extent, it projects the struggles and conflicts from John Updike’s “Married Couples” into the present and into a Parisian suburb street with new, neat eco-houses, in which first the cat, then the dog, finally a woman with a child and in the end entirely sure love dies. The famous author follows the “École de Minuit”, which constructs reality from contexts. Here she dismantles the false dream of an insecure middle class of their own house. Because: There is a lot of green (and an eternal construction site), “but not enough space so that everyone could live as they wanted”.

And then there is the Oetker group from Bielefeldwho kept it with the slogan “Economy is war”, which yesterday’s “Tatort” from Stuttgart propagated. When the company with its 40 beer brands such as “Jever” or “Radeberger” was unable to take over the start-up “Bottle Post” from Münster a few years ago, it simply competed with its own delivery service “Durstexpress”. Copy capitalism is now over, Oetker is buying the innovative company “Flapo”, which is active in 23 cities. Allegedly, the purchase price should be one billion euros. Details will be released today. The Hedosophia fund, which is also financed by Michael Bloomberg, was most recently involved in the takeover property. Arthur Schopenhauer has the final word to this expensive message in a bottle: “The money is like lake water – the more you drink of it, the thirstier you get.”

I wish you a lively start to this exciting week.

Greetings you warmly


Hans-Jürgen Jakobs
Senior Editor

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