“Let's stop criticizing our banks!”

More than ten years after the subprime mortgage crisis, all the light has not been shed, and yet the idea of ​​the guilt of the banks has taken hold firmly in people's minds. They are even blamed for the double fault, since after playing with fire and triggering the crisis, they allegedly asked for help from the States. This unanimous condemnation, the result of incomplete analyzes, is a heavy component of the bank bashing that has raged since then and unfortunately works against our interests. We are indeed at a critical moment when Europe, faced with the domination of American finance and the dollar, must develop its own financial capacities. The development of a strong pan-European financial sector is therefore essential if we particularly want to foster the emergence of future European gafas. 
If it is vain to hope for the complete disappearance of this bank bashing and, one might say, of the bashing market whose roots plunge both in history and in ignor…

Germans in the lead, Europeans want to review their economic relationship with China

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his European counterparts meet at midday for a virtual mini-summit mainly devoted to trade issues. A modest format, compared to the extraordinary summit initially planned in Leipzig.

Germans in the lead, Europeans want to review their economic relationship with China

It is not only because of the pandemic that ambitions have been lowered. Today, Europeans are in deep doubt about their relationship with this difficult partner. In Leipzig was to finally be signed the investment treaty that European companies eagerly await to facilitate their presence in the Middle Kingdom - it has been under discussion for seven years. Europeans are wondering: what good is a treaty when Beijing continues to tighten access to its market? This is the finding of the European Chamber of Commerce in China. In its annual report published last week, it deplores that only sectors where Chinese companies are already very successful and therefore predominant, such as the automobile or banking, are open to foreign companies. The relationship with China was a priority for the German Presidency of the European Union, but Angela Merkel, too, is reviewing her agenda, under pressure from increasingly harsh criticism from across the Rhine. opposition.

The most China-oriented German companies started the debate.

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) sounded the alarm bells in a report released last year. Relaying especially the anxieties of the Mittelstand. Mid-size companies, which prospered by exporting their machine tools to China, now dread being copied, dubbed, and therefore perhaps soon abandoned by these customers eager to break free from their addiction.

Large German companies continue to make record investments in China. VolksWagen puts 2 billion euros in the electric car. BASF 10 billion to build a petrochemical complex. But they too are beginning to publicly express reservations against this partner, because of the new legal situation in Hong Kong, because of the oppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, where many of them have factories. And German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas readily recalls that 70% of Germany's foreign trade is done with Europe, with China it is only 7%.

Does Germany plan to do without the Chinese market?

This is not yet the option chosen by the Chancellor, nor by her Minister of the Economy Peter Altmaier. So far, the priority given to economic interests in relations with Beijing has worked rather well in Berlin. Since Angela Merkel came to power fifteen years ago, German exports to China have quintupled. If they represent in relative value only 7% of German foreign trade, it is nevertheless more than half of European exports to China, or an amount of 100 billion euros.

After the 2008 financial crisis, Chinese purchases boosted the German economy. History repeats itself in the age of Covid-19. German exports to China rebounded in June, then in July, while exports to the United States remained subdued. Germany needs China more than ever to regain its vitality.