Over the last two weeks we had some interesting developments/ escalations in the long saga that involves USA and Germany. I guess you all remember the revelation of the Siemens scandal a few years ago (some say that Americans were behind the revelations because their companies were losing all major contracts from their German competitor) and certainly you can’t forget the revelation of the VW emissions scandal a few months ago. We were all waiting for a reaction from Germany, something to show that “we are here and if we have to, we can protect our companies”.
Two weeks ago the EU commission issued a 14 billion euros fine to Apple. If we accept the recent allegations that the commission as well as the ECB are majorly influenced by Germany, then we can see that as an act of industrial war with political dimensions. The response was immediate from the US government. A 14 billion fine was issued from the US government to Deutche Bank.
By watching this game, it is interesting first to highlight some facts before trying to interpret them. The first fact is that Apple’s shares failed by 1, 2% after the announcement of the fine while Deuctche Bank’s shares plunged by 9% after the announcement. Apple is a company sitting on 600 billion cash while Deutche bank is considered by many analysts as the scariest bank of the world at the moment. Americans hit where it hearts more.
Having said that, Deutche bank announced that they won’t pay the fine, sending in this way a clear message that we won’t give up easily and if you try to bring us in a difficult point the consequences will be devastating not only for DB but for the global financial system. Do you want to press us more? Fine, but you will be responsible for the consequences. Nobody wants DB to collapse; the systemic crisis will generate consequences that are impossible to forecast and the Germans know that.
On the other hand, as TTIP is almost dead and Americans don’t get what they want, they need to show who still the boss is. Germany seems to ignore American advices for less austerity in Europe, they ignore them recently in many other aspects and it will be really interesting to see how this long saga will continues. Many analysts believe that Americans see Germany as a regional Finance controller in Europe but Germans seek something more than that. A Germanic Europe for sure it’s not something that Americans would accept but let see how far they can go to prevent this scenario.