Morning Briefing Global Edition Fingers Crossed for the Goldfish

Germany's foreign minister is doing his best to mend fences with Russia, while U.S. President Obama takes a farewell lap through Europe.
You can't win the fish if you don't toss the ball.

Volkswagen may have finally clinched a Dieselgate deal with U.S. regulators, but now another German carmaker is making headlines: At the U.S. Justice Department’s request, Daimler yesterday launched an internal probe into its emissions certification procedures following allegations it too used diesel cheating software, which it denies.

Still, the automaker’s shares fell 3.5 percent at their opening today in Frankfurt. If you’re Daimler, that’s no reason to lose your cool, but it sure can wipe the smile off your face.

 

After months of economic sanctions and Russia’s boot from the G8, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is doing what he can to mend fences. “I am absolutely convinced that, especially in difficult situations, you cannot play the isolationist card. Recent history does not provide many examples of isolationism and exclusion helping to bring about a political solution,” Steinmeier said.

His miraculous realization may be late, but not too late. The conversation with him in today’s Handelsblatt Global Edition is less an interview than a grand gesture of reconciliation.

 

Let’s hope Obama still has enough of that rock star appeal left to sell free trade to the Germans.

The best way to describe Europe’s feelings toward U.S. President Obama as his term draws to a close? Mixed. The continent still has a chip on its shoulder about Mr. President’s famous “pivot” toward Asia early on in his tenure.

Now Obama is taking what looks like a farewell lap through Europe – and he ain’t shying from controversy: In London he dove into the topic of Brexit, urging Britons to stay in the E.U. And when he opens the Hanover Trade Fair in Germany on Sunday, he’ll take a stand for the contentious U.S.-E.U. free-trade pact TTIP. Let’s hope Obama still has enough of that rock star appeal left to sell free trade to the Germans.

 

Handelsblatt Global’s Editor in Chief Kevin O’Brien walked over to the U.S. Embassy in Berlin to interview Ambassador John Emerson about U.S.-German business relations. The good news: The relationship, despite appearances, remains strong.

“For the first time in history last year, the United States became Germany’s largest customer for goods, for trade, and Germany is now America’s largest customer for goods in the E.U,” Emerson said. What will Obama probably say in Hanover? Find out from Emerson today in the Global Edition’s exclusive video interview.

 

The stock market is like a carnival: Not everyone who plays wins. But if you don’t even try to toss a ping-pong ball once in a while, there’s no way you’ll take home the goldfish. Richard von Weizsäcker, Former German President

Karl-Thomas Neumann has been in the driver’s seat at General Motors unit Opel for three years now – longer than most of his predecessors. After tough restructuring and red ink, things are looking up. The redesigned Opel Astra sedan has turbo-launched with 160,000 pre-orders.

And the feather in Neumann’s cap: The hot seller was the first model he supervised from day one. For the first time since 1999, Opel is starting to scratch break-even. Neumann’s motto: If you want something done right, do it yourself.

 

Some stocks in Germany’s blue-chip DAX Index have really been dealt a lousy hand recently. While some people see a universe of risk, Handelsblatt stock market expert Ulf Sommer today transports you into a parallel world of opportunity.

After all, the stock market is in a way like a carnival: Not everyone who plays wins. But if you don’t even try to toss a ping-pong ball once in a while, there’s no way you’ll take home the goldfish.

 

My Handelsblatt Morning Briefing Global Edition is an e-mail newsletter sent to your inbox at around 6 a.m. each weekday Wall Street time. It gives you the most important news from Germany and Europe. To reach me: [email protected]