Morning Briefing Global Edition Sherlock Holmes in Wolfsburg

New evidence shows that VW’s diesel manipulation software was actually developed by someone else, and Germany is gearing up to celebrate a milestone birthday.
Taking out the magnifying glass at VW.

Hillary Clinton carried the day in the New York primary – a clearer victory than many had anticipated. According to results available this morning in Europe, she rounded up 57.9 percent of votes and finished nearly 16 percentage points ahead of rival Bernie Sanders.

It wasn’t just a primary victory; it was a landslide and her crowning as the Democratic nominee.

 

Donald Trump cleaned up in the Republican camp. The Big Apple construction tycoon had a big home advantage over Texan Ted Cruz.

But all of Trump’s victories haven’t persuaded his own party to warm up to him. The GOP establishment is still giving him the cold shoulder. Most big-name Republicans – from Mitt Romney to George W. Bush to Condoleezza Rice – would sooner vote for universal healthcare than The Donald.

 

Most big-name Republicans – from Mitt Romney to George W. Bush to Condoleezza Rice – would sooner vote for universal healthcare than The Donald.

Until now, Wolfsburg had stuck to its guns, saying core brand VW was solely to blame for the manipulation of millions of diesel engines. Handelsblatt Global Edition today gives you the whole story.

Turns out the cheating software was developed by Audi engineers in Ingolstadt. Then it was handed off to Wolfsburg, where the technology was built into 11 million cars. Our auto experts spill the dirty details of this non-fiction crime drama. The words of Sherlock Holmes ring true: “Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details.”

 

Felix Hufeld, the boss at German financial watchdog BaFin, is speaking out for lower guaranteed interest rates on life insurance. “It is clear that an interest rate of 1.25 percent cannot be kept indefinitely, if interest rates remain as low as they are currently,” he said in a Handelsblatt interview.

Somehow the division of labor between the European Central Bank and insurance holders has become lopsided: Risk and responsibility have been disconnected. Draghi places his order and policyholders foot the bill.

 

The average pay of supervisory board members in Germany has nearly doubled over the last decade. Management board members, who actually run companies in Germany, got 55 percent more money over the same period.

But below the board level, mere mortal corporate workers had to settle for just a 27-percent pay bump. You don’t have to be a biologist to know who’s at the upper and lower ends of this food chain.

 

We could be happy if the air were as pure as beer. Richard von Weizsäcker, Former German President

Putin’s Russia is coming out of hibernation again. Representatives of 28 NATO countries and Russia will hold official talks today for the first time since 2014. The NATO-Russia Council was established in 2002 to build trust between the former Cold War adversaries. Russia’s annexation of Crimea put that dialogue on ice, until now.

With Putin’s exclusion from the G8 and economic sanctions, the West hasn’t accomplished much except strengthen the Russian leader. Even without X-ray glasses, Western hardliners are standing in front of us in their birthday suits.

 

Speaking of birthdays: It was a wise German on April 23, 1516, who decreed that beer could only be made from hops, malt and pure water. Today, 500 years later, the famous Beer Purity Law is still enforced in Germany – and its birthday will be celebrated Saturday by brewers and beer drinkers across the land.

Adhering to strict quality standards for half a millennium has made beer one of Germany’s most successful exports. Former German President Richard von Weizsäcker once said it best: “We could be happy if the air were as pure as beer.”

 

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]