November 20th – The BESA Times
Forty-Fourth Edition - Monday, 20th
Every week, a complete snapshot of what happened around the world in the past seven days
Despite promising the Greens big cuts in coal-fired power plants, Angela Merkel’s CDU, the Free Democrats and Greens have not managed to seal a coalition agreement (a so-called Jamaica agreement) for the next German government. There still appear to be widely different views on subjects such as immigration, climate change and financial regulation. Analysts say that unless a coalition is formed by the beginning of next year, the government may have to call another election. Such a scenario would be deeply damaging to the country’s reputation as beacon of stability in the European continent, especially since the populist Afd party would be likely to come out from an early election even stronger. On Monday morning, the FDP party officially withdrew from coalition talks.
Siemens announced it will downsize in its fossil fuel division because of the dramatic fall in demand for turbines, which has led to extremely low prices and profits. The company stated "Global demand for large gas turbines has fallen drastically and is expected to level out at around 110 turbines a year". This cut, of about 6900 jobs worldwide, will take place mainly in Germany, where unions of workers are strongly opposing the plan, claiming it will severely hit the poorer Eastern part of the country.
Norges Bank, which manages the sovereign wealth fund, advised the Norwegian government to drop its investment in oil and gas stocks in order to reduce the fund’s exposure to price risk. The bank’s deputy governor specified that this proposal should not either be intended as a reaction to a specific price forecast or be connected to the future of sustainability, but it should be considered only a financial strategy to hedge the state’s bets.
What to remember of last week's news?
On Thursday, US House Republicans passed a bill on both a 15% slash in corporate taxes and a revision on taxes related to overseas profits and payments from overseas subsidiaries. In addition, many benefits for individuals and families will be replaced with a greater tax-deductible amount for all citizens. The bill will now go to the Senate for further approval.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has openly asked the country’s president Robert Mugabe to step down in the interest of his people. On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators flooded the capital Harare in support of the military, who last week put the 93-year old leader under house arrest. However, Mugabe claimed to be the legitimate ruler of the country and balked at mediation.
Airbus SE managed to win an order of $50 billion for single-aisle aircraft at the Dubai Airshow. Therefore, it also outdid Boeing Co., which managed to put together deals for a total value of 47.6 billion. The air show hadn’t started well for Airbus, which saw a deal with Emirates on the sale of 30 A380 planes fade away. The company however managed to offset this loss with the sale of 430 jets to the US private equity firm Indigo Partners.
Our Homemade Article
INSIDE BEHAVIOURAL ECONOMICS by Oliviero Bertoni
Understand in pictures
Two indifferent young people walking by an army tank in Zimbawe’s capital, Harare hours following last week’s coup. (Photograph: JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP taken from the BBC)
[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"></v:path> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"></o:lock> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" style='width:451pt; height:234pt' o:ole=""> <v:imagedata src="file://localhost/Users/alessia/Library/Group%20Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/msoclip1/01/clip_image001.emz" o:title=""></v:imagedata> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif][if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OLEObject Type="Embed" ProgID="Word.Document.12" ShapeID="_x0000_i1025" DrawAspect="Content" ObjectID="_1569601009"> <o:WordFieldCodes>\s</o:WordFieldCodes> </o:OLEObject> </xml><![endif]
Did you know?
IKEA is working on a project named Lokal, which aims at reinventing the concept of agriculture. Indeed, the goal consists of brining cultivation within houses through an extremely innovative system: vegetables will grow in a mixture of water and nutrients (created to replace the ground) and will benefit from a low-energy LED lighting. This will result in both a faster growth pace and in a 90% decrease in the amount of water needed.
What to expect for next week
In Zimbabwe, a senior member of the ZANU-PF party said that, should Mugabe keep refusing to resign, the necessary procedures will be implemented in order for him to be impeached on Tuesday.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri will go back to Lebanon next week to attend the independence celebration after a troubled fortnight, when the doubt of a possible conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia arose.
After winning investors’ support, Carige will be offering current stockholders new shares for a value of around 500 million euros and will be selling an additional 60-million amount of them to bondholders.
WRITTEN BY DANIELE GOFFI
PLEASE DIRECT ANY INQUIRY TO AS.BESA@UNIBOCCONI.IT
THANKS FOR READING THE BESA TIMES, FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK TO RECEIVE IT NEXT WEEK!