Sunday, October 13, 2019

Spear's Asks: "The Death of Europe?"

They had me at Pictet. And the pic of the Google office reminded me of the time I saw a Blockbuster Video in a re-purposed movie theater.
Not so sure about steepling but, what the hell, let's go with it.

From Spear's Magazine, October 7:

With steepling debt, low growth and more headwinds on the way, has Europe entered an economic ‘doom-loop’? Spear’s scrambles reporters across the continent to find out
Cast your mind back to 1980. Reagan beats Carter and Mrs Thatcher’s not for turning, while Blondie, Bowie and Lennon top the charts. The global economy looks different, too. The GDPs of the US and what we now recognise as the eurozone are level-pegging at roughly $3 trillion each.

Then something happened. Europe fell behind. ‘The eurozone missed, at a macro-economic level, three investment cycles,’ explains Christophe Donay, head of asset allocation and macroeconomic research at Swiss wealth manager Pictet. In the Nineties, the 2000s and the 2010s, the American economy made great leaps forward, riding waves of technology-powered growth. From the dotcom boom to the sustained success of Apple and Amazon, the US has been leading the way. ‘Where is Motorola or Ericsson now?’ French-born Donay asks. ‘These companies are dead. Where is the European Google?’ 
Google office on, Barrow Street, Dublin. Photo credit:  Ian Paterson
Today the US economy stands at $22 trillion. The eurozone’s, however, trails at about $13 trillion.
When Donay sits down with Spear’s at Pictet’s London office, a stone’s throw from the Ritz, he explains that Europeans already have 70 per cent less disposable income per capita than their American cousins. European growth trails behind too, trending at about half of the States’ respectable2-3 per cent. What’s more, European unemployment is higher at 7.5 per cent, compared to 3.6 per cent in the US.

‘As a consequence, in Europe, we have rising populism,’says Donay glumly. People are ‘afraid of inequality’ and the future for their children looks grim. In his view, the likely outcome is that populist government policy will stymie European growth further. And that’s without considering the impact of their debts. ‘All these trends are fully integrated: economic trends, asset class trends.’ Unsurprisingly he advises clients in Europe to ‘diversify geographically into US dollar assets.’
The ultimate result could well be a vicious cycle of economic decline: a doom-loop, if you will. ‘Europe is deteriorating and going to a potential break-up,’ Donay predicts.‘We are not in the break-up yet, but it’s just a matter of time.
★ ★ ★
A short hop away on the Eurostar, Spear’s arrives in Paris to test Donay’s grim thesis. Here they are hoping to build anew generation of technology-driven businesses at the world’s biggest ‘start-up campus’, Station F. Backed by French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel, this converted 34,000-square-metre former freight depot in the sleepy 13th arrondissement is something to behold....

If interested, September's "Station F: A symbol of France's startup ambitions" has some good links.

We haven't done much with the Berlin scene in a while, partly because I still get a Weimar feel from it, but with hipsters (granted - a few years ago) instead of Isherwood but still...
Here's "Venture Capital: Why Berlin Needs More Local VC's"

And a few pokes at Rocket Internet but mainly more mid - decade cultural stuff:
"How Hipsters Ruined Berlin"
Brexit: "Berlin to Send Back Thousands of British Hipsters"
Angela Merkel confirmed that British hipsters would be expelled post-Brexit as they have little to offer Germany except basic website design skills and minimal techno club nights.
She said: “We cannot be expected to support thousands of aspiring musicians and bloggers with names like ‘DJ Leo Fukk’ and ‘Tufty’.
“They are nice enough but utterly useless. We have plenty of local young people who can serve cocktails in a surly way.”...MORE
The Berlin hipster scene is already on the downslope and the crowd is moving on. In a few years those that remain will be like the bright young demimondaine who came to Berlin in 1924 to catch the big party after the hyperinflation and overstayed. A decade later, if they were still alive, 10 years aging  looking like 20 and dealing cocaine to pay for their habits, they were too wrapped up in self to pay attention to the coming inferno.
2017's "What Do Germans Think of the Juicero?": was pretty funny:
It's come to this, the Germans are making jokes, JOKES, at Silicon Valley's expense....