Wednesday, November 23, 2022

"Beauty shots: Germany’s Green Party economics minister wants €400,000 for personal photographers"

This is not a good sign. Any time you run into someone who puts façade before substance hold on to your wallet. Ditto for folks who focus more on messaging than on message.

From Remix, November 18:

The Ministry notes that it has a duty to “inform the citizens transparently about their work and appointments”

The stereotype is that teenage girls now spend endless hours in front of their smartphones, taking dozens or sometimes hundreds of beauty shots before they find the perfect one for an Instagram post. Now, Germany’s Green Party economics minister, Robert Habeck, might be taking a note out of their playbook in an effort to bolster his sagging approval ratings.

Habeck is now seeking out a personal photographer for €400,000, with the German taxpayer footing the bill.

The move comes after a series of bumbling television appearances, one of which was covered by Remix News, where the economics minister appeared to have no basic understanding of economic concepts. Such naivety might have been excused in previous times, but the German economy has been in a free fall, businesses are going bankrupt, and soaring food inflation is eroding savings and leaving citizens wondering how they will get through the winter.

Habeck was once the country’s most popular politician, but according to an Insa poll, he is now in eighth place.

Although Habeck has been unable to stem his country’s economic crisis through policy, one area he can still control is improving his public image. The once-shining Green Party star already posts numerous photos on social media, where he presents himself as a competent leader hard at work, an image increasingly being questioned by the German public. According to polling data, 53 percent of Germans believe he is unsuitable for his role, and only 31 percent believe he is suitable....


Bringing to mind the story bond guru Bill Gross tells on himself.

an October 2010 post: 

Bill Gross on Turning Down Loan Requests from Warren Buffett and Sam Walton (BRK.B; WMT)

Mr. Gross and PIMCO manage a bit over $1 Trillion dollars.
From CNBC:

Bill Gross' Lesson Learned: Character Trumps Flash
Choosing flash over substance led Bill Gross, founder and co-CIO of bond company PIMCO, to say “pass” to two of the best investments in US history and give a thumb's-up to a major flop.

Now, to avoid a repeat of either situation, he keeps a picture of the legendary banker J.P. Morgan on his wall. Morgan had told Congress once, that "Lending is not based on money or property," said Gross.
The first decision of learned lessons was when he turned down Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger for a $10 million loan for their company Berkshire Hathaway in 1975.

“It seemed like a funny company,” said Gross. He made his decision based on the exteriors of their assets—a dilapidated industrial complex in the Northeast, a See's candy store, Blue Chip Stamps, but not much else.”

Although PIMCO didn’t make the loan to those unassuming Midwesterners who eventually became among the world’s wealthiest men, Pacific Mutual, which owned PIMCO, did.

About a week later, Gross met Sam Walton, who was looking to expand his young general store operation to Ohio and Iowa.

“The two sons and Sam would drive me around town and show me the Wal-Mart , all the while with their dog named Dan.
They'd yell, ‘Git ‘em, Dan, git ‘em, Dan,’ when a dog or cat would cross the street.”
Gross turned the Waltons down, too, based on appearances, he said.
Shortly thereafter, Gross agreed to loan money to a new company called Itel, not Intel, a San Francisco rail car leaser, which had a plush office 30 floors up with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
“I said, ‘Now this is a company. Carpets, secretaries, rail cars that you can touch and feel, and the steel,” Gross explained. “So the loan was made, $5 million to Itel, and six months later the company was bankrupt.”