Oliver Marc Hartwich

Do market fundamentals still matter?

In a perfect world, investment decisions would be made by rational investors on the basis of market fundamentals. But in reality, errors, bias and political interference are major obstacles.

The welfare state is enslaving European workers

The redistributive state in Europe is creating a big wedge between gross and net incomes. It's unpleasant for taxpayers and highlights the enormous challenge facing policymakers in ageing societies.

Setting the stage lights for Europe's second crisis

The success of the eurozone's stopgap measures has merely reduced the pressure to reform. Now political shifts are laying the foundations for another blow-up.

The fallout from Merkel's waning power

1 comment
For the first time, Angela Merkel doesn't have the ability to control developments in Europe. This is bad news for her, but it's even worse news for Europe.

Lithuania's eurozone entry is a big problem for Germany

Thanks to the ECB's peculiar system of governance, eurozone monetary policy will soon no longer require approval of all member states.

Behind the ECB's smoke-and-mirror show

The ECB's introduction of negative interest rates has seen more controversial policy measures quietly slip under the radar.

The EU's unique definition of democracy

Jean-Claude Juncker's triumph in the European Commission elections is causing problems for his own party while antagonising sceptics across the channel, highlighting the EU's innate dysfunction.

The fallout from Europe's political earthquake

1 comment
The European Parliament elections have shaken up political landscapes in countries across the EU, making its fragile consensus even harder to maintain and good policy making all but impossible.

Europe's elections: pick a party, any party

Effective political decision-making has never been the EU's strength, and the grand European elections give a good indication of why that is the case.

Europe’s institutional house of cards

Vladimir Putin's aggressiveness on Ukraine shows more clearly than ever how the EU is made for fair weather circumstances and unable to withstand the slightest breeze.

'Whatever it takes' is not the whole story

Whether or not you accept the ECB's view on new euro strength as a deflationary risk, the need for a weaker currency is not a given. In fact the ideal exchange rate for each euro country is vastly different.

Snails, worms, concert halls and airports: Germany's endless waste

Germany's track record of managing large government projects is a far cry for the efficiency it pretends to parade before the rest of Europe.

Miracles and mirages in the eurozone wonderland

1 comment
A nearly-bankrupt Greece is planning its return to capital markets, while the ECB impresses markets despite its inaction. Now more than ever, absurdity reigns in the eurozone.

France is Europe's largest time bomb

An electoral thrashing and the token replacement of his Prime Minister won't stop François Hollande from determining France's direction, but his track record so far offers little cause for optimism.

The secrets of great managers

Many employers to turn to management gurus for advice on how to achieve outstanding business practice, but the best route to corporate excellence is often the simplest one.

Why government spending doesn't pay

Sobering British research has found no positive correlation between public investment spending and economic growth... and some kinds of investment corresponded with lower GDP.

The slow death of Europe’s utility icon

1 comment
German utility company RWE AG has fallen victim to the country's energy policy shifts of the past decade. But the structure of the policies means RWE's sacrifice will likely be for nothing.

Europe's para-democratic madness

Europeans’ dissatisfaction with the EU's political parties and direction will only be exacerbated by the upcoming European Parliament elections, which will emphasise exactly what's wrong with Europe.

Why the markets got it wrong on Europe

1 comment
The market has taken an optimistic view of eurozone periphery bonds, but shrinking capital stocks, rising public debt and questions over the ECB's legal mandate still ensure a high risk of default.

A Swiss crevasse for EU relations

Switzerland's referendum on migration intakes delivered a radical backlash to the EU’s common market policy, and a dangerous precedent for other countries.