Most Popular
1. THE INFLATION MONSTER is Forecasting RECESSION - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Why APPLE Could CRASH the Stock Market! - Nadeem_Walayat
3.The Stocks Stealth BEAR Market - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Inflation, Commodities and Interest Rates : Paradigm Shifts in Macrotrends - Rambus_Chartology
5.Stock Market in the Eye of the Storm, Visualising AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
6.AI Tech Stocks Earnings BloodBath Buying Opportunity - Nadeem_Walayat
7.PPT HALTS STOCK MARKET CRASH ahead of Fed May Interest Rate Hike Meeting - Nadeem_Walayat
8.50 Small Cap Growth Stocks Analysis to CAPITALISE on the Stock Market Inflation -Nadeem_Walayat
9.WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO INVEST IN STOCKS AND HOUSING MARKET - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Apple and Microsoft Nuts Are About to CRACK and Send Stock Market Sharply Lower - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
UK Housing Market Analysis, Trend Forecast 2022 to 2025 - Part 2 - 30th June 22
Stock Market Turning the Screws - 30th June 22
How to Ignore Stocks (and why you should) - 30th June 22
Top Tips For Getting The Correct Insurance Option For Your Needs - 30th June 22
Central Banks Plan To Buy More Gold In 2022 - 30th June 22
AI Tech Stock PORTFOLIO NAME OF THE GAME - 29th June 22
Rebounding Crude Oil Gets Far Away from the Bearish Side - 29th June 22
UK House Prices - Lets Get Jiggy With UK INTEREST RATES - 28th June 22
GOLD STOCKS ARE WORSE THAN GOLD - 28th June 22
This “Bizarre” Chart is Wrecking the Stock Market - 28th June 22
Recession Question Answered - 28th June 22
Technical Analysis: Why You Should Expect a Popularity Surge - 28th June 22
Have US Bonds Bottomed? - 27th June 22
Gold Junior Miners: A Bearish Push Is Coming to Move Them Lower - 27th June 22
Stock Market Watching Out - 27th June 22
The NEXT BIG EMPIRE WILL BE..... CANZUK - 25th June 22
Who (or What) Is Really in Charge of Bitcoin's Price Swings? - 25th June 22
Crude Oil Price Forecast - Trend Breaks Downward – Rejecting The $120 Level - 25th June 22
Everyone and their Grandma is Expecting a Big Stocks Bear Market Rally - 23rd June 22
The Fed’s Hawkish Bite Left Its Mark on the S&P 500 Stocks - 23rd June 22
No Dodging the Stock Market Bullet - 23rd June 22
How To Set Up A Business To Better Manage In The Free Market - 23rd June 22
Why Are Precious Metals Considered A Good Investment? Find Out Here - 23rd June 22
UK House Prices and the Inflation Mega-trend - 22nd June 22
Sportsbook Betting Reviews: How to Choose a Sportsbook- 22nd June 22
Looking to buy Cannabis Stocks? - 22nd June 22
UK House Prices Momentum Forecast - 21st June 22
The Fed is Incompetent - Beware the Dancing Market Puppet - 21st June 22
US Economy Headed for a Hard Landing - 21st June 22
How to Invest in EU - New Opportunities Uncovered - 21st June 22
How To Protect Your Assets During Inflation - 21st June 22

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Germany, The “Must-Invest” Economy

Economics / Investing 2010 Mar 10, 2010 - 07:49 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleMartin Hutchinson writes: If you're a U.S. investor, you can't be happy about the prospects for your portfolio. After all, you're mostly trapped in an economy with a gigantic and dangerous financial-services sector, a central bank that can't stop itself from printing money and a government that overspends wildly.


But there is an answer: You should consider allocating some of that "at-risk" capital to a country that has none of those problems - Germany.

Germany has a banking system, of course, but that banking system is not the overgrown financial-services monster that we have here in the United States (or, for that matter, in Great Britain). It's impossible to get a subprime mortgage in Germany: Even now - and even after mortgage levels have crept up in recent years - the average down payment for the purchase of a new home in this key Eurozone nation is 50%. As a result, the homeownership rate in Germany is only 43%, the lowest rate in the European Union.

That's actually healthy; far less of Germany's capital is tied up in unproductive housing and the savings rate is correspondingly higher. (Let's face it, most Americans don't accumulate 50% of the cost of a house in savings over their lifetimes - unless forced to do so in a company pension scheme).

What's more, this more-modest home-ownership rate lessens the impact of speculative bubbles, since the wealth of most folks isn't tied up in rapidly escalating house prices. So while the German banking system had its own real estate problems in the late 1990s, the only parts of it that got in trouble in 2008 were those banks that had rashly ventured overseas and got caught up in the U.S. disaster.

Up until 1999, Germany had the most admirable central bank in the world - the Bundesbank. This was a much better set up than the U.S. Federal Reserve. It was owned by the states instead of by the national government, so political interference was much more difficult. It was a single institution, instead of a collection of regional banks, so it was much easier to manage. And it had the single objective of avoiding inflation (Germany having bad memories of the Weimar hyperinflation of the 1920s) so did not get sidetracked into attempting Keynesian management of employment. As a result, Germany's currency - the Deutsche Mark - was a beacon of stability during the inflation-ridden 1970s.

In 1999, control of Germany's monetary policy passed to the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB is not as solid as the Bundesbank, but it still beats the Fed. The ECB expanded the money supply much less than did the Fed from 2002-07, and it has issued much less monetary stimulus since the crash. Consequently, there is far less danger of inflation in Germany and the Eurozone in general than there is in the United States. Yes, there's the possibility that German taxpayers might have to bail out Greece, but the same possibility exists in the United States with respect to California, which is much larger.

However, the most important advantage for Germany over the United States - in fact, over all the other major industrial economies - is its superior fiscal policy. When the talk of "stimulus" first appeared in late 2008, Peer Steinbruck - a Social Democrat who was then serving as Germany's finance minister - rudely described it as "crass Keynesianism." As a result, Germany did very little stimulus, and so still has a budget deficit of less than 5% of gross domestic product (GDP), in spite of the recession.

Last September, the German electorate decided that even Steinbruck was too socialist, and so elected a coalition between Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the Free Democrats, a free-market party that is even more opposed to public spending than Merkel. The effect of this has been to push Germany even more firmly into the fiscal-retrenchment camp - the German parliament lopped an extra 5.8 billion euros ($8 billion) off public spending before finalizing the 2010 budget - no pork barrel waste there!

The result has been a very brisk economic recovery, with no inflation and no significant risk of "crowding out" the private sector. Manufacturing orders were up a strong 4.3% in January, far more than had been expected, and are now 19.6% ahead of where they were a year ago. Unemployment is 8.2%, well below the U.S. level, while Germany's current-account surplus is a massive 5.2% of GDP.

With competitive manufacturing, a business-friendly government and plenty of domestic capital, Germany is about as healthy an economy as there is in the world today and is thoroughly underrated by U.S. and British analysts. Its stock market is trading at a fairly demanding 19.7 times earnings, according to The Financial Times database. But that's lower than the U.S. market multiple of 20.0 times earnings. And Germany has better near-term prospects.

You should think about owning some of Germany's promise, even if it's only through the iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund ETF (NYSE: EWG).

Source: http://moneymorning.com/2010/03/10/investing-in-germany/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2010 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investment advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or 72 hours after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in