Welcome to the strange new world of the global financial crisis! Are US taxpayers now bailing out German companies like Deutsche Bank for their bad investments, while German taxpayers will have to pay the price for US companies hollowing out their German subsidiaries?
David Vickrey, who used to be a banker in Frankfurt and New York, writes about The Real Outrage: AIG Bailout Funds went to Deutsche Bank and quotes TV talk show host Jay Leno:
Now it turns out they gave $35 billion -- not million -- $35 billion of our money to bail out European banks. See, this is how a global economy works. Our hard earned tax dollars are used to bail out German banks for making bad investments.
David also wrote about the outrage on this side of the Atlantic. Germany has been discussing a bailout of car maker Opel for weeks, amid big concerns that the money would end up at Opel's parent company General Motors in the US. David translates in his blog post How GM Destroyed Opel a
pretty damning indictment in today's Die Welt by an 'anonymous insider' about how parent company General Motors hollowed out it's successful German subsidiary. According to this account, GM confiscated Opel's valuable patents and designs and then forced the German company to pay outrageous 'licensing fees' back to Detroit.
It now seems that some of those patents belong to the US government these days. Chancellor Merkel intends to talk to President Obama about General Motors and Opel during the NATO summit on April 3-4, 2009. That will be an interesting grand bargain with Afghanistan in the middle of it...