Germany’s Mercedes is the most valuable brand in Europe according to Brand Finance Global 500 ranking to exceed US$200 billion value mark and retains title of world’s most valuable brand for third consecutive year. Mercedes speeds ahead as most valuable brand in Europe, narrowly missing out on entering global top 10. Twenty other German brands make ranking, including Volkswagen (25th, US$44.9 billion), BMW (30th, US$40.5 billion), Deutsche Telekom (31st, US$40.0 billion), and new entrant Munich Re (449th, US$4.7 billion).
S&P Global Ratings said that the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. and its ongoing fallout has rapidly escalated event risk in the Gulf region. For now, this development does not alter the base-case assumption that any military action by either side will not lead to a fully fledged direct military confrontation. S&P continues to believe that any escalation will remain contained given that a direct conflict would be economically, socially, and politically destabilizing for the entire region, including U.S.-Gulf allies. We consider that a potential intensification of proxy conflicts will further undermine confidence and investment in the region. Our ratings on Gulf sovereigns already take into account a certain level of regional geopolitical volatility.
by Stefanie Claudia Müller, Madrid
“We are moving on very thin ice,” believes Ingrid Hofmann-Schmitz. The successful auditor, art collector and real estate investor is old enough to know when economic crises are imminent: “I have never had such a strong feeling that we were only one day before 1929. A chaos builds up from global debt, real estate bubbles and refugee flows. The German government is the best example that nobody really addresses the dangers. I am not alone among my colleagues with this opinion, ”says the 70-year-old from the Rhineland. According to the specialist portal immowelt, the purchase prices for apartments in Germany rose on average from 1550 euros per square meter in 2011 to 2460 euros in 2017: “Such increases are not sustainable and are not justified,” says Hofmann-Schmitz.
by António Guterres
We are losing the climate race. On our current trajectory we are looking at a 3- to 4-degree temperature rise by the end of the century. But we can choose another path. The path of climate action and well-being for people and planet. This path is about people’s jobs, health, education, opportunities, and their future. Today, millions of workers are on the front lines of climate impacts. Many in sectors like tourism and agriculture are losing livelihoods. Others have to withstand unbearable working conditions. The answer to the climate crisis lies in transforming how we generate our power, design our cities, and manage our land. But it also requires that our actions are consistent with making people’s lives better.
By Marylu Bautista
Nearly everyone has material or an emotional interest in doing favors to others or in the moment they have certain power. Greta Thunberg seems to make a difference. “I am not part of any organization. I sometimes support and cooperate with several NGOs that work with the climate and environment. But I am absolutely independent and I only represent myself. And I do what I do completely for free, I have not received any money or any promise of future payments in any form at all. And nor has anyone linked to me or my family done so.” That is what she says at least. And her great success has also to do with the fact that she seems to be authentic.