Beyond the garden fence

The number of infections is increasing more slowly in Germany than in other countries. This is not a reason to give the all-clear.

In crisis mode: Chancellor Angela Merkel

ESuccessful politics is not so much a question of the choice of a specific instrument, but a question of the basic political understanding, the ability to learn and the ability of the politician to take as many people as possible with him. This also applies to economic policy in the midst of a pandemic.

In view of the experiences from the spring, politicians are trying to avoid a second lockdown, which would be devastating for the already ailing economy. The attempt to combine the protection of human health with economic well-being can only succeed if the second wave of the pandemic does not get out of hand.

Economic policy activism is unnecessary

The signals are contradicting one another. The number of infections is also increasing in Germany, but (still?) More slowly than in other countries. The virus also spreads less quickly in workplaces and schools than in private life. In addition, although the number of people being treated in hospitals for the virus is increasing, there currently does not seem to be any threat of overuse in intensive care units.

The situation in Germany is therefore not dramatic. But if you look over the national garden fence, you will find more unpleasant observations in other countries.

Especially in urban centers, for example in Spain and France, not only have the infections been spreading much faster than in Germany for weeks. As a result, there is also a significant increase in intensive treatments there.

This does not have to happen with a similar dynamic in Germany. But anyone who thinks that this cannot happen in Germany is fooling themselves (and others).

Today in Germany, but also in Europe, there is no need for nervous economic policy activism. Monetary policy and financial policy are already very expansionary, even if the implementation of the new European fund is still a problem.

From an economic point of view, it is especially important to contain the further spread of the virus. Governments that are largely helpless in the face of this spread will also not be able to win the trust of the people with an even more expansive economic policy.