Germany’s Economic Renaissance: Lessons for the United by Jack Ewing (auth.)

By Jack Ewing (auth.)

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In the future, Daimler would only do what it does best: make premium cars and trucks. Siemens sold its mobile phone business along with a host of other businesses that were no longer profitable or profitable enough, like auto parts or information technology. Siemens focused on doing the things it did best, which included Werner Siemens’ old specialty, power generation, updated to include wind power. One of the most radical examples of corporate restructuring was Hoechst, a pharmaceutical and chemicals company based in Frankfurt that had been spun off from the disgraced IG Farben conglomerate.

Investment firms including Fidelity and Merrill Lynch. In the mid-1990s he launched a short-selling attack on Bremer Vulkan, Germany’s largest shipbuilder, after he correctly surmised that the company was effectively bankrupt and that the local government in Bremen could no longer afford to subsidize its operations. Thousands of jobs were lost when Bremer Vulkan’s main shipyard in Bremen shut down in 1997. Homm was a dubious figure who disappeared to South America for five years after his hedge fund collapsed in 2007.

Another example was Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche, who assumed control of the family engineering and design shop in a Stuttgart suburb and began making sports cars. Berthold Leibinger began work in 1950 as an apprentice at a small machinery company called Trumpf in a suburb of Stuttgart, not far from where Porsche’s headquarters is located today. Though he was not a member of the Trumpf family, Leibinger was energetic and creative, and something of a surrogate son to the company owner. Within a few years he had patented numerous new methods of cutting sheet metal, creating the basis for what became a multinational company with billions of euros in sales.

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