This week's view from Europe, courtesy of Edith Rigler :
No more cash in Sweden! – Wirtschaftswoche, 11 April 2012
As the first country in Europe introducing paper notes in 1661, Sweden may now become the first to abolish cash. Digital payment methods such as smartphone and credit cards are supposed to replace cash – which is hardly used any more anyway.
The biggest stock market losers 2011– Spiegel, 11 April 2012
The list of 50 firms which were the biggest stock market losers in 2011 no longer includes Deutsche Bank. However, Commerzbank continues to be among the losers, now even among the top ten.
“Germany is a nation of grumblers”, says SAP Co-Founder Hasso Plattner – Spiegel, 29 March 2012
Although Germany is in outstanding economic shape, exports are booming and full employment seems just around the corner, Plattner claims German entrepreneurs simply don't start thinking globally early enough.
Progress in gender equality leads to economic growth – European Commission, 16 April 2012
EU countries need to get more women into the labour market if they are to meet the EU's overall objective of 75% employment rate for all adults by 2020. Studies have shown that gender diversity pays off and companies with higher percentages of women on corporate boards perform better than those with all-male boards.
EU fight against money-laundering and terrorist financing – European Commission, 11 April 2012
In its report examining the provisions of the Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the EU Commission concludes that although the existing framework appears to work well some modifications are necessary to adapt to the evolving threats. The Commission has also published a Q&A document.
“Keep it simple” is the motto of Erste Bank – Die Bank, April 2012
In this interview Andreas Treichl, chairman of the Board of Erste Group Bank AG, one of the largest retail banks in Central and Eastern Europe, explains his strategy of keeping products simple and understandable and resisting the attractions of investment banking.