The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Brittan takes on Germany


Is Germany really ready for full-blooded capitalism? That was the theme of the first Euromoney German Capital Markets Forum, which saw a lively debate on how Germany will finance itself in the future.

Finance minister Hans Eichel opened the two-day forum, held in Berlin at the end of April. Having cut corporate income tax from 25% to 19%, Eichel stressed that Germany now had to extend its tax base to avoid taking on too much new debt.

Former European Commissioner Lord Brittan, now vice chairman of UBS Investment Bank, also spoke at the conference. In a panel discussion with Peter Bofinger, one of the German government's economic advisers, Lord Brittan said Germany should not use an expansionary fiscal policy to soften the impact of economic restructuring. Bofinger replied that Brittan's belief in monetarism was "theology, not economics."

Brittan urged Germany not to rely on protectionism and subsidies to compete with emerging economies. As he left the podium, Brittan, who was once Minister for Trade and Industry in the most robustly pro-market administration Europe has yet seen, whispered to a UBS colleague: "I hope I wasn't too strident."

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree