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Holger Schmieding

Chief Economist of Berenberg Bank

[Berlin, Germany]

Holger Schmieding is chief economist at Berenberg Bank in London. Before joining Germany’s oldest private bank in October 2010, he was chief economist for Europe at Merrill Lynch, Bank of America and at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch in London.

Mr. Schmieding holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Kiel. Before working as a financial markets economist, he was a journalist at Germany’s Westfälische Nachrichten, head of a research group on East and Central Europe at the Kiel Institute of World Economics, and a desk economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C.

Articles by Holger Schmieding

Italy: The Least Bad Outcome

Sergio Mattarella stays on as president, Mario Draghi remains prime minister. For Italy and Europe, this is the least bad outcome of Italy’s presidential election.

February 1, 2022

Merkel’s Fall from Grace

Germany’s long-term leading government party faces an uncertain political future.

March 25, 2021

Europe’s COVID 19 Response Put in Perspective

The EU tends to move more slowly -- but it does get its act together.

February 3, 2021

US Elections Update: A Narrower Lead for Biden

Despite a tightening race, another come-from-behind victory for Trump as in 2016 is very unlikely in 2020.

October 21, 2020

Boris Breaks the Divorce Treaty: What Can the EU Do?

The ways in which the EU can put pressure on a UK that is going rogue are very limited -- and potentially vast at the same time.

September 16, 2020

Brexit Negotiations: What Are They Waiting For?

In its negotiations with the EU, the UK government still puts false hopes on “heavenly” intervention by Germany’s Angela Merkel.

August 26, 2020

Germany’s COVID 19 Comeback Story

Germany looks at a solid, but uneven economic rebound from the pandemic, largely based on a pronounced home bias in economic activity.

August 11, 2020

France: Au Revoir, Monsieur Philippe

One has to doubt that France’s new prime minister, Jean Castex, will pursue many reforms ahead of 2022.

July 4, 2020

COVID 19: Assessing the Global Political Fallout

The COVID 19 pandemic and the ensuing mega-recession may shape political debates and choices for a long time.

June 4, 2020

Trump Threatens China

Will Trump unleash a new trade war that could seriously impede the post-corona recovery?

May 5, 2020

Healthcare Lessons for the Post-Corona World

Unlike the fallout from the 2008/9 global financial crisis, improving the healthcare sectors across the world should not retard economic growth.

April 9, 2020

COVID 19: Reflections on the “War” Analogy

Rhetoric aside, what are the analytical parallels – and differences -- between today’s extraordinary pandemic-related economic policies and the circumstances during or after a major war?

April 3, 2020

Coronavirus and the World Economy: What to Expect?

An unprecedented economic policy response to an extreme medical emergency.

March 23, 2020

COVID-19 Response: A Global Reality Check

Policymakers are getting it step by step.

March 14, 2020

Coronavirus: Scenarios for Europe

What is the economic fallout going to be for sure? And what will it be if it’s a bad case?

March 14, 2020

Germany: Political Helter-Skelter

The AfD’s Thuringia maneuver caught Germany’s right-of-center parties flat-footed. The odds of a leftist coalition at the federal level in 2021 are rising.

February 12, 2020

The UK’s Post-Brexit Hangover

When the Tories’ partying is over, the UK will realize it has little choice but to coordinate with its EU neighbors.

February 8, 2020

EU27: Towards a Club of Clubs

The post-Brexit EU may look ever more like the kind of EU many Britons had wanted it to be.

February 7, 2020

German “New SPD”: No Real Red Lines, No Hard Deadlines

It looks like CDU/CSU and SPD agreeing to stay together throughout 2020. But the risk that the SPD throws in the towel continues to loom large.

December 9, 2019

German Politics: Bad News for Merkel

Germany’s center-left SPD will be led in the future by a little-known left-wing duo that is highly critical of the SPD’s role in Angela Merkel’s government.

December 2, 2019

Will Germany See Red Soon?

Germany's parties on the left are only a few percentage points short of a potential majority.

November 25, 2019

Merkel’s Exit?

Quirky SPD race could decide Angela Merkel’s fate.

October 25, 2019

The Brexit Saga: Seven Lessons for the EU

The lessons that the EU will – hopefully – draw from Brexit should give it a good chance to weather other storms.

October 21, 2019

Johnson’s New Deal: Not Good Enough

The UK’s new Brexit plan raises five EU concerns.

October 5, 2019

Brexit Flash: Boris Versus Parliament

Suspending parliament would accentuate the hard Brexit risk and the UK’s constitutional crisis.

August 28, 2019

EU Politics: A Narrow Vote for Progress

Can von der Leyen make a difference? Probably yes -- but only modestly so.

July 17, 2019

Greece: A Solid Base for Reform

The European Commission should grant Greece short-term fiscal leeway under the condition that Mitsotakis indeed delivers the promised reforms.

July 9, 2019

Four Reasons Why von der Leyen Can Prevail

Despite some obstacles, it is likely that Ursula von der Leyen will lead the next European Commission.

July 4, 2019

EU: A Workable Deal on the Top Jobs

A deal on how to fill the top jobs in Europe is almost across the line. The actual candidates however are somewhat surprising.

July 3, 2019

Boris or Jeremy: Expect No Present from the EU

Boris Johnson would face a specific handicap in his talks with Brussels. The desire to grant him any concession is virtually zero.

June 25, 2019

Germany’s Greens: Long Wave or Short Hype?

Buoyed by its recent election success, could Germany’s Green Party claim the chancellorship when Merkel leaves office?

June 14, 2019

No Deal Exit? UK Should Think Twice

Even in case of a hard Brexit, the UK would probably end up having to accept most of the Withdrawal Agreement.

May 25, 2019

Brexit: Could Boris Do What Theresa Could Not?

While he did not endear himself to his continental colleagues during his stint as foreign minister, Boris Johnson’s flexibility could turn into an advantage.

May 25, 2019

After Theresa: The Brexit Mess and the EU

Many on the continent may now see an orderly “velvet” Brexit as the least bad among the realistic outcomes.

May 25, 2019

EU: 8 Results to Watch

EU citizens head to the polls to elect a new parliament in the most important EU election in recent times. Here’s what to look out for.

May 23, 2019

Three Reasons for Hope for US-EU Trade

Despite Trump’s apparent obsession with German cars and the German trade surplus, political support in the U.S. for a trade war against the EU is much weaker than for getting tough on China.

April 26, 2019

US-EU Trade Talks: Two Giants at Loggerheads

Look for significant noise, but not for a genuine trade war across the Atlantic.

April 25, 2019

Brexit Mess: The EU Angle

A short eight-week delay to adjust the joint statement on post-Brexit relations accordingly would be fine for the EU27.

March 13, 2019

A Contrarian Call on France

Macron suffered the fate of his predecessors -- shortly after taking office, popularity slumps. But the worst may be over now.

February 25, 2019

Trump Upping the Ante on US-EU Trade

Will the US and EU find a compromise on trade to avert a head-on clash?

February 18, 2019

Brexit: The UK’s Fundamental Miscalculations on Europe

Any final Brexit deal will come with a lot of cherry picking. But it will be EU that will do the picking – not the UK.

December 19, 2018

Macron = Renzi? Probably Not

Macron has two advantages over Matteo Renzi: A solid majority in parliament and the ability to give protesters some fiscal concessions.

December 10, 2018

Trouble for Macron?

Facing yellow vests, Macron does not see red yet.

December 4, 2018

German Politics: Advantage “Mini-Merkel”

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is widely seen as being close to Merkel. She seems to benefit from a little “Merkel nostalgia.”

November 28, 2018

The Global Economy as a Wild Card?

How is Europe impacted by transatlantic and U.S.-Chinese trade tensions and by trade with China itself?

November 13, 2018

Germany: Merz in Pole Position

How is the race to succeed Angela Merkel at the helm of the CDU, Germany’s largest party, shaping up?

November 2, 2018

German Politics: It Could Have Been Worse

The centre-right CSU and the centre-left SPD lost the state election in Bavaria. This spells some trouble for Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU-SPD coalition in Berlin.

October 15, 2018

Will Italy’s Finances Shake Europe?

Five Star leader Di Maio still has not learned that comments which may go down well during an election campaign can easily backfire for a senior politician in office.

October 8, 2018

EU Summit: Too Early for a Brexit Deal

UK politicians should not overrate the current attempt by the EU27 to be nice to Theresa May.

September 20, 2018

Turkey’s Next Challenge: How Bad Can Inflation Get?

How Turkey’s central bank plans to regain market confidence that it will eventually hit its 5% inflation target again remains a mystery.

September 4, 2018

Germany Finally Fit for the Euro

German fiscal bliss: Debt to GDP ratio can fall to 60% this year.

August 29, 2018

How Big Is the Turkish Contagion Risk for Emerging Markets?

Contagion from the Turkish crisis to other emerging markets is not widespread.

August 20, 2018

Options for Turkey

What the Erdogan government must do if it wants to avoid a "cold Turkey" economic shock.

August 17, 2018

Italy and the Populists: Heading for an Even Hotter September?

It may take a further rise in Italian bond yields to remind the populist government's leaders in Rome that their room for maneuver to operate with more debt is very limited.

August 14, 2018

The Sad Irony of Brexit

Though UK voters have changed their tune on Brexit, there is little chance that it will be reversed.

July 23, 2018

Six Ways How Trump Gets Trade and Europe Wrong

What Europe earns by selling goods to the U.S., it spends on licensing fees for U.S. technology and on U.S. services. Nothing unfair here.

July 10, 2018

Germany: Will the CSU Really Topple Merkel?

The demise of the current Merkel government is not the most likely outcome yet. Both CSU and CDU would have too much to lose from it.

June 26, 2018

Italy: The Master of Its Fate

If Italy’s government tames its radical instincts it could be allowed to get away with a few things. But if it is confrontational with the EU it will be heading for trouble.

June 20, 2018

Will Merkel Fall?

If the CSU does not agree to any compromise on migration policy, Merkel’s government may fall apart.

June 18, 2018

How Trump Gets It Wrong on Trade

The U.S. President seems to have the upper hand – for now. He doesn’t realize how his trade actions will backfire at home.

June 1, 2018

Italy and the Euro

If a radical government in Rome plunges Italy into a deep crisis, it would still be an Italian crisis -- rather than a “euro“ crisis.

May 30, 2018

Italy Versus Germany: The Real Story

The saga of a dynamic Germany and a sclerotic Italy does not reflect the historical record.

May 28, 2018

Italy and the Yanis Varoufakis Effect

Populists in power, like Five Stars and the Lega in Italy, can do serious damage. In the case of Italy, the key risks are long-term rather than immediate.

May 16, 2018

Macron Vs. the Germans?

What is the middle ground that both Germany and France can agree on to move economic and financial reforms in the EU forward?

April 20, 2018

Global Trade War? The European Angle

The more the U.S. abstains from imposing new barriers to imports from the EU, the more may the EU support U.S. efforts to change Chinese trade and investment practices.

April 11, 2018

After Italy: Experience Shows That Populists Can Get Real

Though the populists have triumphed in Italy, examples show that populists often abandon their most dangerous demands and their euro scepticism in the pursuit of power.

March 7, 2018

After Italy: Dealing with the Populist Menace in Europe

To advance their prospects of finding partners, both 5Star and Lega have ditched the most dangerous part of their erstwhile agenda. But significant risks remain.

March 7, 2018

German Politics: The Limbo Is Over

With a new term for Merkel, Germany and Europe can breathe a sigh of relief.

March 5, 2018

German Politics: What If the SPD Balks?

Even if the SPD votes against joining a new “GroKo” government, the damage which prolonged political uncertainty in Berlin would inflict on Germany and Europe would be very limited.

January 20, 2018

Germany and Europe: A New Relationship?

If it comes to pass, Germany’s new “grand coalition” government’s EU-related plans represent progress for Macron’s calls to reform Europe.

January 19, 2018

Interpreting Germany’s New Grand Coalition Deal: A First Assessment

Germany will continue to gradually slip from the top to the upper middle ranks of the growth league of major European countries. Its current golden decade will end in the 2020s.

January 13, 2018

Governing Germany: More of the Same?

Germany’s current political contortions will likely end with a fourth term for Merkel.

November 28, 2017

Germans Live in Interesting Times

Four questions about the country’s near-term political path.

November 21, 2017

Catalonia: First Signs of a Return to Reason?

Reviving the autonomy deal that foundered in Spain’s constitutional court back in 2010 would find the support of the majority of Spaniards, including the Catalans.

October 10, 2017

Catalan Questions

What's ahead for Catalonia, Spain and the EU following the tumultuous Catalan independence referendum?

October 2, 2017

Your 12 Point Guide to the German Elections

Here's what you need to know about Germany’s September 24 elections.

September 22, 2017

Spain’s Catalan Independence Intermezzo

As much as quite a few Catalans may want independence from Spain, it is practically impossible. But more regional autonomy is certainly possible.

September 20, 2017

Germany’s SPD: To Serve or Not to Serve under Merkel?

The election and subsequent choice of coalition matter. But the differences between the various options are modest rather than stark.

September 18, 2017

The German Consensus Machine

Don’t look for major policy changes in Germany after the September 24 federal elections.

September 5, 2017

Crunch Time in Paris

Will Macron deliver? And what will French economic reforms mean for all of Europe?

August 30, 2017

German Political Update: Merkel’s Choice

Angela Merkel looks set for a comfortable win in next month's German elections. But which coalition partner will she choose?

August 11, 2017

The Germans Follow Keynes’ Advice!

If anything, the German Problem is complacency, not the current account surplus.

August 1, 2017

UK: Abdicating a Proud Legacy

Britain's political situation and its long-term economic outlook have become more precarious than they have been at any time since the late 1970s.

June 17, 2017

Italy: Another Downer for the Populist Wave in Europe

Beppe Grillo's Five Stars movement loses some of its lustre.

June 12, 2017

Italy: Snap Elections in Late September?

Is Renzi putting his personal electoral interests over those of his country? And will his gamble pay off?

June 1, 2017

The Macron Effect: Can France Overtake Germany Again?

It’s not a foregone conclusion that Germany always has the upper hand economically over France.

May 7, 2017

France: Mélenchon for President?

A run-off between the far right and the far left candidates would be a choice between bad and ugly for France and Europe.

April 20, 2017

Theresa May’s Very Iffy Brexit Strategy

What can actually be agreed before the UK leaves the EU?

April 4, 2017

Britain’s Big Brexit Gamble

This is the worst setback ever for the process of European integration that started with a six-nation coal and steel community in 1952 – but for whom precisely?

March 30, 2017

How Britain Punishes Itself

Theresa May’s Brexit plan will do some significant damage to the British economy.

January 17, 2017

Italy: 60% Risk That Renzi Loses

Despite potential referendum loss, risk of new elections, bigger political upheaval or Italy leaving the euro is quite low.

November 30, 2016

Theresa May Seems To Opt for Hard Brexit

The UK’s Prime Minister’s emerging strategy for a hard Brexit will mean significantly reduced access to the EU market.

October 4, 2016

Spain: The Clock Is Ticking

Spanish voters are dismayed with self-absorbed politicians who are determined to hold yet another national election which few voters want.

September 6, 2016

Globalization and the West: Coping With the Politics of Anger

What happens when the need for economic adjustment moves from the global South to the North.

August 31, 2016

Brexit’s Contagion Risks

Will the British vote to leave the EU embolden anti-European populists elsewhere in Europe?

July 6, 2016

The EU, Scotland, UK Triangle

For the time being, EU-27 will consider the Scottish issue as an internal affair of the UK. The EU has enough issues to ponder.

July 5, 2016

Brex-Back? Probably Not

Could the UK exit from the Brexit? Could Boris Johnson do a Tsipras?

June 29, 2016

Brexit: What If?

What happens if the UK voters decide on June 23, 2016 to leave the European Union?

June 17, 2016

The Economics of Brexit: A German View

Why Germany will not expend too much energy on a favorable deal for the UK if it quits the EU.

May 12, 2016

Britain Beware: The Power of Trade

How would the UK fare outside the European Union?

March 7, 2016

Refugee Crisis: The EU’s Turkey Connection

Europe has to tread carefully as Turkey itself is in a precarious situation.

January 22, 2016

A Third Wave of Financial Crisis?

After Lehman and the Eurozone, will China and oil cause another calamity in the markets?

January 19, 2016

Spain: Another Election in Early 2016?

A messy election result may make forming a Spanish government extra hard.

December 21, 2015

Migration: Notes on Potential Impact on Europe

Domestic policy response matters more than any decision about an initial distribution of migrants.

September 9, 2015

Right-Wing Populism: A Threat to the Cohesion of Europe?

A populist backlash in Europe against immigration is more dangerous than in the United States.

September 8, 2015

The Eurozone After Greece: Spain Vs. France

How do the EU’s third- and fifth-largest economies compare with regard to reform readiness?

August 17, 2015

The IMF Goes Varoufakis? Please Don’t!

Message to Washington: Debt relief for Greece is a big fat red herring.

August 3, 2015

Greece’s Broad Pro-European Alliance

Alexis Tsipras is now at the mercy of the pro-European opposition. Can this alliance hold?

July 16, 2015

China’s Casino Moment

Will trouble in China cause contagion to other emerging markets far away?

July 9, 2015

Germany and France: Stick Together on Greece

How will the end game on Greece's proposals play out?

July 9, 2015

The Real Meaning of Greece’s No

The Greeks have voted No. What is the road ahead for Greece and Europe?

July 6, 2015

Greece: How Long Can Tsipras Cling to Power?

Will Greeks' common sense on the euro trump over the undeniable charisma of Tsipras?

July 3, 2015

How Syriza Makes It Harder on Greece

Relying almost exclusively on tax hikes makes Greek recovery more difficult.

June 23, 2015

Tsipras: Pandering to the Radicals?

The more time passes, the deeper Greece is descending into a costly renewed recession.

June 11, 2015

Spain and UK: Prickly Comparison for Cameron

Both UK and Spain are formally monarchies, have long coast lines and face separatist challenges.

May 11, 2015

Greece: Help from Putin?

How realistic are Greek announcements about a big energy deal with Russia?

April 20, 2015

Greece: Still Shying Away from the Hard Decisions

Unless Mr. Tsipras bites the bullet on tough reforms, Grexit will certainly become a reality.

April 17, 2015

What Greece Needs Now From Tsipras

Germany and France and the art of correcting erroneous economic policies.

April 2, 2015

Greece Needs Growth, But How?

Will Syriza pursue real reforms to get the country growing?

February 3, 2015

Notes From Athens: The Syriza Policy Illusions

The debate in Greece is too caught up on four major delusions.

January 29, 2015

Greece: Playing the Russia Card Against Europe?

If Greece wants to play the Russia card, it has some questions to consider first.

January 28, 2015

Greece: Potential Scenarios for a Prime Minister Tsipras

Opinion polls are projecting a victory for the left at the coming Greek election.

January 22, 2015

Germany Vs. Greece: Behind the Headlines

Germany’s actual position on Greece.

January 8, 2015

Greece: The Next Round of the Drama

Will Greece fall back into a deep fiscal crisis?

December 23, 2014

The Eurozone is About Tough Love

Help is available to countries in trouble – in exchange for meeting conditions.

October 20, 2014

The ECB’s Battle With the Markets: Home Truths from the Eurozone

Amidst global stock market turmoil, what about Europe’s fundamentals?

October 20, 2014

Why S&P’s Latest Call on Germany Misses the Mark

The emergence of some right-wing populists will not paralyze Germany's pro-euro policies.

September 25, 2014

The Scottish Vote and Europe’s Future

Scotland votes for more home rule within the UK, not independence.

September 19, 2014

Ukraine and the Return of Geopolitics

The long-term Impact of Putin’s war.

September 5, 2014

Ukraine: A Permanent Ceasefire?

Could the worst of the fighting be over?

September 4, 2014

How Far Will Putin Go?

A rebounding Ukraine provides Putin with tougher choices.

July 8, 2014

From Sarajevo to Brussels: The Big Picture

The European Union helped to create a grand European peace.

July 1, 2014

Europe: Juncker or Not? It Doesn’t Matter

Who will get the jobs that really matter in Brussels?

June 13, 2014

Europe: How to Stabilize Ukraine

Focusing on three things – jobs, trade and free travel – can work wonders.

March 24, 2014

Why Putin Plays a Losing Hand on Ukraine

Thinking straight about Ukraine – in six theses

March 3, 2014

Ukraine’s Global Meaning: Four Theses

Ukraine stands at a crossroads. Let us hope Ukrainians seize the day for good.

February 25, 2014

United States Blames Germany? What Nonsense.

For the U.S. Treasury to criticize German economic policies is rather rich.

October 31, 2013

Japan: Is That Really The Third Arrow?

Does the third arrow of "Abenomics" miss the target in ending Japan's stagnation?

June 17, 2013

Thatcher, Merkel and the Euro

What is the legacy of Britain's Margaret Thatcher for Europe's crisis-stricken countries today?

April 10, 2013

Germans Do Consume

Is it really true that German workers' and consumers' appetite for shopping and consuming is repressed?

March 27, 2013

What If Italy Rolls Back Monti’s Reforms?

Italy has no choice but to build on Mario Monti's achievements.

January 28, 2013

Little England: What’s Left If Scotland Leaves?

What is more likely to happen first: Greece will leave the eurozone, or Scotland will leave the UK?

October 24, 2012

How the ECB Really Works

Why doesn't the European Central Bank act more like the Fed in its approach to the economic crisis?

September 5, 2012

Europe’s Champions on Different Economic Paths

Why is Spain starting look a little more robust economically than Britain?

August 13, 2012

Britain’s Self-Defeating Blame Game

How justified are claims by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne that the eurozone crisis is killing Britain's economic recovery?

June 19, 2012