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CEO BLOG

What the economy needs now!

15.03.2020
Ulrich Spranger
Ulrich Spranger
Many governments are announcing financial aid, the floodgates are being opened and infrastructure projects should protect against the damage caused by the Corona virus.

State-owned business development banks, local banks.. this could all be too slow and too late for some. Companies, whether large and small, are doing everything they can to protect their employees. But it's also about keeping the business running. At Jarltech, we have a pandemic plan in place that is asking a lot of all of us. But, and I'm sure we are not the only ones, our employees are also involved. Big time!

What the EU or the individual countries should do now - and immediately - is:

1. The large credit insurers must freeze their credit limits for customer deliveries at the level it was as of March 10th, 2020, and in return receive back-up from the ECB or the countries. After all, if the insurers will now haircut across entire countries or sectors again, then in many cases we can no longer deliver. And that is exactly what credit insurers do every time there is a little cough. I think we are on the verge of this.

2. Providing funds through state-owned banks takes too long and is too bureaucratic. If the phantom is supposed to last another five weeks, let’s say, then it’s important that payment terms are adhered to and that debits work. So the countries, or the ECB, should simply obligate the banks (with a national guarantee, of course) to increase all working capital credit lines approved on March 10th, 2020 by 30%. With this you usually impact companies that are currently healthy, because, after all, they have had their credit lines approved. The sum will be huge, because the increase will also be granted to companies, such as ourselves, who probably do not need the money at all. But if we do not use this additional liquidity at all, then the government also has zero risk in these cases.

3. It is imperative that the free delivery of goods in European continues remains possible. We are all interlinked and need things from each other.

4. School children, who now have »off« prematurely, should be told clearly that this is not a holiday and be asked not to take the bus or train to bars and discos. Not even during the Easter holidays, because we have a special situation on our hands. It's no use if we all isolate ourselves, but the kids are in a party mood, sharing bottles and joints. No, we're not on »Corona holidays«. We have an emergency here. You're endangering old people and the healthcare system!

5. Politicians are hammering out one employee-friendly regulation after another. Free time for child care, sick leave by phone for 14 days, if you are afraid, you don't have to go to work - that's all good and the right thing to do. But we have to catch up later, the Chinese are showing us that perfectly. There are 14 Saturdays in the fourth quarter on which Europe is working. We should all restrict ourselves and show solidarity. But please, really all of us. And I bet that employees will see very clearly how the employers are making an effort and would have no problem at all with such an arrangement. That would also be another signal to everyone that we all have to behave responsibly now, because we all (!) have to pay for the downtime somehow. So far, privately, we all can't help that the pandemic is here - but slowly the point has been passed where we can now point our fingers at the people who live as if nothing had happened.

6. Let's stop with the infrastructure projects. Even now, retailers can hardly find or pay for construction companies or handymen. These industries are working at full capacity. If they get a forced break imposed on them now, plus additional government projects, the rest of the world can forget finding handymen or construction companies in the next few years.

7. Why should processes be postponed? If we can buy 100 liters of disinfectant from our pharmacy on one day - yes, they have it again - then perhaps a court can do the same. And there you sit far enough apart from each other anyway.

I wish all my readers: stay healthy! And don't let anyone look at you funny if you are more careful than others. That’s not »uncool«, but rather, totally cool.
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