I've been in Germany for over a week, and the big news episode.....is this odd loan deal with the German President....President Christian Wulff (note, he's not the Chancellor).
A couple of years ago.....he comes up and wants to buy a 500k Euro ($700k) house. He needs a loan. The banks have no issue with the deal but they have to make a profit. Some rich millionaire's wife, who is a friend of Wulf, with almost no percentage points. You could call it a free loan of sorts, or a heavily discounted loan. They fixed up the papers, and the house was bought.
Well....this all has gotten out and folks are determined that there is some corruption here. So far, they can't find much of anything. Even the state prosecutor admits there is no law to prevent such a loan, and no law to stop a political figure from taking such a loan. So the news folks continue to chat about this daily, and how unethical this all appears.
Adding to the mess....there are lots of folks from various parties who aren't talking about this at all. My perception is that they really don't this to take off because they have the same kind of loan arrangement. The banks are kind of peeved because they don't want folks to get any funny ideas about personal loans for large sums of money.
Disgrace? Well, if the political figure hasn't done anything illegal, then it's not much of a disgrace. As for being unethical? It's kind like sitting at a bar and having some guy offer to buy you a drink, and you might be the mayor or the city council guy for the town. Where do you draw the line? A drink? A golf game? A meal? A trip over to Vegas? A house loan?
The comical side of this is that he has to go into some bank....work up a quick loan to cover the house, and pay back millionaire's wife. You can imagine the bank guy sitting there and grinning for ten minutes before even starting a discussion.