Editorial: It was American not European regulators who caught Volkswagen out. If the mis-measurement of pollution is so easily contrived – there will be political as well as commercial imperatives to distort.
Like the slowly stewed frog the world has grown steadily used to the banditry of its banks. The remorseless drip of revelations about laundering – rate-fixing and mis-selling have built up too slowly to provoke a violent reaction but they have seared a distinction in the public mind – that between despised and predatory finance on the one hand and, on the other – more reputable lines of business that make real things.
This is the backdrop against which an esteemed global manufacturer and emblem of Germany’s purposefully productive capitalism has been caught doing something that would make the most shameless banker blush.
Volkswagen has been applying the technical acumen for which it is so admired to the task of tripping up the American regulators that are tasked with protecting the air that citizens breathe.