Gabor Steingart, the Editor-in-Chief of the Handelsblatt, was quoted in June 2015 as stating that Bayer AG is Germany’s most valuable blue chip company. Its shareholders are singing Bayer chief executive Marijn Dekkers’ praises. 

However, anyone who wants to play devil’s advocate can find enough ammunition in their financial statements. Bayer may be profitable, but German software giant SAP and chemical company Merck are more so. And Bayer’s net financial debt tripled within a year. 

Steingart said that German journalists can’t help but look for flaws. He quoted Stefan Aust, his ex-boss at news magazine Der Spiegel, as saying time and again: What we are more than anything is fault-finders.