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Investors beware: Merkel’s tenure may extend three more years, but she’ll be a lame duck throughout

Angela Merkel may well limp along as chancellor for the remaining three years of her mandate. But neither investors nor Germany’s European partners should take lightly the fact that she will be leaving in December the chairmanship of the conservative CDU party she has led for 13 years.

Merkel announced Monday her decision to the party’s executives, just one day after the Christian Democratic Union was once again trounced in regional elections — this time in wealthy Hesse, the closest thing Germany has to a swing state, home to the country’s financial capital Frankfurt.

It will be of little consolation to Merkel that the parties of the Hesse ruling coalition — in this case the CDU with the Greens — will manage to cling to power.

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