And the award goes to…
Josef Ackermann, come on down!
Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, described Ackermann as “one of the most dangerous bankers in the world.” Johnson singled out Ackermann’s famous target of a 25 percent pretax return on equity for particular criticism. He said such returns were only possible because Ackermann knows that Deutsche Bank is too big to fail and that it would be “rescued by taxpayers” if it was faced with bankruptcy…In Johnson’s view, there is the danger of a new crisis occurring if the capital rules for banks are not made significantly tighter. He told the newspaper that the new Basel III rules — which will require banks to hold top-quality capital equal to at least 4.5 percent of assets by 2015, rising to 7 percent by 2019 — are “absolutely useless.” Instead, he argues, bank capital reserves have to be equal to between 20 and 45 percent of total assets. Deutsche Bank currently has a capital ratio of just 4 percent, he said.