While the U.S. has at last gotten around to maybe kinda sorta prosecuting a few banks for their crisis-era misdeeds, you cannot throw a bank in jail. And no U.S. bankers have been thrown in jail for doing things that, cumulatively, contributed to a situation that led to the expenditure of $1 trillion taxpayer dollars, give or take.
Actually, Commerzbank is having a bad few months. It turns out that a whole mess of deferred tax-accruals and the hangover from having gone into business in the Ukraine add up to a roughly $1 billion loss for the fourth quarter. Read more »
Deutsche Bank co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen, already the subject of a German tax-fraud probe, has come under further pressure after political leaders accused him of trying to influence the investigation by calling a senior German politician to protest a police raid on the bank’s headquarters last week. On Thursday, a day after the surprise search, Mr. Fitschen contacted Volker Bouffier, governor of the state of Hesse, where Deutsche Bank is based, to complain about the action. Mr. Bouffier declined to intervene, according to his spokesman. The state government has ultimate authority over the prosecutor’s office…The Deutsche Bank CEO faced criticism from senior German lawmakers on Monday who accused him of trying to undermine the judicial process. The call has left the impression that Deutsche Bank thinks it is “above the law,” said Michael Meister, a senior official in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party. “The prosecutor’s investigation must be supported,” he said. “Deutsche Bank has to send a clear signal.” Other political leaders were less polite. “A fish rots from the head down. That also applies to Deutsche Bank’s boardroom,” the Handelsblatt newspaper quoted Green party co-chief Jürgen Trittin as saying. [WSJ]
German Hedge Fund Manager Who Fled To South America And Lived Under An Assumed Name For 5 Years To “Find Meaning” In His Life Has Learned A Few ThingsBy Bess Levin
The bits of wisdom Florian Homm picked up during his stay in Colombia, where he was getting some “me time” and not trying to distance himself from angry investors whose money he’d lost, can be found in the book he wrote about living underground (“Kopf Geld Jagd”), which he hopes will be a “hard-core wake-up call” readers who are “trying to get a second Mercedes and a bigger boat.” For those who can’t wait for the English version, from an interview with the Times we learn: Read more »