Germans

Sayeth a German academic, contra everything that every hedge fund lobbyist has said (and that everybody believed) since 2007. Read more »

  • 03 Dec 2013 at 5:49 PM
  • Banks

Commerzbank Is Entertaining Some Uninvited Guests Today

A couple hundred German tax officials from the state prosecutor’s office thought they’d have a look around the place. Read more »

  • 31 Oct 2013 at 5:11 PM
  • Banks

Maybe Think Twice About Accepting That Deutsche Bank Board Seat

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.

The Germans have chosen a different strategy: They are going to try to put an entire bank’s board of directors in jail. Or at least fine the crap out of them. Read more »

  • 23 May 2013 at 2:13 PM

Anshu Jain’s Rosetta Stone Tapes Are PAYING OFF

“Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, liebe Aktionäre” [Ladies and gentlemen, dear shareholders]. “Herzlich willkommen zur Hauptversammlung der Deutschen Bank” [A warm welcome to Deutsche Bank's annual general meeting]. Deutsche Bank’s co-chief executive, Anshu Jain, Thursday awed shareholders by giving a two-page introductory speech at the bank’s annual shareholders meeting in…German. It was the moment some shareholders had been waiting for. At last year’s AGM, some German investors had voiced concern as to whether they would need to learn English in order to understand the newly elected co-chief executive of “their bank.” Mr Jain, an Indian-born with a British passport, took office almost a year ago after the shareholder’s meeting, along with co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen, a native German speaker. [WSJ]

  • 13 Mar 2013 at 4:39 PM

Commerzbank To Have Cake, Eat It, Too

Appreciative as it is for the €21 German taxpayers threw it, Commerzbank has had quite enough of living under the government’s thumb. So it’s going to finish paying back those taxpayer loans by conveniently diluting its shares such that the German government can’t tell it what to do anymore. Read more »

  • 04 Feb 2013 at 5:27 PM

Commerzbank Is Not Having A Great Day

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]