Germans

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]

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 »

The bank has ran its own internal investigation and found no evidence of wrongdoing but prosecutors are still going to take a look-see themselves. Read more »

“If I were the Germans, if I were running Germany, I would have abandoned the eurozone last week…It is a costly decision, but losses are there and somewhere, somehow, the losses have to be taken. The first loss is the banks. In the case of Greece, one should have kicked out Greece three years ago. It would have been much cheaper.” [BloombergTV]

Ms. Merkel has taken Bettina Schoenbach’s advice to heart, exclusively wearing straight-cut pants and three-button, diagonal-pocketed blazers from the German designer…While that sartorial consistency may have been an asset earlier in her career, it could become a problem as Ms. Merkel pushes the unpopular message of austerity to European Union members and faces a restless electorate at home, says Robb Young, author of “Power Dressing: First Ladies, Women Politicians & Fashion.” “Her static wardrobe can be perceived as an honest reflection of her political persona—a no-nonsense, rational woman,” says Mr. Young. “But the same unwavering resolve to maintain this habitual, signature style could be a liability among certain voters aching for signs of change.” [WSJ via Heidi Moore]

  • 31 May 2012 at 6:02 PM

Germans Still Not So Sure About This Anshu Jain Guy

Tomorrow morning, Anshu Jain will start his new job as co-CEO of Deutsche Bank. Despite having previously overseen operations that produce 90 percent of the firm’s profits in any given quarter, sitting on the management committee, and generally being considered a “star” both within the company and among those who follow his work, chief executive officer is a title no one thought AJ would be given if he remained at DB, because 1) people back in Germany don’t like that he’s an investment banker and 2) “In Germany, no one can imagine an Indian working in London who does not speak German being CEO of Deutsche Bank.” To the haters’ chagrin, though, that’s exactly what’s about to happen. And if they want to continue bitching about it, they can be Jain’s guest– their insults go in one ear and out the other. Read more »

Have you ever made plans to get drinks with someone, met for said drinks, determined if there was any chemistry between the two of you, made a decision to have sex with that person based on whether or not you were attracted to him or her, and, if you were and did, went home the next day after breakfast without money being exchanged? Then congratulations! You are a small business owner, according to a group of German entrepreneurs. Read more »