Say what you will about the Germans, they took this stuff in stride.
Stefan Krause, who left the auto industry after a 20-year career to join Deutsche Bank AG as chief financial officer [and whose office is decorated with seven model cars, including a Corvette from 1962 -- his birth year -- a Roy Lichtenstein BMW art car and a BMW hydrogen- powered vehicle], had a memorable introduction to the banking world in April 2008. On his first day, Germany’s biggest lender announced a record loss on loans and asset-backed securities.
“They said, ‘Stefan, welcome, we have to write down 2.5 billion euros,’” says Krause, a boyish-looking 48-year-old whose office overlooks the Frankfurt skyline. Ten months later, the bank posted a record 3.8 billion euro ($5.4 billion) loss -- its first full-year deficit since World War II.