Deutsche Bank Summons Last Shred Of Dignity To Tell DOJ There's No Way In Hölle It's Paying $14 Billion

Like Deutsche Bank even has $14 billion lying around...
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By Nordenfan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

Through the rosiest colored glasses, one might say that things at Deutsche Bank have been really, massively, insanely bad of late. Like post-Apocalyptic hellscape bad. Among the ways things have gone wrong for DB this year include but are not limited to:

Most recently, management's big idea for turning things around was: let's just lower all of our expectations for what this company is capable of, which is very little vis-a-vis making money and not running afoul of the law and being a place people are proud to work for or at the very least don't immediately change the conversation when asked at parties "So what do you do?"

So it wouldn't be THAT crazy to think that, with morale in the toilet and everyone from interns to senior executives just trying to get through the day without crying at their desks, a proposal from the Justice Department to make a huge investigation into DB's mortgage practices go away with one check might be met with "Fine, whatever, just tell us where to sign." That even if the number the DOJ threw out was so hilariously big as to sound like a joke, that the brow-beaten Germans would just go for it because the mood around there is 'Life sucks and then you die' so who really cares.

But apparently despite all Deutsche has gone through and all it will probably continue to go through in the future, it was able to summon a teeny tiny shred of dignity and respond to the $14 billion figure with whatever is German for "You must think we're really stupid" and also:

“Deutsche Bank has no intent to settle these potential civil claims anywhere near the number cited,” the bank said. “The negotiations are only just beginning. The bank expects that they will lead to an outcome similar to those of peer banks which have settled at materially lower amounts.” Deutsche Bank hasn’t said what it has set aside in anticipation of a settlement. The bank held €5.5 billion ($6.2 billion) in total litigation reserves as of June 30, and said it expected to set aside more before the end of the year. Privately, Deutsche Bank lawyers have suggested that the bank views between $2 billion and $3 billion as a reasonable cost to close out the Justice Department’s mortgage-related probe quickly, according to people familiar with internal bank discussions and signals communicated to investors. One factor in Deutsche Bank executives’ thinking is that the lender already paid $1.9 billion in 2013 to settle some U.S. claims tied to mortgage-backed securities, some of the people said.

Deutsche Bank Is Asked to Pay $14 Billion to Resolve U.S. Probe Into Mortgage Securities [WSJ]

Related: Deutsche Bank Considers Doing The Smallest Possible Thing To Turn It Around

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The Germans are not yet done firing employees in Asia. Deutsche Bank fired around a third of the staff in its Asia equity derivatives business on Tuesday, as part of a global cost savings plan announced on July 31, according to sources familiar with the matter. Just over 20 people remain in the division, down from a number in the mid 30s, according to one source, as Deutsche Bank and others seek to cut costs in businesses that are failing to generate adequate revenues as the global economy slows. The bank let go five traders, four product structurers and at least one salesperson from the division, the sources said, adding that the numbers were not yet finalised because the discussions were continuing...These cuts follow on the heels of layoffs in June in Deutsche Bank's Asian equities business, which like its counterparts at other firms globally has been struggling this summer due to slack trading volumes and a sharp decline in new share issuance. Deutsche Bank cuts a third of jobs in Asia equity derivs [Reuters]