Let's all be honest and admit to each other in this safe space that we've all been getting a cheap thrill watching John Cryan and Co. try to pull Deutsche Bank out of an apparent death spiral over the last week or so.
Like a slow-motion schadenfreude trainwreck happening right before our eyes, the bank most synonymous with Europe's most stable economy is flirting with götterdämmerung because of some bad ideas and even naughtier behavior. With the stock down almost 50% in 2016, Deutsche is looking at a DoJ fine that it might not be able to like...afford. How can we look away?
Well, y'know who is not amused? Roger Altman.
The Evercore Partners founder had a little chat with Bloomberg earlier today, and he would like us all to know what a bunch of bullies we are for having such a chuckle at poor John Cryan's weltschmerz. Roger Altman is sick of watching the little guy get picked on, and in his assessment, Deutsche Bank is the 98 pound weakling of global finance:
“Keep in mind Deutsche Bank is small,” Altman said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. He compared the roughly $18 billion market value of Deutsche Bank to that of JPMorgan, which is over $240 billion. “One of the things going on here is that Deutsche Bank’s under pressure for a number of reasons, but one of which is it’s so small.”
Sooooo small. Deutsche Bank is basically a credit union with a fancy Euro name, you guys. Which is why it's so unfair to talk about this massive fine...
“The immediate reaction was, and is, well they can’t pay $14 billion,” Altman said. “That wouldn’t be the reaction against one of the big-cap U.S. banks.”
Brian Moynihan eats 11-digit fines for breakfast* (and washes them down with sadness)**, so of course monsters like him wouldn't even blink at this terrifying number currently staring down Deutsche Bank like the proverbial reaper on the doorstep.
So maybe next time you want to have a little giggle at the expense of John Cryan's crisis, maybe remember that he's just a poor little underdog trying guide his tiny ship of assets across the vast rough seas of global economics.