It appears that John Cryan is getting himself a pretty sweet little Christmas present this year:
Deutsche Bank could this week agree a penalty with the U.S. Department of Justice over the sale of toxic mortgage debt, one person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday...
"There is a good chance that the case will be off the table before Christmas," the person said, adding that an announcement could come as early as Wednesday.
This would remove the biggest uncertainty facing the bank, which had sought a deal before President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican, takes office on Jan 20.
The fine has hung around Deutsche like an albatross of indeterminate size for a long time, making it nearly impossible for Cryan and Co. to enjoy even the smallest (and infrequent) victories. Having a notionally $14 billion fine waiting for you in the shadows of your future will definitely fuck up your weekends. But what with the Obama administration about to take off and one off Deutsche's biggest debtors shockingly taking over the White House, it must have seemed like as good a time as any to underbid your own fine and go into the holidays without a fewer cares in the world.
Deutsche Bank, which used to be a major player in the U.S. mortgage market, is set to pay far less than the $14 billion penalty the U.S. authorities had initially asked for, the source indicated. Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
In fact, as noted in the Reuters report, Deutsche might be looking at paying something in the neighborhood of $5 billion considering that Goldman Sachs paid that amount for its slightly larger share of the toxic mortgage scene.
But for John Cryan, $5 billion is a practical discount on going into 2017 without the Us DoJ standing over his shoulder reminding shareholders that nothing is wunderbar.
Fröhliche Weihnachten, Deutsch Bankers!