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The world’s most destructive bank?

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I feel sorry for Deutsche Bank. I’ve worked with the bank and they have some great people. It used to be that their investment banking services were one of the best in Europe, alongside UBS and Barclays Bank. That was before September 2008. Since then, it’s been like an old prize fighter swinging from one boxing match to another, only to leave the ring in a worse state than when they entered. The most recent debacle was the idea of a merger with Commerzbank. Let’s take two sick dogs and make one dying wolf. As expected, that did not play out and now no one seems to know the future for the bank.

In a letter to The Financial Times this week, Peter Tryll maybe has an idea:

One sunny afternoon in Frankfurt, a mysterious investment banker with an expensive suit and Hermès tie appears at their board meeting and offers them seven magic bullets. The first six bullets will hit whatever targets the board desire on the condition that the investment banker will choose the target of the seventh. Over the next three decades, successive supervisory board chairmen, supported by pliant chief executives, squander the first six bullets on a series of ill-timed acquisitions and hiring sprees, forever chasing the latest hot business line. It is not long before the seventh and final bullet is fired and it lands the bank huge regulatory fines relating to years of gross mismanagement. At this point the mysterious investment banker reappears and reveals himself as the Devil.

The stock price has hit an all-time low, valuing the firm around the $14 billion, about half a Stripe or a tenth of an Ant Financial, and the bank is slashing more of its investment banking operations, firing its investment banking chief and may need another capital raise to survive. Oh dear.

The only good news in all of this doom and gloom is Donald Trump. Yes, he who is so peachy, he cannot be impeached. Well, not yet.

In a series of tweets the other day, old Mac Donald got into a right strop.

There’s a whole load more.

The issue Mac Donald has with The New York Times is that they are passing on news about how Deutsche Bank loaned him a shed load of money.

The paper states that anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog. Various current and former Deutsche Bank employees rejected the advice and the reports were never filed. Hence, possible dodgy dealings, identified by bank staff, related to Donald Trump … disappeared.

Earlier this month, The New York Times obtained tax information which showed that the Make America Great Again (MAGA) President ran businesses that lost more than $1 billion from 1985 to 1994. Trump has refused to release more recent tax returns or to comply with House subpoenas for them. Surprise, surprise.

In fact, interestingly, Donald Trump is suing Deutsche Bank to stop them releasing any of his loans, financial or tax records.

What a beacon of light this President proves to be for us in the Western World.



The New York Times journalist David Enrich (no pun) enjoyed investigating Deutsche Bank’s dealings with Donald Trump so much that he’s writing a book about it all: Dark Towers: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Destructive Bank. You can hear the low-down on this 28 minute podcast.



Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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