Concerns are growing worldwide about the possible collapse of Germany’s biggest lender, Deutsche Bank, after the US Department of Justice slapped a record high fine on the lender, prompting its market value to plummet and financial problems to ensue; German financial analyst Ernst Wolff explained to Sputnik what it is all about.
Germany’s biggest lender, Deutsche Bank, has been beset by a wide array of problems for which it is now being sued worldwide.
The biggest complaint comes from the US: the Department of Justice is fining the lender $14 billion in connection with the the settlement of its mortgage lending and securitization activities during the 2000’s housing bubble.
The potential fine far exceeds previous media reports and has raised new worries among investors about the bank’s financial health.
Deutsche Bank shares have already lost around half their value this year. The bank barely scraped by during European stress tests in July and has warned it may need deeper cost cuts to turn itself around after revenue fell sharply in the second quarter due to challenging markets and low interest rates.
Last week German media reported that the German authorities had rushed to develop a state aid package plan for the bank, as its shares hit a record low of $10 per share amid a standoff with US authorities.
German financial expert Ernst Wolff explained to Sputnik Deutschland what the real purposes were behind the US attack on Deutsche Bank.
The expert noted that the recent attack on Germany’s biggest lender is certainly intertwined with an earlier EU ruling that Apple had an unfair advantage over its competitors and the ongoing tax investigations against Amazon.com and McDonald’s.
“I think this is a fight between two competitors, a violent exchange of blows,” the expert told Sputnik.
“All of this, in my opinion, has been caused by the policy of global destabilization being pursued by the US. The US is facing huge internal problems: its national debt is heading toward $20 trillion. 60 million Americans live on food stamps. Its infrastructure is forfeited. Its population more and more hates the country’s political establishment,” Wolff said.
Besides, he added, in the international arena, the US is losing the status of a world power.
“To be able to somehow resist it, Washington is trying to hurt its wold market partners as much as possible. And it is the EU which has currently in the firing line,” he noted.
The financial analyst also pointed out at another point of discord between the US and Europe: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP).
“Speaking about TTIP, I would not use the word “negotiations”. They [the US] try to make secret every detail of the agreement while applying pressure and political influence on their partners. This has absolutely nothing to do with democracy. TTIP is of primarily benefit to the American industry, its financial industry. And the Americans will push it through, because they have the stronger leverage. They have the dollar which still remains the world’s number one reserve currency,” the German financial expert said.
“When German politicians are critical about TTIP, this is only part of their election campaign for more votes. However at the end of the day they will capitulate and the TTIP will be signed,” he suggested.
Ernst Wolff also said that by hitting Deutsche Bank, the US is certainly “playing with fire.” Deutsche Bank is one of the most important players of the “international financial casino.” If Deutsche Bank collapses, the global financial system will follow. This is yet another proof of the level of desperation the situation is that Americans have found themselves in at the moment.
“One has to ask, however, why the Americans are targeting Deutsche Bank in particular and why now. My assumption is that they are trying to force the German government to intervene and nationalize Deutsche Bank at least in part or may be even completely,” he suggested.
In doing so, they would destabilize the German domestic situation, since the German population will be overwhelmingly against such a move, he explained.
Besides, Germany would have been isolated within the EU, the expert suggested, because Berlin is against a similar bailout of Italian banks. So this could come as a direct blow to the EU and its strongest country, Germany.
However, in the end the US would ultimately harm itself. Because if the Deutsche Bank goes down, it will cause a “domino effect”: it will be followed by the Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and the whole of the world financial system, he finally said.