Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Horseman of the Apocalypse warns of coming Apocalypse

'A Labour government propped up by the SNP will raise taxes, ease austerity and oversee a rise in interest rates, one of the World's biggest investment banks has warned.' Which bank would that be? Er ... Deutsche Bank. Yes, that Deutsche Bank:
At the start of this week [wrote Stefan Steinberg in August 2009], German-based Deutsche Bank announced a huge increase in its profits. The bank reported a net profit of €1.1 billion in the second quarter of this year, nearly doubling its earnings over the same period last year (€645 million).

 Less than a year after the eruption of a financial crisis that has devastated economies across the globe and wiped out an estimated 40 percent of the world’s wealth, a number of major banks and investment houses are posting record profits and setting aside sharply higher—in some cases, record—sums for salaries and bonuses to their employees.

In 2008, Deutsche Bank recorded the biggest losses in its history—€3.9 billion ($5.5 billion). How is this turn-around to be explained?

... A recent article in Der Spiegel magazine entitled “The Return of Greed—Banks Reopen Global Casino” provides some insight. The article cites a former leading financier, who declares, “A few years ago, the investment banks got rich on their customers’ money. When that resource became too small, they fell back on their shareholders’ money. Now they've got hold of the biggest pool the world can offer: taxpayers’ money.”

The article quotes the head of German operations of an international investment bank, who declares, “The taxpayer is paying for the chips at the casino. It doesn't get any better.”
To paraphrase Tom Lehrer, satire has become obsolete now that Deutsche Bank is warning politicians not to endanger the economy. Yes, they really did quote that Deutsche Bank as if it was some sort of risk-management oracle:
Deutsche Bank, the largest bank of Europe, darling of the German government and, Lehman style, “Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann, who has called proposals to limit bank size “misguided,” will leave behind a balance sheet about 40 percent larger than in 2006, and more than 80 percent as big as Germany’s economy, when he steps down in May. The firm is the second-most leveraged and third-least capitalized of Europe’s 10 largest banks”. 
I guess that's what you get when you decide that being a paper of record is less profitable than writing infomercials for banksters.