Tag Archives: Deutsche Bank

Big Banks Outed For Enabled Jeffrey Epstein’s Sex Trafficking Crimes

Unlike the unfounded narrative that cryptocurrency enables crime, big banks are more than happy to serve unsavory clients if it is lucrative enough for them. The latest example of this is a report that Jeffrey Epstein was apparently using his bank accounts to fund sex trafficking and possibly other crimes.

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The reported death of the Wall Street financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on Saturday morning in a Manhattan prison cell has left a lot of questions. Among these is how exactly he funded his criminal activities, which included sex trafficking of minors to be used by the rich and powerful. One matter that is not a mystery is how Epstein funded his perversions: he used the traditional fiat banking system, with all its extensive KYC and AML regulations.

The alleged suicide of Epstein shouldn’t stop the “Legions of lawyers, bankers and accountants” that have been digging into his financial affairs in recent weeks claims the New York Times. These include officials conducting internal reviews at the two big banks that worked with him for years, JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank. The employees at both of these financial institutions have reportedly been going over their books in a long overdue attempt to understand how they got into business with the convicted criminal and what exactly he was using their banking services for. A person who was briefed on Deutsche Bank’s internal review reportedly said “it appeared that Mr. Epstein was using his accounts for sex trafficking and possibly other illegal activity.”

Deutsche Bank headquarters on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York

Further, according to the report, compliance officers and other employees at both JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank had strongly advised their higher-ups to stop doing business with Epstein years before his accounts were finally closed. This was suggested not due to the unpalatable nature of his businesses, but due to the risks associated with him such as hurting the bank’s brand and upsetting regulators. However, former employees at both banks said that “managers and executives rejected that advice and kept doing business with the lucrative client.”

Deutsche Bank Only Recently Closed Epstein’s Accounts

Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty and was convicted in court of law of both soliciting a prostitute and of procuring a minor for prostitution back in 2008. He served 13 months in custody with work release, as part of a plea deal, where federal prosecutes had identified 36 girls as young as 14 years old who had been victimized. His case was very hard to miss due to the fact that his name was tied to some of the most famous and powerful people in the world such as Donald Trump, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the U.K.’s Prince Andrew, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and disgraced Hollywood star Kevin Spacey.

Despite all of this, it isn’t too hard to see why the higher-ups at the big banks didn’t want to let go of his business. While not much is known about the source of his money, Epstein definitely had a lot of it moving around. Among his confirmed assets is a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a Manhattan mansion worth over $77 million, a Palm Beach estate worth over $12 million, additional real-estate properties in New Mexico and Paris, a private jet airplane and no less than 15 cars. Considering this, it isn’t that surprising that Deutsche Bank only cut its ties to Epstein when prosecutors were set to charge him again with operating a sex-trafficking ring of underage girls in June of this year.

A Chase Bank branch in Manhattan, New York

JP Morgan Chase worked with Epstein from the late 1990s until 2013 and Deutsche Bank served him from 2013 until June 2019. The latter bank has reportedly already started giving his complete transaction history to investigators while the former awaits receiving similar demands for his financial data from U.S. authorities.

In a statement on Saturday after the alleged suicide, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman expressed his commitment to the victims to keep the investigation ongoing, despite the demise of the defendant. This means that the public will hopefully get a detailed examination into the criminal banking activities of Epstein in due course.

Big Banks Have a Long History of Enabling Crime

Governments, central banks and international financial institutions have all been pushing a largely unfounded narrative in recent years that cryptocurrencies enable illicit activity. Parroted by the mainstream media, it was used as justification to crack down on exchanges and other crypto service providers with demands for less user privacy or outright bans. In contrast, the established banking system has a long and proven track record of enabling all sorts of crimes, despite its burdensome compliance requirements, and yet erring institutions receive nothing more than a fine equal to a slap on the wrist.

The recent seizure of a cargo ship owned by JP Morgan, which was loaded with 20 tons of cocaine, highlight the involvement of the big banks, albeit unwittingly in this instance, in such activities. Money laundering for drug cartels as well as moving funds for terrorists, arms dealers and dictatorial regimes are among the many misdeeds the banks have been caught red-handed abetting over the years.

What do you think about the big banks that reportedly enabled Jeffrey Epstein to fund his sex trafficking crimes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: by Avi Mizrahi | Bitcoin.com

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Deutsche Bank Enters Controlled Collapse Two Weeks After Passing Fed Stress Test

“The Deutsche Bank As You Knew It Is No More”: DB Exits Equities In $8.4 Billion Overhaul, To Fire Thousands

Europe’s 2nd largest banking behemoth that only a decade ago dominated equity, fixed income, sales, trading, and investment banking across the globe is no more.

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The Purge Expands: Deutsche Bank Planning To Fire Up To 20% Of US Workers

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Two weeks after Deutsche Bank wasted no time at all to lay off 400 US bankers, or roughly 10% of total, as the bank’s post-disastrous earnings purge began, today the purge is accelerating and according to Bloomberg, the biggest European bank is considering a sweeping restructuring, a less scary phrase than “mass termination” in the U.S. “that could result in cutting about 20% of staff in the region” although Bloomberg caveats that a formal decision has not yet been made, the total figure may end up lower.

Some more details from Bloomberg:

Deutsche Bank isn’t targeting a specific level of cuts at the U.S. unit and the final figure will depend on each business line’s decisions, according to another person briefed on the matter. The company had about 10,300 employees in the U.S. at the end of 2017, or about a tenth of its global workforce.

The news follows an earlier report that Deutsche Bank’s Barry Bausano, a senior banker in charge of overseeing the company’s relations with hedge fund clients, was leaving as the firm shakes up its U.S. operations.

When Bloomberg asked the bank about its mass termination plans, bank spokesman Joerg Eigendorf said “There are no such plans,” although considering the billions Deutsche has spent on rigging and manipulation, they may be excused if they are not seen as exactly credible.

Separately, Bloomberg also reports that under its new CEO, Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank is considering cuts to businesses including prime brokerage, rates and repo,according to a bank statement last month and people familiar with the matter. As reported previously, the firm is already planning to close an office in Houston and shrink its presence in New York City, moving from Wall Street to a midtown Manhattan space that’s 30 percent smaller.

Source: ZeroHedge

Fire Sale Begins: Chinese Conglomerate HNA Starts Liquidating Billions In US Real Estate


Yesterday ZeroHedge
explained that one of the reasons why Deutsche Bank stock had tumbled to the lowest level since 2016, is because its top shareholder, China’s largest and most distressed conglomerate, HNA Group, had reportedly defaulted on a wealth management product sold on Phoenix Finance according to the local press reports. While HNA’s critical liquidity troubles have been duly noted here and have been widely known, the fact that the company was on the verge (or beyond) of default, and would be forced to liquidate its assets imminently, is what sparked the selling cascade in Deutsche Bank shares, as investors scrambled to frontrun the selling of the German lender which is one of HNA’s biggest investments.

Now, one day later, we find that while Deutsche Bank may be spared for now – if not for long – billions in US real estate will not be, and in a scene right out of the Wall Street movie Margin Call, HNA has decided to be if not smartest, nor cheat, it will be the first, and has begun its firesale of US properties.

According to Bloomberg, HNA is marketing commercial properties in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Minneapolis valued at a total of $4 billion as the indebted Chinese conglomerate seeks to stave off a liquidity crunch. The marketing document lists six office properties that are 94.1% leased, and one New York hotel, the 165-room Cassa, with a total value of $4 billion.

One of the flagship properties on the block is the landmark office building at 245 Park Ave., according to a marketing document seen by Bloomberg.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/245%20park.jpg?itok=o04ldvfo245 Park Avenue, New York

HNA bought that skyscraper less than a year ago for $2.21 billion, one of the highest prices ever paid for a New York office building. The company also is looking to sell 850 Third Ave. in Manhattan and 123 Mission St. in San Francisco, according to the document. The properties are being marketed by an affiliate of brokerage HFF.

This is just the beginning as HNA’s massive debt load – which if recent Chinese reports are accurate the company has started defaulting on – is driving the company to sell assets worldwide.

According to Real Capital Analytics estimates, HNA owns more than $14 billion in real estate properties globally. The problem is that the company has a lot more more debt. As of the end of June, HNA had 185.2 billion yuan ($29.3 billion) of short-term debt — more than its cash and earnings can cover. The company’s total debt is nearly 600 billion yuan or just under US$100 billion. Which means that the HNA fire sale is just beginning, and once the company sells the liquid real estate, it will move on to everything else, including its stake in all these companies, whose shares it has already pledged as collateral.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/12/23/HNA%20reverse%20rollup.png

So keep a close eye on Deutsche Bank stock: while HNA may have promised John Cryan it won’t sell any time soon but companies tend to quickly change their mind when bankruptcy court beckons.

Finally, the far bigger question is whether the launch of HNA’s firesale will present a tipping point in the US commercial (or residential) real estate market. After all, when what until recently was one of the biggest marginal buyers becomes a seller, it’s usually time to get out and wait for the bottom.

Source: ZeroHedge

 

Deutsche Bank Is Blood In The Water… And Sharks Smell It.

Is This Crisis Like Lehman Brothers on Steroids?

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Deutsche Bank is blood in the water… and the sharks smell it.

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that major hedge funds were reducing their exposure to the German banking behemoth. The smart money is headed for the exits.

That caused the bank’s U.S.-listed shares to hit a new all-time low of $11.27 yesterday. The stock closed down nearly 7% for the day.

And that’s just the most recent bad news for Deutsche…

Earlier this week, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany wasn’t going to bail it out.

That’s on top of $14 billion fine recently imposed by the U.S. Justice Department that the bank can’t afford to pay. Its current market capitalization is just $16.8 billion.

This torrent of negativity has the talking heads warning that Deutsche Bank is careening toward bankruptcy, bringing back memories of Lehman Bros. in 2008.

But it’s more than that…

Leveraged to the Hilt:

What investors are finally realizing is that Deutsche Bank is insolvent, something I told my Trend Following subscribers back in July.

Deutsche has astounding leverage of 40 times. Leverage is the proportion of debts that a bank has compared with its equity/capital. That means Deutsche has 40 times more debt than equity/ capital.

Remember, Lehman Bros. was only 31 times leveraged when it imploded in 2008.

The huge concern for investors right now is whether the bank can make enough profit to start overcoming its liabilities.

But it’s trapped in a low-growth economic environment. And it’s being choked to death by the European Central Bank’s negative interest rate policy (NIRP).

Because of NIRP, EU banks like Deutsche Bank effectively have to pay the central bank to hold cash on their balance sheets. At the same time, they can’t charge high rates on the loans they make. As a result, they’re getting squeezed on net interest margins, which decimates profits.

Plus, Deutsche has more than $72 trillion of risky derivatives exposure. Derivatives are the complex financial instruments that cratered the global economy in 2008.

By Michael Covel | Daily Reckoning

This Will Devolve Into A No Brexit, Brexit

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Summary

  • The UK voters have been conned, the costs of Brexit are prohibitive.
  • They will either have to vote again (either in a new referendum or a general election) or there will be a ‘Brexit light’.
  • The latter option will make a mockery of the promises to Brexit voters, but it will limit the economic dangers.
  • Still, the saga has increased the risks in the world economy, especially in the EU.

We sold everything on the Friday after Brexit, as we saw little upside, and many festering risks in the world economy. Risks which Brexit would clearly increase, most notably the risks of an economic slowdown in the EU, causing further political turmoil.

But these are by no means the only pressure points in the world economy, as we described in the previous article.

But markets rallied back (we didn’t expect an immediate crash as a result of Brexit), and it slowly dawned upon us that the most logical explanation is that there will be no Brexit.

Why? In essence, it’s fairly simple. The price of the promises made by the Brexit camp, most notably to control immigration, to pay much less to Brussels and to ‘take back control’ cannot really be achieved at anywhere near acceptable cost.

Let’s start with immigration. The UK wasn’t part of Schengen (which abolished internal border controls), but it was bound by the four freedoms of the internal market, most notably the freedom for EU citizens to live anywhere in the EU.

In order to escape that (the UK is a popular destination for East Europeans, most notably Polish) the UK would really have to get out of the single market. But this opens up a Pandora’s box of problems.

First, since the EU is the UK’s most important market, it would have to negotiate access to the single market, and do that within the two years given by Article 50 (the EU has made it clear no negotiations will start before Article 50 is triggered).

Not only that, it would have to deal with negotiating multiple other trade deals, perhaps as many as 50, basically with much of the rest of the world.

 

The UK isn’t equipped to do that (trade has been an EU prerogative), let alone in any amount of acceptable time. The resulting uncertainty isn’t exactly good for business. This will affect inward investment, location decisions, job creation, etc.

That alone is already too high a price to pay. But there are other implications, like (Bloomberg):

Britain has voted to exit the EU and Xi’s being forced to reassess his strategy for the 28-member bloc, China’s second-biggest trading partner, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The U.K. has been a key advocate for China in Europe, from building trade-and-financial links to supporting initiatives such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Beijing’s leaders were counting on the U.K’s backing later this year when the bloc decides whether to grant China market-economy status. “One major reason why China attaches great importance to its relations with the U.K. is to leverage EU policy via the U.K.,” said Xie Tao, a professor of political science at Beijing Foreign Studies University. London’s value as a “bridgehead” to Europe has been lost with Brexit, Xie said, leaving China to turn its focus to Germany.

Perhaps even more important is London’s status as a financial center. From Business Insider:

First, international banks are likely to move staff out of London and do less business in the UK. Long before the vote, rival financial centers like Paris began campaigns to woo those bankers. JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon told an audience of bank employees in Bournemouth, one of many regional financial centers in the UK, that as many as 4,000 jobs may be affected by a Brexit before the vote… It isn’t just a question of whether staff move from London to another financial center, either. New jobs are less likely to be created in London. M&G Investments, the fund arm of insurer Prudential, is looking at expanding its operations in Dublin, according to Reuters. The proposed merger between the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Borse, which would have seen the combined group based in London, now looks to be on shaky ground. Germany’s financial regulator has also said that London will no longer be the center of euro-denominated trading.

There are myriad other costs and awkward consequences, but this suffices to highlight the fact that it’s not a good idea to actually leave.

Ergo, powers will awake to prevent this and keep the UK in the single market. We can’t see the UK’s economic, financial and political elite shoot themselves in the foot without regrouping and giving this a mighty fight.

It’s fortunate that there is a cooling off period, in which calmer heads can prevail. First the governing Conservative Party has to choose a new leader.

Then they will have to work out a plan and trigger (or not) Article 50, the formal request to leave the EU.

Two outcomes seem likely, either things stay as they are, or the UK opts for membership of the EEA, which guarantees access to the single market. Perhaps they manage some symbolic concessions.

Both of these options amount to betraying the Brexit voters, one could even say they have been conned. It’s obvious if the referendum is simply ignored by Parliament, after all there already is a Parliamentary majority of 350 for remaining in the EU.

But EEA membership, like Norway, would also betray the Brexit voters and we doubt it’s any more attractive than simply remain in the EU. The UK would continue to have access to the single market, but not be a part of setting its rules.

The UK would continue to be bound by the freedom for people to live and work anywhere within the EU, making a mockery of the promise to control immigration.

Even the budgetary consequences aren’t really that much better (Yahoo):

But the fees in Norway, the nearest analog to the UK, are almost as high as what the UK pays to the EU now, and Norway has no say at all in EU decisions.

So either there will be no Brexit (a new referendum or new elections, with the winning side clearly having a mandate for remaining in the EU will be necessary), or it will be a Brexit light (EEA membership), making a mockery of the promises to the Brexit voters.

The economic consequences of the latter are much less damaging, so did we sell in vain? Not necessarily. The whole Brexit saga is still increasing the risks in the world economy, of which there are many, especially in the eurozone.

Stocks are still expensive (especially on a GAAP basis), we see limited upside, and might very well go short when stocks start approaching their all-time highs again. It’s more of a trader’s market, in our opinion.

by Shareholders Unite | Seeking Alpha

IMF Says “Deutsche Bank Poses The Greatest Risk To The Global Financial System”

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Over three years ago we wrote “At $72.8 Trillion, Presenting The Bank With The Biggest Derivative Exposure In The World” in which we introduced a bank few until then had imagined was the riskiest in the world.

As we explained then “the bank with the single largest derivative exposure is not located in the US at all, but in the heart of Europe, and its name, as some may have guessed by now, is Deutsche Bank. The amount in question? €55,605,039,000,000. Which, converted into USD at the current EURUSD exchange rate amounts to $72,842,601,090,000….  Or roughly $2 trillion more than JPMorgan’s.”

So here we are three years later, when not only did Deutsche Bank just flunk the Fed’s stress test for the second year in a row, but moments ago in a far more damning analysis, none other than the IMF disclosed that Deutsche Bank poses the greatest systemic risk to the global financial system, explicitly stating that the German bank “appears to be the most important net contributor to systemic risks.”

Yes, the same bank whose stock price hit a record low just two days ago.

Here is the key section in the report:

Domestically, the largest German banks and insurance companies are highly interconnected. The highest degree of interconnectedness can be found between Allianz, Munich Re, Hannover Re, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and Aareal bank, with Allianz being the largest contributor to systemic risks among the publicly-traded German financials. Both Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are the source of outward spillovers to most other publicly-listed banks and insurers. Given the likelihood of distress spillovers between banks and life insurers, close monitoring and continued systemic risk analysis by authorities is warranted.

Among the G-SIBs, Deutsche Bank appears to be the most important net contributor to systemic risks, followed by HSBC and Credit Suisse. In turn, Commerzbank, while an important player in Germany, does not appear to be a contributor to systemic risks globally. In general, Commerzbank tends to be the recipient of inward spillover from U.S. and European G-SIBs. The relative importance of Deutsche Bank underscores the importance of risk management, intense supervision of G-SIBs and the close monitoring of their cross-border exposures, as well as rapidly completing capacity to implement the new resolution regime.

The IMF also said the German banking system poses a higher degree of possible outward contagion compared with the risks it poses internally. This means that in the global interconnected game of counter party dominoes, if Deutsche Bank falls, everyone else will follow.

Notwithstanding moderate cross-border exposures on aggregate, the banking sector is a potential source of outward spillovers. Network analysis suggests a higher degree of outward spillovers from the German banking sector than inward spillovers. In particular, Germany, France, the U.K. and the U.S. have the highest degree of outward spillovers as measured by the average percentage of capital loss of other banking systems due to banking sector shock in the source country

The IMF concluded that Germany needs to urgently examine whether its bank resolution, i.e., liquidation, plans are operable, including a timely valuation of assets to be transferred, continued access to financial market infrastructures, and whether authorities can ensure control over a bank if resolution actions take a few days, if needed, by imposing a moratorium:

Operationalization of resolution plans and ensuring funding of a bank in resolution is a high priority. The authorities have identified operational challenges (e.g., the timely valuation of assets to be transferred, continued access to financial market infrastructures) and are working to surmount them. In some cases, actions to effect resolution may require a number of days to implement, and the authorities should ensure they can maintain control over the bank during this period, including by using their powers to impose a more general moratorium for a specific bank.

Here is the IMF’s chart showing the key linkages of the world’s riskiest bank:

And while DB is number 1, here are the other banks whose collapse would likewise lead to global contagion.

Considering two of the three most “globally systemically important”, i.e., riskiest, banks just saw their stock price scrape all time lows earlier this week, we wonder just how nervous behind their calm facades are the executives at the ECB, the IMF, and the rest of the handful of people who realize just close to the edge of collapse this world’s most riskiest bank (whose market cap is less than the valuation of AirBnB) finds itself right now.

IMF Report | Article Source: ZeroHedge