Deutsche Bank AG is a multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, and dual-listed in New York Stock Exchange and Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
The bank’s network spans 58 countries with a large presence in Europe, the Americas and Asia. As of 2017–2018, Deutsche Bank was the 17th largest bank in the world by total assets. As the largest German banking institution, it is a component of the DAX stock market index. Three of the founders were Georg Siemens, whose father’s cousin had founded Siemens and Halske; Adelbert Delbrück and Ludwig Bamberger.
The company is a universal bank with three major divisions: the Private & Commercial Bank, the Corporate & Investment Bank (CIB), and Asset Management (DWS). Its investment banking operations often command substantial deal flow.
Deutsche Bank was founded in Berlin in 1870 as a specialist bank for financing foreign trade and promoting German exports. It subsequently played a large part in developing Germany’s industry, as its business model focused on providing finance to industrial customers. The bank’s statute was adopted on 22 January 1870, and on 10 March 1870 the Prussian government granted it a banking license.
The bank’s first domestic branches, inaugurated in 1871 and 1872, were opened in Bremen and Hamburg. Its first oversea-offices opened in Shanghai in 1872 and London in 1873 followed by South American offices between 1874 and 1886. The branch opening in London, after one failure and another partially successful attempt, was a prime necessity for the establishment of credit for the German trade in what was then the world’s money center.
Major projects in the early years of the bank included the Northern Pacific Railroad in the US and the Baghdad Railway (1888). In Germany, the bank was instrumental in the financing of bond offerings of steel company Krupp (1879) and introduced the chemical company Bayer to the Berlin stock market.
Deutsche Bank & NAZIS
After Adolf Hitler came to power, instituting the Third Reich, Deutsche Bank dismissed its three Jewish board members in 1933. In subsequent years, Deutsche Bank took part in the aryanization of Jewish-owned businesses; according to its own historians, the bank was involved in 363 such confiscations by November 1938. During the war, Deutsche Bank incorporated other banks that fell into German hands during the occupation of Eastern Europe. Deutsche Bank provided banking facilities for the Gestapo and loaned the funds used to build the Auschwitz camp and the nearby IG Farben facilities.
During World War II, Deutsche Bank became responsible for managing the Bohemian Union Bank in Prague, with branches in the Protectorate and in Slovakia, the Bankverein in Yugoslavia (which has now been divided into two financial corporations, one in Serbia and one in Croatia), the Albert de Barry Bank in Amsterdam, the National Bank of Greece in Athens, the Creditanstalt-Bankverein in Austria and Hungary, the Deutsch-Bulgarische Kreditbank in Bulgaria, and Banca Comercială Română (The Romanian Commercial Bank) in Bucharest. It also maintained a branch in Istanbul, Turkey.
In 1999, Deutsche Bank confirmed officially that it had been involved in Auschwitz. In December 1999 Deutsche, along with other major German companies, contributed to a US$5.2 billion compensation fund following lawsuits brought by Holocaust survivors. The history of Deutsche Bank during the Second World War has since been documented by independent historians commissioned by the Bank.
Following Germany’s defeat in World War II, the Allied authorities, in 1948, ordered Deutsche Bank’s break-up into ten regional banks. These 10 regional banks were later consolidated into three major banks in 1952: Norddeutsche Bank AG; Süddeutsche Bank AG; and Rheinisch-Westfälische Bank AG. In 1957, these three banks merged to form Deutsche Bank AG with its headquarters in Frankfurt.
German Bank Helped Nazis Steal
Austria’s two largest private banks have agreed to turn over mounds of documents alleging that Germany’s Deutsche Bank helped the Nazis steal money from Jewish Holocaust victims in Poland and the Balkans following the Anschluss in 1938, the German annexation of Austria, according to a source close to the deal.
The banks, Bank Austria and Creditanstalt, are also said to be close to agreeing to settle Holocaust-era claims against them for a figure the source said was expected to be in the “tens of millions of dollars.” The suits claim the banks profited from the sale of victims’ gold.
Survivors and Jewish groups are said to be prepared to seek hundreds of millions of dollars in material and moral restitution. Deutsche Bank has acknowledged holding $2.51 million worth of Nazi victim’s gold and has promised to turn it over to Jewish groups in the United States.
In another development, a French commission has found that five American banks that operated in France during the Holocaust looted the accounts of about 100 Jews and turned an undisclosed amount of money over to Nazi occupiers. It identified the banks as Chase — now Chase Manhattan Bank — Guaranty Trust Co. of New York, Bank of the City of New York, American Express and J.P. Morgan.
Deutsche Bank’s Auschwitz Role Tangles Takeover in U.S.
Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s biggest bank, said Thursday that it helped finance construction of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz–a surprise revelation that came in the middle of its bid to buy America’s eighth biggest bank.
The announcement, made by the company’s historian in Frankfurt, cast a shadow over the German bank’s effort to complete its planned $10.1-billion takeover of Bankers Trust. However, Deutsche Bank speedily set up a meeting with one of its chief Jewish critics, the World Jewish Congress.
The New York-based WJC, which is negotiating with the bank, is expected to try to block the planned merger unless Deutsche Bank agrees to pay reparations to Holocaust victims or to set up a process under which victims will be paid.
The meeting will be held by Monday and will include representatives of the German government, which is considering an umbrella plan to pay reparations to Holocaust victims on behalf of German industries and businesses.
Analysts said the latest revelation could delay the deal, which Deutsche Bank wants to wrap up by the end of the second quarter, by no more than a few months.
Manfred Pohl, head of Deutsche Bank’s historical institute, said newly uncovered documents showed the bank had links with firms that built the camp in Poland. It also had credit links to one company that made incineration units and funded another whose subsidiary made the Zyklon-B gas used in the camp.
Lots of Mysterious Deaths/Suicides
Judge Esther Salas Assigned to Epstein Deutsche Bank Case 4 Days Before Husband, Son Shot – Appointed by Obama
New York firefighter who survived 9/11 and Deutsche Bank blaze commits suicide
A New York firefighter who survived 9/11 and the Deutsche Bank skyscraper blaze has committed suicide, it emerged today.
Retired Lieutenant John Garcia saw colleagues die in both the September 2001 terror attacks and the large 2007 fire on the edge of Ground Zero.
The father-of-four worked with the Fire Department New York for 25 years before retiring in 2009. He was on the scene at the World Trade Center when both towers collapsed.
A friend told the New York Daily News that on 9/11: ‘He felt powerless. People needed help and he was a firefighter and he couldn’t help them.’
Six years later – after he had been promoted to Lieutenant – two of his firefighters were killed in the Deutsche Bank blaze.Source
The son of a late Deutsche Bank executive who had a stash of secret bank records has spoken to investigators probing Trump
The son of a Deutsche Bank executive who died by suicide in 2014 has been cooperating with FBI agents investigating the bank and has spoken to a congressional committee investigating President Donald Trump’s ties to the financial giant, The New York Times reported.
The Times’ David Enrich on Tuesday published a profile of Val Broeksmit, 43, the adopted son of William Broeksmit. According to the report, after William Broeksmit’s death, Val Broeksmit discovered a trove of bank records — including minutes of board meetings, spreadsheets, and financial plans — in his father’s email account.
After sharing some files with journalists and federal investigators, Broeksmit earlier this year went to a party where he met the musician Moby, who introduced him to his friend Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Trump’s ties to Deutsche Bank.Source
Superbomb Mystery: The Herrhausen Assassination
What’s the connection between the murder of a German banker 20 years ago and the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan?
It’s all to do with terrorist technology and explosively formed penetrators (aka, “superbombs”), the insurgent’s deadliest weapon against armored vehicles.
Many have pointed out the similarity of attacks in Iraq to the method used to assassinate Alfred Herrhausen in Germany on November 30, 1989. Herrhausen was the head of Germany’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank – and an obvious target for the Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorist group.
Herrhausen was in a bullet-proof Mercedes limousine, the middle car of a three-vehicle convoy, with bodyguards ahead and behind. The RAF planned their attack well, planting their bomb in a satchel on a bicycle parked beside the route. The bomb was linked to an infrared beam, which terrorists posing as workmen had set up across the road.
The terrorists allowed the lead car through, and then activated the beam. When Herrhausen’s car broke the beam, the bomb went off. It consisted of ten kilos of explosive and a two-kilo copper plate, aimed so that it would strike the passenger seat.
The metal pierced the armored limo and Herrhausen was wounded in the legs; he bled to death shortly afterwards, before medical assistance arrived.
The RAF device which killed Herrhausen is generally described as a platter charge, rather than an Iraq-style EFP. That’s because the RAF are not thought to have had the skill to produce an EFP. By contrast, a platter charge is a much cruder form of improvised explosive device.Source
Deutsche Bank lawyer found dead by suicide in New York
A senior Deutsche Bank regulatory lawyer has been found dead in New York after committing suicide, New York City officials said on Saturday.
Calogero Gambino, 41, was found on the morning of Oct. 20 at his home in the New York borough of Brooklyn and pronounced dead on the scene, according to New York City police.
Gambino was an associate general counsel and a managing director who worked for the German bank for 11 years, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported his death.
He had been closely involved in negotiating legal issues for Deutsche Bank such as a probe by regulators of banks over allegations they manipulated the Libor benchmark interest rate as well as currency markets.
He died by hanging, said Julie Bolcer, spokeswoman for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner. The manner of death was suicide.Source
Retired Deutsche Bank executive William Broeksmit ‘took own life’
A retired senior Deutsche Bank risk executive who took his own life was “very anxious” about authorities investigating the bank, his psychologist told an inquest into his death. William Broeksmit, 58, who worked at Deutsche Bank’s investment bank, was found hanged at his home in London’s Chelsea by his wife in January, the inquest heard.
Broeksmit worked at Deutsche Bank between 1996 and 2001, returning in 2008 in a number of senior roles to help the bank deal with the financial crisis. He stepped down in February 2013. Banks in the City have been taking steps to ease pressure on staff amid concerns that some are struggling to cope with the long hours and heavy burdens of the job, though most of the initiatives have focused on junior employees.
Two days after Broeksmit’s suicide, a 39-year-old JPMorgan technology executive, Gabriel Magee, died after falling from the bank’s London headquarters. Fiona Wilcox, coroner, heard that Broeksmit had been referred by his doctor to a psychologist, Dr William Mitchell, in July 2013 because he was showing signs of being “extremely anxious”. Dr Mitchell wrote in a subsequent letter to Broeksmit’s doctor that the former banker was “very anxious” about authorities investigating areas of the bank in which he worked.
The coroner was told that the retired banker only saw the psychologist for one appointment. By December 2013, when Broeksmit last saw his doctor, he had improved and did not appear to be anxious or depressed, the inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice was told. Recording a verdict that he took his own life, Ms Wilcox noted that Broeksmit had left a number of notes for family and friends that showed “clear evidence of suicidal intent”. She expressed her condolences to his family. On the day of his death, Broeksmit was due to meet his wife, Alla. She found his body when she went home after he did not show up.Source
Senior Deutsche Bank deal-maker dies at 51
Miklos Kormos, the head of investment banking coverage for Central and Eastern Europe, Israel and Turkey at Deutsche Bank, has died after a battle with cancer, aged 51.
Kormos passed away in December. He joined Deutsche Bank in October 2007, after the bank acquired his advisory boutique New Europe Capital Partners. From 2001, he worked for JPMorgan, latterly rising to president of its Russian business in London before founding his own venture in 2006.
“We have been very saddened by the death of our colleague Miklos Kormos. Our condolences and thoughts are with his family at this time,” said Deutsche Bank in an emailed statement.Source
Deutsche Bank Executive Who Signed Off On Trump Loans Kills Himself At Age 55
Thomas Bowers, previously the head of U.S. Wealth Management for Deutsche Bank, died last week in Malibu, Calif., according to ForensicNews.net. David Enrich, a New York Times reporter who’s soon to publish a book based on his reporting on the bank and its relationship with President Donald Trump, tweeted about Bowers’ death last night, saying he knew Bowers and that the news was “very sad.”
According to a California coroner’s report first cited by ForensicNews, Bowers died on Nov. 19, and the cause was suicide by hanging.
In a March 2019 Times article, Enrich described how relationships between Trump and the bank’s commercial real estate and investment banking divisions soured before he met Rosemary T. Vrablic, a managing director at Deutsche Bank and part of its burgeoning private wealth division. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior advisor, was a client of Vrablic, and he introduced her to Trump when he was seeking a loan to purchase the Doral Golf and Spa. According to the Times, Vrablic and Bowers both agreed to a loan from Deutsche’s private wealth division that would help him pay down a loan due to Deutsche’s investment banking division.Source
Two Jersey City deaths could be a ‘murder-suicide,’ prosecutor says
The owner of a Jersey City restaurant and a bank vice president she lived with were found dead Sunday morning in an apparent murder-suicide, authorities said.
Man Mohan Mall, 37, was found unresponsive in the Hudson River near Montgomery Street and Exchange Place — just down the block from Nukkad, Garima Kothari’s Indian cuisine restaurant on Greene Street.
Kothari, 35, was found dead at Mall’s home on Christopher Columbus Drive.
Jersey City police responded to a report of a possible suicide attempt where Mall was found, Suarez said. She added that police also responded to Mall’s residence, where Kothari was unresponsive with apparent trauma to her upper body.
Kothari moved to Jersey City in 2015 after living in Florida, she told ChicPeaJC in a 2016 interview. The owner was also a pastry chef, event organizer, home chef-instructor and made it to the top 15 on MasterChef in India, she said in the interview.
Before her cooking career, she was an investment banker, the article said. In 2009, she received her MBA in accounting and finance from SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, according to her Linkedin.
On Sunday, police said in radio transmissions that Kothari suffered head trauma.
Mall was the vice president at Deutsche Bank in New York, according to his Linkedin. He graduated at Indian Institute of Technology in 2006 before completing his masters in 2009 at Columbia University.
Mall was pronounced dead at the scene around 7:55 a.m. Kothari was pronounced dead in the home at approximately 7:15 a.m., Suarez said.
The Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit and JCPD are actively investigating the case. Suarez said though it appears these deaths are the result of a murder-suicide, the final determination is pending the findings of the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.
NTSB says pilot error caused Rangeley crash 2 died when plane hit Beaver Mountain on Dec. 22 2001
In investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board determined that pilot error was to blame for the crash of a twin-engine plane that killed the pilot and passenger last year.
Stephen A. Bean failed to maintain sufficient altitude while landing at the Rangeley Municipal Airport on Dec. 22, the report said. The plane crashed 100 feet below the summit of 3,150-foot Beaver Mountain.
Factors in the accident were snow showers and clouds, the dark night and mountainous terrain, and the pilot’s decision to cancel his clearance for flight instrument rules, the board said.
Bean, owner of Mountain Air Services, was a veteran pilot with 15,500 hours of flight experience. He also was a flight instructor.
His passenger was Edson Mitchell III, a Maine native who was a member of the board of directors of Deutsche Bank in London and a member of the Colby College board of trustees. Mitchell had a vacation home in Rangeley.Source
Stockbroker Anjool Malde died amid prank-message investigation
An accomplished young broker who jumped to his death from the top of one London’s most exclusive restaurants clutching a glass of champagne was under investigation for posting prank messages on a financial website, his inquest heard today.
Anjool Malde described himself as “living the dream”. The Oxford graduate, a broker at Deutsche Bank and co-founder of events company AlphaParties, was well known on the social scene. At the age of 24, he had just bought a holiday penthouse in Spain.
Bharat Malde described his only child as a “very lively, talented, very bright, a social animal”. Just days after his death he had been planning to celebrate his birthday at a champagne and canapés party in Soho.
Yet on Sunday 5 July, 2010 he walked into the City’s Coq d’Argent, ordered a drink and then headed over to the roof terrace. CCTV footage showed him climb a glass barrier and jump downwards, his arms flung back.
Despite Mr Malde’s parents’ insistence that it was completely out of character, City of London Coroner Paul Matthews said the images left him in no doubt and ruled that Mr Malde committed suicide.Source
Senior expat banker found guilty in Ferrari crash that killed car park security guard jailed 21 months
A senior expatriate banker who rammed his Ferrari into a security guard in a fatal accident last year was yesterday jailed for 21 months and suspended from driving for five years after his claims of mechanical failure were rejected.
The District Court found Robert Ebert, Deutsche Bank’s former head of equities for Asia Pacific, guilty of dangerous driving causing death after his black Ferrari 458 Spider hit Ku Lap-chi, 53, on June 9 last year at the Waterfront car park in Kowloon Station.
The offence was punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment.
Judge Amanda Woodcock stressed it was a difficult sentence to pass as Ebert was not a criminal, but the crash had caused death and great deal of distress.Source
Widow of Firefighter Joseph Graffagnino reaches $10M settlement 5 years after hero husband dies in Deutsche Bank fire
The widow of a 33 year old firefighter killed in the Deutsche Bank fire has reached a stunning $10 million settlement with the city and contractor held responsible for safety lapses at the tower.
Nearly five years after the tragedy, Bovis Lend Lease has agreed to pay Joseph Graffagnino’s widow, Linda, and her two small children $9 million, while the city has signed off on covering another $1 million, documents obtained by the Daily News show.Source
Deutsche Bank & Corruption
How Deutsche Bank Made a $462 Million Loss Disappear
On Dec. 1, 2008, most of the world’s banks were still panicking through the financial crisis. Lehman Brothers had collapsed. Merrill Lynch had been sold. Citigroup and others had required multibillion-dollar bailouts to survive. But not every institution appeared to be in free fall. That afternoon, at the London outpost of Deutsche Bank, the stolid-seeming, €2 trillion German powerhouse, a group of financiers met to consider a proposal from a team led by a trim, 40-year-old banker named Michele Faissola.
The scion of an Italian banking family, Faissola was the head of Deutsche’s global rates unit, a division that created and sold financial instruments tied to interest rates. He’d been studying the problems of one of Deutsche’s clients, Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which, as the crisis raged, was down €367 million ($462 million at the time) on a single investment. Losing that much money was bad; having to include it in the bank’s yearend report to the public, as required by Italian law, was arguably much worse. Monte dei Paschi was the world’s oldest bank. It had been operating since 1472, not long after the invention of the printing press, when the Black Death was still a living memory. If investors were to find out the extent of its losses in the 2008 credit crisis, the consequences would be unpredictable and grave: a run on the bank, a government takeover, or worse. At the Deutsche meeting, Faissola’s team said it had come up with a miraculous solution: a new trade that would make Paschi’s loss disappear.
The bankers in the room had seen some financial sleight of hand in their day, but the maneuver that Faissola’s staffers proposed was audacious. They described a simple trade in two parts. For one half of the deal, Paschi would make a sure-thing, moneymaking bet with Deutsche Bank and use those winnings to extinguish its 2008 trading losses. Of course, Deutsche doesn’t give away money for free, so for the second half of the deal, the Italians would make a bet that was sure to lose. But while the first transaction was immediate, the second would play out slowly, over many years. No sign of the €367 million sinkhole would need to show up when Paschi compiled its yearend financial reports.
The audience for the proposal that day was Deutsche’s global market risks assessment committee, a top-level panel that reviews transactions with legal, regulatory, and reputational considerations. Respectively, that means asking: Is a given trade within the law? Is it within the looser framework of industry rules and standards? And even if so, can Deutsche pull it off without maiming its brand—its basic ability to operate as a trustworthy member of the global financial system?
To at least one member of the committee, the possibilities of Faissola’s trade seemed wondrous. “This is fantastic,” said Jeremy Bailey, Deutsche’s European chairman of global banking, according to testimony of an executive who later recounted the exchange for an internal disciplinary panel. “You can book a [profit] in front and spread losses over time?” Bailey added. “We should do it for Deutsche Bank.”
Ivor Dunbar, the meeting’s chairman, curbed Bailey’s enthusiasm. “We are not discussing [our] balance sheet here,” he said. (Bailey, through a spokesman, denies he made the remarks.)
Outside the room, one of Faissola’s longtime colleagues was raising questions about the deal. William Broeksmit, a managing director who specialized in risk optimization, was concerned about the winner-loser construction. A Chicago-born son of a United Church of Christ minister, Broeksmit had decades earlier been a pioneer in interest rate swaps, the financial instruments that had rewritten the possibilities—and profitability—of investment banking. But Broeksmit, 53, was also against reckless derivative deals, which is how he viewed Faissola’s proposal, according to a person familiar with his thinking. Eleven minutes after the meeting began, Broeksmit e-mailed one of its attendees with a warning about the Paschi trade and its “reputational risks.”Source
Deutsche Bank’s $10-Billion Scandal
Almost every weekday between the fall of 2011 and early 2015, a Russian broker named Igor Volkov called the equities desk of Deutsche Bank’s Moscow headquarters. Volkov would speak to a sales trader—often, a young woman named Dina Maksutova—and ask her to place two trades simultaneously. In one, he would use Russian rubles to buy a blue-chip Russian stock, such as Lukoil, for a Russian company that he represented. Usually, the order was for about ten million dollars’ worth of the stock. In the second trade, Volkov—acting on behalf of a different company, which typically was registered in an offshore territory, such as the British Virgin Islands—would sell the same Russian stock, in the same quantity, in London, in exchange for dollars, pounds, or euros. Both the Russian company and the offshore company had the same owner. Deutsche Bank was helping the client to buy and sell to himself.
At first glance, the trades appeared banal, even pointless. Deutsche Bank earned a small commission for executing the buy and sell orders, but in financial terms the clients finished roughly where they began. To inspect the trades individually, however, was like standing too close to an Impressionist painting—you saw the brushstrokes and missed the lilies. These transactions had nothing to do with pursuing profit. They were a way to expatriate money. Because the Russian company and the offshore company both belonged to the same owner, these ordinary-seeming trades had an alchemical purpose: to turn rubles that were stuck in Russia into dollars stashed outside Russia. On the Moscow markets, this sleight of hand had a nickname: konvert, which means “envelope” and echoes the English verb “convert.” In the English-language media, the scheme has become known as “mirror trading.”
Mirror trades are not inherently illegal. The purpose of an equities desk at an investment bank is to help approved clients buy and sell stock, and there could be legitimate reasons for making a simultaneous trade. A client might want to benefit, say, from the difference between the local and the foreign price of a stock. Indeed, because the individual transactions involved in mirror trades did not directly contravene any regulations, some employees who worked at Deutsche Bank’s Russian headquarters at the time deny that such activity was improper. (Fourteen former and current employees of Deutsche Bank in Moscow spoke to me about the mirror trades, as did several people involved with the clients. Most of them asked not to be named, either because they had signed nondisclosure agreements or because they still work in banking.)
Viewed with detachment, however, repeated mirror trades suggest a sustained plot to shift and hide money of possibly dubious origin. Deutsche Bank’s actions are now under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the New York State Department of Financial Services, and financial regulators in the U.K. and in Germany. In an internal report, Deutsche Bank has admitted that, until April, 2015, when three members of its Russian equities desk were suspended for their role in the mirror trades, about ten billion dollars was spirited out of Russia through the scheme. The lingering question is whose money was moved, and why.Source
Deutsche Bank’s Perilous Pursuit of Profit
In 1999, the German colossus Deutsche Bank was poised to acquire Bankers Trust. This purchase would give Deutsche a foothold in the United States and dramatically expand its investment banking business. The price was $10 billion, the largest foreign takeover of a U.S. bank in history. It would make Deutsche one of the largest financial institutions in the world. But there was a problem.
That February, New York City Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi announced he would try to block the merger until Deutsche Bank properly resolved claims by Holocaust survivors that the bank was complicit in Nazi war crimes. During the Nazi rule of Germany, the bank had, among other things, facilitated the transnational sale of gold stolen from Jews, which infused the Nazi war machine with cash. For decades, the bank’s official position had been to play down or deny its involvement. But the Bankers Trust merger was too important and too high profile.
And so it was that Deutsche Bank’s chairman, Rolf-Ernst Breuer, stated, “We deeply regret the misery and injustice suffered and … we acknowledge the bank’s ethical and moral responsibility.” The world-historical irony was that—just as Deutsche Bank was admitting to having once been a sophisticated criminal organization—the merger would bring a whole new epoch of wrongdoing, a tidal wave of malfeasance so tall that it would not only drastically diminish the century-old bank but, once again, upend the geopolitical order. This story is the subject of David Enrich’s sharp new book, Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Tale of Destruction.
Enrich is the finance editor for the New York Times, a journalist who specializes in globe-spanning reportage backed up by deep access to an array of vivid characters. His last book, The Spider Network, was a meticulously reported story of a possibly autistic man at the center of a haphazard global conspiracy to manipulate the Libor rate. In Dark Towers, he doesn’t focus on a single character but instead takes on the more complicated task of profiling an entire organization, which he refers to as a “criminal enterprise.” He presents a portrait of a bank that, over its history—in desperate, reckless attempts to install itself as a global player—repeatedly turned to fraud, money laundering, and other crimes.Source
Bloomberg’s Biggest Scandal—The Deutsche Bank Fire—Should Be His Downfall. Why Isn’t It?
Mike Bloomberg’s worst scandal cost two firefighters their lives. If we lived in a media world in which facts and memories mattered, the nonchalance at the highest levels of the Bloomberg administration about the hazards and warnings at the Deutsche Bank building, where Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino died on August 18, 2007, might cost him his re-election.
Our billionaire mayor will never be tarnished by the traditional pay-to-play and influence-peddling schemes that compromise politicians with ordinary bank accounts. Instead, his defining debacle is a failure of leadership, accountability, and transparency, revealed in one law enforcement report or news story after another, ever since Beddia and Graffagnino succumbed to smoke on the 14th floor of the city’s most toxic building, just 118 feet from where 343 of their brothers perished six years earlier. Even Bloomberg’s Department of Investigations (DOI) found last month, in a report barely noticed by the press, that it was a case of death by official dereliction.
By the time of the fire, city and state officials were so driven by their deal with J.P. Morgan Chase—which had agreed to begin building its new headquarters on the Deutsche site as soon as it was cleared—that they were pushing this unprecedented simultaneous decontamination and demolition project forward as quickly as possible. They did so without proper permits or oversight, determined to complete it before the opt-out 2008 deadlines written into the Morgan contract. Due to the extended delays that followed the fire, however, the deconstruction of the bank building remains unfinished, and Morgan has, for reasons more connected to the economic meltdown than to the Deutsche delays, walked away.
The original $45 million takedown price tag on the Deutsche building has grown by five times. Next year, finally, the blackened 40-story carcass is slated to be gone, nearly a full decade after a 15-floor gash was cut in its side by South Tower debris and it was filled with toxins and remains thrown into the bright morning air on the city’s darkest day. Everything about this project and its fire has been bungled—by one city and three state administrations—yet yesterday’s headlines have become today’s haze, and the role of a mayor celebrated for his competence remains largely unexamined.Source
Six former employees were accused of being involved in a major tax fraud deal with CO2 emission certificates, and most of them were subsequently convicted. It was estimated that the sum of money in the tax evasion scandal might have been as high as €850 million. Deutsche Bank itself was not convicted due to an absence of corporate liability laws in Germany.
From as late as 2001 to at least 2007, the bank engaged in covert espionage on its critics. The bank has admitted to episodes of spying in 2001 and 2007 directed by its corporate security department, although characterizing them as “isolated”. According to the Wall Street Journal, Deutsche Bank had prepared a list of names of people who it wanted investigated for criticism of the bank, including Michael Bohndorf (an activist investor in the bank), Leo Kirch (a former media executive in litigation with the bank), and the Munich law firm of Bub Gauweiler & Partner, which represented Kirch. According to the Wall Street Journal, the bank’s legal department was involved in the scheme along with its corporate security department. The bank has since hired Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, a New York law firm, to investigate the incidents on its behalf. The Cleary firm has concluded its investigation and submitted its report, which however has not been made public. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Cleary firm uncovered a plan by which Deutsche Bank was to infiltrate the Bub Gauweiler firm by having a bank “mole” hired as an intern at the Bub Gauweiler firm. The plan was allegedly cancelled after the intern was hired but before she started work. Peter Gauweiler, a principal at the targeted law firm, was quoted as saying “I expect the appropriate authorities including state prosecutors and the bank’s oversight agencies will conduct a full investigation.”
In May 2009, Deutsche Bank informed the public that the executive management had learned about possible violations that occurred in past years of the bank’s internal procedures or legal requirements in connection with activities involving the bank’s corporate security department. Deutsche Bank immediately retained the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Frankfurt to conduct an independent investigation and informed the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). The principal findings by the law firm, published in July 2009, found four incidents that raised legal issues, such as data protection or privacy concerns. In all incidents, the activities arose out of certain mandates performed by external service providers on behalf of the Bank’s Corporate Security Department. The incidents were isolated, no systemic misbehaviour was found and there was no indication that present members of the Management Board had been involved in any activity that raises legal issues or has had any knowledge of such activities. This was confirmed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt in October 2009. BaFin found deficiencies in operations within Deutsche Bank’s security unit in Germany but found no systemic misconduct by the bank. The bank initiated steps to strengthen controls for the mandating of external service providers by its Corporate Security Department and their activities.
April 2015 Libor scandal
On 23 April 2015, Deutsche Bank agreed to a combined US$2.5 billion in fines – a US$2.175 billion fine by American regulators, and a €227 million penalty by British authorities – for its involvement in the Libor scandal uncovered in June 2012. It was one of several banks described as colluding to fix interest rates used to price hundreds of trillions of dollars of loans and contracts worldwide, including mortgages and student loans. Deutsche Bank also pleaded guilty to wire fraud, acknowledging that at least 29 employees had engaged in illegal activity. It was required to dismiss all employees who were involved with the fraudulent transactions. However, no individuals will be charged with criminal wrongdoing. In a Libor first, Deutsche Bank will be required to install an independent monitor. Commenting on the fine, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority director Georgina Philippou said “This case stands out for the seriousness and duration of the breaches … One division at Deutsche Bank had a culture of generating profits without proper regard to the integrity of the market. This wasn’t limited to a few individuals but, on certain desks, it appeared deeply ingrained. The fine represented a record for interest rate related cases, eclipsing a $1.5 billion Libor related fine to UBS, and the then-record $450 million fine assessed to Barclays earlier in the case. The size of the fine reflected the breadth of wrongdoing at Deutsche Bank, the bank’s poor oversight of traders, and its failure to take action when it uncovered signs of abuse internally.
Role in 2007–08 financial crisis
In January 2017, Deutsche Bank agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its sale and pooling of toxic mortgage securities in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. As part of the agreement, Deutsche Bank was required to pay a civil monetary penalty of $3.1 billion and provide $4.1 billion in consumer relief, such as loan forgiveness. At the time of the agreement, Deutsche Bank was still facing investigations into the alleged manipulation of foreign exchange rates, suspicious equities trades in Russia, as well as alleged violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran and other countries. Since 2012, Deutsche Bank had paid more than €12 billion for litigation, including a deal with U.S. mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
2015 sanctions violations
On 5 November 2015, Deutsche Bank was ordered to pay US$258 million (€237.2 million) in penalties imposed by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the United States Federal Reserve Bank after the bank was caught doing business with Burma, Libya, Sudan, Iran, and Syria which were under US sanctions at the time. According to the US federal authorities, Deutsche Bank handled 27,200 US dollar clearing transactions valued at more than US$10.86 billion (€9.98 billion) to help evade US sanctions between early 1999 until 2006 which are done on behalf of Iranian, Libyan, Syrian, Burmese, and Sudanese financial institutions and other entities subject to US sanctions, including entities on the Specially Designated Nationals by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
In response to the penalties, the bank will pay US$200 million (€184 million) to the NYDFS while the rest (US$58 million; €53.3 million) will go to the Federal Reserve. In addition to the payment, the bank will install an independent monitor, fire six employees who were involved in the incident, and ban three other employees from any work involving the bank’s US-based operations. The bank is still under investigation by the US Justice Department and New York State Department of Financial Services into possible sanctions violations relating to the 2014–15 Ukrainian crisis and its activities within Russia.
2017 money-laundering fine
In January 2017, the bank was fined $425 million by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and £163 million by the UK Financial Conduct Authority regarding accusations of laundering $10 billion out of Russia.
Criminal cartel charges in Australia
On 1 June 2018, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that criminal cartel charges were expected to be laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) against ANZ Bank, its group treasurer Rick Moscati, along with Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and a number of individuals.
Alleged involvement in Danske Bank money-laundering scandal
On 19 November 2018, a whistleblower on alleged money-laundering activities undertaken by Danske Bank stated that a large European bank was involved in helping Danske process $150 billion in suspect funds. Although the whistleblower, Howard Wilkinson, did not name Deutsche Bank directly, another inside source claimed the institute in question was Deutsche Bank’s U.S. unit.
Improper handling of ADRs investigation
On 20 July 2018, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay nearly $75 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American depositary receipts (ADRs) under investigation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Deutsche Bank didn’t admit or deny the investigation findings but agreed to pay disgorgement of more than $44.4 million in ill-gotten gains plus $6.6 million in prejudgment interest and a penalty of $22.2 million.
Malaysian 1MDB fund
U.S. prosecutors are investigating Deutsche Bank’s role in a multibillion-dollar fraud scandal involving the 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, according to news reports in July 2019. Deutsche Bank helped raise $1.2 billion for the 1MDB in 2014.
Deutsche Bank & Epstein
Investors sue Deutsche Bank and its CEO in wake of Epstein 150M fine
Investors are suing Deutsche Bank and its CEO Christian Sewing, alleging the bank made false and misleading statements before it agreed to pay a $150 million fine for compliance failures linked to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey, and seeks unspecified damages.
It claims shareholders lost money because of Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) dealings with Epstein, who was implicated in dozens of sexual abuse cases. He died last August at the age of 66 after being found hanging in a Manhattan jail.
New York regulators last week announced Deutsche Bank would pay the fine for “significant compliance failures” over Epstein and two unrelated cases.
The named plaintiff is Ali Karimi, who lives in Connecticut, according to court documents.Source
Deutsche Bank & 9/11
The Deutsche Bank Building in Lower Manhattan, formerly Bankers Trust Plaza, was heavily damaged by the collapse of the South Tower of the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Demolition work on the 39-story building continued for nearly a decade, and was completed in early 2011.
In October 2001, Deutsche Bank was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This was the first NYSE listing after interruption due to 11 September attacks.
Deutsche Bank Alex Brown and 9/11 Insider Trading
I had the feeling that there was one final thing left for me to do regarding my research of informed trading activities in connection to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 in order to close that chapter of my journalistic work once and for all. And so I went back to the 9/11 stories involving Deutsche Bank Alex Brown. I considered it a journalistic obligation to exercise diligence.
With regard to the research that I’ve done on the topic of “9/11 Insider Trading” there was one thing that I hadn’t gone after sufficiently enough: so far I had not asked the German Bank for a statement on two particular issues. I also noticed that no one else had asked the Deutsche Bank for it – at least I could not find anything that suggested otherwise.
What those two issues were should become evident if I just cite some various e-mails. Moreover, they will give you all relevant links/sources to follow up on the whole story if you want to. I am aware that the format is a bit unusual and a bit hard to follow, but I am confident that you will understand it in the end.
On December 31, 2012, I wrote this e-mail to the press department at the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany (email@example.com), which included two relevant excerpts from my research.
Media Request re Deutsche Bank – Alex Brown – 9/11 Informed Trading
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
My name is Lars Schall, I am a freelance journalist for finance. Earlier this year I’ve published an article at Asia Times Online, the biggest English news website in Asia, on the topic of alleged informed trading activities prior to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001:
In this article I’ve mentioned that something strange occurred related to Deutsche Bank’s computer systems in New York City.* The source for this, the investigative journalist Michael C. Ruppert, repeated this story again on record in this video of mine:
Since I have never seen that the Deutsche Bank was officially asked about this, I would like to ask you for a comment on this specific story.
I would also like to ask for a comment from you on the fact that Alex Brown, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, traded massive put options purchases on United Airlines Company UAL through the Chicago Board Option Exchange (CBOE).**
But let’s get back to the subject of destruction. On September 11, not only human life, aircraft and buildings were destroyed in New York City, but also data on computers and in archives. For example, several federal agencies occupied space in Building 7 of the World Trade Center, including the Securities and Exchange Commission on floors 11 to 13.
Those and other data could have given information about the alleged 9/11 insider trading (though it seems to be very unlikely that no backup existed elsewhere independent of the local computer systems). In fact, some technology companies were commissioned to recover damaged hard disks, which had been recovered from the debris and dust of Ground Zero.
One of these companies was the English company group Convar, more precisely: their data rescue center in the German city Pirmasens. Erik Kirschbaum from the news agency Reuters reported in December 2001 that Convar had at that time successfully restored information from 32 computers, supporting “suspicions that some of the 911 transactions were illegal”.
‘The suspicion is that inside information about the attack was used to send financial transaction commands and authorizations in the belief that amid all the chaos the criminals would have, at the very least, a good head start,’ says Convar director Peter Henschel.”  Convar received the costly orders – according to Kirschbaum´s report the companies had to pay between $20,000 and $30,000 per rescued computer – in particular from credit card companies, because: “There was a sharp rise in credit card transactions moving through some computer systems at the WTC shortly before the planes hit the twin towers. This could be a criminal enterprise – in which case, did they get advance warning? Or was it only a coincidence that more than $100 million was rushed through the computers as the disaster unfolded?” 
The companies for which Convar was active cooperated with the FBI. If the data were reconstructed they should have been passed on to the FBI, and the FBI, according to its statutory mandate, should have initiated further investigation based on the data to find out who carried out these transactions. Henschel was optimistic at the time that the sources for the transactions would come to light.
Richard Wagner, a Convar employee, told Kirschbaum that “illegal transfers of more than $100 million might have been made immediately before and during the disaster. ‘There is a suspicion that some people had advance knowledge of the approximate time of the plane crashes in order to move out amounts exceeding $100 million,’ he says. ‘They thought that the records of their transactions could not be traced after the main frames were destroyed’.” 
Wagner’s observation that there had been “illegal financial transactions shortly before and during the WTC disaster” matches an observation which Ruppert describes in Crossing the Rubicon. Ruppert was contacted by an employee of Deutsche Bank, who survived the WTC disaster by leaving the scene when the second aircraft had hit its target. According to the employee, about five minutes before the attack the entire Deutsche Bank computer system had been taken over by something external that no one in the office recognized and every file was downloaded at lightning speed to an unknown location. The employee, afraid for his life, lost many of his friends on September 11, and he was well aware of the role which the Deutsche Bank subsidiary Alex Brown had played in insider trading. 
** I specifically asked financial journalist Max Keiser, who for years had worked on Wall Street as a stock and options trader, about the put option trades. Keiser pointed out in this context that he “had spoken with many brokers in the towers of the World Trade Center around that time. I heard firsthand about the airline put trade from brokers at Cantor Fitzgerald days before.” He then talked with me about an explosive issue, on which Ruppert elaborated in detail in Crossing the Rubicon.
Max Keiser: There are many aspects concerning these option purchases that have not been disclosed yet. I also worked at Alex Brown & Sons (ABS). Deutsche Bank bought Alex Brown & Sons in 1999. When the attacks occurred, ABS was owned by Deutsche Bank. An important person at ABS was Buzzy Krongard. I have met him several times at the offices in Baltimore. Krongard had transferred to become executive director at the CIA. The option purchases, in which ABS was involved, occurred in the offices of ABS in Baltimore. The noise which occurred between Baltimore, New York City and Langley was interesting, as you can imagine, to say the least.
Under consideration here is the fact that Alex Brown, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank (where many of the alleged 9/11 hijackers handled their banking transactions – for example Mohammed Atta) traded massive put options purchases on United Airlines Company UAL through the Chicago Board Option Exchange (CBOE) – “to the embarrassment of investigators”, as British newspaper The Independent reported. 
On September 12, the chairman of the board of Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, Mayo A Shattuck III, suddenly and quietly renounced his post, although he still had a three-year contract with an annual salary of several million US dollars. One could perceive that as somehow strange.
A few weeks later, the press spokesperson of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at that time, Tom Crispell, declined all comments, when he was contacted for a report for Ruppert’s website From the Wilderness, and had being asked “whether the Treasury Department or FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] had questioned CIA executive director and former Deutsche Bank-Alex Brown CEO [chief executive officer], A B ‘Buzzy’ Krongard, about CIA monitoring of financial markets using PROMIS and his former position as overseer of Brown’s ‘private client’ relations.” 
Just before he was recruited personally by former CIA chief George Tenet for the CIA, Krongard supervised mainly private client banking at Alex Brown. 
In any case, after 9/11 on the first trading day, when the US stock markets were open again, the stock price of UAL declined by 43%. (The four aircraft hijacked on September 11 were American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77 and UAL flights 175 and 93.)
It’s not related to the NYC twin towers but it’s interesting to note that Deutsche bank headquarters is similar because of the twin tower name and formation; see photo:
Bank Tower Damaged On 9/11 Finally Coming Down:
The fire quickly spread to 13 floors. The 100 firefighters inside the building couldn’t douse the flames because, as would become clear later, the basement standpipe that should have supplied water to the floors above had been disconnected. The scene was chaotic.
The contaminated bank tower stood shrouded in black netting for years over ground zero, filled with toxic dust and the remains of 9/11 victims. It stayed where it was, not coming down even as the towers at the World Trade Center site slowly began to rise.
Nearly a decade after the trade center’s south tower fell into it, the building with a sad history of legal and regulatory fights, multiple accidents and a blaze that killed two firefighters will finally be gone.
By the end of 2002, Deutsche Bank decided the building was unsalvageable. After spending $33 million to test roughly 60,000 samples throughout the building, the bank’s experts, RJ Lee Group, concluded that, as a Deutsche Bank legal filing later put it, “a combination of contaminants known to be hazardous to human health, in quantities and concentrations unparalleled in any other building designed for office use, permeates the entire structure at levels which exceed by up to thousands of times the levels considered appropriate for Class A office buildings.”
The list was scary: asbestos, lead, mercury, dioxin, and other toxins. Even the mold, which Deutsche Bank had vanquished, reappeared.