Now not only Société Générale, but the British-German monster Deutsche Bank is demanding that the European Union suspend its “bail-in” rules and conduct a “European TARP” bank bailout to avert looming bank failures.
Deutsche Bank chief economist David Folkerts-Landau, interviewed by Welt am Sonntag, demanded a EU150 billion (roughly $165 billion) Europe-wide bailout to “recapitalize” banks, specifically without “bailing in” bank bondholders or depositors. Folkerts-Landau called his demand a TARP for Europe, but apparently thought it would be reassuring that he was recommending only $165 billion and not $700 billion. One might anticipate checking back with the distinguished bank economist on that figure in a week or two.
Immediately, the statement knocks the props out from under German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s opposition to allowing Italy to conduct such a “no bail-in bank bailout.” Schäuble has said that he is ready to “stand by” Deutsche Bank in its difficulties, while claiming they were not serious. Folkerts-Landau evidently knows better; but he particularly called a bailout for Italian banks “urgent,” and said that “to stick so strictly to the [bail-in] rules would cause greater destruction than setting them aside.”
He obviously was asking for Deutsche Bank and other London-centered giants as well. “Europe is extremely sick, and must attack the existing problems extremely quickly, otherwise we are threatened with an accident,” he told the Sunday edition of Die Welt. These illnesses, with bank stock collapses as their symptoms only, included “a fatal combination of weak growth, high government debt and the approach of dangerous deflation.”
Folkerts-Landau is an investment banker who heads both the research division of Deutsche Bank’s investment bank, and the “think-tank” of the bank holding company. This was rightly called dangerous when he took over the jobs in 2012; but since Deutsche Bank is essentially not a bank but a giant broker-dealer/hedge fund, it was not surprising.