Deutsche Bank has warned it will lose more than €6bn (£4.4bn) in the third quarter in a record loss.
In a late-night announcement that shocked analysts, Germany’s biggest bank blamed huge impairment charges of €5.8bn for the unexpected losses. Forecasts had been for profits of about €1bn.
Deutsche’s new boss, John Cryan, is planning to reduce the workforce by a quarter, or 23,000 jobs, to bring costs down and avoid a fundraising from shareholders. The Postbank sale will reduce Deutsche’s workforce by 15,000, and the lender is reportedly considering cutting 8,000 additional jobs.
Announcement in FORTUNE magazine:
Germany’s Deutsche Bank warns of a record loss
All major banks have seen a drop in profitability since the financial crisis, in part because of increased regulation, but investment banking has been hit especially hard. Deutsche Bank has been one of the few large European banks to stick with investment banking at a time when the business is generating very low returns, especially in Europe.
Jim Willie: If Deutsche Bank Goes Under It Will be Lehman Times Five!
My best German source informs me that 3 major banks are in trouble, and these 3 banks are fighting every single night to fight off insolvency and failure. He says CitiGroup in New York, Barclays in London, and Deutsche Bank in Germany- every single night are in trouble.
The important thing to keep in mind about Deutsche Bank is that it won’t go down alone if it goes down at all. If it fails, it will take along with it 3,4,5,6 or 10, or 15 other banks! It will be 1 or 2 quickly, then a 3rd and 4th a few weeks later, another, then before you know it, all of Italy and their major banks would be kaput.
Getting back to your question as to why a Deutsche Bank failure would be different than Lehman Brothers, it’s because they are involved with all the different Sovereign bonds! Spain, France, Italy, Greece, they’re involved with all of them and their balance sheet qualifications for the European Union!
Deutsche Bank is involved very closely with all of the Eurozone currencies and bonds, and they have massive swaps interwoven with all the major Western banks.
I have a client informing me that Deutsche Bank has a bunch of swaps that they wrote against Detroit muni bonds! Deutsche Bank has their fingers in alot of different pies! Lehman Brothers was involved in numerous mortgage instruments.
Deutsche Bank Probability Of Bankruptcy
Probability Of Bankruptcy = Normalized Z-Score = 75.76 %
How exposed is Deutsche Bank?
The trouble for Deutsche Bank is that it’s conventional retail banking operations are not a significant profit center. To maintain margins, Deutsche Bank has been forced into riskier asset classes than it’s peers.
Deutsche Bank is sitting on more than $75 Trillion in derivatives bets — an amount that is twenty times greater than German GDP. Their derivatives exposure dwarfs even JP Morgan’s exposure – by a staggering $5 trillion.
With that kind of exposure, relatively small moves can precipitate catastrophic losses. Again, we must note that Greece just missed it’s payment to the IMF – and further defaults are most certainly not beyond the realm of possibility.
Only about 20 times the total GDP of Germany!
Many out there get upset when I compare derivatives trading to gambling, and perhaps it would be more accurate to describe most derivatives as a form of insurance. The big financial institutions assure us that they have passed off most of the risk on these contracts to others and so there is no reason to worry according to them.
Well, personally I don’t buy their explanations, and a lot of others don’t either. On a very basic, primitive level, derivatives trading is gambling. This is a point that Jeff Nielson made very eloquently in a piece that he recently published…
No one “understands” derivatives. How many times have readers heard that thought expressed (please round-off to the nearest thousand)? Why does no one understand derivatives? For many; the answer to that question is that they have simply been thinking too hard. For others; the answer is that they don’t “think” at all.
Derivatives are bets. This is not a metaphor, or analogy, or generalization. Derivatives are bets. Period. That’s all they ever were. That’s all they ever can be.
One very large financial institution that appears to be in serious trouble with these financial weapons of mass destruction is Glencore. At one time Glencore was considered to be the 10th largest company on the entire planet, but now it appears to be coming apart at the seams, and a great deal of their trouble seems to be tied to derivatives. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
Of particular concern, they said, was Glencore’s use of financial instruments such asderivatives to hedge its trading of physical goods against price swings. The company had $9.8 billion in gross derivatives in June 2015, down from $19 billion in such positions at the end of 2014, causing investors to query the company about the swing.
Glencore told investors the number went down so drastically because of changes in market volatility this year, according to people briefed by Glencore. When prices vary significantly, it can increase the value of hedging positions.
Last year, there were extreme price moves, particularly in the crude-oil market, which slid from about $114 a barrel in June to less than $60 a barrel by the end of December.
That response wasn’t satisfying, said Michael Leithead, a bond fund portfolio manager at EFG Asset Management, which managed $12 billion as of the end of March and has invested in Glencore’s debt.
According to Bank of America, the global financial system has about 100 billion dollars of exposure overall to Glencore. So if Glencore goes bankrupt that is going to be a major event. At this point, Glencore is probably the most likely candidate to be “the next Lehman Brothers”.
And it isn’t just Glencore that is in trouble. Other financial giants such as Trafigura are in deep distress as well. Collectively, the global financial system has approximately half a trillion dollars of exposure to these firms…
Worse, since it is not just Glencore that the banks are exposed to but very likely the rest of the commodity trading space, their gross exposure blows up to a simply stunning number:
For the banks, of course, Glencore may not be their only exposure in the commodity trading space. We consider that other vehicles such as Trafigura, Vitol and Gunvor may feature on bank balance sheets as well ($100 bn x 4?)