Deutsche Bank executive woes continue

Deutsche Bank announced over the weekend that its top C-Suite executives would not be getting a bonus again this year.

CEO John Cryan strangely made the announcement Friday night at Austin’s South By Southwest conference, stating that for the third consecutive year top execs would forego year end payouts as the bank struggles to pull itself out of the mire of questionable trading practices.

As many of you may know I wrote extensively three years ago about the rash of suicides within the bank just as the Libor scandal was breaking.

The German uber bank did note that bonuses for other employees would total just over $2B for 2017.

The news comes as the 10-year anniversary of Bear Stearns’ demise hits Thursday, which led to the Great Recession. On March 14th 2008, the Federal Reserve agreed to provide a $25B loan to keep the bank solvent for 28 days as they unwound Jimmy Cayne’s troubled bank.

As the Fed dug deeper into Bear’s books that offer was pulled a day later and on the 16th of March, JPM CEO found the pot gold scooping up Bear for seven cents on the dollar with a $2 a share offer.

Dimon also made sure that nothing on the troubled bank’s books could come back and bite him with Fed chief Ben Bernanke assuring Dimon the Fed would take the hit as it put up $29B and JPM invested $1B for the sale.

In the following week a Bear shareholder lawsuit was filed and JPMorgan raised its offer price from $2 a share to $10 a share to quell the suit. As a point of contrast Bear Stearns stock was trading at $93 a share in late February 2008.


Monte Paschi banker's death still unsettled 4 years after

Four years ago Monday David Rossi died, He was the head of communications for the Italian bank Monte Paschi. David, 51, was also the right hand man of bank Chairman, Joseph Mussari, who was the driving force behind Monte Paschi’s 2008 $13 billion purchase of Banca Antonveneta from Spain’s Santander.

As current criminal trials allege, Monte Paschi was in no financial shape to make this purchase. However the bankers on the deal from Deutsche Bank and Nomura Bank allegedly cooked the books with fraudulent derivative positions, which made Monte Paschi’s balance sheet look far better than it was.

This trial is ongoing and accuses among 12 others a DB banker name Michele Faissola, who was a common thread in my series “Suicide Bankers.”

So four years and an overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary, Italian authorities are still ruling Rossi’s death as a suicide and have charged his widow Antonella and a journalist David Vecchi with leaking e-mails during the investigation.

I was aware of these emails between Rossi and the bank’s CEO, Fabrizio Viola.

Two days prior to Rossi’s death, the communications director sent a cryptic email to Viola according to Rossi’s wife.

“I want guarantees of not being overwhelmed by this thing,” he wrote. “We would have to do right away, before tomorrow. Can you help me?”

As I wrote in the story, “it remains a mystery what specifically Rossi thought could “overwhelm” him just before his death, but many have speculated that he was referring to Monte Paschi’s troubled financial position.”

Suffice it to say, Rossi was “overwhelmed by this thing” and to this day I believe his killers have not been brought to justice because of a century’s old custom in Siena when it comes to the bank, which was founded in before Columbus sailed to America.


Deutsche's suicide legacy continues

On Wednesday in NYC we had a banker suicide.

The troubled financial pro jumped from a posh Upper West Side building plunging eight stories to land on scaffolding that was surrounding the building.

A note was found that sources said Kevin Bell suffered from depression.

Bell, 47, was the head of credit risk at Arrowgrass Capital Partners a hedge fund run by two former Deutsche Bank execs, Henry Kenner and Nicholas Niell.

Bell also worked at DB for eight years leaving in 2007 as a Managing Director for its Special Situations trading desk, which in simplest terms was prop trading on the distressed side.

Prior to Arrowgrass, Bell worked for Saba Capital founded by disgraced ex-Deutsche prop trader Boaz Weinstein. Weinstein left DB in 2008 after his team posted $1.8B in losses in prop trading, wiping out his last two years of gains and greasing the skids for the troubled bank.

Now, as I have written in an award-winning story and video, Deutsche Bank was a cesspool during the naughts and has paid more than $30 billion in total civil fines to governments around the globe for its abuses in Libor and other credit manipulation schemes.

Much of DB’s regulatory troubles stem from the German bank trying to rebound from these bad trades followed by the losses suffered during the Great Recession.

I have no inside knowledge of what troubled Bell’s life, I am merely pointing out the crowd that Bell ran with over his career.

RIP, Mr. Bell.