Germany accuses US of ‘economic war’ over Deutsche Bank | afr.com

Some of Germany’s industrial chiefs have rallied to the cause after the market storm that threatened to engulf the country’s biggest lender.

German politicians have accused the US of waging economic war against ­Germany as concern continues to rise among its political and corporate elite over the future of Deutsche Bank, its biggest lender.

Some of Germany’s industrial chiefs rallied to the cause after the market storm that last week threatened to engulf Deutsche, stressing its importance to the economy and expressing confidence in the leadership of John Cryan, the bank’s chief executive.

Deutsche has been under intense pressure since the US Department of Justice requested it pay $US14bn ($A18.3bn) to settle claims of mis-selling mortgage securities last month, sparking fears about the bank’s capital levels. Shares in the bank fell below €10 to their lowest level since 1983 before bouncing back on Friday after some media reports suggested Deutsche was close to a much smaller $5.4bn deal with the US authorities.

Peter Ramsauer, chairman of the German parliament’s economics committee, told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that the DoJ’s move against Deutsche “has the characteristics of an economic war”.

He said the US had a “long tradition” of using every available opportunity to wage what amounted to trade war “if it benefits their own economy”, and the “extortionate damages claims” being made in the case of Deutsche Bank were an example of that.

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