Bombshell: Deutsche Bank Hid $12 Billion In Losses To Avoid A Government Bail-Out

Tyler Durden's picture

Forget the perfectly anticipated Greek (selective) default. This is the real deal. The FT just released a blockbuster that Europe's most important and significant bank, Deutsche Bank, hid $12 billion in losses during the financial crisis, helping the bank avoid a government bail-out, according to three former bank employees who filed complaints to US regulators. US regulators, whose chief of enforcement currently was none other than the General Counsel of Deutsche Bank at the time!

From the FT:

The three complaints, made to regulators including the US Securities and Exchange Commission, claim that Deutsche misvalued a giant position in derivatives structures known as leveraged super senior trades, according to people familiar with the complaints.

 

All three allege that if Deutsche had accounted properly for its positions – worth $130bn on a notional level – its capital would have fallen to dangerous levels during the financial crisis and it might have required a government bail-out to survive.

 

Instead, they allege, the bank’s traders – with the knowledge of senior executives – avoided recording “mark-to-market”, or paper, losses during the unprecedented turmoil in credit markets in 2007-2009.

 

Two of the former employees allege that Deutsche mismarked the value of insurance provided in 2009 by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway on some of the positions. The existence of these arrangements has not been previously disclosed.

Naturally, DB is defending itself in the only way it knows: "this is complicated stuff, and we know better than those guys." In other words, this is just a "tempest in a teapot." Where have we heard that before...

The bank said the investigation revealed that the allegations “stem from people without personal knowledge of, or responsibility for, key facts and information”. Deutsche promised “to continue to co-operate fully with the SEC’s investigation of this matter”.

 

The complaints were made at different times in 2010 and 2011 independently of each other. All of the men spent hours with SEC enforcement attorneys and provided internal bank documents during multiple meetings, people familiar with the matter say.

SEC enforcement attorneys eh? Because this is where it gets really fun: the person who was in charge of DB's legal compliance at the time was none other than Robert Khuzami. The same Robert Khuzami who just happens to be the chief of enforcement at the SEC!

Robert Khuzami, head of enforcement at the SEC, has recused himself from all Deutsche Bank investigations because he was Deutsche’s general counsel for the Americas from 2004 to 2009. Dick Walker, Deutsche’s general counsel, is a former head of enforcement at the SEC. The SEC declined to comment on the investigation.

Sadly, the "we are too sophisicated" defense may not be very effective this time.

Two of the former Deutsche employees have alleged they were pushed out of the bank as a result of reporting their concerns internally.
One of them, Eric Ben-Artzi, a risk manager at Deutsche, was fired three days after submitting a complaint to the SEC. In a separate complaint to the Department of Labor, he claims his dismissal was retaliation for his allegations.

 

Matthew Simpson, a senior trader at Deutsche, also left the company after submitting his own complaint to the SEC. Mr Simpson declined to comment. Deutsche Bank paid Mr Simpson $900,000 to settle his anti-retaliation lawsuit. Reuters reported in June 2011 that Mr Simpson had raised concerns about improper valuation of the derivatives portfolio.

 

The third complainant, who worked in risk management and has requested anonymity, raised his concerns to the SEC and voluntarily left the bank.

Or actually, since every bank in the world is forced to lie, cheat and mismark its own balance sheets every single day, not least of all the European Central Bank which as of moments ago has to accepted defaulted Greek bonds as collateral, this may just be completely ignored.

After all opening this particular Pandora's Box may well reveal that not only DB but the world's entire financial system is completely and totally insolvent.

* * *

And for those curious why the SEC's chief enforcer will never lift a finger against his own bank, all other considerations and recusals aside, here is what we wrote back in May 2010

Robert Khuzami Stands To Lose Up To $250,000 If He Pursues Action Against Deutsche Bank

When the SEC'a Robert Khuzami recently recused himself of pursuing an investigation against Deutsche Bank in regard to potential CDO malfeasance, a bank where it is common knowledge the CDOs flowed (and were shorted "where appropriate" by Mr. Lippmann and his henchmen) like manna from heaven, we were curious just how large the conflict of interest must be for him to not pursue his official duty. Luckily, we were able to answer this question when we recently encountered Mr. Khuzami's Public Financial Disclosure Report for Executive Branch Personnel. It appears that Mr. Khuzami, who from 2002 to 2009 worked at DB, most recently as General Counsel, might have directly profited quite handsomely from the very activity he is now prosecuting Goldman, and other banks very likely soon, for engaging in. How handsomely? His 2007 bonus, 2008 salary and bonus, and 2009 salary added up to $3,804,537. This works out to about $1.9 million in comp per year. And let's not forget that 2006/2007 was the peak years for DB's CDO issuance. It sure seems Mr. Khuzami benefited nicely as a participant in precisely the kind of CDO gimmickry that he is currently all over Goldman for. Yet most ironic, is that Robert is expecting to receive between $100,001 and $250,000 in vested deferred stock comp from Deutsche Bank in August 2010. Should he, or someone else at the SEC, commence an investigation into Khuzami's former employer, the SEC's Director of Enforcement is sure to lose a substantial amount of money tied into the absolute value of Deutsche Bank stock.

And it doesn't end there. Khuzami lists the following asset holdings as of June 2009:

  • Federated US Treasury Cash Reserves: $1,001-$15,000
  • US Treasury Cash Reserves: $1,000,001-$5,000,000
  • Fidelity Advisor New Insights Fund: $15,001-$50,000
  • Henderson Int'l Opportunities Fund: $15,001-$50,000
  • Deutsche Bank Cash Account Pension Plan: $100,001-$250,000
  • DB Stable Value Fund: $1,001-$15,000
  • Goldman Sachs Mid Cap Value Fund: $1,001-$15,000
  • Dodge and Cox Int'l Stock Fund: $50,001-$100,000
  • SSGA Money Market Fund: $15,001-$50,000
  • Delaware Emerging Markets: $50,001-$100,000
  • Gateway Fund (401k): $15,001-$50,000
  • Third Avenue Real Estate Fund (401k): $15,001-$50,000
  • Touchstone MidCap Growth Class A (401k): $15,001-$50,000
  • Wells Fargo Endeavor Select FD (401k): $15,001-$50,000
  • Yacktman Fund (401k): $15,001-$50,000
  • PIMCO Real Return Class A (401k): $50,001-$100,000
  • Principal Short-Term Fixed Income (401k): $1,001-$15,000
  • Personal Residence - New York (Gross Rental Income): $1,000,001-$5,000,000
  • Deutsche Bank Common Stock (Vested Amount Compensation): $100,001-$250,000
  • Vanguard 529 Moderate: $50,001-$100,000
  • Vanguard 529 Aggressive: $1,001-$15,000

It appears Mr. Khuzami has done quite well while working in the private sector, undoubtedly defending his German employer from precisely the same actions he, or someone else at the SEC, may soon charge the firm was defrauding investors by. His total disclosed asset range from $2,525,000 to $11,375,000. It is also ironic that nearly half Mr. Khuzami's assets are contained in real estate, and not to mention that a substantial amount of his assets are also contained in Deutsche Bank plans as well as DB stock deferred comp. In fact, let's take a look at that deferred comp of $100,001-$250,000 a little closer.

It appears the SEC's Enforcement Director has between $100,001 and $250,000 in DB deferred stock compensation, which becomes payable in August 2010. Obviously this is not a trivial number. And while Khuzami may have recused himself from pursuing DB for CDO infarctions, that does not mean that some other SEC enforcer (surely, their $1 billion a year budget allows them at least more than one enforcement professional) would not be able to go after DB. The problem as we see it is that since the announcement of the SEC case against Goldman the firm has lost about 25% of its market cap. It is conceivable that DB, which dabbled far more in CDOs, and thus the SEC would have a much stronger case agaisnt the bank, would thus lose far more of its market cap should the SEC announce a case against the Germans. In fact, we could be looking at Mr. Khuzami's Vested Deferred Compensation value dropping from $100,001 - $250,000 to maybe even as low as $15,001-$50,000. Then again, this becomes irrelevant after August, when the former DB GC will have collected all his dues. Does this mean we should expect nothing from the SEC against Deutsche Bank for at least 4 more months? And is September 1 the day when the SEC formally announces charges against Deutsche? We would love to get the SEC's feedback on this.

Mr. Khuzami's potential conflicts of interest do not end with his open exposure to Deutsche Bank. His Schedule A appendix indicates that the man has open equity positions with firms such as Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, and JP Morgan. To wit:

Would this mean that Mr. Khuzami, and thus the entire SEC Enforcement Division, if judging by the Deutsche Bank case study, would recuse itself of investigating these three firms from an enforcement standpoint?

We certainly do not begrudge Khuzami's generous winnings as part of the private sector. If anything, any borderline criminal activity he may have helped cover up as GC of Deutsche (an act he was supposed to do so no ill-will there) should provide him with the knowledge to prosecute just such activity. However, when the head of the main US regulator's enofrcement body is so terminally ensnared in not just the Wall Street complex, but in the very fabric of Keynesianism (that up to $5,000,000 Treasury holding for example and not to mention his up to $5,000,000 rental property), the population should ask just how extremely biased this man can be when prosecuting the very system that allows him to have up to $11 million in assets currently tied in to the perpetuated status quo. Surely, should the Fed, and the market in general, be "surprisingly" uncovered to be the same ponzi construct as Madoff's pyramid scheme, Khuzami, and who knows how many other people, stand to lose virtually the bulk of their assets. This makes them very much conflicted in any real enforcement action, and certainly not independent or impartial. Perhaps Dodd, in his joke of a bill, can consider just how to establish a securities regulator which by its very nature is not constantly in bed with the very subject it is supposed to be investigating.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Chupacabra-322's picture

"Too much corruption ... or too much 'truthiness' ?

Get it right.  It's Criminal Corruption.  You're using the wrong C word.  Control the Narrative and dictate the debate.

disabledvet's picture

Good point though. "Who's truth? Who's facts?" At some point you rise high enough to see you're really not in charge. "The price of silence" is the most sought after premium. As an equity guy "hazarding a guess" is not just word play. I would argue shutting down critical thinking itself has consequences however. Apple Computer comes to mind. So does Hewlett Packard. Imagine the wealth preserved via a "truth and reconciliation committee." When last I checked "those are taxpayers too."

Coldfire's picture

OK, it's from Lyndon Larouche, but this article sets out a fascinating matrix of facts pertaining to Alfred Herrhausen's murder. Contextualizes the current coordinated moves against Deutsche Bank in New York and London by the Fed and the Bank of England.

WillyGroper's picture

Interesting read on Herrhausen. What a way to go. These satanist thieves will stop at nothing. Perhaps Ackermann's jest was true words spoken. 

smart girl's picture

After reading the article posted about Herrhausen's death by Larouche, it seems the New World Order/Government/Corporates assassinated him for wanting to end the debt spiral in Poland and give them a way out. Scary stuff.

optimator's picture

I didn't bother reading the article, I'll watch it tonight as the leading headline on the national news. (sarc.)

Chupacabra-322's picture

The Global Economic system is built on Fraud.  As is the Criminal Political, Educational and Religious systems as well. 

Seer's picture

"Go forth and multiply."  "Growth is good (The Goal)."

Meanwhile in the equation someone missed that the earth is finite.  Reality cannot be suppressed forever, no matter how immortal one's gods are supposed to be.

"Men argue, nature acts." - Voltaire

"Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer rmemory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do." - Wendell Berry

l1b3rty's picture

All right!

Let's give it to them!

Quadrillion for Deutsche Bank!

http://silvervigilante.com

optimator's picture

Who knows, if they didn't come up with their string of ETF offerings they may have really gone under.

BurningFuld's picture

Wait a fucking minute. My wife is a US citizen so can I list her Canadian bank accounts (which we apparently have to report to the irs) as "blah pension account" 15k- 50k ? "blah1 pension account" 15k- 50k on her freakin' FBAR (Snoop into everyone's business around the world) form?

knukles's picture

Oh the humanity of it all
And the Deutsche Bundesbank is asking for their gold back.
Lucky if they get a burlap sack of Hitler's ashes, now.

 

 

A Billion here and a Billion there and pretty soon the bank's so fucking big that $12 Billion goes missing without notice.
Gives new meaning too big to fail.

Jesus....

Tyler Durden's picture

Actually it is the Bundesbank who asked for their gold back... 12 years ago. The "Deutsche Bank asking for their gold back" story was written by someone who apparently doesn't know there is a difference between BUBA and DB.

LawsofPhysics's picture

How does that work exactly?  A major bank in one country formally asks for their gold back from a bank in another country and nothing happens for 12 years.   How in the fuck does a "market" even continue functioning, much less remain CONfident?  Something is amiss here.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Maybe no one wanted to be the next Alfred Herrhausen.

Alpo for Granny's picture

Oh...something is aMISSING alright...

Ness.'s picture

"Oh, there's something missing alright."  

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4qxO31AfrI

 

 

phoolish's picture

They got some of those bonds being carried over the Alps from Italy in backpacks instead.

The Shootist's picture

So what does Simon from CNBC think about this? Is he going to buy the dip, or buy Goldman's take on Gold? Better ask Pisani for the real scoop...

 

^Lawsofphysics -I'm pretty sure BUBA got lots of their gold back from the LBMA. Deutsche Bank is just a stinky pile of excrement. Hope that clears it up.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Ah, so Deutche Bank is the BofA of Germany then?

reload's picture

Germany has plenty of awful banks. West LB & most of the other LB,s were the greater fool in the sub prime /CDO scam. Dresdner all but went bust and had to be taken over by Commerz bank. Commerz still have a team sifting through the detritus that Dresdndr stashed in Dublin SIV's to sidestep German banking regs.

Even Allianz would already be toast if there was price discovery mechanism left functioning in the euro sovereign bond markets.

Crtrvlt's picture

time to revisit those euro tce ratios  

The trend is your friend's picture

Nothing to see here...move along

Nnthnt1's picture

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/opinion/04lewiseinhorn.html?pagewanted...

This brilliant 2009 article (David Einhorn, Michael Lewis) gets once again confirmed...

--> the argument being that watchdogs ENABLE fraud

Maybe worth a repost Tyler?

Seer's picture

"--> the argument being that watchdogs ENABLE fraud"

Not always the case.  I will not, however, argue that it isn't the tendency.  Further, such action, in-action as might be the case, is but a product of the ENTIRE system.  Power will eventually flex to fraud. Remove all "watchdogs" and Power will still be performing the same things, only we won't be told of them, nor will actions be definable as "fraud."  Did Communist Russia (USSR) use "watchdogs" to monitor anything other than people (and the personal, not business, level)?  I don't know the answer to this question.

I'm guessing that if they're really only enablers of fraud then they can in no way be identified as "watchdogs."  And, I suppose, This is the point.  Also, it's kind of hard to appear to be serious when you don't back up your stated objectives with resources.

LawsofPhysics's picture

The paper promises might start to burn a bit hotter when these big boys start going after one another.  Wake me when the guillotine is put back in service.

Seer's picture

"The paper promises might start to burn a bit hotter when these big boys start going after one another. "

The Prisoners Dilemma.  But, will any justice appear before the collapse?

Chupacabra-322's picture

"It appears Mr. Khuzami has done quite well while working in the private sector, undoubtedly defending his German employer from precisely the same actions he, or someone else at the SEC, may soon charge the firm was defrauding investors by. His total disclosed asset range from $2,525,000 to $11,375,000. It is also ironic that nearly half Mr. Khuzami's assets are contained in real estate, and not to mention that a substantial amount of his assets are also contained in Deutsche Bank plans as well as DB stock deferred comp."

 

Hypothetically speaking, this Khuzami guy needs to be hung upside down in public with a knife to his throat.  Hypothetically speaking of course.....

XitSam's picture

As I understand this, Khuzami was US general counsel, did he know about a 'hide the $12 Billion scheme'? If he did, then he was/is a criminal for letting DB file fraudulent SEC documents (10k? I don't know this stuff) and had the nerve to apply for an SEC job.  If he didn't, then DB is hiding stuff from its general counsel, and is still fraud by them.  He's now working for the SEC, and even if recused on this, can influence SEC investigator's careers, the only way he can really recuse is to quit the SEC. All this affects DB share price in the crisis to gain enormous advantage over competitors. Is this right? 

Well, Deutsche Bank wil pay a $2 billion fine without admitting wrongdoing. Khuzami can keep his job. Corzine is not in jail. Nothing to see here. Oh look, Dancing With The Stars is on.

Typo fixed: never -> nerve

edmondantes's picture

I am shocked at these allegations of corruption, fraud and systemic collusion in relation to such a reputable and upstanding banking institution... I can scarely believe it.... don't you realise DB has all of €50bn in capital to sustain its €2.5 trillion of assets... it can't be true to suggest that a 2% decline in the value of its assets renders it insolvent... after all most of these assets are AAA rated super safe government bonds and derivative postions with excellent counterparties ....  besides Germany can easily assume DB's liabilities of say 80% of GDP ... or they could apply for unlimited OMT from the ECB...  and are you not aware that Ackermann attended the Bilderberg conference (again) this year?  No action will ever be taken against such a pillar of the international community.

LostAtSea's picture

This was all very interesting until I saw the new Snorgtee brunette in the Zombie shirt.

Iam Yue2's picture

500 million fine at worst.

Jacque Itch's picture

Pulling a Corzine at best

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

The euro soviet  can be seen as a series of giant wage deflation /capital export adventures.........

 They will not stop until they have destroyed all near semi rational supply lines so as to earn a wage arbitrage from their eastern plantations.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6RM8v76hlg&list=UUjb8LRickrsucqwdGPRRm_g...

ChanceIs's picture

The market always has its way.  Governments can intervene to delay the day of reckoning, but the piper will be paid.  Now wouldn't it have been simpler to just have taken our medicines back in 2007 when Iceland imploded and the worldwide rot was so obvious?  Article below from just last month.  This of course doesn't include Citi's announcement of 11K layoffs today.  Weren't the banks' profits something like 5% of S&P earnings in the '60s, while they had grown to some 30% recently.  I mean...that was justified...these glorified financial machmaking services added that much value to the economy.

 

Banks may shrink for good as layoffs near 160,000 Fri, Nov 16 2012

By Sarah White

LONDON (Reuters) - Major banks have announced some 160,000 job cuts since early last year and with more layoffs to come as the industry restructures, many will leave the shrinking sector for good as redundancies outpace new hires by roughly two-to-one.

A Reuters analysis of job cuts announced by 29 major banks showed the layoffs were much bigger in Europe than in Asia or the United States. That is a particular blow to Britain where the finance industry makes up roughly 10 percent of the economy.

The tally of nearly 160,000 job cut plans, meanwhile, is likely to be a conservative estimate as smaller banks and brokers are also cutting staff or shutting up shop, and bigger banks have not always disclosed target numbers of layoffs.

The tally also does not include reports of 6,000 job cuts to come at Commerzbank, for example, which the German group would not confirm last week.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/16/us-banks-jobs-idUSBRE8AF0DA201...

ekm's picture

I remember I was speculating that the Primary Dealer arm of DB, Deutsche Bank Securities, could be the 1st non US primary dealer to be lehmanized.

It may actually happen.

ekm's picture

And I remember the reason now.

A couple of months ago one of the bloggers here was blown away because somebody purchase a shitload of spanish gov bonds.

I asked him to check his terminal to find out who bought it because it reminded me of MFG being forced to buy italian bonds.

 

The gentlemen very kindly replied that it was DB securities. I said: It reminds me of MFG. DB securities could be next MFG or next Lehman.

MsCreant's picture

I'm gonna follow this. It sounds right.

ljag's picture

@lost

I thought I told her never to wear that T in bed again. I'll have to spank that ass (again) tonight!

LostAtSea's picture

too late. I already lured her in with a "Mine is too big to fail" line.

Seer's picture

Careful!  When she calls you on it you're going to have to show her it's derivatives-based!

godzila's picture

sorry but what is this all about ? As soon as banks have been allowed to value their positions as they see fit why would they use MtoM ? I hope everyone realises that most bank where (and most still are) way below capital requirements or even bankrupt if one was to MtoM their assets...

ebworthen's picture

Vampire squid alert!

O.K., I want the magical power to use bank and government accounting methods on my personal finances.

falak pema's picture

 

Or actually, since every bank in the world is forced to lie, cheat and mismark its own balance sheets every single day, not least of all the European Central Bank which as of moments ago has to accepted defaulted Greek bonds as collateral, this may just be completely ignored.

After all opening this particular Pandora's Box may well reveal that not only DB but the world's entire financial system is completely and totally insolvent....

United we stand...divided we fall....How long will the cement hold...? 

With the HFs drilling holes in the Titanic ship on derivative bets to save their own necks in a dodo market...?

Count Draghi and Hellicopter Ben...tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

 

ThisIsBob's picture

"leveraged super senior trades"

Gee, who woulda thunk it?