When it comes to government bail outs of insolvent banks few are as qualified to opine as John Mack who was CEO of Morgan Stanley when the bank, along with all other U.S. TBTF banks, was bailed out with a multi-trillion rescue package in the aftermath of the Lehman failure. Which is why it was illuminating, if not surprising, that during an interview with Bloomberg TV discussing the future of Deutsche Bank, John Mack said that "there’s no question in my mind, it is absolutely good for every penny." In other words, "Deutsche Bank is fine."
Why is he so confident? According to Mack, "this idea that I heard yesterday, the possibility of not making their interest payments, it’s just absurd. The government will not let that happen."
Said otherwise, it will be bailed out. One wonders if Germany's citizens were polled before John came up with this conclusion.
This is what else he said:
While German regulators at this point shouldn’t ban short-selling as U.S. authorities did in the 2008 financial crisis, the German central bank should make a statement in support of the lender, Mack said. Deutsche Bank shares jumped the most in almost seven years Wednesday, paring a decline that had exceeded 40 percent this year.
“People overreact,” Mack said. “The bank’s name is Deutsche Bank. It’s the German bank. Politically, they will stand up, if they need a safety net, and give it to them.”
Which was to be expected: after all DB had a gross notional derivative exposure of roughly $60 trillion as of 2014, several times greater than the GDP of Europe, and a net balance sheet which is a large portion of German GDP.
This is also why last thing Germany, Europe, or the world's central bankers will allow, is DB to fail, and it has never been a question whether or not they will try to, but whether and how they can save it. And, if a political bailout is unfeasible in the current climate, whether instead of a bailout, would Deutsche Bank be the first major European bank to rely on Europe's new "bail in" regime to stuff depositors for any capital shortfalls.
Still, without focusing on the specifics, a government (or ECB) backstop is precisely what the market is contemplating today as noted earlier, and as manifested in the stock which has soared the most in 5 years, just as Lehman did in its turbulent final days.
Mack's full interview is below.