As we predicted on Friday, and as we reported earlier today, the AFP "story" of a $5.4 billion revised settlement between DB and DOJ was indeed "sources" on Twitter, and had no basis in reality. The reason: not only has John Cryan barely started the negotiations with the DOJ, and is set to arrive in the US this week to beg for mercy, but as the WSJ, which broke the original settlement story more than two weeks ago just reported, Deutsche Bank’s settlement talks with the DOJ are continuing, "with no deal yet presented to senior decision makers for approval on either side."
The talks are moving forward, but they have "not progressed to a degree that a proposed deal has reached senior-level review at the Justice Department or with Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board, people familiar with the matter said."
While there is much more information one could hope for in what is now the most important litigation in capital markets, we will gladly take what the WSJ reports over the market-manipulating garbage spewed by AFP with the sole intent of getting both DB and the market to close higher.
Some more details from the WSJ:
"People familiar with the continuing settlement talks say details remain in flux. Justice Department lawyers have floated the possibility of also reaching accords with other European banks who have yet to resolve similar investigations and announce them at once, but no such move is certain, the people say."
The WSJ also adds that CEO John Cryan plans to be in Washington, D.C. this week for meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The visit has stoked speculation that he could delve in person into ongoing talks with the Justice Department. The Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment on any matters related to talks with Justice Department.
Meanwhile, as Deutsche ponders what rumors it will have to unleash tomorrow to provide another much needed boost to the stock, especially if the market sells off on today's denial of the settlement speculation, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel accused Deutsche Bank on Sunday of blaming speculators for last week's plunge in its share price when the bank had itself made speculation its business.
Cited by Reuters, he said that "I did not know if I should laugh or cry that the bank that made speculation a business model is now saying it is a victim of speculators," Gabriel told reporters on a plane to Iran, which he is visiting with a business delegation.
That does not sound like the soothing words of a government willing to backstop its biggest lender.
Gabriel, who is also leader of the Social Democrats the junior partner in Angela Merkel's coalition government, also said he was worried about those who were employed by the lender. As Reuters repeats, the problems of Deutsche Bank are awkward for Berlin, which has berated many euro zone peers for economic mismanagement and taken a hard line on other EU nations giving state aid to bail out their problem banks.
Last week the German finance ministry moved swiftly to dismiss a report that a government rescue plan was being prepared in case Deutsche Bank was unable to raise sufficient new capital to settle litigation which includes cases dating back to its expansion before the financial crisis.
However, if now that the rumors of a revised settlement have been taken off the table if only for the time being, and if the selling once again resumes - if for no other reason that to prompt precisely such a discounted settlement borne out of existential fears for the German bank - the German finance ministry may find itself busy once again: on one hand denying it would bailout Deutsche Bank, on the other scrambling to round up all possible resources - listed in a previous post - to boost confidence in the German bank, just in case another fake rumor of an imminent "fix" doesn't restore the public's, and counterparties', confidence in the ailing lender with tens of trillions of derivatives on its books.