By Gernot Heller
TEHRAN Oct 2 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.
"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.
Deutsche, which is Germany's largest bank and employs around
100,000 people, has been engulfed by a crisis of confidence
after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) handed it a demand
last month for it to pay up to $14 billion to settle claims that
it missold U.S. mortgage-backed securities before the financial
The threat of such a large fine has pushed Deutsche shares
to record lows and a deal at a much lower price is now urgently
needed to reverse the shares sell-off and help to restore
confidence in Germany's largest lender.
Chief Executive John Cryan on Friday tried to reassure staff
of the bank's financial strengths in a letter which warned them
that "new rumours" were causing the share price to fall and that
there were "forces" that wanted to weaken confidence in the
Gabriel, who is also leader of the Social Democrats (SPD),
the junior partner in Angela Merkel's coalition government, said
he was worried about those who were employed by the lender.
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.
With Germany facing elections next year, there is little
political appetite for helping a group disliked by many Germans
because of its investment bank's pursuit of business abroad that
resulted in incurring billions of euros of penalties for
(Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Caroline Copley;
Editing by Paul Carrel, Greg Mahlich)