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German finance minister, hands off the German banks!

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18.03.2019

Apparently, there's a virus going round in Berlin's government quarter; one that makes its victims embrace the creation of "national economic champions." The latest casualty on the policymakers' agenda is Deutsche Bank.

The Frankfurt-based lender, which once upon a time was a giant German bank with a good reputation globally, has been picked to be turned into a champion again. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz wants it to merge with the country's second-largest lender, Commerzbank.

Rumors have been swirling for weeks, and now there's certainty that the two banks have been talking about a possible merger for quite a while. Official merger talks were confirmed on Sunday, with the protagonists already hinting at whether a tie-up would be good or not. The whole thing smacks of amateurism.

If the two banks in question really ever had the desire to merge, they would have prepared such a move without anyone getting wind of it. They would have communicated via encrypted emails, would have given the project a code name known to a only a handful of people involved in the process and would have informed the public only when something concrete had emerged in line with stock market........

© Deutsche Welle