German bank execs called upon to contribute to bailouts

German bank execs called upon to contribute to bailouts
Photo: DPA
Jürgen Thumann, the president of the German Federation of Industry (BDI), called upon well-paid banking executives to contribute to the bailout of their banks if they are rescued by the government.

“I myself can certainly imagine the leadership of banks and financial intuitions making a personal contribution to any bailout,” he told Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel on Thursday. “Most of them won’t come out of the financial crisis unscathed anyway. That too is a type of self-cleansing process.”

Thumann also admitted the German business community had made mistakes that aggravated the current crisis hitting global financial markets. “We were too naïve in some markets and with some projects,” he said. “Now we have to admit that we deceived ourselves at the level of risk involved.”

He said the government should increase public spending in order to lessen the impact of the financial crisis, but didn’t see the need for a separate stimulus package. But Thumann stressed that the government should not give up its long-term aim of budgetary consolidation. “You don’t have to set a specific year now for a balanced federal budget, but we can’t give up the goal entirely,” he said. “It will simply take a little longer.”