Deutsche CEO attacks IMF over recapitalisation

The CEO of Germany's leading bank, Deutsche Bank's Josef Ackermann, on Monday attacked the head of the IMF for suggesting banks should boost their capital to offset dangers relating to the eurozone debt crisis.

Deutsche CEO attacks IMF over recapitalisation

Christine Lagarde, the new head of the International monetary fund, said she believes it “necessary to recapitalise European banks so that they are strong enough to withstand the risks linked to the debt crisis and weak growth.”

Recapitalisation was required “to avert contagion” of the problems, she told Der Spiegel news weekly.

But Ackermann lashed out, telling a banking conference in Frankfurt on Monday: “The recent proposal for a forced recapitalisation of the European bank sector hasn’t really come to much.”

The Deutsche Bank CEO said that “a forced recapitalisation would give the signal that politicians do not themselves believe in the measures” they have implemented to bolster fragile eurozone countries.

Lagarde’s proposals were “counterproductive” as they exacerbated the eurozone debt crisis and scared investors, Ackermann added, as European banking shares dived on the markets amid concerns that Greece’s reform programme was coming apart.

Meanwhile, in Paris, the president of BNP Paribas, Michel Pebereau, said: “It’s not obvious that the European banking system as a whole needs to be recapitalised.”

As the row erupted, banking stocks continued to take a hit, with Deutsche Bank shares down nearly eight percent in mid-day trading in Frankfurt. Commerzbank was also suffering, down five percent. The wider DAX index of Germany’s 30 leading companies was down 3.5 percent.

Deutsche Bank shares were also under pressure as a result of a report in the Financial Times that Britain’s Serious Fraud Office was looking into some of bank’s deals.

AFP/The Local/mry

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.