Has daemonization really failed

Ackermann against the demonization of the financial sector

"Only a relatively small part of the financial system has not passed the market test," said Ackermann of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" (FAS). "It would therefore be completely wrong and detrimental to our future economic growth and our prosperity to demonize financial innovations such as credit derivatives or securitisations in general."

Köhler had called the financial markets a "monster" and accused the banks of failure in surprisingly sharp terms. The financial world had "embarrassed itself in the financial market crisis that has been going on since the summer of 2007," said the former director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the magazine "Stern". After the failure on the part of the banks, he missed a "clearly audible mea culpa" as an admission of guilt, Köhler said.

Ackermann responded - as the first top banker publicly - to the allegations that banks and supervisory authorities had jointly succeeded in “keeping an extremely complex system like today's global financial system under control” and that they were also very aware of their further responsibility. "I see no signs of a new global economic crisis," emphasized the chairman of the board of the largest German bank.

He also said publicly last summer, “that the banks made mistakes - including ourselves,” said Ackermann. Even Deutsche Bank did not get away with it “completely without scratches”: “But that is comparatively very limited.” The German industry leader has had to cope with charges of around five billion euros as a result of the crisis and, in the first quarter of 2008, slipped into the red for the first time in five years. The bank is sticking to its 25 percent return target, with possible acquisitions - Postbank and Citibank are considered candidates - Ackermann does not see the institute under pressure to act.

The industry is currently striving worldwide to learn from mistakes and, for example, to create more transparency. Ackermann confirmed that at the beginning of April, as president of the international banking association IIF, he had once again "made a clear commitment to the responsibility of the financial industry".

The crisis had led to billions in burdens for many banks around the world, in Germany the Landesbank von Sachsen (Sachsen LB) and the Mittelstandsbank IKB had run into difficulties. "What is mostly overlooked: losses were only made in very few areas in this crisis," said Ackermann of the newspaper. "Most of the business went very well." All parties involved - commercial banks, supervisory authorities, rating agencies and central banks - are called upon to “stop the loss of confidence and, if possible, reverse it,” warned the Deutsche Bank boss.

Ackermann renewed the proposal of the IIF (Institute of International Finance / Washington) banking association to establish a kind of wise advice that systematically searches for possible exaggerations in the market and can sound the alarm in good time in the event of impending crises. However, managers as a whole would have to “in future also have to deal much more with the moral dimensions” of their actions “and show people in word and deed that morality and the market are not mutually exclusive,” said Ackermann.