LaRouche: Never Forget the Lessons of Herrhausen

July 28, 2016
The Deutsche Bank policy of Herrhausen, focused on increasing the productive powers of labor, must be restored. [photo: Lucas Kaufmann]

Major financial media in Europe and the United States are warning that the European financial system is on the edge of a blowout, whether the trigger is a collapse of the world's oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi, as part of a general bank collapse in Italy, or a derivatives meltdown by Deutsche Bank, recently described by the IMF as the world's most "systemically risky" financial institution. The entire trans-Atlantic financial system is at the breaking point, and for this reason, a panicked consensus is emerging among some of the key players in the British game--the European Central Bank, the IMF, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs--that a temporary cancellation of the bail-in law is essential, to allow for a bailout of the Italian banks, estimated at between 210 and 360 billion euro in currently non-performing debt. Deutsche Bank held an impromptu press conference on Wednesday by one of its directors to "protest too much" that the bank is not considering a split up between its London-centered gambling operations (Deutsche Bank has $55 trillion in derivatives exposure) and its other units, even after posting a second-quarter drop in profits of 97.5 percent, and a 20-percent decline in earnings from the same quarter in 2015.

The epic collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system is, today, the number one factor driving the danger of war--thermonuclear war--provoked by Obama and NATO against Russia. The latest provocation comes from the Bulgarian government, which has accused Russia of violating a fabricated "NATO air space" under Bulgarian control.

The simple reality, expressed today by Lyndon LaRouche in discussions with colleagues is that "Deutsche Bank is dead. This needs to be said plainly and bluntly." He added that the Germans ought to "ask Putin's advice."

While Wall Street continues to go ballistic over the fact that both the Republican and Democratic Parties put the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall in their platforms for the 2016 presidential elections, LaRouche took the issue one step further. While Glass-Steagall is essential, more is needed. The image of the former Chairman of Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen, must be invoked. Under Herrhausen, Deutsche Bank was an industrial bank that invested in the real economy. Deutsche Bank, even at the height of the Cold War, invested heavily in the Soviet economy, providing loans for pipelines, power plants, roads and railroads. Herrhausen's assassination, on Nov. 30, 1989, coincided with the railroaded jailing of Lyndon LaRouche by the same George H.W. Bush-Margaret Thatcher-Francois Mitterrand forces that imposed the Maastricht straight-jacket on Germany, thus killing the Herrhausen plan to integrate the nations of the former Warsaw Pact into a single European-Eurasian economic space.

The German economy is on the edge of collapse, which is guaranteed if Deutsche Bank goes under. That must be prevented at all costs, but the immediate measures must involve a return to the kind of banking that was practiced by Herrhausen. If Germany goes under, a thermonuclear World War III is virtually guaranteed, and it must be prevented by emergency actions.

Another manifestation of the deadly crisis facing humanity today is the spreading plague of blind terrorism, whether it be atrocities by the Islamic State and other Anglo-Saudi created jihadist cults, or the "new violence" recently seen in Germany and Japan, involving youth who are brainwashed into violent acts by their addiction to point-and-shoot video games.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder and president of the Schiller Institute, has called for an international, coordinated effort to crush this terrorist scourge--in close collaboration with Russia. Last September, in his address before the United Nations Security Council, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an international effort to defeat jihadist terrorism, modeled on the World War II alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union. On Wednesday, July 27, Putin addressed a meeting of the top Russian security and law enforcement officials and reiterated that call for a global war on terrorism, which is now a civilizational crisis that all nations must combat.



Deutsche Bank Turning into a "Zero Bank"

The net profit of Germany's biggest bank is down to almost zero: in the second quarter of this year, the bank made only EU18 million of profit. In the same quarter a year ago, it was EU796 million. This implies a loss in profits within one year by 97.5%.  At the Frankfurt exchange this morning, Deutsche Bank's shares dropped by 6%.

In the first quarter of 2016, the bank still made a net profit of  EU236 million; against that, Q2 brought a loss by 94%. The sector "global markets" had most of the losses in Q2 with 28%, followed by asset management with -18% and other wealth management with -12%; the only profitable sector was Postbank, with a net profit of 13%.

The said Q2 mini-profit, however, is due to relatively low legal expenses of EU120 million from April to July; a year ago, the bank had to shoulder EU1.2 billion during the same period. CEO John Cryan, a British banker from the investment branch, said he is content with the performance of the bank to the extent that it is going through a "rather difficult period," but he did not give any indication that a fundamental change of strategy is considered. Should the bank's performance not improve, even more streamlining and cost-cutting would be on the agenda, Cryan said in the context of the Q2 figures.

As for "Project Jade," which, according to recent media leaks, is a new strategy of Deutsche Bank to survive by separating investment and commercial activities from each other, a bank spokesman declared: "Project Jade is not about splitting the bank. It is rather a project that has been running for quite some time, to simplify the bank as such and in its structure." A similar denial of separation plans was made by Marcus Schenck of the board, saying in a conference call with select media this afternoon, "Some people believe that we are forced to sell Postbank in 2017, but that is not the case."

Global Banks Exposed as Counterparties to Deutsche Bank Derivatives

Global Systemically Important Banks (GSIBs) have vast exposure as counterparties to post-Herrhausen Deutsche Bank's huge derivatives portfolio, and will incur sweeping losses if Deutsche Bank defaults.

Schiller Institute chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche has made an urgent call for Deutsche Bank to be saved with a one-time financial infusion, and be reorganized to return to its original function as an exemplar of the German industrial bank, whose major purpose was to make low-interest loans for long-term global physical infrastructure building. This was exemplified in Alfred Herrhausen's program to issue such loans to rebuild Poland in 1989.

Today, if Helga Zepp-LaRouche's urgent proposal is not taken up, not only will Deutsche Bank fail, but widespread financial carnage will result in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. banks, and some will not survive.

A diagram in ZeroHedge, based on the June 30 IMF Report which called Deutsche Bank the most systemically risky bank, quantifies the exposure to Deutsche Bank's risk, of banks on three continents, as highest, higher, and high, as follows:

* In Asia, most exposed to potential Deutsche bank defaults are, with largest exposure, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Mitsubishi; medium exposure: Bank of China, Sumitomo, and Mizuho Banks.

* In Europe, the largest exposures to Deutsche Bank are: HSBC, BNP Paribas, Barclays; medium exposure: Santander, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Credit Suisse

* In the United States, the largest exposure is JPMorganChase; medium exposure: Citibank, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley; and lesser exposure: Bank of NY Mellon and State Street Bank.