Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Deutsche Bank Says Software to Detect Money Laundering Had a Bug (nytimes.com)
157 points by oldjokes 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 108 comments



As someone who works at a financial institution, it's news generally because money laundering activity tends to be highly profitable for banks, since they get to collect fees on those transactions. There are almost no incentives for us to flag transactions on our own (unless we're being super humanitarian) without legislation/regulation, because as long as they get their money there's no downside except for victims of the crimes that the money originally originated from.

At least in my opinion, the legislation and big-deal-making is merited in cases like this, for the benefit of society.


As an ex-consultant in the financial services sector I strongly disagree with your assessment:

"there's no downside except for victims of the crimes that the money originally originated from."

Why don't you detail what happens to people who get flagged by this software. Ie either send or receive suspected laundered money and what the odds are of such a flag actually resulting in a conviction.

If you get "flagged", ALL your funds are immediately blocked, your access restricted however long they wish (meaning think 6 months). The odds of a flag leading to a conviction are not even 2%. Even among those 2%, the vast majority of "money launderers" are victims of deception (for example the old "I'll send you money if you pay me 5/10/20% less of that money on a different account").

So no victims ? The truth is that a few thousand people per month (never saw absolute numbers but that seems a lower bound to me, and this is for a small EU country) are denied access to their own money for months (sometimes years), without so much as an explanation (it is illegal (and legally highly stupid) for the bank to state for what reason your accounts are blocked). Not one of their accounts, all of them. Needless to say, finding stories where this has resulted in making a person or even entire family homeless is not hard.

"No downside". Well, not for banks. Not for governments. For everyone else, extreme downsides.


I don't think you read their comment correctly.

They are saying that their is no downside, outside of running foul of laws and regulators, for banks to take money without review instead of flagging transactions as suspicious.

Your response is about additional benefits for them taking the money without questions.


I think you misread the comment. At least, I read it as "no downside to ignore money laundering", not "no downside to crack down on it".


Finance lobbying power must be weaker than popularly assumed if they failed to inspire a proportionate finder's fee that would make flagging worthwhile.

Of course, if I tune my cynicism level a bit darker that line of thought breaks down again, because then I start factoring in the possibility of "premium service tiers" with fees so high that a) no client in their right mind would ever consider them unless they have very pressing reasons to be friendly with the bank and b) no reasonable finder's fee could ever hope to win the bidding.


Is the idea of a finder's fee so negative? If banks regulators and the banks came up with a plan where sniffing out money laundering was rewarded and banks made extra money helping the justice system take on financial crime...isn't that the best possible outcome?

Of course the danger of such a system is banks would be overzealous in their reporting in the hopes of getting a lucky payout. That's another pitfall that would need to be addressed with fines or incentives. My point is that it's not inherently bad when businesses are rewarded for doing the right thing.


That's a bit naive I think. First it wouldn't be very effective, banks are banks, that is their expertise, just because there's a reward doesn't turn bankers into policeman that will detect and act on money laundering. Then, who shall pay for the reward. The government, the central bank? Tax reductions? How valuable is a cash reward for one of the big banks anyway.

Then on top of that politics come into play, with all these increasing trade embargoes and bi-lateral agreements, many transactions could be interpreted either as laundering or legit, depending on interests.


> First it wouldn't be very effective, banks are banks, that is their expertise, just because there's a reward doesn't turn bankers into policeman that will detect and act on money laundering.

That’s exactly how the system works though, minus the reward. The AML Officer is personally responsible for implementing policies & procedures that are “reasonably designed” to prevent and detect money laundering. Then the banks report their suspicions to the government. The government is not the first line of defense or even investigation when it comes to money laundering.


They’ll start growing snakes


Why would lobbyists work towards rewarding those who flag money laundering transactions when, presumably as presented by the parent comment, they make money off of these transactions? If anything, they would be lobbying against a finder's fee.

If we take the parent comment to be true, the fees levied against the institution for being caught (provided they can't worm their way out of it in the first place) are merely a slap on the wrist.


The idea, presumably, is that the "finder's fee" is money paid to the bank for finding money laundering, and that fee outweighs the profits from the transactions themselves.

"Fees" are not levied against an institution, "fines" are. And in that light, yes, fines are indeed too low to thwart a failure to identify the correct transactions.


Lawmakers and the public would almost certainly balk at billions in "finders fees" being just given to the banks, even if the money did come from seizures of the illicit assets.


I want a finders fee for reporting anyone who makes an illegal proposal to me. It would be a huge moral hazard to pay banks for flagging illegal activity. This should be part of normal procedure.


Ah, I see. You mean to say that the governing body concerned with money laundering would pay the financial institution. I was under the impression the finder's fee would be attributed to the employee, by the financial institution (a silly thought on my end).

Of course, it all wraps back around; the bank would need to have some sort of incentive to lobby for this, and given that they are potentially making money hand over fist not to, and given the current allegations against the governing body...


> I was under the impression the finder's fee would be attributed to the employee, by the financial institution

Sorry for being too ambiguous, "it all wraps around" on my end as well.


They are mandated to do flagging, but cannot be forced to be good at it. An incentive would not necessarily make them better at it, but it would still add rewards to all the cases they do find, despite all the squinting and bugs and carefully assigning the lowest performers to the task.


I'd imagine the fee would need to be at least a bit more rewarding than the current punishment is punishing.


As I wrote in the second paragraph ("cynicism level a bit darker"), it would be impossible for rewards to outbid transaction fees anyways, because the latter can be inflated in plausibly deniable cooperation between launderer and bank: slap on some bogus insurance, the 24 hours on call special and that outrageously expensive package that would in theory allow to summon a clerk being flown out to your yacht. All understood, on both sides, to be specifically designed to increase transaction fees to make turning a blind eye worthwhile. Money launderers know everything about reading and writing between the lines, it's basically their job.

Banks would still just catch the small fish who shop around for the lowest rates like a regular person. In the end, sibling comments about snakes and hazards are right.


Not only that there is no downside for banks but they actually profit much more from money laundering than from most legitimate transactions (relative not necessarily absolute) because of how layering works and the sheer amount of transactions and entities which are involved in the process.

The only people who get hurt are the patsies whether low to mid tier bank employees who are left hanging in large case or the victims of the laundering process which can be tricked into participating in the process through deception e.g. P2P loan schemes and transfer schemes or those who are employed by shell entities used in layering.

If you are getting flagged for money laundering you are utterly fucked.

You can’t access any of your accounts, your credit is frozen, even if you by some luck don’t lose your employment even your paycheck can be directly or indirectly withheld and you will be audited by your friendly tax authority.

The shadow economy is huge in many places it can be as large or even larger than the real economy and many nations including EU members actively support it because they rely on it.


> There are almost no incentives for us to flag transactions on our own (unless we're being super humanitarian)

I like how you frame avoiding profiting from crime not only as being humanitarian but actually as being super humanitarian.

To be honest, I find your comment quite frightening. I think bankers viewing being honest as a humanitarian act is in and of itself a much larger problem than faulty software.


And I like how you immediately decided to alienate somebody clearly on your side pointing out a systemic problem by moralizing at them.

Flagging suspicious transactions and verifying that they're legit is costly. Spending money to reduce profit for the common good is humanitarian. It has little to do with being honest. If the bank does nothing, the bank doesn't lie, it just doesn't go out of their way to verify that other people aren't dishonest. And the fact that people view letting bad things happen by inaction as less bad (or even not bad) shouldn't be a surprise. It's just human nature. And when someone pointed this out, you decided they were Bad and Frightening. Because they said people will follow incentives in a well-known moral hazard scenario. Get a grip.


Why do we still allow people to use cash? How much humanitarian good could we do by banning it once and for all? Gold is also a potent laundering tool, it can be re melted at a low temperature. It’s shocking that it’s still allowed.


I still use cash for entirely legitimate daily transactions, and for the same reason criminals use cash. Same goes with Bitcoin and cryptography.

I don't need banks monitoring and selling my purchase history to their "affiliates", like insurance companies, so that they can build shadow profiles.

Maybe I'm buying vegan groceries, getting wheat grass enemas and giving my money to the poor. Or maybe I'm spending it on McDonald's, hookers and blow. Either way, it's nobody's business but my own.


If you believe that expecting people to have a modicum of decency and some moral sense is akin to wanting cash banned, I feel bad for you.

The comment I was replying to was implying that in the absence of laws banks would have no incentive other than super humanitarianism for preventing obvious money laundering. That's beyond potential misuse. That's profiting of a crime out of pure greed. I know cynicism is currently fashionable but I would still expect most people to find that questionable.


Used to work at an investment bank (IT), are you saying all those recurring mandatory trainings on how to detect and report money laundering were a sham?


If you read the original article cited by the NYT (it's in German), it is using 'bug' not in the sense that all software has bugs, but in the sense of 'basic functionality was not working'. And that should be alarming, for critical software.

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=de&tl=en&u=htt...


I'm sure they knew, kept the problem around so that whenever they inevitably got caught they could point to the software glitch.

Deutsche Bank has been revealed to be systematically laundering Russian cash for years, to the point where you see a headline about "bank gets caught laundering Russian money" its almost always DB.


It’s not a bug, it’s a feature


How can it possibly be both "basic functionality was not working" (high severity) and "no suspicious transactions had slipped through" (low severity)?


Pretty easy to understand if you swap what the software is detecting to "asteroids which are on impact course with earth". Basic functionality is to detect asteroids which are on a collision course with earth. The fact that no undetected asteroids struck earth doesn't mean the software worked or didn't work, nor does it mean that detecting asteroids which are on a collosion course with earth is not basic functionality.


Absence of evidence doesn't mean evidence of absence.


This is a little different because Deutsche Bank is already under scrutiny in this area and therefore this is one piece of a larger story. It is similar to when Facebook has bugs that expose private user information. It raises questions like whether the "bug" is truly a bug or whether it is intended behavior, whether no bug exists and this is simply an easy excuse for inappropriate actions, whether the company actually cares about fixing the issue, and so on.

EDIT: I am sure what happened in this thread. Several comments, including this one, were decoupled from the comment they were responding to even though the original wasn't deleted or flagged. Removing that context makes some of these comments harder to follow.


You need to consider the larger context of this story, especially given Deutsche Bank's notorious reputation for allowing money laundering to happen under it's watch. Also, take a look at the story published last week about American Deutsche Bank executives refusing to pass along information to federal regulators regarding suspicious transactions involving the President of the United States and his son-in-law.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/19/business/deutsche-bank-tr...


Financial software doesn't have bugs like web applications have bugs. In one place I worked the software was older than every person who worked in the company (from the time of punched cards) and the system had 5-9s uptime. The majority of bugs had been caught and fixed by then and to change anything in the software you had to submit a ten-page form. Plus, nobody I knew ever got to work on the actual code running the company's main business - you only got to write job running scripts and the like.

In that kind of shop a bug is a big deal.


It's not a bug it's a feature: the bank rakes in money and no one is the wiser.


Paul Jorion, a french writer and ex-"the Bank of the European Union" employee, said that he was pushed out of the company when he revealed a bug in risk-calculation software

I'm pretty sure this bug was known for some time as well



Large loans and real estate deals are not the type of money laundering this software detects. It is looking for unusual transaction flows between accounts. For example, if an account receives large amounts money for inconsistent purposes (e.g. computer services and farm equipment), or has large amounts of money flow through it while maintaining a relatively low average balance (e.g. 10 million received and sent when the account normally has 40k in it).

While money is absolutely laundered via real estate and art, that's not what this software detects. The podcast The Dark Money Files is really good if you want to learn more about this. [1]

1. https://www.buzzsprout.com/242645


[flagged]


Really? I didn't see anything about Russia in that article. It seemed mostly about sweetheart loans for Trump in exchange for holding money or buying bonds from Deutsche.


The person you're replying to must have thought it was this article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/19/business/deutsche-bank-tr...


It's not convenient, or relevant, if you read the other real estate focused reply to your comment. If anything, it is convenient for the NYT's news cycle to focus disproportionate attention on myriad related-only-by-keyword events within a short amount of time for the sake of spinning narratives about specific companies and garnering clicks.

Facebook received the same treatment, once they lost their golden boy status.


It's not at all unusual to have runs of stories. Stories are not independent things. Stories are the public face of a background process (investigative reporting) that surfaces many interrelated aspects of an issue. Waiting for all the pieces to fall into place is waterfall development, you'd never ship. Writing many stories as the facts become known/interpretable is agile. Stories build over time.


The Base Rate Fallacy [0] suggests there's often a lot more true negatives than true positives. In this case a true negative is ignoring a non-fraudulent transaction and a true-positive is catching a fraudulent transaction.

As someone who never engages in fraudulent transactions, if I were a DB customer I'd be much more concerned about the false-negative rate of such software.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_rate_fallacy


Financial software is special. It has to be. The value of our currency is literally directly dependent upon it. Imagine what would happen if tomorrow we woke up and it was revealed that there had been a persistent manipulation of the financial systems. When Walmart or some other large company goes to another country and says "we have $5 million, we need good and services" they would be met with "we don't believe those numbers in your bank software MEAN anything. PROVE they represent money and aren't just a bug." At that point, everything stops.

Well, everything that has no built-in means of proving legitimacy. I've read multiple times that the only real thing Bitcoin offers is protection against counterfeiting and no one gives a damn about that because faith in the system backs our money so counterfeiting isn't a big problem. In the hypothetical scenario, though, it becomes the primary problem, and overnight only cryptocurrency can be proven to mean anything at all. Everything else would just be unreliable nonsense numbers based on rotted code.


It would be interesting to know what the bug is.

I can't translate the German site as I can't really get to it due to a popup.

A math problem, just not checking some transactions, something else?


"In one of these applications, two of the 121 parameters were not defined correctly. What the exact parameters are, the speaker did not want to say."

Is all the further information in the German article.


Which resulted in an incomplete second check of payments.

(Just to add the other small part.)


Thank you.


It doesn't give any specifics. "2 of 121 parameters were configured incorrectly". Maybe host and port? ;)


Yeah right. Just like VW's emissions bug.


Somebody say again we Germans aren't good at software!


I remember similar answer was given from a bunch of corrupted employees after the Greek state found that their anti-corruption algorithms (written in Python btw) stopped reporting for incidents. In the end, after the inspection from major supervisors found that those guys working at the post over there "accidentally disabled" the reporting service and blamed the software.


How incredibly convenient.


[flagged]


The GP comment wasn't substantive, but personal attacks will get you banned here, so please don't do that.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html



The software was as buggy as management overseeing regulation of shady transactions at the firm: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=deutsche+bank+whistleblower&t=cano...


One bug? That's laughable to anyone writing any software


This is news?! All software has bugs. NYTimes is taking advantage of the general public’s ignorance of this fact to imply something sinister. Without additional information - such as it specifically targeted certain transactions - that is misleading.

Remember this when you read articles about subjects you are not knowledgeable about.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gell-Mann_amnesia_effect


When a company publicly apologizes for a bug and says things like "Deutsche Bank is working on correcting the error as quickly as possible and is in close contact with the regulators," a reasonable person infers that they're talking about a serious issue in core functionality, not a GUI rendering glitch.


DB has been caught laundering money multiple times over the years, is under a Treasury order to crack down on it, and has faced billions of dollars in fines over its money laundering activities.

You don't need to imply anything sinister, the sinister stuff is fact


It's a bad headline and low-content article, but that's not really the point. The bug presumably made some filter for suspicious transactions ineffective, and this was detected by some sort of manual process audit. The headline should have been "Deutsche Bank fails to properly audit its money laundering detection for 10 years".


Consider that a former US state governor was pinched within hours by his bank transferring a few thousand bucks domestically to an escort service.

Mysterious "software bugs" that allow people to transfer millions of dollars to questionable characters in known corrupt countries are excuses, not defects. I guarantee that if you or your LLC wired >$5k regularly to somebody in the Ukraine every once in awhile, the best case for you would be your account being frozen.


On the other hand, these businesses cause the public ignorance For example companies that offer all sort of AI solution as some magic bullet. While covering up the inherent "bugs" in such systems.


It seems to me as an outsider that everyone's standard for honesty has been reduced because it's an acceptable sacrifice if it means sliming the opposing political party. This has undertones of conveying that the President "got away" with this activity, which is the intended takeaway from the article.

The quality of journalism seems to have been hit hardest by this philosophy. For over a year all of us around the world have been hearing about something called a Mueller Investigation from the news media in the USA, and now despite the fact that it has cleared the President and his campaign of the allegations made, not a single media outlet has walked back the insinuations made with this style of reporting which, through lawyerspeak essentially declared him guilty without saying it outright, but close enough for it to convince the general public.

It's really unfortunate because the media has a very important responsibility. Based on the behavior of journalists that I see on social media, it seems like overgrown children are running things. One such example is a lady named Sarah Jeong who has written some really disgusting tweets on social media, and was given a relatively important position at NYT.


The report specifically didn't clear the president of anything; it does describe multiple instances of obstruction of justice, lying by Trump campaign associates, and destruction of evidence.


I remember reading the report on the day of the release and its conclusion was written quite plainly that no American colluded with any foreign government. It was one of the principal conclusions.

As for the obstruction aspect - isn't that now a mere technicality? A man and his team have been falsely accused, he tried to get out of the burden of being politically undermined by the drama of an investigation that would clear him in the end, which it did, but not without massive damage to his political capital, which it did. I am sure other governments were also following this closely, and it most certainly would have had an effect on foreign relations.

That sounds exactly like what any innocent person would do. If the government in my country shows up at my door tomorrow with some incorrect charges, my first reaction is to get rid of the investigation by whatever means necessary because I don't want to go through the nightmarish ordeal.

What's being argued is that he tried to fire the guy who would end up proving he was innocent? Is that the level of partisanship that your country has reached today? It's really not helpful to any society when things get that bad. It's the same "get him by any means necessary" attitude that I referenced in my earlier comment. We couldn't get him on the original accusation so now let's get him on how he reacted when we accused him.


The report states multiple instances where he attempted to fire the special counsel or interfered with the investigation. Being upset does not make obstruction any less a crime; the report specifically states that it does not clear the president of obstruction of justice.

You are literally arguing that if you feel you are innocent, you are able to obstruct an investigation because you know you are innocent. That is not how justice works and is circular logic that empowers officials to cover up their own misdeeds. Obstruction is a crime in itself because it prevents an investigation from proceeding and shows a guilty conscience.


Which is my point - the report's conclusion contradicts a very large number of headlines and stories that the news media spoke of in near-factual terms. We are now in a place where nothing he did impacted the outcome - since the investigation concluded unimpeded, but the fact that he tried is now a new reason to go after him.

This is what I am referring to in my original comment about the quality of journalism and its motivations - it's an endless chase, and to be honest he's right to call it a witch hunt against him specifically.


You missed the part where he would have been charged with obstruction of justice were he not the president.


The investigation was completed though, so nothing was obstructed. The media went from:

he colluded

he didn't collude but he obstructed

he didn't obstruct but he wanted to

That's the point being made here - the media is not doing its due diligence and is generally engaging in predicting the future or misrepresenting facts.


One of the things I kind of knew but has been clearly exposed by the Trump-Russia-Mueller episode is that humans are not nearly as objective or rational as we pretend. Once you start to realize this you begin see it everywhere. It explains a lot, particularly our many failures.

And even worse you start to see people taking advantage of these human weaknesses. Politicians are perhaps the worst offenders but it is also common in advertising, business and even personal relationships. Somewhat depressing.

Trying to make the case for a rational, objective reading of the Mueller Report is futile while the news media, social media and most people you meet are spewing unfounded innuendo (see OP for example) and outright disproven conspiracy theories.


The Mueller Report that totally exonerates the President and yet the President won't release it in full to Congress. The only one sliming the President is Trump himself.


Why would that affect the principal conclusions of the report? The conclusion can't change when the redacted portion is unredacted. The person who came to the conclusion did so after writing those redacted sections, right?



Yes but he showed the work and arrived at a conclusion as well. I am not referring to Mr. Barr's letter so the article you linked is not really relevant. The investigation team themselves reviewed all material and came to a conclusion.

The premise is that this investigation team was seen by the entire country as a fair party to conduct an investigation and reach a conclusion. Now that the conclusion is not what the news media was suggesting all this time, there's all kinds of skepticism and wanting to see the work.

This is an echo of 2016 again. The news media alluded to an entirely different election result, the result was the complete opposite, and slowly everyone started to question how the media could be so wrong again.

It seems like everyone's standard for truth is "if reality contradicts the media it means something is being hidden" as opposed to "the media was wrong because they are bad at this"


From the WSJ article above: “The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”


Right, but I'm not referring to the summary at all so I don't know why it's a part of the discussion. The actual report itself has the same conclusions.


Bug or feature?

Also, wonder how they're verifying "The bank maintained that no suspicious transactions had slipped through as a result."


1. fix bug, run through the data again

or

2. get a bunch of low level analysts or interns to review all past transactions


3. Executive: "Hey, Charlie, you think that bug missed anything?" Manager: "None that I'm aware of."


yep, just 10 years of financial data. I'm sure they could replay that easily lol


Maybe they called all their "fishy" friends to confirm they caught all their bad stuff?

More seriously, the background seems to be that DB has poor controls overall, so likely this tagger was simply combined with something too permissive and the error ends up not mattering very much.


Giving that I've already been approached by gov officials to create an accounting software that helps with creative book keeping, I say don't assume incompetence on this one.


'Also, wonder how they're verifying "The bank maintained that no suspicious transactions had slipped through as a result."'

I have no inside information, but I will observe there's a well-traveled road where organizations end up loudly announcing they couldn't find any exploitation of a given bug, or that it was limited to scope X, only to later announce that, oh, whoops, they found some, or that the scope was larger than they thought.

Sometimes I find it easy to believe it's honest, like an ongoing security incident for a relatively transparent organization where the news is only hours old. Sometimes... I find it quite easy to believe it's not honest. I don't have enough info to decide in this particular case but it wouldn't shock my priors for it to be the latter here.


Rerun a new release over the mutation log that it previously watched :)


They should do some back testing to verify the validity of the updated software. This would uncover past fraudulent activity and possibly any new bugs introduced by the fix.


Interesting timing, considering all the subpoenas they are supposed to reply to.


Just one bug though. And it sounds like they found it. Phew.


Cue $20 mil fine and $X bil profits washed clean.


> bug for 10 years

*backdoor


I see some similarities here between VW Dieselgate and DB. Must be a German thing :)


Germany is already kinda the money laundering capital of the EU.


But only because Switzerland isn't in the EU.


For the ones that don't see the links, Trump had to show his bank records of Deutsche Bank in the accusation of Russian money laundering.

And now they found a bug :)


[flagged]


Please don't post unsubstantive comments here.


Subjectively it feels like NYT publishes a lot more negative articles about Deutsche Bank than about any other bank, or at least those articles get upvoted much more frequently here. Does anyone know what's up with that? I would've assumed that most banks are equally terrible.


Deutsche Bank is currently implicated in (or at the very least, relevant to) ongoing news regarding the US President's finances.

That makes it more newsworthy.


Old habits die hard. Watch the movie 'Leon, the Professional, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110413/ , and you will know who you are. Old habits die hard. Cold or no cold/hot coffee.


So, are the Germans the new Russians then? Sounds like having failed to pin a dozen or so different crimes on Trump now his enemies are trying to harass his banks in retaliation for working with him? A classic strategy. Any bank can be found guilty of money laundering if the authorities want because the wording of the laws are so vague.


If you're interested, this dates back decades, and Deutsche Bank has been implicated in a lot of money laundering over the years.

If you're interested, there was a great podcast on the president's reliance on Deutsche Bank overlooking his never-ending bankruptcies and refusal to pay back loans, when no other bank would touch him.

https://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/2019/05/09/721726619/...

If you're not interested, you're just trolling.


I'm interested but I've also read a lot about money laundering over the years, and I know you could easily say "Barclays has been implicated in a lot of money laundering" or "HSBC has been" or "JP Morgan has been". Every bank has been rapped repeatedly because the laws boil down to "don't let criminals use banking services", which is an incredibly hard problem. Maybe Deutsche has a worse problem than other banks, I'm not sure, I'd want to see figures. But having seen how tightly linked AML is with politics, I'll reserve judgement on Trump and Deutsche.


I don't know if the NYT actually does publish more negative articles about Deutsche Bank than other banks. But if what you're perceiving matches reality, I would assume it is for the following two reasons:

1. Deutsche Bank facilitated a basket option trading strategy used by Renaissance Technologies, which has since earned the latter an investigation from the IRS for aggressive tax avoidance. RenTech is (unfortunately) synonymous with Robert Mercer's political activity in the eyes of many because he was a major partner and CEO of the hedge fund before he stepped down last year. This leads to my second point.

2. Deutsche Bank is (separately from RenTech) involved with Donald Trump in a number of real estate dealings, which other commenters have already cited. Regardless of your personal stance on the president, the NYT is going to spend time investigating any areas of financial misconduct it can find which may be directly or indirectly related to the president.


Also, Deutsche Bank (along with HSBC, iirc) took quite a lot of dirty money during the financial crisis. And there was that Libor thing...

Most (perhaps all) of the big banks have a list of fines, crimes, and scandals, but Deutsche Bank's list seems particuarly egregious.


Deutsche Bank is somewhat notable from a political standpoint; Donald Trump got loans there after no other banks would work with him, and retired SCOTUS justice Anthony Kennedy's son worked there.


Trump did a majority of his deals with them and both entities grew with each other. A lot of the deals had override approvals without a lot of review.

A link I posted earlier in this thread - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/18/business/trump-deutsche-b... provides more on this.


I wish there was more clarity here. It's my understanding that every large transaction requires some amount of manual approval at banks and this happens all the time every day. I have no issue believing Trump has shady banking/real estate deals, I think that's ultimately what might undo his Presidency, but transactions needing/receiving low level approvals doesn't read like a scandal to me.


American newspapers are blatantly nationalist. It is very hard to point to problems in their companies. Obesity problems? Nestle is is the villain: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/16/health/brazil...

Environment accident with an American oil company? They are victims from a foreign gov: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/19/business/energy-environme...

Antivirus malicious companies? It's always Kaspersky problem: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/technology/kaspersky-lab-...


What???? There has been ton of bad press for Google, Facebook, Exxon Mobile, ...




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: