Tomas Sedlacek, a Czech economist and frequent critic of unrestrained capitalism, is convinced that the terms modesty and bank are simply incompatible. “Accusing bankers of being immodest is like accusing a butcher of slaughtering animals,” the best-selling author said.
Mr. Sedlacek was speaking on a panel with Paul Achleitner, the head of Deutsche Bank’s non-executive supervisory board, at a finance summit in Frankfurt Tuesday hosted by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Mr. Achleitner disagreed, of course, and did his best to defend his profession. Modesty is certainly a worthwhile individual pursuit, but too much modesty could paralyze society as a whole, because it would translate into the pursuit of overly modest goals, he argued.
Modesty is precisely what many analysts believe Deutsche Bank should be striving for as it nears the end of its search for a new strategy, an overhaul that could lead to the biggest restructuring in the bank’s history.
The bank’s management board, led by co-chief executives Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, will deliver an interim report on their findings to Mr. Achleitner and the rest of the bank’s supervisory board, which has to sign off on key management decisions, on Friday.