Financial Fears

Losing All Wiggle Room

Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Cryan attends a news conference in Frankfurt
Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan won't be out of the woods for a while.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    In principle, investors consider Deutsche Bank to be worth more if it is broken up. Mr. Cryan has an uphill battle convincing them otherwise.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Before the 2008 financial crisis, Deutsche Bank’s share price was more than €100, or about $113. On Wednesday it closed at €14.58.
    • Shares are down about 35 percent since the beginning of the year.
    • Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, declared publicly he wasn’t worried about the bank’s health.
  • Audio

    Audio

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There was probably some relief in the executive suites of Germany’s largest bank – at least for one day.

On Wednesday, Deutsche Bank managed to stop a dramatic sell-off that dropped shares to a 30-year low. Thanks to reports that it might buy back billions of euros in debt, the battered financial institution recovered mid-week and even numbered among the big winners on the stock market.

But new chief executive John Cryan knows very well that it’s just a short respite in a long, uphill struggle. On Thursday morning, the stock again resumed its downward path.

After all, what should investors think of a bank that has to assure creditors it has enough cash on hand to pay its riskiest debts? Even Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, felt compelled to declare he wasn’t worried about the bank’s health.

Such public statements show how disquieting the situation really is.

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