At the height of the financial crisis, Josef Ackermann rose above his rivals. At the time, he was chief executive of Germany’s most powerful financial institution. He stated for the record in 2008 that he would be ashamed if Deutsche Bank were forced to accept help from the government.
Eight years on, it’s clear these words are a flagrant example of the hubris that contributed decisively to Deutsche Bank’s deep fall.
The bank, though still an icon of German industry, is in bad shape. So much so that there is now open discussion about whether the government should lend a helping hand to the once self-confident financial powerhouse in Frankfurt.