Comment: Why Deutsche Bank must be rooting for Joe Biden

Simon English
·2-min read

In the hallowed offices of Deutsche Bank, in Frankfurt and around the world, they are paying close attention to the US general election. And surely rooting for a Joe Biden win.

The once steady, rather boring German lender became something close to a hedge fund under successive racy CEOs, who turned it against its corporate instincts.

One of its riskiest endeavours was to become a lender of last resort to one Donald J Trump, then just a TV guy with a side-line in dubious property deals that always needed someone else’s money to complete.

Over two decades the bank lent him $2 billion, becoming his biggest creditor, at a time when most respectable lenders had decided to avoid him like he were a virus.

Watch: What are freeports?

A bank lending money to a dodgy commercial property guy is not a new thing. It is just Deutsche’s misfortune that this one turned out to be President of the United States.

The New York Times reported: “Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Trump, rather than being an odd outlier, is a kind of object lesson in how the bank lost its way.”

Deutsche won’t comment, but the according to the FT, Trump owes the bank $340 million on hotels and golf courses that are losing money.

Those debts come due in the midst of what would be Trump’s second term, and it is far from clear that he will be able to pay.

Deutsche going after an ousted, possibly disgraced former President would be one thing. Just another twist in the reality TV show that has become actual reality.

Could Deutsche really pursue a sitting President for debt?

Officially, Deutsche has no view on the US general election. In private, they must be preying that the Donald comes undone.

Watch: What to expect at Trump and Biden’s first presidential debate