As the accelerating negative news from Germany’s largest lender – Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) – began to pile up last Friday, someone asked me: “How big and how important is DB to the U.S. and global financial system?
“Twice as big as Lehman Brothers,” was my blunt answer.
That was my initial guess, but after I sat down to write this column, I realized I had underestimated the importance of Deutsche Bank. Lehman Brothers on May 31, 2008 (the last 10-Q it had filed before it went bust) showed assets on its balance sheet of $639.4 billion and stockholders’ equity of $26.3 billion. By comparison, Deutsche Bank, as of June 30, 2016, has assets of €1.8 trillion and stockholders’