Le Monde – L’Écho : Un lanceur d’alerte peut en cacher un autre, le mardi 30 août 2016

Un lanceur d’alerte peut en cacher un autre

Savez-vous ce qu’est un lanceur d’alerte « au carré » ? Il s’agit d’un lanceur d’alerte dénonçant un scandale dans son entreprise et qui, ensuite, dénonce la manière scandaleuse dont fonctionne l’organisme de régulation qu’il a alerté.

Eric Ben-Artzi, ancien employé à la gestion du risque de la Deutsche Bank (DB), avait dénoncé en 2011 à la Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC, le régulateur du système bancaire américain) la manière dont Deutsche Bank avait valorisé un portefeuille de produits dérivés, cachant selon lui le caractère dramatique de sa situation en 2008-09. En août, il a dénoncé la passivité de la SEC, qui a certes infligé une amende de 55 millions de dollars à la DB mais n’a lancé aucune poursuite judiciaire contre ses dirigeants. Refusant sa « part » de l’amende, une récompense de 8 millions de dollars, il a affirmé que la SEC était infiltrée par d’anciens membres de cette banque.

Il est vrai que Robert Rice, qui dirigeait chez DB le département Gouvernance, contentieux et réglementation en 2011 est depuis 2013 conseiller juridique en chef à la SEC. Il est vrai aussi que Robert Khuzami, conseiller juridique en chef pour l’Amérique du Nord à la DB de 2004 à 2009, est devenu ensuite chef du Département des mises en application à la SEC. Il est vrai enfin que leur patron à tous deux, Richard Walker, conseiller général à la DB jusqu’à cette année, avait été chef du Département des mises en application à la SEC de 1998 à 2001…

Si l’on prenait M. Ben-Artzi à la lettre, on rapprocherait sa dénonciation de celles de récents pantouflages, comme lorsque M. Sapin, ministre des Finances, a nommé le 3 août comme directeur de son cabinet Thierry Aulagnon, ancien directeur pour l’Europe de la banque d’investissement de la Société générale.

À ceci près que si on l’examine de plus près, le cas de M. Ben-Artzi perd beaucoup de sa belle clarté.

Chargé d’examiner en 2010 le risque d’un portefeuille de produits dérivés de sa banque, M. Ben-Artzi avait insisté pour recourir à un modèle qu’il avait utilisé lorsqu’il travaillait chez Goldman Sachs. Son évaluation suggéra que la DB avait été au bord de la faillite en 2009, ce qui était alors passé inaperçu. Sa direction attira son attention sur les différentes évaluations faites alors par la banque – selon des critères jugés valides par les responsables de l’audit. M. Ben-Artzi jugea ces explications inadéquates – d’autant que d’autres établissements avaient à l’époque valorisé leurs positions correctement selon lui, et étaient apparus en difficulté. Il contacta alors directement la SEC pour faire part de ses préoccupations. Ayant appris sa démarche, son supérieur, Robert Rice (visé on l’a vu par l’accusation de M. Ben-Artzi aujourd’hui) le convoqua et l’interrogea sur le sens de sa démarche, l’informant que la SEC avait été avisée de possibles irrégularités et qu’un cabinet d’avocats enquêtait à ce sujet à la demande de la banque elle-même. M. Ben-Artzi fut par la suite convié à une réunion de deux heures avec M. Rice et l’un des partenaires du cabinet d’avocats pour examiner la question.

On est donc loin, on en conviendra, du schéma classique où un employé découvrirait une malversation, la signalerait à des employeurs faisant la sourde oreille, et alerterait le régulateur en désespoir de cause. Dans le cas de M. Ben-Artzi, son employeur a prêté l’oreille à ses arguments, a consenti des efforts raisonnables pour y répondre, et a continué à l’associer au processus d’examen alors qu’il le court-circuitait.

Le pantouflage est un fléau qui entrave la bonne marche des affaires par le conflit d’intérêts : il doit être combattu. Les lanceurs d’alerte jouent un rôle capital ; ils doivent être protégés au mieux contre d’éventuelles représailles. Mais tous parmi ceux-ci ne sont pas forcément exemplaires.

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7 réflexions sur « Le Monde – L’Écho : Un lanceur d’alerte peut en cacher un autre, le mardi 30 août 2016 »

  1. Comme Vigneron est allé mettre le message suivant, comme « commentaire » de la poésie de Marie Noël, je l’ai déplacé ici :

    vigneron

    A propos de l’article dans Le Monde sur l’affaire Ben Artzi.
    D’abord ce n’est pas l’intégralité de sa part que Ben Artzi a refusé de toucher mais seulement celle qui n’est pas due à sa désormais ex-femme et à ses conseils, soit autour de 3 millions, somme qu’il accepterait de bon cœur si elle était prélevée sur les boni des dirigeants de l’époque à la DB.
    Ensuite, la version du déroulement de l’affaire qui nous est donnée là est peut-être celle des dirigeants de la DB mais n’est absolument pas celle de Ben Artzi lui-même qui précise dans la lettre ci-dessous qu’il n’avait pas été informé qu’une investigation était déjà menée en interne quand il a pris en charge le dossier douteux et qu’il n’a informé la SEC (avec deux autres dénonciateurs) qu’après la réunion avec Rice et les avocats durant laquelle il refusa de se soumettre à l’Attorney–client privilege, avec son éjection de DB subséquente et, partant, de WS.
    https://www.ft.com/content/b43d2d96-652a-11e6-8310-ecf0bddad227
    Pourquoi ce mépris à peine condescendant envers un Ben Artzi, M. Jorion, alors que tant de bienveillance pour un Assange ?

  2. Si l’opinion de la Deutsche Bank toute seule sur cette affaire ne mérite pas examen, pourquoi l’opinion de M. Ben-Artzi tout seul le mériterait-elle ?

    Quitte à lire le Financial Times, pourquoi ne pas lire le dossier complet ?

  3. Lire par exemple (N.B. mai 2014)

    Financial Times
    William D Cohan on Wall Street whistleblowers
    The personal price of exposing financial wrongdoing can be devastating. William D Cohan meets three men who went public and paid for it

    MAY 30, 2014
    by: William D Cohan

    ERIC BEN-ARTZI
    Former analyst, Deutsche Bank
    Still fighting for reinstatement

    Eric Ben-Artzi, former analyst, Deutsche Bank; still fighting for reinstatement

    Eric Ben-Artzi, like another whistleblower featured here (Peter Sivere), didn’t talk to the press until his employer, Deutsche Bank, had fired him.
    “I never wanted or expected to be a whistleblower,” he says. “I reported internally first – and extensively, in accordance with bank policies and procedures. But as the problem was not acknowledged or corrected, I felt compelled to inform the law enforcement authorities. Unfortunately my family and I are paying a heavy price for doing the right thing.” Ben-Artzi alleged that, during the financial crisis, Deutsche Bank had overstated the value of more than $130bn of collateralised debt obligations or CDOs (securities containing different pieces of debt) on its balance sheet, to the tune of $12bn. If true, this would mean that Deutsche Bank had misstated its financial performance and its officers had signed off its financial statements illegally. The Financial Times first reported many of Ben-Artzi’s concerns about Deutsche Bank in December 2012.

    Ben-Artzi’s saga began in June 2010 when, after stints at both Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, he was hired by Deutsche Bank as a quantitative analyst and a vice-president in its Legal, Risk and Capital division, based in New York. His first assignment was to create a “stress test” for Deutsche Bank’s bespoke credit derivatives portfolio, the purpose of which was to analyse what the potential losses, or “tail risk”, would be if, say, the big Wall Street banks experienced a series of financial events similar to those in 2008. This was not just a theoretical exercise but a calculation required from banks by the SEC.

    The bank itself had pegged the potential losses – in its bespoke portfolio and also in one tied to indices – at about $1.6bn but after applying his own judgment to the calculations Deutsche had made, Ben-Artzi believed that this could not be right. The methodology, he thought, was flawed. He recalled that at Goldman the models had suggested the tail risk could be as much as 8 per cent. This would put Deutsche Bank’s exposure closer to $10.4bn than $1.6bn.

    Ben-Artzi decided to raise his concerns with his Deutsche Bank colleagues. “I didn’t like the answers I was getting,” he says. When he spoke with the risk manager in charge, he became doubly worried. “Initially he said he didn’t know what I was talking about,” he recalls. “After that he said, ‘Those are worthless,’” meaning there should be no potential liability embedded in the CDO portfolio as opposed to the billions of dollars that Ben-Artzi had calculated. To check the mathematics properly required complex modelling but Ben-Artzi says that despite his efforts to pursue the matter he couldn’t get anyone at the bank to allow him to do it.

    In March 2011, after two months of growing frustration, Ben-Artzi made two phone calls. The first was to the SEC, which eventually initiated a still-pending investigation. Four days later he called the internal Deutsche Bank Hotline, which is intended to allow employees to report wrongdoing or concerns without reprisal. “There are credit derivatives trades that I think are overvalued,” Ben-Artzi told the hotline, while declining its offer of anonymity. He says he went to the SEC first because “there were sufficient red flags” and he also wanted to give the SEC “a tip” in case he was fired after going to the hotline. He thought that “I could be terminated instantly, without any access to any information, so then essentially there would be no protection for me.”

    A few days after his hotline report, Ben-Artzi says he was summoned to a meeting with Robert Rice, the bank’s head of governance, litigation and regulation in the Americas. Rice told him he thought the SEC was already aware of the internal disagreement about how to value the credit-derivatives portfolio and that an outside attorney, William Johnson, a partner at the Wall Street law firm Fried Frank Shriver & Harris, was investigating it. Ben-Artzi would be asked to meet him.

    Toward the end of March 2011, Ben-Artzi had a two-hour meeting with Johnson and Rice. Ben-Artzi says he was informed Deutsche Bank was aware of the problem of properly valuing the “gap option” – which allows a counterparty to unwind the transaction under certain circumstances, putting a portion of the cost of the trade back on Deutsche Bank – and was told that the bank had decided to take an across-the-board 15 per cent “haircut” (or discount) to the derivatives, which resulted in a reduction in their value in the millions of dollars. (This was well below the billions of dollars, however, that would have been required in Ben-Artzi’s reckoning.) Finally, he was informed, a “reserve” – an accounting provision – had been taken on the trades but that was not the same as valuing the “gap option” properly, either.

    Ben-Artzi says he had not been aware of these valuation efforts but that in his opinion it all seemed like obfuscation. “What they were trying to do was to be able to establish that I didn’t have all the facts, and therefore I didn’t know what I was talking about,” he says. Robert Rice and William Johnson did not respond to requests for their comments on this meeting. (Robert Rice no longer works for Deutsche Bank and is now general counsel to the SEC chairman.)

    For weeks afterwards, Ben-Artzi heard nothing. Frustrated, he informed his boss that he had also discussed the situation with the SEC. Within an hour, he says, Rice called him back to his office. “It’s not my place to discourage you from going to the SEC, of course, but have you gone?” Ben-Artzi says Rice asked him. Ben-Artzi told Rice he did not want to discuss it as he was worried about retribution. Rice arranged for Ben-Artzi to meet with senior managers in New York, including top risk management executives. At these meetings, Ben-Artzi says his judgment was questioned and he was asked why he knew better than the smartest people at the firm who had not been able to come up with a viable model to value the gap option. He mentioned his Goldman findings. “Their response was, ‘If we used a gap option model, that’s the kind of thing that requires a bailout,’” because the potential losses would be so great that accounting for them could vastly diminish Deutsche Bank’ s equity account, he recalls. “They accused me of trying to bring down the bank.” (A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the internal meetings between Ben-Artzi and bank executives.)

    Between late June and mid-October, Ben-Artzi took extended paternity leave. He worked remotely and gave serious thought to moving to Berlin to work in a related part of the bank. Then on November 7 2011 he was summoned to a conference room at Deutsche Bank in Wall Street and fired. He says he was told his job had been moved to Berlin and he could not have it. He was also told his termination was not related to his job performance. Ben-Artzi did not believe it. “I can’t see any other reason other than retaliation,” he says. At the end of the meeting, he was escorted out of the building. He received about $30,000 in severance pay and would have received more had he signed away his right to sue the bank. But he did not sign.

    Three days before he was fired, Ben-Artzi filed a confidential “whistleblower” complaint with the SEC against Deutsche Bank, then another one with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seeking reinstatement and payment of lost wages. Neither Ben-Artzi nor his attorney would disclose the SEC complaint, which is still being investigated.

    In response to a request for comment, Deutsche Bank issued the following statement: “Issues about the credit correlation book were initially raised and self-reported to the SEC by the Bank in 2010, prior to Eric Ben-Artzi’s employment at Deutsche Bank. The Bank continues to co-operate with the investigation.”

    While awaiting the outcome of his legal battles, Ben-Artzi started looking for a new job. At first, he tried to find a position on Wall Street. He had a few interviews but they went nowhere. He and his family then moved to Seattle, where Ben-Artzi hoped to find a job in the technology sector. But Seattle didn’t work out either. Recently, he was hired to teach finance and applied mathematics at Ohio State University.

    He believes there is a chance he will succeed with the OSHA lawsuit and be reinstated at Deutsche Bank but he is still angry. “Obviously I’m not too happy but I’m forward-looking,” he says. “I have a lot of faith in the Department of Labor. I want to have faith in the SEC investigation … I think there are a lot of forces that are working in the right direction, so I hope these things will right the wrongs.” He is currently writing a book about his experiences.

    Like the other whistleblowers featured here, Ben-Artzi has no regrets. “I think I did do the right thing,” he says. “I just think of the alternative of not doing anything … There aren’t a lot of people who were in a position to understand what happened, and a lot of people relied on me. I don’t think I could have or should have done anything else.”

  4. Lire aussi (N.B. décembre 2012) :

    Financial Times
    Deutsche Bank: Show of strength or a fiction?
    Three former employees tell US regulators that trades were valued in a way that hid billions in losses

    DECEMBER 5, 2012
    by: Tom Braithwaite, Michael Mackenzie and Kara Scannell

    Josef Ackermann was bullish. Even as the global financial industry was reeling, theDeutsche Bank chief executive began 2009 by boldly declaring that his bank had plenty of capital and would return to profit that year.

    In an investor call that February, Mr Ackermann said he would provide “as much clarity as we can on all the positions” to refute the suggestion that banks such as his had “hidden losses, and one day that will pop up, and then … we need more capital and the only way to go – to ask for capital – is to see the governments”.

    During the public relations campaign waged by Deutsche, its share price recovered from €16 in January to €39 at the end of April 2009, when it reported pre-tax profit of €1.8bn for the first quarter.

    But three of the bank’s former employees say the show of strength was based on a fiction. In a series of complaints to US regulators, two risk managers and one trader have told officials that Deutsche had in effect hidden billions of dollars of losses.

    “By doing so, the bank was able to maintain its carefully crafted image that it was weathering the crisis better than its competitors, many of which required government bailouts and experienced significant deterioration in their stock prices,” says Jordan Thomas, a former US Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement lawyer, who represents Eric Ben-Artzi, one of the complainants.

    Also unknown to the public until now is the assistance – entirely proper – provided to Deutsche by billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group.

    In complaints to the SEC made in 2010-11, the employees allege that the main source of overstatement was in a $130bn portfolio of “leveraged super senior” trades.

    In 2005 these were seen as the next big thing in the rapidly evolving world of credit derivatives. They were designed to behave like the most senior tranche of a typical collateralised debt obligation, where assets such as mortgages or credit default swaps are pooled to give investors varying degrees of risk exposure.

    Deutsche became the biggest operator in this market, which involved banks buying insurance against the possibility of default by some of the safest companies.

    Working with Deutsche, investors – many of them Canadian pension funds in search of yield – sold insurance to the bank, posting a small amount of collateral. In return, they received a stream of income from Deutsche as an insurance premium. On a typical deal with a notional value of $1bn, the investors would post just $100m in collateral – a fraction of what would normally be posted by an investor writing an insurance contract.

    The small amount of collateral did not matter, the product’s creators said. The chance of several safe companies, such as Dow Chemical or Walmart, all going bankrupt at the same time was infinitesimally small. It might require a nuclear war. The chance of the investors having to pay out on the insurance appeared impossibly remote. The chance of their collateral being used up was inconsequential.
    Having bought protection from Canadian investors, Deutsche went out and sold protection to other investors in the US via the benchmark credit index known as CDX. It would earn a spread of a few basis points between the two positions, perhaps 0.03 per cent.

    That does not sound like much. But as it amassed ever greater positions, eventually representing 65 per cent of all leveraged super senior trades, it accumulated a portfolio of $130bn in notional value. Over the seven-year life of the trade, the few basis points were worth about $270m.

    There was a problem, though, which traders either did not foresee or did not care about when they booked hundreds of millions of dollars of upfront profits. A severe financial shock, well short of nuclear warfare, could also produce disastrous results.

    In 2007, credit spreads widened as investors grew nervous about companies’ prospects and liquidity dried up. But spreads on super senior tranches of derivatives structures, representing the safest portion of the capital structure, did not just rise by two or three times – they exploded …

    An academic arrives

    Mr Ben-Artzi joined Deutsche in 2010, well after the worst of the financial crisis. A mathematician with a PhD from New York University, he had worked at other banks, including Goldman Sachs, on the wonkier end of the derivatives machine.

    He was attracted to Deutsche partly because the job of modelling risks was quasi-academic, with a better work-life balance than his job at Goldman.

    Mr Ben-Artzi became interested in the leveraged super senior trades and how Deutsche accounted for the “gap option” – the chance that the counterparty’s collateral would be wiped out and the investors would walk away.

    Coming from Goldman, where the bank had modelled this risk, Mr Ben-Artzi believed this element of the trade was not inconsequential at all. Based on the model used at Goldman, he calculated it could have been worth as much as 8 per cent of the notional value of the trade during the crisis, or $10.4bn. When credit spreads deteriorate, he knew, banks should not just book the mark-to-market profit from the increased value of their protection but also the gap option: the mark-to-market losses associated with the counterparty walking away …

    For several months, Mr Ben-Artzi quizzed colleagues at Deutsche on how it modelled the gap option. He alleges he was told by superiors that the bank had at one point used a model but found it came up with “economically unfeasible” outcomes. Instead, it used two other measures. First, a 15 per cent “haircut” on the value of the trades, a writedown amounting to millions of dollars, but well short of the billions that Mr Ben-Artzi estimated as the exposure.

    Indeed, in an internal presentation in 2006, reviewed by the Financial Times, a Deutsche financial engineer says that “the present reliance on the [haircut] does not seem adequate in order to accommodate all possible spread shock scenarios”.

    In 2008, during the crisis, instead of increasing the haircut, the bank scrapped it. The gap risk was now supposed to be covered by a reserve. The complainants say that the total of reserves held by the credit correlation desk was just $1bn-$2bn, which was supposed to cover all risks, not just the gap option. Deutsche refused to say how big its reserve was but a person familiar with the matter says it was sufficient, and a more appropriate option for the market conditions of the time.

    Then, in October 2008, Deutsche chose another path. A person familiar with the situation acknowledges that from this point until the end of 2009, Deutsche stopped any attempt to model, haircut or reserve for the gap option but says that the company took that action because of market disruption during the financial crisis. This was signed off by KPMG, the external auditor, the person said.

    At this time, to account for the gap risk, the bank hedged it by buying S&P “put” options. The idea was that if the stock market fell further, indicating broader financial stress, the value of those options would increase, offsetting increased gap risk.

    One of the former employees says that using equities to hedge credit risk is not ideal. “It’s not a good hedge. It’s two completely different markets. But no matter what kind of hedge you put against the gap option, you separately still have to value the option correctly.”

    Mr Ben-Artzi says he was not told of all Deutsche’s changes to the valuation during the financial crisis despite persistent efforts to understand them. He says his concerns were dismissed by superiors based in London and he was told that the issue had been decided “at the tip of the pyramid” of the bank.

    In November 2011, after he says Deutsche continued to refuse to explain the valuation, he was fired. Three days earlier, he had filed a whistleblower complaint with the SEC. He later filed a separate complaint – assisted by the Government Accountability Project, a Washington non-profit organisation that advises whistleblowers – alleging that his dismissal was retaliation.

    While reporting his complaints, Mr Ben-Artzi did not realise he was not the first to do so. But the FT has established that two other former Deutsche employees had raised the same allegations with the SEC.
    Matthew Simpson had been at Deutsche for 10 years when he was promoted to a senior role on the credit correlation desk in New York in 2008. Mr Simpson, who through his lawyer declined to comment, eventually raised a number of concerns about the activity of the desk internally and, ultimately, to the SEC. His was a much longer list of concerns about securities and accounting procedures, but contained the gap option concerns later raised by Mr Ben-Artzi.

    He also alleged that traders were not simply understating the gap option but actively mismarking the value of their trades. According to Mr Simpson’s complaint, the protection bought from investors would be given an artificially high value, while the protection sold would be given a lower value. Both marks, he said, swelled the upfront profits and traders’ bonuses. Deutsche says it has thoroughly investigated the allegations of financial misstatements from Mr Ben-Artzi and Mr Simpson and found them to be “wholly unfounded”.

    Mr Simpson also contended that if Deutsche had properly accounted for its positions, it would have booked a multibillion-dollar loss in the depths of the crisis and might have required government support to survive.

    When Deutsche reported earnings at the start of 2009, its tier one capital ratio – the gauge of banks’ ability to absorb losses – was about 10 per cent, with €32.3bn of tier one capital against €316bn of risk-weighted assets. If the tier one capital had fallen by €8bn, below the upper end of the former employees’ estimates, its ratio would have fallen below the 8 per cent that German regulators were demanding at the time.

    Mr Simpson did not know that there was another complainant whose warnings predated his. This third individual, who has requested anonymity, had an even broader raft of allegations against Deutsche. But like the two men who followed, he complained of the gap option violations – and, like Mr Simpson, he alleged widespread mismarking …

    ‘Crazy mismatches’
    Even outside Deutsche, some experts were urging banks to examine their treatment of the gap option back then. Among them was Jon Gregory, a partner at the Solum Financial consultancy, who published a paper warning of the gap option in 2008 when he worked at Barclays, the UK bank. He says ignoring the gap option or accounting for it with a reserve, as Deutsche did, was unacceptable.

    “You can’t value it as if the whole thing is unleveraged, where you would be buying protection from an investor who gives you the full amount of notional, say $1bn,” he says now. “It’s leveraged. They haven’t given me $1bn. They’ve only given me $100m. I have to account for the difference between the two. The difference is the gap option, and I should value this consistently with the underlying super senior tranche.”

    In 2008, Mr Gregory was concerned about valuations across the market and did not single out Deutsche’s behaviour. But two other banks with large leveraged super senior positions told the FT they modelled the gap option. And if others did not model the trade, no other bank was subject to potential losses as large as Deutsche’s. Nor have there emerged such wide-ranging allegations of mismarking against any other bank.

    “The valuations and financial reporting were proper, as demonstrated by our subsequent orderly sale of these positions,” Deutsche says.
    Some banks did share one problem, though: there was a mismatch in the initial trade and the offsetting trade. Deutsche was buying protection on a customised range of companies, which included diverse names from around the world. It was then selling protection on a range of companies in the CDX index of US-only companies. This was the same series of indices that JPMorgan Chase used in its infamous “London Whale” trades, which this year racked up more than $6bn in losses. It was an imperfect hedge. Credit spreads in one portfolio could deteriorate while the other portfolio could improve.
    “You now have a huge name mismatch,” says one of the three former employees. “Because the one that you bought protection on isn’t really worth very much and the one you sold protection on might have had Washington Mutual in it [the US bank that failed in 2008] or other really toxic names. You had these really crazy mismatches.”

    Adding to the risk, many of the counterparties were Canadian – meaning the protection Deutsche bought was priced in Canadian dollars. But the protection it sold to offset the trades was priced in US dollars. If the currencies moved apart, losses could be accentuated.
    At first Deutsche priced this risk of currency movements intertwined with credit risk – known as “quanto risk” – at zero, two of the former employees alleged. They allege that this alone should have added hundreds of millions of dollars to Deutsche’s mark-to-market losses.
    A person familiar with the matter denies this, and says that the bank set up a reserve to deal with the quanto risk. But with market volatility during the crisis, the bank realised it had to do more. Eventually, Deutsche reached for a saviour that had helped many institutions during the financial crisis: Mr Buffett. While his support for Goldman and Bank of America was announced during the crisis, his intervention in Deutsche has not been widely known until now.
    Berkshire wrote insurance on the quanto risk for Deutsche at a cost of $75m in 2009. Deutsche then accounted for this as full protection on the risk. But the contract agreeing the trade, reviewed by the FT, caps the payout in the event of losses at $3bn, while Deutsche was claiming protection on tens of billions of dollars. Once again, the former employees allege, the bank was accounting as if it had fully insured itself against loss while in reality insuring itself against only a small portion.

    A person familiar with the situation says external auditors approved the treatment. Berkshire Hathaway did not respond to a request for comment …

  5. Si l’opinion de la Deutsche Bank toute seule sur cette affaire ne mérite pas examen, pourquoi l’opinion de M. Ben-Artzi tout seul le mériterait-elle ?

    Il est vrai que celui qui ne prétend pas à la moindre objectivité journalistique peut se permettre de donner son opinion sans même citer les arguments des deux parties et émettre la thèse qui lui sied en la fondant par simple cherry picking.

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