With the most recent FOMC and Bank of Japan meetings out of the way, markets will turn their attention elsewhere.
That “elsewhere” appears to be rising concerns over the health of Deutsche Bank.
Deutsche Bank shares have been hit very hard this year, dropping nearly 60 percent thus far. Unfortunately for shareholders, there may be more pain in store.
Last week, a report surfaced that some of the investment bank’s hedge fund clients were pulling some excess cash and positions from the bank. The report had an immediate effect on markets, with the S&P 500 dropping quickly by 15 or 20 handles. Although this drop was not too severe, it may be indicative of how markets may react to further negative news for the embattled bank.
Deutsche Bank brass has tried to put this most recent report into perspective, citing the fact that the bank has many clients and that these withdrawals were nothing more than a drop in the bucket. That may very well be true-the question then becomes whether or not more customers will begin to pull assets.
Deutsche Bank recently settled a lawsuit over price fixing in the gold and silver markets. The bank is currently in negotiations to settle another lawsuit over subprime disclosures. A settlement figure of $14 billion is apparently being thrown around, and such a settlement would hit the bank hard.
Some have even referred to the bank as the world’s riskiest, and a collapse could potentially have very far-reaching implications for the global economy.
The situation seems eerily similar to the crises faced by Citigroup in 2008 and 2009. Then-Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson orchestrated a bailout for Citi, and the bank has since gotten back on more solid footing.
Deutsche Bank, however, may not be so lucky. Thus far, German officials appear unwilling to entertain a bailout for the bank should it become necessary. If push comes to shove though, you have to wonder if Germany will be left with no choice but to put together a taxpayer funded bailout for the bank.
While a failure of Deutsche Bank may not carry as much global risk as did the crises of 2008, a collapse could have extremely significant effects for the global economy. We expect this situation to be watched very closely in the coming weeks and months, and any further signs of deterioration in the bank’s position could fuel severe market volatility and possibly drive buying in perceived safe haven assets such as gold and silver.
In addition to any new developments on Deutsche Bank, investors will be watching the data stream closely this week. There are also several Fed officials speaking this week that could potentially garner some investor attention. The data highlight of the week, however, will be Friday’s Employment Situation report for September. A strong number could all but seal the deal for a December rate hike from the Fed, while a significant miss could potentially cause the Fed to rethink its plans and perhaps even hold off on tightening again until next year.