Everything went very quickly, as planned: Friday, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat approved a very large majority of the rescue plan of EUR 480 billion financial sector submitted by the Government of Merkel last Monday.
The lower House, only the radical left and the Greens rejected the text, the first demanding in exchange for a cyclical recovery plan, the latter requiring a prior reorganization of the financial market. The upper Chamber, the Länder had threatened to derail the scheme, to which they had, originally, contribute up to 35, while retaining responsibility for the loss of their Landesbanken. Chancellor Merkel has shortened its participation at the Summit in Brussels Thursday, to forge with the 16 Ministers-Presidents a compromise: the contribution of Länder will be capped at EUR 7.7 billion. President Horst Köhler was then able to sign Friday afternoon the Act, which came into force Saturday.
Disclose their weaknesses
The German banks can now apply for either a guarantee of the State on their commitments (an envelope of EUR 400 billion is planned), or an injection of capital (80 billion planned). Remains to be seen who will be at the counter. It appeared yesterday that the Bank regional Bavarian (public) Bayern LB, very fragile, seek a recapitalisation of several billion euros. But, according to the German press, the big names in the German finance are reluctant to reveal their weaknesses. For fear of being punished by the markets. Fear, too, to see the State to interfere in the management of their day-to-day business. Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück has been very severe, last week, for the guilty bankers of mismanagement. He demanded in return for public aid, a right to look at the credit, earnings and dividend policy.
Josef Ackermann, the flamboyant and often decried boss of Deutsche Bank, has already indicated that it was "a purist" and "would shame of having to accept public money". The pattern of Commerzbank, who comes to the Dresdner Bank, the Investment Bank has much suffered from the crisis, shows, him, less swaggering. He explains the daily "bild" was "the duty of every banker to examine the relevance of participation in the aid plan." "The strength of the balance sheet banking depends on credit policy, essential in times of economic downturn."
Protection of clients
However, expected that non-listed banks which do not have to fear the reaction of markets, out of wood. According to the weekly "focus", private banks and the Landesbanken could consult early in the week to appeal in manner grouped financial stabilization fund, so that the amount of aid claimed by or are not made public.
During this time, the Government will refine the nature and magnitude of the counterparties will require. He also wants to strengthen the protection of clients of banks, which should be better informed on their investments. The Minister responsible for consumer proposes to reverse the burden of proof: in case of dispute, it would be banks to demonstrate that they have provided sufficient guidance, and not to the savers to prove that their bank has failed to mention important elements of appreciation.