Why Did Deutsche Bank Give Donald Trump Loans When No One Else Would Trust Him

by Mark Sumner –

Donald Trump’s recent history with banks has been … not good.

By the 2000s, the property developer and casino owner with ready access to the capital markets and the biggest New York banks was no more. A series of corporate bankruptcies had limited his financing options. 

That was also the period in which Eric Trump said:

“Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

But that’s not quite true. There was one bank out there which was still willing to extend massive loans to Donald Trump, in spite of his extremely checkered financial history. The big question is: Why?

Banking regulators are reviewing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to Mr. Trump’s businesses through Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management unit, which caters to an ultrarich clientele, according to three people briefed on the review who were not authorized to speak publicly. 

Those loans exposed Deutsche Bank to some extreme risks. That is, unless someone was underwriting the loans and limiting their potential loss.

As Donald Trump growls about the possibility of Special Counsel Robert Mueller intruding on his “personal” space, these loans are already part of the information Mueller is examining. And there are reasons to be suspicious beyond the oddity of a bank dropping hundreds of millions on someone who had a record of losing money faster than he could borrow it.

The activity Deutsche Bank engaged in that resulted in over $600 million of fines was borne out of the bank’s desire to move $10 billion out of Russia — in what one regulator said were transactions “highly suggestive of financial crime.”

That scheme involved shuffling the money through another bank. A bank on Cyprus. This bank.

Agents are also interested in dealings with the Bank of Cyprus, where Wilbur Ross served as vice chairman before he became commerce secretary. 

The connections on both ends make it very much seem that Deutsche Bank was in the middle of the Russian oligarch—Donald Trump pipeline. It would be easier to understand why they would lend so much to Trump, if Putin was acting as his cosigner.

Maxine Waters, the top ranking Democrat on the House financial services committee, also said she wanted Deutsche to hand over all communication and documentation relating to the underwriting of loans made to Trump and his immediate family members, including all assets and guarantees that were used to collateralize the loans.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos