For one, it remains unclear if Friday's report halted, or reversed, the outflow of cash from DB's prime brokerage clients, which as Bloomberg first reported last week was a major catalyst for the swoon in the stock price. However, as UniCredit's chief economist Erik Nielsen notes in a Sunday notes, one thing is certain: “so long as a fine of this order of magnitude ($14 billion) is an even remote possibility, markets worry.”
There is also the threat of the bank's massive derivative book, which despite attempts of many pundits to gloss over, over the weekend none other than JPM admitted that that is what the markets will likely be focusing on for the foreseeable future: “In our opinion it is not so much funding issues but rather derivatives exposures that more likely to trouble markets going forward if Deutsche Bank concerns continue. This is especially true if these concerns propagate into a confidence crisis inducing more rapid unwinding of derivative contracts.”
Indeed, as we first hinted last Thursday…
.. and as CNBC's Jeff Cox correctly observed subsequently, at the core of this week's investor angst is a word that came up during Bear's demise: “novation,” or a request by hedge funds that deal with the bank to have others take their place in derivatives trades. In the case of Bear Stearns, word in March 2008 that Goldman Sachs had refused a novation request spread panic through Wall Street.
A few days later, the erstwhile Wall Street institution was no more. Though Bear was loaded with toxic assets, it was essentially a rapid crisis of confidence that had done in the firm.
That's why Thursday's news that a couple of hedge funds doing business with Deutsche were trimming their sales caused such a ruckus in the market. A Bloomberg report indicated that three hedge funds that do business with Deutsche were reducing their positions, causing afternoon market hyperventilation that the funds were losing confidence in the bank.
But while DB's market woes have been duly discussed, at home, the bank is fighting a “rearguard action” as Reuters writes, seeking to shore up confidence among the public, politicians and regulators who say the bank brought many of its problems upon itself by overreaching itself and then reacting too slowly to the 2008 financial crisis.
Making matters even worse, as Reuters and Handelsblatt reported, the bank suffered a further blow to its image this weekend with a third IT outage in the space of a few months on Saturday “that prevented some customers getting access to their money for a short time.”
Handelsblatt adds that “among rumors about state aid, the dramatic fall in its stock price, and an attack by hedge funds on the most important domestic bank, now come reports of a new IT glitch. “Customers can not access their cash because it is blocked”, a customer complained on Saturday morning to Handelsblatt, adding that “I am stunned: I can't make weekend purchases since I can neither get cash nor pay by card.”