Earlier this week, Newsweek reporter Kurt Eichenwald detailed the countless conflicts of interests Donald Trump would face in the White House due to his business ties to projects around the world.
A story today about Deutsche Bank’s refusal to settle with the U.S. government over claims stemming from it investments in mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis highlights what could perhaps be Trump’s largest conflict of interest in the White House.
The U.S. government is currently demanding $14 billion from the bank, slightly less than the $16.9 billion settlement Bank of America made in 2014. In response , Deutsche Bank issued a statement saying:
Deutsche Bank has no intent to settle these potential civil claims anywhere near the number cited. The negotiations are only just beginning. The bank expects that they will lead to an outcome similar to those of peer banks which have settled at materially lower amounts.
It is likely the next president and the Justice Department will ultimately determine how this case is resolved or take it to trial. If Trump is president, this case will become even more complicated since his ties to Deutsche Bank run deep. The Wall Street Journal reported on their ties:
One of Donald Trump’s closest allies on Wall Street is a now-struggling German bank.
While many big banks have shunned him, Deutsche Bank AG has been a steadfast financial backer of the Republican presidential candidate’s business interests. Since 1998, the bank has led or participated in loans of at least $2.5 billion to companies affiliated with Mr. Trump, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of public records and people familiar with the matter.
That doesn’t include at least another $1 billion in loan commitments that Deutsche Bank made to Trump-affiliated entities.
This raises the question: Is Deutsche holding out on a settlement with the U.S. government in the hope that one of their best clients will become the counterparty in these negotiations? Also, will reporters now ask Trump if he would recuse himself and his attorney general from making any decisions