Protesters outside Deutsche Bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt recently wearing masks depicting former chief executive Josef Ackermann, co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen, former board member Tessen von Heydebreck and former chief executive Rolf Breuer. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

The German dramatist Bertolt Brecht once remarked drily that breaking into a bank is nothing compared to founding a bank. His observation hangs in the(...)

“HRE would have gone down on its own, because of its own business,” says  a former Deutsche Bank executive. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Dublin-based Depfa bank was the “final nail in the coffin” of Germany’s Hypo Real Estate (HRE) but not the sole trigger of the group’s 2008 state bail(...)

Done deal: Hypo Real Estate Bank AG CEO Georg Funke (left) shakes hands with Depfa CEO Gerhard Bruckermann at a press conference in Munich on July 23rd, 2007 to announce that Hypo had agreed to buy Depfa for ¤5.7 billion to form, at the time, Germany’s biggest real estate financing company. photograph: thorsten jochim/bloomberg news/via getty images

There were few tears in Germany this week when Munich’s Hypo Real Estate announced it was auctioning off its Dublin-based lender, Depfa.In a caustic c(...)

“It was the Irish government that imposed the farthest-reaching guarantee for its banking system at the start of the crisis – on its own initiative,” said German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photograph: Eric Luke

On a dismal Tuesday night, 600 Berliners have braved the snow and a bitter, Siberian wind to fill the Deutsches Theater. Six bankers prowl the (...)