from The Daily Bell
WestLB is almost gone. The bank that embodied many of the problems of Germany’s Landesbanken sector – combining excessive international ambition with repeated crises brought on by poor risk controls – is to close for business this weekend after a deal with European Competition authorities. Its demise is the biggest realignment for many years among the Landesbanken, the publicly owned regional banks frequently regarded as one of the weakest links in the German banking system. WestLB will be broken up and its identity inherited by Portigon, a financial services provider that will not do banking business. The asset base of the Landesbanken sector has shrunk from some €2tn in 2007 to about €1.5tn and will be reduced further when WestLB and its €168bn of assets are excluded. – Financial Times
Dominant Social Theme: If only the government could print money, everything would be better.
Free-Market Analysis: It is ironic that as Germany’s public banking sector continues its realignment (see above excerpt), various forms of public banking become more popular on the English-speaking Internet.