Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fed's Letter to Deutsche Bank

"In reviewing your earnings per annum,
We're less than impressed, and we pan 'em.
The bank may have gains,
But this letter pertains
To the haphazard way that you ran 'em."

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has vented its frustration with the sloppy reporting of Deutsche Bank's US branches and subsidiaries.  In a December 2013 letter to the bank, senior Fed supervisor Daniel Muccia complained  that the bank's reports "are of low quality, inaccurate and unreliable. The size and breadth of errors strongly suggest that the firm's entire U.S. regulatory reporting structure requires wide-ranging remedial action."  It's a problem long in the making, wrote Mr. Muccia: "Since 2002, the FRBNY has highlighted significant weaknesses in the firm's regulatory reporting framework that have remained outstanding for a decade."

Of course, it's not only the Fed that should be concerned.  Investors too rely on firms' financial reports to value their securities and decide when to buy, sell or hold.  Lest we forget, the feeling that "you can't trust the numbers" was a factor in the global financial meltdown of not so long ago.

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