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Ackermann Is ‘Dangerous,’ Ex-IMF Economist Johnson Tells TAZ

Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann is “one of the most dangerous bank managers in the world” because he’s sticking to the company’s high profitability target, Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, was cited as saying by German newspaper Die Tageszeitung.

The target of pretax return on equity of 25 percent is only possible because Ackermann knows Deutsche Bank poses systemic risk and would be rescued by taxpayers, Johnson said in the interview, according to an article on the newspaper’s website dated April 13.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank, rejects criticism of the 25 percent ROE goal, saying the industrial sector had more than 30 percent profitability on average from 1994 to 2007, spokesman Ronald Weichert said in an e-mailed statement today. The company has low-risk businesses such as advisory that contribute to profitability targets and the bank didn’t need taxpayer money during the financial crisis, he said.

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