U.S. Mortgage Crisis Rattles German Banks

The bailout of one bank burdened with U.S. subprime mortgage risks is likely not the end of the crisis's effect on Germany

The saviors of the German financial sector came together early this month in a sterile conference room at the Düsseldorf headquarters of the IKB commercial bank. The head of Germany's state development bank KfW, Ingrid Matthäus-Maier, looked anxious. Jörg Asmussen, a departmental head at the Finance Ministry, wrung his hands. His boss, Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück, called from his home in Bonn; other top leaders of German banks were also listening in.

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