Trouble Ahead For State-Owned Banks in Germany

Germany's system could face a wave of consolidation as ailing banks flirt with ruin in the wake of the subprime crisis

The two meetings were strictly confidential. They were not marked on anyone's schedule, none of the attendees was permitted to take notes, and there were no minutes available once they were finished. Jürgen Rüttgers, the governor of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Roland Koch, his counterpart from the state of Hesse, had only brought along their planning directors. No one was to have the opportunity to sabotage the plan the two men eventually fleshed out.

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