News 19.10.2011

Deutsche Bank wants to evaluate food speculation

The more than 10,000 protest emails sent in a single day and critical articles in numerous newspapers are having an impact: with its report “The Hunger-Makers”, foodwatch argued that speculation – also by Deutsche Bank – is driving up food prices and pushing people into hunger. One day later the bank announced its plans to examine these business practices.

“I share your disconsolation over the fact that many people in the world still have to live in poverty and suffer from hunger. Therefore, Deutsche Bank will thoroughly examine your report on the impact of commodities trading,” wrote Deutsche Bank CEO Ackermann in a personally signed letter to foodwatch. “If sufficient evidence can be found that the bank’s activities could in fact have the impact you described, we will respond appropriately.”

Ackermann concerned about the image of Deutsche Bank

Ackermann also wrote: “No business activity is worth putting Deutsche Bank’s good reputation at risk.” This reaction is a clear indication of the bank’s main concern: not the lives and suffering of people in the poorest countries of the world who are no longer able to afford food owing to increasing prices – but the image of Deutsche Bank.

More than 10,000 people write to Deutsche Bank

Yesterday, foodwatch released the report “The Hunger-Makers – How Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Other Financial Institutions Are Speculating With Food at the Expense of the Poorest”, attracting wide public interest. In the report foodwatch describes how banks and insurance companies are gambling on foodstuffs and, as a result, driving up food prices. In an open letter foodwatch called upon Deutsche Bank, as the world’s largest investment bank, to withdraw from trading in food commodities. Through an e-mail campaign entitled “Hände weg vom Acker, Mann!” (approximate translation “Hands off agriculture, Mr Ackermann”), more than 10,000 people wrote directly to Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann in a single day, expressing their support for this demand.