Renegade Trader Leaves Deutsche Bank Reeling

By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2009 10:58 AM CST
Josef Ackermann CEO of Deutsche Bank, addresses the audience at the annual news conference in Frankfurt, central Germany, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009.    (AP Photo/Daniel Roland)
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(Newser) – How does one lose almost $2 billion in a matter of months? Look no further than the story of Deutsche Bank’s Boaz Weinstein, the chess master and gambling extraordinaire who made more than $1.5 billion for the firm in just 2 years before losing it all and more, the Wall Street Journal reports. That led the German banking giant to post its first 1-year loss—a sobering $5 billion—in more than 50 years this week.

Through 2006 and 2007, Weinstein gambled wildly and won, turning outrageous profits ($900 million and $600 million) on his complex deals. The 35-year-old accrued positions worth $30 billion by 2008, in large part by betting interest rates would fall as the lending crisis unfolded. He entered September of that year in the black, but by the time Deutsche Bank closed Weinstein’s desk at year’s end, he’d lost $1.8 billion, almost a third of that quarter’s total loss. He's left to start a hedge fund.