In the autumn of 1987, Alfred Herrhausen interrupted the annual meeting of the IMF in Washington for a short visit to the president of the highly indebted Mexico. The next day, he called a press conference for the first Time, a comprehensive debt relief for the developing countries, a move that attracted worldwide attention.
On the one hand, Herrhausen swam on the popular wave of the then worldwide protest against the policies of the IMF and the World Bank, and on the other hand, he put Deutsche Bank in a particularly favourable position in international competition: while such a debt cut would have put several US banks in great difficulty, the Deutsche Bank would have largely survived – because Herrhausen had previously deliberately protected them against such a shock.
It is no wonder, then, that a powerful front from Wall Street, the IMF and the World Bank rejected Herrhausen’s plans, in particular, outraged. When he went so far as to present his ideas to the members of American banks, he was subsequently threatened so massively that he was forced to wear a bulletproof vest at the World Bank conference in 1989.
By bombing, killed
Thirty years ago, on 30 November 1989, Alfred Herrhausen was killed by a bomb attack. On the basis of an unverified letter of confession and vague evidence, the terrorist underground organization Red Army Faction (RAF) was accused of the attack. The murderers, however, have never been identified and there are now numerous indications that make doubt about the RAF’s Perpetratorship.
Nevertheless, the large media and the authorities have not yet asked who might have been interested in Herrhausen’s death. In addition, they still mistakenly describe him as a critique of capitalism and as a dreamer who risked his life for a utopia.
Indeed, Herrhausen was a Banker convinced by the market economy, whose declared aim was to lead Deutsche Bank to the world’s top, and who, as one of the first Europeans, recognised the opportunities opened up by the upheaval in the financial sector to the big banks in the 1970s and 1980s. But above all, he was a man who pursued his goals without compromise and with great consequence and hardship and who had no Problem with making many enemies.
Herrhausen recognized early the chances of deregulation
After the end of the post-war boom, which had made Deutsche Bank the largest German financial institution, the banks sought new sources of revenue because of the diminishing credit business and urged the policy of deregulating the financial sector and enabling them to globalize their own business.
As early as the early stages of this development, Herrhausen took advantage of the opportunities that this provided, especially in the area of investment banking, and vigorously pursued the realignment of Deutsche Bank from the mid-1980s onwards. Due to his rigorous personnel policy, he became angry with large parts of the traditionally conservative management of the money house.
This, however, did not prevent him from pushing the pace of the reconstruction even further. Under his leadership, Deutsche Bank took over various banks and securities brokers in Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Canada and Australia between 1986 and 1989.
His excellent relations with politics
In addition to his work as head of the bank, he also advised Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl and was instrumental in the 10-point programme for German reunification, which Kohl announced on 28 November 1989, without prior consultation with the allies.
In addition, thanks to Herrhausen’s relations, Deutsche Bank emerged as one of the great winners of German reunification. It was transferred 49% of its shares and 122 bank branches in the best position in the liquidation of the GDR State Bank and the new establishment of the Deutsche Kreditbank-a rise in power and assets that excellently matched Herrhausen’s plans to make Deutsche Bank a “global Player” and thus a competitor of Wall Street banks.
Der ganz grosse Coup
With such a increase of power equipped, blew Herrhausen in 1989, to a major attack on Wall Street and the City of London: in the years before, carefully prepared Takeover of the British investment Bank Morgan Grenfell for $ 2.7 billion DM should provide Deutsche Bank with a Bang entry into the international derivatives business.
On 28 November 1989, when he called on her at a meeting of the management board in Munich to include the head of Morgan Grenfell in the management board of Deutsche Bank, an uprising that his successor, Hilmar Kopper, described as the “palace revolution” occurred.
Finally, in an Interview with the Wallstreet Journal, Mr. Herrhausen stated that he wanted to advance Poland economically with the help of his own Bank and by circumventing the “structural adjustments” of the IMF and the World Bank – a further Affront to both organisations, which had not been a leading Banker until then.
Silenced criticism, and questions that remain
A sober look at Herrhausen’s career shows that he was not only one of the first to recognize the opportunities for the financial industry in investment banking and to the benefit of Deutsche Bank, but that he was also acting with iron hardship and ultimate consequence to achieve his goals and never shy away from making enemies.
Today, thirty years later, one must ask, therefore, why the investigations were so long almost exclusively a terrorist organization, which was then in a state of advanced dissolution, and the perpetrator is always larger doubt. Why did the competent authorities in connection with the assassination attempt never the all-important question, “Who would have a motive?“put?
The fact that Herrhausen’s successor, Hilmar Kopper, immediately dropped the idea of a debt cut for the third world, and that no German bank chief ever made public criticism of the IMF or the World Bank after Herrhausen.
It is possible that we will never know who was behind the attack of 30 November 1989. However, the more facts about his history are linked and linked, the less likely the version of the RAF assassination, which is still being spread by the German authorities and the majority of the major media.