Deutsche Bank Invests Where the U.S. Sanctions

By Llewellyn Hinkes Jones

The German bank, known for lending president Trump millions for real estate prior to his 2016 election, is also entrenched in financial deals with countries that the U.S. is actively sanctioning.

Reuters reported in January that Deutsche Bank AG provided a loan to the Venezuelan government in 2015 by 17 tons of gold held by Venezuela in the Bank of England. The loan occurred right around the time that the U.S. levied sanctions on Venezuela, cutting it off from a lot of foreign investment.

Deutsche Bank also appears to be heavily involved in another U.S. sanctioned country, Russia, and the Nord Stream II gas pipeline that would connect Germany and Russia.

The bank is listed as a one of 26 substantial investors of the first phase of the pipeline on Russia’s Gazprom site. And the Association of German Banks , of which Deutsche is a major member, advocated eliminating the sanctions on Russia in December of 2018. Any sanctions on Russian investment would affect the viability of the Nord Stream project.

A February 2019 European Parliament directive exempted gas transmission projects like Nord Stream from more stringent rules on foreign investment, potentially sidestepping effects of Russian sanctions.

While the Trump administration has increased the sanctions on Russia that began during the Obama administration and been verbally critical of the Nord Stream project, the second phase of the Nord Stream project has continued unabated.

Deutsche’s Investment in Trump

Prior to becoming president, Deutsche lent Donald Trump over $2 billion for real estate projects according to the New York Times.

After defaulting in 2008, Trump was cut off, but the spigot was turned back on a few years later despite previous red flags including a forged signature on a mortgage application and a large overestimation of Trump’s wealth.

Published: March 28, 2019