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Cramer: Deutsche Bank was never in much danger

The report of a possible settlement between Deutsche Bank and U.S Department of Justice did not shock Jim Cramer on Friday.

"The truth is Deutsche Bank was never in that much danger. So, why was everyone pretending like this company was the German Lehman, code-name for disaster?" the "Mad Money" host asked.

Instead, the lack of accountability on Wall Street and in the media bothered Cramer. If commentators predict something positive and they are wrong, they get hounded on it for the rest of their lives. But no one ever gets punished for being too negative.

Hence, he saw a profound bearish bias in the media for the Deutsche Bank story.

"The next time someone tells you the sky is falling and we are facing a crisis that could be the next Lehman, please, I'm begging you, take it with a grain of salt, if not a whole box of Morton's," Cramer said.





Deutsche Bank, John Cryan, chief executive officer
Martin Leissl | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Deutsche Bank, John Cryan, chief executive officer
"If this deal falls apart and it turns out that Justice wants more money, I still think Deutsche Bank will be able to find capital." -Jim Cramer

Shares of U.S. traded Deutsche Bank soared 14 percent on Friday on a report that it was close to a $5.4 billion settlement with the Justice Department for its role in the mortgage bond crisis, rather than the proposed $14 billion deal. CNBC could not independently verify that report.

This wasn't earth shattering news for Cramer.

The reality is that Deutsche Bank has 1.8 trillion euro in assets and $220 billion in cash on hand. It's the largest bank in Germany, with tremendous worldwide reach. He expected a settlement to be reached.

"It's the only European bank that my snob Harvard friends would have considered working at," Cramer said.

Cramer suspects that Wall Street saw news of a possible settlement as a surprise because the media only focused on the negative aspects of the story. Saying anything positive would have risked getting called a moron.

Many investors were concerned that Deutsche Bank's legal reserves of $5 billion to $6 billion were too low versus the $14 billion penalty sought by the Justice Department.

"If this deal falls apart and it turns out that Justice wants more money, I still think Deutsche Bank will be able to find capital, either from another institution, or in the worst case scenario, the German government," Cramer said.

In fact, given that German interest rates are negative currently, the German government buying Deutsche Bank would be an incredible investment if given the opportunity.

Ultimately, panic makes a great headline, but it's a terrible investing strategy.


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