Global Shipping Meltdown Mauls German Banks, Retail Investors, Taxpayers 

And the merchants will stand afar and say Babylon, the great has fallen…

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Source: Wolf Street, by Wolf Richter

Germany holds 25% of global shipping loans as industry collapses.

When Commerzbank, Germany’s second largest bank, reported earnings on Thursday, it made another groan in direction of the collapsing maritime shipping industry. It raised its loan loss provisions to €900 million, as it said, “in timely response to the deterioration in the shipping markets.” It warned that its losses on shipping loans alone could reach €600 million in 2017 after having nearly doubled to €559 million last year.

At one point, Commerzbank had €18 billion in shipping loans. Over the years, as the shipping crisis worsened, it has whittled down its shipping loan portfolio to €5 billion.

But Commerzbank is neither alone nor the biggest player among German lenders. Before the Financial Crisis, German lenders went on a wild binge and became the world’s biggest issuers of shipping loans that ended up funding…

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