The trial in a Munich courtroom, now closing out its second month, of five Deutsche Bank executives accused of colluding to mislead a previous court about the events leading to the 2002 bankruptcy of a German media company is playing out like a Bavarian passion play of capitalist excess.
The issues are universal: Wealth, power, crisis and, in the end, failure. The only question is how the script against three accused Deutsche Bank chief executives and two former board members will end.
The trial of the bankers' alleged involvement in the the 2002 collapse of one of its highly indebted clients, Kirch Media, had largely fallen off the German media's radar in recent weeks.
But on Tuesday, the dry legal proceeding made news again with testimony from a former Deutsche Bank worker who revealed the bank in 2002 had given a code name to the potential collapse and break up of Kirch Media, the event at the heart of the case. The bank's code name, he said, was "Barolo.''
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