While a general strike cripples both Portugal and Spain today, as the people protest their seemingly endless — and worse, needless — suffering in the only way they can, the news continues to feature articles about the growing divide between those who suffer, and those who decidedly do not.
As an example of the latter, I offer the senior managers of Deutsche Bank, who were called to Berlin last week to discuss cost-saving measures for their bank during a 3-day period of meetings. In clear keeping with the grim nature of their discussions, the managers stayed at the Adlon Hotel, one of the most expensive hotels in the city. Rooms there rent from a low of €320 to a high of €15,000 per night — and the bank rented out the entire hotel. For three days.
This was just a few weeks after the two highest chiefs of Deutsche Bank announced that they were going to change the bank’s culture, in order to move past the “ugly excesses of the past.” Somehow I don’t think everyone got the memo.
One of the cost-saving measures discussed at this meeting? Firing 2,000 employees by the end of the year. But hey, somebody got to enjoy that €15,000 suite.
(Original German article here.)