For the second time in a week I mistook very serious news for a joke. It started with a fresh president receiving the Nobel peace price. Five days later the local market maker All Options announced interest to buy the remains of DSB Bank.

The big chief of All Options, Allard Jakobs, is notorious for his megalomania. Nice to have oversized ambitions, but it would make sense to stay in touch with the real world. Buying a troubled rival market maker isn’t comparable to taking over a collapsing bank. A consortium of five major banks didn’t want to bear the risks earlier on. But Jakobs smelled an opportunity.

Anyway, the administrators of the failed bank DSB and the Dutch national bank must have thought the same thing. A relatively small market maker in options isn’t the most likely buyer of a bank. Putting up 5 billion euro guarantee is something different than financing a few million of Van der Moolen spin off Alphabay. Oh, and please – put up the money in a few hours and stop wasting our time, must have been the additional message.

Labour unions dream of the white knight

The labour unions cried foul. Let’s give the very “serious” and European institution a little bit more time to take a crash course in “banking for beginners”. The administrators of DSB bank wasted an opportunity to save 2000 jobs.. Could anyone call the labour unions that most of the derivative trading houses had a good laugh reading the story of All Options (or All Capital) buying a serious bank?
One may wonder what mister Jakobs was thinking when Lehman Brothers went down one year ago. He must have been waiting endlessly for an invitation by the New York Fed to save the bank.

Update 1:
Spokesman of All Options (“All Capital”) denies involvement in the Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf. Sure.

Update 2:
According to administrators of the DSB Bank, they turned down All Options (“All Capital”) as a potential buyer. Spokesman Martin Strijk from All Options claims they never wanted the DSB Bank anyway. But nobody believes him.

Update 3:
De Dutch magazine Quote shed some extra light on the matter.