The Germans Are Coming

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NEW YORK: They've already bought up Random House, Chrysler and even Rolls Royce this year. And now the world's biggest bank is no longer American or Swiss but German, following the announcement Monday that Deutsche Bank AG would officially gobble up BankersTrust for $10.1 billion. Is Germany trying to take over the world? TIME Brussels bureau chief James Graff says the country still has a lot of catching up to do.

"German firms have long been woefully under-represented in cross-border holdings," he says. "But thanks to the German stock market, these companies have a lot of money to spend." German banks were raised on low-excitement commercial loans -- now they want a piece of the sexy securities loot, and that's where BankersTrust came in. It's not world domination, it's just the global economy.