At a conference in Frankfurt he said, "It is an open secret that numerous European banks would not survive having to revalue sovereign debt held on the banking book at market levels."
We have translated the speech based on Handelsbatt's, the organizer of the event where Ackermann spoke, account of it.
"In recent weeks, the distrust of the financial markets has spread to the banks because they are now suffering from the debt crisis in Europe and have a lot of exposure to, for example, Greek bonds."
"Since the financial crisis, some European banks have lost a third or more of their market capitalization," he said, according to Google Translate.
"Most institutions have a rating of "below the book value or at best."
There are three major stress factors crushing Euro banks right now, he says: the debt crisis, structural factors and financial regulation. With them together, it will be hard for the European banks to increase their revenues.
The implication is that not just Eurozone countries are buckling under the pressure of Greece's, France's, and Italy's debts, but banks are too. It sounds like a desperate call for a bailout. Now.