After eight years of campaigning, Germany's private-sector banks finally won a judgment in Brussels against
WestLB's contentious capital-raising scheme, striking a blow at the financing privileges of state-owned banks. But WestLB chairman Friedel Neuber barely missed a beat: in less than a month he had demonstrated his political shareholders' loyalty by arranging yet another capital increase. Cowed by an angry government, the private banks dare not take the challenge to its logical conclusion. They fear losing more than they would gain, says Laura Covill.