Sunday Reading: Banking Scandals | The New Yorker
The world’s financial system can be dizzyingly complex, providing numerous opportunities for white-collar malfeasance—as recent headlines about Deutsche Bank’s byzantine lending practices have demonstrated. This week, we’re bringing you stories about banking scandals and financial schemes. Dexter Filkins investigates a possible connection between Alfa Bank, one of the largest banks in Russia, and the Trump Organization during the 2016 Presidential campaign. Patrick Radden Keefe finds out why corrupt bankers so often avoid jail. In “Deutsche Bank’s $10-Billion Scandal,” Ed Caesar explores the unravelling of a multi-year scheme to secretly funnel Russian money offshore. In “Angelo’s Ashes,” Connie Bruck writes about the fall of the financial-services company Countrywide and the ensuing subprime-mortgage scandal. Sheelah Kolhatkar chronicles a case at Wells Fargo in which thousands of bank officials created more than two million unauthorized customer accounts. Finally, in “The Death of Kings,” Nick Paumgarten reflects on the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008. We hope that you enjoy following the money as much as we do.
“Many current and former employees of Deutsche Bank cannot quite comprehend how the equities desk in a minor financial outpost came to taint the entire institution.”
“If the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, one of the largest banks in Russia, were communicating, what might they have been talking about?”
“In the years since the mortgage crisis of 2008, it has become common to observe that certain financial institutions and other large corporations may be ‘too big to jail.’ ”
“Angelo Mozilo is hardly a scapegoat, but his misdeeds, as real as they are, have overshadowed those of C.E.O.s at other failed institutions, like Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers, all heavy players in high-risk subprime loans.”
“In a way, the financial crisis is like a plague or a war, except that the pestilence and carnage are metaphorical.”
“What went on at Wells Fargo perfectly illustrates the way that the financial sector has, and has not, changed since the financial crisis of 2008 exposed so many of its problems.”