Cover image for Dark towers : Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an epic trail of destruction
Title:
Dark towers : Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an epic trail of destruction
ISBN:
9780062878816
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
x, 402 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents:
Author's note -- Prologue -- A criminal enterprise -- Edson and Bill -- Wall Street's great migration -- Forces of darkness -- Project Osprey -- Trump's bankers -- Riptide -- The last day -- Ackermann -- The Mar-a-lago prize -- Der inder -- Fireman -- "This guy is a danger" -- The pendulum swings -- Clueless old man -- Rosemary Vrablic -- Anshu ascendant -- Dumping ground -- 5,777 requests for information -- Stress -- Valentin -- Life extinct -- Everything is upside down -- No reason for concern -- Poor brilliant Bill -- The North Koreans -- No confidence -- Trump endeavor 12 LLC -- The damage I have done -- Person of interest -- Siena -- Rosemary is the boss -- Do not utter the word "Trump" -- Spycraft -- A note from the president -- Epilogue.
Personal Subject:
Corporate Subject:
Summary:
A searing exposé of the most scandalous bank in the world, including its shadowy ties to Donald Trump's business empire. On a rainy Sunday in 2014, a senior executive at Deutsche Bank was found hanging in his London apartment. Bill Broeksmit had helped build the 150-year-old financial institution into a global colossus, and his sudden death was a mystery, made more so by the bank's efforts to deter investigation. Broeksmit, it turned out, was a man who knew too much. In Dark Towers, award-winning journalist David Enrich reveals the truth about Deutsche Bank and its epic path of devastation. Tracing the bank's history back to its propping up of a default-prone American developer in the 1880s, helping the Nazis build Auschwitz, and wooing Eastern Bloc authoritarians, he shows how in the 1990s, via a succession of hard-charging executives, Deutsche made a fateful decision to pursue Wall Street riches, often at the expense of ethics and the law. Soon, the bank was manipulating markets, violating international sanctions to aid terrorist regimes, scamming investors, defrauding regulators, and laundering money for Russian oligarchs. Ever desperate for an American foothold, Deutsche also started doing business with a self-promoting real estate magnate nearly every other bank in the world deemed too dangerous to touch: Donald Trump. Over the next twenty years, Deutsche executives loaned billions to Trump, the Kushner family, and an array of scandal-tarred clients, including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Dark Towers is the never-before-told saga of how Deutsche Bank became the global face of financial recklessness and criminality--the corporate equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction. It is also the story of a man who was consumed by fear of what he'd seen at the bank--and his son's obsessive search for the secrets he kept. --
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Summary

#1 WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER * NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

New York Times finance editor David Enrich's explosive exposé of the most scandalous bank in the world, revealing its shadowy ties to Donald Trump, Putin's Russia, and Nazi Germany

"A jaw-dropping financial thriller" --Philadelphia Inquirer

On a rainy Sunday in 2014, a senior executive at Deutsche Bank was found hanging in his London apartment. Bill Broeksmit had helped build the 150-year-old financial institution into a global colossus, and his sudden death was a mystery, made more so by the bank's efforts to deter investigation. Broeksmit, it turned out, was a man who knew too much.

In Dark Towers, award-winning journalist David Enrich reveals the truth about Deutsche Bank and its epic path of devastation. Tracing the bank's history back to its propping up of a default-prone American developer in the 1880s, helping the Nazis build Auschwitz, and wooing Eastern Bloc authoritarians, he shows how in the 1990s, via a succession of hard-charging executives, Deutsche made a fateful decision to pursue Wall Street riches, often at the expense of ethics and the law.

Soon, the bank was manipulating markets, violating international sanctions to aid terrorist regimes, scamming investors, defrauding regulators, and laundering money for Russian oligarchs. Ever desperate for an American foothold, Deutsche also started doing business with a self-promoting real estate magnate nearly every other bank in the world deemed too dangerous to touch: Donald Trump. Over the next twenty years, Deutsche executives loaned billions to Trump, the Kushner family, and an array of scandal-tarred clients, including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Dark Towers is the never-before-told saga of how Deutsche Bank became the global face of financial recklessness and criminality--the corporate equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction. It is also the story of a man who was consumed by fear of what he'd seen at the bank--and his son's obsessive search for the secrets he kept.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Journalist Enrich (The Spider Network) wraps an exposé of Deutsche Bank's financial misdeeds around an adopted son's investigation into his father's suicide in this propulsive, richly detailed account. After sketching the bank's origins as a lender to German industries seeking international expansion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Enrich focuses on the period from the mid-1990s to 2019 when Deutsche aggressively entered the Wall Street investment banking industry, briefly became the world's biggest bank, and ended up "teetering on the brink of financial ruin." He details outright frauds, including hiding more than $3 billion in losses during the 2007--2008 financial crisis, manipulating interest rates, laundering money for Russian oligarchs, and violating international sanctions, as well as a laundry list of poor decisions, including lending millions of dollars to serial defaulter Donald Trump when no other mainstream financial institution would do so. As Deutsche executives fostered a culture of reckless behavior, risk management officer Bill Broeksmit tried, in vain, to apply the brakes; his suicide in 2014, as the bank was facing harsh penalties from U.S. regulators, sparked his hard-partying musician son's drug-fueled efforts to take down the bank--a quest that ends, in this account, with the delivery of a cache of internal bank documents to the FBI. Enrich writes with verve, making financial jargon accessible to general readers. This journalistic tour de force hints that plenty of shocking secrets are yet to be revealed. (Apr.)


Kirkus Review

A deep-reaching look at the inner workings of Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump's lender of choice.At the heart of this aptly titled book is the suicide of a Deutsche executive in 2014 and the subsequent quest of his son to find out the reasons for it. That story, well rendered by New York Times finance editor Enrich (The Spider Network: How a Math Genius and Gang of Scheming Bankers Pulled Off One of the Greatest Scams in History, 2017), takes many twists and turns, but its outlines are familiar: A corporation with a dodgy history (including financing the construction of Nazi death camps) goes straight for a time, guided by people of conscience who are eventually overwhelmed by executives willing to let ethics slide in the quest for profit. The latter category includes a banker who sat onstage at Trump's inaugurationand without whose legally problematic help, Enrich suggests, Trump would never have attained office. While many financial institutions refused to lend to Trump because of his habit of reneging, Deutsche was "the only mainstream bank consistently willing to do business" with himand at the time of the presidential election, he owed the bank $350 million. But did he really, or was the bank merely a front for funding from other sources headquartered in Moscow? The author works his way through a spaghetti tangle of leads with all sorts of unsavory connections, including the family of Trump's son-in-law, members of whom "were moving money to the Russians at the same time that Russia was interfering in the American presidential election." The implications are more than suggestive. What is inarguable, by Enrich's account, is that Deutsche suffered through a clash of corporate cultures by which one side strived to comply with such things as financial stress tests while worrying that a newly elected Trump would default, leaving it "the ugly choice between seizing the president's personal assets or not enforcing the loan terms," even as the other continued corrupt practices for nearly two decades.Following the money becomes easier in this thoroughly researched, if dispiriting, work of investigative journalism. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Throughout the seesawing legal negotiations surrounding the release of Donald Trump's elusive tax returns, one bank, and one bank only, has emerged as the critical player whose cooperation is the keystone to unmasking the president's financial past. For 150 years, the German institution Deutsche Bank has engaged in taking bold, quasi-legal, and perhaps overtly felonious risks under the leadership of an ever-changing retinue of cutthroat CEOs who have collectively let their ambition cloud their fiduciary judgment. Allegations of laundering money for Russian oligarchs, manipulating currency markets, violating sanctions, ignoring regulations, and deceiving customers have subjected them to U.S. and international scrutiny. But it will undoubtedly be its highly irregular relationship with its most notorious client, Donald Trump, that may ultimately be its undoing, if details of gargantuan loans and the president's cavalier handling of those loans are exposed under congressional investigation. New York Times finance editor Enrich's immersion in this shadowy world of monetary malfeasance shows how the disreputable world of big-stakes banking could topple an equally unscrupulous president.--Carol Haggas Copyright 2020 Booklist


Library Journal Review

New York Times finance editor Enrich (The Spider Network) weaves a cautionary tale out of Deutsche Bank's rise and fall, and its long, strange relationship with Donald Trump. Over the years, the bank made billions in risky loans to Trump, a repeat defaulter, with mixed results. Enrich traces the bank's 20th-century history, beginning with its collaboration with the Nazis during World War II and continuing with its transformation into an investment bank in an attempt to pursue Wall Street riches, its spurious weathering of the 2008 financial crisis, and its ultimate unraveling. For decades, Enrich says, the bank subordinated ethics, customer loyalty, and even lawful behavior to maximize short-term profits. In a twisting subplot, Enrich follows the revelations of the bank's misdeeds from the perspective of the son of a Deutsche Bank executive who committed suicide. VERDICT Part exposé, part mystery, Enrich's account is important because it illuminates Deutsche Bank's excesses and Trump's business practices. Readers of Andrew Sorkin's Too Big To Fail, which unveiled vulnerabilities in the financial industry, will find Enrich's more focused account equally compelling.--Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA


Table of Contents

Author's Notep. xi
Prologuep. 1
Part I
Chapter 1 A Criminal Enterprisep. 13
Chapter 2 Edson and Billp. 27
Chapter 3 Wall Street's Great Migrationp. 42
Chapter 4 Forces of Darknessp. 51
Chapter 5 Project Ospreyp. 63
Chapter 6 Trump's Bankersp. 68
Chapter 7 Riptidep. 81
Chapter 8 The Last Dayp. 87
Chapter 9 Ackermannp. 97
Chapter 10 The Mar-A-Lago Prizep. 112
Chapter 11 Der Inderp. 122
Chapter 12 Firemanp. 133
Chapter 13 "This Guy is a Danger"p. 143
Chapter 14 The Pendulum Swingsp. 146
Chapter 15 Clueless Old Manp. 157
Chapter 16 Rosemary Vrablicp. 166
Chapter 17 Anshu Ascendantp. 178
Chapter 18 Dumping Groundp. 186
Chapter 19 5,777 Requests for Informationp. 191
Chapter 20 Stressp. 203
Part II
Chapter 21 Valentinp. 213
Chapter 22 Life Extinctp. 221
Chapter 23 Everything Is Upside Downp. 223
Chapter 24 No Reason for Concernp. 231
Chapter 25 Poor Brilliant Billp. 241
Chapter 26 The North Koreansp. 251
Chapter 27 No Confidencep. 258
Chapter 28 Trump Endeavor 12 LLCp. 269
Chapter 29 The Damage I Have Donep. 279
Chapter 30 Person of Interestp. 287
Chapter 31 Sienap. 298
Chapter 32 Rosemary is the Bossp. 305
Chapter 33 Do Not Utter the Word "Trump"p. 314
Chapter 34 Spycraftp. 323
Chapter 35 A Note from the Presidentp. 334
Epiloguep. 351
Acknowledgmentsp. 363
Endnotesp. 367
Indexp. 391