An award-winning New York Times financial journalist’s searing exposé of the most scandalous bank in the world, including its shadowy ties to Donald Trump's business empire.
In January 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45 president of the United States. As he delivered his fiery inaugural address, a grey-haired woman named Rosemary Vrablic sat in the VIP section of the audience. Vrablic was an executive at Deutsche Bank, and without her, Donald Trump probably wouldn’t have won the White House.
This is the never-before-told story of how a 150-year-old German bank became the global face of financial recklessness and criminality, a scandalous history that includes helping the Nazis build Auschwitz. In the 1990s, a succession of hard-charging executives made the fateful decision to chase Wall Street riches - setting Deutsche Bank on an epic path of devastation. Its sins included manipulating markets, violating international sanctions, and laundering money for Russian oligarchs for which Deustche was eventually fined nearly $10 billion by the US Department of Justice.
Desperate for an American foothold, Deutsche started doing business with a self-promoting real estate magnate who most banks deemed too dangerous to touch: Donald Trump. Over the next twenty years, Deutsche executives - including a man with a damaged brain, the son of a Supreme Court justice, and Rosemary Vrablic - loaned billions to Trump and his daughter Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner. Why?
To unravel this mystery, Enrich traces the rise and fall of Bill Broeksmit, an American executive long regarded as the conscience of Deutsche Bank who hanged himself in 2014. In the wake of his death, his son accessed Broeksmit’s computer files on a quest to understand what motivated his father’s suicide. The answers he found helps explain how Deutsche Bank became the financial equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction.