#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.
Journalist Enrich (The Spider Network) wraps an expos 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 deforce hints that plenty of shocking secrets are yet to be revealed.