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Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction

February 17, 2020

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“This is the story of Deutsche Bank’s rise and fall. It is about the men who transformed a sleepy German lender into what was, for a time, the largest bank in the world, but who also set the stage for the ensuing catastrophe.”

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On February 18, Custom House will publish Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction by award-winning journalist and acclaimed author David Enrich.

Enrich’s previous book, The Spider Network was short-listed for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award in 2017. In the years since, he’s been consistently breaking news about Deutsche Bank in his role as finance editor at the New York Times. Now, Enrich shares the full, riveting story of the world’s most infamous bank and its shadowy ties to Donald Trump’s business empire. Brimming with news and gripping prose, Dark Towers is the never-before-told saga of how Deutsche Bank became the global face of financial recklessness and criminality. In Dark Towers, the story of Deutsche Bank is intertwined with that of Donald Trump: his businesses, his bankruptcies, his relationship with Russia, and his unlikely ascent to the presidency. It is a tale that will be bursting into the headlines in the weeks ahead, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on whether the bank must hand over its extensive Trump files to congressional investigators—and, by extension, the public.

The book is already being praised as “darkly fascinating” (John Carreyrou), “a distinctly American drama of greed, hubris and power” (James B. Stewart), a “masterful account of a bank gone bad” (David Corn), and “a deep-reaching look at the inner workings of Deutsche Bank” (Kirkus Reviews).

The extraordinary saga of Deutsche Bank goes far beyond Donald Trump, encompassing an entire era of excess, corruption, and illegality on Wall Street. The story is told in part through the rise and tragic fall of Bill Broeksmit, a top Deutsche executive who killed himself in 2014, and his son’s quest to hold the bank accountable after his death. Enrich traces Deutsche Bank’s history back to its propping up of a default-prone American developer in the 1880s, bankrolling the Nazis during World War II (including financing the construction of Auschwitz), and wooing Eastern Bloc authoritarians. He shows how, starting in the 1990s, a succession of hard-charging Deutsche executives 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, tricking 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.

As Enrich writes: “This is the story of Deutsche Bank’s rise and fall. It is about the men who transformed a sleepy German lender into what was, for a time, the largest bank in the world, but who also set the stage for the ensuing catastrophe. It is about one well-intentioned and honest man who tried to save the bank but couldn’t save himself, and about his son, who embarked on a quest to understand his father’s demise. And it is about the consequences—dead people, doomed companies, broken economies, and the forty-fifth president of the United States—that Deutsche Bank wrought on the world.”  

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Enrich is the finance editor at the New York Times. He was previously a reporter and editor with the Wall Street Journal in New York and London. He has won numerous journalism awards, including the 2016 Gerald Loeb Award for feature writing. His first book, The Spider Network: How a Math Genius and Gang of Scheming Bankers Pulled Off One of The Greatest Scams in History was short-listed for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award. Enrich grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, and graduated from Claremont McKenna College in California. He currently lives in New York with his wife and two sons.

 

This book giveaway is brought to you by Custom House, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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