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Dark Towers
Cover of Dark Towers
Dark Towers
Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction
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#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.

#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.

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About the Author-
  • David Enrich is the Finance Editor at the New York Times. He previously was the Financial Enterprise Editor of the Wall Street Journal, heading a team of investigative reporters. Before that, he was the Journal's European Banking Editor, based in London, and a Journal reporter in New York. 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 On of The Greatest Scams in History was short-listed for the Financial Times Best 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.

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    September 1, 2019

    The award-wining finance editor of the New York Times, Enrich takes a long, hard look at the scandalous history of Deutsche Bank, from its helping to build Auschwitz to its recently manipulating markets, violating international sanctions, and laundering money. Told through the suicide of conscientious American executive Bill Broeksmit, whose son was shocked when he started investigating the bank's files.

    Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2020
    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 inauguration--and 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 him--and 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(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • John Carreyrou, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author of Bad Blood "In Dark Towers, David Enrich tells the story of how one of the world's mightiest banks careened off the rails, threatening everything from our financial system to our democracy through its reckless entanglement with Donald Trump. Darkly fascinating and yet all too real, it's a tale that will keep you up at night."
  • New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice) "Enrich compellingly shows how unchecked ambition twisted a pillar of German finance into a reckless casino where amorality and criminality thrived."
  • Sunday Times (London) "Riveting. ... A cracking read. ... Devastatingly accurate. ... This is an important book because it reveals how one bank, with questionable business practices to put it mildly, made it possible for Trump to bounce back from multiple bankruptcies, cast himself as a business visionary, and eventually run for president and win."
  • Philadelphia Inquirer "A jaw-dropping financial thriller."
  • The Guardian "Enrich delivers a master class in financial sleuthing. ... A first-rate read."
  • Washington Post "A revelatory book about the rise and fall of the world's biggest bank. ... Has all the elements of a page-turning mystery novel"
  • James B. Stewart, Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of Den of Thieves and Deep State “In this case, 'epic' is right - Dark Towers is a mystery, a thriller, a father-son drama. Did I mention Donald Trump? It's a distinctly American drama of greed, hubris and power that kept me racing to the finish.”
  • David Corn, co-author, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump "In this masterful account of a bank gone bad, David Enrich turns financial journalism into gripping, page-turning crime reporting. Tracking the sordid history of Deutsche Bank—from financing robber barons, Nazis, and rogue states to laundering Russian money to underwriting Donald Trump to threatening global economic security — Enrich deftly delivers a compelling narrative that intertwines harrowing institutional corruption and engaging personal tales. It's a wild ride and a great read."
  • Kirkus Reviews "A deep-reaching look at the inner workings of Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump's lender of choice."
  • Library Journal (starred review) "Part expose, 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."
  • Publishers Weekly "Propulsive, richly detailed...Enrich writes with verve...This journalistic tour de force hints that plenty of shocking secrets are yet to be revealed."
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Dark Towers
Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction
David Enrich
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