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

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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
ebook, 416 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Custom House
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Start your review of Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction
Will Byrnes
With Trump in the White House there would presumably be extensive digging into every deal hed ever done, every partner hed ever worked with, every loan hed ever receivedmany of which involved Deutsche. And the facts that Trumps election was under a cloud because of Russias efforts to sway the vote and that his leading lender had for years been engaged in money-laundering activity in Russiawell, it didnt take a genius to realize that real or imagined dots would soon be connected linking Deutsche
Donald Powell
This book is all about Deutsche Bank. The Donald Trump material is mostly added to get you to buy the book. There are no revelations about Trump's relations with the bank that have not already been disseminated; however, it is presented in clear and coherent prose and that was worth the price of the book. The true revelations of the book are the machinations of banking and finance that are so non-productive and often destructive to the economy and real people's lives. The old saying the money is ...more
Jill Meyer
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Germanys Deutsche Bank has a long history of some, frankly, odd financial dealings that began when the bank was created from putting together many banks to make one large one. Some of these shenanigans involve Donald Trumps business loans, but David Enright looks at the bank in its history in his book, Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

Russian oligarchs mix with shady characters from all over the world in money laundering that other banks wouldnt touch.
May 20, 2019 marked it as to-read

FYI: 'a son of Supreme Court Justice...' that would be Kennedy, Justin Kennedy - daddy made way for career alcoholic and rapist to become Trumpy's pick for bench to overturn Roe v Wade.
Miss M
What a shit show.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-books-2020
I was leery of reading this book because of the reference to Trump. I am just tired of Trump drama/scandals. But, after reading other reviews that this books is more about the financial crisis and the rise and fall of Deutsche Bank, I decided to go ahead and read it. I have no regrets about reading this book.

I have read newspaper stories about the banks before and after the financial crisis. So, I wasn't expected to be surprised by anything that I read in this book. Perhaps I was naive. The
Feb 16, 2020 marked it as maybe  ·  review of another edition

Dark Towers review: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump and a must-read mystery: David Enrich delivers a master class in financial sleuthing but much about bank and billionaire remains unknown

The author's name is 'Enrich' ?

Matias Singers
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wall-street
Think of Dark Towers first and foremost as a comprehensive book on the modern history of Deutsche, and it does a great job at that. There are a couple of initial chapters about the banks founding, involvement with the American railway, and dealings with the Nazis during World War II.

The many detailed accounts of mismanagement and how the company went off the tracks both culturally and morally is told through stories on several high-ranking figures (i.e., Bill Broeksmit, Edson Mitchell, Anshu
Conor Rafferty
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Suprising, a financial page turner!

To me, this is possibly the non-fiction book of 2020, like Bad Blood was the non-fiction book of 2018.
Dark Towers talks to the spectacular mismanagement of Deutsche Bank (their stock chart since inception is a thing to behold... from $147 at peak to under $10 now).

The author moves briskly through its inception in the late 19th century and the majority of the book is focused on their effort in the 1990s onwards to become a buckaneering Wall St firm, and the
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very readable and troubling account of the rise and fall of Deutsche Bank. It shows the drive of institutional greed and taking huge risks, such as on derivatives, to make money. It reveals how one arm of the bank loaned Trump money when he was in default of a multi-million dollar loan to another arm of the bank. The loan from the private banking arm allowed him to pay what he owed to the investment banking division. It records how Trump defaulted on junk bonds Deutsche had helped sell ...more
Nick Anderson
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
3.75 stars:

If you're looking for a book chock full of dirt on Trump, this isn't exactly gonna be your thing. There's some decent tea spilled, don't get me wrong, but Dark Towers is much more a modern history of Deutsche Bank and as that it's pretty damn good.

Focusing on the stories of several high-ranking DB officials, Dark Towers paints a bleak picture of DB's actions not only leading up to and through the 2008 crash, but back throughout its history.

Much of the information is parsed out from
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bill Broeksmit - somehow his fate is the one that lingers after having finished this book.
And the recklessness of Wall Street.

The book was an easy listen, mostly; not to weighed down with insider language and circling around the lives of people involved with DB. What was deeply discouraging though was delving into the lives of so MANY people who put profit over all else. Who see (or saw) acquiring riches as an end-goal of life, no matter how ill gained.

Dark towers put a spotlight on DBs WWII
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
This is really mostly a book about the history of DB and what feels like a separate thread about Trumps relationship with DB- not sure these narratives were integrated in the most effective or seamless way (felt like two books at times). The Justice Kennedy/Trump/DB connection is detailed well (and really turned my stomach). Also, this book discusses suicide in a very reckless and not at all in a best practices manner thats shocking coming from a NYT journalist. ...more
Shivakumar Srinivasan
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A decent read and insight into the journey of Deutsche Banks fall from the worlds largest bank to losing 95% of its market value. ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow. I can't even with this "president". This is a jaw dropping read. Well-researched and it reads like a thriller.
Katy St. Clair
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good insight into gigantic international banking and it's unethical enablers, but also those inside who are trying to do the right thing as well. I expected a lot more Trump stuff, though the author outlines alllllll the president's financial deals and why he's fighting tooth and nail to keep Congress's eyes off them. I learned a ton about international money laundering and how it's done-- just a lot of stuff i really had no concept of before. Ah, i should say that the book is bouyant and ...more
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really superb reporting. And, perhaps even more impressive, excellent storytelling. Suicide is the leitmotif; Enrich holds it up with care. The beginning of part 2, revealing the origins of a key character, hit me with such force. I'd like to be able to do the same in my own work. The book feels like a fable first, and a nonfiction work about banking second. Which is as it should be.
Eric Schultz
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The riveting story of a bank so driven by growth and profits that it funded the Nazis, channeled billions to Mideast terrorists, laundered Russian money, and became the only bank that would lend to the Trump and Kushner families. Enrich's reporting is superb. This book alone would have sunk any other President; as it is, it's barely caused a ripple.
Jim Breslin
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In "Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction," NYTs finance editor David Enrich details the history of Deutsche Bank, the German institution that rapidly grew and transformed itself from a staid German bank into an international investment banking behemoth and criminal enterprise. Enrich charts the banks hiring of Wall Street executives who not only neglected the conservative German culture but blew it up. Focused on growth at the expense of ethics or banking ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Deutsche Bank as a symbol of our amoral era: with profits driven by hypercompetitive mainly derivatives traders from the US that took awesome financial risk to satisfy their personal greed. Many came from Merrill Lynch, which had ramped up using such a path in an earlier time. Like Edson Mitchell, who started his career working as an accountant for a chicken farm in Maine before launching the derivatives business at Merrill, and then Deutsche Bank.

Enrich takes us through the saga of collateral
This book reads well, but ultimately is disappointing. The book essentially makes the case that Deutsche Bank (DB) may have been the shadiest of all the financial institutions who got big fines, literally billions of dollars in fines, for manipulating a variety of financial instruments and devices.

In 2008 DB found a way to help fraudsters manipulate tax refunds on the sale of carbon emissions permits. DB had a team of London traders engaged in trading these permits. The British government
Mar 18, 2020 added it
Leadership changes at Deutsche Bank led to a chase for investment banking and a lot of shady practices at the institution. A bank that was once focused on Germany and German businesses grew a metastasizing arm that created some of the riskiest derivatives ever seen in the banking industry. When things were good the bank and it's bankers were pocketing millions but good times don't last forever.

In it's chase for lucrative fees, Deutsche threw off it's oversight and began working with clients and
Tejas Sathian
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting business history of Deutsche Bank - the book was at its best in its telling of the story of Edson Mitchell and his lieutenants who brought Wall Street ambition and the alchemy of derivatives to a sleepy German institution (albeit one with its own history of controversy without American assistance). The cultural clashes ever present in the ranks of DB management, and their interaction with powerful egos (Anshu Jain's in particular) made for captivating reading.

This book
Budd Margolis
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
How has America's biggest financial disaster, the impeached President Trump survive? IT is Deutsche banks and its historic criminal banking and bad dealings that have propped him up and created billions in tax avoidance for the Mercers. But go deeper back to the foundation and the support for Hitler's regime and you begin to see the Evil DNA this bank holds and its destructive derivatives dealings which hurt many people across the world. We may find out in June when the Supreme Court rules on ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is primarily a history of the train wreck that is Deutsche Bank, how it transformed from a staid and stable German institution into the disaster that is has become. That happened primarily because it went to Wall Street and lost its moral compass, where it became the institutionalized banking crime machine that it is now. They've done it all: fraud on a large scale, money laundering for everybody, but they set up an office in Russia to do it for the oligarchs, sanction violations, ...more
Jeff Bobin
A fairly detailed look inside the history of one international bank and how fragile they can be.

This shows how lack of oversight leads to corruption and false data.

The Trump connection is a small part of this story as he was one of many that took advantage of those that would put their personal self interest and profit ahead of their stockholders, customers and the public.

This is a reasonably easy read for those with basic understanding of banking and international finance. At times it almost
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wish I had been more into this as is typical with reading a story about high finance, the characters involved are all largely very unsavory, corrupt and unsympathetic, and this is even before the Trump connection is tied in (without a large amount of new info on his extremely shady business dealings with them) as the story gets even tawdrier. There are just so many better books on the subprime crisis out there, but of course they dont have the Trump angle. Its unfortunate that DB is my ...more
Lisa  Carlson
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lisa by: Rachel Maddow
Shelves: finance
NY Times Financial Editor David Enrich has written an impressive account of the history of Deutsche "Doyshur" Bank in Dark Towers; Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump and the Epic Trail of Destruction (pp 416.) This will either make you sad (begins with a suicide) or escalate the maddening feeling many of have about the present administration, Russia and big banks in general.
The bank has ties to the Holocaust, the Gestapo, Hitler which they never full account for but it's the way they do business which
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a well researched book about Deutsche Bank and Trump The characters playing out in this drama are the same ones we watch on our evening news - like the Trump family, the Kushner family, Steve Mnuchin, Wilber Ross, Jeffrey Epstein, Justice Kennedy, as well as organizations like the Russian Government.
But in this book, the story begins well before the election of Trump. Some of the characters end up dying or committing suicide. But others seem to have been propelled into further positions
Dennis Hogan
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finished Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction by David Enrich. The focus of this book is the shoddy business practices of Deutsche Bank over a long period of time. President Trump has a subordinate role, but it is interesting to note that a real estate developer bankrupted four times who walked away from numerous debts was able to secure financing that saved his empire. The book is extremely well researched in part from obtaining access to the personal email ...more
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“Around the time that he canned Mike Offit, Mitchell organized a corporate getaway for hundreds of employees. The retreat was in a luxury resort overlooking Lake Maggiore, in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The bankers flew into Milan, and a fleet of Mercedes sedans chauffeured them into the mountains.” 0 likes
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