David Enrich tells the story of Bill Broeksmit as an analogue for the meteoric rise and potential fall of Deutsche Bank and the investment banking industry in general. Broeksmit was a risk management and derivatives guru. His story traces how no industry is immune from the adage, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” After pioneering derivatives as a risk management vehicle, he climbed through the ranks of Deutsche Bank earning the reputation as the voice of reason and ethical compass for the entire firm, who, as Enrich says, “had the credibility to not only say no to transactions, but to do it in a way that people really respected what he was saying.” Enrich tells Ed Harrison why he employed Broeksmit to be the “hero” of his book and as a symbol for how good intentions with flawed incentive systems inevitably lead to tragedy for people and the institutions they work for – in Broeksmit’s case, the tragic act of taking his own life.
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