Monday, June 02, 2014

Whistleblowers of Wall Street

The personal price of exposing financial wrongdoing can be devastating. William D Cohan meets three men who went public and paid for it

Whistleblowing is not for the faint-hearted – and especially not on Wall Street.
On Wall Street, as every­one now knows, wrong­doing by bankers, traders and executives led to disaster in 2008 after they were rewarded for taking risks with other people’s money. Leading bankers and traders were motivated – by the hope of getting large bonuses – to package up mortgages into securities and then sell them off as AAA-rated investments all over the world. This happened even though one damning email after another makes clear they knew some of the mortgages would probably default and that the securities should never have been sold in the first place. But some people did try to blow the whistle – the problem is they were not listened to. Worse than that, they were treated in a way that would discourage anyone from following in their footsteps. Wall Street Whistleblowers: the acts of failure