Ian Welsh – The Wells Fargo Scandal Was By Design

Some years ago I worked for a mid-sized financial multinational.  Towards the end of my tenure my employer merged with another company, and the senior executives in my department were replaced with Americans.  (It was the smallest department in the division, and they felt they should give the Americans something.)

There had been some… dubious… practices before, stuff that skirted the line, mostly related to moving near future earnings into the current month, quarter or year end.  Since I was involved in both operations and compliance, I had made my concerns known, but what was being done was legal, if marginally so.

When the new senior managers took over they started to require of lower management certain “numbers”.  These numbers were hard to reach, but we tried.  One day the dictum came down to reach a number which could not be met.  Fortunately, it wasn’t a number involving money.

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