I was a managing director for a Dutch Bank. ABN AMRO. It was a premier global bank rivaling CitiBank at the time. Not to be confused with Deutsche Bank. Which is German.
ABN had a rule never to do real estate deals. EVER. Deutsche Bank came on the scene in the late 90’s and made the same mistake as the Japanese Banks had done in the ’80’s. Lots of bad high rise bets.
Deutsche got cozy with the biggest real estate loser, giving loans to Trump from each side of its so-called Chinese Wall. Much to its demise.
Jonas Bronck, a Dutch settler for whom New York City’s northern borough is named. Home of Arthur Avenue, a Zoo and of course the “Bronx Bombers”. Ironic that the iconic New York Yankees’ dramatic series comeback was capped off by Didi Gregorius, born in Amsterdam. Of the chivalrous order of Oranje. His two homers sealed the deal to win the Division title. A rare baseball import from Holland playing for New Netherland’s most famous team.
The Yankees, derived from the male name Janke, what Dutch-speaking Americans were called back in the day. Go Didi. Go Jankes!
The Perfect Prey, The Fall of ABN AMRO, or What Went Wrong in the Banking Industry, by Jeroen Smit. I came across this book, written by a Dutch investigative journalist, by chance. After the recent tragic murder-suicide by former CEO Schmittmann was reported in the NY Post, I did some research as an ABN AMRO alum, and one of its former Managing Directors. I found the paperback and it read like a novel. Here is my Amazon review:
‘A stilted translation to English may be some of the reason for my 3 stars. But, the story was well told and compelling- the demise of a once prestigious global financial institution, ABN, which prided itself on being a member of each community it served in over 70 countries, rivaling only Citibank. When the corrupt AMRO merged with ABN, began le deluge. I became unwittingly embroiled in an unethical transaction with the saga’s central character, AMRO’s R. Groenink. A lot of the players are known to me from my tenure at the Bank in San Francisco and Boston in the 80’s and 90’s. Lex Kloosterman was my boss. After I retired, he went on to Fortis and was instrumental in the tale and ultimate sale. There is probably not a wide audience for this book. I would recommend it as an allegory- too big yet failed. A moral tragedy.’