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October 14, 2008

Bankers, Brokers and Bandits: Losing The Bank

Bankers, Brokers and Bandits: Losing the Bank

Today we begin a special series looking at the financial crisis through the eyes of people who've been there. 

Joe Rusnak helped found a bank in a small town in Ohio. As he tells host Dick Gordon, it was his baby -- until a financial storm hit: the network of banks to which Joe's bank belonged got caught up in a fraud scandal. The governor shut down 71 banks, including Joe's. It was the low point of Joe's professional life. Then out of nowhere, Chase Manhattan contacted Joe to buy his bank on extremely favorable terms. The bank was saved but at the price of losing its soul. Joe left after a year, and he is happy to be retired completely from the banking business now.

The Perfect Switch

The story of former bank executive Jim Shaw is the mirror image of Joe Rusnak's. Jim remembers when he was called into a secret meeting and told to pack his bags, hit the road, and take over a bank that had just gone belly up. Jim's team was given from five o'clock on Friday afternoon until 8 o'clock Monday morning to make a seamless transition. Jim talks with host Dick Gordon about the pressure to pull off the perfect switch.


Music featured in the "Bankers, Brokers and Bandits" series: "Borgnine Krupa" performed by "We Stain Porcelain" for the album "The First Flush Compilation"

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