A federal financial watchdog within Goldman Sachs chronicles her decision to become a whistleblower.
Segarra, now a self-described “advocate for regulatory transparency and reform,” guides readers into the inner sanctum of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City and the offices of too-big-to-fail Goldman Sachs. She offers notes from the numerous meetings meant to convey suspect institutional cultures, explaining how she eventually realized that the high-level government regulators at the Federal Reserve exhibited zero interest in meaningful regulation of the unethical, corner-cutting executives at Goldman. As the author chronicles, instead of everybody from both institutions pulling together to avoid a repeat of the devastating worldwide financial crisis of 2008, there seemed to be an unholy camaraderie of corruption that was sure to devastate unsuspecting investors. At first, Segarra worried about losing her job at the Federal Reserve, so she collected damning evidence unobtrusively. But as her first year on the job (2011) progressed, she became more vocal about the unethical and probably illegal conduct she sensed within both the Fed and Goldman. Inevitably, she got fired, at which point she was forced to decide whether to seek other employment as a lawyer or file litigation challenging her dismissal, understanding that she had a slim chance of succeeding. The author’s saga is unquestionably important, especially as the current administration seeks to further deregulate the financial services industry, but the narrative is haphazardly presented. Segarra offers detailed accounts of countless meetings filled with vague conversations about complex financial regulations. So many individuals come and go from these meetings that they become difficult to distinguish one from another, and the author doesn’t help with her gratuitous physical descriptions of the participants. To complicate identifications further, she reveals on the copyright page that the names of some actors have been altered, but readers never learn which ones.
A significant account told in a disappointing manner.