A Conversation With 'Wall Street's Greatest Enemy'
By: Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain December 29, 2016
Whistleblowers play an essential role in uncovering corporate and government fraud. But they often pay a heavy price for their actions.
Michael G. Winston was the executive at Countrywide Financial, the giant provider of single-family mortgages, who called out the company on its fraudulent practices in the early 2000s. The subsequent collapse of Countrywide was a major factor in the crash of the mortgage market and the Great Recession of 2007-08. Winston, who was punished by Countrywide management for speaking out, turned down a $10-million-plus settlement of his lawsuit against the company and its subsequent owner, Bank of America, because it would have allowed the perpetrators to evade culpability in the scandal. He then suffered a shocking loss in appellate court, and was blackballed by the financial industry. On this episode, Winston, dubbed by Salon“Wall Street’s greatest enemy,” recalls his ordeal, and offers his view as to what should be done to reform the banking, mortgage and financial industries to prevent future fraudulent behavior. For now, however, the latest economic disaster remains what this veteran Fortune 50 executive calls “the greatest unpunished crime in recorded history.”
Look for a new episode of the podcast, which can be downloaded or streamed, every Friday on the SupplyChainBrain website and iTunes.
Michael Winston’s story, as reported in Rolling Stone.
Winston’s book, World Class Performance: The Commitment; The Pursuit; The Achievement.