Daniel Ziffer - A Wunch of Bankers

Monday 29 July 2019
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
In store at Avid Reader Bookshop
Ticket $10.00, Book (A Wunch of Bankers) $32.99
Tickets available until 29 July 2019 6:00 PM

This event commences at 6.30pm. Printed tickets are not issued and your booking will be on a door list under your surname.

"A devilish peek into the barren soul of the banking industry." Sammy J

ABC journalist Rachel Mealey is in-conversation with Daniel Ziffer discussing A Wunch of Bankers: a year in the Hayne Royal Commission.

For Daniel Ziffer and his Australia-wide audience, it was a complicated, galling, and gasp-inducing year at the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

It wasn’t just its exhaustive rounds of hearings around the country — Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin and Sydney — on topics from farming finance to financial planning. It wasn’t even the long list of scandals exposed to a horrified nation — charging fees to dead people, blatant conflicts of interest, and taking $1 billion from customers in fees that banks were never entitled to.

What made it so fascinating, so heart-breaking, and so enraging was the procession of faces through the witness box, and the team of counsel gazing into the dark heart of banking.

Tearful victims, blank-faced executives, hapless regulators, and a couple of utter charlatans all had their day in court, watched by an audience of millions, and revealing — in their stories — the material to justify re-shaping the multi-trillion dollar financial services industry that forms a pillar of Australian life.

A Wunch of Bankers covers not just the big shocks, but the small moments — lost in the flurry of daily reporting — that reveal how companies have used the law, limp enforcement, and basic human behaviour to take advantage of customers.

Is there a phrase that judges how much life-insurance spruikers in call centres can terrify you about your impending death — and the grief-stricken ruins of an estate you’ll leave for your bereaved family — while still being legal?

Yes, there is.

Was there a meeting in which a bank’s executives ignored a warning of “Extreme” from its chief risk officer, to embark on an illegal scheme that accrued $3.6 billion in funds?

There was.

Mixed among the testimony are snippets from life on the road as the World’s Oldest Debuting TV Reporter — not just driving five hours one-way to talk to a man who was almost driven to suicide over a bank nabbing his $22 million estate, but explaining how journalism can only ever give you a glimpse inside complex issues.

In A Wunch of Bankers, Danel Ziffer brings out the colour and grit of the royal commission’s proceedings, and explores broader issues raised by the testimony. A mixture of analysis, reportage, and observations, it is densely researched and compellingly written.

Daniel Ziffer covered the Hayne royal commission for ABC radio, TV, and online. He was formerly the long-time senior producer of ‘Mornings with Jon Faine’, at ABC Radio Melbourne, and has worked on air and in production at Macquarie Radio, as a freelance foreign correspondent based in New York City, a journalist at The Age, and as a magazine editor.

WUNCH: a gathering, a group, or a gaggle of people that work in a financial institution.

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