For Dan 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.
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 almost blew his brains out 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, Dan Ziffer bring 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.
About the Author
Dan 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.
"A devilish peek into the barren soul of the banking industry."
"[A] rollicking blow-by-blow of the Hayne Royal Commission into banking...Ziffer's doom, gloom and snark sums up our twenty-first century tastes perfectly. Enjoy this real-life Dickensian nightmare, and despair!"
--Chris Dite, Readings
"After covering last year's banking royal commission, I never thought I'd want to read another word about it, but reading this book is like being next to the naughty schoolboy. The result is hugely entertaining but also affecting as Melbourne journalist Daniel Ziffer's light touch reminds us this was about normal people who were impacted by bank wrongdoing. The book works brilliantly as a guided tour through the sordid details of the royal commission as he embraces the pettiness and absurdity of the excuse making of many of the major players. Where the banks and other financial institutions were so tone deaf, Ziffer's ear is pitch perfect, showing warmth and respect to those who were done over as well as piquing the phoniness of excuses by the institutions. Nothing is sacred--from the extremes of corporate lies and cover-ups to laughing at pompous CEO signatures. Ziffer's book has what the banking system was shown to lack--a moral compass and real heart."
--Jeff Whaley, Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin
"Daniel Ziffer doesn't suffer from inertia. His book, A Wunch of Bankers, is a supercharged flight through the absurdity of the year he spent reporting from the commission for ABCTV."
--Peter Martin, The Saturday Age