Russia's Ruble Shakedown

Natasha Gurfinkel had moxie. Nothing if not aggressive as a senior vice president in charge of the Bank of New York's East European division, the Russian-born, Princeton-educated businesswoman charmed and cajoled, wined and dined her way to the forefront of the correspondent banking business in the heady days of Russia's breakaway from communism. Muscling out American rivals through her web of Moscow connections, she turned the Bank of New York into the biggest U.S. servicer of Russian accounts, moving along the flood tide of cash rolling out of the ebullient new economy in return for lucrative bank fees. When she wanted...

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