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Given her reported “obsessive attention to detail”—you know, the meticulous diligence that earned her the nickname “the watchmaker”—you might expect Carrie Tolstedt to have noticed the literally millions of unauthorized accounts opened during her tenure as Wells Fargo’s consumer-banking chief. But apparently hers wasn’t so particularly watchful an eye, because when trumpeting Wells’ now rather-discredited emphasis on cross-selling, she apparently had no idea. Indeed, she was just reading the script they gave her, whoever they are.

This, at least, is the story Carrie Tolstedt is telling, through her lawyers. Even more incredibly, it’s the story they are telling to absolve her of responsibility for the above.

“It is unfair and unfounded for the SEC to point the finger at Ms. Tolstedt when her statements were not only true but also thoroughly vetted by others as part of Wells Fargo’s policies, procedures and systems of controls,” Ms. Mainigi said.

That’s right: Tolstedt should not be held to account, and should indeed theoretically be allowed to work in the banking industry again someday, because she had literally no idea what was going at a unit which she was paid nine figures to run (OK, eight now if you include the clawbacks). Nice work if you can get it, indeed.

Wells Fargo Ex-CEO Settles SEC Claims, Former Consumer-Unit Head Faces Fraud Case [WSJ]


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