Reportercast September 2022: Bradley Birkenfeld on whistleblowing

People, September’s Reportercast has appeared. Our guest for this edition is world-famous whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, a self-described “hammer looking for nails” known for exposing a multi-billion tax scam at UBS and receiving what at the time was the largest reward in US history for his disclosure, which led to the overhauling of the Swiss banking system in recent years. He also served two years in a low-security penitentiary after pleading guilty to tax conspiracy, following an initially hostile reception to his initiative by some parts of the Washington government.

Brad has a big ego and his fair share of critics but remains a champion of whistleblowers today. In collaboration with legal experts and campaigners around the world, he continues lecturing and advocating for stronger whistleblower protection in law, as well as financial rewards along the lines of the US policy in the area.

In his book, Lucifer’s Banker, and on his blog, Brad makes the obvious case — financial reward for people who turn over egregious wrongdoing to the authorities pays for itself, and provides a lifeline for those who would otherwise become largely unemployable in the fields they built their careers due to perceptions of disloyalty.

The public service provided is clear, yet European authorities in the EU and U.K. have been reluctant to adopt this model. Brad discusses these issues and more at length, while being a hugely entertaining interlocutor. He is passionate, fiery and has strong views, but these tend to be well argued.

You may listen to the discussion on major platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Youtube.

Or you may listen directly from Acast and Youtube embedded below, as well as use the RSS feed code to add the stream to your preferred podcast app.

If you are a journalist considering writing about this podcast, or just the type who prefers reading to listening, you may access the transcript here.

Thanks for staying with us!

And special thanks to the kind and patient P.F. who once again worked his magic to produce the new episode.