• VICTORIA

    FINKLE

     

    Freelance

    Journalist

  • Welcome

    I'm a business, banking and economics journalist who's inspired by a lifelong curiosity in people, systems and the world around us.

     

    As a freelance writer, my work has been featured in The New York Times, Quartz, Inc. magazine, the Washington Post, National Law Journal, Washington Monthly, Sage Publications, Bloomberg BNA, American Banker, the Hill, Employee Benefit News, Priceonomics, the Billfold and DCist, among others. I previously wandered the halls of Congress covering finance and housing policy for American Banker, where I worked for more than four years. My investigation of abusive credit card practices was recognized by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

     

    I graduated magna cum laude from Bates College in 2006 with a degree in economics and completed Columbia Journalism School’s business reporting program in 2010. I also worked for three years assisting researchers at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and the Brookings Institution before taking the plunge into journalism, time well spent seeing how policy is discussed and shaped.

     

    When I'm not putting pen to paper, you can find me "urban hiking" through D.C. armed with a podcast or tackling one too many home improvement projects with my husband. I also love wasting time on various productivity blogs (irony noted).

    Let's work together

     

    Writing: I'm a versatile writer who's covered the technical and wonky as well as the light and offbeat.

     

    Research: I have extensive experience gathering information from government sources, legal documents, corporate filings and datasets. I know my way around Excel and have fact-checked books for prominent authors.

     

    Specialties: business, banking, personal finance, behavioral economics, policy and regulation, legal affairs, mindfulness

    What can I do for you? victoria.finkle@gmail.com

  • Recent Projects

    New York Times

    'Too Big to Fail' Label May Shrink for Some Firms Under Trump

    September 2017

    My analysis of what's to come in the fight over "systemically important" financial firms. NYT's Editorial Board followed up with its own take based on my reporting. 

    New York Times

    New Scrutiny for In-House Financial Court as Banker Faces Ban

    August 2017

    An investigative look at the Federal Reserve's administrative proceeding process and the case of a Goldman executive.

    Quartz

    Trump is ready to go to bat for big banks—but Yellen still has an ace up her sleeve

    June 2017

    I examined why the hiring of a new top lawyer at the Fed is so important for the central bank in the current political climate.

    National Law Journal

    Despite Fiduciary Rule's Delay, DOL's Measure Has Spurred Changes

    May 2017

    A look at how the DOL's fiduciary rule and a legal fight over 401(k) plans are transforming the retirement industry.

    New York Times

    U.S. Zeal in Suing Banks for Lending Bias Is Expected to Cool

    March 2017

    An investigation into what will become of lawsuits aimed at discriminatory lending at DOJ and the banking agencies under the new administration.

    Inc.

    What You Can Learn About Getting Hacked From a Tiny Pie Shop in Missouri

    March 2017

    A rundown of how small businesses can better protect their IT systems and their bank accounts from hackers.

    On Wisconsin

    A Matter of Interest

    March 2017

    I secured a rare interview with Simon Potter, head of the markets group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for his alumni magazine. We spoke about interest rate hikes and what they mean for regular consumers and the economy.

    Bloomberg BNA

    Banks Less Keen Than GOP for Sweeping Dodd-Frank Overhaul

    February 2017

    My rundown of potential tension points between the banking industry and congressional Republicans as lawmakers attempt to hammer out changes to the Dodd-Frank Act.

    New York Times

    Big Banks Fight to Block Crisis-Era Lawsuits From Continuing

    December 2016

    A group of big banks is trying to persuade the Supreme Court to halt a series of lawsuits over toxic securities that they argue regulators filed too late.

    American Banker

    Low Morale, Racial Bias Claims Beset AnotherDodd-Frank Agency

    November 2016

    My investigation into the morale problems plaguing the Office of Financial Research, based on numerous documents obtained from within the agency.

    New York Times

    MetLife Again Faces Off With Regulators Over Its Too-Big-to-Fail Status

    October 2016

    The latest installment in my NYT coverage of MetLife's battle to shake its designation as a "systemically important" institution.

    Quartz

    The Wells Fargo fake account scandal proves “there’s no such thing as a good big bank”

    September 2016

    Here's my analysis of the recent Wells Fargo controversy and what it means for Wall Street.

    Priceonomics

    Why Do Brides Wear White?

    September 2016

    Inspired by my own recent marriage, I delved into the surprising history of the white wedding dress. (Turns out WWII propaganda and military research played a bigger role than you'd probably imagine.)

    New York Times

    The Big Fish Seen Escaping an Agency Pursuing Bank Fraud

    July 2016

    I profiled Sigtarp, the law enforcement agency created to root out bank fraud within the country's bailout program.

    Washington Post

    With a new distillery, two women make their mark on D.C.’s craft liquor scene

    June 2016

    A look the rise of D.C.'s Ivy City neighborhood, which is home to a growing craft alcohol scene, including a new women-owned distillery.

    Washington Monthly

    The Most Important Agency You've Never Heard Of

    June 2016

    My investigation into the performance of the Office of Financial Research, a new agency created under Dodd-Frank that's tasked with rooting out signs of the next crisis before it hits.

    New York Times

    MetLife Suit Raises Questions of Extent of Corporate Liability

    May 2016

    The story of one senior who is taking MetLife to court after losing her life savings in a Ponzi scheme.

    Inc.

    How to Get Fiscally Fit in 90 Days or Less

    May 2016

    Feature article and infographic highlighting a host of tips for managing cash flow and the lessons of one New York City dressmaker.

    New York Times

    Deferred-Interest Promotions Are Back Under Scrutiny 

    May 2016

    I reviewed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's growing concerns about credit card promotions that can be costly if they're not used as intended.

    Bloomberg BNA

    Former CFPB No. 2 Takes Fintech Exit on Revolving Door

    March 2016

    A profile of Raj Date, who used to be second-in-command at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and what he's been up to since leaving the agency.  

    Inc.

    How One Startup Spends Every Penny, Analyzed

    February 2016

    My detailed review of how Buffer, a social media startup, keeps its finances in check and what that means for its bottom line.

    New York Times

    Proposed Legislation Would Add Scrutiny to Wall Street Regulators

    January 2016

    I investigated a bipartisan effort in the Senate to reform the rule-writing process for independent government agencies, like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

    American Banker

    Is Dodd-Frank Really Killing Community Banks?

    August 2015

    Here's a detailed review of the literature on both sides of the fight over the 2010 financial reform law and what it's doing to small banks and credit unions. (Subscription required.)

    DCist

    Diving Deep into Food Waste 

    April 2015

    Here's why "it's a really exciting time for food waste right now" in the restaurant industry. From my monthly column, Capital Cheapskate. 

    American Banker

    The Long Shadow of Robert Rubin

    December 2014

    The progressive backlash over the nomination of an obscure investment banker to the Treasury Department highlights deeper frustrations with the pro-business wing of the Democratic Party. (Subscription required.)

  • Here's what editors have to say

    "Victoria Finkle is one of the most talented journalists I've had the pleasure to manage. She's both a dogged reporter with stellar news judgement and a polished writer who can produce clean and engaging copy on a tight deadline. She's hard-working, conscientious and very smart. If you have something you want her to report on, she'll do a fantastic job, whether she's previously had experience with the topic or not. I can't recommend her highly enough."

    -- Rob Blackwell, Washington bureau chief at American Banker

    "Financial regulation and policy in Washington can be a tough subject to bring to life for a broad readership, but Victoria does so with clarity and intelligence. She has written both features and breaking news for DealBook/The New York Times and is a pleasure to edit. If you are looking for a nimble, smart and energetic reporter, I recommend her highly."

    -- Jeffrey Cane, DealBook managing editor at the New York Times

    "Tori is a creative and talented reporter who requires little direction and files well-written and widely-read stories. She is easy to work with and is a model contributor to any news organization."

    -- Seth Stern, deputy news director at Bloomberg BNA

    "Tori's a meticulous, dogged and deadline-focused reporter with a great work ethic. She's been a pleasure to edit both at American Banker, where she reported directly to me as a consumer finance reporter, and in her freelance work at Inc. Magazine, where she's taken on several research-intensive economics- and design-related assignments for the Money and Made sections."

    -- Maria Aspan, senior editor at Inc. magazine

    "I love Tori’s instinct to look beyond anecdotal trends and quotes; she is able to incorporate research and data into her stories in an interesting and clear manner. As a freelancer, Tori is a breeze to work with: she always keeps me apprised of her progress, meets her deadlines, and produces well-organized and clearly written stories that require little editing on our part."

    -- Alicia Mazzara, food editor at DCist

    "Leaders of the financial services industry, government and academe have come to rely on Victoria's insightful coverage of the Washington scene. She wastes little time getting right to the point and always the most important point. I look forward to reading her posts as she expands the boundaries her coverage beyond, but I hope still including, financial services."

    -- Cornelius Hurley, director of the Center for Finance, Law & Policy at Boston University

    "Tori is a talented journalist with a facility for executing deep dives into complex subjects -- the financial crisis, banking regulation, the impact of behavioral economics on the overall discipline -- and explaining them coherently. I have been consistently impressed with her professionalism, knowledge and powers of research and writing. I recommend her heartily."

    -- Ken Fireman, managing editor at Sage Business Researcher