In The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe wrote:
Killian looked out over the lobby of 100 Centre Street. Then he turned back to Sherman.
"You ever hear of the Favor Bank?"
"The Favor Bank? No."Seth Hettena at NYT:
"Well, everything in this building, everything in the criminal justice system in New York" — New Yawk — "operates on favors. Everybody does favors for everybody else...A deposit in the Favor Bank is not a quid pro quo. It's saving up for a rainy day."
One of the keys to success in Mr. Trump’s life has been collecting deposits in a bank of favors. “Do me a favor” is one of his favorite lines, with the promise of good things to follow. For some, the good things never materialize. But failure to play this game can land you a spot on Mr. Trump’s enemies list. For example, Mr. Trump nursed a long-held grudge against Mario Cuomo, because the former New York governor failed to grant him an unspecified “perfectly legal and appropriate favor.”
The problem for Mr. Trump is that he is unable or unwilling to spot the difference between a favor and a crooked scheme. And that goes a long way toward explaining why he has surrounded himself with people in trouble with the law and why his presidency is in the grip of intensifying federal investigations.