When I was a child in the 1960s, I remember reading an illustrated article about what the world would be like in 50 years – approximately where we are right now, in fact. It looked pretty exciting.
On Monday 15 September 2008 Lehman Brothers declared itself bankrupt in the biggest single corporate collapse ever seen. Six hundred billion dollars of balance sheet was vaporized. This triggered the most dangerous phase of the most dangerous financial crisis in living memory and, as a result, the largest peacetime government economic intervention yet attempted.
Ten years on, the default and its immediate consequences have slipped from the evening news to current events programmes to history books. But the question that still interests me is this:
Was it all inevitable?
Mark Johnson is out of prison, at least for the time being. It’s a small, significant step in the right direction. But it’s just a step.
There is more work to be done.
Continue reading “Thing with feathers: Mark Johnson’s bail pending appeal”
[A version of this article originally appeared in Euromoney. It is reproduced here with the permission of the Editor]
Mark Johnson, the HSBC FX trader found guilty of wire fraud last October and sentenced to two years in jail this April, is appealing his conviction.
You should care about the outcome.
A number of news items and events this week have made me think about the world of investment banking again after a few relaxing weeks off for good behaviour.
They have not been happy thoughts.
From rumour, to leak, to background briefing, to common knowledge, to ‘absolute commitment’, to emergency weekend meetings; and from there to a summary firing and replacement – all in less than two weeks.
Cryan’s gone as CEO, Sewing is in, and a whole bunch of new problems are just starting for my old shop Deutsche Bank.
Continue reading “Unpicking the Sewing at Deutsche”
“How is it going?” I asked an old friend from the markets over lunch recently. “You know, Curtains and Tigers,” he replied, cryptically.
I knew what he meant.