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Screaming and Shouting

Banking, computers and perpetual crisis

Like banking in the not-too-distant future…an introduction to this blog

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.

Continue reading “Like banking in the not-too-distant future…an introduction to this blog”

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Terminated: was Lehman’s death inevitable?

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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?

Continue reading “Terminated: was Lehman’s death inevitable?”

Birthday Nostradamus

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I just booked some return flights to Malaga; if you work in financial markets it might be vital for you to know when I’m going.

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Thing with feathers: Mark Johnson’s bail pending appeal

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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”

It tolls for thee: Mark Johnson’s appeal

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[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.

Continue reading “It tolls for thee: Mark Johnson’s appeal”

The slow and painful death of European investment banking

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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.

Continue reading “The slow and painful death of European investment banking”

Unpicking the Sewing at Deutsche

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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”

Cryan over you

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The press is full of rumours and reports of a bid to get rid of Deutsche Bank’s CEO John Cryan.

It won’t solve my old employer’s problems. In fact, it might make them worse.

Continue reading “Cryan over you”

Curtains and Tigers (or why it’s bank middle managers who go to jail and why some banks might be struggling)

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“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.

Continue reading “Curtains and Tigers (or why it’s bank middle managers who go to jail and why some banks might be struggling)”

My 30-year bottle

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Thirty years ago today I was given the little bottle you can see in the photograph. It contains crude oil and is an emblem of how the world has – and has not – changed in that time.
Continue reading “My 30-year bottle”

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