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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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Casino Justice

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Last Friday, a US jury returned a verdict of not guilty for the three FX traders tried in the ‘Cartel’ case.   It’s another random spin of the wheel in the casino of justice – a casino where, win or lose, everyone who is forced to enter faces ruin.

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Terminated: was Lehman’s death inevitable?

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On the tenth anniversary of Lehman, it’s worth asking: could it really have been avoided?

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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Life lessons from the floor

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Can we apply lessons from the trading floor in everyday life?

A email from a friend makes me think that we can.

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Enron with diggers

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So Carillion has gone bankrupt. The interesting thing is why.

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Emotionally short: the new bitcoin futures

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It’s Christmas and for me that means drinks parties. In the past, knowing that I was meant to be some sort of expert on finance, at least one or two people would ask me about the Euro or UK interest rates or bank stocks or, more usually, internships for their kids.

This year? It’s all been bitcoin: more particularly, bitcoin futures.
Continue reading “Emotionally short: the new bitcoin futures”

Just one word: Lithium

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What’s the choke point in a number of new technologies?

The clue is in the title.

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Feeling stressed: the BoE and hard Brexit

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The Bank of England has announced that the UK banking system would be fine in the event of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

Pardon me if I’m not comforted.

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Catalonia and Currencies

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Without its own currency, Catalonia can’t be independent.  And that’s where the problem starts.

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… and go to Vegas: a joke about financial planning

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I recently saw a news item about a family whose elder members have sold up everything to make a big bet on bitcoin. While I applaud their daring, I am less certain of their wisdom. It reminded me of one of my favourite jokes – a joke that I always think of whenever I make decisions with my own money.

Here it is.

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Jamie’s bitcoin bother

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Bank CEOs –  although the few I have met personally have all been delightful – are not normally noted for the bitingly controversial nature of their public statements.   Anodyne CEO sentiments about ‘tactical downsizing’ or ‘seizing new growth opportunities in China’ are par for the course. Coruscating attacks less so.

So it was refreshing to see that Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan has not held back in his opinion of bitcoin.

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Paying for extreme weather: Big Oil and Big Legal

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Over my toast and marmite this morning, listening to the radio, I heard reports of the devastation caused by hurricane Irma (taking over after a few weeks from its older brother Harvey).  Then an Oxford Professor called Myles R Allen came on and announced new research that can – via climate science – pin the blame on specific companies

To quote the Kaiser Chiefs: I predict a riot.

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Next Crisis Cup: Runners and Riders

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With the newspapers full of articles describing the onset of the Great Financial Crisis ten years ago (a few weeks late in my view), I’ve also started to see articles speculating on what will cause the next one.

So, for your guide and entertainment in this, the tedious heart of summer, I present the runners and riders along with some helpful odds.
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