Screaming and Shouting

Banking, computers and perpetual crisis

Cryan over you


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)


“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


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

life lessons - text in wood type


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

Marillion - Promo-Photo Collection 08

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

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Emotionally short: the new bitcoin futures


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.
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Just one word: Lithium


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


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


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


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


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

hurricane irma

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


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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Ten years since The Top


There will be lots of articles this summer and autumn about the start of the Great Financial Crisis ten years ago.  But when did it actually kick off?  What was the precise date? In my view, it was ten years ago today: July 12th, 2007.

My reason for choosing this particular date?  The Rolling Stones, downgrades and CVIX.

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Cladding and Crisis


This is a post about fire and regulation. But don’t worry finance fans, I get on to money and crisis eventually. The parallels between fire and finance are rather striking. Disturbing, too.

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Suffering from Qatar: recapitalising banks


Even in a week when there are plenty of other stories (poorly executed terrorism, Brexit negotiations, scandalously flammable buildings, hung parliaments) the news that four Barclays executives are being charged with fraud has made the front pages today.

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Safety Limits: Traffic and Terrorism


This post starts with a speeding fine and ends with a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin. In the middle there’s some stuff about terrorism where you might agree with me.   Alternatively, I might very well piss you right off.

You have been warned.

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Robin Hood and the Golden Goose


There’s an election coming up in the UK, as those of us who live here will no doubt have noticed. I’ve even stooped to mentioning it in this blog. My aim is not to be party political in these posts, but, given my blog’s emphasis on finance, there is one policy that I think I can comment on.

We need to talk about the Robin Hood tax.
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If you read this blog you’ll know that I’m interested in finance. But I’m also a bit of an art fan. A couple of headlines in the last week or so have made me think of the two subjects together.

Continue reading “Pics’n’Vix”

Need a quote in Florin/Groat: medieval FX and interest rates


A new paper shines a light on medieval finance.

Conclusion?  It operated in ways that are very familiar.

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