Screaming and Shouting

Banking, computers and perpetual crisis

Two big; two flail: Deutsche and Commerzbank


Just over twenty years ago, Deutsche Bank bought my old employer Bankers Trust for $10 billion; now DB looks like it may well merge with Commerzbank. 

My experience of the first deal makes me fear mightily for the success of the second.

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Bitcoin and Bunny Boilers


A year on from the peak of the hype, Cryptocurrencies are under the cosh.  They might have to turn back to one of their niche selling points to find a long term role:  and that’s privacy.

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Casino Justice


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?


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

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Birthday Nostradamus


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


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


[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


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


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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