All That Glitters: the Fall of Barings

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9780241137567: All That Glitters: the Fall of Barings

The definitive, classic account of the fall of the House of Baring and the ultimate rogue trader Nick Leeson. John Gapper, associate editor of the Financial Times, and his co-author Nick Denton, now founder of Gawker Media, interviewed the major players involved in the collapse of one of England's oldest banks. All That Glitters reveals the Faustian deal struck between the whizz-kid traders who seemed to be bringing in huge profits and the grandees who were happy to pocket them without asking too many questions. For the first time, the actions and motives of Nick Leeson and all the participants are explained, including the final days when politicians and bankers made a last-ditch attempt to save the bank.

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From the Inside Flap:

How was Nick Leeson allowed to bring down Barings? How could the City's oldest merchant bank be destroyed, apparently almost overnight, by the reckless gambles of a single trader?    Leeson has given his own account, but All That Glitters tells for the first time the full enthralling story. It lays bare the bizarre and dazzling world of modern financial markets, where national boundaries have been broken by traders who gamble millions of pounds daily, and the ambition, greed and carelessness of those who are meant to control and benefit from the trade.    This book explains how Leeson was drawn into creating fictitious profits in a misguided attempt to impress those around him, and how an entire organization fooled itself into believing that he had discovered the secret of making money at will, in a way that none of its rivals could emulate. The narrative follows Barings from its foundations as a merchant bank in the eighteenth century through its rapid growth in the 1980s, to the moment of hubris when it appeared to have recaptured for the City of London a place as a leading force in international finance.    The authors conducted hundreds of interviews with almost everyone who was intimately involved. They had exclusive access to unpublished letters and records and to extraordinarily gripping telephone transcripts from the final deays, making All That Glitters the definitive, most lucid and compelling account of how a British bank allowed a twenty-seven-year-old to fool them into thinking that he was the most sophisticated and daring trader of them all - until he brought it tumbling around their ears.     As compelling as the best thriller, All That Glitters is a magnificent work of investigation and reconstruction, taking us behind headlines which seemed as exotic as myth or fairy-tale to show how a venerable British institution was brought to grief. 

From the Back Cover:

When a single rogue trader brought down Barings, Britain's oldest merchant bank, it was two Financial Times journalists who discovered crucial details about Nick Leeson's secret account and the rescue talks with the Sultan of Brunei. In this superb book, they tell the full story.

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John Gapper; Nicholas Denton
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