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Nick Leeson
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Financier
    (February 25, 1967- )
    Born in Watford, England, United Kingdom
    Derivatives trader in Singapore for Barings Bank
    Made unauthorized trades resulting in losses of $1.4 billion (1995)
    Barings was declared insolvent and taken over by a Dutch firm
    Served four years in prison (1995-99)
    Wrote the autobiography 'Rogue Trader' (1996)
    After his release, became an after-dinner speaker and an executive at Galway United Football Club
    He failed his final exam in mathematics in high school.
    Instead of fessing up, he tried recouping his losses by increasing the amount he invested until Barings ran out of money.
    He and his wife fled Singapore, leaving a note that simply read 'I'm sorry.'
    He complained, 'I marveled at how every single Barings person blamed somebody else -- especially me -- rather than themselves.'
    His wife left him after discovering he had been sleeping with geishas.
    His license was suspended for drunk driving (2001).
    Before everything went south, he was responsible for 10% of Barings' profits (1993).
    Several observers, including Singapore authorities, placed much of the blame for Barings' collapse on the bank's poor internal auditing.
    He said management 'never dared ask me any basic questions, since they were afraid of looking stupid about not understanding futures and options.'
    He successfully battled colon cancer while in prison.

Credit: C. Fishel


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