The true story of Nick Leeson, general manager of the trading floor in
Singapore for Barings Investment Bank of London, who brought down the
233-year old financial institution (that had actually financed the Louisiana
Purchase!) almost single-handedly with unauthorized over speculation of
derivatives in the futures market of the Singapore International Monetary
Exchange (SIMEX). After cleaning up the bank's Indonesia operation, Nick
(Ewan McGregor) and his wife Lisa (Anna Friel) go to
Singapore where Nick is initially successful, overcoming a 10,000,000 pound
loss to post a 10,000,000 pound profit with some successful speculation. But
since he was not only in charge of trading, but also in charge of settling
the accounts, there was no one to stop him from using the bank's money for
unauthorized trading and hiding the losses in an account dubbed "88888."
Nick uses deception, obfuscation, forgery and Barings' own easy-going
management style to attempt to prop up the sagging Nikkei index and cover
$1.3B in losses. The scheme collapses after the Kobe earthquake. Barings is
liquidated and sold to Dutch Banking and Insurance Group ING for 1 pound,
Leeson is sentenced to six and half years in a Singapore prison and
contracts colon cancer and Lisa divorces him. Today, Leeson is out of
prison, his cancer has been treated; he is making money from his book and
movie and on the lecture circuit, pursuing a degree in psychology and "does
not consider himself a criminal."
Thanks, Evil Ed!