Ex-Trader Tells Story as a Warning (NYT)
After you’ve lost $1.3 billion in Japanese stock futures and bonds, run your employer into the ground, provoked the ire of the Queen of England and served four years in prison, there isn’t much left to check off on the Things To Do Before I Die list, save for serving as the general manager of an Irish soccer club, is there? Nicholas W. Leeson, a 39-year-old Londoner who has the distinct pleasure of having accomplished all of the aforementioned, begs to differ. The “Rogue Trader,” who began working for Barings Bank in 1989 and had no small part in its ’95 $1 billion-in-losses-collapse, now tells his cautionary tale to the tune of £5,000 ($9,800) a speech, in addition to a book deal and the general contentment of being able to say Hey, I may have lost a 233 year old bank a pretty penny, but now I’m turning the tables on them and insisting “The British bank was culpable for failing to supervise [me] and for accepting the bluster of a young trader who was prepared to disguise his trading losses.” You can’t put a price tag on that kind of satisfaction.
Bernanke, Fukui, Trichet May Fail King's `Boring' Test on Rates (Bloomberg)
2006: skinny jeans, Aleksey Vayner, Jim Cramer bobble heads, predictability. 2007: mini-skirts, Valentin Mironov, Jim Cramer dashboard dolls*, volatility. Analysts are expecting a global economy with both slowed growth and inflation; Goldman predicts Bernanke will cut the Fed’s rate to 4.5 percent, Barclays thinks it’ll be kicked up to 6. John Lipsky foresees “reasons why you should worry that [things] could be dicier.”
Questions for Peter Singer (NYT Magazine)
In case you missed it, Peter Singer (the Ira W. DeCamp professor of bioethics at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University) answered Times Magazine readers’ questions about the ethics pertaining to spending and philanthropy over the weekend. Unsurprisingly, Singer is painfully principled (“Ultimately, I don't think my [minimal] indulgences can be justified. I know that I'm very far from being a saint. I should spend less on myself and give away more of what I earn. Of course, I give much more than most. But I know that that isn't the right standard. As for deciding how much is enough, I just do a little better each year”) and pragmatic (“I'm a pragmatist: whatever works”), but we’re pretty sure most of you will be willing to overlook such character flaws if only for the singular reason that Singer steps into the ring with Carney, Muhammad Yunis-style.
Winners and losers: Tallying a year of outsize successes and bitter disappointments (Bloomberg News via IHT)
“Where there’s a loser, there’s a winner,” is what our psychologically-damaging-to-an-11-year-old tennis coach used to tell us. But you know what? He was right. When somebody loses, somebody else wins. He was also right about the fact that there’s nothing wrong with seeking approval even if it brings one to the brink of a nervous breakdown, if it brings perceived satisfaction to those from whom we are seeking it. Maybe if Yahoo! had done a little more seeking and a little less sinking, it wouldn’t be watching YouTube get a pat on the back from Bloomberg on the other side of the court. We mean net. Internet. Why won't you love me?!
Biz-y day at some N.Y. shops (NYDN)
Having beat the dead horse that is the old “we’re out of ice” trick a few too many times, but still desperate to get out the house, consumers took to the streets and racked up nearly $16.2 billion in sales over the weekend. Too little, too late, however, for the economy’s sake, as sales are predicted to be up less than 5% nationally this holiday, the slowest pace since 2002.
New Year in Detroit (Forbes)
Jonathan Fahey’s tips for GM, Ford and Chrysler. Hint: turn a profit.
*like the hula girls? Don’t even try and act like you’re not psyched for those bad boys.
Ex-Trader Tells Story as a Warning (NYT)
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