Suspension From Pulpit, Labour Party Deemed Insufficient Punishment For Living Like A 'Breaking Bad' Character


Paul Flowers, the former Co-operative Bank chairman, local councillor and a sometime-but-not-right-now Methodist minister, has a bit more explaining to do about the crystal meth, crack and ketamine he bought to deal with the shame of having to explain to Parliament how the storied bank got run into the ground under his watch.

Paul Flowers, the former chairman of Co-Operative Bank Plc, was arrested as part of a drug investigation after he was filmed buying crack cocaine by a U.K. newspaper, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Flowers, 63, was arrested yesterday, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the investigation was confidential. West Yorkshire Police said in a statement that a 63-year-old man had been detained in a “drugs-supply investigation….”

“This year has been incredibly difficult, with a death in the family and the pressures of my role with the Co-Operative Bank,” Flowers said in a Nov. 17 statement. “At the lowest point in this terrible period, I did things that were stupid and wrong. I am sorry for this, and I am seeking professional help, and apologize to all I have hurt or failed by my actions.”

Former Co-Op Bank Chairman Said to Be Arrested in Drug Probe [Bloomberg]


You Say "Voldemort" Like That's A Bad Thing

Do you think that Bruno Iksil, when he woke up in Paris on Friday looking forward to trading from home in his black jeans, expected to become an international celebrity? The evidence suggests not. You may remember Iksil - possibly under other names like "Voldemort" or "the London Whaleâ„¢" as the JPMorgan chief investment office trader who has sold protection on $100bn of notional of a CDX investment grade index to ... hedge ... JPMorgan's massive short position in credit ... or ... something?* Anyway a lot of people are mad at him because that's just too much protection to sell on that index and so they are complaining to Bloomberg and the Journal about how he is manipulating the market and also taking huge proprietary risks with JPMorgan capital that should obvs be regulated out of existence. This is weird in a lot of ways but one of them is that you can distill a lot of the Volcker-Rule complaints into "my God, you're telling me that JPMorgan is exposed to $100bn of credit risk on investment-grade debt issued by a diverse mix of 121 U.S. companies!?" No! JPMorgan is exposed to something like $750bn of credit risk on debt issued by a diverse mix of companies. Some of it's non-US. Some of it's not even investment grade. And that's just in its loan book.** Is writing $100bn of protection on the CDX.IG.NA.9 a terrible risk to take with investor and depositor and government-backstop money? Well, define "terrible risk." It's certainly less risky than operating the rest of JPMorgan.***