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Lehman examiner’s report: London was the ‘Guantanamo Bay’ of finance

March 12th, 2010 (Updated May 17th, 2010) One of the most stunning revelations to come out of the Court Appointed Examiner’s Report into the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, published online last night, was that the collapsed New York-based investment bank was unable to find a US-based law firm that was prepared to sign off its […]

March 12th, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Did Crosby do anything to ensure that HBOS’s wheels didn’t come off?

February 12th, 2009 James Crosby: cavalier approach to risk   Sir James Crosby – a man last seen driving an eco-unfriendly “Chelsea tractor” with blacked out windows out of the gates of his home in Beckwithshaw, on the outskirts of Harrogate, North Yorks – has taken a hammering of late. The attempts by Lloyds Banking […]

February 12th, 2009 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Do Merrill Lynch bankers know no shame?

January 23rd, 2009 The clutch of  investment bankers who advised Royal Bank of Scotland, Banco Santander and Fortis on their joint €71bn three-way takeover of ABN Amro in 2007 have recently received vast bonuses for their part in the deal — even though it ended up destroying most of the banks involved. Merrill Lynch put […]

January 23rd, 2009 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Fred’s downfall: hubris followed by nemesis

October 20th, 2008 (Note: this is the full, unedited version of an article commissioned by the Mail on Sunday on October 16, 2008. see published version here) SIR Fred Goodwin, the chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, seemed extraordinarily chipper and relaxed as he hosted a champagne reception for Scottish politicians, journalists and editors […]

October 20th, 2008 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Uncertain legacy of the man who broke Royal Bank of Scotland

By Ian Fraser Published: The Mail on Sunday Date: October 19th, 2008 AS the Royal Bank of Scotland announces that the reign of chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin will officially end on January 31, the nation’s flagship bank takes an uneasy step toward an uncertain future. Here, Ian Fraser, a leading financial commentator who has […]

October 19th, 2008 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

How Lloyds’ advisers clashed with HBOS’s at 3am and nearly scuppered Brown’s rescue

October 18th, 2008 Last weekend, two brawling investment bankers nearly brought down the entire capitalist system. As the finishing touches were being put on the “Brown bailout” — which involves the nationalisation of three of Britain’s banks and whose supposed success has caused a spring in Gordon Brown’s step in recent days — well-padded bankers […]

October 18th, 2008 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

The ‘winner’s curse’ claims Votron and haunts Goodwin

July 28th, 2008 Until three years ago, the Dutch beer brand Heineken used a clever slogan to promote its lager in the UK market, which gave rise to a string of rather amusing television commercials. The funniest was perhaps this 1985 one, when a posh girl — all twinset and pearls and strangulated vowels — […]

July 28th, 2008 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

The bankers’ new clothes

By Ian Fraser Sunday Herald April 27th, 2008 RBS’s refunding move is the first step in UK banks waking up from their self-delusion to the reality of the credit crunch (first published on Herald Scotland) BRITISH BANKS, LIKE THE EMPEROR WHO WAS SO easily duped by his tailors, were suffering from chronic self-delusion at the […]

April 27th, 2008 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Scottish Agenda: Credit crunch won’t stop at Hadrian’s Wall

By Ian Fraser The Sunday Times Scottish Agenda column April 20th, 2008 THE collective burial of heads in the sand among Scottish business leaders, bank economists and housing market professionals about Scotland’s immunity to the credit crunch is something to behold. The consensus seems to be that Scotland’s economy is somehow different from that of […]

April 20th, 2008 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Barclays’ fat cat extraordinaire

March 27th, 2008 Failure often gets rewarded in the zany world of British plcs and the latest to succumb is Barclays. First, the London-based bank chose to pay its president Bob Diamond £36 million last year, making the American investment banker the highest-paid executive of any FTSE 100 company. And that was in a year during which Barclays lost […]

March 27th, 2008 | Posted in Blog | Read More »