Barings Bank

In: Business and Management

Submitted By jvalle24
Words 1291
Pages 6
1. What was the case about? (Summary of the Case)
The case was about how one man single-handedly brought down one of the world’s most historic banks. The man was Nick Leeson and it happened from 1992 to 1995. He did it while holding the position of general manager to Barings Securities in Singapore. As general manager he oversaw both trading and back office needs, something uncommon in the industry due to the fact that it eliminated necessary checks and balances that would prevent such fraud from occurring. He had authority to deal in futures and options order for clients or other firms within Barings and arbitraging price differences between Nikkei futures traded on the SIMEX and Osaka exchange, it was a low risk strategy meant to make small profits. Where Leeson went astray was when he began unauthorized speculation in futures on Nikkei 225 stock index and Japanese government bonds. These trades where highly risky due to the fact that they involved a highly leveraged strategy and depended solely on the markets movement upwards. This strategy is a double edged sword because even though it provided devastating results for Leeson it could of also provided incredible gains if the market would have gone up. Leeson essentially bet that the Nikkei was going to rise. Once the loses started coming in Leeson opened up a secret trading account, account 88888. The account was initially set up to cover a mistake done by one Leeson’s traders in which she mistakenly submitted a purchase order instead of a sell order. Leeson traded his way out of her mistake but found himself in the red once again due to his strategy and bullish sentiment on the Nikkei. As 1995 came along Leeson’s approach remained the same, on January 17th 1995 a 7.2 earthquake hit the Japanese city of Kobe, causing the Nikkei to plummet, one would think this would change Leeson’s approach but his loses where…...

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