Nick Leeson

Nick Leeson
Ex-senior trader of Barings Bank

Nick Leeson was born in 1967. He worked as a senior trader of the Singapore branch of the oldest English Barings Bank.

In 1995 his risky and unauthorized operations with futures contracts on the Japanese stock exchange index caused the spectacular collapse of Barings Bank. The total damage suffered by Barings was $1.3 billion, which accounted twice the bank's available trading capital. Therefore the Dutch bank, ING, purchased Barings for a mere £1.

Leeson left a note reading "I'm Sorry" and fled the bank. He was arrested later in Germany and extradited back to Singapore. He was sentenced to six and a half years, of which he served four in a local prison. He contracted cancer. The government of Singapore made efforts the world-famous prisoner was operated by the best doctors and finally recovered.

At present Nick Leeson lives in Galway, in the west of Ireland. He worked for Galway United football club, becoming its chief executive, before stepping down in 2011 to focus on speaking and lecturing engagements.

Nick Leeson wrote two autobiographical books:

“How I Brought Down Barings Bank. The fraud trader’s confession ” (2001), an economic thriller, describes the events which led Barings to bankrupt.

“Back From the Brink. Coping with Stress” (Virging Books, 2005), describes Leeson’s battle with cancer and how he reached physical health after a deep stress.

Natalia Orlova
Nouriel Roubini