Synopsis by Mark Deming
Based on the tell-all autobiography by Nick Leeson, Rogue Trader tells the true story of how one man managed to bring down England's best respected merchant bank. Ewan McGregor plays Leeson, an ambitious young man from North London who is hired by the Barings Brothers Bank and sent to Indonesia to help untangle some problems with bearer bonds. Leeson does well enough to earn a transfer to Singapore, where he's put in charge of Barings' staff at the Singapore International Money Exchange. The Asian economy is booming and a variety of new financial strategies are changing the shape of the marketplace; while his superiors in London are a bit baffled by the range of possibilities, Leeson takes to the work like a duck to water, and he's soon trusted to do as he pleases. This eventually proves to be his downfall; without a separate team watching the accounts in the back office, Leeson is soon juggling figures to cover up for certain mistakes and gambling on the market with the bank's funds, not just their clients'. In 1995, Leeson's schemes finally collaped, leaving Barings bankrupt; Nick and his wife (another Barings employee) tried to flee the country to avoid arrest. Leeson was eventually sentenced to six-and-a-half years in a Singapore prison for his financial misdeeds; he was released after four years and four months, a week before Rogue Trader opened in British theaters.
ambition, bank, ethics, finances, Indonesia, money, Singapore, bankruptcy