Nick Leeson and the Fall of the House of Barings

Documentary | GB 1996 | 50'

  • Friday, 07. June 1996 17:00 hrs

Like many of his generation in the 80s, Nick Leeson wanted to be rich and famous. His bosses at Barings, the oldest and most prestigious bank in the world, were also ambitious. Night after night, they gave him $100 million because he promised to make them a fortune. »We went mad«, says one of executive. Everyone was to lose out as Leeson bet more and more on the Futures exchange to try to escape the mounting losses. He started living a double life and hid the truth even from his wife. In February 1995, he destroyed Barings Bank after he had lost ₤ 860 million. Since then Leeson has become a famous and enigmatic figure. The sacked chief executive of Barings says: »He is a highlyx intelligent creature who has an extraordinary power to manipulate those around him«. Leeson says: »I’m just a regular nice guy – they are bumbling incompetent fools«. For the first time, the major players in the Barings banking disaster tell what happened. Shot in Singapore, Hong Kong and London, this film is the story of Leeson’s web of deceit, and of the terrifying power of the global money markets.

Adam Curtis
Film Researcher
Katharine Manners
Michael Eley
David Welch
Associate Producer
Roger Courtiour
BBC Series Editor
Olivia Lichtenstein

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BBC Worldwide Television