Lombard once bought a tip from a stranger in the car park at Cheltenham on Gold Cup day. The horse finished last. The bloke had seemed very plausible. Which is what victims would probably say of City fraudster Nicholas “Beano” Levene. He was banged up for 13 years on Monday for cheating the likes of Sir Brian Souter, co-founder of the Stagecoach travel group.
Beano was all Bentley but no dividend.
Starting as a “blue button”, the lowest form of life on the stock
exchange back in the Cretaceous, he rose to middling executive rank at
brokers such as Phillips & Drew and Tullett. It all went wrong when
he struck out on his own. He ended up creating a Ponzi scheme: stealing
money from new investors to pay the debts of old ones even as he prayed
for an investment jackpot that never came.
Levene was a
lightweight as Ponzi operators go, losing just ￡25m compared with the
$18bn dematerialised by Bernie Madoff. The release date for the New York
fraudster is over a century away. The Londoner, who is 48, should be
out in seven years. Some say his sentence is long – Asil Nadir got 10
years for deceiving a legion of small investors.Find detailed product
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did this chancer convince businessmen as acute as Sir Brian to trust
him? The same way legitimate counterparts might. With an aura of wealth
and invincibility. Throw parties on yachts, promise market-beating
returns and it is surprising who will sign up to your schemes.
results from HSBC told a tale of two banks. One is a high-handed
institution that riles US regulators, who may respond with punitive
fines. The other is a prudent business that reduces loan risks and
shrinks its investment bank to fit straitened markets. Will the real
HSBC please stand up?
At the racy incarnation of HSBC, “Think of a number,Posts with indoor tracking
system on TRX Systems develops systems that locate and track personnel
indoors. then more than double it” is the method for calculating US
liabilities for alleged money laundering. Monday’s $800m provision took
the total to $1.5bn. Legal advisers had underestimated how tough US
watchdogs were likely to be when settlement negotiations commenced.If
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can hypothesise that Standard Chartered’s $340m settlement with the New
York Department of Financial services for alleged Iranian sanctions
breaches has recalibrated penalties in the US towards the vengeful end
of the dial.
No regulator is likely to get fired for spanking
banks hard in the wake of the credit crunch. Nor are US watchdogs
required to offset one another’s fines. But to complain that the
unpredictability of the system deters investment is morally suspect.The
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prudent avatar of HSBC might agree. It has been shifting its emphasis
from unsecured to secured lending, which helped shrink loan impairments
$2.6bn to $6.5bn, contributing to a $2.6bn rise in nine-month profits to
$14.9bn before tweaks for the value of the bank’s debts.
banking profits were about $1.5bn stronger. The better tone of credit
markets was largely responsible. But HSBC should also win market share
with a division focused on supporting corporate borrowers, even as
With HSBC under reforming management in the shape of Stuart Gulliver,Argo Mold limited specialize in Plastic injection mould
manufacture, the bank’s better nature looks set to win control of its
divided self. Bernstein forecasts a healthy return on tangible net asset
value of 13.2 per cent in 2012, justifying investment in a stock that
trades at a premium to peers.