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14 Oct 2008

Russian Trader Looses $50 Million In Risky Trades

Moscow's The Statesman reports that a Russian rogue trader lost his investment bank up to $50 million in risky trades that went wrong in the financial crisis, the Vedomosti business daily reported today. Quoting unnamed sources at Renaissance Capital, one of Russia’s biggest investment banks, Vedomosti reported that the rogue trader had disappeared.

A source close to the bank’s top management put the loss at about $50 million, although chief executive Mr Ruben Aganbegyan said it was only around $10 million. “He opened positions on blue-chip companies that were above the limits and outside of the controls. The market fell and we quickly found the problem,” he was quoted as saying.

The incident is eerily reminiscent of Nick Leeson ~ the rogue trader whose unchecked risk-taking caused the biggest financial scandals of the 20th century.
The collapse of Barings Bank (personal bank to Queen Elizabeth II) in 1995 and Leeson’s role in it is one of the most spectacular debacles in modern financial history, according to the Leeson website.

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