25 Million Pounds

25 Million Pounds

1996, Economics  -   32 Comments
Ratings: 6.63/10 from 35 users.

25 Million PoundsLike many in the 1980's, Nick Leeson wanted to be rich and successful, but Nick Leeson was also a very strange man, he had an extraordinary ability to manipulate and deceive those around him. This is his story. It is also a story about those he deceived. They willingly entered into a dream he wove, lured by the prospect of vast sums of money and together they lost 830 million pounds.

"It's very easy for me to get along with people, but I don't necessarily have to like you or any of the people that I work with to get along with them. So I come in and do my job, do it to the best of my ability, and then at the end of the day if you're going to ask me out for a drink, I'm not going to go out for a drink with you because I don't like you, but I'm not going to tell you that, there's no reason for there to be any animosity during the day. I just didn't like the people that I worked with and so I would go and do the work, be very very friendly, everybody would probably say that they thought they were my best friend and if they have the knowledge, then I will attempt to get the knowledge through whichever way is best, and if a friendship is that method, then friendship is the method that I would use." - Nick Leeson.

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32 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Dubbledub

    Peter Norris is one of the most boring, yet exhausting, people I've ever watched/listened to. Staunch British boor.

  2. Stewart - South Africa

    Barings was clearly a 200 year old ship of fools with greedy morons as officers.

    All sleep-walking under a mass delusion happily accepted through their avarice!

    Yet even though the CEO, the CFO etc could and should have been prosecuted under law (Companies Act or similar) for 'Reckless and negligent' trading it would appear that none were prosecuted other than Leeson - extraordinary unless you know how the Establishment in England protects it's own.

  3. Glen Hale

    Pity he didn't run the IMF,ECB .RBS,BOA, Citi , Bears etc would have saved a fortune

  4. Josh Hubbard


  5. Josh Hubbard

    Hahaha, I love how full of himself he is. You just gotta love that smile at the end. I would be happy too if I could defraud and take down a bank with monies in the excess of 800 pounds! It's funny 'cause its true. Also it is quiet a thing that someon could steal $1000.00 bucks from a store and get 10 years even back then, yet these criminals can do something like this and get a mere 6.5 years. Think about that logic!

  6. Constantinos Bikos

    This man, Nick Leeson, is the pure definition of a psychopath. Textbook.

  7. FreemonSandlewould

    Mikhail Khodorkovsky is described by amnesty internation as being a political prisoner.

  8. FreemonSandlewould

    Obama and Bernanke should watch this video. They are both now Nick Leeson in regards the USA economy

  9. zaphodity

    In the end just a better conman than he was a trader.

  10. Liebewitz

    NL -----heroic!.
    Please don't question my morals by saying so!.

    The witless bankers -(and that's my spoonerism for today) did not learn a thing from this early 1990's event.

    I hope he is still enjoying -or at least happy in Ireland. Is he still with the football club in Galway?
    I would shake his hand if I met him.

  11. kiox987

    Whats the opposite of Chuck Norris? duhhh Peter Norris!
    This guy doesnt seem very ok..Is he drunk or high?? The way he moves or talk is Wierd!! check at 34:00

    1. Constantinos Bikos

      Looked drunk to me too. The first think I noticed!

  12. gabbledegook

    If i phone my bank and tell them ive just made a profit of a million pounds in one day selling chocolate firegaurds i just havnt had the time to deposit it yet could they please credit my account with a further 2 million hmmm i wonder if it could work :) (good documentary though made me smile at the stupidity and greed of the bankers they deserved to go bust really

  13. Steve Haslett

    Funny How to fool people!

  14. GoughLewis

    I laughed and chuckled through the whole movie. Recommended film.

  15. Anthony

    58's account = National debt

    funny old thing money.

  16. Anon


    The movie is called "Rogue Trader", with Ewan McGregor

    You're welcome!


  17. jaksonvickh

    I think a movie of this was made, and since he did not make any money out of it personally. he was soon released.

    can anyone tell me which movie it is

  18. Peter Norris

    Peter Norris comes across as a complete bafoon.

  19. Brigt

    "feeling of self importance" not extreme importance. Woops.

  20. Brigt

    Charles b: “I just can’t face up to it. It’s the thing about letting people down. I just can’t do it.”

    That doesn't necessarily have to be remorse. You see, if he's also a narcicisst, a common trait for socipaths, it could just be the fact that they may see a failure and by extension see him as not flawless.

    I'll have to watch this doc, i bookmarked it, then i can debate on. Just to me it doesn't necessarily sound like remorse as much an extreme importance.

  21. Ivan

    He is a typical product of rotten western
    society. This kind of thing could never happen
    in Russia not because there are not such
    "smart" guys over there, but because everybody
    knows perfectly well he would not hide himself
    even in the Mariana Trough after such a thing and
    would be absolutely eliminated from the surface
    of earth. Instead, this guy is enjoying himself
    in a comfortable Singaporean prison and struggling not to laugh loudly at your stupidity.

    1. tsernobyl

      some basics from russia
      1. putin next president appointed by puting (didn´t see that coming)
      2. khodorkovsky in jail for being a brilliant thoughtful businessman
      yeah really go russia!

    2. TheGame FXTrader

      If you are truly russian and say that about khodorhovsky, then you've got a mental problem or don't understand the things at all, so I'd suggest you go on holiday to clear yourself up...Putin is perhaps the best option a wild country like yours, with no soul and faith, has...

  22. Fash

    The man is right, everyone's looking for great insights into why this could have happened, conspiracy theories, Medical conditions lol,

    He's a gambler, what happens when a gambler looses loads of money he dosent have? He gambles more money he dosent have, and the whole thing carries on until the big guys controlling the purses stop giving him money to gamble.

    He's a simple gambler, simple.

  23. Duncan

    @Seattle; I doubt it - he doesn't seem to be living the high life at the moment.

    Not to wade into an old discussion but as to the suggestion "and that wouldn’t fit a psychopath proper, unless he’s faking the remorse", you're right that if it were remorse it wouldn't fit standard psychopathic behaviour, but a) even if he weren't lying, he might merely be rationalising - attempting to explain his behaviour to himself according to descriptions which capture ordinary (non-psychopathic) people (everyone rationalises or confabulates most of the time; but in 'abnormal' people it's particularly obvious. Psychopaths frequently believe themselves to be morally normal. When Bundy blames his behaviour on porn he might honestly believe it; he certainly didn't believe himself to have a diminished understanding of moral rules)*, b) I think it's fairly probable that he /is/ lying. That certainly seems to be the view of the analyst chap shown towards the end of the documentary (talking about 'mirrors') and the remarks made in the Frost interview do seem to be primitive versions of the same excuse. It's certainly not unreasonable to imagine that in the intervening time he's rehearsed his excuse to the point that it sounds vaguely plausible and more importantly makes him sound tolerable, even laudable.

    For a few years now I've been mulling over Nick (particularly in light of contemporary descriptions I've been getting from folks in Gallway) and I'm fairly convinced he is a psychopath in a reasonably broad sense of the term; diminished emotional and moral capacity, repeated (and compulsive?) manipulative and deceptive behaviour, grandiose and unrealistic future planning. Anyway, I found this page because I'm rewatching the same documentary and was wondering if anyone felt the same way as I do about him. I'd love to test him/for him to be tested some day. Skilling sounds like a psychopath to me too if the account of Enron are accurate. It's a shame more of these people aren't tested; it would be interesting to know.

    *There are revealing passages in interviews in which he equates major moral infractions (don't kill people) with minor ones (don't run red lights), apparently not seeing a distinction. Ironically these remarks are supposed by him to prove that he does have an ordinary understanding of morality.

  24. eddie

    interesting. but he couldn't have just been doing it to look good in front of his superiors, he must have kept some of the dough right?

  25. Seattle

    I'm surprised he only got 6.5 years. I wouldn't be surprised if he hid some of that money somewhere... Worthwhile documentary, thanks for sharing

  26. Charles B.

    He might be a psychopath, but if he is, he's a very good one; I first thought not as he looked small, anxious, defeated, not overly arrogant as I would think a psychopath would still be. But then again, a true pshychopath is quite good at fooling people! And he twittled his thumbs, etc. But then again, according to the psychopothy testing method, it's not really a "Yes" or "NO" answer, but a gradual increase of the characteritics of a psychopath until someone says, "Now that's a real psychopath!" (number 18 and above on the British scale). If he scored a solid 12 or 13 would you still not say that he was psychopathic?

    He said, (37 minutes into the video) "I just can't face up to it. It's the thing about letting people down. I just can't do it." That sounds like remorse to me, and that wouldn't fit a psychopath proper, unless he's faking the remorse.

  27. Achems Razor

    Good Doc.

    Watched the movie "Rogue Trader" about this, some years back. It was true to this Doc. Does anybody think Nick Leeson might be a Psychopath?

  28. hmm

    interesting doc.. thanks for sharing!

  29. Dennis

    Very good doc..As an ex trader ....say no more....I understand Nicks dilema..he is a charming crook....in over his head....the average joe likes that...the greedy toffs lost..people like that...the wife wanted a free ride..she gets one on Virgin airways now..thats what she deserves..lol