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Shock As Nick Leeson Negotiates US Government Bail-Out!

US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has been rather busy lately, and former rogue trader Nick Leeson (always up for doing something interesting, and a spot for Hank) was apparently asked to stand in for him and arrange the US government's bailout of the financial markets last week.

Morgan Stanley Boss Asks Fellow CEOs To Desist Dirty Tricks

Reuters reports that Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack told his staff Thursday that although he remained confident that the firm was well-placed to come through the current market turmoil, he is continuing to explore options to ensure that it doesn't meet the same fate as Lehman Brothers.

And The 'Dumbest' Bank In The World Is......

Dumb & Dumber

Well, there could be a few runners for that accolade (Bear Stearns, Citi, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, UBS, etc), but at least in Germany the 'dumbest' bank has been officially annointed. It's state-owned German lender KfW Bankengruppe.

Emotion Put Paid To Lehman, Lack Of It Saved Merrill

Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain received the plaudits this week for moving quickly to save his firm by merging with Bank of America. Thain's actions contrasted with the indecisiveness displayed by Lehman boss Richard Fuld, which, in the end, caused the demise of the firm he had done so much to build.

Think The Unthinkable - 'Nobody Is Secure'

Nuclear Bomb

There's been a lot of talk this week that the broker-dealer model will soon be history. The demise of Lehman Brothers leaves just two large stand-alone securities houses - Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Incredibly, the question now is how long can even these great franchises survive ?

More Comfort For Lehman Staff

Small comfort though it may be in the scheme of things, at least Lehman Brothers' London-based staff will get paid Friday - as long as they continue to rock up to work. Bloomberg reports that administrators for the firm have managed to negotiate a loan to enable them to pay Lehman's City staff their September salaries.

Tycoon Loses $2.4bn This Week

As US stocks fell again Wednesday (the falls in the S&P since October has now taken care of around 50% of the gains in stock seen in the bull market which lasted from October 2002 to October 2007), Bloomberg reports that former AIG CEO 'Hank' Greenberg has seen the value of the stake he controls in the company drop by around $2.4bn this week alone (taking the fall to $5.9bn this month!).

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