Boss Goes Over Trading Foul-Up

Takuo Tsurushima, the president of the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell on his sword Tuesday, after taking responsibility for that $345m botched Mizuho Securities trade.

Tsurushima, 67, has only been at the helm since April last year, but he has carried the can for that huge trading error, which has tainted the reputation of Asia's largest stock exchange.

The finger has been pointed at a junior Mizuho Securities staffer, who is said to have made the clerical error which resulted in the loss. However, Mizuho is said to have spotted the error at an early stage, but was prevented from cancelling it on no less than four occasions after a systems error at the exchange. Aside from the boss resigning, the Tokyo Stock Exchange has also cut the pay of two directors and four executives by 10% for three months over the affair.

In the meantime, Kaoru Yosano, Japan's banking and economy minister, said Tuesday that the country's financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency, must launch a thorough investigation into the events that led to the trading co.k up. He said that 'I believe that the gravity of what happened isn't small'.

Finally, CSFB, Lehman, Morgan Stanley, Nikko Cordial, Nomura and UBS are said to be a bit miffed that they have agreed to repay the profits that they made because of the trading error, yet some local smaller Japanese brokerage firms are refusing to cough up - and they are thought to have made just as much from the foul-up. The big boys may well decide to go back on their promises to give back the dosh unless the locals play ball too.

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