SINGAPORE (Apr 24): Nick Leeson, the trader who blew up Barings Bank in 1995, was fond of Harry’s Bar in Boat Quay. He used to sample the cocktails to take the sting out of the day.

He had a constant worry in those steamy evenings in the bar. Leeson needed to cover his tracks. The US$1 billion of losses that he hid in February 1995 were not the first time that he had engaged in these practices.

It was just that a vile series of events — including the Kobe earthquake tanked the Japanese market — that made it impossible to hide his misdeeds.

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