20 biggest trading losses in history
It’s hard to believe that with only 3% of the world’s stock market capitalization, two of the three largest international trading losses of the past half decade came to pass here in our own backyard. Here’s a complete list of “the Top 20 trading disasters” (hat tip Bloomberg via Canaccord)…
2008 Lost 4.9 billion euros ($7.2 billion) before taxes after trader went beyond permitted limits on European stock index futures
Bank of Montreal
2007 Wrong-way bets on natural gas led to a pre-tax loss of about $680 million
Amaranth Advisors LLC
2006 Trader Brian Hunter’s bad bets on natural gas triggered $6.6 billion of losses
2005 Declared bankruptcy after hiding $430 million of debt
China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corp.
2004 Lost $550 million on speculative oil-futures trades, forcing debt restructuring
Allied Irish Banks Plc
2002 Trader hid $691 million in currency market losses
Plains All American Pipeline LP
1999 Lost $160 million because of unauthorized crude-oil trading by an employee
1998 Lost $4 billion after a debt Management default by Russia
Peregrine Investments Holdings Ltd
1998 Collapsed from at least $300 million of debt bought from insolvent companies
National Westminster Bank Plc
1997 Disclosed $125 million charge to cover options-trading loss
Deutsche Morgan Grenfell
1996 Fired fund manager Peter Young for unauthorized trading and paid $279 million to bail out investors
1996 Disclosed a $2.6 billion loss on unauthorized copper trades by Yasuo Hamanaka
1995 Disclosed a $1.1 billion loss from unauthorized trades
1995 Collapsed after trader Nick Leeson racked up $1.4 billion in losses
Orange County, California
1994 Lost $1.7 billion from debt and derivatives used to expand its investment fund
Kidder Peabody & Co.
1994 Took a $210 million charge to reflect what it said were false bond trading profits by trader Joseph Jett
1994 Trader Juan Pablo Davila lost more than $200 million speculating on copper
1993 Lost more than $1.5 billion trading oil futures contracts
Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.
1990 Filed for bankruptcy after pleading guilty to charges of insider trading and stock manipulation
Merrill Lynch & Co.
1987 Mortgage trader accused of racking up $377 million loss in unauthorized trades.