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A lethal mix of massive fraud and malfeasance led to the collapse of Barings PLC in February 1994. In February, the oldest merchant bank in Britain collapsed because of massive trading losses run up by Nicholas Leeson, 28, a trader whose bosses believed was running a riskless yet highly profitable arbitrage operation in Singapore.
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Rather than the large profits the management of Barings thought were being posted in Singapore, the Bank of England's report showed that Leeson's operation lost money almost from the beginning. By the end of 1993, those losses totaled £20 million, rising to more than 200 million by the end of 1994 and escalating to £827 million ($1.3 billion) by the end of February.
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