A college dropout, attempting to live up to his father's high standards, gets a job as a broker for a suburban investment firm which puts him on the fast track to success. But the job might not be as legitimate as it first appeared to be.
Sex and love. Some seek it, some need it, some spurn it and some pay for it, but we're all involved in it. Set on one afternoon on Hampstead Heath, London, the film investigates the minutiae of seven couples. What makes us tick?
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The heads of Wall Street's biggest investment banks were summoned to an evening meeting by the US Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, to discuss the plight of another - Lehman Brothers. After... See full summary »
Nearly 100 years after its creation, the power of the U.S. Federal Reserve has never been greater. Markets and governments around the world hold their breath in anticipation of the Fed ... See full summary »
Ambitious, wide-eyed boy Nick Leeson (Ewan McGregor) is determined to rise in the world and be more than a simple bank clerk. When his employers, Barings Bank, offer him the opportunity to go to Jakarta, Indonesia to sort out a problem that nobody else wants, he seizes the opportunity with both hands. In Jakarta, he meets and marries Lisa (Anna Friel), and together they go to Singapore when the bank offers him the job of setting up their future options trading operation. To save money, the bank allows Nick to operate the floor trading and the back office facilities, and force him to employ cheap, unskilled staff. His first year of trading is a big success, and he makes large profits for the bank, even though he has illegally broken trading rules and secretly covered up losses. Given more freedom, even more money, and continuing unchecked, Nick starts to make losses, and again attempts to trade out of them, but this time he comes unstuck as his illegal trading generates even bigger ...Written by
Mark Smith <email@example.com>
After David Frost interviewed Nick Leeson in prison, he realized the potential for this movie and optioned the rights to the story. See more »
When Nick is printing a letter for the auditor, the date says December 1994. He prints this on a Canon BJC-4550 printer, which had his first sale in 1996. See more »
[getting off the phone]
That was the Sultan of Brunei's office. They've decided not to proceed, they believe the risks are too great and the time too short in view of the need to have a rescue package in place by the time the markets open again in the Far East.
Is there really no one else?
We've tried everyone. It's hopeless.
I therefore have to inform you that Barings is insolvent and will go into immediate liquidation.
[Peter Norris bursts into tears]
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I'll get a lot of argument on this, I suspect, but I tend to think that all history, biography and autobiography is in fact a kind of fiction. I also think that for all intents and purposes, it's not necessary to worry too much about how 'true' or 'accurate' this film is in regards to telling the 'real' story of the Baring's Bank collapse. Because at the end of the day, we'll never know. For every person involved or affected by that event there's another version of the truth, and finding the 'true' truth is just about impossible. So to hell with it! Let's just look at 'Rogue Trader' as a story, shall we?
I can't honestly say that I enjoyed this film, mainly because I found it so exquisitely awful that I was scrunching my eyes shut and moaning more and more loudly as events unfolded. As depicted here, Nick Leeson wasn't exactly a criminal, he was just criminally stupid ... and naive ... and pathetic ... and -- and -- well, I found myself screaming at the tv set "No, you fool, don't, stop now, stop now, quit while you're ahead --- arrrrggghhh!!!"
It is almost impossible to believe, that one person could collapse an entire bank. And of course, it is impossible. Nick Lesson didn't bring down Baring's on his own, he had a lot of help from people who both wittingly and unwittingly conspired to support his insane behaviour. Regardless of whose truth you're telling, that point is pretty safe to make, I think. And I think this film does a good job of demonstrating that. I also think it does a good job of capturing the insanity of Futures Trading (surely a hideously evil invention) and of showing how Gordon Gekko got it really, really wrong.
At the end of the day, however, the film stands or falls by Ewan McGregor's performace as Nick Leeson ... and again, he doesn't disappoint. Again, we are treated to a portrayal of a deeply human, deeply flawed individual, as only McGregor can reveal. His Leeson is a man who makes mistake after mistake, who is far smaller than he wants to be, who isn't without conscience or moral compass but whose many fears outweigh his few strengths. He's the very embodiment of the 'fatal flaw' theory, brought to ruin by his weaknesses and failings.
I find it frighteningly easy to identify with McGregor's Leeson. What he did, many of us have been tempted to do, or have done, in various small ways. Or maybe not so small. Some people find him profoundly offensive, others find him pathetic. Whatever your reaction to this film, the fact that you even have one shows that it's worked. It's made you feel something about what happened ... or at least, this version of what happened. Perhaps some of us resent being made to feel any kind of empathy for this character. By making him human, his actions are humanised, made comprehensible ... and that's uncomfortable.
It's far more comfortable keeping him demonised, reprehensible, beyond understanding or forgiveness, for in that way we keep ourselves safe. We are not like him. There is nothing that we share. He is ... other.
The problem is, he isn't. That's where Rogue Trader succeeds, I think. In showing us that the Nick Leesons of this world aren't monsters at all ... they're people, like us, who make mistakes, like we do. By challenging us ... you say you would never ever do something like this, but can you be sure? Really? Truly? This isn't a lighthearted film, a fun film. It's a fascinating character study and a timely reminder of that saying that goes something like ..
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