• Colourful copper ore under the microscope

    The rise and fall of Mr Copper

    In this series Treasury Today has shone a light on some of the greatest financers of our time and also highlighted the crimes and cult of personality that surrounds some of the world’s most notorious white-collar criminals. In this profile we take a look at Japanese trader Yasuo Hamanaka and his $2.6bn manipulation of the copper market.

  • Silhouette of an archer taking aim

    Janet Yellen: a straight arrow

    Most recently, Janet Yellen made the headlines when she announced that the US Federal Reserve, after earlier signalling its intention to end its zero interest policy in the near future, was holding fire on a rate hike. Fortunately, Yellen has been confronted with difficult decisions to make numerous times already in her long career in finance, experience which the US – and the global economy – will no doubt be counting on moving forward.

  • Statue of a bull

    Charles E. Merrill: the importance of an optimist

    Charles E. Merrill was one of the first New York stockbrokers to appreciate the importance of selling stocks to smaller investors by providing sound financial advice. The tough reality of attempting to ‘bring Wall Street to Main Street’, however, meant he passed away before being witness to the remarkable effect his insight had on America.

  • House of cards on green casino table

    Nick Leeson: the original rogue trader

    This is the story of how one ambitious investment broker singlehandedly bankrupted one of the oldest and most important banks in Britain – and how this episode taught the banking industry the need for proper internal controls and channels of accountability.

  • Lightbulb exploding

    Nathan Rothschild: the mastermind behind the dynasty

    Born in Frankfurt in 1777, Nathan Rothschild led his family to be recognised as one of the most famous European banking dynasties. Having amassed such a vast fortune and embraced an inclination for secrecy, speculation still cloaks the true character of the Rothschild bloodline.

  • House cat casting shadow of a lion

    Bernie Madoff: the confidence man

    What do HSBC, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, L’Oréal founder Liliane Bettencourt, director Steven Spielberg and current Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal have in common? They all fell victim to Bernie Madoff, the architect of one of the biggest financial crimes of all time.

  • Woman and young child both in high heeled shoes

    Mary Roebling: the first lady of finance

    Although Mary Roebling may be one of the lesser known financiers of her generation, her achievements are by no means small. From humble beginnings, Roebling went on to have a career at the top of US finance. Achieving a number of firsts for women in the industry, Roebling championed workplace equality at a time when it wasn’t chic to do so.

  • Charles Ponzi: the irresistible criminal

    Talking just months before his death in 1949, Charles Ponzi described his business as ‘simple’. “The old game of robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he told the Associated Press. How – and why – did Ponzi’s name come to be synonymous with fraudulent investment propositions when others before him had done much the same?

  • J.P. Morgan Great Britain sailing boat

    J.P. Morgan: the most powerful man in America

    The first in a new series examining the lives of famous figures that have shaped the financial world, this article documents the rise of John Pierpont Morgan. Although he was born into a well-connected family and was groomed for success from an early age, J.P. Morgan’s personality and tenacity were the factors that ultimately ensured his success.

  • Volcano in the Atacama Chile desert

    Pension reform in Chile: retiring the state

    In 1980, Chile’s military government approved a decree that would radically reshape the country’s pensions. The new, fully private system of insurance that was created quickly became an object of envy for other countries, some of whom would go on to attempt similar reforms of their own. How successful was the new system in practice and why, today, are the reforms revered as a landmark, in both the history of welfare policy and finance?