The City Diary: Sibling rivalry: Life inside Lehman Brothers

Slackbelly exposes The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of The Square Mile
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Vicky Ward, formerly of this parish, is the author of The Devil's Casino: Friendship, Betrayal, and the High Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers.

It's due for a UK release later this month, and Ward tells me how when researching her book, she was forced to ask former treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, for a recording of their interview, after her own tape recorder malfunctioned. (It wasn't too big to fail, then.)

Hopefully this little incident improved Paulson's mood, as he is still almost universally blamed by the British for causing the financial crisis after allowing Lehman Brothers to go to the wall.

Hank's brother, Richard, also worked at the investment bank, and I wonder if he's forgiven his sibling. "[Richard] hopes that, in time, history will take a kinder view of his brother," Ward says, before revealing that, to cheer him up, he gave Hank a copy of Andrew Roberts's opus Masters and Commanders. Hasn't he suffered enough?

Place your bets for Ladbrokes' new chief

Richard Glynn, the former chairman of private equity-owned spread-better Sporting Index, is the underwhelming choice as the new Ladbrokes chief executive.

Nobody can quite remember the last time somebody running a small company worth £75m was parachuted into a FTSE 250 group with a market cap of £1.4bn – so even Glynn's friends reckon the gig might prove "challenging".

But considering the new man's background, industry experts are viewing the hire as a sign that the Ladbrokes board is anxious to complete a few deals – and those close to Glynn reckon another tilt for poker operator 888 might now be on the cards.

So how will a shopping spree be viewed by the bookie's shareholders? They include high-powered activists such as Bahamas-based billionaire Joe Lewis and his associate, Irish billionaire Dermot Desmond, which could be an interesting one.

Desmond is believed to be among a group of "aggrieved" Ladbrokes investors following last year's heavily discounted rights issue – and he knows Glynn well.

In 2008, the Irishman and Sporting Index settled out of court after an acrimonious dispute over Desmond's outstanding spread-betting bill. The legal papers show Glynn making frequent calls to his billionaire debtor.

They're keeping things quiet at Cazenove

Another day, another insider dealing probe that implicates a former JPMorgan Cazenove worker. The Queen's broker's run of bad luck continued on Wednesday when the Financial Services Authority charged seven men – one of whom was a subcontractor who worked in the print room of the investment bank. This news follows last month's conviction of Malcolm Calvert and the arrest of Martyn Dodgson, both of whom once worked at Caz.

JPMorgan Cazenove sources insist that the institution itself is not under investigation and that its success means it advises on more than its fair share of takeover deals – but, as usual, it declines to offer any on-the-record thoughts on this unfortunate sequence.

We shouldn't be surprised by the firm's continued discretion, as I learn that Caz is known among old City hands as a haven for freemasons. "How interesting," smooths a Cazenove spokesman. Quite. No doubt these high-profile raids encourage lively discussions with senior policemen down at the lodge.

Law and order in the City

The FSA's press release about the arrest of six insider-dealing suspects two weeks ago states: "The operation was carried out by 143 FSA personnel together with officers from Soca [Serious Organised Crime Agency] as part of a joint investigation that commenced in late 2007." Actually, there were 143 officers in total, and I hear that the misleading statement has riled Soca officials, who've contacted the FSA warning it not to underplay their role. Isn't it heartening that the City's collective forces of law and order are all pulling in the same direction?

Predictions can be hazardous to your health

Is there any limit to the excellence the City's clairvoyant analysts can attain? Shares in Southern Cross slumped 31 per cent to 90p last week after the healthcare group warned about falling fees, a downturn that proved a slight annoyance to clients of UBS (which advised buying at 140.5p), Panmure Gordon (weighed in at 172p) and Goldman Sachs (God's banker preached faith at 187p).

Meanwhile, Gartmore shares plummeted 15 per cent on the week to close at 141p, another inconvenience for City scribblers at UBS (again), Citigroup and HSBC, all of whom reckoned the stock was worth acquiring at around 220p. And the news wasn't any better at Antisoma, which had previously looked like a great punt to the connoisseurs at KBC Peel Hunt (buy at 27p) and Charles Stanley (a snip at 35.5p). That optimism lasted until the former biotech darling discovered that trials of its cancer drug had failed, leading the shares to collapse to 8p.

And yet, every cloud and all that. All of these "experts" can now genuinely relax over Easter. A visit from the dreaded insider dealing investigators looks unlikely.

These businessmen are getting younger every day

I see that BAE Systems has parted company with its consultant Sir Dick Evans, the defence group's former chairman and chief executive, only weeks after the company admitted to compliance failings that took place under his leadership.

The move will give Sir Dick more time to concentrate on his public speaking engagements, such as the talk he gave to Merchant Taylors School last month, which seemed to go down a storm.

The school's website reports: "The talk was followed by a series of thought-provoking questions which explored the morality of businesses today and their responsibility in looking after customers and workers alike. I'm sure that many of the young aspiring businessmen in the room were enthused by the talk and will hopefully follow in Sir Richard's footsteps."

It's more business than usual at Cadbury

To Cadbury World – the Willy Wonka-style theme park, which seems to be experiencing a bit of a boom. (Worried parents fear new owners Kraft might shut it and this may be the last chance to see.)

There's little evidence of any change of ethos just yet, and among the attractions remains a video of its former chief executive, Todd Stitzer, who extols the Cadbury "values". How long before Stitzer melts away?

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