Rogue Trader: The week ahead
Sunday 13 June 1999
City caught on the hop by further interest rate cut to bolster the euro. Banks and building societies refuse to pass on lower rates to customers. A spokesman says: "This is a golden opportunity for us to make an absolute fortune and we'd be silly, really, not to milk the situation for all it's worth."
Euro continues to plummet. EU finance ministers meet to unveil euro currency promotion campaign, including plan for special, introductory "two-for- the-price-of-one" exchange rate offer; girls in mini-skirts giving away free samples at supermarket delicatessens. All to no avail. Finals from Avesco who make those giant Wizard of Oz video screens which politicians and CEOs use when they intimidate meetings by appearing in front of nightmarish 100ft-high movies of themselves, as predicted by George Orwell.
As the pound continues to soar against the euro, Norman Lamont is brought out of semi-retirement and asked to "do a Black Thursday in reverse". Holders of sterling to be charged 30 per cent interest. Plan backfires when dealers see through the ruse as "as an empty and obvious show of weakness and ineptitude". Exchange rate moves ahead 300 per cent. George Soros cleans up.
In a last-ditch attempt to bolster the euro, holding the pound or any other "Class A currency" is made illegal with on-the-spot fines for possession and 10-year jail sentences for dealing. Finals from Lord Wolfson's Great Universal Stores. Last year GUS paid the best part of pounds 2bn for Argos in an entertaining takeover battle which saw Wolfson slagging off ex-Argos chief Sir Richard Lloyd for playing dirty. Last time profits tripled to pounds 624m, but the cost of buying and sorting out Argos will make it a hard act to follow.
Euro continues to plummet. National Vegetarian Week ends. Wedding of Prince Edward and Griff Rhys-Jones.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Nelson Mandela: From 'terrorist' to tea with the Queen
UK weather: People urged to remain vigilant as high tides and strong winds continue through the night
Nelson Mandela death: his life in pictures
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Australian ultra-nationalist politician Stephanie Banister in car crash immigration TV interview
- 5 Nelson Mandela: From 'terrorist' to tea with the Queen
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