The LIBOR affair has been described as the 'biggest banking scandal in history'. With over 360 trillion dollars worth of financial instruments linked to the LIBOR, the deception has affected not only banks but also corporations, pension funds and ordinary people. But is this just the tip of the iceberg? Was the scandal the work of a few 'bad apples' or an inevitable result of a financial system rotten to its core? Former 'rogue trader' Alexis Stenfors guides us through the shadowy world of modern banking, providing an insider's account of the secret practices and powers which have allowed banks to profit from systematic deception. Containing remarkable and often shocking insights derived from his own experiences on the trading room floor, as well as his spectacular fall from grace as a banker at Merrill Lynch, Barometer of Fear draws back the curtain to a realm that for too long has remained hidden from public view.
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Dr. Alexis Stenfors spent 15 years as a foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives trader at HSBC, Citi, Crédit Agricole and Merrill Lynch. In 2009, he found himself at the centre of a ‘mismarking’ scandal that would eventually result in him being described as one of the ‘world’s most infamous rogue traders’. He received a prohibition order by the FSA in March 2010 for mismarking during January and February 2009. The result of the FSA investigation concluded by prohibiting him from trading for a period of five years and the publication of a Final Notice, which does not include a finding that he acted dishonestly. The prohibition order was revoked by the FCA on 21 May 2015. Merrill Lynch were subsequently fined €2.75m by the Irish Financial Regulator for, amongst other things, failing to supervise Alexis and failing to manage his risk limits effectively.
Returning to academia in 2009, he completed his doctoral thesis with the title ‘Determining the LIBOR: A Study of Power and Deception’ in 2013. Alexis holds a Civilekonom degree and an MSc in Financial Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics, a CEMS master’s degree from the Community of European Management Schools, and a PhD in Economics from SOAS, University of London. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
He is currently Senior Lecturer in Economics and Finance at Portsmouth Business School. Recent academic assignments include Teaching Fellow (SOAS, University of London), Adjunct Professor (Washington University in St. Louis) and Researcher within the EU FP 7 research project on Financialisation, Economy, Society and Sustainable Development (University of Leeds).
Alexis Stenfors has also been a frequent consultant, guest lecturer and public speaker.