Storm Brewing: A stock probe jolts Guinness

A stock probe jolts Guinness

One early morning last week, two inspectors from London's department of trade and industry arrived unannounced at the West End headquarters of a major British corporation. They demanded to see the company's books. Within hours, rumors had linked the unusual investigation to disgraced Wall Street Arbitrager Ivan Boesky, and a whiff of panic spread throughout the London Stock Exchange. By the end of the day securities listed in the closely watched Financial Times index had dropped in value by 1.5%, or nearly $6 billion. Thus began for London's City a week that rapidly worsened.

At the center of the turmoil was...

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