Masters of Mayhem

FROM LEFT: AFP/GETTY; PETER MUELLER/REUTERS

DOUBLE DOWNERS: Kerviel, left, and Leeson both bet their banks to ruin

Listen, let me tell you something: I knew Nick Leeson. Oh, OK, not personally. But as a reporter, I covered Leeson, the young trader who single-handedly broke the bank at Barings in 1995. And you know what? This kid Jérôme Kerviel, the 31-year-old who managed to lose $7.2 billion (that's with a B) at Paris investment bank Société Générale in just a few weeks, he's ... he's ... so much like Leeson that it's scary.

For those who don't recall, Leeson was 27 years old, living in Singapore, and trading futures contracts based on the Nikkei stock index...

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