25 years after Barings: Have the lessons been learnt?

“Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Verne

(Note: A much shorter version of this article appeared in Mint dated 13 July 2020. You can read it here.)

In 1872, when Phileas Fogg, Jules Verne’s enigmatic character, wagered with his whist partners at the Reform Club, including an Assistant Governor of the Bank of England, to travel round the world in eighty days, he issued a cheque for £20,000, drawn on Baring Brothers. That was security enough. That was the standing of Baring Brothers, which always paid his cheques “on sight and his account remained invariably in the black.” Moreover, he was accepted as a member of that distinguished society on the recommendation of Baring Brothers with whom he had an unlimited overdraft limit. Continue reading “25 years after Barings: Have the lessons been learnt?”

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