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Black Horse Ride

There have been a plenty of books written on the banking crisis on both sides of the Atlantic, including books by both Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. But none with this degree of inside information on the inner workings of a bank during a time of great crisis. Sir Victor Blank, the former chairman of Lloyds TSB, has never spoken publicly about his bank's doomed takeover of high-street rival HBOS - until now. The son of a Jewish tailor in Manchester, Blank rose to the highest echelons of the banking world to become chairman of staid and solid Lloyds TSB in 2006, then Britain's fifth largest bank. At the time, it was thought Lloyds' takeover would bring the aggressively-run HBOS back from the brink while pleasing the prime minister and raising Blank's reputation in the City. What could possibly go wrong? Blank Cheque tells the inside story of what really happened in the aftermath of the worst single day in banking history, a day in which two of the world's banking giants, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch either filed for bankruptcy or had to be bailed out by the US government. For the first time, it brings together the story from the viewpoint of Blank and Tim Tookey, his finance director at the time, and gives a version of the events that the politicians did not want you to hear.
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About the Author

Ivan Fallon was for many years one of the leading financial journalists in Britain. He was City editor of the Sunday Telegraph and deputy editor and business editor of the Sunday Times, and was twice named Financial Journalist of the Year. He was CEO of Independent News & Media UK until 2010. His previous books have included the bestsellers Billionaire: The Life and Times of James Goldsmith and The Brothers: The Rise & Rise of Saatchi & Saatchi.


'Fallon's book is brave. It goes against the zeitgeist and accepted wisdom. An industry devoid of supporters should seize upon it. But politicians, too, should read it and remind themselves what actually occurred.' - Evening Standard; 'Riveting... Black Horse Ride gallops away, is faster paced than most thrillers, and should be read by everyone remotely interested in what happened to British banking over the past few decades.' - Independent on Sunday; '[A] readable, pacy account of very complex events. Fallon is very well informed but never gets bogged down in the detail. Anyone who is interested in the people and the politics behind what one hopes was the biggest financial disaster of the age will learn a lot.' - CapX; 'A pacey, exceptionally well-informed and grimly riveting account that illuminates in microcosm the greatest economic disaster this country has suffered since the Great Depression.' - The Times; 'It is hard to believe we need another book about the banking crisis [...] Ivan Fallon, however has found a juicy new target in Lloyds' 2009 purchase of Halifax Bank of Scotland.' - Sunday Times

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