Sideways: Joe Lewis may have missed a great day for yen trading
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Sideways: Joe Lewis may have missed a great day for yen trading

Tottenham Hotspur’s Joe Lewis was indicted for insider trading just before yen volatility presented an opportunity for profitable currency dealing.

British billionaire and Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis at the United States Courthouse in New York City
Joe Lewis leaves the United States Courthouse in Manhattan, following his appearance on insider trading charges | Photo: Reuters

Billionaire investor Joe Lewis was charged by US authorities in late July with insider trading for passing on tips about companies in which he had ownership stakes to friends and employees, including his private jet co-pilots.

The indictment came in a week that ended with a bout of yen volatility that might have suited the aggressive currency trading for which Lewis is best known.

When the Bank of Japan made a surprise shift in its monetary policy on Friday July 28, the yen saw hours of price convulsions against the dollar and euro.

Lewis built a fortune estimated at more than $6 billion on the back of big FX trades, such as shorting sterling ahead of the ejection of the pound from the European exchange rate mechanism on Black Wednesday in 1992, and selling the Mexican peso short before its devaluation in 1994.

Investments away from currency trading have had mixed results. A poorly timed purchase of a stake in Bear Stearns cost Lewis around $1 billion when the bank failed in 2008.


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