Euromoney 30th anniversary: Heroes and villains
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Euromoney 30th anniversary: Heroes and villains

This is a brief and highly selective history of the international financial markets over the past 30 years. Who were the heroes, who were the villains and who made a difference? It's the story of hopeful financial centres that flourished, showed promise but ultimately lost out to London, of banks and bankers with vaulting ambition who made it big, came a cropper or laid waste the markets around them. It's a story of creativity, excitement, success and spectacular failure. By David Shirreff.

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According to Hans-Joerg Rudloff, now chairman of Barclays Capital, the years 1966 to 1969 "saw a re-opening of the international financial markets after 40 years". They had been closed effectively since 1929.

Veterans remember those early days of Eurobonds and Euroloans as an era of excitement, vision and idiosyncratic behaviour. Rudloff wasn't the first into the business. He was a humble equity salesman at Kidder Peabody when the market started. But at Credit Suisse First Boston in the early 1980s, he became the archetypal Eurobond syndicate boss: arrogant, powerful, ruthless, hard-living and courageous.

There was another less glamorous side to the market, the Euroloan, responsible for recycling billions of oil dollars to developing countries in the late 1970s, and perhaps later contributing to their economic downfall.

Minos Zombanakis, then at Manufacturers Hanover, recalls his first sovereign floating-rate Euroloan, $70 million for the shahdom of Iran in 1969.

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