My career in the financial markets started in 1971 when as a junior in the cash department of the Bowater Corporation, Knightsbridge, I was charged with preparing paperwork for bills of exchange and for the purchasing of foreign currency to pay for imports into the UK of wood pulp. This was when the developed world was coming off the fixed foreign exchange parity system that had been in existence since the Bretton Woods agreement after World War II, and partially floating currencies were allowed. I recall that sterling versus US dollars, or ‘cable’ as it is still commonly called, was allowed to float between 2.20 and 2.60 and my job was to buy the dollars to match the payment schedules for our large-scale purchase ...

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