We've been fans of Bethany Maclean since her work on Enron in 2001. We've got a link to that ENE piece and her look at sub-prime in "Wall Street Learned the Lessons of Enron (Unfortunately)".
Now she writes about another of our favorite stories.* From Fortune:
Brian Hunter brought down Amaranth with disastrous trades on gas. He is accused of manipulating the markets. He has been called the 'destroyer of all worlds.' But is he such a bad guy?
There's a certain allure to the archetype of the rogue trader.
As Jane Austen might have said, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a man who single-handedly loses a large fortune, especially one that wasn't of his own making, must be way more interesting than the average man. After all, not just any old someone gets the chance to destroy massive amounts of capital, let alone force an entire company, and maybe even the entire market, to the edge of disaster - or over it. Those who do become part of business lore: Nick Leeson, Yasuo Hamanaka, Brian Hunter, Jerome Kerviel.
But does the reality measure up to the myth?
Brian Hunter, the former head natural-gas trader for Amaranth, the $10 billion hedge fund that infamously imploded in the fall of 2006 after Hunter's bets on the price of natural gas went spectacularly wrong, has earned himself a permanent spot among the legends.
Hunter has been accused of losing upwards of $6 billion, which until Kerviel came along was the biggest loss by a single trader in the history of securities markets. Business Week recently included him in its "Rogues' Gallery of Traders," which the magazine explained was a "notorious list of fraudulent trades." Dealbreaker.com likes to call him the "destroyer of all worlds.">>>MORE
...A Dealbreaker.com story quoted Kim saying, "We are confident that Brian Hunter will be vindicated." Then the site added its own editorial comment: "Or he will hang himself in his cell." No wonder Hunter's wife gets upset. "I have to keep her off Google," says Hunter.