“WHILE regulars at the Powder Monkey quietly sipped their pints, the young American sat jabbering on his phone and tapping away on a laptop.
He had been at the pub in Exmouth, Devon, since 2pm and stayed until closing time — but he did not drink much.
He was too busy trading with US banks 3,600 miles away, flogging £150million worth of financial products ahead of the 2008 global crash.
Not that Wall Street hedge fund guru Ben Hockett was particularly fond of English ale. He had been directed to the pub by his Brit brother-in-law, who told him it was the only place in the quiet seaside town with reliable wi-fi.
And as Oscar-nominated Hollywood film The Big Short makes clear, when it is time to make a fortune, there is not a minute to waste.
The movie tells the astonishing story of trader Ben Rickert — played by Brad Pitt and based on Hockett, who had been visiting his wife’s family in Devon before the crash.
Within four afternoons in the Monkey, Hockett had turned his firm Cornwall Capital’s £700,000 investment into a £55million profit.
The Big Short, out on Friday, is based on the best-selling book of the same title by former Wall Street man Michael Lewis. …..”