About Us

The Financial Intelligencer is a regularly updated blog about corruption and fraud, or suspicions of same. Our little team, made up largely of working journalists scattered around the world, looks into whatever captures our interest and also compiles material from other trusted publications.

cTrZ5w63 Nick Kochan, editor

Nick Kochan is a leading UK commentator on economic crime, money laundering, terrorist financing and corruption, fraud and financial abuse. His work appears in national newspapers, including The Daily and Sunday Telegraph and The Independent. He also writes for magazines  including The Economist, The Banker and Operational Risk and Regulation magazine.

In addition to his journalism, Nick is the author of some 12 books, many of which concern money laundering, financial scandals and corruption. He has spoken at many conferences hosted by government agencies, universities, media and conference facilitators and consultancies. Kochan also appears frequently on media such BBC Radio and Television and Sky News, where he speaks on topics, including white collar crime, terrorist financing, UK politics and banking.  Biographies of former UK prime ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair round off an all-encompassing interest in financial and political affairs. Kochan was born in London and educated at the University of Cambridge, He now lives in North London.

Kochan’s work and career may be seen in greater detail at his personal website, www.kochan.co.uk. He’s also on Twitter.

His latest book: Blair Inc.: The Man Behind the Mask

Picture1 David Rowell, contributing editor

David Rowell, a contributing editor specialising in travel and aviation, has been writing about travel scams and similar malfeasance in his popular blog, newsletter and web site The Travel Insider for over 15 years. Born in New Zealand, he moved to the US in 1985, ultimately establishing a highly successful retail and wholesale travel business. 

After selling up in 2000, he created — and became — The Travel Insider, and has written a weekly newsletter ever since, along the way skewering unscrupulous airlines, hotels and others reaching into unwary travellers’ pockets. Widely quoted in leading travel sections (New York Times and others), he is a frequent talk radio guest and public speaker, and an outspoken advocate for travellers’ rights. He lives in the Seattle area.

Bertel_crop_sm Bertel Schmitt, contributing editor

On his and a colleague’s highly recommended Daily Kanban auto industry blog, the short version of Bertel’s bio states, “After a 40 year hiatus, spent doing propaganda in the automotive industry around the world, Bertel returns as a journalist and to the roots of his initials.” The longer version says he started out in journalism and then discovered writing ad copy pays better.

Volkswagen was his first client and he spent the next three decades or so extolling its virtues for the world — a fact which the company may have reason to regret currently as Schmitt’s coverage of the Volkswagen scandal has been unrivaled for insight and knowledge. Until his controversial departure in 2013, he was editor in chief of the popular TheTruthAboutCars.com auto web site. He resides in Tokyo.


ian-fraser1 Ian Fraser, contributing editor

Ian Fraser is an award-winning journalist, commentator and broadcaster who writes about business, finance, politics and economics. His work has been published by among others The Economist, Financial Times, The Sunday Times, The Times, BBC News, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Independent on Sunday, the Herald, Sunday Herald, Accountancy, CA Magazine and Citywire.

His book, Shredded: Inside RBS, The Bank That Broke Britain, published in June 2014, explores how and why RBS, the world’s largest company by assets at the time of its collapse, became the world’s most expensive bank to bail out. The book — based on interviews with more than 120 current and former RBS insiders, external advisers to the bank, politicians, and others — has received very positive reviews.

In addition to mainstream journalism, Ian blogs for Huffington PostNaked Capitalism. Many of his blogs are cross-posted on Seeking Alpha, The Economic Populist, Economy Watch and Mindful Money. His own site is http://www.ianfraser.org.