Most of my career I was a journalist and occasional broadcaster. I came late to books, publishing my first at a time many other people are retiring. My new book, The Rise and Fall of the City of Money, is a financial history of Edinburgh, from the Darien disaster to the 2008 credit crunch, to be published autumn 2019. It is the story of the men (unfortunately, few women) who built and sometimes wrecked the institutions which made Edinburgh a financial capital. Among the bankers and investment managers are two hard drinking Kirk ministers, who invented the first life assurance company, and Sir Walter Scott, who went bust and then wrote his way back to solvency.
My first book, The Man Who Gave Away His Island, is about the struggle of John Lorne Campbell, to make the island of Canna a viable community. My second, Hubris: How HBOS Wrecked the Best Bank in Britain, came out of a sense of outrage at what the bankers have done to our banks.
I have appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Aye Write!, Wigtown and others.