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While playing cards, Ken Griffin opens up about his ‘biggest mistake’

July 6th, 2017

Along with being a financial whiz, Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin likes to play cards–Uno, apparently.

The founder of Chicago-based Citadel shows off his mastery of the card game that requires players to match numbers or colors in order to win the game. He even schools a financial reporter on the game–all while taking questions about the dark days of the financial crisis.

It’s part of an interview on video by Institutional Investor.

The video is compelling because Griffin rarely talks so openly to reporters–and on camera no less. The video is entertaining, too, because it offers a glimpse of Griffin as a real person–who plays Uno like the rest of us. Though probably better.

In the interview, Griffin speaks candidly about how his company was caught up in the “maelstrom” of the financial crisis of 2008.

The Chicago businessman and philanthropist acknowledges the “biggest mistake” in his career was not appreciating how fragile the U.S. banking system was in the lead-up to the financial crisis. His company would lose $8 billion of clients’ assets.

“It was incredibly humiliating, let’s not kid ourselves,” Griffin says. “We had never had a double digit loss in 17 years.”

There were “a lot of rough days on that journey,” he adds, describing how he worried whether the company would actually survive.

It did, of course. And for Griffin, it was a lesson learned.

The video ends with him calling out Uno–and winning the game.

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