Friday 16 September 2011

Friday Fun - Reality Edition

Now often on a Friday we just post jokes or games, given a hard week at work the brain is too fried for more insightful though the real world stories are better than jokes and have the benefit of being true.

1 - Kweku Adeboli

Honestly, $2 billion in trades hidden by a middle office boy turned trader. Clearly he has passwords to the systems he should not and has been able to hide his positions (no doubt trying to gamble his way back from an original poor trade). How this can happen, to UBS - home of the $35 billion casino bank trading losses 2008-11 - is entirely understandable shocking.

Even better the platform he trades in is called Delta One - like some pathetic US shoot 'em up movie- this must have been named by some geek. We are near Skynet territory here!

Worse, the trades are Synthetic ETF's which have been regularly warned against for some time - see Gillian Tett here.

Anyway, it does not get much funnier than this - although this quote in The Telegraph - "This could happen to any bank" says senior investment banker - perhaps kills the laughter somewhat as the ineptness of those in charge or serious chunks of global funds is revealed.

2 - Central Banks flush the Money

Oh dear, finally the crisis headlines are hitting the main news items -  somewhat late but there we go. How crazy is the reality behind this. US Money markets and other have now stopped lending to Europe altogether so the Central Banks have stepped in. Much like the ECB stepped in when investors stopped buying Southern European Sovereign debt.
The egg timer is nearly done now, the unelected bankers are juicing the system to buy the Politicians time, but the Politicians are not doing anything with it by the looks of things. So it will still end in tears with perhaps the Central Banks left holding more of a baby than they want to. What a terrible state of affairs the World is in when the unelected and nonpunishable Central Bankers are able having to act in this way.

Happy Friday - did I miss any other funnies?


Botogol said...

Well, I think it's hard not to smile at today's Keweku news -- UBS only only found out about his losses when he told them himself!

BBC Story

Old BE said...

That IS funny! Ha!

I still dine out on my version of the story when I challenged my banker friend who was explaining some of the more complicated financial products to me, saying that many of them sounded like they were built on sand.

Couple of years later it turned out that I was right. Whoops!

The more I learn of the finance industry the more I - worryingly - begin to agree with Will Hutton.

Sean said...

F*** it why dont they just install a great big glitter ball in the centre of the office and charge punters a 100 notes on the door and give them a few chips to play with? At least then you can hire the mafia to shoot anyone who screws the casino over.

The cull is coming

Jan said...

On a slightly different element of the story....did anyone see the enormous warehouse of an office those guys work in? It looked like an aircraft hangar on the BBC news fitted out with workstations. What a horrible place to work in...more like factory really but without the production line.

Maybe the glitter ball idea would improve things...

James S said...

Well of course it's massively off topic for such a highbrow blog...

But the Gordon Ramsey lookalike porno-midget dead in badgerset story (no really).

Is so surreal I think it transcends topics.

CityUnslicker said...

Jan, trading floors do all look like that.

Electro-Kevin said...

I would have fucked up their bank for half the price if only they'd asked me.

Could an element of PC be involved in this one perhaps ?

Anonymous said...

I am afraid that's a case of bad trade happening all over again, least USB did eventually discover the bad trades but not before $2billion went done the drain, but that your comment from a quote "This could happen to any bank" seems to say it all, surely all their trades should be monitored and a daily balance taken, any new accounts ie suspense acounts should be authorised and all entries monitored.

rwendland said...

Telegraph says Adoboli joined UBS as a trainee in March 2006. Do banks really let people play on their own with $billions 5 years in from training? Why don't they work in teams, so there is some review of large decisions?

Anonymous said...

I remember talking to a Kiwi some five years ago. He came to the UK to work in his trade - plumbing. In the pub one night a compatriot from Down Under told him about the benefits (ie obscene salaries) to be had from working in a Big Bank.

So he applied for a job as a Market Analyst. After three months they decided that he was useless, and had told porkies during his selection. But the law on references meant they couldn't tell his next City employer, so he got a few more months training. And again. Etc.

After some four or so "training" posts, he was finally sufficiently competent in Market Analysis to hold down a post in his own right, and he was wealthy beyond the dreams of even a plumber!

What was it that one of the Marx Brothers said? Something like "banks invest your money for you until its all gone".

Steven_L said...

Nice story Yokel, I might move to Oz and become an investment banker :)

Phil said...

James, I believe that story was a bit of Sunday Sport fiction that got away from them and acquired a life of its own!