Redefining “Rogue Trader”
With the billions and trillions being bandied about in our fevered financial crisis, I had a grim laugh when I read about the UBS employee arrested today for alleged rogue trader activity. According to the BBC, Kweku Adoboli is accused of losing UBS $2 billion through unauthorised trades.
It’s odd when $2 billion sounds like small beer. Contrast that with former UK Finance Minister Alistair Darling’s assertion that RBS’s liabilities at the height of the 2008 financial crisis were in the order of $3 trillion – $600 billion more than the entire British gross domestic product of the time.
Of course one could never apply the epithet of rogue trader to the leaders of RBS, Lehman Brothers et al. Perhaps we need a special phrase for them. I dare say the shareholders can come up with one.