On September 15, news broke about a Ghanian Born “Rogue Trader” kweku Adoboli, who lost about $2b for UBS Bank by taking part in unauthorized trading. He has formally been prosecuted and recently denied bail.
A Rogue Trader basically is an authorized staff of a bank or financial institution who performs unauthorized transactions using the banks funds or assets. It’s just like a Stockbroker in Nigeria trading your shares without letting you know and at the end making you loose lots of money. He is Rogue because whilst he has the authority to trade your shares on your behalf, that authority is only enforced when you give am an order to transact. So since you didn’t give him the permission or authority and yet he goes ahead to transact, he is deemed to have gone ‘rogue’ on you.
Back to Kweku, why din’t they just let him go, after all if he had not lost the bank may have concealed it and probably hailed him. In addition he isn’t the first and surely won’t be the last. Before him there had been 8 others with the same world wide notoriety for the act. In total, they had lost over $12b for their companies. That’s about one-third of our external reserves. Whilst their case always got world wide attention and more often than not end up in a conviction and jail term of about 6-10yrs something else always remarkably happens. They get released after serving about half of the jail term and end up writing best sellers.
Contrast that to a Nigerian banker who gets sacked and sometimes jailed without conviction or a court hearing for overseeing an approved loan that went bad. In fact, he may be forced to go the more painstaking path of still working and paying all or most of his salaries on repaying the loans.
Kweku was like the others given a responsibility far beyond that of a whole army. Imagine what the money will do to the rebels in Libya. In fact its just like giving a six year old who just finished watching Star Wars a live ammunition to hold for you why you turn your back to make him a chocolate drink. Surely, the guy could not have done this without someone higher knowing. Not with the advance level of “risk management” deployed by the bank.
Banks never seem to learn or more like never seem to stop being greedy, which is why they should just let him go and relieve us of the anxiety of awaiting his release and the stress of having to buy yet another book.
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