When I intially read an article on the AP about a trader losing approximately 2 Billion dollars for his large company, I thought it was old news and this man was getting sentenced or something to that effect. Turns out a “new” young trader is responsible for smashing UBS with these “rogue” trades. You also may remember this happening at Société Générale by another “rogue” trader. Not that I always find myself fending for the underdog, but it does makes me wonder how someone can be part of a financial organization or be a doctor, a lawyer, auto mechanic, a teacher or really anyone else that makes decisions in the workplace then become “rogue” if they make a mistake.
It’s easy to see that they weren’t doing what they were supposed to be in the stock market when they manage to lose 2 billion of anything, right? They weren’t stealing this money, they were simply poor investors that were trying to get ahead by using funds that shouldn’t have been available to them. If the shoe was on the other foot and they made 2 billion or even a billion dollars for their respective companies would they still be labeled “rogue” and having criminal trials to garnish their wages well beyond the grave?
Similarly, if a doctor or auto mechanic removes a part from your car or makes a choice that can save you tons of money or time, you thank them. But if they mess up they have a giant lawsuit on their hands, with it usually ending up being a civil rather than criminal case because their intent wasn’t to cheat anyone just a case of negligence.
Should these “rogue” traders be punished in criminal court? If you are working in an unaudited or poorly audited (nobody checks your work) could the same happen to you? A billion dollars is a lot of money and should’ve been caught don’t you think?