Terrorists and Rogue Traders

Terrorists and Rogue Traders

Banks haven’t learned anything about risk management

Who would have thought that someone would actually be crying “terrorist attack” from of all places, Switzerland? Well, hardly. In Asia, we know about these “terrorist attacks.” The first one occurred in Singapore in 1995 when a 27-year-old former derivatives broker named Nick Leeson caused the collapse of Barings, the United Kingdom’s oldest investment bank.

What Leeson did to Barings bears considerable resemblance to what a senior UBS management executive called, with considerable hyperbole, the “terrorist attack” that sank the bank’s former CEO Oswald Grubel in early September after the discovery of a US$2.3 billion trading scandal (Read the entire column here and there).

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