Brit Broker Fined, Banned After Trading While Drunk

July 1, 2010

(ChattahBox)—There’s driving while drunk and dialing while drunk, but drunk trading of oil futures is a first. Steven Noel, a now former Broker in London, went on a weekend drunken trading binge last year that culminated in $520 million worth of trades that were so insane, the global price of oil soared and his firm lost $10 million.

Noel’s defense for the millions in unauthorized trades? He was “in an alcohol-induced blackout” and didn’t remember doing it.

And apparently lots of drunk golfing prior to the ill-conceived futures bets was also part of his defense, according to the report by The New York Times:

“Mr. Perkins had just returned from a liquor-soaked golf weekend with colleagues in June of last year when he sat down in front of his laptop at his home east of London and started to place bets on Brent crude futures, according to a report by the Financial Services Authority. He continued to drink and place bets through the night, and by the morning of June 30, Mr. Perkins had placed more than $520 million worth of trades, at one point pushing the price of oil to $73.05, an eight-month high. The trades by Mr. Perkins were the main reason the price gained about $1.65 a barrel in just over two hours in the middle of the night, according to the report.”

When Noel woke from his stupor and realized what he had done, he called in sick and attempted to make the nightmare all go away, but it was too late.

Noel was canned and forced to pay a fine of $107,600 by the Financial Services Authority for abusing the market. He was also banned from working in the financial industry for five-years.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/public domain artwork


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