'So, another rogue trader has been found guilty. And this time it's at UBS, which has been fairly manfully trying to clean house over the last few years, after suffering tens of billions in mortgage-related writedowns, a Swiss government bailout and that huge US tax evasion settlement.
And imagine how galling it must be for the bank and its employees to discover that one individual has been busy destroying all that good work. That's what's so sickening about 'rogue traders'. Their actions are entirely selfish (although they will always protest - a la SocGen's Jerome Kerviel - that they were only trying hard to make money for their firms).
The actions of rogue traders are disrespectful to their colleagues, management and shareholders, as they break all the rules, and get around all the checks and balances which are designed to protect the firm. Lastly, their actions are simply illegal. And this tale of woe doesn't factor in the stark reality that fellow employees, shareholders and all sorts of other investors / funds end up a lot poorer because of one person's blatant disregard for doing what's right.
When the news of the UBS losses first broke on the trading floor last year, the reaction was not the usual cynical laughter, or expressions of schadenfreude. On the contrary, several of us bemoaned the fact that one of our fellow financial professionals (that's what they used to call us anyway) would pretty much betray the firm and the trust that was placed in him. It's no wonder that the public remains angry about how bankers sometimes behave - this guy appears to have let the whole industry down.
Maybe it's just a sign of these gloomy times that we can no longer find anything funny about an investment bank slipping on yet another banana skin.