Is something rotten in Denmark?

From one view, it’s a bog-standard case of insider trading.  Harvard Business School grad joins investment bank.  A year later, he uses his access to insider information to enrich his father and ex-girlfriend (also the mother of his child).  During the investigation, he denies that a man with the same name as his father (and who was allegedly receiving some of the  illegal profits) was, in fact, his father.  Round up the usual suspects. Lock ’em up, Danno.

What struck me as noteworthy was a quotation from the Wall Street Journal: “…the tight-knit world of Wall Street deal makers, where confidentiality is sacrosanct.”  Is that really the culture they have, or the culture to which they might aspire? Quoting again, this time from the investment bank: “‘This conduct is completely inconsistent with our culture and professional standards.”  Well, that must be a relief to their other clients.

“Banker Used Tips to Trade, Officials Say,” Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2014 B1

Why did he do it?  Based on text messages, it was to pay child support to his ex-girlfriend.  And maybe to hide those payments from his wife, who is probably not amused.

How could someone who’d been in this business for years do something so dumb?  You just don’t turn around at age fifty and start cheating, do you?  How did his employers and clients miss this?  Was the ex-girlfriend a clue?  If someone is cheating on cab fares, what else are they cheating on?


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Filed under Business Case, Controls, Culture, Definition, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Ownership, Risk, Third parties, Value

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