Markets: mad or just drunk?

Submitted by martin on 6 July, 2010 - 10:37

When bourgeois apologists talk about the marvellous qualities of the free market as a regulator of economic life, remember what "the market" means in real life!

On 30 June 2009 the world oil price suddenly surged, alarmingly. According to the Financial Times, market experts thought some dramatic turn in world politics must be behind the surge, and it "prompted concerns about the impact of rising energy prices on the weak economic recovery".

Within days they found that the surge had been due to one individual, working for a Mayfair oil broker, who fired up his laptop after a party and traded wildly just for fun.

The Financial Services Authority reported its investigation of the incident on 30 June. The trader's "explanation... was that he was inebriated after he drank 'heavily throughout the weekend' on a company's golf party... He was drunk and... in an alcohol-induced blackout".

Back in 2009, the FT reported: "This is the second episode of rogue trading in the oil market this year. In May, an oil trader at Morgan Stanley was banned by the City watchdog after he hid from his bosses potential losses on trades made under the influence of alcohol".

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