Arrested UBS trader's anguished Facebook posts

A UBS trader accused of perpetrating a $2 billion fraud at the bank, revealed some of his inner fears on Facebook.

You might have heard that UBS Bank recently lost $2 billion under what may well have been slightly fraudulent circumstances.

A 31-year-old man in a very fetching blue sweater, Kweku Adoboli, was arrested and charged with allegedly perpetrating this fraud through his trading activities as a bank employee.

He is now, therefore, referred to as a "rogue" trader. Although some might feel a more accurate description, should the accusations be proved, would be "trader whose nefarious activities got him into trouble where other traders get away with it."

Still, those for whom social networking is first nature might find another aspect of this case fascinating. For Adoboli appears to have expressed the inner core of his thoughts and doings not at his place of work, but on Facebook.

The Financial Times reported that just over a week ago, Adoboli posted: "Need a miracle."

His Facebook page has now gone the way of the $2 billion. However, reports suggest that this apparently anguished cry was not the only Facebooked evidence that Adoboli might have foreseen the booking that was soon to befall him.

Reports suggest that he also posted: "Will they? Won't they? Reduced to watching Fox News for guidance, it's a grim affair."

Did he mean that Fox News is a grim affair? Or that the grimness was confined to his own predicament?

Reports also suggest that his Facebook friends (who may or may not be real-life equivalents) also posted their worries. One reportedly offered: "You are a genuinely good person, honest and humble. You don't deserve this... You will get through it."

This may well be true, even though one person told the FT that Adoboli's home was "a bit of a bling flat."

The Facebook postings will highlight, for some, the need for HR departments to use Facebook in order to make themselves aware of their employees' mental (and financial) states.

Perhaps, though, the fact that in the midst of all his apparent turmoil, Adoboli chose Facebook as his means of self-expression might suggest a world where social networking is less an attempt to make friends and have fun and more a place for primally screaming: "Is there anybody out there?"

 

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