"in late 2007 “intentionally concealed from his employer the size of the S&P 500 e-mini futures contracts position, risk and profits and losses,” the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a civil complaint filed in a New York district court on Thursday."
"For instance, the CFTC said, Mr Taylor put on a real trade of 34,604 e-mini trades on December 13 2007. He then manually entered a fabricated sale of 33,000 contracts, the regulator claims. The false sale had the effect of appearing to reduce Mr Taylor’s e-mini positions from 37,104 contracts to 4,104 contracts."
"On that same day, the CFTC said, Mr Taylor went on to amass a position in the futures contracts worth over $8.3bn. Mr Taylor then prepared an end of day profit and loss report showing a false loss of $2m, the CFTC said. Mr Taylor’s actual loss for that day was $52m."
“He . . . was promptly removed from his job and terminated soon thereafter. Since these events, which had no impact on customer funds, we have further enhanced our controls.”
Okay got it.
"After leaving Goldman, Mr Taylor went on to work for Morgan Stanley."
Okay, I think I have the picture but I have a couple of questions and then some comments regarding this whole thing.
First. This happened in late December 2007 and the CFTC is now filing this complaint now? Is the CFTC that busy chasing down thugs on Wall St. or have they caught the porn surfing bug from the SEC?
Second. How does a trader at a global leader in finance, a firm on the cutting technological edge of all things financial - the type of high tech stuff that can sniff linen with the number 100 & Ben Franklin's face on it from a couple hundred nautical miles-, the place where God's work is done, get away with manually entering a fabricated sale of contracts to conceal a position's size?
Third. How does an thug like Taylor pull off this stunt and then get hired across the street at Morgan Stanley? Sounds to me like Wall St. does a much due diligence on their new hires as they do on their IPO offerings to customers. ZERO!
Morgan Stanley either did or didn't investigate his background. Seriously. How long would it take Morgan to have found out the skinny on this dirt bag Taylor? About 15 minutes via the phone, that's how long. Wall St. gossips more than a room full of Italian ladies on their husband's bocce day. So let's assume Morgan did investigate him and knew his background. This tells me they simply don't care so long as he can make em' a buck.
I'll tell you why this happens. Because there is a culture on Wall St. today that would make a Charlie Merrill and others of his era cringe at the thought of. A culture of thugs and thieves that would sell their wife and/or daughter into sex slavery for a 6 figure bonus. A culture of tolerance for the intolerable so long as they make the managing partners buck. A culture of willful blindness by even the decent and honest (who are the majority) among them to patently offensive behaviour as to insult one's intelligence. A culture rotten to the core.
By tolerating this lawlessness and thuggery they are killing the proverbial golden goose which is the market. Not to mention what the criminal high frequency trading has done but you can re-read my piece Culture of Risk from August this year following the Knight Capital debacle for that .