Things That Make Me Go… “HUH?”

UBS, a Swiss bank, reports they lost $2 BILLION in a rogue trade incident.

The Swiss. Precision-minded people. Keeper of international secrets. People who have a reputation for knowing what in the world they are doing… and one of their banks loses $2 billion in a rogue trade. Excuses like, “That person may have accidentally added a zero, or perhaps hit a wrong button…” just don’t seem to fully explain such a mistake.

I am reminded of a SNL skit awhile back about another trade that sent the market tumbling. Apparently someone put in a trade for a million shares rather than 100,000 shares. “What? The program doesn’t have an ‘ARE YOU SURE?’ button before you make a transaction? Even if I want to delete a photo off of Facebook, it asks, ‘ARE YOU SURE?'”

But this actual comment from a Swiss banker really makes me laugh:

“It’s a shock, a real negative surprise,” said Panagiotis Spiliopoulos, head of research at the private bank Vontobel in Zurich.

A real negative surprise. Wow. No kidding.

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