The pivotal conference call
November 20, 2012, 1:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

You might not know it from listening to it, but this phone call between $2-billion-losing UBS trader Kweku Adoboli and his back office/collateral management is one of the most dramatic pieces of audio you’ll ever hear. In two brief minutes all the ingredients of a great drama are there:

  • the ever-polite back office tentatively but resolutely questioning the big-shot rogue trader and his bookings (“seems a bit strange…”)
  • the big-shot trader initially speaking down to them like they’re idiots wasting his time (“if you could explain to me what you understand an asset to be”, DUMMY)
  • but as we know, back office were right (for once!) HA!
  • the hammer is dropped and Consequences loom (if the trades are real, “we will need to call collateral”) – the trader can no longer hide – the jig is up
  • the cliffhanger (Adoboli says: “I’ll come back to you in a few minutes.” Reportedly, he never does, and leaves the building just minutes later.)

Personally, I think this would make a great cat-and-mouse movie, and this phone call is the final scene where the protagonist (whichever back-office guy this was) finally catches the bad-guy.

Of course, maybe that all doesn’t quite work. I don’t know the whole story, but I guess if these back-office guys had really been detective-sharp, they wouldn’t have let him get away with the fake bookings in the first place, for months and months or however-long this was. But even if so, you could take some license for dramatic effect.

I’ll draft up a spec treatment and contact my agent.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m surprised that the back office didn’t have a sniper watching the exit.

Comment by eddie

I guess that’s how it would play out if it were one of the ‘Bourne’ movies.

WAIT. That’s ANOTHER great idea! I’m just full of ’em. Or, it.

Comment by Sonic Charmer

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