Daily Archives: September 15, 2011

John Gapper

Given the recent history of UBS, it is fair to ask if Kweku Adoboli is a rogue trader or his employer is a rogue bank.

At one level, Mr Adoboli might appear to fit neatly into the stereotype of the rogue trader, a phenomenon that recurs so often that it is an endemic aspect of modern investment banking. He is young, fairly junior and works on a desk that combined proprietary position-taking with “flow trading” in customer orders.

The latter has in the past allowed rogue traders such as Nick Leeson of Barings and Jérôme Kerviel of Société Générale, to conceal losses while appearing to be doing what their employers wanted. Mr Adoboli has been arrested but not charged, let alone convicted, so he has the presumption of innocence. 

Andrew Hill

Ensuring energy security; fighting poverty; the future of the US dollar; the future of cities; why leaders turn a blind eye; and why they build bad strategies.

These are the contrasting themes of the six books battling to win this year’s Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award – a shortlist that is low on “crisis”  books compared with prior years. The finalists are:

Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo (Perseus Books, Public Affairs, USA)

Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar by Barry Eichengreen (Oxford University Press, UK)

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser (The Penguin Press, USA; Macmillan, UK)

Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril by Margaret Heffernan (Walker & Co, USA; Simon & Schuster, UK)

Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters by Richard Rumelt (Crown Business, USA; Profile, UK)

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin (The Penguin Press, USA; Allen Lane, UK)

 

For a man running a small business, Michael Arrington has attracted a lot of attention in the past couple of weeks. By the time he agreed to leave AOL this week, he had stirred up a maelstrom across Silicon Valley and the digital media.