The last few days has provided interesting reading. Poor Kweku, he has clearly fucked up. There is debate about whether he lived a flashy lifestyle, there is discussion about what this might mean for UBS, there is discussion about risk management, but no where has there really been any discussion that puts this into context.
Consider this – there are 39 countries whose 2010 annual GDP was less than $2bn (CIA World Fact book).
$2bn would support 66,000 unemployed, uninsured Americans for a year.
or, provide education to 10 million underprivileged children for one year in Africa.
So the question really is, how can everything be so completely fucked up that when we read that poor Kweku has blown $2bn, the world essentially shrugs it shoulders and reacts in a manner that would suggest that Granny lost her purse containing her $100 pension money? Why have we collectively learnt to tolerate this?
We are living in world that is on a knifes edge of falling of a precipice and will impact our children’s children, solely because of human avarice and greed. In almost every country and society if a person enters your home and forcibly removes your money and valuables, people react with shock and express the pain they have suffered from having their personal space invaded and of having something forcibly removed from them. How is it that a single profession has executed the largest theft of value in human history and we shrug our shoulders and run to the local Starbucks for our next coffee (and in the process get scalped again, but that’s a different story)?
If you think that it isn’t really about human greed and that it doesn’t really concern you, spend one minute and think properly about the quote in the FT this morning related to the impact of Kweku’s trading – “The big concern for all my UBS friends now is that they are not going to get their bonuses”
Well fuck me.