Oil futures and alcohol

An unusual Final Notice relating to Stephen Perkins was published on the FSA website.

Mr Perkins, a (now ex) oil futures broker was fined £72K by the FSA and prohibited from performing any controlled function for at least five years for market abuse.

His unauthorised trading actions over 29 and 30 June 2009 had the direct effect of increasing the price of Brent – over a two hour period Perkins was party to 69% of market volume traded.

His explanation for his trading was interesting: he was drunk. Following a heavy weekend session he claimed to have been in an alcohol induced blackout and had a limited recollection of events.

The FSA accepted this but being drunk did not negate their finding that he was not a fit and proper person (FIT 2.2.2 tells us “A person may have been convicted of, or dismissed or suspended from employment for, drug or alcohol abuses or other abusive acts. This will be considered only in relation to a person’s continuing ability to perform the particular controlled function for which the person is or is to be employed.”). The Daily Telegraph has subsequently published an article suggesting Mr Perkins may resume his career in Switzerland.

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