Steven Perkins, a 34 year old commodity broker, attended a company golfing weekend, had a bit too much to drink over the weekend and then took the Monday off of work.
This in itself didn’t justify being fined £72,000 earlier this week by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and being identified as “an extreme risk to the market when drunk”.
It was what he did on the Monday evening that caused all the excitement.
After the golfing weekend, Mr. Perkins felt the need to carry on drinking and started drinking again on the Monday lunchtime. Late that night in a drunken stupor he bought 7 million barrels of oil using $520 million dollars belonging to his then employers PVM Oil Futures.
Because the purchases took place in the middle of the night other traders around the world thought that there was something major happening in the oil market and as a result the price of oil shot up by $1.50 a barrel in less than 30 minutes. Through the alcoholic haze Mr. Perkins gradually increased his bidding price each time to push the price up until at one stage he was responsible for nearly 70% of the global market volume.
He tried to gradually sell down his position in the morning but no doubt with a very dry mouth eventually admitted everything to his employer.
His drunken night time purchases resulted in PVM losing £6million, him being fined £72,000 and banned from the industry for five years. Plus of course, an almighty hangover.