Wednesday 21 November 2012

Rogue Traders & Wall Street Wolves - Adoboli/Leeson/Belfort

Ewan McGregor as Nick Leeson in Rogue Trader
On 20th November, 2012 Kweku Adoboli was convicted of the biggest fraud in British history and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. Adoboli is the latest rogue trader 'to go feral', bloodshot eyes firmly fixed on a computer screen long into the night praying for a miracle. The Swiss global financial giant UBS's U.K investment banking arm was taken to the brink of collapse by this out of control, inexperienced City trader who was recklessly trying to recoup the losses he had incurred by using precious little financial rigour, insurance or safety nets. 
Kweku Adoboli 'wept copiously' during his testimony, 20th November, 2012
This was no ordinary financial deception, this was a chaotic play with money as if it were a board game of Monopoly. Money was being badly juggled with on a enormous scale. UBS money was being shuffled about frantically for two to three years in 'off the books' trading. However, this was real money, in real time, figuring out at £7 billion at one point and ending up as a final loss of £1.5 billion in the courts. His actions also cost some of his fellow traders their jobs, accounted for the resignation of the Chief Executive and the wipe out of £2.7bn ($4.5bn) from UBS share prices. The Judge, on delivering the sentence said that he found Kweku Adoboli to be 'profoundly unselfconscious of his failings'. 
From Adoboli's date and place of birth, a ‘flat chart’ (no birth time), there is a very descriptive picture in place, especially the telling planetary configuration of the T-square involving Mars, Jupiter, possibly the Moon, Sun and Uranus.
Kweku Adoboli Astrology birth chart (source wikipedia/BBC News flat pm)
The Sun is in the sign of the ‘The Trickster’ or ‘The Trader’, namely Gemini. This solar Gemini, the slight-of-hand sign is placed on the critical zero degree. Planets at zero appear to be fresh out of the trap and as such express themselves in a raw, uninhibited, undiluted and unmodified way. It is as if the ‘owner’ of that energy is unsure how to steer all that power, rather like a toddler at the wheel of a Ferrari. The prosecutors had seen Adoboli as an out of control gambler that did not use the financial safety procedures and requirements. One, Sasha Wass told Adoboli that he was an 'accomplished liar; after his explanations on the recorded phone call with the UBS accountant who later also got his reluctant e-mail. 
This Sun is also opposed by Uranus, Lord of the unexpected and master of surprise. This Uranus 'shocker' forms an out-of-sign opposition since it is in 23 degrees of Scorpio. Only a few days before Adoboli’s sentencing there was the Total Eclipse of the Sun at 21 degrees Scorpio, exactly conjoined, his personal Uranus fused with the Eclipse, things would never be the same again for this young man. (Scorpio Solar Eclipse - The Path of Totality). The rising City trader star with the big life style came crashing down to earth in financial chaos despite his big salary and mighty bonuses it was found that he was leaking money all the time and taking out serial payday loans to try and cover his own personal trading losses as well. Before his arrest Adoboli had changed his Facebook status to 'I need a Miracle'. The day he had to confess after being pressed by the UBS accountant Adoboli went to a church near his office to pray.
Adoboli's Sun/Uranus opposition registers his inner restlessness and willful nature, convinced of it’s own ‘Truth’, regardless of what society may think, or say or believe. 
A collegue described him as being 'unfriendly, unpleasant, superior.. with a rule that he should never be asked the same question twice.' This Sun/Uranus line of tension is also aggravated by Mars, Jupiter and possibly the Moon (no birth time), forming a pressuring square aspect to both the Sun and Uranus. His Sun/Uranus opposition is also an indication that for a significant period of his life, Adoboli could have felt like the odd one out. It is possible that he could have felt alienated or even rejected deep down and may have never really felt included. At heart he knew himself to be different. He was born in Ghana, whose annual GDP is £1,000, to a Ghanian U.N official who put him through a £20,000 a year British private education as an overseas boarder and University, where he studied e-commerce and digital business. Recruited by UBS and picked out as a potential 'rising star' he had also come with a need for showy, wild parties and call girls, apparently emulating 'The Wolf Of Wall Street', Jason Belfort.
'The Wolf of Wall Street' and a second book 'Catching the Wolf of Wall Street' are financial trader's, Jordan Belfort own account of his 90's life of drugs, women, yachts, fast cars and earning tens of millions before being sent to prison for defrauding investors. 
He literally earned thousands of dollars a minute at one point and who then went on binges that ran up $700,000 in hotel bills. His omnipotent and cavalier attitude sank a 170 foot motor yacht, complete with seaplane and helicopter, originally built for Coco Chanel, he overruled the captain and headed into a Mediterranean storm. Belfort has a Grand Trine in Water connecting the Sun, Jupiter and Neptune
Jordan Belfort Astrology birth chart (flat pm)

Grand Trines are an astrological configuration that describes 3 planets all linked together by aspects of 120 degrees. Considered to be 'lucky', mainly they can indicate a spectacular talent but one that is also often prone to misuse. The Grand Trine owner can get so self-absorbed or locked into their own perspective that they can miss or choose to bypass other crucial aspects of life. Whilst having an abundance of gifts these gifts can be squandered, ignored or considered ‘too easy’ to even develop. Consequently, through laziness or sloppiness they can try to take ‘the easy way out’, not wanting to struggle and so progress the aspect. 
Jason Belfort about to hit his own storms
In the water element Jordan Belfort would have an ability to ‘play his hunches’ to intuit or sense the lie of the land, to pick up on themes and grab information as if 'out of nowhere'. Interestingly two of the planets involved in this planetary combination are also 'implicated' in the more challenging T-square aspect possessed by Adoboli, namely the Sun and Jupiter and the other planet in the trio here is Neptune. It is rather like a train going round in a permanent loop refueling at 3 stations, the Sun (his mission, his identity) Jupiter (expansion, amplification, superiority, confidence) and Neptune (yachts, addictions, glamour, fashion, glitz, deception, illusion and delusion). Involved in Adoboli's major configuration, the T-square, is Mars and Uranus (rash action) and shared with his hero Belfort, he also has Mars square Uranus, also conjunct (holding hands) with Venus (love and money).
(2013 Martin Scorsese new film on Belfort with Leonardo di Caprio playing Jordan imbd)

Nick Leeson Astrology birth chart (flat pm) 
Before Adoboli the biggest British banking fraud was committed by another rogue trader Nick Leeson. 

Nick Leeson, broke Barings Bank founded in 1762 subsequently bought by Dutch bank ING for a nominal £1 while Leeson's trading jacket went for thousands on ebay 
He caused the collapse of Barings Bank, then the oldest U.K investment bank by losing £827 million. Nick Leeson also has a Grand Trine in Water, involving Jupiter and Neptune, the third pivot here is Saturn conjunct his Chiron.
Adoboli's Sun/Uranus inner conflict would have found some release through the square aspect to Mars/Jupiter. His would have discovered his route out of feeling upset and destructive by his alienation could come about by creating an exaggerated, extravagant, overconfident, self-assured persona. The 'Really Big Hot Shot'. Part of this release also included his addiction to gambling, playing the numbers, rolling the dice and testing out his God. Alongside his fraudulent trading life with UBS he was also obsessively 'playing the market' with his private betting account. Mars conjunct Jupiter is one of the classic astrological signatures for the gambler. Such a combination will not easily hear the word ‘No’. It is future orientated, overconfident, and has absolute and total believe in itself. In court one of the prosecutors described Adoboli as a 'narcissistic status-chaser' who tried to to 'claw back his losses with ever more reckless bets' most gamblers, he believed he had the magic touch, like most gamblers, when he lost, he caused chaos and disaster to himself and all of those around him.This could be Mars the risktaker, the initiator, the imperative 'NOW!!' prodding Jupiter the E-X-P-A-N-D-E-R…the stretcher, the planet which sings 'lets-take-it-to-the limit' if there is a limit or 'nothing gonna stop us now' or ever and ever until the end of time. Sure Jupiter will keep on keeping on, that is, until it meets Saturn. In this situation Saturn came looking for Kweku Adoboli dressed in the dark gown of Scorpio. After a two minute phone call, when an subdued, awkard Kweku Adoboli was questioned by a UBS accountant and asked to explain certain strange entries on his trading record everything changed. Adoboli promised to 'come back to you in a few minutes' but walked out of the bank instead. He headed for his £1,000 a week rented loft apartment where he wrote a 'bombshell e-mail' 'I take responsibility for my actions and the shit storm that will now ensue' 
Adoboli is facing 7 years in prison (7 is a Saturn number). Saturn has appeared in the form of a transiting sextile, usually regarded as an ‘easy’ aspect and in fact many believe Adoboli's sentence is a very soft one and much too lenient. He was charged with only two counts of fraud and cleared of four counts of false accounting. Having to do his time may be an imposed opportunity for Mr Adoboli to reflect and reassess his addictive behaviour. His persistent need to roll the dice has cost him his freedom but he has made himself stand out from the crowd by committing the largest fraud in British history and the third largest fraud by a rogue trader of all time. He was also arrested on September 15th, also the 3rd anniversary date of the U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers collapse and just a few days after an independent report called for tighter regulations of British banks in order to stop other potentially catastrophic ‘casino’ banking crimes.
Detective Chief Inspector Stokes of The City of London Police Economic Crime Directorate does not see Adoboli as someone led astray, 'He was the star. He believed he would reach the height at UBS. He is one of the most accomplished fraudsters I have seen in my time in the force. This is not someone who made a mistake. This is someone who has chosen the path he has gone down.' If Kweku Adoboli is giving himself any consolation at this time it may be by remembering that both Nick Leeson and Jordan Belfort are both back in the public arena with box office movies being made about their exploits. Perhaps Kweku Adoboli is wondering who can ghost write his autobiography and which actor he would choose to play out his life on the big screen. 
credits: the guardian & & & sky news & astrotheme & bbc news & CNN & observer
posted by pippa ponton & jphibbs

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