A recently released investigation report reveals that the actions of an inebriated broker during a booze-induced black-out pushed global oil prices to an 8 month high in 2009.
Steve Perkins, a senior broker at PVM Oil Futures managed to spend $520 million of company funds on oil futures in the wee hours of June 30, 2009 causing the price of oil to jump $1.50 per barrel sending analysts into a panic to find the reason why. The global crude prices went from $71.40 to $73.05 in just two hours as Perkins bid higher and higher each time. By the time PVM realized the transactions had not been authorized by a client, they had lost nearly $10 million.
According to CNBCBetween the hours of 1:22 a.m. and 3:41 a.m., Perkins gradually purchased 7 million barrels of crude, equivalent to 69 percent of the global market, while driving prices up from $71.40 to $73.05, by bidding higher each time.
The next morning, an admin clerk called Perkins to ask why he had bought such a high amount of crude during the night, but Perkins had no memory of the trade. Perkins later sent a message to his boss claiming he had to stay at home due to an unwell relative.
Following an official investigation, UK’s Financial Services Authority fined Perkins $116,878 and banned him from trading for five years in London.