Citi hit the headlines again last week, after it was revealed that it had fired equities trader Michael McCarthy when it found out he was the mysterious 'Large' who is behind popular US website takeareport.com
The website, which went online just over 2 years ago, has pictures of scantily-clad women and provocative images of ordinary people doing rather silly things. It is not, however, a p.rn site, although Bloomberg says that the site had featured 'remarks about homosexuals (and) execretory functions'. Having said that, it also raises money to help support a military unit in Iraq.
McCarthy, 35, who is said to have been at Citi for 7 years, traded equities in the power and utility sector. Although he never identified himself or Citi on the website, he was canned anyway. A company spokesperson said: 'This employee was terminated for behaviour that violated the firm's code of conduct and policies'. Bloomberg quotes an unnamed 'person with knowledge of the situation' who alleges that Citi also discovered that McCarthy was using his work PC to access and promote his website.
It appears that Citi became aware that McCarthy was 'Large' after he accepted an invitation to address (under his assumed name) the Dallas Security Traders Association 2008 Convention next month. Previous featured speakers at the Convention have included Quantum Fund co-founder Jim Rogers and Spencer Abraham, former US Energy Secretary.
1. 'The posts on that website are more interesting (and more relevant) than all those silly memos us staff at Citi keep getting from (CEO) Vikram Pandit'.
2. 'His biggest crime was getting caught. Although there's nothing too risque on the website, Citi really had no choice but to give him the boot. The firm is, after all, a fairly conservative institution.
3. 'The publicity might increase the profile of the website (temporarily), but where does that leave this trader now ? Will his mainstream career now be over in this increasingly politically correct world'.
4. 'Pics of near-naked women and support for the military - surely good reasons for Citi to fire him (not!) Madness'.
5. 'This chap would be promoted to head up all sales & trading if he worked at my firm! What a guy!!'.
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