You play a dangerous game doing a Hitler parody. There is no link to the video - this is safe for work.
Bloomberg reports that Williams drafted a newsletter to subscribers which included a link to a video clip depicting Adolf Hitler, with subtitles created by a U.S. filmmaker that mocked JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon.
The newsletter was released prematurely and Jefferies fired Williams the next day for unacceptable and inappropriate conduct, according to the judge.
Jefferies management was 'hypersensitive' and 'irrational', in its response to the publication of the December 7th, 2010 client newsletter, Judge Conrad Seagroatt said in issuing his decision Thursday in Hong Kong’s High Court.
Williams is seeking damages of at least $1.7m for wrongful dismissal and Jefferies’ breach of trust and confidence, his lawyer Kevin Bowers said. Seagroatt said he would issue written reasons for his decision and rule on the damages later.
The YouTube Inc. parody video clip uses a scene from the 2004 German movie Downfall showing Hitler screaming at his subordinates at the end of the war. Subtitles suggested Hitler’s character was Dimon, speaking in the context of bets on the price of silver.
'Jefferies was seen as a company associated with that video that insulted in a quite humiliating way a competitor and business partner', Jose Maurellet, a lawyer for the firm, told the court.
Williams had submitted a draft of the newsletter for approval to his London-based supervisor as required, his lawyer told the court in his closing statement. The newsletter was sent out from New York before being approved and without Williams’s knowledge, said Ashley Burns, another lawyer representing Williams.
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image: © Steve Jurvetson