There ain’t half been some clever bastards:
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Foreign Exchange

There ain’t half been some clever bastards:

Over the past 25 years, I have met many clever bastards. And I have met many more stupid ones. In particular, I have met a lot of stupid people who think they are clever, and that’s even scarier.

For some reason, I haven’t been able to get this song by the late, great Ian Dury out of my head. Anyone who can come up with lyrics like these is a genius in my book:

  Einstein can’t be classed as witless
  He claimed atoms were the littlest
  When you did a bit of splitiness
  Frightened everybody shitless


But for financial markets, I fear Dury may have got it wrong. Over the past 25 years, I have met many clever bastards. And I have met many more stupid ones. In particular, I have met a lot of stupid people who think they are clever, and that’s even scarier. You know the sort. The people who reached the pinnacle of their ability when they got into university and who have been coasting ever since.

Just look at Société Générale. Apparently, the best rogue trader in the world ever, Jerome Kerviel, was looked down upon by many of his fellow traders because he didn’t go to the right university. And the Terry Dullwits there were too stupid to see what he was doing.

I was lucky to go to university as a mature student and I realised pretty quickly that there is always someone who knows more than you.

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