Ever fancied trading?
You could start off gambling, punting on a spread bet and then trading on your own account. But who wants the risk of trading one's own money and who wants to trade with a few bucks? Wouldn't it be fun to bet hundreds of millions on the markets with other people's money? That sounds more like it.
For most graduates, trading is the job they want. Getting to do it you must be a superstar. You must have won a gold medal at the Olympics, been awarded a Nobel prize in your spare time and graduated from Harvard and Cambridge by the time you were 7 years old. This may get you an intern placement and onto a grad scheme. Just. Goldman et al like the best. Top academics, stamina and smartness. It is a hard slog to trade a bank's balance sheet.
Of course many who trade don't have any of this background at all. They have attained the best job and got paid the most by coming in through the back door; the "settlements" department.
Operations is often seen to be a back office backwater. Dull. Badly paid. But they are wrong. Settlements people are where its at. These people are risky, dangerous and cause great distress.
What do these 3 rogue people have in common?
They all came from the back office.
UBS say no to bonuses (bloomberg)
Markets push for Greek default (telegraph)
Regulators to stop people from trading who have worked in the back office.