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Alexis Stenfors’s career as a successful trader imploded when he was marked as one of the world’s infamous “rogue traders.” He will provide a personal account of his downfall and lessons learned at UT’s Haslam College of Business on Thursday, April 13.

His lecture, “Barometer of Fear: An Insider’s Account of Rogue Trading and the Greatest Banking Scandal in History,” will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Room 402 of the Haslam Business Building. The lecture is open to the media.

In 2009, Stenfors, a former foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives trader at HSBC, Citi, and Merrill Lynch, found himself at the center of an insider trading scandal.

“One of the biggest challenges for business ethics instructors is simulating for students how high-pressure environments might cause their moral compasses to fail,” said Marianne Wanamaker, associate professor of economics and BB&T Scholar in Markets, Capitalism, and Ethics in UT’s Haslam College of Business. “Dr. Stenfors’s visit helps us do that by providing students a first-hand account of the ways in which institutional incentives and pressures contribute to unethical behavior, even in people with the best of intentions.”

The financial industry has been the subject of a long list of scandals in recent years—from rogue trading and market abuse to manipulation of financial benchmarks. Stenfors will discuss whether these scandals are the work of a few bad apples or an inevitable result of a financial system rotten to its core.

Based on personal experiences, his talk will focus on misguided perceptions of traders, and rogue traders, on the part of academics, regulators, and lawmakers alike.

Stenfors returned to academia in 2009 and completed his doctoral thesis, Determining the LIBOR: A Study of Power and Deception. He is currently a senior lecturer in economics and finance at Portsmouth Business School.

Stenfors will release his book, Barometer of Fear: An Insider’s Account of Rogue Trading and the Greatest Banking Scandal in History, later this year.


Katie Williams (865-974-3589

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,