Full video: Barclays foreign-exchange trader hurls abuse at Chinese workers
November 11th, 2012
Here is the video that cost Barclays head of foreign-exchange strategy, Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, his job.
Foul-mouthed trader Olivier Desbarres was captured on camera outside his house in Wimborne Road, in Singapore’s Katong district, hurling abuse, racist slurs, physical threats and sheets of zinc at Chinese construction workers. The incident occurred at about 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 20. Nine days later, after bosses had reviewed footage of Desbarres’s ill-judged histrionics, the Frenchman was fired.
The video that captured his rant, initially uploaded on the Singapore citizen-journalism website Stomp, went viral and has now finally made it way onto YouTube (see above).
Here’s how the incident was reported by Martin Vaughan in the Wall Street Journal:
This year has been a public relations nightmare already for Barclays, but it only seems to get worse … The bank has dismissed a senior Singapore-based banker after a video surfaced on the Internet showing him in an expletive-laced tirade at a construction site adjacent to his home.
The firing of Olivier Desbarres, former head of FX strategy for Asia Pacific excluding Japan at Barclays, was first reported by the Times’ City Diary blog. A former colleague confirmed the banker was shown the door after Barclays executives viewed the clip.
Darrell Wright, a spokesman for Barclays, declined to comment on the matter. Attempts to reach Desbarres via mobile phone and Facebook were unsuccessful.
Unison Construction, the firm whose workers were threatened, filed a police report after the incident, a spokeswoman for the firm said. The Singapore Police Force is investigating, a police spokesman said.
In the clip, Desbarres … threatens workers at the site, lambasting them as “animals, Chinese [expletive] animals.”
“I’m going to go after you. I’m going to burn your [expletive] house down with your [expletive] people in it,” Desbarres is shown shouting. “I will find your [expletive] family. I can find it very easily, I am a man with resources.” He then is shown hurling a sheet of metal into a pit. Construction workers standing out of range on the opposite side of the pit filmed the outburst …
Past incidents of aggressive behavior by expats have sparked outrage among the local population, including a 2010 attack on a taxi driver by an Australian, a Briton and a New Zealander. One of the men charged in that attack turned himself in to authorities in September after being on the lam since last year.
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