Superstar FX Trader Whiz-kid Nothing But A Superspending Ponzi Fraud

Tyler Durden's picture

Who can forget the amazing story of Alex Hope which was all the rage two years ago? Actually considering how short reader, institutional and certainly vacuum tube memories have become, perhaps everyone. So here is a reminder.

The UK's Daily Mirror newspaper has uncovered the FX trader who dropped over $300k in a Scouse club. It is a 23-year old 'self-taught' barrow-boy named (somewhat ironically in our view) Alex Hope. Self-described as "talented (three years in and a six-figure salary, hhmm), charismatic (its amazing how much 'charisma' a GBP125k bottle of bubbly will buy), and thoroughly likeable (ditto) man. Alex Hope exudes knowledge..." and is willing to share it with you according to his website. How did he become this B.S.D. of the FX markets? "I took two months off my job at Wembley, got really obsessed with reading charts and got the guts to start trading properly." This self-made rosy-cheeked young man with a penchant for mind-numbingly-arrogant-looking photos on his website may have just become the poster boy for all that is 'great' about the free market...

And the obligatory shot of a pensive trader next to many screens with his thumb on his chin, which is supposed to give him more credibility:


Actually, as it turns out, Alex' "success" had little if anything to do with the perversion and idiocy of what Bernanke and central-planning crew have done to the capital markets (which do their best to encourage daily trading perfection by such specimens as Virtu algos, Bank of America's Calcutta trading desk and the E*trade baby), and everything to do with a certain Italian who arrived in the US in 1903, only to take the world of financial criminals, Keynesians and central bankers by storm: one Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi.

Because as it turns out young master Hope, who struck the proverbial gold at the tender age of 23, was nothing more than the latest Ponzi schemer whose only success in life was finding the absolute, and quite rich, idiots who believed his lies. Well, that, and being able to transform himself from a catering manager working at Wembley Stadium into an FX trader.... even if a fake, criminal and absolutely terrible FX trader. Daily Mail reports:

A catering manager who posed as a City whizzkid to run a £5.6million Ponzi fraud spent £2million on champagne, nightclubs and casinos, a court heard yesterday.


Alex Hope, 25, told investors he could make them a fortune from foreign exchange trades. But the ‘City high-flier’ was in reality a former catering manager at Wembley Stadium.

He used the cash from investors as his ‘personal piggy-bank’, spending £125,000 on a single bottle of champagne – a Nebuchadnezzar, which holds 15 litres – Southwark Crown Court heard.

He repaid them using cash from new investors in the fraudulent Forex scheme.

So, nothing more than a young apprentice of the likes of Bernie Madoff and Ben Bernanke. But who can blame him?

Here's a before picture:


and after:


Because obviously all it takes to fool rich, easily-swayed idiots is a guy chugging hundreds of thousands of dollars in booze and hanging out with bobos. No, really:

Hope frittered away almost £1million in casinos and racked up bar bills of £500,000 mixing with stars at exclusive nightclubs after he reinvented himself as a Forex trader.


He boasted of his rags to riches story in the Daily Telegraph in May 2011, claiming he made his fortune after reading a book on how to trade currencies during his commute to Wembley.


Prosecutor Sarah Clarke said: ‘He promised investors and potential investors huge returns. In truth this was not a real trading scheme at all... it was a classic Ponzi fraud. He used their funds as his personal piggy-bank. A massive amount was spent on himself.’


‘The investors who put in the money in good faith had no idea this was happening.’


The jury heard that Hope paid a PR company £3,000 a month to promote his image as a successful trader.

He bragged about his financial wizardry, claiming he made £600 profit on his first day of trading the dollar against sterling and in only two and a half months his initial £500 stake had grown to £2,500.


Jurors were played a showreel video of Hope in which he boasted of his success saying: ‘You don’t get many young people working in the City doing what I do. I like to do a lot for people – I’m not doing this just to make money for my business but also to create jobs for others.’ The film, produced by his cohort Raj Von Badlo, was uploaded on YouTube in February 2012 while Hope was trading losses of £500,000 and had liabilities of nearly £2million.

And so on.

But his most impressive success? "Hope got through £2million in the 13 months before his arrest in early 2012." That somehow between PR clips, photo shoots, and hypnotizing new clients with his unambiguous "charm and likability", he managed to blow through over $3 million in just over a year is truly a commendable achievement, all else being equal.

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EggSlayer's picture

What a good post. I'm glad you were able to get the first one. I'm going to give you a like so maybe you can fall asleep a bit easier tonight.

Pure Evil's picture

You know you're finally a Wall Street success story when you can take a selfie at a party with a drunken whore.

clooney_art's picture

"These financial criminals are just in the minority like the terrorists." They are just capitalists.

Say What Again's picture

You know who clearly is the smartest in the room are the strippers, hosts, and other bimbos at these clubs.  You can tell them what ever you want about how you made your fortune, and they could care less.  As long as you are buying overpriced booze, which translates to commissions for them, they will dance with you and pose for pictures.  As soon as you're broke, they move on to the next millionaire.  Now THAT is smart in action.

jbvtme's picture

looks christian for a refreshing change

gmrpeabody's picture

There must be some mistake, that guy is my financial advisor...

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Looks like the dude has a hard on in the 2nd photo. What will he tell his 300 lb cell mate in jail when he has a hard on?

old naughty's picture

so, are we enter-tainted, yet?

Mind fxxking is such a big job, no?

dannyboy's picture

One thing people forgot was that this guys twitter had a nice steady stream of re-tweets from zerohedge..


Does this mean PR firms associate "Successful Traders" with zerohedge? Or that knowing about zerohedge and re-tweeting their posts is a sign of financial understanding.


Either way I find this highly amusing and interesting, afterall we are just a bunch of right wing crazy conspiracy theorists.

Joebloinvestor's picture

I think it is their pimps that are the smartest.

Christophe2's picture

Most cunning, rather than smartest: ultimately, pimps live shitty lives trying to maintain their domination and use all the people around them, and hence none of them are happy.  How smart is that?

RafterManFMJ's picture

Damnit! I missed out again - or is his fund still open?

Wahooo's picture

Sounds like...yes it is, I'm sure it is, yes the sound of a nail gun going off.

AndrewJacksonsGhost's picture

Hey look, a lefty suggesting that capitalism is criminal........sounds so typical to me.

Pure Evil's picture

Great legs though, she can wrap her claws around my hot flagon anytime she wants.

And, with the size of her lips she probably knows how to guzzle a jizz or two of the bubbly.

BKbroiler's picture

at least the hooker's honest in her trade.

"I don't pay them for sex, I pay them to leave"

- Charlie Sheen

Quus Ant's picture

All the money in the world won't make you attractive or your dick any less miniscule. 

I think that's what makes these assholes so molevolent.  The game promises what it can't deliver.

BKbroiler's picture

I'm not sure.  If you're rich and get a ton of action do you really care if you're ugly or have a small dick?

Quus Ant's picture

uhh, yeah.  do you think human nature goes out the window because of a few benjamins?

Wherever you go- there you are.  Every millimeter.

Flux's picture

Actually, human nature responds very well to cash moreso than a big dick.

I've tested this, actually.

In Japan.

Now, I could tell you the details, but a big dick ... after the initial wow factor ... proved a liability.



BKbroiler's picture

do you think human nature goes out the window because of a few benjamins?

I'm pretty damn sure of it.

Harbanger's picture

No, Greed and envy is part of human nature, so you're wrong.  Let me tell you something, owning a big hard dick and a brain to control and know how to use it goes a long way in building relationships.  It's a manly gift, I'm saying this in my most worldly sense.

BKbroiler's picture

Well congrats on your big hard dick but my point was that I don't think being ugly and small keeps them up at night or stops them from enjoying their money.  That kind of insecurity is usually resolved by then...

Harbanger's picture

As a real man, you inherently know your power despite all the BS in our media driven culture.  You want a chick that knows and wants you for who you truly are.  She knows it, you know it.  Money can't buy this.

Quus Ant's picture

Well said, Harbanger.  I'm tripping over my own dick here- trying to reply and entertain my kid at the same time, but that says it about as well as it can be said. 

The game promises what it can't deliver.

logicalman's picture

Real human beings know that what's between their ears is more important than what's between their legs.

Harbanger's picture

Yes, when they overcome their worldliness and walk with God, logicalman.

Quus Ant's picture

sigh.... Sure some skanky hoes will line up to suck your small dick and spend your money.  I'm talking about the psychological effects of knowing this. 

further reading:  George Carlin "The Bigger Dick Foreign Policy"

Quus Ant's picture

damn..... these guys need to learn some self love.

Flux's picture

Anyone who actually has a big dick will know that it's a liability and not a blessing.

You've been watching too much porn.

sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

You know you're finally a Wall Street success story when you can take a selfie at a party with a drunken whore.

Was Blythe Masters at that party?

MeMongo's picture

mongo thinks thats a thai lady boy, but no judging from mongo :-)

Jam Akin's picture

Actually Mongo a bit of online research indicates that the "lady" is one Layla Flaherty, a mixed-race Irish "scripted reality show star"...30 yo, 5'-11", and just a wee bit on the wild side...

Buck Johnson's picture

I guess in his mind I'll go out with a bang and enjoy life with other people money. 

JuliaS's picture

Let me save you the trouble of googling this mofo:

VD's picture

THE ENTIRE MARKET IS A PONZI THX TO THE FED & GOV.....this fatso is small time when u compare him to the real fraudsters like Bernanki, Yellen, Dimon et al.

chinoslims's picture

How Come people are always listing tribe members?

VD's picture

ask Barry and maybe even f_s -- oh wait...

Jumbotron's picture

I wonder which cost more.....the bottle of champagne or that whore in the picture ?

1stepcloser's picture

What cost the most was how much he had to pay her to shove that bottle up her twat, then give him a Puss shot.  Thats was big dollars

slightlyskeptical's picture

What Harley Motorcycle riders have to do with this?

Pure Evil's picture

Actually, in the first photo he's pinching himself really hard so as not to break out laughing.

Slave's picture

Yeah, pinching his butthole around the cock jammed up his ass.

Never One Roach's picture

"The Best and the Brightest'.....

LetThemEatRand's picture

The only difference between this guy and Jamie Dimon is that Jamie spent some of his ill-gotten loot on politicians.