Saturday, December 26, 2020

Job Interview Questions: Plus 500

I gave someone a quick job interview today. It was kind of miserable except the kid was enthusiastic and came with a lot of (what he thought were) good ideas.

Chief amongst his good ideas was to short XRP - the crypto-currency associated with Ripple.

His case was primarily "have you read the SEC complaint?"

Anyway my concern wasn't that. It was how do I actually execute this trade? What broker would I leave my collateral with to do this and why should I trust this broker.

The problem is acute. I am most likely to win in this trade in the event of a collapse in crypto-currencies generally - and that is the time the broker is most likely to default and wind up not paying me.

I can imagine it being a really bad trade whatever the market outcome. If I am wrong and crypto just keeps going up I will lose money. If I crypto collapses I can't collect my winnings - indeed I just lose my collateral.

Okay - his thought - do it at a broker which is not crypto-dominated. He thought Plus 500 which he told me was ASIC regulated. (ASIC is the Australian securities regulator.)

The ASIC regulated status I was amused by. They have never been particularly good at hunting debacles before they happened. And beside Plus 500 is an Israel/Cyprus operation listed in London - and is rather hard for ASIC to regulate properly. I could just imagine the ASIC officer trying get a holiday in Cyprus on the public purse because he wanted to do a site visit...

Whatever - he was convinced.

And so I left him a task. Could he analyse Plus 500. It is a listed company. Could he tell me whether I should own the stock or whether I should trust it with my precious collateral.

The accounts are public after all.

Does anyone think this is a reasonable task for a job applicant?

Asking for a friend.


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