Navinder Singh Sarao, the British trader who was arrested Tuesday in connection with the 2010 “Flash Crash” that saw US markets plunge 9% for a 20-minute period, treated markets “like a video game,” according to former colleagues who spoke to the Times.
The Times says Sarao previously worked at a proprietary trading outfit called Futex.
Here’s a snippet from the article, which paints Sarao as somewhat of a cheapskate despite the insane profits he was allegedly raking in:
Mr Sarao rarely arrived in the office, in Woking, before 10am so that he could avoid having to pay peak train fares. He would sit at his desk with a hoodie pulled up, rarely eating before late in the afternoon so that he could avoid paying for a full-price sandwich.
The contrast between the parsimonious man in front of the screen and the profits or losses of up to £500,000 on the screen became a source of mirth among fellow traders in the office. Adam Whiting, a Futex trader who sat next to Mr Sarao for six months, wrote yesterday on Twitter: “One thing I will say is Nav used to wear a tracksuit every day, even when an early millionaire!”
There’s also a comment from a neighbour which matches the Financial Times’ report that Sarao drove a battered green car.
It certainly doesn’t sound like Sarao was living the usual lifestyle of someone making the sort of cash US authorities are claiming he did.
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