Funny Business with Jane Wells

When TV Live Shots Go Wrong

Note to traders.

If your desk is anywhere near the so-called "flash cam" or "trader cam" on the trading floor—the camera set up to allow live television interviews—be careful what you have on your computer screen. Actually, be careful what you have on your computer screen no matter where your desk is.

An interview this morning on Australia's 7 News with Macquarie private wealth advisor Martin Lakos has gone viral faster than the swine flu.

A rather typical (dull) discussion of Australian interest rates suddenly came alive when a trader sitting behind Lakos is seen 'trolling the web for nude photos. The guy can be seen mid-screen on the left, and the image in question pops up around 1:04 into the interview (Warning: This may not be safe for work).

The photo onscreen is reportedly of model Miranda Kerr. The trader eventually clicks for a fullscreen, fully nude view. Well, he's only human. Then, right before the interview with Lakos ends, the trader turns around and realizes THERE'S A FREAKIN' TELEVISION INTERVIEW GOING ON.

While the anchor did not appear to notice anything amiss, someone else sure did.

That "someone" apparently hit "rewind" on the DVR and reshot the live interview to better highlight what was going on in the background.

Who knew discussing interest rates could be so interesting?

The UK Guardian describes the guy at the desk as "a balding banker"--SNAP!--adding, "Although the images hardly constitute pornography, Macquarie Bank is unamused." The bank is investigating, and a spokesman told The Australian newspaper, "Macquarie has strict policies in place surrounding the use of technology and the issue arising from today's live cross on 7 News is being dealt with internally." Perhaps the trader can tell them he was checking assets or spread sheets...

As I said, even the anchor appeared to have missed it, and maybe she was not alone. I mean, it is conceivable others weren't paying close attention to a discussion which included such mesmerizing tidbits as, "Keep in mind, 3 percent cash rates, which is where they were at their low, was very accommodative"--zzzzzzzzzz.

Sorry, what were you saying?


Update:Turns out it's not only happening on trading floors. The Washington Times reports the SEC has discovered 1,800 attempts to surf for porn over 17 days ... at just one of its computers.

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