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Investing 101 – An Introduction to FX Fraud

May 26, 2009

The CFTC charged Robert Watson, a Finance Professor at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School with orchestrating a multi-million dollar fraudulent off-exchange foreign currency scheme. The Complaint (click here) alleges that Watson generated fictitious account statements, lied about performance, and, not surprisingly, lost lots of money.

Intrigued by Professor Watson’s extracurricular activities, Rocky visited the Texas A&M Website, but discovered all mention of Professor Watson had been purged. (So much for the presumption of innocence … and the value of tenure.)
Professor Watson’s Google cache page remains.

Woody Allen (perhaps unfairly) said, “Those who can’t do, teach.” In this case, that may be especially troubling. It sure would be interesting to see Professor Watson’s final exam questions!

[Update: Texas A&M just posted the following on their website: “Watson was misidentified as an executive professor of finance at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School. Watson resigned from his position effective April 30, 2009 citing family reasons.” This may explain his absence on the Texas A&M website, but the revelation is not reassuring as he was evidently an adjunct professor hired to teach based on “real-world” experience.]

  1. masteroftheuniverse
    May 26, 2009 at 5:16 pm


    Despite the recent brushes with the law by certain members of my family, I will go on record saying that Robert Watson of Texas is not related to me. I’ve already gotten 3 e-mails asking if that guy was my uncle. I had to reply that no, the Robert Watson who is my uncle was busted for smuggling rare pelts into the country from Mexico……He’s the last of the great white hunters:)

    Nobody in my family perpetrates scams, we generally lose money in them.


  2. allocator
    May 26, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Following the “those who can’t do, teach” logic, I could be pulling down six-figures teaching classes on how to make a million dollars in commodities … (hint: start with two million) 🙂


  3. May 26, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    It never occurred to Rocky that you were related to this scam. He further presumes that your son is not a friend of Sherlock Holmes, and that your comment about Great White Hunters is actually a cryptic reference to The Simpsons TV show. 😉

  4. May 26, 2009 at 6:23 pm


    Excellent point. However, it’s actually quite difficult to *consistently* lose money. Finance theory (as taught by Professor Watson) shows that it should be just as difficult to consistently lose (without achieving unwanted profits) as it is to consistently win. He evidently dealt with that theoretical hurdle with theft. QED

  5. masteroftheuniverse
    May 26, 2009 at 6:56 pm


    I must like the difficult path:)


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