Kerviel trial takes turn for Soc Gen

No more Mr. Nice Guy

In another instance, Kerviel had to face margin calls for €2 billon on  unauthorized futures positions. The overdraft stayed in the computer system for three days and nobody noticed. “His boss just checked the desk activities at random, explained the bank’s witness - and not everyday.” The judge was not happy. “We will ask Mr. Kerviel's boss why he had forgotten his glasses,” she snapped.

 Another time, Kerviel was caught giving a fake counterpart name for a fictitious hedge. “No problem”: when asked to correct his mistake, Mr. Nice Guy produced a fabricated e-mail from Deutsche Bank, pretending the German bank was the counterpart. And the back office employees accepted it.... It was the only time during the session when the judge mellowed: “There are too many counterparts to check them all,” she suggested.

 Finally, when a Société Générale witness started answering another question by saying: “Mr. Kerviel's position was visible but not seen and this is normal in the back office,” it was clearly time to call it a day.

 The no-nonsense judge wrapped up the session with a demand that Kerviel's lawyers back up the plot theory they had put forward the day before with “hard evidence and sworn witnesses, … And I want this now,” she yelled. She was promised to be given documents by Friday morning, so she can study them over the weekend. Witnesses should follow by mid-June.

 Reliving the Kerviel episode got us thinking of rogue traders. See our top 10 list of former and current rogues.




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