Kerviel's "evidence" kind of shaky

Though the Paris Appeal Court was not in session Friday, Jerome Kerviel's lawyer, David Koubbi, gave, as he promised, what he calls evidence demanded by the head judge to back up his theory of a plot hatched by Société Générale against his client.

Namely, it was two documents, one being an analysis (made by the defense) of operations undertaken to unwind the rogue trader’s positions  (resulting in a  €4.9 billion loss, or $6.4 billion, for the French bank in 2008). The other document is a statement, written - with lots of spelling mistakes -  by an anonymous person who supports the plot theory.

Will this fly? This is highly unlikely, unless the anonymous source of information shows up as a witness. This is another promise made by Kerviel's lawyer. Société Générale has already discarded the two documents, calling them “delirious”.

In any case, the appeal trial could be an uphill battle for Kerviel, as Société Générale bases its arguments against Kerviel on documented facts (his fraudulent trades, for example), which he does not deny, while Kerviel can only try to suggest that it was all about  “philosophy”, in other words, the bank's risk culture. Facts against “filosophy” (as the anonymous source might spell it!) : we will see which of the two prevails at the end of the trial, on June 28.


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

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