Thursday, 24 January 2008

Face of the day: Jerome Kerviel


It was a close run thing with Peter Hain (hatip to Guido)...but this guy wins out. I do have a sneaking respect someone who can blow $7 billion, especially for a French Bank!

17 comments:

Steven_L said...

It's can't be that difficult to blow $7 billion. I've just spent some of the day amusing myself trading pretend money on one of these simulators.

One firm gave me £100k to bet on some sort of highly leveraged upy-downy thing I didn't really understand.

Anyway, I put on a bet with an £80k margin and went out the room for 5 minutes, when I came back I was $8,000 up - with £80k capital - in 5 f***ing minutes.

If you have the balance sheet of a huge bank as your 'margin' I'd expect you only have to make a coffee, go for a fag and get chatting in the smoking area for a few minutes by the time $7 billion has been wiped out.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Nick Leeson, except he didn't break the bank.

CityUnslicker said...

Steven - quite money makes money. There is a guy called Robert Tchenguiz who has lost £560 million out of £800 million in the last few months!

CityUnslicker said...

Matt Re Leeson, let see what happens to Soc Gen!

Old BE said...

I am impressed by this bloke. He seems to have spotted the flaws in the system and run with them. Nick Leeson was an amateur compared to this guy.

Are Soc Gen state owned?

CityUnslicker said...

no they are not Ed, so they really are in trouble.

Perhaps the French can ask Darling for some advice on nationalisation

Old BE said...

Well if French banks get in trouble Sarkozy will be itching to trash the state aid rules...

Anonymous said...

Seeing as it is a Frog bank...he is a hero

Anonymous said...

Why would anybody in their right mind now want to do business with SocGen?

The beuty of the free market is that you can choose to avoid companies that exhibit a low level of competence.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I am impressed! That knocks the forgotten heroes like Toshihide Iguchi ($1 bn), Jürgen Schneider (DM 5 bn) and Yasuo Hamanaka (£2.6 bn) into a cocked hat.

Jerome K - you rock!

Anonymous said...

Who was on the other side of the derivatives and benefited from the $7bn capital transfer from France - should pay a few bonuses.

As for the closing out of the position another triumph for Gallic incompetence I suspect. I wonder who was responsible for that?

Steven_L said...

$580 million? Ouch, I lost about 10,000 pretend dollars last night betting on oil futures.

I guess it's what Guardian columnists call 'turbo capitalism', it reminded me more of 'turbo roulette'. There I sat, watching the screen on my laptop flashing red and blue, and my losses accumilating at the rate of $100 every time the price went a cent higher.

If that had been real money there is no way I would have got out of bed for the next few weeks.

Is this Tchenguiz bloke Chinese? Will they shoot him like they did their food and drugs bod?

Anonymous said...

Interesting summary of the Kerviel story on wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_Kerviel


The implication is that SocGen was probably more to blame for the losses as it seems their actions caused key stocks involved to plummet in value - so much so that they caused the 6% fall in stock prices on the 21st Jan.

So not only has Kerviel probably fatally wounded SocGen but he caused Ben Bernanke to make a huge panic reduction in interest rates.

Nick Drew said...

RS, I've heard of scapegoating but China had started falling before Europe came on that morning, and that would be some conspiracy.

At most, SocGen's unwinding contributed a bit to Monday's losses. Even more likely, they found out about it earlier, and quietly closed out with as little fuss as possible over several days, that's what I'd have done.

Anyway, I very much doubt the Fed was responding to Monday's events. A 0.75% reduction had been mooted openly last week (can't immediately find the reference but I know this is the case, I'd discussed it with several people before the weekend).

Anonymous said...

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