Commentary - 01/24/2008

Société Générale: Sometimes The Dragon Wins

Do not mis-understand "Sometimes The Dragon Wins."
It is meant to be sympathetic, rather than arrogant.
With that thought, today's presentation goes to Jerome Kerviel.

Today's Headlines:

Societe Generale Reports EU4.9 Billion Trading Loss
Societe Generale SA said unauthorized bets on stock index futures by an unidentified employee caused a 4.9 billion-euro ($7.2 billion) trading loss, the largest in banking history.

Futures Trader Accused in $7B Bank Fraud
A "30-something" futures trader who worked on his bank's security systems and then allegedly used his skills to bypass those safeguards was accused Thursday of perpetrating one of the largest banking frauds in history. Societe Generale -- France's second largest bank -- said it uncovered a "massive" $7.14 billion fraud carried off by a futures trader who duped investors and bank officials and outwitted the bank's security programs.

SocGen sources name trader in alleged fraud
The trader at the heart of an alleged 4.9 billion euro (3.7 billion pound) fraud at French bank Societe Generale has been identified as Jerome Kerviel, three sources within the company said on Thursday.

The Dragon's Identity? Who knows, but clues abound.

Worries That the Good Times Were Mostly a Mirage
So, how bad could this get? Until a few months ago, it was accepted wisdom that the American economy functioned far more smoothly than in the past. Economic expansions lasted longer, and recessions were both shorter and milder. Inflation had been tamed. The spreading of financial risk, across institutions and around the world, had reduced the odds of a crisis.

© 2008 by Edward Ulysses Cate
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