Saturday, January 26, 2008

Le trader "rogue"

You've all heard about Jerome Kerviel, the "rogue" trader at SocGen who did some things he shouldn't have done and lost his employer Societe Generale a few billion dollars. His actions also supposedly spurred Benny B into cutting rates last week. Wow, what a guy.

This "rogue" trader has been described a junior trader. Yet this junior trader has access to billions and billions of dollars to do with as he pleased. I don't buy it. I don't buy this lone gunman theory for a second. I don't buy that none of his superiors noticed that what he was doing. I have worked at a couple of banks in my day and security is pretty damn tight. There are triggers and flags set up to detect this kind of stuff and for much lower amounts. Trading managers' only job is to watch what their traders, and especially junior traders do all day. I don't for a second believe that SocGen didn't have the flags set up to alert trading managers what was going on.

Sure they're French, but even the French aren't that incompetent. No seriously, even the French. Yes those French. Stop laughing.

What I suspect was going on was this: the "rogue" trades being made were good trades for the most part. His bets were the right bets. His superiors knew fully well what was happening but turned a blind eye. It's when he started losing that all hell broke out and all of a sudden his "rogueness" was discovered.

Now all this will be swept away. Poor old Jerome will go to jail for a year or two. His bosses will get their $10M bonuses and the story will go away. Justice will once again be served.

1 comment:

Malcolm said...

This story almost demands a nickname.

I’ve picked “Evel Kerviel”, daredevil trader.

Feel free to steal the photoshop from my blog if you want to use it.