Rogue Trader at Societe Generale Gets 3 Years

Rogue Trader at Societe Generale Gets 3 Years
Rogue Trader at Societe Generale Gets 3 Years

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By Nicola Clark
The New York Times
October 5, 2010

PARIS -- When a French judge on Tuesday sentenced Jerome Kerviel, the 
former Societe Generale trader, to three years in prison and ordered him 
to repay =E2=82=AC4.9 billion in restitution to the bank, the collective gasp 
from the courtroom clearly signaled that the question of who bears 
responsibility for banks=E2=80=99 aggressive risk-taking in the build-up to the 
global financial crisis is far from resolved.

The verdict, legal experts said, has once again laid bare the deep 
distrust among the French public of its elites and its financial 
institutions =E2=80=94 a suspicion that has only strengthened in the years since 
the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis brought about the multibillion-dollar 
bailouts of many of the world=E2=80=99s leading financial lights.

=E2=80=9CIt really does hold him solely responsible, which is probably the most 
debatable part of the decision,=E2=80=9D said Christopher Mesnooh, an 
international lawyer with Field Fisher Waterhouse in Paris. =E2=80=9CThe message 
from the court is that Societe Generale =E2=80=94 a leading jewel of the French 
banking sector -- did not act irresponsibly, but was the victim of a 
rogue trader.=E2=80=9D

Mr. Kerviel, 33, whose =E2=82=AC50 billion, or $69 billion at current exchange 
rates, in rogue dealings almost brought about the French bank=E2=80=99s demise, 
was convicted on all counts of breach of trust, forgery and unauthorized 
use of computer systems. The court sentenced him to five years, with two 
suspended, and barred him for life from working in financial services.


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