Tears of the trader ‘who gam­bled away £4bn’

Daily Mail - - sandra Parsons -

ROGUE trader Jerome Kerviel wept yes­ter­day as he ap­peared in court ac­cused of los­ing £4bil­lion.

The 33-year-old, dubbed a ‘fi­nan­cial ter­ror­ist’, faces up to five years in prison for what has been de­scribed as one of the biggest fi­nan­cial frauds in his­tory.

He is charged with forgery and fraud­u­lent use of the com­puter sys­tem at So­ci­ete Gen­erale, France’s sec­ond largest bank.

Out­side the Paris court, Kerviel in­sisted he was ‘a man who ac­knowl­edges his wrong­do­ings but re­fuses to pay for a fi­nan­cial sys­tem gone mad’.

His lawyer Olivier Met­zner said that his client’s ‘sole mo­tive was to make money for the bank’.

Kerviel told the court: ‘We lived to meet my tar­gets. The sup­port of my bosses kept me go­ing.’

By the time of his ar­rest in Janu- ary 2008, Kerviel’s gam­bles on Euro­pean in­dex fu­tures were said to to­tal around £42bil­lion – one quar­ter of the bank’s en­tire mar­ket value.

SocGen has ac­cused Kerviel of be­ing a ‘fi­nan­cial ter­ror­ist’, mak­ing unau­tho­rised deals which far ex­ceeded his trad­ing lim­its and then try­ing to cover them up with fake emails and false claims to con­trollers.

But al­though he ad­mits tak­ing ‘ex­ces­sive risks’, Kerviel in­sists the bank made him a scape­goat when the scale of the deals be­came pub­lic.

‘I was wrong and com­mit­ted er­rors, faults even, but I was se­ri­ous and ef­fi­cient at work and the fact my bosses pro­tected me and I was pro­moted dur­ing my short ca­reer shows this,’ he wrote in his re­cently pub­lished mem­oir.

Charges: Jerome Kerviel

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