Rogue trader defense in France. We all did it

I was a poor lost boy among the wolves, it's deeply tragic

Jérôme Kerviel managed to lose nearly €5 billion for his employer, Société Générale. He goes on trial today and his defense will be, everyone lied, cheated, and phonied up the books, so why single him out?

In other words, Mr Kerviel and his lawyers will try to turn France’s financial trial of the century into something even bigger: a trial of the world banking industry. They may succeed.

He’s has written a book, appears to be somewhat of a folk hero, and there’s even been a comic book about him.

Mr Kerviel admits the facts but denies the charges. He will plead not guilty. He will argue that his superiors knew what he was doing and that forging documents, breaking limits and loading “fake trades” was standard practice at Société Générale (and not only there).

Ah, yes. The “We’re all sociopaths now” defense. This conveniently ignores that he repeatedly entered fake trades and used forgeries. Hey, but what’s a little crime among the criminal bankster class? Happens all the time, he says, and besides he was just Little Boy Lost, a sheep among the wolves. Sniff. Pass me a hanky.

Really, what will our bankster class do if they aren’t allowed to break laws with impunity? It’s really quite tragic. Kerviel is just another amoral thug, devoid of ethics, who now in classic sociopath style is trying to blame his criminality on everyone but himself.

But he may bring down quite a few others along with himself. Because he’s right. His higher-ups are pond scum too.

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