Reports have emerged that the rogue trader responsible for the EUR5 billion trading loss at Société Générale is 30-year-old Frenchman Jérome Kerviel. Apparently sources within the bank leaked the name to the press.
The incident is, inevitably, being compared with previous rogue traders, particularly Barings Bank rogue trader Nick Leeson.
In his article, the FT's
John Gapper explores the "striking" similarities between the cases. Not least that both Leeson and Kerviel worked in back offices before being promoted to traders and both used knowledge of the back office (and in Kerviel's the case the middle office too)
to conceal losses, etc.
Like Leeson, Kerviel is set to become infamous for his actions at SocGen and could profit handsomely from the incident down the line.
In the absence of Kerviel to interview and interrogate, newspapers and broadcasters are bidding big money for interviews with Leeson, according to a
Leeson cuurently earns up to £6000 for appearing as an after dinner speaker, says the report. Now his UK agent Neil Martin has reportedly said that Leeson will give "a limited number of interviews" to the highest bidders.
As well as speaking on the after dinner circuit, Leeson heads up Galway Football Club and is also
reported to be a regular Internet poker player on the Celebpoker gambling site.
As pointed out in the Reuters report, Leeson's own
Web site states that he was able to "capitalise on his experiences" and was paid a "substantial fee" for the newspaper serialisation of his book 'Rogue Trader', which was later turned into a film.
So once he comes out of the other side of this mess, Kerviel could make a fair bit on the book, film rights, t-shirt etc. He could even try selling some of his memorabilia on eBay - like a
trader's jacket perhaps?
But in the meantime Kerviel could perhaps benefit from spending a bit of time reading Leeson's self-help book - 'Back from the Brink - Coping with Stress'.