News today of a catastrophic display of "rogue trading" that threatens to land Société Générale with the mother of all write-downs.
According to the Journal, Mr. Kerviel stitched together an "elaborate string of fictitious transactions" that could result to a $7.2B loss for the bank. If that's not bad enough, the 31-year old trader now seems to have gone missing. Société Générale Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Bouton said Thursday that the bank didn't know Mr. Kerviel's whereabouts, though it was still trying to mop up the path of destruction he had left behind.
No doubt about it – this is a huge loss; and one that dwarfs the sneaky dealings of the infamous Barings trader Nick Leeson in 1995. His escapade led to the phrase "doing a Leeson" entering into the English vernacular. It's unclear whether "doing a Kerviel" will go the same way. Or for that matter, whether Kerviel will see a made for TV movie sometime in the near future along the lines of Rogue Trader.