Monday, January 28, 2008

Unwinding the Trades at France's Societe Generale Bank

Jerome Kerviel, the "Rogue Trader" at France's Societe Generale Bank.

“Unwinding Kerviel’s trades” means looking after Societe General’s money and to hell with everyone else! The bank secreted Kerviel’s activities until they could cut their billion dollar losses and hedge against further declines. In “unwinding” their positions, however, Soc. Gen. dumped a whole bunch of losing positions on the markets, which triggered massive programmed trading and panic which spread across the Atlantic. Many economic analysts say that the precipitous market decline in European trading is what moved the U.S. Fed Reserve to cut an unprecedented .75 percentage points.

The financial, political, and legal arithmetic has not yet been calculated. “Covering your ass” seems to be the rule, particularly in countries which are less transparent than the U.S. The French Federal Reserve seems to be acting like a doting and enabling parent. Boys will be boys, ha-ha! Soc. Gen. lost only 8 or 9 billion, but the market lost trillions in its recent decline, though not all of that can be attributed to hapless, feckless and criminal Jerome.

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