Remember Jérôme Kerviel? Trial opens in France

The media hoopla promises to be huge as the three-week trial gets underway in Paris of Jérôme Kerviel, accused of a list of crimes that includes breach of trust and unauthorized use of a computer. Kerviel is the trader who was discovered in January 2008 to have lost €4.9bn at Société Générale, before the world’s banking system as a whole went haywire. The saga of one young man nearly pulling down a large French bank was headline news for weeks, but Kerviel then dropped out of the news, eclipsed by the fall of Lehman Brothers and then the global financial crisis as it unfolded. But now the question resurfaces, with implications for banks that were not as clear in early 2008: could one trader, acting alone, really gamble half the value of a large bank without his superiors knowing about it? The bank’s lawyers say yes, while Kerviel’s say no. Stay tuned.

Links to other sites: Euronews, Financial Times, Guardian, Le Monde (Fre)