The Financial Times reports that Daniel Bouton, the Chairman and CEO over at Societe Generale in 2008, at the time of Jerome Kerviel's $6.18bn trading loss, told a French court Thursday that 'the sky fell in' when he learned the extent of the problem:
'It was completely unbelieveable', he said. '(The bank was in) mortal danger'.
Bouton was on the stand at Kerviel's appeal hearing (the former trader is seeking to overturn a 3-year jail sentence).
Reuters reports that, dismissing Kerviel's allegations that his superiors knew of his trading positions as 'rubbish', Bouton told the court in hushed tones that the bank's risk managers and back-office staff never stood a chance against the trader's manipulations.
'Every new job we created for our trading floor was matched by two at the back office...But even all of this, your honour, could never have protected against this kind of risk', said Bouton, to which a smartly-dressed Kerviel responded with a smile.
Calling Kerviel a 'great deceiver', Bouton added: 'When your own colleague stitches you up...That's when you know you must change your organisation'.
Finally, the news agency reports that a U.S. appeals court judges in New York on Thursday expressed reluctance to grant a defense request to toss out the conviction of a former Societe Generale trader imprisoned for stealing proprietary computer trading code belonging to the French bank.
A lawyer for Samarth Agrawal, 29, told a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that they should free his client just as they did a former Goldman Sachs programmer several months ago.
Agrawal has been in custody since his arrest by the FBI in April 2010.