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When France finds a rogue appealing

Stephen Beard Mar 18, 2008


Doug Krizner: Remember Jerome Kerviel? He’s the rogue trader who lost more than $7 billion for the French bank Societe Generale. For the last five weeks, Kerviel’s been in jail. Well today, a Paris court granted him bail. And as Stephen Beard reports, it’s a blow to French authorities.

Stephen Beard: Kerviel was jailed five weeks ago. His former employer had argued successfully in court that the trader might flee. But now, the French Court of Appeal has ordered his release as the police enquiries continue.

The order is a setback for the bank. Anxious to move on after the biggest rogue trader scandal in history, the bank preferred Kerviel out of sight in jail.

But Sophie Pedder of the Economist Magazine says the trader’s release will be popular with the French public.

Sophie Pedder: There’s a popular distrust of capitalism which is very widespread and almost a sort of sense of glee when companies start making huge losses or there is someone who has humiliated a big financial institution.

Kerviel, who’s been accused of illegally accessing the bank’s computers, has even been offered a job by a French computer company.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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