Friday, January 25, 2008

One Man in a Bank

Jerome K's tale of how he lost E5bn for Societe Generale after an argument with his girlfriend must go down as one of the most expensive break-ups in history. He is being described as "a genius of fraud" yet made no money out of it for himself. Facebook, that arbiter of social success, showed that he had 11 friends yesterday morning and none by the end of the day yet this is the man who some say forced the hand of Bernanke and obliged him to cut US interest rates by 0.75%. Jerome is clearly a legend and a man worth knowing.
I went to see The History Boys at the Wyndham last night which was very good. The key message was how important it is to tell young people about poetry, classic songs, films, art and literature which you find moving as, even if they don't appreciate it themselves, they may pass on the information to somebody who does. Pass the parcel of culture down through the generations.


Blogger Eurodog said...

Look at Monsieur le Président de la République and his floosie.

9:58 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

David Mallinson is a friend of mine, and a very good actor too. Saw the original at the National, but I think this production is in some ways superior, and MUCH better than the film was.
And £3.7bn? Small change compared to the REAL sums that the Banks have yet again managed to destroy

12:38 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Yes, that's one helluva revenge.

I try to encourage culture in my household too, it's harder with teenage boys, but they are very au fait with the theatre and the races, I hope they realise there is more to life than football and rugby.

9:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm.. But what do you make of Alan Bennett's remarks about private education ?? I have a lot of sympathy with him, but what is really required is to bring back the Grammar schools.

I just can't see a situation where the only schools in this country are comprehensives, I'm afraid..

11:31 pm  
Blogger marymaryquitecontrary said...

I have not seen the film,I did wonder if you noticed several "goofs." I read that there are at least two books on the library shelves that were not published at the time the film was set in. Did you see the satellite dish on the wall of a house; not around at that time either.

11:54 am  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

I'm taking my mother to see Strictly Come Dancing tomorrow, not terribly cultural, but I hope she will enjoy it.

3:21 pm  
Blogger mutterings and meanderings said...

It wasn't until I watched a piece on the news on Friday that the wider repercussions of what he did became apparent. Scary

11:00 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Oui ED
Hi KL & Mary - I haven't seen the film, nor did I see the original at the National. In fact, I hadn't seen it at all before I went.
Bravo Ellee. Re football, it was cheering to see that boy Potter from Havant be so happy to wear Gerrard's shirt. SCD has had good reviews. I'm sure your Mum will enjoy it.
Hi Anon - yes, grammar schools have their merits but a good teacher anywhere is worth his weight in gold.
Hi M&M - imagine what he would have done had he been a French Revolutionary.

8:23 am  
Blogger Eurodog said...

Actually, WW, perhaps you could shed some light on the expression: "Laughing all the way to the bank".

10:32 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Good point ED! Do they have that expression in French? It should be used by banks who are trying to hire, I think, although most seem to be firing these days (crying all the way from the bank). Commentators are now saying, "When is a trader a rogue trader? When he loses money." The winner seems to be Nicholas Taleb (who's written a couple of very good books about randomness in markets and advising people to expect the unexpected) who apparently gave a briefing to the board of SocGen last year.

10:46 am  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, WW. How the hack did he manage it? Just proves if you are going to be fraudulent, you have to do it big-time!

11:55 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hi WL - he'd worked in the back office first so apparently he knew how to input false trades in the system. Usually there are margin calls (ie some cash has to be paid) on futures trading so it is bizarre that the risk managers didn't pick up the fact that no cash had gone out and that therefore the trades were fictitious. It seems that JK changed his method of entering trades just once, in January, and that this "error" on his part raised the red flag and alerted the internal bank controls.

2:11 pm  

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