Jérôme Kerviel’s 900 Mile Walk To Raise Awareness Re: Tyranny Of Financial Markets A Work In ProgressBy Bess Levin
Yes, he’s already two hundred miles in, but with seven hundred to go, there is still plenty of time to hit up like-minded people to pledge just one dollar (or more) for every mile walked, the proceeds of which will go to financial tyranny research and to getting him some Dr. Scholl’s sneaker inserts.
After 10 days, his feet are already bloodied and blistered. But Jérôme Kerviel, the former derivatives trader convicted of causing billions of euros in losses at the French bank Société Générale, is determined to push on with a 900-mile march through Italy and France to protest the “tyranny” of the financial markets he sought to manipulate more than six years ago. Given the global financial crisis that largely overshadowed the losses that nearly crippled his former employer in early 2008, Mr. Kerviel, 37, may now be little more than a footnote in the annals of financial transgression. But with just two weeks before France’s highest court is set to rule on his final appeal, Mr. Kerviel — who could face a three-year prison sentence and have to repay nearly 5 billion euros — is once again in the spotlight after he and his lawyer were granted an audience with Pope Francis last month…
It is ostensibly a personal journey, said David Koubbi, a lawyer for Mr. Kerviel in Paris. But along the way, Mr. Koubbi said, Mr. Kerviel — convicted in 2010 for his role in amassing €50 billion, or $69 billion, in unauthorized trades that produced more than €4.9 billion in losses — has been delivering a message blending defiance and contrition as he makes his way through the Tuscan countryside, at a pace of up to 30 kilometers, or nearly 20 miles, a day. “This walk is intended to denounce the abuses of finance and to relay the pope’s words about the tyranny of the markets,” Mr. Koubbi said, “and to help explain to those who are interested that once it comes to finance, the justice system is greatly flawed.”