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Pope Francis, Rogue Trader Have A Chat

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Rogue trader Jerome Kerviel may have fallen from grace in the banking world. Inside Vatican City, however, he was granted a brief audience Wednesday with Pope Francis himself. Mr. Kerviel, the former Société Générale trader convicted of making unauthorized trades in 2008 that cost his bank €4.9 billion, was among the handful of pilgrims who got to personally meet the pontiff at the close of his general audience in St. Peter's Square, according to his lawyer David Koubbi. Mr. Koubbi declined to comment on what the former trader and the leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics had to say to one another. Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said he was unaware if the pope met the disgraced trader, adding that Mr. Kerviel wasn't "prominent" enough to have been named in the pontiff's official guest list for the day. Father Lombardi added that the Argentine pontiff regularly meets with convicts inside his residence as part of the pontiff's outreach to the downtrodden. Mr. Kerviel was one of thousands of people who attended Pope Francis' weekly public audience on Wednesday. After the general audience came to a close, however, the former trader was part of very a select group of people that get to line up and individually greet the pontiff, a practice known as the baciamano, or "hand kiss." [WSJ]