Two-thousand and eight, and a number of the years that followed, were a pretty rough time for ex-Société Générale trader Jerome Kerviel. He was blamed (entirely) for the bank's $5.6 billion trading loss; he was thrown in prison; and he was told he need to scrape together the full amount of the loss to pay back the bank that may or may not have thrown him under a French tour bus as it drove down the Champs-Elysées, to the leering delight of tourists and passersby.
Then, in 2014, things started to look up: He was let out on parole after serving only 5 months of his 36 month sentence; he was awarded 0.007991228% of the damages he demanded SocGen pay him; and he got to watch a French judge put his foot up the bank's a$$. And the good news keeps on coming:
A French court has cut the damages owed by the former Société Générale trader Jérôme Kerviel from €4.9bn (£4.2bn) to €1m. The appeal court in Versailles ruled on Friday that Kerviel’s reckless trades were “partly responsible” for the huge losses suffered by the bank in 2008. It also ruled, however, that “deficiencies” in the bank’s management control and security systems contributed to the size of the losses, which Kerviel would have had no realistic way of repaying.
And while the Frenchman is probably somewhat to very pleased about his damages being slashed by 99.98, there's always room for improvement, particularly when it comes to an organization you hate with every fiber of your being:
“I’m hoping to get to zero in the end because I still do not think I owe anything to Société Générale. The battle continues,” Kerviel told reporters following the ruling, which is open to appeal. The case “used to be about €4.9bn. It doesn’t exist anymore,” he said.
For the SocGen executives who require a reading-between-the lines translation, that roughly works out to "You can keep on f*cking yourselves."