This is the truth, nothing but the truth, and the whole truth, with a waterboard as my witness!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lies, Damn Lies, and French Banking

Well I told you so, look at how the narrative changed. Let me sum this up very broadly: Bank Claimed it was a sole person who created the losses, now asserts that there was possibly a GANG. Stated that they were transparent about the losses, now claim one Sr. Trader unwound the positions to "keep things quiet." And I'm sure that the FED RESERVE is glad to hear that! Ms Meyer and Mr Charriere-Bournazel also denounced the "extraordinary media lynching" of their client over the case, and accused Societe General bank chairman Daniel Bouton of "feeding him to the wolves" through his public statements. They also accused the bank of trying to "create a smokescreen which would divert public attention from losses that were significantly more substantial than those it accumulated in recent months", notably in the midst of the US sub-prime mortgage crisis. Well we now know that 2 billion was to the subprime losses and that the Bank is going to court for money laudering charges predating the lone wolf accusation. Well now the trader is promising to name names! Let me close by saying I told you so, there was something fishy here all along, and possibly the trader is "guilty" of unauthorized trading and fraud, but let me tell you the way that the bank went to great lengths to lynch this guy as arsonist, hacker, rogue trader, loner, genuis, etc.. etc.. leads me to question their credibility as at face value the story never made sense! The French President was enraged that Société Générale executives had waited at least three days before telling him that they'd uncovered the giant fraud. He should be pissed off more than that for their dumb ass statements. Instead of sucking up the loss they acted as they did and further eroded confidence by telling what at face value is probably one of the lammest ass lies witnessed in the public domain. Moreover, to be fair to Mr Kerviel, most of the losses were not his fault. His trades were down “only” about €1.5bn when SocGen discovered them 10 days ago. Then SocGen’s management lost an additional €3.4bn from abruptly unwinding those positions in a declining market. In addition, the bad news from SocGen last Thursday was not limited to Mr Kerviel. The same press release that blamed “one trader” for a €4.9bn loss disclosed another risk management failure: write-downs of €2.05bn related to “unhedged super senior CDO [collateralised debt obligation] tranches” and other subprime-related derivatives. A proper ranking of the losses SocGen announced would go: first, trading losses by management; second, CDOs; third, Mr Kerviel. The leading rogue trader in history was a distant third on SocGen’s list of bad news that day. But to the point, the media parroted the accusations of the Bank President, irrespective of the lucidity of such claims. Lesson learned, there are desperate men in the finance markets, they will "say anything" to divert attention from their culpability, and the discerning mind and smart money should take more care than these people have of the market positions they take, and the marketplace of ideas. The trader's point will be born out eventually, but the real crooks here were the Bank's management, or lake thereof. If you think the EURO is safe haven, think again... You see the way these folks react and it isn't the rogue trader that scares me.

If things get worse, France is in for allot of problems

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