From Rogue Trader to Left-Wing Hero

SocGen worker defended by family, strangers, Communists
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2008 7:48 AM CST
Pedestrians walk past a branch office of French bank Societe Generale, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 in Paris. French bank Societe Generale said Thursday it has uncovered a euro4.9 billion (US$7.14 billion)...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – For a man who nearly sank one of the largest and most venerable banks in France, rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel has certainly won a lot of support, writes the Observer. In a country that remains weary of so-called "Anglo-Saxon" business models, the Société Générale banker now finds himself in the profoundly ironic position of anti-capitalist hero.

His family in Brittany has rallied behind him, with his mother-in-law insisting his alleged loss of over $7 billion proves he "stood up to the system." Others have gone further. The once vaunted, now diminished Communist Party has compared Kerviel to Alfred Dreyfus, the most famous scapegoat in French history. The mood is similar in the streets of Paris. "It is time the bosses and the rich were taken down a peg," said one trader.