Thursday, January 24, 2008

Was just talking to our controller about the French Banking thing. He (and later the Frenchie) brought up some interesting points:

1.) Guts. Amazing guts.

2.) Could I even imagine having $7.1 billion dollars to lose?
  1. Heck, how much was whoever playing with to end up with a loss like that?
  2. Even more interesting, how much did the company gain from this?
  3. Wonder what sort of commissions were paid out?

Regarding the lost money, found this little visualization from the Libé helpful:

4.9 billion euro? Five projects for the suburbs or 500,000 Twingos...

A young trader just lost a fortune at Société Générale. But what does that represent? Libération wants to give you a hand at visualizing.

His name is Jérôme Kerviel and he lost 4.9 billion euros for Société Générale. Apart from being an awful lot of money, how much is 4.9 billion euros exactly? Let's do a bit of role-playing:

You are Fadela Amara. With that amount, you could finance nearly five "plans for the suburbs."...or choose to strengthen 250 neighborhoods instead of just 50.

You are Hervé Morin.
You could just about pick up for the Ministry of Defense two new (French) aircraft carriers. Or one new and one second-hand, no problem.

You are Bertrand Delanoë. That would cover eight months' budget for the Paris Community (city and department, for the sake of precision!)

You are Nicholas Sarkozy (yes, yes!). You'd get paid 20,000 years worth of (your new) salary. Awesome!

You are Vincent Bolloré. You could buy 320 new Falcon 900s to replace your old jet.

I don't have a picture of the jet, but I do have one of the galley.*

You are Jean-Michel Aulas. Your Olympique lyonnais would still be decked out and paraded about for another 25 years.

You are generous. You could start 100 charities for the 2004 tsunami or 50 French Telethons.

Maybe you're a little crazy? You could buy 500,000 Twingoes even though you'd not have anyplace to park them.


*The Frenchie sketched this after the November train strikes in response to the over-repeated use of the term "galère" by the French Media (and curiously uncritical American commentary) to describe the train-metro conditions.

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