France’s second biggest bank, Societe Generale (SocGen), announced today it lost 4.9 billion euros ($7.1B) due to the fraudulent actions of a “rogue” trader at the bank.
SocGen became suspicious late last Friday after an employee noticed a trade that exceeded the bank’s limits. The counterparty said the trade didn’t exist. Jerome Kerviel’s job was to hedge other traders’ bets at the bank. Instead, Kerviel bet long on European equity futures indices far beyond hedging requirements. His position was showing a net loss of 1.5B euros when his activities were uncovered last weekend. By the time SocGen fully unwound his positions yesterday, the loss had expanded to 4.9B euros.
The biggest trading loss in banking history occurred today as Venus conjoins Pluto at the end of Pluto’s sojourn in Sagittarius. Venus rules banks and financial systems and Pluto rules what is hidden. In the sign Sagittarius (ruled by giant Jupiter), big bank losses are revealed. In addition to the trading losses, SocGen also announced it is taking a further 2.5B euros writedown related to U.S. subprime mortgages and American bond insurers. The bank is also setting aside an additional 400M euros against future risks.
Societe Generale was founded on May 4, 1864. The bank’s natal Sun is in Taurus. Taurus rules banks, and Taurus is ruled by Venus. Pluto conjoins the Sun. The horoscope shows that the bank could have a tendency to have financed military operations and be the custodian of secret accounts. Last Friday, Jupiter was challenging SocGen’s natal Neptune, unveiling a deception of epic proportions. Natal Neptune opposes Saturn showing the lines are blurred between control and risk. Jerome Kerviel began working at SocGen as a risk controller before becoming a trader. It is believed that this knowledge helped him to conceal his trades.
Jerome Kerviel was born January 11, 1977*. Although questioned by the bank over the weekend, he appears to have disappeared. Transiting Jupiter was conjoining Kerviel’s natal Mars last Friday, exposing his actions. Kerviel was born with the Sun in Capricorn in harmony with Jupiter in Taurus. This describes Kerviel as having huge ambitions to rise to the top in a banking career. Like SocGen, Kerviel has a strong Saturn/Neptune alignment, making it easy for him to set up fictious trades within the bank’s boundaries. Kerviel’s Mercury conjoins his Mars. He can act impulsively, trapping himself in his own web of deceit. With Mercury challenging Pluto, a lot of calculated thought went into how he would hide his transactions. So far the evidence appears that Kerviel did not act to personally profit from his actions, and I would concur with this.
On Sunday night, SocGen got approval from France’s central bank to delay issuing their writedown announcement originally scheduled for Monday so the bank could close out Kerviel’s positions.
January 21 was the day Jupiter trined Saturn. SocGen began their selling. I remember hearing on Bloomberg radio then that “a large European institution is dumping futures contracts” as a reason for the big drop in European indices. In a 6:00 PM video conference, the Federal Reserve decided that it would announce its decision tomorrow to lower interest rates 75 basis points to help stave off a big U.S. market selloff.
The Fed took action Monday when the Moon was Void-of-Course (VOC). As readers of my Weekly Forecast know, a Void Moon is not the time to make important decisions as you usually don’t have all the facts and the results may not manifest in the way you intended.
Mercury aligned with Neptune Tuesday, conjoining Kerviel’s progressed** Sun in Aquarius. His name and photo have appeared around the world, bestowing celebrity status as the trader who lost the most bank money ever.
Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve Board impulsively decided on an emergency rate cut one week before the FOMC meeting based on incomplete information about the European market selloff. Bernanke should have contacted European central bankers to find out what was going on before making a decision. Just be glad he doesn’t have the nuclear codes.
*Kerviel’s birthdate was listed on the website of the Management des Operations de Marche, the business school in Lyon where he graduated from in 2000. The link to this site originally appeared on the Wall Street Journal Deal Journal blog.
**A mathematical method of prediction that calculates the birth planets forward in time.