How an obscure Breton trader gamed oversight weaknesses in the banking system.
"Mustier delivered the news to Bouton. The magnitude of the problem was almost unimaginable, and there was a serious risk that the bank could fail.
Société Générale faced a loss of 1.5 billion euros and still had the unhedged fifty-billion-euro exposure in the futures market.
The disclosure of this position might be enough to cause a run on the bank, triggering an international financial panic and stock-market crash.
Meanwhile, there was a risk that Kerviel might tell other traders, who would be in a position to make a fortune by short-selling SocGen stock, and even stock indexes...."
more ... Annals Of Finance: The Omen : The New Yorker