Mr Bouton said the trader had switched from short positions in 2007 to long positions at the start of this year "for reasons we did not understand".
The SocGen boss said the rogue trader's loss had been exaggerated by difficult market conditions this week. But he defended the bank’s risk-management processes. “All our models of stress-testing work perfectly well,” he said.
Its time again for annual 'Stella Awards'
For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico where she purchased the coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right?
That's right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head.
So keep your head scratcher handy.
Here are the Stella's for the past year:
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running
inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.
6TH PLACE :
Carl Truman, 19, of LA, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.
Go ahead, grab your head scratcher.
5TH PLACE :
Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut.
Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.
Keep scratching. There are more...
4TH PLACE :
Jerry Williams, of Little Rock , Arkansas , garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.
Ghrr ... Scratch, scratch.
Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?
Scratch, scratch, scratch. Hang in there; there are only two more Stella's to go...
Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.
(May I have a fanfare played on 50 kazoos please)
This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down, $1,750,000.00 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.
Are we, as a society, getting more stupid...? YES
Are the Lawyers in this country getting rich from these silly lawsuits???? YES
How do stupid folks like Mrs Grazinski survive long enough to become an adult?
Only By the grace of God.
FACTBOX-Goldman Sachs alumni in the news
Nov 15 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc
alumni have for decades gone on to top leadership positions throughout the business world and in government.
On Wednesday, NYSE Euronext
Chairman and Chief Executive John Thain, a Goldman alumnus, accepted an offer to become the new CEO of Merrill Lynch & Co , filling a vacancy created by the departure of Stanley O'Neal on Nov. 5.
The news is the latest headline-grabbing development involving former executives from the secretive investment bank, currently led by Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein. Below is a list of some former bank officials:
JOHN THAIN -- The former co-president of Goldman Sachs left a 24-year career at the world's biggest investment bank to become chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange in 2004. He merged the NYSE with electronic trading network Archipelago in 2005, accelerated the Big Board's adoption of electronic trading and converted the nonprofit club into a publicly listed company. Last year, he merged NYSE Group with Euronext to build the first trans-Atlantic exchange operator.
DUNCAN NIEDERAUER -- The former equities trading executive joined the NYSE in February after 22 years at Goldman Sachs and was named president and co-chief operating officer. Niederauer on Wednesday was named the Big Board's new chairman and CEO, succeeding Thain.
ROBERT RUBIN -- Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and chairman of the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton. He was co-head of Goldman in the early 1990s before joining Clinton's cabinet in 1992. In 2001, Rubin left Washington to join Citigroup
as chairman of the executive committee. Last month, after CEO Chuck Prince resigned under pressure, Rubin took on the bigger role of nonexecutive chairman and is leading the search for a new CEO.
HENRY "HANK" PAULSON - Paulson joined Goldman Sachs in 1974 and rose quickly as an investment banker to become partner in eight years. He was chief executive from 1999 to May last year, when he was named U.S. Treasury Secretary by President George W. Bush.
JON CORZINE - Now the Democratic governor of New Jersey, Corzine joined Goldman Sachs as a bond trader in 1975 and worked his way up to CEO. He played a key role in pushing the white-shoe partnership to become a publicly traded bank in 1999, although he was ousted by his co-CEO, Paulson.
DANIEL OCH - The former star Goldman trader left to co-found and head up Och-Ziff Capital Management
, which on Wednesday became the first U.S. hedge-fund-only company to go public. Its shares fell 4 percent in their market debut following a $1.15 billion offering.
ROBERT STEEL - U.S. Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, under Paulson. He recently helped direct the creation of the "Super-SIV," a giant investment pool designed to bail out special investment vehicles hammered by the current credit crunch. He was a Goldman vice chairman when Paulson was CEO.
ROBERT KAPLAN - The former vice chairman and head of Goldman's investment banking and investment management businesses was recently named interim head of the Harvard Management Co, Harvard University's $35 billion endowment. Kaplan is a professor at Harvard Business School.
JOHN THORNTON - Along with Thain, he was formerly president and co-chief executive of Goldman Sachs. After "the two Johns" quit, believing they would not ascend to the top spot at Goldman, Thornton went on to be chairman of the Brookings Institution. He is also co-chairman of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, which is trying to improve the competitiveness of U.S. markets.
EDWARD LAMPERT - A protege of Rubin in Goldman's risk arbitrage department, he left to form one of the world's top performing hedge funds, ESL Investments. He was nicknamed "the next Warren Buffett" after he acquired Kmart for less than $1 billion, using the retailer as a cash cow to make other investments and reaping the value of its real estate assets. He later orchestrated the $11 billion merger of Kmart and Sears Roebuck & Co.
CHRISTOPHER FLOWERS - Head of J.C. Flowers & Co, a buyout firm that unveiled a $25 billion plan to take student lender Sallie Mae private. Currently he's waging a legal battle after trying to slash his offer. Flowers, who founded Goldman's financial institutions merger advisory practice, left the firm in 1998. Two years later he participated in the takeover of Japan's Long Term Credit bank, which went public in 2004 as Shinsei Bank <8303.T>. He made an unsuccessful bid for failed commodities broker Refco in 2005.
JOHN WHITEHEAD -- A 38-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, he retired in 1984 as co-chair and senior partner. More recently he was chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp and at one time chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He was a deputy secretary of state in 1985, a second-in-command to Secretary George Shultz under President Ronald Reagan.
JOSHUA BOLTEN - Bush's White House chief of staff was Goldman's executive director for legal and government affairs from 1994 to 1999. (Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; editing by Andre Grenon and Lisa Von Ahn)
The tawdry tale of sexual harassment and black-market female hormones at SAC Capital isn’t just a matter for the courts and arbitrators anymore.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is now investigating the allegations by former SAC trader Andrew Tong that his then-boss, top SAC fund manager Ping Jiang, ordered him to take female hormones and wear women’s clothing to curb his aggressive trading tendencies. Tong also alleges that the two men had a sexual relationship.
The EEOC probe, revealed in court papers, was first reported by the New York Post.
According the newspaper, Tong is holed up in his Jersey City, N.J., condo, while Jiang continues to run Stamford, Conn.-based SAC’s quantitative trading operations in the firm’s New York office.
SAC brass were reportedly enraged that details about the case, which were supposed to be sealed, leaked to the media this week. One employee told the Post that bosses launched “a witch hunt” to determine the source of the leak. SAC has called the accusations “salacious and false.”
Tong’s lawyers, according to the Post, counter that they “are neither salacious nor false.”
"Be the change you wish to see in the world"