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Moral Bankruptcy and Trading Losses at Société Générale

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CASE STUDY. The purpose of this case is to generate discussion and learning on ethics and corporate governance.

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Moral Bankruptcy and Trading Losses at Société Générale: Abstract

Moral Bankruptcy and Trading Losses at Société Générale is a case study by Chijioke Oji and Viola Makin.

On 24 January 2008, Société Générale (SocGen) announced a loss of €4.9 billion due to unauthorised trading. The loss stemmed from a number of unauthorised trades carried out by Jerome Kerviel – a trader at the bank. At the time, it was the biggest loss due to unauthorised trading in the history of global banking. As the market reacted to the news, the share price dropped from €75.81 to €72.54, losing 4.1% of its value. As further details of the situation unravelled, senior management at SocGen worked frantically to salvage the bank’s reputation.

Teaching objectives

The purpose of this case is to generate discussion and learning on ethics and corporate governance.

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