The hunt for wealth is an endless struggle that involves both rich and poor individuals alike. Several publications that

maintain a close eye on net worths often sideline the poverty-stricken. Even so, it is hilarious to think of one who

qualifies as the poorest, when there are so many of them out there. So, who is the poorest person in the world?

Jerome Kerviel is the poorest person in the world right now. The story of a wealthy man turned poor is now the talk of

the town with many holding that he is presently the poorest man on earth.

What happened to Jerome Kerviel is highly surprising and daunting at the same time. Many people cannot stop

imagining how a billionaire could have lost their wealth overnight. While we are at that, most people maintain he is

now suffering the pain he brought to himself.

the poorest person in the world

How Jerome Kerviel became the “poorest person in the world”

Jerome Kerviel may not have thoroughly thought that a single high-risk business practice would see his wealth rolling

down the hill. His appetite for amassing a vast security position would later leave him counting on severe losses.

Experts have likened his fatal risk with about 1.5 times the market capitalization of a global bank, or five times the

economic output of Cambodia. It could be less surprising if no one knew about the risk grounds that Jerome was

treading.

Jerome had been working with a leading banking firm as a junior level derivatives trader, earning about US$66, 000 every year. His hard work at Societe Generale (SocGen) saw him accumulate a whopping US$73 billion stock index futures position in the wake of 2008.

His decisions, later on, cost SocGen a tune of US$7.2 billion, roughly six times more of what Nick Leeson lost at Barings. Derivatives are lucrative investments drawing value from real asset including oil price, market index, and stock.

Investing in the Eurostoxx pan-European stock index futures contracts (30 billion Euros), Germany’s DAX futures (18 billion euros), and London’s FTSE futures (2 billion euros) was never a good idea.

He made this move hoping that the markets would shoot in the following months, and he would have profited through arbitrage. His blind hope sunk amid market falls that was experienced after that.

It later emerged that Jerome suffered the loss deliberately in an attempt to mask his illegal dealings at the company. According to a report released by SocGen, Jerome had been involved in a series of trade frauds.

The report uncovered no other charge against him. These revelations indicated that he had indeed undermined the company’s trading policies. As a result, the company fired him soon after.

A few years back, Jerome handed himself to the authorities and started serving a jail sentence for his breach of trust at Societe Generale. The trader has more debt than the most unfortunate person you have ever met. Little did Jerome know that his involvement in unauthorized trades would cost his lifelong savings and throw him into jail after that.

By Cynthia Nwankwo

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