PARIS Jan 25 The following is a timeline of
events concerning the 4.9 billion euro ($7.2 billion) fraud at
France's second-largest bank Societe Generale (SocGen)
* 2007 - SocGen junior trader Jerome Kerviel starts building
up large positions. As his losses mount he tries to cover up his
positions by hacking into the bank's computer systems.
* Jan 18, 2008 - SocGen shares plunge 8.2 percent, with
traders and fund managers citing market speculation of huge
write-downs at the bank.
* Jan 18 - The International Herald Tribune runs a report on
its Web site saying that Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer
has been monitoring the balance sheets of banks such as SocGen.
The Bank of France later denies that Noyer ever said this.
* Jan 18 - Later that evening, a compliance officer notices
a trade that has breached one of the bank's thresholds. The
officer telephones another brokerage, with which SocGen had
apparently made the trade, and is told that the firm has no
record of any such transaction taking place.
* Jan 19/20 - On Saturday, SocGen senior executives begin
investigating suspicious trades which are traced to Kerviel. The
trader is hauled in and top management questions him.
* Jan 20 - Kerviel is questioned by the SocGen board.
* Jan 20 - Bouton says he informs the Governor of the Bank
of France and the head of France's AMF stock market authority
when he learns of the situation.
* Jan 20 - Kerviel, who is told by the bank after
questioning that it plans to dismiss him, leaves. SocGen fails
to hand him over to the police. Bouton later admits, at a news
conference, that "perhaps we made a mistake in that respect".
* Jan 21 - As people return to their trading desks after the
weekend, SocGen management decides to liquidate Kerviel's
positions. Equity markets plunge that day, with many stock
indexes suffering their worst one-day close since the terror
attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
* Jan 21 - SocGen's decision to close down the position in a
falling market means the bank makes even more of a loss than it
would have done in a more usual market environment. Market
traders later wonder if the SocGen rogue trader was partly
responsible for the global equity market slump.
* Jan 22 - The U.S. Federal Reserve stuns markets by
announcing an emergency interest rate cut. It later says it was
unaware of the SocGen rogue trader situation when it made its
decision to slash rates by 75 basis points to 3.5 percent.
* Jan 23 - SocGen shares fall sharply again, closing down
4.2 percent. Traders and fund managers cite fresh rumours of
write-downs at SocGen. Market speculation also swirls that some
top SocGen bankers might have left the bank.
* Jan 24 0700 GMT - SocGen issues a statement saying it has
uncovered a 4.9 billion euro fraud at the bank. It says Bouton
and Jean-Pierre Mustier, head of investment banking, tendered
their resignations but these were not accepted.
* 1000 GMT - SocGen holds press conference to discuss the
fraud. Bouton says the bank does not know the whereabouts of the
trader whom it does not identify.
* 1525 GMT - SocGen sources identify the trader as Kerviel.
A photo of Kerviel from the SocGen internal website is soon
circulating around dealing rooms and fund management houses in
* 1831 GMT - A source from the U.S. Federal Reserve says
U.S. central bank did not know of the rogue trader scandal at
SocGen when it made an emergency interest rate cut this week.
* Jan 25 - Kerviel's whereabouts remain unknown.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Suzy Valentine)