Feared by the Banks, Loved by the Public

Like him or not, many admit that Kerviel accomplished a prowess in hiding what is the world's biggest financial loss.

"I'm still wondering how he did it," wrote Mahmoud Khatib on Facebook. "How did so much money go unaccounted for?"

The bank's directors have denied any responsibility in failing to enact efficient control systems.

On Thursday, hundreds of Societe Generale employees demonstrated and carried boards with the inscription "We love SG" outside the bank's headquarters in the outskirts of Paris to support bank chairman Daniel Bouton.

Their argument: Bouton's departure would only make things worse.

There were reports this week that the trader made money out of the July 7 bombings in London.

He reportedly cashed in about $750,000 on a bet that the share of German insurer Allianz would fall.

Kerviel, who has not formally been fired, faces up to five years in prison and a substantial fine.

Most think that it will be Kerviel and not the bank's manager who will pay for the loss.

"I think that Kerviel is a scapegoat," said Bassmatti. "The managers are probably responsible, but a bank's president will always go unpunished."

However, if he goes to prison some of his Web fans have promised him unconditional support.

"I take my hat off to you Jerome Kerviel," wrote Wissam Moussallem on Facebook. "We will support you [till] the end."

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