Oh boy! The FT liveblogs the Societe Generale conference call

I love the Internet…

The Financial Times liveblogs the Societe Generale conference call; everything translated from French:

10.01 – “we’re all waiting,” explains one journo to two new arrivals to the conference call. No sign of any official/SocGen action just yet. Just half Europe’s financial media.

10.03 – very loud banging in the background. Someone makes a gag about a guillotine in action…

10.12 – the chaos continues. They’re looking for our correspondent apparently. Starting to see how this bank managed to let a plain vanilla futures trader build up sufficiently vast positions to lose €5bn. They don’t seem to have mastered the basics of telecommunications…

10.19 – the conference seems to be going on: “dealing with an extraordinarily exception….specific case”…

10.21 – there’s a forceful type online complaining that the bank must restart the conference call. In the background: “we are probably…nothing to do with the core activities….derivative product.” Hope you’re finding this as insightful as we are…

10.23 – We’re in!!!!!!

10.24 – It’s muffled. Someone called Frederic (?) is talking….about the writedowns related to subprime. Which wasn’t what we wanted at all…

10.33 – “We have just given you bad news. We have just shown you simultaneous that…the whole [company] was making quite good results… The strength of our business …and the skills of people working in the [company] is wonderful.”

10.36 – to conclude – “All my apologies for those awful events we uncovered last weekend.” Onto questions…

10.45 – motivations of fraudster are “totally irrational.” He didn’t directly benefit. Further investigations will be carried out to see if he indirectly benefited…

10.48 – bank had a “duty to cut off positions before disclosing the information.” “With the chance of good fortune, it was possible to liquidate these positions over three days which was quite exceptional…We discovered this at the same time as the market plummeting….we really had to settle those positions as fast as we could and we did so during the three day crisis which you all witnessed.” [Aha! Thus the massive worldwide equity market crash on Monday!]

“They could have turned into gains if the market had gone up.” [If I had wings, I could fly!]

10.55 – “the risk and control system is not faulty.” [Yes, clearly not.]

11.14 – the man was let go with his passport, it seems. “perhaps we made a mistake.”…