In a hyper-competitive world where everyone strives to be the biggest, boldest and most famous, no one covets Jerome Kerviel record-breaking achievement.
Thanks to a court ruling in late October, the former junior trader for France's second largest bank, Societe Generale, owes the company a cool $6.3 billion -- an amount so gargantuan it couldn't possibly be repaid.
But considering an appeals court upheld the sentence after Kerviel was accused of orchestrating $73 billion in what the Atlantic politely refers to as "unauthorized trades," it's difficult to maintain a grounded sense of proportion.
Jean Veil, one of the lawyers representing Societe Generale, told the Guardian the bank would take a "realistic" approach to recovering the $6.3 billion from Kerviel, whose sentence also includes three years in prison.
One of Kerviel's lawyers, Olivier Metzner, previously explained to CNN he believes his client has been scapegoated for the financial crimes. He also asserted that the bank knew of Kerviel's actions but turned a blind eye because, though risky, they'd been profitable.
"The banks are the ones to blame for the banking system and the systematic economic crisis, not Jerome Kerviel," he told the station.
According to the Associated Press, the 35-year-old Kerviel never personally profited from any of the trades.