Who Is The Poorest Person In The World? Meet Jerome Kerviel

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Several websites online are focused on writing and publishing about the net worths of the rich and affluent in the society but none focuses on the poor and how they ended up in such a state. Great lessons could be learned from how people amassed wealth and later lost it all due to some choices they decided to make. It seems like the poor inspires no one but the story of how a wealthy man Jerome Kerviel turned out to be the poorest man in the world would definitely inspire you.

Jérôme Kerviel is the poorest person in the world. Jerome Kerviel is a French trader, consultant, and former employee at one of the largest banks in Europe, Société Générale.

Jérôme Kerviel is best known as the trader who lost the largest amount of money in the world. He was convicted and imprisoned in 2008 for breach of trust, forgery, and unauthorized use of computers.Jerome Kerviel captured on his pilgrimage to meet the pope earlier in 2014. Photo Credit: AP Images

Jérôme Kerviel was born on January 11, 1977, in Pont-l’Abbé, Brittany, France to Marie-Josée (a retired hairdresser) and Charles (a blacksmith). He is 44 years old. He was raised alongside an older brother named Olivier.

Regarding his educational background, Jérôme Kerviel graduated from the University of Nantes with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Jérôme Kerviel later graduated from Lumière University Lyon 2 in 2000 with a Master of Finance specializing in organization and control of financial markets.

Jérôme Kerviel was taken into police custody on 26 January 2008 after the Société Générale (SocGen) bank where he worked as a junior trader filed a lawsuit for fraud, breach of trust, and forgery against him. He was formally charged on 28 January 2008 with abuse of confidence and illegal access to computers.

This was after Jérôme Kerviel’s employers uncovered unauthorized trading linked to him on 19 January 2008. Kerviel had amassed a stock index futures position of US$73 billion by January 9, 2008, which ended up costing Societe Generale (SocGen) US$7.2 billion.

Jérôme Kerviel had reportedly been involved in fictitious trades in late 2006 and early 2007 whiles excelling profitably in anticipation of falling market prices. It was also revealed that Kerviel began creating losing trades intentionally so as to offset his early gain and cover his tracks.

Jérôme Kerviel Net Worth

How much is Jerome Kerviel worth in 2022?

Jérôme Kerviel has a net worth of -$6.7 billion as he still owes Societe Generale (SocGen) bank.

Jérôme Kerviel is the poorest person in the world right now. Though there are so many poor people in the world with a very greater percentage of them struggling to afford a meal daily, the story of wealthy Jérôme Kerviel who turned poor with such a huge amount of debt is now the talk of the town with many holding that he is presently the poorest man on earth.

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

Jérôme Kerviel became the center of attention on 24 January 2008 when the Société Générale (SocGen) filed a lawsuit for fraud, breach of trust, and forgery against him.

Jérôme Kerviel had joined the middle office of the bank Société Générale (SocGen) in the year 2000 where he began working in its compliance department. However, he was later promoted to the bank’s Delta One products team in Paris in 2005 where he worked as a junior-level derivatives trader earning US$66,000 per year.

According to reports, Jérôme Kerviel began creating fictitious trades in late 2006 and early 2007 whiles excelling profitably in anticipation of falling market prices. In order to mask his footsteps, Jérôme Kerviel started creating losing trades intentionally so as to offset his early gain.

However, by January 9, 2008, Jerome Kerviel had amassed a stock index futures position of US$73 billion which ended up costing Societe Generale (SocGen) US$7.2 billion. His employers later uncovered unauthorized trading linked to him on 19 January 2008. Jerome Kerviel was taken into police custody on 26 January 2008 and was formally charged on 28 January 2008 with abuse of confidence and illegal access to computers.

Despite the fact that the charges filed against him carry a maximum three-year prison term, he served less than five months of detention and was released from Fleury Merogis prison on 8 September 2014. He is currently working as an IT consultant at Lemaire’s consultancy firm.

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.

The poorest man in the world net worth

Becoming the most indebted man on earth makes Jérôme miserable than homeless persons. It is for the fact that Jerome Kerviel’s net worth is now strikingly low compared to a few years ago when he was a chief trader at SocGen.

A discussion into who is the poorest person in the world unveils a worst-case scenario of a rich man turned poor contrary to what most people would expect. If net worth is something to go by, then Jérôme Kerviel is the poorest man alive in the 21st century, with a net worth of -$6.7 billion and he may hold this record for several more years.

Kerviel would have become one of the 50 richest people in America if the debts he owes to French bank Societe Generale for fraudulent trades were assets.

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.

His outcry to receive a presidential pardon fell on the deaf ears even as Michael Sapin, The Minister of Finance in the French government, insisted on his incarceration.

Who is the poorest person in the world?

Who is the poorest man alive? Jérôme has gone down in history as a man behind the world’s most massive trading fraud. Behind his costly suits, Jerome is now the world’s poorest man considering he owes SocGen more than $6.3 billion.

Jérôme Kerviel house

The Kerviel family home stands in Pont l’Abbe, Britanny, western France.

How much money does Jerome Kerviel have?

Jerome Kerviel got a job at Lemaire Consultants & Associates in April 2008 when he was awaiting trial. He was hired as a technology consultant earning 2,300 euros monthly. Kerviel is living a normal life now. Several reports describe Jérôme Kerviel as the most indebted person in the world owing Société Générale $6.3 billion. But Kerviel’s debt to Société Générale is not up to $6.3 billion as a French appeals court slashed the amount of damages due to be paid by the rogue trader to €1m ($1.12m; £860,000) in September 23, 2016.

One can say Kerviel is not indebted as the bank itself believes he won’t be able to pay. A spokeswoman for SocGen, Caroline Guillaumin, said that the restitution was “symbolic”, and that the bank had no expectation that the sum would be paid. However, a report by 20 Minutes in June 2020 says the bank has not completely abandoned the idea of recovering the €1m from Kerviel. The report added that the bank notified Kerviel’s lawyer to inquire about the payment ordered by the court.

Where is Jérôme Kerviel now?

What is Jerome Kerviel doing now? Jerome Kerviel is still in Paris, France. He landed a job at Lemaire Consultants & Associates in April 2008 but it is not known if he still works with the firm. Due to how he is indebted, Kerviel will definitely keep his employments out of the media so as not to trigger SocGen to chase him for their money.

Jerome Kerviel’s wife

Jérôme Kerviel and his wife separated in 2008 prior to his arrest. Details of his wife is not known. It is currently not known if he eventually divorced and remarried.

Jerome Kerviel’s Journey To Becoming World’s Poorest Person

January 11, 1977 Born in Pont-l’Abbé, Brittany, France
1999He obtained a Bachelor degree in finance at the University of Nantes
September 2000Kerviel graduated from Lumière University Lyon 2 with a Master of Finance
2000Société Générale (SocGen) hires Kerviel
2001Kerviel unsuccessfully runs in municipal elections in Pont L’Abbe for President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Centre-Right UMP party
2003Société Générale promotes Kerviel to Trader Assistant, working on risk analysis and hedging
March 2004Kerviel is promoted to Trader and Market Maker.
2005He is promoted to the bank’s Delta One products team in Paris
2006 – 2007Kerviel begins creating fictitious trades
January 2008Kerviel generates €1.4 billion in hidden profits
January 9, 2008Jerome Kerviel amassed a stock index futures position of US$73 billion costing Societe Generale US$7.2 billion
January 19, 2008Société Générale uncovers unauthorized trading linked to Jérôme Kerviel
January 25, 2008Police raid the Paris headquarters of SocGen and Kerviel’s apartment to seize his computer files
January 26, 2008Jerome Kerviel is taken into police custody after the Société Générale filed a lawsuit against him
January 28, 2008Kerviel is formally charged with abuse of confidence and illegal access to computers
January 28, 2008Kerviel is released from custody
January 29, 2008Judges reject the prosecutor’s bid to charge Kerviel with a more serious crime of “attempted fraud”
April 2008Lemaire Consultants & Associates hires Kerviel
June 8, 2010Kerviel’s trial begins
October 5, 2010Kerviel is found guilty and sentenced to five years of prison, with two years suspended, full restitution of the lost $6.7 billion, and a permanent ban from working in financial services
October 24, 2012Paris appeals court upholds the October 2010 sentence to three years in prison with another two suspended, and ordered Kerviel to reimburse 4.9 billion euros to SocGen for its loss
February 19, 2014Kerviel meets with Pope Francis outside the Vatican
March 2014French high court upholds Kerviel’s prison sentence but rules he will not have to repay €4.9bn
September 8, 2014Kerviel is released from Fleury Merogis prison after serving less than five months of detention
June 7, 2016Court of Appeal of Versailles condemns SocGen for their unlawful firing of Kerviel. French labor court awards Jérôme Kerviel a total of €450,000 ($511,000) because he was fired without “real or serious cause.”
September 23, 2016A French appeals court slashes the amount of damages due to be paid by Jerome Kerviel to €1m ($1.12m; £860,000)
September 20, 2018France’s highest court of appeal rejects the an appeal by Jerome Kerviel against his three-year jail sentence
December 19, 2018French appeals court rules that Societe Generale was justified in firing Jerome Kerviel

About the author

Surjo Das

Surjo Das is a Digital Media Publisher and freelance copywriter. He has been working in the publishing industry for over 5 years now, holding various positions at different publishing houses Worldwide. His work experience includes managing marketing campaigns, content development, and website maintenance for various industries including healthcare, IT, finance, and education. He also offers to ghostwrite services to help aspiring authors get their books published while maintaining creative control over the project.

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By Surjo Das

Surjo Das

Surjo Das is a Digital Media Publisher and freelance copywriter. He has been working in the publishing industry for over 5 years now, holding various positions at different publishing houses Worldwide. His work experience includes managing marketing campaigns, content development, and website maintenance for various industries including healthcare, IT, finance, and education. He also offers to ghostwrite services to help aspiring authors get their books published while maintaining creative control over the project.

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