Even though his identity has only been in the public domain for about 24 hours, the man who lost SocGen €5bn has already become a fully-fledged internet star, with all the trappings of modern-day fame: a lofty position in Google’s search rankings, a series of Facebook groups variously poking, condemning or celebrating him, and even a book at Ladbrokes on who will play him in the film version of his story. He’s even become the subject of email circulars and elaborate conspiracy theories.
Unfortunately for poor Jerome, the only photo that the world’s news agencies seem to be able to get their hands on makes him look like someone who spends his evenings hanging out in bus shelters (or perhaps a Frenchman who’s been asked a really tricky question – like ‘Where’s our €5bn gone?). Let’s hope he’s hired a decent publicist to get some more angelic-looking shots out there.
One thing’s for sure – he’s not getting much support from his social network. Jerome apparently had 11 Facebook friends on Thursday morning (suggesting he wasn’t exactly Mr Popular to start with), and now all but one has abandoned him in the style beloved of sinking ship-based rats. Whatever happened to sticking up for your mates in a crisis?
However, presumably he might make a few new friends once his life becomes the subject of a film. Apparently Kylie’s ex Olivier Martinez is bookie’s favourite to play him – though on the basis of that picture, we reckon that might be doing him a large favour. Still, if Ewan McGregor can play Nick Leeson…
There were some startling revelations in the Telegraph about the man who has suddenly become the world’s most famous rogue trader. Apparently he is ‘suffering trauma’ and ‘extremely concerned about his infamy’, according to ‘sources close to’ the poor lamb, adding that it’s just ‘not in his nature… to become a celebrity’. Perhaps he should have thought of that five billion euros ago.
There was also some lurid speculation about the family tragedies that may have driven him to this massive fraud. With hindsight, it probably would have been cheaper just to call the Samaritans.