In my article of 4 December 2007 entitled Subliminal phallic stuff [display], I described the curious TV publicity of a French bank named Société Générale. In their ads, an animated thing, the same size as a human being, is supposed to be a friendly thumb, constantly giving a helping hand to bank customers. To me, though, this alleged thumb has always looked more like a big prick. Well, it would appear that my hunch was right. Within the context of this major French bank, there was indeed a prick—a so-called rogue trader—who succeeded in stacking up losses for the bank of 4.9 billion euros ($US 7 billion).
Funnily enough, in the case of this astronomical spiral of losses, there is a winner: the little-known business college in Lyon that had trained the trader. On TV last night, one of their female professors, as proud as punch, explained that, to teach students how to manipulate effectively the banking system in the hope of helping their employer to earn colossal amounts of money, these same students are obliged to acquire knowledge that might enable them, theoretically, to operate as crooks. QED. It's rare, these days: teaching establishments that offer a sound education in this kind of domain. I'll bet that college will be inundated with enrollment requests next year. Serious youth who want to learn how to become pricks.